Revolution #415, November 30, 2015 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

On the Significance of RiseUpOctober: Building on Strengths, Overcoming Weaknesses... And Fighting to Actually Put an End to Police Terror and White Supremacy Through Revolution

Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

RiseUpOctober, RUO—the mass demonstrations against police murder that took place in New York in October—represented a significant advance in the fight against this terror, and the overall fight against the oppression of Black, Latino. and Native American people of which it is a key part. The three days of action—the march and rallies on the 24th, the nonviolent direct action to shut down Rikers Island prison on the 23rd, and the reading at Times Square on the 22nd of the Stolen Lives, those killed by the police—each in its own right and taken together had a powerful impact on public opinion. The controversy that raged afterward in the media, mainly with the filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s comments at the march and the defense of Tarantino by others, kept the issue squarely in the public mind, with people representing the action making the point to millions: murder by police must stop—Which Side Are You On?

RUO brought forward and together the voices and participation of people from different sections of society, including students and prominent voices of conscience,around the “reasonable” demands to Stop Police Terror and the police murder of unarmed youths, and convicting and sending the killer cops to jail. On the 24th of October, the march of nearly 4,000 people was bold and defiant, with contingents from different campuses and organizations, and people from Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, and as far away as Texas and California. There were students from the historically Black colleges, the elite colleges and community colleges, along with those from the bottom of society, those “who catch the hardest hell,” joined by activists and others from the social movements and the broad progressive middle strata, all declaring to society, “Which Side Are You On,” STOP Police Terror.

Family members of those killed by police. New York City, October 22, 2015. Photo: Phil Buehler

This political and moral challenge was underscored by the parents and family members of the Stolen Lives, those killed by the police, who came to NYC from across the country, reading the names and telling the stories of their loved ones together with prominent voices of conscience at Times Square on the 22nd. Their powerful and courageous truth-telling was part of bringing home the hard and horrible reality of police murder. The workings of this system and the conscious policies of its rulers seek to keep people divided, and the most bitterly oppressed feeling isolated—and these manifestations of RUO broke through that barrier.

RUO was a powerful political and moral response in opposition to and as part of the political battle over the legitimacy and the right of the police to blow away lives without any consequences or justice. RUO was a necessary intervention to change the terms of discussion and to influence public opinion at a critical juncture. All summer the rulers of this system were on the offensive, attempting to re-seize the initiative after the uprisings of Ferguson and Baltimore had put the question of police terror on the societal agenda. They were posing as the victims, and defending and asserting the right of the police to continue raining terror and murdering people in genocidal proportions.

RiseUpOctober hit back hard at this, speaking the truth and mobilizing people, and as the 24th approached, the powers that be hit back in turn. It is no mere coincidence that Obama and James Comey, the head of the FBI, spoke on the 22nd and the 24th of October on these issues, defending the police in no uncertain terms. Nor is it coincidental that directly after the mass demonstration, the New York Post, Fox News, the PBAs (“Police Brutality Associations”), NYPD chief Bratton, and the rest went on a rampage.

Eve Ensler, Carl Dix, Cornel West, Quentin Tarantino, on march with family members. Photo: twitter.com/tuneintorevcom

Carl Dix, who along with Cornel West co-initiated RUO, hammered away at this legitimacy, and from this perspective, pointed to the real role of the police in enforcing the oppressive system, and brought alive the solution in communist revolution to get beyond this and its leadership in Bob Avakian (BA), while at the same time working to get everyone he could to get involved in this fight. Other people came together with Carl and Cornel, and this variety of voices and perspectives and the lively debate that ensued added to the strength of RiseUpOctober and modeled something very important for people.

RUO forged and advanced a much-needed and defiant pole of genuine resistance and struggle, giving people a way to act commensurate with the horrors and outrages of the all-too-common stories and videos of police terror and police murder. RUO also included the nonviolent direct action to shut down Rikers Island, a torture chamber and hellhole of a prison right in the middle of New York City, housing mainly Black and Latino inmates—and this action of resistance and struggle is a real leap toward what is needed to end the New Jim Crow, the program of mass incarceration.

Evaluating Strengths and Weaknesses

October 24—Thousands took to the streets of NYC for the culmination of three days of Rise Up October, led by families of victims of police murder (above), many carrying large pictures of men and women whose lives were unjustly stolen.

In evaluating an initiative like RUO, from the standpoint of its objectives, the criterion is its effect on the political terrain, on favorably changing public opinion and people’s thinking in line with the actual reality and putting an end to police terror, and organizing forces in the struggle and movement for this. Let’s remember: the point of RiseUpOctober is to STOP police murder; everything it does is designed to contribute to making that fight as strong as possible. And part of the thinking that went into this is that, in order to STOP this, you will need millions and millions of people feeling compelled to choose sides... and compelled to STRUGGLE AGAINST THE SYSTEM that gives rise to such murder and repression.

RiseUpOctober represented a significant advance, and this struggle and its organization, Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN), needs to be carried forward, grow and politically escalate, especially as people are righteously standing up in Chicago, Minneapolis, and other cities against police murder, and on campuses against racism and white supremacy.

At the same time, all of these advances—from bringing together different sections of society in struggle and resistance, in questioning the legitimacy of the police and the system of which they are objectively the enforcers, and the heightened profile of Carl Dix on the political terrain, as a revolutionary communist leader and follower of BA and courageous truth-teller about and fighter against police terror—need to be built on with strategic perspective to hasten the time when a radically different system and society can be brought into being through revolution, and this, as well as many other horrors, can be ended once and for all. 

In this context, there were some secondary shortcomings to be looked at, interrogated, and solved going forward.

First, we needed more of an organizational and infrastructural core at the heart of the initiative. We also needed to have raised more funds for advertising and promotion, so that many more people would hear of and be able to participate actively in this resistance. Even though RiseUpOctober did have real and powerful impact, had the RUO movement been able to solve these problems that impact could possibly have been even greater. This is a collective responsibility for the movement as a whole, and we should grapple with others on how to solve these problems, and really grow SMIN with vibrant chapters nationwide.

Bringing Out the Need for Revolution and the Leadership of Bob Avakian

BOB AVAKIAN    The Vision, the Works, the Leadership for a New Stage of Communist Revolution    GET INTO BA!

Second, as revolutionary communists, while we worked hard on fulfilling and bringing to life the key objectives of RUO, all too often we lost sight of WHY we take part in these struggles. On the one hand, we hate this outrage with all our might; many of us came into the movement for revolution through this and related battles, and the more that we have understood how deeply interknit it is into this capitalist system and how utterly unnecessary it is, the more—not the less—angry and outraged we have become.

At the same time, unless and until there is a revolution, this horror will go on. It’s that simple. For that reason, we unapologetically lead and participate in these struggles with that larger goal in mind, drawing the links to the system whenever we can and pointing to the solution in revolution and the leadership for that revolution in Bob Avakian (BA).

It is in this regard that we think we fell down some and did not fully enough carry out our responsibility. And a lot of this got concentrated around not letting people know about BA—maybe letting people know some things, but not consistently giving people the full picture of who he is, what he’s brought forward, and how he leads. To put it another way, not stepping off enough from the scientific fact that the outrage of police murder is made all the more unbearable by the fact that it doesn’t have to be this way, there is another way possible through revolution, and there is leadership for that revolution in BA, and the Party he leads.

This is what people need most from us. There is a lot more we could and should have done in bringing to all the need to study and follow BA’s leadership, and becoming part of the process of helping to realize this revolution, including through following revcom.us, the official website of Revolution newspaper, and the main way for people to get the ongoing leadership of BA and the Party.

BA and the Struggle to Uproot the Oppression of Black People and All Other Oppressed Nationalities

In speaking of BA in particular, a lot of people don’t know that he’s been a fighter on this question since way back in the 1960s, going back to the earliest days of the Black Panther Party, whom he worked closely with. People should check out the “TIMELINE—Political Activism and Revolutionary Leadership of Bob Avakian (BA), During the 1960s-1970s, and Continuing to the Present Time” at revcom.us to learn more on this. But it goes way beyond that.

Bob Avakian, over many decades of work, has scientifically shown how the oppression of Black people, since the time of slavery, has been central to the history of this country and integral to the workings of this system of capitalism-imperialism, interwoven into the economic, social, cultural, and ideological fabric of this country. Because of this, the system and its rulers have no solution, no answers to all of its horrific manifestations, from police murder to mass incarceration to rampant discrimination in jobs, housing, and all other areas of life.

Do you know anyone else—any person or organization—that has managed to bring forth an actual PLAN for a radically different society, in all its dimensions, and a CONSTITUTION to codify all this? — A different world IS possible — Check out and order online the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).

He has done the work to show that with a radically different system, a different economic and political framework, and social relations and ideas that aim to get beyond all exploitation and oppression as part of a worldwide process, there IS a solution, there IS an answer, and we can put an end to the horrors and get to work on rooting out the inequalities of this system. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) goes into this very concretely. This Constitution is a concretization of the work done by BA on what such a society should look like, and an application of the new synthesis of communism which he has developed over decades, a whole new framework and a world-historic contribution to the science of communism and the emancipation of humanity. 

Bringing this society into being will take a revolution, and BA has also developed a strategy for this revolution, and is the leader of this Party implementing and leading this strategy. This strategy of course takes in many, many questions—the oppression of women, the wars waged by imperialism, the destruction of the environment, the persecution of immigrants—and shows the real living links to the capitalist society we live in, and the need to get beyond that. As part of this strategy, he has scientifically analyzed the oppression of Black people as one of the crucial fault lines of this system, one that goes to its very roots and foundations. From his earliest and formative political experiences in the 1960s, the centrality of the oppression of Black people in this society, and the resultant vulnerability of this system on this question, its “Achilles heel,” has been a hallmark of BA’s leadership—that has been scientifically deepened through decades of theoretical work and leading the revolution in the U.S., including deeply examining the struggles of Black people for liberation, and being part of and drawing the correct scientific lessons from the most advanced revolutionary experiences of the 1960s with the Black Panthers.

BA has shown how bringing growing numbers of people into motion around this crucial fault line of this system can deepen and widen the cracks of this system, doing this in a way that hastens the moment when the whole thing can be brought down and a radically different world brought into being through communist revolution. Concretely leading these struggles to end police murder and terror, and its manifestations in SMIN and RUO, are an application of this, with the perspective and goals of advancing the objectives of communist revolution—again, a revolution that can and goes to work on fundamentally resolving not only the oppression of Black people, but of women, of immigrants, and bringing to an end this country’s wars of empire and its destruction of the environment, within and as part of a radically different system aiming for and working towards the emancipation of all of humanity.

And people should definitely know that it was BA himself, as leader of the Party, who is responsible for the Party taking up this initiative, and others like it, going back decades. If you want to check out his thinking on the importance of initiatives like SMIN and RUO, and how they relate to getting to a world where things like police murder and white supremacy really are no more, check out his essay, “The Mass Initiatives and Our Strategic Objectives”.

The Problem... The Solution... And the Process

Why is this important? As people struggle and fight the power, bigger questions are posed such as what is the source of these injustices, what is the relation to other horrors such as the oppression of women and immigrants, the wars and the destruction of the environment, and can we end these and what will it take? There ARE answers to these questions, and it is the responsibility of the revolutionary communists to not only bring the answers to the people, but lead a process for them to increasingly get a scientific approach to society and all of reality, one that is denied the vast majority of people by the workings of this system, and organize them into the actual revolution.

The more people understand the common root of these injustices in the system of capitalism-imperialism, and the fact that these horrors are completely needless and can be done away with through revolution, then the more people’s sights are raised to a radically different world that is necessary, possible, and desirable, and the more people are impelled and compelled to fight even more ferociously—and with an increasingly conscious goal, in thinking and organization, of getting beyond this. This, after all, is the point of fighting to put an END to these horrors, and this takes leadership concentrated in science and a thoroughly scientific approach to society. At this moment in history, the most thoroughly scientific approach to society and the most advanced science of the emancipation of humanity through communist revolution, the solution to all this madness, the way out, is concentrated in the work and leadership of Bob Avakian.

Going Forward

In the little more than a month since RiseUpOctober, this struggle has further intensified, with both RUO, the Revolution Clubs (which are led by the Party), and Party members like Carl Dix right in the middle of it. This must not die down, but must instead go forward. We will be working as hard as we can to build this struggle as broadly as we can, and to do this as part of preparing for revolution, putting an end to this horror. And we look forward to participating with all the people in RUO and many more besides to make this winter and spring a time when the question “WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?” resounds even more powerfully, throughout this society and the whole world.

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For more on Bob Avakian, go to:

***

For more on how the Party views and participates in mass struggles and their relationship to revolution, see BAsics, Chapter 3, especially 3:1, 3:2, 3:3, 3:30, and the Party’s statement on strategy which supplements that chapter.

 

 


 

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Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

At a Moment of Horrendous Crimes and Important Uprisings...

Seize the Time!

November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This past month has been one of great crimes against humanity, as well as important resistance to the crimes of this system. This is a moment to seize. And most of all, a moment to connect people with the need, and basis for a revolutionary solution—the leadership and work of Bob Avakian (BA).

Just this month there was the murderous assault on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There is the escalating clash of Western imperialism and Islamic fundamentalist Jihad, with terrorist attacks in Paris; France—with U.S. assistance and backing—bombing the densely populated Syrian city of Raqqa; and the downing of a Russian passenger plane by ISIS.

And there is resistance. In Paris, heroic environmental activists are in the streets in the face of police-state repression and massive police brutality. In the U.S., people are rising up against the oppression of Black people, in many different ways. And there were beginning vigils and protests in the immediate wake of the Colorado Springs attack demanding abortion on demand and without apology, and declaring abortion providers are heroes and forced motherhood is female enslavement.

All this is taking place at a time when the rulers of this system—which brings so much misery and death to humanity—are up against a whole set of problems here and around the world. Bob Avakian has pointed out that it can feel as if we’re locked in a huge prison yard surrounded by a huge steel wall that reaches up past our field of vision and seems incredibly thick—but that using the science of revolution, we can see the crises the system confronts, and the struggles people are waging, as cracks in that wall that can be pushed on and pushed open. (See “Transcript of Important Talk from the RCP: ‘Where We Are in the Revolution’”.)

Taken together, all the elements in today’s situation can be seen as “cracks in the wall.” And in that light, it is up to us to unite with and push on people’s just struggles, standing with the people, connecting protest and outrage with the movement for revolution.

The statement “On the Strategy for Revolution” from the RCP speaks to the challenges posed to revolutionaries at a moment like this:

Such “jolts” in the “normal functioning” of things, even if they do not develop all the way to a fundamental crisis for the system as a whole, do create situations in which many more people are searching for answers and open to considering radical change. The work of building the movement for revolution must be consistently carried out at all times, but in these situations of sharp breaks with the “normal routine” there is greater possibility, and greater potential, to make advances. This must be fully recognized and built on to the greatest degree possible, so that through such situations, leaps are made in building up the movement and the organized forces for revolution, creating in this way a stronger basis from which to work for further advances.

(The entire statement is available at www.revcom.us and in BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian)

Everyone reading this message needs to jump into the fray with both feet, and challenge others to join us. Most important of all, this means bringing Bob Avakian into the mix as you are uniting with people to fight the power. BA has brought forward a whole pathway on how to understand and transform the world and actually make revolution in this day and age... and make it a revolution worth making.

Everyone who is at all serious about getting out of this mess should be getting out BA quote cards, T-shirts with the BA image, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! shirts, and posters and banners with “www.revcom.us” on them, driving people to get with BA and revcom.us. The statements by Carl Dix are also important in this light—they connect BA and what he represents with all this in a living way.

In all this, either during pauses in the action or while getting out palm cards, Revolution, and other BA materials, seize every moment to bring people the problem/solution, which is crystallized in BA and what he’s brought forward.

We have to let people know: there IS a way out! Sometimes this will mean taking literature, sometimes it will mean being right in the fray up against the pigs or reactionaries and then later getting down with people. But even when right up in the fray, find ways to represent—like with oversized BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! or BA-image shirts over jackets—so that people can see who we are and get into BA (including those who see us in mainstream and social media coverage). Take signs, posters, and banners speaking to what is going on, with large, highly readable WWW.REVCOM.US. And get this issue of Revolution newspaper into the mix wherever you are.

Connect through your nearest Revolution Books, or correspond through revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Statement on the Violent Attack on Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood

November 27, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

November 27, 2015

updated @ 10:30 PM

On Friday a gunman launched an armed attack against the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, wounding at least nine people, with three confirmed murdered as of this writing. This heinous attack marks a serious escalation of the war against women AND a serious escalation in the overall attacks on the people. This must be met with determined, unyielding struggle.

This war has gone on now for several decades. Since 1977, anti-abortion pro-patriarchy fanatics have murdered at least eight people working to provide abortions—the most recent being the murder of Dr. George Tiller in 2009. The terrifying violence against the staff, patients and the clinics has been unrelenting over these decades. Some statistics over this same time period reveal the scale and scope of this vicious campaign to deprive women of the basic right to control their own lives: what was eight murdered before yesterday is now at least 11; and add to this, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 182 acts of arson, and almost 7000 acts of documented violence and 194,000+ acts of active disruption.1  All this is but the leading edge of the violence done to the countless women's lives who could not access abortion services because so many clinics have been forced to close.

Planned Parenthood has been a major target of this for the last several months with Republican presidential candidates in particular engaging in the most vicious lies, distortions and demagogy. Meanwhile, state legislatures all over the U.S. have put the very right to abortion, as well as birth control, on the firing line and the Supreme Court itself plans to make a major ruling this spring.

It is imperative that this attack on Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs be met with mass action immediately—answering Sunsara Taylor's call for demonstrations Saturday, November 28. Then, on January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC, and on January 23 in San Francisco, there must be massive national demonstrations on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which originally made abortion legal in the U.S. against the whole offensive being waged to take away the right to abortion. Beyond and through that demonstration we need a whole societal-wide movement of women and men who refuse to put up with this any longer, who refuse to just hope for the best but instead insist on directly and militantly confronting and fighting this patriarchal madness, who are determined to change the whole terms of discourse and political action to defend abortion and women's lives in this society, and around the world.

At the same time, during this past week, there was an armed racist attack on demonstrations and an encampment organized by Black Lives Matter in Minnesota against the police killing of Jamar Clark, a young Black man. Not only did the police do absolutely nothing to prevent this shooting of activists, they took it as an opportunity to further harass and repress the demonstrators themselves. Both of these attacks—the one in Minnesota against the movement against police murder of Black and other minority people and the one in Colorado against women exercising their right to make their own decisions about whether and when to be a parent—are linked. They are part of a more overall openly fascist reactionary wind being fanned—again from very high up among the rulers of this country—in which threats, beatings and armed attacks are being unleashed against the people and in which openly racist thugs like Donald Trump are being given credibility and endless air time to promote poison on these questions, as well as his particular bent against immigrants. All this must be opposed both by militant mass action AND by relying on ourselves to defend ourselves and our movements. The lines are being drawn; the people must stand up.

This whole capitalist-imperialist system of America is rife with oppression and repression, and has no answers for the oppression of women or the ongoing murder of Black and other minority people by police other than empty promises and not just continued, but deepened, oppression, while at the same time stirring up and unleashing armed, fascist, racist, woman-hating forces. If this were all that is wrong with this system, it would be reason enough for revolution—and of course there is much more that needs to be utterly changed, from the horrific international situation and the endless wars, to the oppression of refugees and immigrants, to the destruction of the environment. Nothing short of revolution can solve this. And the most important thing is that there is leadership for that revolution, and a vision and plan for a far better society in which people can really get to work on solving these problems—in Bob Avakian (BA) and the new synthesis of communism he has brought forward, and the party he leads.

The time is now to cast away illusions, look reality in the face, and stand up to fight this oppression and while doing so, engage with BA and the scientific method and approach to, and the framework for, an actual revolution aimed at ending all forms of oppression and exploitation throughout the world and get with the  movement for revolution and the Revolutionary Communist Party that is at its core.

Abortion On Demand And Without Apology
Abortion Providers Are Heroes
Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement

 

 

1. Statistics from the National Abortion Federation; http://prochoice.org/education-and-advocacy/violence/violence-statistics-and-history/.   [back]

 

 


 

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Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Why We Should NOT Root for Our Own Rulers... And Why It's Better If They LOSE Their Wars

by Larry Everest | November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

After the horrific November 13 terrorist attack in Paris by ISIS, the rulers in the U.S., France, and other imperialist powers are again trying to line people up behind their war moves—including people who’ve opposed previous wars like the ones in Vietnam and Iraq. “We’re not perfect,” they say, “but at least we aren’t religious lunatics like ISIS, and right now we have to defeat ISIS. There won’t be any peace, and people will continue to suffer unless we defeat ISIS.”

Bullshit... on many levels.

U.S. forces being evacuated from Saigon by the CIA, 1975

The U.S. defeat in the Vietnam War weakened the empire militarily and limited its ability to invade or attack other countries for a number of years; and the U.S. defeat in Iraq and its difficulties in Afghanistan have prevented it from carrying out other large-scale invasions in the Middle East. Above: the scramble for the last helicopter out of the U.S. embassy compound in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh CIty), Vietnam in 1975 as liberation forces finally drove the U.S. out.

The U.S. and these other imperialists aren’t waging war to “stop terrorism.” They’re conducting wars, military interventions, and maneuvering diplomatically to preserve the system of global capitalist exploitation that they dominate, a system which grinds up, crushes, uproots, and casts off literally billions of people. So when the U.S. acts, they act in order to destroy whatever they happen to feel is in the way of their domination and/or to set up or protect oppressive relations and oppressive regimes which maintain this whole system—including Islamic fundamentalist forces when that serves their purposes.

Just to take the most recent examples:

» The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001 promising “liberation.” It then put in power a murderous cabal of feudal power brokers, warlords, and armed militias hated throughout Afghanistan. All stood for brutal traditional relations, including the patriarchal enslavement of women, religious fundamentalism, and the subordination of Afghanistan to imperialism. (The new U.S.-backed regime was named the “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”)

» The U.S. promised liberation in Iraq too. But after the 2003 invasion, it tried to install a hand-picked collection of puppets and thugs committed to fully integrating Iraq into the U.S. empire. When that move failed, the U.S. turned to reactionary Shi’ite parties and militias, and then to traditional reactionary Sunni powers as well. All this fueled the rise of reactionary Islamic fundamentalism overall and ISIS in particular.

» For the last four and-a-half years, the U.S. has fueled the savage Syrian civil war in order to protect the whole putrid, U.S.-dominated setup in the Middle East—including the barbaric settler-colonial state of Israel, and barbaric states like Turkey and fundamentalist Saudi Arabia (which is preparing to behead over 50 people). As part of these machinations, U.S. allies have directly supported ISIS and other jihadist forces. A recently released secret 2012 intelligence report exposes that the U.S. and its allies tolerated or supported the formation of jihadist enclaves in eastern Syria and western Iraq.

Carrying all of this out has involved torture, atrocities, and mass slaughter by the U.S. military—“our troops”—on a scale way, way, way beyond the crimes reactionary jihadists have carried out. In Iraq it meant using cluster bombs, white phosphorous, and depleted uranium against the people of Fallujah in 2004; murdering 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005; executing at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a five-month-old infant, in Ishaqi in central Iraq in 2006; and having a U.S. helicopter gun down 11 civilians in Baghdad in 2007.

In Afghanistan—this meant U.S. soldiers murdering two pregnant women, two criminal justice officials, and a teenage girl during a party near the village of Gardez; in 2012 alone it meant one U.S. soldier massacring 16 Afghan civilians—including nine children—in two Kandahar province villages; it meant U.S. soldiers breaking into people’s homes, dragging them away and torturing them—sometimes to death—and then mutilating their bodies. One survivor reported he was threatened with 14 different types of torture and subjected to “electric shocks, beatings, simulated drowning, hanging from the ceiling, partial burial in freezing conditions, and the extraordinary and degrading torment of having a length of string tied tightly around his penis” for four days. (Daily Beast)

A recent study found that since 2001, U.S. wars were responsible for a total of 1.3 million deaths in Afghanistan (220,000), Pakistan (80,000), and Iraq (one million) alone!

All these U.S. actions have strengthened reactionary Islamist movements, which have in turn carried out horrific crimes against the people—also in order to enforce backward, oppressive social and economic relations. Why should anyone expect that further U.S. interventions and escalations will do anything other than this? Why should anyone who understands this want to see those moves succeed—or “win”?

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Foward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters, in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

Download PDF

Imperialism and Islamic Fundamentalism Are NOT the Only Alternatives! We Need a Revolution!

As Bob Avakian insightfully pointed out, the relationship runs like this:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “‘historically outmodeds’” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system, and in particular the U.S. imperialists...

It is interesting, I recently heard about a comment that someone made relating to this, which I do think is correct and getting at something important. In relation to these “two historically outmodeds,” they made the point: “You could say that the Islamic fundamentalist forces in the world would be largely dormant if it weren’t for what the U.S. and its allies have done and are doing in the world—but you cannot say the opposite.” There is profound truth captured in that statement.

Bob Avakian, Bringing Forward Another Way

But imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism are NOT the only alternatives today. There actually is a viable chance to make revolution and bring into being a radically different, liberating society based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. This revolution will come out of the existing contradictions of the system AND the work of revolutionaries now. This revolution is the ONLY source of real hope in the terrible situation confronting humanity now.

Strengthening imperialism—the very system responsible for the vast majority of the suffering and destruction on Earth today—including by supporting its wars and military machine—is only going to perpetuate this misery.

Just to be very clear: Revolutionaries totally oppose everything reactionary Islamist forces like Al Qaeda and ISIS stand for and all the horrific ways they fight for their Dark Ages agenda. Not supporting your own rulers—even welcoming their defeat—is NOT the same as wanting the reactionary forces they happen to be opposing to win. Genuine revolutionaries support communists in every country, including those who come directly up against reactionary Islamist forces, and work to spread the ideas of communism even where there are no organized forces currently taking them up.

We do all this as part of getting to a whole better world—and right now, in this country, preparing the ground, preparing the people, and preparing the vanguard—getting ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.


For background sources on death and destruction caused by the U.S., see:

Endless War: As U.S. Strikes Tikrit & Delays Afghan Pullout, "War on Terror" Toll Tops 1.3 Million, Democracy Now!

The U.S. Legacy 10 Years After Invading Iraq: Death, Disease, Devastation, Displacement, Revolution

Obama's Pentagon Covered Up War Crimes in Afghanistan, Says Amnesty International, The Daily Beast

The A-Team Killings and The Kill Team: How U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan Murdered Innocent Civilians, Rolling Stone

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/414/carl-dix-statement-minneapolis.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Carl Dix Carl Dix is a co-initiator of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party

Statement by Carl Dix

Justice For Jamar Clark!
CONDEMN THE RACIST ASSAULT ON PROTESTERS IN MINNEAPOLIS!

November 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The masked white supremacists who shot 5 people who were protesting the police murder of Jamar Clark on November 23 in Minneapolis were carrying out a long standing American tradition – gunning down people standing up against the oppression of Black people. All those who were shot survived, but this vicious and cowardly assault brings to mind the assassins who gunned down Black freedom fighters in the 1960's and the KKK and Nazi gunmen who murdered radical activists in Greensboro in 1979.

Download Printable PDF

(8 1/2 x 11, 1 side)

This cowardly and vicious shooting by white vigilantes must be firmly opposed. And the challenge it puts before everyone who hates injustice must be understood for what it is and acted on.

First, the protesters who have been out there for over a week, going outside the established channels to demand justice for Jamar Clark and defying racist vigilantes who had threatened them several times must be saluted and supported. Witnesses to the police killing of Clark say the 24-year-old Black man was handcuffed when the cops shot him. People were right to take to the streets in protest of this police murder and courageous to defy the white vigilantes who were trying to intimidate them, and it is important and inspiring that more people have joined and stood with the protests after this attack.

Second, we must learn well from this about the nature of this system: the whites who have been accused of the shooting seemed to have been given a free hand to harass and intimidate the demonstrators by the pigs in Minneapolis. Even after the shooting, the cops seemed to direct their attention more against the demonstrators than the shooters.

What does this tell us? That cops work hand-in-glove with racist vigilantes like these; that police are modern-day equivalents of the slave-catchers back in slavery days and the lynch mobs during the days of Jim Crow segregation. Their nickname - the “Blue Klux Klan” - is well deserved.

As Bob Avakian says in BAsics:

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness.

The power, the force and the violence they bring down is UTTERLY ILLEGITIMATE.

Third, since these pigs and the powers that back them have proven time and again, right down to today, that we cannot rely on them to “protect” the people’s rights then we MUST RELY ON OURSELVES. People have a legitimate right to do this, and we all have a responsibility to move to exercise that right.

And fourth, unless and until there is a revolution which dismantles the repressive apparatus of this system and brings in a whole new society with new ways for people to relate to each other, this kind of shit will happen again and again, generation after generation. This revolution is possible. Bob Avakian has forged the path to make it happen, and the party he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party, is actively working on this. Everyone who desires justice and wants to see these horrors stopped needs to check out this revolutionary leader as they fight the power.

www.revcom.us

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/414/funeral-for-jamar-clark-standing-up-to-white-supremacists-and-police.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Wednesday Update from Minneapolis

Funeral for Jamar Clark & Standing Up to White Supremacists and Police

November 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a Revolution correspondent

 

Demonstrators camp outside Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct during a protest of the police murder of Jamar Clark, November 24. AP photo
Demonstrators camp outside Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct during a protest of the police murder of Jamar Clark, November 24. AP photo

Piles of firewood block both ends of the street in front of the 4th District Police Station in Minneapolis
Piles of firewood block both ends of the street in front of the 4th District Police Station in Minneapolis where courageous protesters demanding justice for Jamar Clark are standing up to attacks and threats by white supremacists and police. Credit: @deray

funeral for Jamar Clark The funeral procession for Jamar Clark goes past the protest encampment. Credit: @popresistance

As of Wednesday night, in spite of and in face of ongoing threats from white supremacists and police officials, 150 protesters remain camped out in front of the Minneapolis Police Department 4th Precinct. The entire street is blocked off with tents, with huge piles of firewood at both ends of the street.

I am at the encampment in front of the 4th Precinct. I have gotten Carl Dix’ statement on the shooting of protesters here out to people, and am talking to people and learning about what is on their minds. I spoke with a number of Black youth here who are furious about that assault. The scene continues to be a mix of Black and white people—about half Black. There are students, activists, and people from the community.

As I was interviewing two Somali women who are supporting the encampment, a pick up truck drove right up to the encampment and two white guys were yelling things like—“you’re violent—you asked for this.”They then sped off. It was very threatening and scary for people at the encampment. But nobody left. And people are also getting more organized and the encampment security was on this.

See also:
Minneapolis: Voices of Protesters in the Streets

The things the two guys yelled echoed what the police told the people Monday in the encampment when they tried to report the 5 people had just been shot. Cops said things like get out of here, we don’t want to hear it and “you wanted this.”

People noted that the police were nowhere around during this incident. But an hour later, a whole bunch of police with flashing lights rolled up on the protest to harass people.

Pain and Outrage at Jamar Clark’s Funeral

Shiloh Temple is an African-American church in North Minneapolis with a large congregation, not far from where Jamar Clark was murdered by police. Perhaps 400 people attended his funeral, along with major media coverage outside. The large majority were Black, with a few whites, and a large contingent of ministers from other congregations, including about 10 Hmong who sat in an honored position right behind the pulpit.

The obituary spoke of Jamar’s short life. Born in 1991, he graduated from Harrison High School and worked for Copeland Trucking and Central Car Wash. Jamar liked to swim, fish, listen to music, play basketball, be with family and take trips to Charlotte, North Carolina.

The viewing went on for two hours before the noon service. Just before the service, wailing could be heard in the aisle for the viewing, as Jamar’s grandmother was assisted to the casket. Not long after that, Jamar’s mother came down the aisle, and she began to jump up and down and scream out “They took my baby!” over and over. She could not proceed to the casket for several minutes, until drained of energy and assisted by several people.

A few family members spoke, including one of Jamar’s brothers. His anger was as palpable as his grief. He clearly called out the police for murder, and demanded the video tapes of the incident be released. He said “they shot my brother in the face!” He thanked the protesters from the area and all over the country and called on them to continue until the killer cop is in jail. He said he knows about the police from his own experience, and just hasn’t been murdered by them yet.

The host minister and a visiting minister also gave praise to the protesters, and called for justice for Jamar. The funeral procession went past the encampment, and a number of people who had been part of the funeral stopped their cars to salute the protesters, some with raised fists.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/414/carl-dix-justice-for-laquan-mcdonald-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Statement by Carl Dix:

Justice for Laquan McDonald—Send the Murdering Pig to Jail!

November 24, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

After more than a year of foot dragging and stonewalling, the white Chicago cop who gunned down 17-year-old Laquan McDonald on October 20, 2014, was finally charged with first-degree murder on November 24. This charge was brought down 1 day before the city was forced by a court order to release the video of the shooting, a video that has been described by police officials as worse than anything they’ve ever seen. Once it became clear that they could no longer keep the video under wraps, the mayor and other officials began calling for calm.

Do they think we’re fools! Their cop gunned down a Black youth, and they spent more than a year refusing to release the video and doing everything they could to keep the truth from seeing the light of day. Now they have to release the video, so they quickly wound up the “investigation” and hit the cop with a murder charge. And we’re supposed to be calm?

NO! HELL NO! People in Chicago and everywhere else must come out on Friday, November 27 to let the powers-that-be know in no uncertain terms that this officially-sanctioned murder—which they have tried their damnedest to cover up—is absolutely unacceptable and illegitimate. And even before Friday—as soon as the video is released—people everywhere should go out with signs and whistles and begin agitating and raising hell, forming up actions on the spot.

Download PDF of this statement

What are we supposed to do? Wait calmly while the district attorney who forgot how to prosecute when the defendant was the cop who gunned down Rekia Boyd handles the prosecution of another killer cop? While the legal system that denied the family of Darius Pinex even a shred of justice even though it got brought out into the open that the cops who had murdered him had spent years lying about how the killing went down oversees this case?

This system has murdered Black people, Latino people and other oppressed people since the day of its founding. Its very holiday of “thanksgiving” is nothing but a celebration of genocide, further proof on how this murder is woven into the institutional fabric of U.S. capitalism-imperialism. We need a revolution to deal with this, and the path to that revolution has been charted by Bob Avakian and is being hastened every day by the party he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party. And right now, everyone who wants change... everyone who wants freedom... everyone who wants justice... everyone who is willing to say that these are OUR youth and the murder must stop—needs to do two things.

One, be out there on Friday demanding that MURDER AND TERROR BY THE POLICE MUST STOP! Take defiant and determined action to make clear to everyone, all around the world that killer cops like the one who wantonly stole Laquan McDonald’s life must all be indicted, convicted, and sent to jail. Jason Van Dyke, the pig who murdered Laquan, had many, many complaints for excessive force and using the “n” word. Yet he still marauded through Black and Brown neighborhoods with a badge and gun and a license to kill, as long as he said the magic words that killer cops always use—“I feared for my life.”

And two, go to the web site www.revcom.us and find out more about Bob Avakian and the revolution we need. Everybody, every group and every person that opposes this kind of madness, that wants a better future for the youth, should be reached with this statement. And they should get with the movement for revolution the RCP is building and Fight the Power, and Transform the People, For Revolution!

Justice for Laquan McDonald!

Now that he’s indicted—Convict Jason Van Dyke and Send Him to Jail!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/shutting-down-black-friday-on-chicagos-magnificent-mile-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Outrage over the murder of Laquan McDonald—17 years old, killed with 16 shots by murdering pig

Shutting Down Black Friday on Chicago's Magnificent Mile

November 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“Shut it down!”—today it was not just a slogan. At least 2,000 protesters literally shut down the famous shopping zone on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue known as the Magnificent Mile.

Freezing rain and high winds could not put a damper on the outrage that has spread widely across the city during this last week since a court ordered the city to release the police dash cam video. This video, now seen all over the world, shows the cold-blooded street execution of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald that took place over a year ago. Authorities rushed to try to contain mass anger by both firing the murdering cop, Jason Van Dyke, and charging him with first-degree murder—the first such charge on a cop in Chicago in at least 35 years.

Since the release of the video, the demand for full accountability continues to mount. Police, city officials and the State’s Attorney have ALL conspired to suppress the video all this time. They paid out $5 million to the family of Laquan with the stipulation that the family could not release the video. They blatantly destroyed evidence: Burger King confirmed that after the police entered their restaurant, 86 minutes of video vanished from their security camera; the audio from multiple other dash cams did “not exist” due to supposed mechanical malfunctions. All the other cops on the scene did nothing to stop the execution nor did they immediately demand their fellow pig be tried for murder. No one on the scene even attempted to give medical aid to Laquan. It was an execution AND a massive cover up, and both are why people are so angry throughout the city. It was not one “bad apple” as the mayor and the police chief claim.

Chicago, BLack Friday

Chicago, Black Friday protest

Chicago, Black Friday

Chicago, Black Friday protest. Photos above: www.revcom.us

Chicago, Black Friday at Disney Store
Photo: Special to Revolution/www.revcom.us

Chicago, Black Friday
Chicago Revolution Club at Black Friday protest. Photo: www.revcom.us

For over five hours on Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile, all lanes of traffic were closed by marchers, completely bringing things to a halt in this part of town. The people who had turned out were determined that there would not be business/shopping as usual as if the murder of Laquan and everything surrounding it didn't matter. NO! Black lives are more important than shopping was the message that a lot of people wanted to deliver. Many protesters wanted to put economic pressure on the city since this is the biggest single shopping day of the year. 

People formed into groups and blocked the entrance of every major store along a six-block stretch. It was an unbelievable protest! It was no ordinary protest! People shut down the Disney store! People shut down Niketown! And Tiffany’s, Rolex, American Girl! People shut down the Apple store—and inside the employees danced and cheered! Everywhere people chanted, "This store is SHUT DOWN!" Shoppers could not enter, and those inside in some cases were not allowed to leave for over an hour by order of the police and store security. Finally, shoppers were taken out the back entrances.

Standing arm-in-arm in front of many stores were groups of diverse strangers who forged a strong bond and unity over many hours in their determination to shut down business on the Magnificent Mile to protest the police murder of Laquan McDonald. Just in one long line in front of Macy’s at Water Tower Place, passionately chanting “16 shots” over and over again were a middle-aged middle-class Black couple linking arms with a white Chicago high school student on one side and Black high school students from the spoken word group Kuumba Lynx together on the other; down the row were Latino college students, many Black people of all ages from the neighborhoods, Asian and white students in town for the holiday. Standing in solidarity with them were many other kinds of people. Two women from Germany said they knew all about Laquan McDonald from the news in Europe—they knew he was shot 16 times. The longer they stood out in the bitter cold and wind the stronger they became. It was a picture of exactly what’s needed—EVERYBODY who is opposed to police murder standing up against it.

Meanwhile in the street, a group of 300 protesters marched up and down Michigan Avenue, shutting down all traffic for hours. Youth from some of the most oppressed Black neighborhoods were up on the planters, leading chants. Dancing and chanting “16 shots and a cover up!” in the streets together were young and old Blacks, whites, Asians, and Latinos, from the Teachers Union, the Transit Union, PUSH, churches, students and many people who came on their own because they felt they had to be there. A very accomplished drummer (who was once the drummer for Ramsey Lewis, among others) kept an awesome beat. At one point when some of the organizers tried to end the protests, a middle-aged Black woman stepped up to lead people to refuse to stop. She said, “Why are we here? We’re here for Laquan! We’re here to shut it down, we can’t leave now. We’re here for ‘Ronnieman’ Johnson. We’re here for the people who were killed by the police who have no justice.” (Ronald “Ronnieman” Johnson, an unarmed 25-year-old Black man and father of five small children, was murdered by Chicago cops in October 2014.)

At one point the Revolution Club and people running with it—BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts over their coats—together with some family members of people murdered by police stretched across all of the already-shut-down Michigan Avenue, chanting, “How do we get out of this mess? Revolution—nothing less!” and singing the song “Hell You Talmbout?” The Revcoms also agitated about the epidemic of genocidal police murders across the country and the nationwide movement against it that everyone needs to join in to spread and strengthen it. And that the realistic solution to this is revolution and people should check out the work and leadership of Bob Avakian (BA) and the RCP he leads. During this action, a Black woman came up to stand directly behind the Revcom agitator, who is white. “I’ve got your back,” she whispered to the agitator.

Along the march and in front of the stores, protesters, bystanders and thwarted shoppers reached for the flyer with the statement by Carl Dix, “Justice for Laquan McDonald—Send the Murdering Pig to Jail!” as well as palm cards with the statement by Bob Avakian on “There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness...” This powerful action shows the potential for what BA addresses in his statement as well as the basis to go forward in building the mass movement to STOP police terror and murder.

The demonstration to bring Black Friday to a halt on Michigan Avenue brought together diverse forces coming from different political perspectives. Calls for the demonstration came from Jesse Jackson’s Operation PUSH, Black Lives Matter, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, the Chicago Revolution Club, BYP100, the National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression, Arab American Action Network, several LGBT and religious groups, and more. Several prominent figures such as Congresspeople Bobby Rush and Danny Davis and activist priest Father Michael Pfleger, mayoral candidate "Chuy" Garcia, and former teachers' union head Karen Lewis all endorsed the demonstration and turned out to march. Some of those calling for the demonstration represent forces, including some in the Democratic Party, that have been in sharp conflict with Mayor Emmanuel. Many cite other police murders where no one is ever punished, the closing of 50 schools last year and the utter refusal to devote any resources to the impoverished Black communities. Mark Clements, a victim of Chicago police torture, was a powerful voice heard on a bullhorn urging people to stand firm and shut down business as usual. People brought their families, including kids in strollers.

Overall, there was a spirit of mass defiance against the system (however people understand that) along with a strong feeling of community among people who had not known each other before stepping forward to collectively shut down shopping as usual. People felt the importance of taking action to make a statement that murder by police cannot be tolerated.

Chicago police were present en masse but took a hands-off approach to the thousands of marchers and active closing of stores. The city announced the arrest of a suspect in the murder of a nine-year-old boy, which was supposedly a gang retaliation against the boy’s father. This story was run as a “counterpoint” on all the news to the demonstrations against the police murder and cover-up of the police murder of Laquan.

The demonstration impacted thousands and thousands who were there to witness it and many hundreds of thousands more through widespread media coverage. 

Some shoppers appeared annoyed but for the most part people seemed to understand what was happening. There were a small number who were aggressive about getting into a store, some who whined about their “right to shop” and a white teenager in tears because she could not get into Timberland. Black Friday draws shoppers from all over the Midwest as well as the whole world to the Magnificent Mile shopping area. The website DNAinfo.com/Chicago relayed the reactions of a couple of would-be shoppers:

"It actually doesn't bother me," said Sterling Powers, who was stuck in traffic. She showed her solidarity, honking her horn to the rhythm of the protesters chants and giving the thumbs up out her window. "It's inconvienent for us in America all the time—African-American, Pan-African—it don't matter," said Powers, a Jamaican immigrant. "So we can be inconvenienced for a little bit for this."

Bonnie Pugh was on the Mag Mile visiting with her two kids from Columbus, Ohio. Her son asked her what people are doing. "Well, they shot a man 16 times and they're mad," she told her son. "I guess it's education for my kids," she said. "They've never seen anything like this." 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/414/in-the-streets-demanding-justice-for-tamir-rice-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

On the One-Year Anniversary of His Murder by Cleveland Police:

In the Streets—Demanding Justice for Tamir Rice

Updated November 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On the weekend of November 21 and 22, people took to the streets to demand justice for Tamir Rice. His cold-hearted murder at the hands of Cleveland police one year ago on November 22, the refusal of authorities to charge the police who murdered him, and moves by the prosecutor to manipulate a grand jury exoneration of the killers, is intolerable. If police can murder an unarmed 12-year-old boy playing in a park and get away with it, what Black person, or Latino person, or Native American, anywhere, doing anything, can feel that they do not have a target on their back for police to aim at? See initial reports and pictures of protest actions here.

Cleveland

Cleveland protest, 1 year after Tamir Rice was killed by police
Cleveland, November 21. Calling for indictment of the cops who murdered Tamir Rice.

Cleveland, vigil for Tarmi Rice, murdered by Cleveland police 1 year ago
Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, at vigil in the park where he was murdered, November 22.

Protesters from Ohio State University

Photos: Special to Revolution/www.revcom.us

From a reader:

On Saturday, 35 people rallied and marched with family members who lost loved ones to the police from five cities to be part of the weekend actions to demand indictments against the cops who murdered Tamir one year ago. We started at a major intersection by two housing projects. People young and older, Revolution Club members, and activists stepped off chanting, “Indict, convict send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty.” As we marched through a project, someone said the mayor was at a high school along the way. So we marched right into the high school with banners, signs, and a loud message to indict the cops who killed Tamir. The mayor’s security grabbed one of our family members, but marchers defended the family member and they were able to continue on the march. Then we went on through a housing project and blocked part of the street as the police came. Then we marched on and blocked a major intersection in the area for at least 25 minutes, bringing attention to people to act to stop police terror. People were excited about the action today, felt we broke through some of the business as usual protest that goes on, especially important for the one-year anniversary of the murder of Tamir Rice. More later.

After the march, 80 people went to a speakout of families at True Light Missionary Baptist Church. Families told their stories of how their loved ones were killed by the police. These families came from Detroit, Akron, Ohio, Washington, DC, New York, and Chicago. They called for building a movement to stop the police terror, and a few brought out revolution as the solution. All expressed heartfelt determination to stop the killing.

On Sunday, November 22, 400 people gathered at the place in a park where Tamir Rice was savagely gunned down 1 year ago by Cleveland cop Timothy Loehmann. The vigil was called by Tamir Rice’s family. There was pain and anger in the faces of the people standing in the cold and light snow on the ground, as it was 1 year ago when Tamir was killed. People were moved as they heard Tamir’s mother and relatives tell about what Tamir was like as a young boy full of life, funny and active in sports. At a touching moment, 12 doves were released into the air for the 12 years Tamir lived, and there was a moment of silence. There were activists, family members of people who have lost loved ones from New York, Detroit and Cleveland and others young and older, of different nationalities, to say no more police terror. A Stolen Lives banner was held among other signs and posters. There was a busload of students from Ohio State University Coalition for Black Lives, an organization that held a sit-in in the student union this week in support of the students at University of Missouri and for calling out racism at OSU. They also held a forum earlier this week on the killing of Tamir Rice. Samaria Rice thanked people for taking action against the police killing of Tamir and many others. She was glad to see a movement has been born against police killings.

New York City

New York City, November 22
New York City, November 22. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

In New York, several actions took place protesting the one-year anniversary of the murder of Tamir Rice A very diverse crowd of activists, students from various schools including New York University, New School and Columbia, and a lively contingent of members of Restoration Temple Ministries rallied in Manhattan's Union Square. Speakers included Gloria Mattera from the Green Party, Hawa Bah whose son Mohamed was killed by NYC police in 2012, Travis Morales from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and Carl Dix, also from SMIN and a spokesperson for the RCP. NYC Revolution Club member Noche Diaz spoke powerfully, leading the crowd in speaking the quote from Bob Avakian's book BAsics printed in this week's Revolution newspaper: “No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that.” Then Noche called the young people forward to give their ages—they ranged from toddlers to teenagers. Led by the youth, people marched to Madison Square and rallied some more. The Raging Grannies led songs, engaging even the very young.

St. Louis

St. Louis, November 22
St. Louis, in the streets for Tamir, November 22.

St. Louis, vigil for Tamir Rice.
Vigil for Tamir Rice, St. Louis, November 22. Photos: Special to revcom.us

Fifty people took to the streets in St. Louis on the one-year anniversary of Tamir Rice’s murder. People marched down a busy boulevard across from Washington University and the popular Delmar Loop area. Protesters linked arms in the street and staged die-ins at intersections to repeatedly block traffic. Motorists and pedestrians were challenged to stand up for Tamir and decide “which side are you on?” People loudly chanted, including “No justice for 1 year, We do this for Tamir” and “12 years old! 12 years old! 12 years old!” and sang Janelle Monae and Wondaland’s song “Hell You Talmbout.”

A candlelight vigil was held as part of the vigils nationwide to mark the anniversary. A poem, sent from a woman in a shelter, was read by an 11-year-old. It starts, “I was 12 years old and my name is Tamir Rice / It’s been a year here and my body is cold as ice / I am the 12-year-old child they shot down in the blink of an eye...” The young speaker talked about how he fears police for what they might do to himself and his younger brothers and explained why he came out: “I felt so strong at the Tamir protest because basically since Tamir almost was my own age so that is kind of why I could be strong at the protest and my brothers are my life.” The vigil ended with 12 black balloons being released and floating to the sky.

People then took the struggle for justice for Tamir Rice along Delmar Blvd, engaging people on the street and motorists, and at several points along the way shutting down traffic.

Over 75 people overall, Black people and white people of different ages, took part in the protests during the course of the afternoon, including several children, members of stolen lives families, defiant young people who have been in the Ferguson protests since Mike Brown’s murder, students, clergy. Crews from Stop Mass Incarceration Network, RevCom, and CopWatch, along with individuals from several justice organizations, all joined together.

Chicago

Chicago, Festival of Lights
Chicago

A small but VERY determined group of protesters, including revcoms, Stop Mass Incarceration activists, students and others, braved a blizzard to protest for Justice for Tamir Rice, part of a national day of protest, at the Festival of Lights in Chicago. This is the annual tree lighting ceremony in Chicago, which ordinarily draws hundreds of thousands of people. This event was chosen as the site of the protest to reach thousands with the message: Justice for Tamir Rice and Stop Killing Our Children!

One grandparent from the Revolution Club brought his grandchildren to the protest despite the weather. He made a statement why they came: “First to bring forth my living grandchildren. The youth need to have a choice to live. Innocent children should not be endangered by any form of violence by the state or others; the fact that my children or yours could be a picture of violence rather than a picture of a living future. Anyone who has not been victimized by loss of their young ones through violence need to bring forth their children as testimony that we all want our children to live into the future.”

Chants rang out: "Tamir Rice could have been your boy, murdered by cops for playing with a toy;" "Hey cops, you can't hide, killing Black children is genocide," and "Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell."

Despite the blowing snow, many people took pluggers and several stood and talked with protesters. The protest had to stop after an hour as the storm picked up, but clearly sent a message of "no business as usual" while there is no justice for Tamir Rice and police murder Black children with impunity.

Baltimore, November 22
Baltimore

Riverside, California
Riverside

San Francisco
San Francisco

Baltimore, MD

In Baltimore, a crew of 12 joined at various times by another 5, rallied at Baltimore City Hall for Justice for Tamir Rice and all the children murdered by police. Tawanda Jones, whose brother Tyrone West was killed by Baltimore police, gave an emotional speech, along with a leader of the Baltimore Green Party; Rev. David Carl Olson of the First Unitarian Church; a supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party and others. This was the first action called by the newly-formed Baltimore chapter of RiseUp/Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

Riverside, CA

People took signs to Central and Brockton, the site of Tyisha Miller’s 1998 police murder in Riverside, CA. They report there was not much foot traffic but lots of cars honked in response to their signs.

San Francisco, CA

On a very busy corner and next to one of San Francisco’s famous  cable car turn-arounds, in the midst of shoppers, tourists and street people alike, people gathered to rally, speak out and remember Tamir Rice, and to observe the one-year anniversary of his cruel murder. “Justice for Tamir! Stop murdering our children!” was a theme that many spoke to. People held huge photos and banners of Tamir, as well as photos of other children that have been murdered by police—Andy Lopez 13, who like Tamir, was killed while playing with a toy gun; Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7, killed in her grandmother’s arms; and the recent brutal murder of Jeremy Mardis, 6, an autistic boy shot with his father in the family car.

Ada Henderson-Perkins, mother of Richard Perkins, a 39-year-old truck driver, killed by Oakland Police only last Sunday spoke. She described how she wasn’t told for three days that her son had been killed, but when she heard about a police shooting in her neighborhood she went out to the scene. “It’s terrible the way things are going on, we have to stop it. We have to fight for this. My son was shot 16 times! Four police officers shot my baby. I was out there but I didn’t know it was my own son. I prayed for that family but I didn’t know it was for me. I’m out here to support everybody all across the world—I had to be here.”

Dionne Smith-Downs, mother of police murder victim James Rivera Jr., 15, as well as Cephus “Uncle Bobby” Johnson, Uncle of Oscar Grant, both  of whom were part of Rise Up October in New York City, also came and spoke, and then joined 60 other people to take to the streets with many banners and signs. The loud and magnetic march drew the attention of hundreds of passersby. Leaflets, and copies of Revolution were grabbed up by people along the route. At the end, we held a short rally and made plans for future events and invited people to join up with SMIN and the Revolution Club, and to take the fight to end Police Terror to an even higher level.

Houston

Houston
Houston, November 22.

Houston

In Houston there were 3 Interacting events to mark the 1-yr anniversary of the murder of Tamir Rice.

A caravan of 7 cars led by a sound truck with 2 Stolen Lives banners on the sides wound its way through the Third Ward Black community. A key point in the caravan was stopping at the site where John Allen, known in the neighborhood as “Candy” because he was so sweet, was shot to death a few weeks ago by an HPD(Houston Police Department) officer during a routine traffic stop just blocks from his house. People in the area had told us details of what happened and showed us the spot where this occurred. We laid down flowers, memorial candles and a picture of John that had been supplied by a neighbor. Then we continued past stores and churches, getting out the flyers for Tamir Rice Day, and urging people to join the movement to Stop Police Terror.

This was followed by a march of 28 people through the housing projects, led by children, and we ended the day with a SayHisName/Stolen Lives Commemoration for Tamir at a local Catholic church in the area. The participants in these activities were a diverse group, including people from the neighborhood, long time activists, as well as people new to the struggle. There were college students, some members of the local National Black United Front, a local Green Party organizer, and revolutionary communists. Many people spoke on the bullhorn, including a Black youth who has participated in other activities, and for the first time shared his experience of having a friend of his shot and killed by the police right in front of him, and him dying in his arms. This brought the reality of all this into our event, and touched people deeply. We were also joined at the park and church by a longtime local Pacifica Black Affairs programmer, and a veteran of the original Black Panther Party joined us as well. While he had not been able to attend the other events, he had made sure that all his contacts knew of the activities.

There was a real sense among everyone that we had accomplished a lot, and people wanted to know the next steps. Several people in the neighborhood and among the participants were interested in the revolutionary solution and got copies of Revolution newspaper.

Boston

Boston
Boston

On November 24th, two dozen people rallied and marched downtown, in shared outraged at the murder of Tamir and to join with others around the country demanding an end to police terror and murder and calling on others to take a stand. Many did, adding their voices and energy to the day.

The action was very diverse, including white suburbanites to homeless people, anarchists, revolutionary communists and supporters of Bernie Sanders, college students and veteran activists.

Many people spoke of their own experience—including the friends and family of people brutalized and murdered by police. One especially powerful statement was read from a high school student, who had been involved in a high school walk out the previous week in support of students at the University of Missouri. Dozens of Revolution Newspaper were sold and distributed to passers by, with people off the street taking stacks to distribute on the spot. Others took stacks of leaflets and palm cards of BA to distribute.

After the main rally, demonstrators marched through downtown Boston taking over streets, and going into busy food courts to reach out to patrons.

Below is the text of a statement sent to the protest by a high school student:

Even though I cannot be here, I am here in spirit. A spirit that is alive and full of hope for the future, and with the spirits who are no longer with us. Today we are here to honor them, and make sure their lives are not taken in vain. Especially the life of 12 year old Tamir Rice. He would have been 13 today, the same age as my little brother. The same age, or maybe younger than many of our loves ones. But that day when Tamir Rice was shot, he was not seen as a child. He was not seen for who he was. And this is the real reason why we are here. We are here to keep Tamir alive. We are here to transform his premature leave from this earth into a stepping stone and a precedent for our own future, so that his sacrifice is not taken for granted. And though while going up these steps we might loose some. We will always be moving forward. So thank you for being part of one of the series of steps to make this happen.

Seattle

Seattle
Seattle

In Seattle several dozen people gathered at Westlake Park. In solidarity with rallies held across the country, the October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality had called people together to demand justice for Tamir, to “say the names” of those youth and others murdered by police, and to say STOP police murder of our children and everyone! Parents had been invited to come and bring their children, with their own messages and banners.

The rally was co-MCed from the stage by the mother of Oscar perez-Giron, a Latino youth murdered by police in Seattle, and the mother of Daniel Covarrubias, a native man who was murdered by police in nearby Lakewood. Marilyn Covarrubias, mother of Daniel, said “I am Tamir Rice, I am Oscar Giron, I am Antonio Montes, I am Justus Howell”. People from the audience came up on the stage to read out the names and stories of children and youth killed by police.

There were families there with their children. One couple had their small son in a stroller, and the mother, a Latino immigrant, spoke to those gathered saying she had not realized how many were being killed in this country until the recent outpourings nationwide. They feel for the families, and can’t imagine what it would be like to lose their child. An Asian mom was there because saw the flyer at a coffee shop. She came with her two children who had made a sign.

Seattle artist and mother Anastacia Tolbert has published a voice recording of her piece What To Tell My Sons After Trayvon Martin, After Michael Brown, After Medgar Evers, After, After, After, After and Before...” and this was played. It brought out the terrible dilemma of parenting in violent climate of a rasict system.

The sister of Daniel Covarrubias sent the following statement which was read out:

“This movement for Justice against police brutality is something that I will not back down from. I do not have that option None of us do. This could be any of us. These are human lives, these are our children playing in the park. My voice will not be drowned out. I will not stand by as a witness to this injustice that’s been happening in this country for far too long. We all must keep fighting, rallying, organizing and communicating with one another because the names of the victims should never be forgotten, we must be their voice!!! People need to know that they have a voice that can be heard if we come together for change. I know most people in this country do not agree with what is happening and feel that they are helpless against it. I want to tell them that there are so many ways to get involved. They can be a part of this great movement for change. I marched for John.T Williams back in 2010 and I felt like I had done my part but I know now that there are so many other ways I could have gotten involved. I was more powerful than I knew. I could have contacted organizations, the families of victims or utilized my own strengths to contribute in some way. God has blessed us all with gifts and talents. All our lives are valuable. We deserve to live in peace and we deserve justice. If we bring all of our strengths together, I promise you we will be a force to be reckoned with but we will also be a part of a powerful and much needed change in this country.”

At the end of this very moving demonstration, the crowd including children, with signs, took a group photo in front of the carousel!

Seattle, November 22
Seattle

 

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, NCCharlotte, NC

From Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Greensboro—Close to 40 people rallied and marched in Charlotte, NC on Sunday calling for justice for Tamir Rice, the Black 12-year-old boy who was shot to death by Cleveland police one year ago. Organizers with The Tribe, Showing Up for Racial Justice and other groups called for the action, which was held in conjunction with protests all around the country. Organizers with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network Greensboro chapter traveled to Charlotte for this action. 

Speakers included Paris Bey, the cousin of Janisha Fonville, a Black woman killed by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in February of this year, who said, “I’m sick and tired of having to come to these protests where they kill another one of us! I’m sick of having to explain to my five-year-old son why this keeps happening.” Charlotte organizer Ashley McMillan made the connections between the murder of Tamir and the overall criminalization of Black youth, including the recent beating of a 15-year-old Black student in a Charlotte high school by police. The group then held a moment of silence at 3:30 pm, the time that Tamir was shot one year ago. A speaker from Showing Up for Racial Justice spoke on the need to affect hundreds of people by our presence downtown, and an activist representing Revolution newspaper spoke on how these police murders aren’t the result of a broken system, but of a system doing what it was designed to do. We then marched off toward the center of downtown.  

Several of the organizers had traveled to NYC for the RiseUpOctober protests, and the chant, “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail! The Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!” rang out loudly during both the rally and the short march to the town center that followed. There was a large number of people leaving the nearby Carolina Panthers game, some of whom were sympathetic to our cause, and others who preferred to keep their heads down and pretend we weren’t there. Organizers spread out over four corners of the main downtown intersection, spread out banners reading, “No More Stolen Lives” and “Jail Killer Cops,” and handed out hundreds of fliers about the case. After rallying and chanting at the intersection, organizers exchanged information and made plans to collaborate on future actions.  

Los Angeles

About 20 people gathered on Monday, November 23, at lunchtime with pictures of Tamir in front of the courthouse in downtown LA where 3 of the people arrested on the April 14 national day of action to stop murder by police were just tried and convicted, making the point that the cops who killed twelve year old Tamir are walking free, able to commit more crimes, while protesters who stand up to STOP murder by police are prosecuted and face jail time. The chant “Tamir could have been your boy, killed by cops for playing with a toy” rang out defiantly in front of the courthouse. A sign made by children on Skid Row said, “It’s not right” and “Stop Police Murder.” Family members of two people killed by police told their stories and demanded justice. One of the convicted April 14 protesters got on the mic to say that nothing is going to stop her from continuing to fight. After rallying in front of the courthouse, there was a spirited march through downtown LA, bringing the message of “Justice for Tamir” and “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail,” to the lunchtime crowds and people on break from the halls of injustice.

The statement opposing the convictions of April 14th protesters and demanding that charges be dropped against all those protesting police terror was circulated and signed.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/414/minneapolis-voices-of-protesters-in-the-streets-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Minneapolis: Voices of Protesters in the Streets

November 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Demonstrators camp outside Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct during a protest of the police murder of Jamar Clark, November 24. AP photoDemonstrators camp outside Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct during a protest of the police murder of Jamar Clark, November 24. AP photo

From interviews by a Revolution correspondent

Young African-American man who lives in Minneapolis—this is his first demonstration:

I wanted to see what the fuss was, and to show support for the brother who died. I wanted to see the officer response—I want to get the tapes released. And I want to see the response of the people... .We need to get rid of the barriers between us, religion, race, Crips vs. Bloods. It’s all divide and conquer. To me there was a lack of progress and action. We have to do shit on a different scale. Now I thought it was good today—but there were all these smiles. I think we need to be more serious than that. Put the pressure on them. Go where we’re not permitted to go. Cause disruptions. Run the police out of the community.

Young white woman from Hopkins High School (a predominantly white suburban school):

I wanted to take a stand. I wanted to prove that America has a racist foundation. I wanted people to stop being ignorant. How to change things? I have no idea of how to change things. End white privilege. Be allies to Blacks. Be helpful. The shooting by the racist whites? Why? We’re just out here supporting the family, and they shoot people. I’m sick of Black people being killed.

Young African-American woman who bought a copy of BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian:

I’m tired of people being oblivious, ignoring the issue. Many of these people out here have never walked in my shoes. I grew up in a privileged part of town, but I wake up every morning afraid for my life... and they don’t. It’s like you have two strikes on your back if you’re a minority—and the third strike could come anytime and take you out. Change? It takes the community. Exposing white supremacy. The system was built on white privilege. I came out here wanting to believe the police weren’t as bad as some have been saying. But they’re really worse than I thought.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/414/chicago-response-to-video.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Nov. 25: Protests in the Streets of Chicago

After Video Released of Laquan McDonald's Execution-Style Murder by Chicago Police

November 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From Readers

Photos from the streets of Chicago - 11/24/15

Chicago 11/24/15

Chicago 11/24/15

Chicago 11/24/15

photo credits:revcom.us

Events are developing very rapidly since the video was released of Laquan McDonald's execution-style murder by Chicago police. The outrage over this horrendous murder and the sense that this cannot be tolerated any more and need to act on it have become a very big deal, with a lot of different Black forces expressing their feelings of betrayal and anger that the police and the City lied about the murder of Laquan and covered it up and dragged out the investigation for over a year when it was crystal clear from the video that this was straight up murder. Today Jesse Jackson, and Congressmen Danny Davis and Bobby Rush, along with other politicians, called for people to act in the street on Black Friday at 11 am on North Michigan Avenue and to march up to Water Tower, the symbol of this upscale shopping district. Stop Mass Incarceration Network had already called for people to protest at the Water Tower at 11 am.

Voice of the Ex-Offender and Stop Mass Incarceration Network held a press conference, featuring the Stolen Lives families, including Gloria Pinex and Freddie McGee, and others also calling for mass protest to stop police murder on Black Friday. It was covered extensively. AP reported, "Several protesters said they were parents of Black men who also had been shot and killed by Chicago police. The group wants people to shut down Michigan Avenue, known as Chicago's "Magnificent Mile" on Friday."

Protests in outrage at the deliberate murder by Chicago police of Laquan McDonald have continued for two nights—lasting for hours each, taking over major downtown streets, including a shutdown of an interstate at midnight. Protests were called on the spot after the city announced they were releasing the video on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. SMIN called on people to gather downtown at 5 pm on State Street. The BYP100 called a Black only gathering of students which quickly became a march of 150 from the near West Side. They took over major streets heading toward Lake Shore Drive and at one point it was attacked by police and three people were arrested. The two protests came together on Michigan Avenue, later marching to the police station to demand the release of the protesters. All this was covered live on national and local TV as well as live stream. Soon some of the protesters took off again for downtown and the character of the march became more diverse as many new people, including white and Latino students from downtown dorms as well as people from the poor Black neighborhoods where the police terrorize people every day, who were looking for the protest. Police went after one of the young Black march leaders, Malcolm London who was charged with a felony. But the protesters continued to take the streets, block intersections, including taking over the interstate. Protesters rallied again this morning in support of London, and he was not only released but his charges were dropped.

Tonight's protest, called by SMIN and spread through social media and taking the flyer with a statement from the RCP,USA everywhere, initially gathered about 40 people, many from the Black neighborhoods plus at least 20 media. Charles Blow of the New York Times was live-tweeting from the march. The Revolution Club and Stop Mass Incarceration spoke and then opened up the mic. Black people from the neighborhoods expressed their raw anger and pain at the inhumanity of what is going on. Family members of Laquan McDonald took part in the protest.

One protester said, "The cops were hands off tonight, so the people took over the street and all the major intersections, where people would come out and speak bitterness, we would chant and sing. It was a real mix of people, young Black kids were nose-to-nose with the police, screaming in their faces, shaking their fists, "You killed Laquan. You kill us all the time." There were white students, young Black bucket drummers, clergy, middle-age Black people, and some impeccably dressed white shoppers who were loudly clapping as the protest went by. Black youth and older people held the banner the whole time. When we blocked many intersections, then more people joined in. We had a sit-down on the bridge while people spoke their outrage, we had die-ins on the corners. We totally snarled up the traffic. We died-in outside the Trump Tower and Phenom performed a spoken word piece there. We sang "I Can't Breathe." We chanted "Indict, Convict Send the Killer Cops to Jail, the Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell, and "16 shots". On the mic in the middle of the street people were pouring their hearts out with a tremendous amount of passion, passing the mic around. In the intersections ,they got into discussions about why are they killing us, what are the police really about. The scene was a mix of tremendous anger and celebration."

That's it for tonight.

P.S. Later on 3 people were arrested, and the marchers went to the 1st District to do jail support. More information to come.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/414/laquan-mcdonald-rcp-chicago-statement-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Statement by Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Chicago

Shocking Video Shows Chicago Police Execution of Black youth

Justice for Laquan McDonald!

Download PDF of this statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Chicago

November 24, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Killer cop Van Dyke indicted for 1st degree murder.
Now he must be CONVICTED and sent to Jail. The Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!
POLICE TERROR MUST STOP!  WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
Protest Wed. Nov 25, 4 pm and on Black Friday, Nov. 27, 11 am

Dashcam Video of Officer Jason Van Dyke Shooting Laquan McDonald

Police murder Laquan McDonald at 5 minute mark

The whole world can now witness on video the horrendous murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, shot 16 times by Chicago police while he was walking away.  The acts on this video shock the conscience.  No one with an ounce of humanity could watch the police execution of this Black teenager and not be shaken to the core.  Laquan was our fellow human being.  No person should ever be treated like this by an agent of the government, yet murder by police continues over and over.  This video challenges everyone, to confront this reality and to decide and to act: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON:  The side of the murderers? Or the side of those who demand POLICE MURDER MUST STOP!  There is no middle ground.

Now the murdering cop, Jason Van Dyke, has been charged with first degree murder. Yet for over 13 months the murderer, this cop with a long record of brutality complaints, was not arrested, charged, or even fired.  The six cops who parti­cipated in this execution and the higher-ups have been lying and covering up from the start while the City “investigation process” dragged on and on, refusing to even name the cop.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department fought this whole time to suppress the damning video. They even paid $5 million to Laquan’s family. But after a court ruling last week, the City has been forced to release the video.

Laquan McDonald
Laquan McDonald

The powers-that-be have been working overtime to “manage” this crisis. The indictment of Van Dyke  is not a sign that they have suddenly seen the light of justice or changed their nature.  What this shows is their weakness and fear of the eruption of mass outrage by those who face the brutal terror of the police every day joined by those who do not face this directly, but who do not want to live in such a horrendous society. Mass outrage and mass resistance is exactly what’s needed.  One minister said, “If there were no protests it would mean we have become immune to this madness.” Getting an actual conviction of Van Dyke on 1st degree murder will take massive and sustained struggle on a national level as part of the whole struggle to indict ALL the murdering cops nationwide (there is no statute of limitations on murder) and to STOP POLICE TERROR.

POLICE MURDER MUST STOP NOW, and WE MUST ACT TO STOP IT.

See also:

Comprehensive coverage of #RiseUpOctober - STOP Police Terror! Which Side Are You On?

Student Upsurge: A Challenge and an Invite

White Supremacists Shoot Minneapolis Protesters Who Are Demanding Justice for Jamar Clark!

This shocking video is being released in a situation of murder after murder targetted especially at Black and Latino people all over this country, a campaign of terror with genocidal implications, where the murdering cops go free.  This is a situation where the burning anger and righteous refusal of the people to take this shit any more has erupted repeatedly into resistance since the uprising in Ferguson over Mike Brown's murder.  On Oct 22-24 thousands came to New York City to RiseUpOctober and drew a line in society that there is a force in society that is determined to bring millions into the fight to stop police terror now.  For the last three weeks on campuses all over the country students stood up and said we aren't going to take the racism of this white supremacist society.  As we write this, hundreds of people in Minneapolis have been standing up against the police murder of Jamar Clark for over a week in the face of heavy repression from the police.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the police say the real problem they want to stop is the people who are outraged about the horrible murder of Laquan, not stopping the police who perpetrate this state terror!  This is the logic of a brutal system that was founded on the enslavement of millions of Black people and which has continued this oppression in different forms all the way down to the ugly program of mass incarceration and police terror today. 

We need an end to the whole system of capitalism-imperialism. The role of the police is to serve and protect that system.  We need a whole different system, one where the oppression of Black people and other oppressed nationalities is eliminated, along with all the other outrages this system perpetuates here and around the world. This requires an actual revolution. This revolution is real and possible. To get truly free requires science and leadership and we have this leadership in Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, who has developed the revolutionary science, the strategy, and the vision of a radically better world.  Get with this revolution and get with BA! Everyone who wants to learn more about how we can end this madness and what a future liberating society would look like should go to revcom.us. 

Chicago, November 24
November 24—After the release of the video, hundreds of people marched in outrage late into the night, at one point shutting down Interstate 290/Congress Parkway that runs through downtown Chicago.

Wed, Nov 25: everyone who is shocked by this murder must stand up and act. Protest at 4 pm, State & Jackson (SE corner). If you can't make it, show your outrage and protest in public wherever you are—make signs and organize others to protest with you. Go to a busy corner, go to the mall, on the bus or the train. Now is the time to stand up.

Then on Black Friday, November 27, Stop Mass Incarceration Network Chicago  has put out the call to take to the streets on N. Michigan Avenue and deliver a powerful message to the world that the Killer Cop Van Dyke Must Be CONVICTED and jailed.  (for more info contact SMIN Chicago at 312-933-9586 or stopmassincarcerationchicago@gmail.com)

                                                                                   

Wed. November 25, 4 pm PROTEST!
 at State and Jackson (SE corner), downtown

Black Friday, November 27, 11 am PROTEST!
at the old Water Tower building on the S.E. corner of Michigan and Pearson

revcom.us

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/414/growing-up-black-in-america-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Traumatized by the Police.... And Taking Up the Most Scientific Understanding of Revolution

by Joe Veale | November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

When I was about 9 or 10 years old, my brother and I would play this game we called “strike out.” With tape we would mark out a “strike zone” on the wall of a factory building near where we lived.

When pitching he would dream he was either Sandy Koufax (with the Los Angeles Dodgers) or Bob Gibson (who pitched for St. Louis Cardinals), who were two of the great pitchers in major league baseball during that time.

When batting, he dreamt he was Willie McCovey of the SF Giants or Stan Musial of the Cardinals.

I, of course, would dream of the great pitcher with the SF Giants Juan Marichal—and when batting, one of the greatest ever in major league baseball, Willie Mays, who also played for the Giants.

Well, whenever we would hit a popup foul ball it would generally land on the roof of the factory. There was a step ladder on the building and we would use it to retrieve our ball.

When this would happen, which was frequently, people inside the building would call the police. The police always came. They would accuse us of breaking and entering. In very colorful language we would tell them they were lying and that they knew they were lying.

These encounters would end with the police making accusations and threats and with us saying back: “fuck you!”

A year or two before this, all the kids got into playing this game called “doctor,” where the “doctor” would do a physical on the “patient.” Of course the patient had to undress. I was the eight-year-old “doctor” and my patient was a five-year-old white girl. She told her parents.

The police came and arrested me and my seven-year-old “assistant doctor.” They took us to the police station and interrogated us. No charges. No lawyer. My grandmother was called from work, and she, my friend and his mother were all frightened and traumatized.

We thought we were playing an innocent game that all kids played.

No crime had been committed. We thought we were playing an innocent game but here we were—being threatened with jail time—being traumatized.

A little later we started to go to house parties at night when we were 12, 13, 14-year-olds. Having a good time (showing your latest dance moves) maybe making your first attempts at exploring “a chance at romance.” Innocent kid things. But the police would constantly show up.

Sometimes they would pull the plug and stop the music. They would announce that “the party is over!”

They would roll deep when doing this. Four to a car. Slowly following us—their car lights dim—as we walked to our homes.

There was only so much of this shit you could take. Someone would hurl a brick or bottle crashing the windshield window on the police car.

Some of us would go to jail. Juvenile hall. At school we would ask each other, what did you get busted for? “GP” was the general reply. “GP” was short for general principle.

Later we learned that the police would radio each other that they were responding to a “TNA” and needed back up when making these calls.

“TNA” as we learned later, was police talk for “Typical Nigger Activity.”

Generally when out on Friday or Saturday night looking for a party we would often be stopped and arrested.

There were times I remember, as soon as police would hear my name, they would say, “Yeah, you are going to jail because you hang out with so and so...” and they would take a group of us to jail.

That was the “legal” reason for our arrest. They would strip search us. Turn our pockets inside out trying to find residue of marijuana.

We had no rights they had to respect.

We resisted. We tried to stand up for ourselves—which more often than not meant getting a beat down and made-up charges being put on you.

One night the police shot someone I knew in the back a couple of blocks from my house, murdering him.

The next day they arrested me on a bogus warrant and announced: “We killed your friend last night!” They were still pumped up.

They went on to say that they were really disappointed that when they turned his body over to look at the face that it wasn’t me. They were sure, they said, it was me because it was so close to where I lived and they wanted to kill me so bad, in part because they said I had a “big mouth” and I was unafraid to use it—to speak up for myself, my friends, or anybody who was being abused by the police.

Since this was such a common occurrence, I found myself in constant confrontations with the police.

This is why when Huey Newton, Bobby Seale and Bobby Hutton started the Black Panther Party—and found a legal way to do armed patrols of police abuse, police brutality, police murder and the threat of this—it struck such a deep chord with me.

Because you experienced this shit every single fucking day.

The BPP did more. They pointed to revolution against this system of capitalism as the ultimate source responsible for the oppression of Black people. And as Huey Newton would say: “...we learned that in going out to make revolution, the spirit of the people is greater than the Man’s technology.”

That is why we studied the Red Book of Quotations of Chairman Mao—we were trying to make revolution. Mao’s Red Book was our handbook.

We went as far as our limited understanding would take us.

Today we have a higher, more comprehensive and scientific understanding of the oppression of Black people, Latino people, Native Americans, and immigrants, and the oppression of women, the oppression of gay, lesbian, transgender people, people who are different—and how the wars for empire that are foundational to this system—as is the destruction of the environment—are ALL rooted in this system of capitalism-imperialism.

We have this because of the work done by BA, Bob Avakian. The leader of the revolution. The Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party. We have the handbook of revolution for today’s time, BAsics from the writing and talks by Bob Avakian. Learning from revolutions and socialist societies in the Soviet Union from 1917 to the mid-1950s, and in China led by Mao from 1949 to 1976—learning from the mainly good things accomplished but also the negative—learning from history generally—from various fields of human endeavor—making a new breakthrough in our understanding of the whole process of revolution—involving tens of millions in overturning, defeating, dismantling this system and its instruments of violence—setting up a new economic system—socialism—that meets the needs of the people—a political system that goes along with that—and the further revolutionizing of society and the whole world to a transition to a world of freely associating human beings...communism.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/the-terrible-tragedy-of-tyshawn-lee-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

The Terrible Tragedy of Tyshawn Lee, and Crocodile Tears from Pigs

November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A nine-year-old boy on his way to his grandma’s house stops at the park to play on a swing. He sets his beloved basketball on the ground. A Black child’s fun day turns into the darkest nightmare. Tyshawn Lee is lured from the park and shot multiple times. Chicago authorities allege the shooter was a member of a gang retaliating against a rival, Tyshawn’s father. It makes your heart ache... for his parents and friends who lost a child... for the entire community that is horrified it has come to this—a child coldly, deliberately murdered in a cycle of revenge killings.

No more generations of our youth...BAsics 1:13

But the authorities denouncing Tyshawn’s murder as barbaric are shameless in their hypocrisy. They are using his tragic death to demonize young Black men to justify the police reign of terror and murders. Laquan McDonald’s hard life and police murder of him, and the cover-up by the authorities, prove that they do not care about the lives of these children. They do not care about Laquan McDonald, Tyshawn Lee, or millions of children like them here and all over the world. This system is waging a grinding genocide against Black people: millions of children in this country live in deep poverty, go to miserable and failing schools, and are funneled into pipelines from school to prison. The entire community is brutalized and terrorized by the police to keep them penned in on the bottom of society.

The person who murdered Tyshawn Lee was not born a monster. There was an invisible hand that shaped all this. The hand of the system. If, in fact, this was a gang killing as is being reported, it is not that the system literally forced a banger to make the choice to commit murder. But that system did put the idea in their head of what life should be all about and it put them in conditions where picking up a gun to get revenge, to get over, to protect “yours” poses itself as a terrible and vicious reality. It is the values and ethos that flow from and permeate this whole capitalist society.

There is no excuse for killing Tyshawn Lee. He did not and should not have been killed for any reason. What is necessary to break out of this madness is revolution to uproot a system that creates the conditions and the “system think” where this keeps happening—where the system is killing us and having us kill each other. It is way past time to stop fighting each other and start fighting the system and transforming ourselves for revolution that puts an end to the hundreds of years of oppression that Black people have suffered since being brought to these shores as slaves.

This system commits monstrous crimes using the same gangster logic all over the world. How is this different than when the U.S. sends drone strikes on a village in Iraq or Afghanistan, killing children as well as adults to “punish” them all? How is it different than exploiting children as young as five years old in other parts of the world to make cheap goods for a profit? How is it different than the police gunning down Laquan McDonald in a hail of bullets and then engaging in a massive cover-up?

The Chicago PD police chief cynically held a press conference to announce the arrest of the alleged shooter right before thousands of people flooded Michigan Avenue to disrupt shopping in the heart of Chicago on Black Friday. It was not like the alleged shooter had just been identified—he had already been taken into custody and identified as the main suspect days before, held on a million-dollar bond, just not charged with murder. All day on the news the murder of Tyshawn Lee ran as a counterpoint to coverage of the protests rocking the streets for the police murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and to justify whatever they do in rampaging through the community. The police threatened that all the members of the two rival gangs had “signed their death warrant.”

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

A Nightmarish Dynamic That Imprisons Humanity... and the Real Alternative

From the Writings and Talks of Bob Avakian:

The "Two Outmodeds" and Bringing Forward Another Way

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris were cruel and unjust. The reactionary armed Islamist movement ISIS claimed credit for terrorist acts that took the lives of at least 129 everyday people going about their normal routines. In short order, the French government imposed a state of emergency—threatening more state terror and chauvinist violence directed at immigrant communities, as well as broad assaults on basic rights. France also launched massive air strikes on Syria. Meanwhile, other Western imperialist powers, particularly the U.S., are threatening new military action in the Middle East. All of which will only lead to more death and destruction, more uprooting of oppressed humanity in a region that has endured so much suffering at the hands of imperialism and its local enforcers. and to more terrorist acts. (See “A Terrorist Attack in Paris, A World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY” at revcom.us)

Step back. Throughout the world, two forces contend. Neither has a real answer—an emancipatory answer—to the agonizing, killing, planet-destroying problems confronting humanity. On the one side are the imperialists who dominate the world: exploiting billions, controlling economic lifelines and global politics, and deploying overwhelming military power to terrorize people into submitting to this. On the other side is a form of reactionary, religious, woman-hating fanaticism. From Nigeria to Pakistan, to Syria and Iraq, to Indonesia and beyond, this fanatical Islam poses as an alternative to imperialism but is in actuality rooted in the same horizons of domination and exploitation.

All this is grotesquely magnified by the fact that for most people, these are the only alternatives that they know about right now.

Over the last few decades, Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, has produced deep, scientific, and indispensable analysis of this deadly dynamic shaping world events and locking people into the world as it is. As he incisively frames it:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity. It is the historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system, and in particular the U.S. imperialists.

(BAsics 1:28)

The people and the planet need to break out of this life-destroying, suffocating, and intolerable dynamic. This is possible because the underlying roots of this horrific contention—with neither side representing a way out—provides the basis for a radically better way forward for humanity. But, what is that way? Bob Avakian has developed the framework and vision for a truly liberating way that human society could be—and the strategy and orientation for making an actual revolution that can achieve this.

This selection from the writings and talks of Bob Avakian provides essential and crucial understanding of what is going on in the world, why the interests of humanity lie completely outside of and opposed to these “alternatives,” and how humanity can break the vise-grip of this vicious dynamic... and break through to a whole new world. We encourage people to study and spread this material. The works listed here are just a partial list of the work that BA has done on this question. Revcom.us will soon post a full list of all the work he has done on this crucial dynamic.

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[1] Bringing Forward Another Way (2006)

Dig into this groundbreaking analysis for understanding the global phenomenon of the clash between Islamic fundamentalism and imperialism, with the U.S. as the top dog, and the political-ideological orientation for developing the revolutionary pole in today’s world. Written during the George W. Bush years, this has tremendous relevance today. The whole text deserves careful study.

Excerpts from this talk were published separately, and here we list two that can serve as a quick reference. However, this world-shaping deadly dynamic demands a full reading of Bringing Forward Another Way by Bob Avakian, available in full here.

* More on the “Two Historically Outmodeds”—Western imperialism and religious fundamentalism—the need to oppose both; why imperialism does the greater damage and is the greater threat to humanity; and why the “war on terror” is in essence a war for empire.

* “An Unequaled Barbarity”—America is not the good guy in the world, and American lives are not more important than other people’s lives. When you recognize the horrors committed by the system, you must act accordingly.

[2] Why We’re in the Situation We’re in Today...And What to Do About It: A Thoroughly Rotten System and the Need for Revolution (2006)

This landmark and engaging audio of a talk by BA presents a sweeping overview of changes in the world since World War 2, including the rise of religious fundamentalism in the Middle East and the U.S.; as well as the international impact of the defeat of the first socialist revolutions, and the way forward today through revolution. Full audio available here.

[3] From Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity (2007); “Part 2: Everything We’re Doing is About Revolution. Heightened Parasitism and the “Two Outmodeds”

[4] From Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World (2008)

* Why is Religious Fundamentalism Growing in Today’s World?
How the vast economic and demographic changes spurred by imperialist globalization have contributed to the current growth of religious fundamentalism; the role of political-ideological factors, including imperialist undermining of secular regimes in the Middle East in the 1950s and 1960s; and especially the far-reaching consequences of the defeat of genuine socialist revolution in China in 1976.

* Religious Fundamentalism, Imperialism, and the “War on Terror”
Refuting the argument that there is something particularly evil and dangerous about Islamic fundamentalism compared with Christian fascism and other varieties of religious fundamentalism.

[5] From the compilation Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women. Entire compilation available here.

*Imperialist Hypocrisy and the Taliban Oppression (2004)
"...These different forms and manifestations of degrading and subjugating women are "mirror opposites" and are all part of the overall oppression of women in the imperialist-dominated world today."

*The Qu’ran, Islam, and the Oppression of Women (1998)
Bob Avakian answers a letter from a reader that argues that Islam provides safety and freedom for women in the oppressed countries.

[6] Quotes from BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

Focusing on internationalism and communist revolution as a worldwide process.

 

All the works above, except for Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, are available online at revcom.us.

Away With All Gods! is available in print and e-book editions and can be ordered from the publisher, Insight Press.

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

No Jail Time for Political Resisters!

LA Fighters Against Police Terror on Why They Acted

November 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On November 19, three young determined fighters against police terror and murder were each convicted of three misdemeanor charges in LA Superior Court and face up to three years in jail. These protesters had dared to hit the streets April 14, 2015—along with thousands of others in over 30 cities across the U.S.—to demand that cops STOP murdering people. In L.A., over 1,000 people took part in protests that included high school walkouts, a march through Skid Row and the shutting down of the Blue Line train for over an hour.

The following are from recent interviews with the three #ShutDownA14 protesters.

Michelle: “I knew my life had to be about something meaningful”

I grew up in South Central. Growing up, seeing people I knew getting harassed and locked up for bullshit, I started questioning why. I knew them personally and knew they were not bad people—why are they getting fucked with? When I was 18, I heard about Trayvon Martin who was one year younger than me, was racially profiled, stalked and killed by a wanna-be pig, and I was outraged. I went to a protest and heard Clyde Young [a member of the Central Committee of Revolutionary Communist Party who died in 2014] speak. He spoke about white supremacy, that this is not just one incident, it’s just one example that came out, but it happens all the time, happens with cops. It was the first time I heard cops kill Black people and get away with it. I started looking into it. I read Revolution newspaper and thought I had to get involved. I found out all over the world things are happening you don’t get told about. Zimmerman was influenced with thinking like a pig and a white supremacist. Going through the paper, I learned about mass incarceration, wars, shit I’d never heard before.

BA SpeaksLearn more about this film

After a year of reading Revolution newspaper, where I’d heard about Bob Avakian, I watched BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! After sitting through six hours, I thought this is what I want my life to be about, not about myself. What he said at the end was very inspiring. I knew my life had to be about something meaningful.

When I decided to stay on those tracks on April 14—it was a statement, we’re not getting out of here until they stop getting away with murder. The cops keep getting away with murder. Going into April 14, I kept hearing new names, stories, seeing videos every day of people killed by police, and then Walter Scott. I would tell people, this happened and what are you doing about it? You see in the video a Black person is running from a pig, the pig shooting him in the back and planting a weapon. What are you going to do?

Felix: “People were willing to put something on the line and it was inspiring”

I grew up in L.A., near downtown, grew up in the same area my whole life. I’ve seen it change a lot. There was a lot of oppression going on, and I thought it was normal: poverty, gangs, police brutality. I thought everywhere was like that. In middle school I started seeing a change with gentrification and then I realized there was inequality. I started connecting things. It made me realize we don’t matter. I never saw things change until people came in with more money.

In 1992, I was five years old. They beat up Rodney King. I remember seeing places boarded up and burned down. I kind of always knew there was police brutality and just accepted it. I thought: stay out of trouble and get good grades and that will save you. Then I had my first bad experience with cops.

I was at home doing homework and realized I had left a book at school in my locker. I went out to go get my book. I was wearing basketball shorts and a black shirt. I was 14 years old. As soon as I went out of the building, I guess I went out quickly. The cops pulled in front of me, told me to stop. They got out and had their hands on their holsters. It was really intimidating. All I had was my keys. I lived across the street from my high school. I was just going to get my book because I was doing my homework. They said we want to talk to you. They started asking bullshit questions, trying to get something from me, guilty by association because of the neighborhood, the building I lived in. Who do you hang out with, asking about all the gangs, saying “tell me names.” I told them I don’t know about that, I stay out of it. They had no reason to stop me. Two big cops and a scrawny 14-year-old. I answered all the questions. Then they said, OK, turn around. I just responded without thinking, “What, are you serious, I answered all your questions!” They said turn around, we’re going to search you. I had to turn around and put my hands on my head, it was like a spectacle in front of my neighbors.

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

I had thought, do what you’re supposed to do and nothing will happen. But anything can happen. I would come out of my building and they would follow me to the bus stop in a really obvious way. I remember thinking, should I run, but I haven’t done anything.

I always wanted to do something to have an impact, volunteering. I always wanted to help people. I didn’t see anything better to do. If you’re helping people, you’re doing something right. I heard about Trayvon, Oscar Grant, those stories stuck with me. At the moment I didn’t do anything. I didn’t know what to do. I just continued with my life until I heard BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! at Revolution Books and that stuck with me. I remember him talking about police brutality and at a time when so much things going on. I went to different events at Revolution Books. I remember an event when people came back from protesting for abortion rights in Texas and had been arrested. People were willing to put something on the line and it was inspiring.

At one of those events, I got a flyer for a Stop Mass Incarceration Network meeting. I had always wanted to get involved with something. I had thought maybe it would be an anti-corporate movement or with the teachers' union because my sister was a teacher and after she died I thought it would be a good way to honor her. She used to talk about the school system and how she was forced to teach to the tests, so I thought maybe I would do something against No Child Left Behind. I still think the school system is really fucked up. But I found something more urgent with Stop Mass Incarceration. I had seen people protesting on the news, protests in Crenshaw, but that seemed far away. I got involved towards the October Month of Resistance in 2014. I was asked to be a monitor for the October 22 protest and that gave me a sense of responsibility—I wasn’t just attending, I was part of it and I was doing something right. It was the month of resistance and we were going to detention centers and prisons and protesting police brutality and this is when I knew I wanted to keep going. I had found a purpose, a just purpose.

On April 14, I didn’t know if I was going to stay on the tracks. I remember thinking, “I have to do my taxes.” But this time was about taking it all the way. Not just hearing inspiring stories, but being one who inspires others. At the moment I felt that was the right thing and I still do and I haven’t changed my mind about it.

Diego: “I decided to dedicate myself to the struggle to emancipate all humanity”

I grew up in South Central, the only Latino on my block to have Black friends so I was ostracized. Before the rebellion of 1992, I didn’t know shit about Black people other than the racist caricatures I heard from people close to me. Then the rebellion happened. I was young at the time, about 9 or 10 years old. I remember seeing how happy people were and it was a shock to me. All I had been told was about raging Black people and all around me they were happy, as buildings were burning down there was this beautiful scene of people being joyful, literally dancing through the streets, with full shopping carts. I wanted to get to know these people more. I have a deep appreciation for Black people, I grew up with them, was educated by an older Black couple who lived on my block. I developed an openness to what people go through.

In my neighborhood I constantly heard about gang violence, but the only violence I ever saw was by police. Much later in life, a close friend was killed in gang violence, and another guy who lived on my block was killed in what police say was also gang violence. There was a lot of poverty in my neighborhood but growing up I never it saw it that way, maybe I was too desensitized. After ‘92, the cops would come up to kids in the park passing out baseball cards, and them come back and harass them for playing football in the street. They would kick your ball away or throw it away.

At the time I was growing up, South Central was mainly Black, with a few Latinos. I ended up going to a school where I got out of the neighborhood and I ran into Armenians, Iranians, Cambodians, Koreans, Vietnamese people. Even different Latinos who weren’t Mexican or Guatemalan—people from Nicaragua, El Salvador. I was inspired by the breadth of what was out there. I realized I didn’t know a lot of stuff. I felt I didn’t know enough about people. I hadn’t done a lot of reading prior to that. I wanted to learn so I went to a place I imagined they sold books and that was USC campus. I was about 14 years old and I was going there trying to find some stuff to read. It was scary to do that because it took me out of my comfort zone, all these white students. And then I saw books after books after books of all these different things. It was fascinating—all this stuff out there. I started digging in. Asking questions.

First I got into Che through a teacher. There was a swath of people that inspired Che: Mao Zedong, Marx, Engels. I found The Communist Manifesto at the USC bookstore and I read that. Then I found Revolution Books. I liked Revolution Books because I found non-conformist ideas, radically different than what was going on in society.

One of the things that became clear to me is there wasn’t a lack of struggle and sacrifice on behalf of humanity to better conditions to end tyrannical societies. I came to learn why these tyrannical societies existed and how these divisions came about. I was able to see where they arose in human history and that without leadership there would just continuously be a beautiful struggle and heroic sacrifice but that’s all it would be. I came to understand the need for revolution and communism, and I came to appreciate the role of Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party to bring about the conditions to liberate humanity. And I decided to dedicate myself to the struggle to emancipate all humanity.

On April 14, there was a need for a resurgence of protest that had been opened up by Ferguson and what it inspired in people. There were a lot of attacks coming down and they were trying to pop the bubble of resistance. People needed to see that in order to  stop this requires people in the streets. I did what I could to build for that day and on the day itself I wanted to take it as far as I could.


To learn more about and get involved in the fight to defend these three fighters, and others who were arrested on April 14, check out the leaflet from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network So Cal: “It’s right to protest murder by police! Oppose the Convictions of April 14 Protesters and Drop the Charges Against All Those Arrested for Protesting Police Terror

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

A Terrorist Attack in Paris, a World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY

November 15, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On November 13, simultaneous attacks across Paris took the lives of at least 129 people. ISIS—the reactionary armed Islamist movement now dominating parts of Syria and Iraq—has apparently taken “credit” for these attacks. The victims were normal everyday people. They were eating in cafes, attending a soccer game, or walking down the street. They were people of all walks of life, from France and around the world. The gruesome and arbitrary nature of the killing—including the massacre of 89 people trapped in a concert hall where a rock band was playing—could only be intended to create an atmosphere of societal chaos and fear. And the attack was clearly undertaken with knowledge that it would be invoked by France and the U.S. to supposedly justify new rounds of repression and war. The cruel horror of the Paris attacks should be unequivocally denounced.

At the same time, the French president declared this an “act of war” and he would hit back with a “merciless” response. We should be clear. This threat from France—and the ways in which this attack has taken over the airwaves and political life in the U.S. since it was carried out—are very ominous. This almost certainly means one thing: more war and military attacks in the Middle East coming from France, the other European powers, and the U.S. itself, taking even more lives and creating all that many more refugees to add to the literally millions now desperately seeking to survive, who often lose their lives in the process.

And so the nightmarish dynamic which billions of people today find themselves locked in intensifies and escalates. The world cries out for another way. To get that other way, we have to understand first of all the root causes of the dynamic that IS going on.

A WORLD of Horrors

Again, we should be clear: The attack in Paris was aimed at advancing a reactionary agenda by spreading terror. It was cruel and unjust and horrific.

Downloadable PDF of this statement for print

As was the U.S. bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan on October 3—a conscious act of state-sponsored terrorism—that destroyed a desperately needed hospital, and murdered a dozen courageous doctors along with volunteers from around the world and Afghan patients. Since 2001, the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan has led to the death of tens of thousands of civilians. And the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq—which was the crucible in which ISIS formed and arose—directly killed many tens of thousands and “indirectly” caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands more.

As was the terrorist bombing, for which ISIS took credit, on a poor Shi’a neighborhood in Beirut, Lebanon, on November 12. It targeted a community where Islamic forces allied with the Syrian government, Iran, and Russia have a base of support—but the bombs were aimed at and killed dozens of civilians. The multisided war between contending reactionary powers and forces in Syria has resulted in 250,000 deaths, and over 12 million people have been driven from their homes into refugee camps or the dangerous trek to persecution and concentration camps in Europe.

As was the bombing of a wedding party in Yemen on October 8 by the U.S. armed and backed Saudi regime. This was the second time in a month that Saudi Arabian fighter jets rained death on a wedding party in Yemen—this time killing 30 people. In late September, Saudi rockets hit another wedding party in Yemen, killing 130 people. The Saudi reign of terror is aimed at the civilian population in areas where anti-Saudi forces are in control. And the Saudis have waged war since the summer in Yemen, using U.S.-supplied cluster bombs—a weapon outlawed in most parts of the world—to slaughter several thousand civilians, including hundreds of children.

This whole nightmarish inhuman cycle must be stopped.

Two Reactionary Poles of Oppression

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Foward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters, in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

Download PDF

The rulers of the U.S. portray themselves as the global “good guys” in all this. They cover over the fact that their whole system can only function and proceed through the bitter, grinding exploitation of literally billions of people, through the plunder of all of nature, and through the oppression of whole peoples and of women, half of humanity. They insist that people forget the foundations of this empire in genocide and slavery, and endless wars for empire around the world.

The Islamic fundamentalists like ISIS portray themselves as the only opposition to this. Their opposition is one of small-time oppressors hungering to be big time ones. The society they enforce is one of brutal oppression of women and the violent enforcement of ignorance and superstition. Nobody who has an ounce of justice in their heart should have anything to do with this stuff and in fact should oppose it, strongly. Humanity is actually capable of something much greater: a new society, without exploitation or oppression.

As we say on our website and in our newspaper, all the time:

“It is this system that has got us in the situation we’re in today, and keeps us there. And it is through revolution to get rid of this system that we ourselves can bring a much better system into being. The ultimate goal of this revolution is communism: A world where people work and struggle together for the common good...Where everyone contributes whatever they can to society and gets back what they need to live a life worthy of human beings...Where there are no more divisions among people in which some rule over and oppress others, robbing them not only of the means to a decent life but also of knowledge and a means for really understanding, and acting to change, the world.

“This revolution is both necessary and possible.”

And, as we also say, “Because of Bob Avakian and the work he has done over several decades, summing up the positive and negative experience of the communist revolution so far, and drawing from a broad range of human experience, there is a new synthesis of communism that has been brought forward—there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal.”

If you are reading this, if you found yourself agonizing over what happened in Paris—or what happened before that in Kunduz or Gaza last year or anywhere of dozens and hundreds of other places—you need to dig into this. This really IS a way out of the madness, and everyone owes it to themselves, to their fellow humans, and to the future to really engage this.

At the same time, right now, this cycle of terror and horror must be broken through. Attacks like the one in Paris are unconscionable and must be denounced. But we must not enlist in, but resist our rulers’ moves to take advantage of these attacks to justify even worse ones. We must resist when they move to implement more repression (which they claim will “keep us safe” but actually ratchets up the problem). We must resist when they try to escalate their invasions, drone attacks, and bombings. Resist when they whip up patriotism and prejudice, including ugly attacks on immigrants. To remain silent and complicit in all this is to contribute to the whole cycle and to strengthen both sides in the reactionary clash of the West vs. Jihad.

In the absence of a positive, liberating alternative, and in the absence of determined and visible opposition in “the West,” the crimes of the U.S. drive people into the arms of reactionary Jihad. What is needed—and what is morally right—is visible, determined opposition to the crimes of “our government” on the part of those of us in the U.S., France, and other imperialist countries. Breaking through to another world, and breaking out of the current vicious cycle requires that people around the world see that the rulers do not speak for us. And that we stand with the interests of humanity.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/414/awtwns-paris-attacks-and-french-state-reaction-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

From A World to Win News Service:

The Paris Attacks and the French State Reaction: Murderers All

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

French police are stationed outside the Great Mosque of Paris.
Before the Paris attacks, the French government had already begun to adopt sweeping new government powers in the name of combating Islamist terrorism. After the bombing, 300 police were assigned to conduct home invasions without search warrants over two nights. Parents, siblings and other family members of people suspected of implication in the attacks were jailed without charges. Here, as part of the same crackdown, police are stationed outside the Great Mosque of Paris. (AP photo)

November 17, 2015. A World to Win News Service. The November 13 bombings and shootings in Paris murdered 129 innocent people. Many of them in their twenties and thirties, they happened to be attending a rock concert, eating out in a lively neighbourhood, watching football in a sports bar or just walking by. The attacks took lives at random, devastating families irreparably and leaving most ordinary French people in pain and profound shock.

The attacks were part of a wave of deliberate massacres of civilians claimed by Daesh (Islamic State), including blasts that cut down dozens of people in a Shia neighbourhood in Beirut just the day before, and the blowing up of a Russian airliner with 224 tourists aboard over Egypt’s Sinai desert in October. These were all acts of murder, though on a much smaller scale than the Western powers, France among them, have inflicted on the peoples of the world for more than a century, in the Middle East and elsewhere. Need we mention as many as a million victims of France’s war to prevent Algerian independence (1952-62)?

Almost immediately, French President Francois Hollande declared war. He stated that that his country faced not just attacks by individuals as it has in the past, but now “a terrorist army”. “We are at war,” he told the French parliament a few days after the Paris attack, when it met to give him wartime powers. He claimed this was self-defence, although his government had stepped up military operations in Syria—surveillance flights, air strikes and, according to Le Monde, special forces—in the weeks and days before the Paris killings.

If this is war, it is an unjust war between reactionary forces equally disdainful of human life, neither of them less deliberately and consciously cruel in the pursuit of reactionary political objectives. Supporting either side will only worsen the dynamic between two unacceptable alternatives. People need to step forward and politically oppose both sides and all their horrors and work to break free of this ghastly logic.

Daesh poses itself as the only force that can challenge the power, ideology and hypocrisy of the imperialist ruling classes of the handful of countries that control or seek to control so many nations and bring so much misery to so many people. They mount this challenge inspired by a reactionary ideology and vision of society that would bring to power rising new exploiters and thwarted old ones. The goal of their jihad is to preserve, sanctify and systematize existing forms of oppression of the people in the Middle East and elsewhere, including the supremacy of men over women, a subjugation that persists in old and new forms throughout all of today’s world, along with other oppressive social divisions that crush the lives and potentials of whole populations. Thousands of youth from France and elsewhere have joined their ranks in Syria and other countries because they believe Islamism offers them a future denied them in their societies. Some of them are said to have been involved in the Paris attacks.

France has been deeply involved in Syria since the First World War was fought to redivide the world among the imperialist powers. Even before that war was over, the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement split the Ottoman Empire’s possessions between Britain and France. France tore Syria apart to create the state of Lebanon, basing itself on its allies among the Christian minority there, and more generally worked to exacerbate religious and ethnic contradictions. The Daesh communiqué issued after the Paris massacres specifically called France “the guardian of the Sykes-Picot temple,” meaning not only the old colonial order but the region’s economic and political subjugation that has persisted and in some ways intensified.

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Foward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters, in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

Download PDF

France has sought to advance its interests in Syria and the region in many ways over the years, sometimes in concert with other powers such as the U.S. and often in rivalry with them. Probably more than any other Western power, France has historic ties and influence among sectors of the Syrian ruling class, once with the Assad family and now among leading regime defectors portrayed as the “moderate” (pro-Western) opposition. Ironically, it was France, not the U.S., which was most eager to open a bombing campaign against the Assad regime in 2013. Since then, with the U.S. and then Russia conducting their operations in Syria under the banner of confronting Daesh, French President Hollande has seen an increasing need to do the same, this time in the name of opposing not Assad but Daesh. The tactics, manoeuvres and justifications vary, but the imperialist interests remain the same—he who does not have armed forces involved is not going to sit at the table when the spoils are divided.

It should be understood that what France has and hopes to do in Syria is no different from what it has been doing with its 3,500 troops in Chad, Mali and elsewhere in former French colonies in Western and Central Africa: they are not looking to re-establish colonial setups that are no longer possible or necessarily desirable from the point of view of French imperialism, but they are working to bring peoples more tightly into the networks of capital accumulation in Paris and keeping imperialist rivals at bay.

Just as Hollande had already stepped up French operations in Syria before the Paris attacks, his government had already begun to adopt sweeping new government powers in the name of combating Islamist terrorism. These powers were also directed at France’s considerable population of immigrant origin, largely from predominantly Muslim countries that were once French colonies and remain within its sphere of influence. These repressive measures range from legislation allowing the political police to operate more freely of judicial oversight (not heralding new surveillance practices but giving them a more solid legal cover) to banning tinted glass in cars (justified as necessary for police to see whether drivers are texting or wearing seatbelts, but also, of course, allowing them to more easily spot people’s ethnicity).

After the attacks, Hollande declared a state of emergency that allowed almost 300 police to conduct home invasions without search warrants over two nights. Parents, siblings and other family members of people suspected of implication in the attacks were jailed without charges—an act considered revenge and hostage-taking when carried out by some other countries.

In fact, as French journalists have pointed out, that hypocritical slogan “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” has been drowned out by the singing of the national anthem, La Marseillaise, with emphasis on the verse, “Citizens, to arms.” Unlike after the Charlie Hebdo massacres last January, there are fewer warnings from within the establishment against confusing Islamists with people of Islamic backgrounds. The keynote in Hollande’s discourse is that the state will be “merciless” abroad and at home.

Not coincidently, Hollande has taken up the far right National Front proposal to give the government the power to strip even French-born people (meaning from immigrant backgrounds) of their citizenship. He confined the threat to people holding dual nationality, since leaving people stateless is problematic under international law, but the symbolic value of this power is enormous, as is its potential as a weapon to terrorize families with the possibility of being torn apart. Many millions of immigrants are dual nationals.

Speaking before both chambers of parliament, an extremely rare occasion, he called for legislation that would allow the state of emergency he declared to be extended for 90 days. He also called for changing the country’s 1958 constitution to give this extended state of emergency a stronger legal foundation, and for modifying a constitutional clause that currently allows the president to assume sweeping powers only in the event of an armed insurrection or foreign invasion. He announced the hiring of thousands of new police, border guards and prison guards.

The vagueness of Hollande’s intentions leaves open all kinds of possibilities. There is a general uproar in France’s ruling circles about the risks and opportunities posed by different approaches the country could adopt on a national and international level.

But there is much unity among the French ruling class in terms of repressive measures. For instance, when a leader of the Republicans (the new name of the mainstream right wing party) called for the internment of everyone with an “S” on their police file (meaning that they are under special surveillance, now usually for suspected Islamist connections, estimated to be between 4,000 and 10,000 people, according to Le Monde and the New York Times respectively), Hollande’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls refused to discard that possibility, saying that the government would consider “all necessary weapons.”

When the French president declares “We are at war,” what comes to mind is not just World War II but the Algerian war, when the powers Hollande is evoking were established. They were aimed especially at Algerians in France and also meant to settle disputes in the ruling class by force.

France may be “at war,” but with what realistic war aims remains unclear. At the same time, France cannot stand aside from this conflict, because it needs to maintain and expand its status as a great power, and ultimately as one of the handful of monopoly capitalist countries able to extract superprofits from its place in the workings of the world imperialist system. That is a very dangerous situation, for the French ruling class, the people of France and the world.

The risks are also very high on the domestic front. Stripping people of their French nationality would mean formally acknowledging the inequality of French citizens, a fact already experienced in the daily lives of people in the suburban housing estates where a section of the lower classes already feels confined. It is likely that one of Daesh’s political goals behind these ghastly attacks was to accentuate the dynamic in which large sections of people from France’s so-called “underclass” are pushed in the direction of Islamism by their marginalized position in society and especially by state repression against them.

Both sides are stepping up the polarization between Islamism and the French ruling class and its ideology. That is exactly the problem, the way the clash between these two reactionary sides defines the situation today. A refusal to recognize this dynamic—this reality—can only lead to being pulled into the wake of one side or the other despite protestations to the contrary. In the imperialist countries especially, but not only, this usually means helping the imperialists. Everywhere, supporting either side means strengthening the underlying reactionary dynamic and strengthening both.

It is hard for people to resist the attraction of these two poles without some understanding of why these are not the only choices. In the oppressed and oppressor countries alike, they need a long-term perspective of how a revolutionary alternative could arise. After the September 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S., despite a strong tendency of people to seek protection from the government, with the participation of revolutionary communists, a “Not in Our Name” movement emerged that was able to contest the Bush regime’s attempts to take the moral high ground as a representative of the victims and use this to legitimate even more massive crimes.

Today, a serious, courageous and growing opposition to the past, present and future crimes of imperialist rulers could provide political aid to those who hate both imperialism and Islamism in the Middle East and be part of beginning to change today’s unfavourable political landscape worldwide.

A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/paris-climate-protesters-defy-police-state-repression-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Paris: Climate Protesters Defy Police-State Repression

November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Police attack protestyers, Paris, November 29Place de la République, Paris, November 29. AP photo

Paris, November 30—On the day before the start of the international conference on climate change, hundreds of protesters marched in the streets to demand action by the world powers on the environmental emergency facing the planet. They were attacked by riot police who used tear gas and flash bang grenades and arrested over 200 protesters. Throughout the day, there were various other actions in Paris by thousands of climate change protesters (and tens of thousands in other cities across the world). The French government—supposedly to “protect people from terrorism”—had banned large protests that environmental groups and others were planning to hold, and they used the emergency laws to place at least 24 activists under house arrest. This is completely outrageous and criminal. Salute to the courageous protesters who defied fascistic police-state repression to make their voices heard about the urgency of the environmental emergency!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/addressing-climate-change-under-this-system-politically-unrealistic-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Addressing Climate Change Under This System: "Politically Unrealistic"

November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Blue ice from glacial meltwaterGlobal warming is leading to the accelerated melting of glaciers around the world. Above, meltwater from the Canada Glacier in Antarctica. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As the rulers of the world’s nations meet in Paris for the UN Convention on Climate Change, the New York Times reported:

“The negotiators in Paris will not be discussing any plan that comes close to meeting their own stated goal of limiting the increase of global temperatures to a reasonably safe level.” And the Times article concludes that a serious plan to cut carbon emissions—in ways that would change the trajectory where the sea level will rise 10 feet this century, there will be catastrophic heat waves, and difficulty growing enough food to feed humanity—would be “potentially disruptive to [the big powers’] economies and politically unrealistic.”

If seriously confronting this challenge to humanity is too economically disruptive for this system, and politically unrealistic, then that alone tells you this system needs to be overthrown and replaced by a system that can address this crisis.

Special Issue of Revolution on the Environmental Emergency

This Revolution special issue focuses on the environmental emergency that now faces humanity and Earth's ecosystems. In this issue we show:

Read online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/revolution-books-holiday-party-and-weekend-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

REVOLUTION BOOKS
HOLIDAY PARTY & WEEKEND

Saturday, December 12 ... continuing on Sunday, December 13!

Revolution Books in Harlem

Support the new Revolution Books
at 437 Malcolm X Blvd./Lenox Ave.
Harlem, NYC
Phone: 212-691-3345

Holiday Books and Gifts that matter
for this year and the future

Sunday 12.13.15

Afternoon: 

The first of a series of Revolution Books Art Auctions:

Artwork donated by artists and collectors to support Revolution Books

Books, Posters, Prints, African Masks



Saturday 12.12.15

Children’s Reading 11 AM:  

Javaka Steptoe, illustrator:

Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow:
A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix

Afternoon:  
Readings, Conversations, Surprises, and LOTS OF BOOKS & GIFTS!

Evening:  HOLIDAY PARTY

 

 

Revolution Books | Libros Revolución • 437 Malcolm X Blvd/Lenox Ave. • New York, NY 10037 | www.revolutionbooksnyc.org
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Revolution Books in Harlem, New York is open noon to 9 pm every day. For information on other Revolution Books around the country, see "Hook up with the revolution: Coming events at Revolution Books"

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/a-reign-of-terror-against-abortion-providers-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

A Reign of Terror Against Abortion Providers

November 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To the extent that officials and the media have been giving a context to the horrific attack by the gunman at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, the attack has been portrayed as related to the climate created by a video distributed by anti-abortion Christian fascists who claim the video shows Planned Parenthood officials selling fetal tissue. This video was deceitfully doctored to misrepresent what Planned Parenthood officials said—as part of a massive societal attack on the right of women to choose whether or not to have a child. In the atmosphere whipped up by the distribution and promotion of this video by lunatic fringe anti-abortionists and the Republican Party, there have been stepped up direct violent attacks on Planned Parenthood. Since the summer of this year, five Planned Parenthood clinics have suffered such attacks.

But the larger context is that the horrific attack by the gunman at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic is a continuation of a whole decades-long reign of terror that has targeted abortion clinics and abortion providers since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the U.S. This offensive has included numerous assassinations, physical attacks on doctors and other clinic staff, arson and acid attacks that have severely damaged or forced the closure of clinics, and other violent assaults along with death threats. These terrorist attacks on abortion clinics and providers have been a part, and actually the cutting edge, of the whole offensive against abortion and all forms of birth control—along with and in synch with attacking and harassing patients, endless laws that have shut down clinic after clinic, and the society-wide stigmatization of abortion promoted from the highest levels of the power structure as part of a global war on women.

To give a sense of this: In the 1980s, the fascist Army of God came out with a “manual” showing how to harass, attack and even kill abortion providers and including instructions for making bombs. To be clear, this obscurantist, religious fundamentalist terrorist “army” was an American organization that identified its ideology as Christian and American values. This manual was distributed to anti-abortion activists throughout the country. One example of an action carried by these women-hating fanatics: In 1982, several Army of God members kidnapped Dr. Hector Zevallos, director of an abortion clinic in Granite City, Illinois, and his wife and held them for eight days, threatening to kill them unless Zevallos made an anti-abortion statement. In 1997 and 1998 there were a number of acid attacks on abortion providers, facilities, and clinic patients including at several clinics in Florida.

Before the attack at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, eight abortion providers—doctors, nurses, escorts, and other staff—had been murdered by anti-abortion fanatics. The most recent was the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009 while he was participating in church services in Wichita, Kansas. Dr. Tiller had actually been shot once before by another anti-abortionist fanatic—at his Wichita clinic in 1993—and had survived. In that same year, two other abortion doctors were killed: Dr. David Gunn was murdered outside a Pensacola, Florida, clinic by a Christian fundamentalist who invoked the Bible as justification, and Dr. Wayne Patterson was killed in Mobile, Alabama. In the face of this—and the continued harassment at his clinic and home, death threats, and political/legal attacks—Dr. Tiller continued courageously to give compassionate care to thousands of women in need of the services his clinic provided, until his murder. In a shameful statement of acquiescence to Dr. Tiller’s killer and the forces behind his murder, no significant representative of the Democratic Party or liberal pro-choice groups associated with the Democrats attended his funeral.


Read more

According to the National Abortion Federation, since Dr. Tiller’s murder in 2009, abortion clinics and reproductive health care facilities have reported nearly 7,000 attacks against them, including vandalism, death threats, and other forms of violence. In March 2013, for example, the All Families Healthcare, a clinic that provides abortions in Montana, was so severely vandalized that it was forced to close indefinitely.

These terrorist attacks have been carried out by those openly tied to or spurred on by Christian fascists, driven by their religious fundamentalist, anti-scientific belief that abortion is murder and that women who choose to terminate their pregnancies are committing a “sin” against god. But these deadly assaults have been given a green light by the patriarchal, anti-women rantings and moves against the right to abortion from forces high in the power structure, as well as the “legal but rare” position of the Democrats that has contributed to giving legitimacy to and emboldening of the Christian fascists and the demonization and stigmatization of abortion and abortion providers. And this continues today, when abortion clinics across the U.S. are under ever more vicious assaults from Christian fascists as well as from new laws and court rulings.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/414/castlemont-high-students-walkout-to-protest-murder-by-oakland-police-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Castlemont High Students Walkout to Protest Murder by Oakland Police

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From readers in the Bay Area:

On Tuesday, November 17, more than 100 Castlemont High students in East Oakland walked out of school to protest the police murder of Richard Perkins, two days earlier. This walkout was the latest in a number of recent high school student actions in the San Francisco Bay Area. In previous weeks, in the neighboring city of Berkeley, students had two walkouts, demonstrating against school administrators’ inaction to a message on the library computer system—a KKK boast of plans to lynch a Black person on a specific date in December.

Castlemont High is predominantly Black and Latino, and sits in locked-down and distressed “Deep East Oakland,” where police maraud like an occupying army, and where youth have very little hope of a future. This defiance was significant and students we talked to were very proud of what they did. Even before, they had been following the murder and upsurge in the case of Michael Brown and Eric Garner; and some even pointed back to the outbreaks from the murder of Trayvon Martin, when they were freshmen. This murder of Richard Perkins was something that “hit home,” propelling them into action. Some Castlemont students were in the area when Richard was killed. They spread the word in classes on Monday. A student organization called “Student Union” organized the protest for the following day, over the displeasure of the school principal. They made signs and marched the half-mile to the spot of Richard’s killing, chanting “Stop police brutality” and “No justice, no peace.” They didn’t buy the pig version of the killing, as reported in the news. Afterwards, students and friends of Richard told us about how things unfolded during the weekend that set the stage for Richard’s murder by police.

On Sunday, November 15, the Oakland police were in chaos, trying to suppress an “outrageous” Oakland “Sideshow.”1 Up to 700 cars and motorcycles from as far away as Fresno, San Jose, and Los Angeles converged, shutting down numerous street intersections and a portion of Interstate 880, doing donuts and kicking up clouds of smoking rubber from the tires of all manner of vehicles, from jacked-up big rim floaters, to family sedans and motorcycles. Police were quoted in news accounts saying people threw rocks and bottles at a squad car.

At one point Oakland police, Alameda County Sheriffs, and California Highway Patrol encircled suspected participants and onlookers alike, busting people, writing tickets and towing motorcycles. Cops were pissed, they had been made fools of all day, but now they were “in control” and definitely wanted to let people know it. It was against that backdrop that Richard Perkins was shot and killed by police. “I just heard pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, many shots,” said a witness. “He wasn’t doing nothing!” said another.

Richard, a 39-year-old truck driver, was the father of two children. He loved his community and helped at his church. Richard was not a participant in the sideshow, but was attracted by his love of motorcycles. His mother told us fondly how Richard loved to work on bikes, “but could never keep his running long enough to ride it.”

Police claim that Richard walked toward them pointing a “replica” gun at them, so they had to shoot. Four cops opened up on Richard. Holes from high-powered police bullets ripped into cars and the nearby gas station, and Richard was murdered on the spot. Later, Oakland police produced what they are calling the “replica weapon,” and the Oakland police chief said, “Officers were shocked when they found out it was not in fact a real firearm.”

Some of the Castlemont students told us that there was nothing in Richard’s hands, and that when he saw the cops aiming at him, he lifted his shirt and held his hands up and yelled, “Please, Don’t Shoot!”. But the cops opened fire anyway. Then they let Richard’s body lay where he fell for 10 hours! His mother said, “They left him there like a dog!”

Four days after Richard’s murder, the police have not yet released his name to the press. And even though Richard’s name was tattooed on his chest, they only informed his mother of his murder two days later! In fact, his mother had been praying for someone in the neighborhood that she heard had been killed by police. Only, later, to find out that it was her own boy.

This is Outrageous!! This shit has to stop!!


1. From Wikipedia: “A sideshow is an informal demonstration of automotive stunts now often held in vacant lots, and public intersections, most often in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, United States. Sideshows first appeared in Oakland as informal social gatherings of African-American youth. Sideshows were made even more popular throughout the 1990s with such songs as Bay Area rapper Richie Rich‘s ‘Sideshow’ anthem. ‘Down Bancroft / To the light / Let me warm it up, I hit a donut tight / Chevy on my side / Windows straight tinted / He got hype when he saw me spinnin’ / I’m up outta there, sideways to the next light.’” [back]

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/414/stanford-students-sit-in-demand-univ-divest-from-all-fossil-fuels-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

November 21, 2015

Stanford Students Sit In, Demand University Divest from All Fossil Fuels

by Larry Everest | November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

An important struggle took place at Stanford University in the San Francisco Bay Area this past week, pointing to both the growing wave of campus activism and real challenges facing the movement for revolution.

Sit-in at Stanford University demanding full divestment from fossil fuels
Students at Stanford University camped out all week demanding that Stanford divest from all fossil fuels. (Photo: Fossil Free Stanford website)

Starting Monday night, November 16, some 100 students staged a sit-in/encampment outside the office of university president John Hennessy demanding that Stanford, which has an endowment of over $20 billion, divest from all fossil fuels. They camped out all week, defying university threats and drawing very broad support on campus and beyond. They ended their sit-in on Friday after meeting with the president, during which he agreed to bring their demands to the Board of Trustees. There has not been an action like this at Stanford, an elite private university, in many years.

The encampment, which grew out of an ongoing divestment campaign—“Fossil Free Stanford”—began on Monday when some 100 students gathered in front of the administration building and demanded to talk with Hennessy. When they were instead blocked by university police, they decided to sit in. That day another 300 students joined them to march and rally.

“A Very, Very Dramatic Move to Make”

Stanford University sit-in calling for divestment from fossil fuels

Stanford University sit-in calling for divestment from fossil fuels
Stanford University sit-in and call demanding university divestment from fossil fuels. (Photos: Revolution/revcom.us)

I talked with two of the student organizers on Thursday about the encampment and their own involvement.

One, a freshman, described two “turning points” that spurred him and others to sit in. First, he’d been “very excited” about the Board of Trustees’ May 2014 decision to divest from businesses using coal, but that “was overshadowed by the fact that when we pulled out of coal, the largest two investments were made in the oil and gas industry. So then our ‘ask’ has changed to full divestment from fossil fuels.” The other “huge takeaway from the meeting with Hennessy was that they were comfortable investing in fossil fuels because they were comfortable burning them in their cars. That hurt us a lot because we’re so passionate about the environment.”

The students described what a big step sitting in at Stanford has been for them and other students. “This is a very, very drastic move to take. Camping outside the president’s office is a very controversial move, but we feel we’ve explored every avenue we can and have nowhere else to go,” the freshman said.

The other student, a junior, put it this way: “Stanford is full of very high-functioning people who’ve gotten to where they are by following the rules and doing things right in their own lives, and it’s worked so far. So I think this action is huge in taking us, who have gone about making change and achieving in a very structured way, and pushing us a bit.”

Another student told the Stanford Daily, “[F]or the first time, I’m not just doing what I’m told but doing what I think is right.”

Resisting University Threats

Tuesday morning the students received a letter from the university administration warning them that their encampment violated university rules and the student “code of conduct” by impeding business in the Administration Building. The students disagreed, and instead sent an open letter to Hennessy and the Board of Trustees turning the language and framework of the warning letter into an indictment:

“In order to comply with Stanford University’s mission and Fundamental Standard, you must immediately divest from the rest of the fossil fuel industry. The student body and Stanford community are instructing you to do so,” the students wrote. Pointing to the environmental implications of refusing to divest, the students asked, “Can you accept the consequences of your own inaction?” They told the university administration that they would not move the encampment: “This movement is not going away.”

The administration also warned students that they had until 5 pm Friday, November 20, to end their encampment or face possible trespassing charges. The students again refused (and we saw that many had the phone number for legal help in case of arrest marked on their arms).

Sparking Broader Support and Engagement

Before the sit-in, support had been building for divestment from fossil fuels. According to Fossil Free Stanford:

“Over 239 Stanford students and faculty have pledged to engage in direct action unless the University divests from oil and gas; More than 3,200 students, faculty, alumni, and community members have expressed support for the cause; Last year, 75% of the Stanford undergraduate student body voted in favor of fossil fuel divestment; More than 379 Stanford faculty have co-signed a letter calling on the administration to divest; The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU), representing the undergraduate population, and the Graduate Student Council have both passed resolutions in support of fossil fuel divestment.”

The encampment of inflatable air mattresses and tents pitched in the corner of the main Quad, outside the administration building, became a focal point sparking broader involvement and debate. Some protesters stopped attending classes at all, many with support from their professors. The Stanford Daily reported that during the week, there had been 30 teach-ins and more than a dozen relocated classes, including Antigone and Social Dissent, Politics and Justice in Carbon Accounting, and Black Lives Matter and Student Activism.

The student organizers told us the Stanford Collaborative Orchestra had performed their work “El Niño,” a compilation of Handel’s Water Music suites, and that following a performance in Memorial Church (across the Quad from the encampment), the Stanford Choir had come over and done a performance for them. Many campus groups and organizations had come and written statements of support. There had been near-daily rallies. When we were there, some 125 students rallied along with 20-30 alums (who stated they wouldn’t donate to Stanford until it divests). While we were talking to the organizers, a tour group of high school students led by a Stanford student walked by. They stopped and loudly chanted: “What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!” There were students clustered in small groups talking, hanging out, or sitting alone doing homework.

The encampment organizers were also supporting other actions on campus such as Tuesday’s rally “to uplift Muslim and Arab voices in the wake of Islamophobia following the Paris attacks,” and Wednesday’s #StudentBlackout rally supporting students protesting racism at campuses across the country.

The global impact of the environmental crisis was represented in an installation/art project near the encampment. It aims to “shine a spotlight on the high profile cases of global communities that have been directly affected by the negligence of the fossil fuel industry,” an involved student told the Stanford Daily. The piece focuses on Chevron’s oil spill in Ecuador, sea-level rise in Tuvalu, and the California drought. “[The project] really brings the moral issue to the absolute forefront,” she said.

Upsurge in Campus Protest & Activism

When I’d been on the Stanford campus several years ago, in the aftermath of the Occupy protests, a student told me that the only thing that drew crowds of students were networking meetings to develop new apps and the like. But there has been a definite upswing in campus protests and activism over the past couple of years. A number of the students we talked with said it was their first protest ever, so I asked the student organizers about that.

They cited several things. First, according to the junior, there was a “feeling of momentum on campus, that activism is OK, that it’s exciting, it’s necessary. This was unheard of for a long time here and this sit-in would never have happened five years ago. When Stanford divested from coal, people looked around and said, ‘I’m not the only one that cares.’ There’s a narrative that we are winning, even though it doesn’t seem like it most of the time. I could get behind that.

“Then there was Ferguson, the Stanford 68 [students arrested this past January for blocking the San Mateo Bridge], and organizing around Black Lives Matter. There’s a growing sense of urgency about the world outside of Stanford. Stanford is so insulated, so comfortable, the pull of complacency is so strong. It’s nice to have a great day here, but so many others are living in a very different reality and we can’t let that go by.”

The freshman added, “Very recently, one of the reasons [for rising activism] is the sheer number of events going on in the world right now: Black Lives Matter, LGBT issues, and so much else going on right now it’s impossible to ignore. There’s a rally every other day in White Plaza [at the center of campus], and people are starting to feel there’s change coming in our community and its coming very, very quickly and their hopping on board.”

Other students told us they’d been moved to take a stand by the growing climate emergency. One joined when he’d “overcome the inertia of feeling there’s nothing you can do at Stanford, that it would never divest.”

Big Openings, and Challenges for Revolutionaries

Special Issue of Revolution on the Environmental Emergency

This Revolution special issue focuses on the environmental emergency that now faces humanity and Earth's ecosystems. In this issue we show:

Read online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

So there’s something new developing on the Stanford campus (and others!) in relation to key issues of the day. There’s a real awakening and a real moral dimension of students refusing to simply “do what they’re told,” but instead getting out of their comfort zones and taking a stand for what they see as right. This is very important.

At the same time, their understanding of the problem and the solution is, at the moment, confined within the system’s boundaries. We caught discussion of personal responsibility and consumerism as being key; about climate change being a social justice issue, and “the intersectionality of environmental degradation, ethnicity and class;” about “change systems of power and the power dynamics on campus.”

One of the students responded to my question about revolution and communism like this: “It’s difficult to convince people on communism so at some point we may have to accept capitalism is inevitable and we have to work within that, making clean energy cheaper and more available, and work through our government. There’s a growing acceptance that ‘radical’ isn’t such a bad thing, and as things change more people will be receptive to that. But maybe we can’t get rid of capitalism but we can erode its worst aspects. Any talk of revolution right now is not politically feasible, but then we’re doing our own revolution here on campus.”

My sense was that these students aren’t locked in position or firmly wedded to other trends, so much as questions of capitalism, revolution and communism have been off their radar, very few seemed to have seriously engaged deeper questions like the nature of capitalism, can it solve the environmental catastrophe, or will it take revolution and an entirely different economic and political system to do that.

At the same time, we found real openness and curiosity. People were interested in our materials (including “ATerrorist Attack in Paris, a World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY”and “Which Side Are You On? STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI STUDENTS FROM CARL DIX,” and many were glad we’d come down. A number said that there should be more discussion of alternatives to the current system.

One of the student organizers told me, “McCarthy did a great job of making communism and socialism dirty words, and I think that sucks because it means it’s not a political reality for a lot of people to make alternatives to capitalism a part of their rhetoric.”

When I suggested I do a teach-in on the climate crisis, revolution, and BA’s new synthesis, the freshman I was talking with said with real enthusiasm: “That would be great!”

“We’ll Escalate and Take Direct Action till University Divests Fully from Fossil Fuels”

Student organizers don’t expect the Board of Trustees to grant their demands, and say their struggle for full divestment from fossil fuels is far from over. One organizer said students left the Friday meeting with Hennessy “determined and hopeful, but also very frustrated and not very proud of our university... But we are very proud of our students.” One of their goals, he said, was “to declare that the student body will not be complicit with fossil fuel investment.”

Another told the Stanford Daily that although the sit-in was over, Fossil Free Stanford “will continue to escalate and take direct action until the university divests fully from fossil fuels.”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/awtwns-the-murder-of-hazaras-and-rise-of-daesh-in-afghanistan-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

From A World to Win News Service

The Murder of Hazaras and the Rise of Daesh in Afghanistan

November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Women march in Kabul, Afghanistan, November 11, calling on the government to resign. AP photo
Women march in Kabul, Afghanistan, November 11, calling on the government to resign. AP photo

November 23, 2015. A World to Win News Service. The biggest political protests Afghanistan has seen in years took place over several days in early November. A large crowd (10,000 people, according to the New York Times) marched across the capital to the presidential palace, where they chanted “Death to Taliban, Death to Daesh” (Islamic State) and called on the government to resign.

The protesters included relatives of seven Hazara civilians kidnapped by Daesh when they were traveling through Zabul province in southwest Afghanistan last March. Recently they were found beheaded. Among them were three women and two children.

People in Afghanistan were shocked. A protest convoy carried the bodies from Zabul to Ghazni, in central Afghanistan, a city where many Hazaras live. Thousands of people rallied. Then, despite the opposition of the authorities, the bodies were brought to the capital. After an all-night vigil in the rain, protesters bearing the coffins marched to the presidential palace. Many were young, and they included thousands of women. Women carried a banner declaring, “It is a crime to see a crime and stay silent,” and blaming the government for complicity in a recent wave of kidnappings and murders of Hazara people.

As the protesters approached the presidential palace, they were met by special guards and military. The guards shot and injured five demonstrators, according to the health ministry. Many protesters found their way into a court building.

The U.S. occupation and its appointed governments promised security for the people. Since the occupiers stepped in to make Ashraf Ghani president last year, one of the most important issues concerning most people has been security—the right not to be killed or abused by any of the armed gangs running amok, including the Taliban and now Daesh, and government thugs as well. There have been numerous reports of jihadi commanders brought into the government who have kidnapped young women and teenage girls, raped them and then demanded ransom. In many cases the result has been the disappearance of the victim.

This kind of kidnapping has not diminished throughout the years but has escalated. And various groups and forces with different motives now have become part of that. The emergence of Daesh has added tremendously to this problem. People feel that it is not safe to go outside their towns, or even walk on the streets in town. Some 146,000 Afghan refugees arriving in Europe have been registered so far in 2015.

The existence of Daesh in Afghanistan became clear earlier this year. Although they avoided fighting with the government and U.S. and other NATO occupation troops, they often clashed with the Taliban. In Achin and Pachiragam districts in Nangarhar province, they reportedly set fire to 106 homes whose residents they accused of cooperating with the Taliban.

Finally, in April, Daesh claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that killed only innocent people in Jalalabad, under the name of “the Khorasan Islamic State.” At the present time there is no province named Khorasan in Afghanistan. There are North and South Khorasan provinces in eastern Iran. Historically, Khorasan is the name of a region that covers most of today’s Afghanistan, Tajikistan, most of northeastern Iran and nearly half of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Naming themselves the Islamic State of Khorasan proclaims Daesh’s ambition to extend their operations and rule into Iran and the rest of Central Asia.

A recent report by a UN committee indicates Daesh is now active in 24 out of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. This report also says that at least 10 percent of Taliban members support Daesh. This adds more complication and misery for the people in the region.

There are clear indications that Afghan government and U.S. forces in Afghanistan have observed Daesh’s growing influence in Afghanistan but have either done nothing or have not been able to prevent its influence. Some people think that the Afghan government and its American backers deliberately allowed Daesh to grow so that a force hostile to the Taliban could undermine its ability to fight the government and the occupation. Others think that the authorities genuinely could not predict that Daesh would be capable of finding a base in Afghanistan, given the existence of the Taliban and the presence of U.S. troops, and have simply proved incapable of stopping Daesh. There is a very widespread feeling that, one way or another, the U.S. and its current Afghan government are at fault for the rise of Daesh.

However, the people who went to the presidential palace seeking justice took their righteous outrage to the wrong place. The president and the whole government cannot help because they are part of the problem. Not only have they failed to protect people, but even more fundamentally, they and their imperialist backers, who invaded the country and occupy it still, are the biggest factor in the people’s insecurity, both directly and in terms of the consequences of the situation they have perpetuated in the country, the immediate region and more broadly. All this has given birth to wave after wave of religious fundamentalists.

For instance, Daesh’s strongest base in Afghanistan is in Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan. U.S drone attacks and Pakistani military campaigns have driven the Pakistani Taliban from Waziristan into Afghanistan, especially Nangarhar. Daesh has been able to attract people from the Pakistani Taliban, such as a top-ranking Pakistani Taliban who went over to Daesh in January.

It seems that Daesh is counting on using the momentum (and arms and cash) it has acquired in its wider conflict with imperialism to take advantage of discontents rising within the Taliban ranks over the last few years. Daesh’s rapid advancement in Iraq and Syria and its influence in Libya and Egypt and elsewhere have impressed some Taliban elements who are frustrated by the prolongation of the war with the government and the U.S. Some are discontented with the negotiations between the Taliban and the government.

The seven people beheaded in Zabul were poor. Like many others, they were traveling in search of a temporary job when they were grabbed by Daesh, imprisoned for seven or eight months and then murdered because they were Shia.

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Foward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters, in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

Download PDF

This turn of events poses a serious threat that might give rise to the kind of sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni that has been going on in Iraq and Pakistan for years. Hazaras are both Afghanistan’s most oppressed ethnic minority and also, since most are Shia, a religious minority. The Taliban have not chosen to emphasize Sunni-Shia conflict, whereas for Daesh hatred for Shia Islam and its practitioners is central to its ideological and political identity and aims.

Clearly Daesh’s advance in Afghanistan is impelled by the situation in the broader Middle East. Daesh has enjoyed the neutrality or some support of Saudi Arabia and Gulf states, but it could not have gained control of a third of Iraq if it had not been able to win over Iraqi youth outraged by the U.S. invasion and fed up with the Shia regime installed under the occupation. At the same time, they took advantage of the power vacuum in the civil war in Syria that the imperialist and regional powers stoked. This has enabled it to position itself as the main opponent of imperialist domination of a whole swath of the Earth, and to set its religious claims as the only alternative.

If it is true that Daesh, like other varieties of Islamic fundamentalism, could not exist as they do without imperialism, its crimes and all that it does to other countries, then the inescapable conclusion is that the people cannot be freed of this scourge without opposing, rather than supporting, the imperialist powers, their global system and their political allies and local stooges. After all, when people protested the murder of Hazaras, they were fired on by the Afghan government backed up by the U.S. and thousands of American troops.

 

A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/rise-up-stop-genocide-against-native-peoples-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

From Bay Area Stop Mass Incarceration Network:

Rise Up! Stop the Genocide against Native Peoples!

November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following is the text of a leaflet put out by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network in the San Francisco Bay Area with Marlene Kanosh, whose son Corey Kanosh, an unarmed 35-year-old Paiute, was killed by a sheriff’s deputy in Utah in 2012—with contributions from Merri Silva (mother of David Silva, killed by sheriff’s deputies in Bakersfield, California, in 2013), Kip Tassin Monoessy (aunt of Christina Tahhahwah, who died under police custody in Oklahoma in November 2014), Melissa Goodblanket (mother of Mah-hi-vist Redbird Touching Cloud Goodblanket, an 18-year-old killed by sheriff’s deputies in Oklahoma in 2013), and Kristine Almas (mother of Jessie Lee Rose, 19, killed by Utica, NY police in 2013). Over 1,000 copies of this statement along with the statements by Carl Dix, co-initiator of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, on the struggles around the police murders of Laquan McDonald in Chicago and Jamar Clark in Minneapolis, were gotten out at this year’s Sunrise Ceremony at Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, November 26—an annual un-Thanksgiving event to honor the indigenous peoples of the Americas and to remember the 19-month occupation of Alcatraz by Native American activists that started in November 1969.

 

Mah-hi-vist Goodblanket, Arapaho-Cheyenne-Eastern Band Cherokee; John T. Williams, Nitinaht; Jessie Lee Rose, Tlingit/Mohawk; Benjamin Whiteshield, Cheyenne-Arapaho; Corey Kanosh, Paiute; Christina Tahhahwah, Comanche; Myles Roughsurface, Navajo; Acorn Peters, Round Valley; Allen Locke, Lakota; Ira Arquette, Yakima; Mylo Harvey, Tulalip; Paul Castaway, Lakota; Kenneth Ray Wilson, Pit River; Spencer Posey, Ute; Elijah White Magpie; Jack Keewatinawin, Cree; Robert 'Robby' McMurt, Comanche; Andrew Moppin, Comanche-Klamath; Sarah Circle Bear, Lakota; Daniel Covarrubias, Suquamish.

These are just some the Native People who have died at the hands of law enforcement. The list keeps growing.*

125 years ago this year, the Medal of Honor was awarded to 20 U.S. soldiers who participated in the indiscriminate killing of 300 Lakota, 200 of whom were unarmed women and children, during the Wounded Knee Massacre in December 1890.

Download PDF of this leaflet

At last month’s Rise Up October — Stop Police Terror demonstration in New York, Simon Moya-Smith, Oglala Lakota, Culture Editor at “Indian Country Today” spoke about “the brutal death of Mah-hi-vist (RedBird) Touching Cloud Goodblanket, the 18-year-old Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Eastern Band of Cherokee youth who was shot seven times, once in the back of the head, by Custer County Sheriff’s deputies in Oklahoma in December 2013”. Two deputies received the Medal of Valor. “More medals for more dead Indians”. (fb—Justice For “Mah Hi Vist GoodBlanket”)

Corey Kanosh, 35, Paiute, Kanosh Reservation, Utah, was a champion men’s traditional dancer throughout Utah and surrounding areas. He loved his culture, heritage and his son, Robert. Corey was unarmed and committing no crime, but was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy on October 15, 2012. (fb—Justice for Corey Kanosh, marleebugsue@gmail.com)

Jessie Lee Rose, 19, was handsome, intelligent, kind, thoughtful and shy. He was shot down by Utica, New York police. He was sitting down in the park by the jungle gym not doing anything when the officer fired at Jessie. His oldest brother was a witness in a police brutality case against Utica Police, and police had been harassing the family, especially Jessie. (fb—Justice for Jessie Lee Rose)

Christina Tahhahwah suffered from bi-polar disorder and had recently stopped taking her medication. She was arrested, and placed into police custody. On Nov 14th, she was discovered “unresponsive” in her cell. Fellow inmates stated that Christina Tahhahwah had been tasered repeatedly for refusing to stop singing Comanche hymns. (Youtube —Justice 4 Christina)

Daniel Covarrubias, 37, a member of the Suquamish tribe, was murdered by Lakewood, Washington police in April 2015. He was unarmed. Police say Daniel had been seen “running”, and that after he climbed a tall stack of lumber in a lumber yard, he was “reaching into his pockets.” Those who knew him say he was in mental distress and in need of urgent help. Instead, police fired up at him multiple times and killed him. (fb Justice for Daniel Covarrubias)

Paul Castaway, 35, Sicangu Lakota, and father of Emmanuel, 3. Paul was shot by Denver police on 7/12/; a call was made to summon help because Paul suffered with mental illness and had a knife. After Paul was cornered in an alley, video shows Paul put the knife to his own neck when officers shot 4 times. Paul’s last words were, “what’s wrong with you guys?” (Like fb—what’s wrong with you guys #Justice4PaulCastaway, (720) 629-5309Lynn Eagle Feather)

David Sal Silva, 33, Navajo, a father of 4, begged for his life as he was beaten to death by 9 sheriffs, a canine and Highway patrol. Then cops seized the cell phones of witnesses who recorded the incident on video. (fb—JusticeForDavidSalSilva)

Rexdale W. Henry, 53, a Native American activist, was arrested for failure to pay a traffic fine. Five days later, Henry would be found dead in a Neshoba County, Mississippi jail cell.

Sarah Lee Circle Bear, 24, was arrested for an alleged bond violation over a traffic charge. Sarah Lee Circle Bear was heard by others in jail screaming for help prior to being found unresponsive in her cell.

Allen Locke, 30, was shot and killed by police, just one day after attending a local #NativeLivesMatter protest against police brutality in December.

Joy Ann Sherman was shot by police in Mitchell, SD. She reportedly called a counselor at a drug and alcohol abuse facility from her hotel room, where she stated she had a gun and was going to hurt herself. When the officer approached her hotel room he reported seeing the door opening and feared for his life. He fired three shots, killing her.

Myles Roughsurface was killed by New Mexico deputies investigating a scuffle. As deputies arrived on the scene they reported hearing gun shots and approached what they described as “silhouette” of a person and fired two shots. They report a man yelling “you missed”. The officers repositioned themselves and fired two more shots, killing Myles.

* In relation to the population, Native Americans are most often killed by Law Enforcement *

We Stand in solidarity with “Black Lives Matter” and all victims of Police Murder!

Rise up! Fight Back! Stop the Genocide! Which Side are You On?!

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/abortion-rights-protests-and-vigils-in-four-cities-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Abortion Rights Protests and Vigils in Four Cities Responding to Attack on Planned Parenthood

November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

As soon as news broke that a gunman had holed up inside a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs last Friday, Sunsara Taylor mobilized StopPatriarchy.org to hold a vigil Friday night in New York City's Union Square.  While the armed standoff in Colorado was still unfolding, over 25 people lined the south end of the park, holding bright orange posters which read, "Abortion On Demand and Without Apology." 
NYC Standing up for Abortion Rights after Colorado Planned Parenthood Clinic attacked

NYC

 

The next day, in response to a call issued again by Sunsara Taylor, StopPatriarchy.org and Revolution Clubs around the country mobilized protests and marches in Seattle, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco to Stand Up for Abortion Rights and Women's Lives. In New York City, about 40 people rallied and then marched through light rain in Union Square. 
NYC

As soon as news broke that a gunman had holed up inside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last Friday, Sunsara Taylor mobilized StopPatriarchy.org to hold a vigil Friday night in New York City's Union Square.  While the armed standoff in Colorado was still unfolding, over 25 people lined the south end of the park, holding bright orange posters which read, “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology.”  Hundreds of holiday shoppers passed the demonstration, many stopping to take pictures and dozens joining in to hold a sign for a few minutes or even an hour.  This included large numbers of women, but also men of all ages.

Some, emboldened and incited by dishonest videos released over the summer attacking Planned Parenthood, screamed at those holding the vigil, accusing them of “harvesting baby parts” and even yelling out support for the gunman.  All this right in the heart of New York City.  Taylor made clear that while the specific motivations of the gunman at that time had not yet been established, there is clearly an escalating war against women's right to abortion taking place both through terror and violence at the clinics as well as laws being passed by Christian fascists in power which are forcing abortion clinics to close and creating a situation where women are once again being forced to have children against their will.

Taylor highlighted Bob Avakian's poignant new statement, issued just a week prior to these attacks, “Unbelievable as it may seem, in the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children, regardless of the situation, the feelings, and the better judgment of those women themselves. That is a way of enslaving women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system; and that is what the cruel fanatics who are determined to deny women the right to abortion are really all about.”  She called on people to get into the leadership and work of Bob Avakian, who has developed the vision and strategy to make an actual revolution to get rid of this system that enslaves women and commits so many other crimes against humanity.  And Taylor called on people to join in on the spot and look forward towards the upcoming anniversary of Roe v. Wade to stand up in massive protests FOR abortion rights and women's lives in DC and San Francisco in January.

News media from half a dozen local television and radio stations captured footage and interviewed Sunsara Taylor and other protesters who were sounding the alarm on the escalating violence and attacks on women's right to abortion and on abortion clinics and providers across the country.

The next day, in response to a call issued again by Sunsara Taylor, StopPatriarchy.org and Revolution Clubs around the country mobilized protests and marches in Seattle, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco to Stand Up for Abortion Rights and Women's Lives.

In New York City, about 40 people rallied and then marched through light rain in Union Square.  By this time, everyone on the street had heard the news of the murder and terror that had been carried out against the Planned Parenthood and many hundreds more stopped, took pictures, and put their fists in the air.  Dozens stopped and joined in for some period of time.  One woman stood and watched with tears streaming from her eyes before approaching and whispering that she works at Planned Parenthood and was extremely thankful and emotional to see the protesters out there supporting them.  A man encouraged his teenage daughter to step right in the middle of the protest and hold up a sign so he could take her picture.  Friends stopped and joined in.  Many mothers and daughters stopped and watched, talking to each other and then to organizers with StopPatriarchy.org.  Dozens of people were signed up and all were invited to an emergency meeting being held Monday, November 30th to plan further response and for massive protests for January's anniversary of Roe v. Wade on both coasts.

Keep checking back on this website (revcom.us) for more reports on these actions as well as postings about upcoming mobilizations to defeat the war on women and hasten a real revolution that can break all the chains.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/vigils-and-protests-respond-to-attack-on-planned-parenthood-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Vigils and Protests Respond to Attack on Planned Parenthood

Updated December 5, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

San Francisco

From a reader

Responding to Sunsara Taylor's call to respond to the mass shooting and hostage situation at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs by STANDING UP against the whole assault against women's right to abortion—about two dozen people hit the streets in San Francisco to challenge others to oppose this tragic and unnecessary crime, and stand unapologetically for women's liberation.

A handful of people responded to the call from Stop Patriarchy. One mother-and-daughter pair came from Saratoga, and another from Fremont; they were outraged at the situation, and couldn't restrain their outrage. They wanted to talk about abortion in positive ways, and stand firmly on the right side, be part of something disruptive that sounds the alarm, and against a violent and woman-hating anti-abortion movement. They held two bright banners that read: FORCED MOTHERHOOD IS FEMALE ENSLAVEMENT and ABORTION PROVIDERS ARE HEROES.

Several news channels were there, and they interviewed organizers and others. There was compelling agitation and dynamic interactions between people based on their sense of justice. The local evening news portrayed a determined force that was outraged about the Colorado Springs shooting, and was determined to change the terms of the abortion debate.

Among the people who came out were people from the movement for revolution. We agitated long and hard against fascism, all the ways the American fascist forces are lashing out in reaction, encouraged by ruling class bigots like Donald Trump, against Black people (the shooting of protesters in Minnesota, Confederate flag rallies), against immigrants, against science and reason, against the people of the "Middle East," against preserving the planet's resources... and against abortion. These fascists are not comical or "irrelevant" - that part of the ruling class is unleashing nasty archaic lunatic fundamentalist terrorists with all that hot wind. They hate abortion because they hate the idea of women stepping out of the ancient role of property of men and forced breeders of children. People of conscience have got to fight back now, to change how millions of people think and act. And everyone who wants to see a world free from fascism, capitalism, exploitation, police brutality, and the oppression of women, needs to get with the movement for revolution, and dig into what Bob Avakian in particular has uncovered: the method, strategy, vision and plan for a new stage of communist revolution.

A few young people who got with Stop Patriarchy over the summer were proud to be part of this protest. They spread materials that bring the kind of analysis people need to understand what is at stake, march through the shopping crowds the day after Black Friday, and invite others in.

One young woman on the bullhorn walked through what it means for women to be forced into motherhood against their wills in the real world, and to live in fear every day. How women with unwanted pregnancies have to pay to travel, have to suffer shame, have to become more dependent on family (if they can) or much worse, and have their very lives threatened by people "on a mission from God" willing to gun them down out of deep hatred—just because they are women! This is worth fighting.

We took off on short marches and got out the call to action to counterprotest the massive anti-abortion Walk for "Life" at that same spot on January 23. Every time we agitated we drew a crowd and every time we left, new people (though sometimes 1 or 2) marched with us. Some of us got out hundreds of copies of Break ALL the Chains and connected people up with the program for women's liberation represented in Bob Avakian's new synthesis.

A strong minority of the thousands of people that saw us that day expressed deep appreciation and gratitude that this was going down, and in particular that we gave them "something to do" in response to this horrible tragedy in Colorado Springs. Stop Patriarchy was on a mission to bring out the objective of the anti-abortion agenda as slamming women back in time, into subhuman status, and this was very clarifying for some people. We challenged people: It's not enough to be right! It's not enough to have an opinion. The anti-abortion movement is winning. Which side are you on?

Two young women from Texas stopped to tell their stories and were happily recruited into Stop Patriarchy. The last year has made them sick—dozens of abortion clinics were forced to close in Texas. They were ready to act, and could quickly see how fighting to change the terms of this debate ("choice" / "life" v. women as human / women as incubators) is an urgent need.

A clear line was drawn. Several people who joined in got connected, and some who had responded to the call had not been active recently, but took materials and left on a mission to hit their campus or tell their friends to get into this fight.

In summation, one woman who had traveled from another county said she was shocked that there were not hundreds of people in the streets in response to the Colorado shooting. So we got into what is standing in the way of people's fighting spirit when it comes to abortion? What do people need to understand? There was agreement that what is at stake here, and what the anti-abortion movement represents, is not widely known. It's our responsibility to change that.

People were coming from different perspectives throughout the day. And within that, there is a revolutionary perspective that is being projected here! That's a good thing, because there is a solution to all this systemic oppression, and people need to know it. You may think of yourself as feminist, or humanist, or anything you'd like; it really, really matters that you came out to fight. You seized the moment, and when it's not only controversial but demonized and almost criminalized, you stood up for abortion and women everywhere. This and much more is what it will take to change how people think so they can fight to stop the attacks on abortion rights and the lives of women and the doctors who help them.

And among us we need to continue to discuss and debate the big questions. Is it true that the anti-abortion movement is the American Taliban? That they are about enslaving women? That capitalism can't fully liberate women? Get into it. Hear what Bob Avakian has to say about why the world is this way right now and what can be done about it, and decide whether or not it is true. Because this moment truly does demand we cast off illusions, look reality in face, and act on that.

Honolulu, Hawaii, November 28

Honolulu, Hawaii

From a reader:

In spite of very short notice, more than a dozen people responded to Sunsara Taylor's call for an emergency action for abortion rights and women's lives on Saturday, November 28 and held signs at a busy street corner outside of Honolulu's largest shopping center. Many drivers honked their horns; pedestrians stopped to thank us. One woman initially walked by, but then came back to tell us that she was a devout Christian and strongly agreed with us. Another man went into the nearby Walgreen's and brought out bottles of water, thanking us for taking a stand. While there were a few who clearly hated our signs, they were in the minority. 

Los Angeles

From a reader:

Sunsara Taylor and Stop Patriarchy called for an emergency demonstration in response to the attacks and shooting at a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado Springs that happened on Friday, November 27. The emergency actions around the country happened in New York, Seattle, the Bay Area, Honolulu, and Los Angeles. In LA, about eight people gathered on a corner on Hollywood and Highland, which is a location where many national protests have happened: the acquittal of the murderers of Eric Garner who was strangled to death by the police, the murder of a young man dressed in a “Scream” mask by the police for holding a fake knife, and the gathering of protesters against police terror and murder organized by Stop Mass Incarceration Network featuring Janelle Monae and the Wondaland artists. The busy intersection brings people from all over the world.

Volunteers from Stop Patriarchy and the Revolution Club assembled and brought out posters of the women who died from illegal abortions and the heroic abortion providers who were murdered by rabid Christian fanatics. Volunteers held up an orange banner that exclaimed “ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY” and another banner that stated “STAND UP FOR ABORTION RIGHTS. COUNTERPROTEST THE MARCH ON ‘LIFE’ JANUARY 23: San Francisco, JANUARY 22: Washington DC. FETUSES ARE NOT BABIES, ABORTION IS NOT MURDER, WOMEN ARE NOT INCUBATORS.” Some tourists snapped photos as they passed by on their cell phones. A few people would put up their fists and say, “I’m with you!” A woman claimed, “I already support Planned Parenthood.” We struggled with people to understand the severity of the attacks on Planned Parenthood and the armed attack by this Christian fascist who opened fire on the center, as well as struggling to cohere those with their fists up and thumbs up and support to join and get into more about why this happened and how they and others can become activated and involved.

A woman in pink walked up and said over and over, “RIGHT ON! RIGHT ON! RIGHT ON!” She walked up to the banner “ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY!” and yelled, “RIGHT ON!” She walked up to the poster of Dr. David Gunn, who was an abortion doctor who was murdered, and said, “RIGHT ON!!” When asked to say something on the bullhorn, she took the mic and explained that she worked in an abortion clinic, and when Dr. David Gunn was murdered, she helped the operations of the clinic continue to provide the services that women needed.

Another woman was a pro-choice activist since the ’60s. She said she could tell you stories and stories of women who died from botched and illegal abortions before abortion was legal. She supported and cheered that we came together to respond to these recent attacks on Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics. She was visiting a friend in LA from Seattle and had just walked past us and felt compelled to talk to us. We handed her the pamphlet “A FETUS IS NOT A BABY” and pointed her toward StopPatriarchy.org and joining us to go to San Francisco on January 23 to counter-protest the March for “Life.”

For two hours we chanted “Without this basic right, women can’t be free, abortion on demand and without apology!” and “Fetuses are not babies, abortion is not murder, women are not incubators!” and put out that “Stop Patriarchy has called for this emergency response to the attacks on Planned Parenthood and the attacks on abortion clinics around the country and calling on people to join us to go to San Francisco to counter-protest the March for ‘Life.” We linked the shooting in Colorado Springs to the shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis, and linked the fight against women’s enslavement and degradation to the fight against police murder and terror. I was interviewed by CBS and talked about the emergency call by Sunsara Taylor for people to take to the streets and response to the attacks on Planned Parenthood and urgency to stop the war on women. On the bullhorn, I read a quote by Bob Avakian:

Unbelievable as it may seem, in the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children, regardless of the situation, the feelings, and the better judgment of those women themselves. That is a way of enslaving women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system; and that is what the cruel fanatics who are determined to deny women the right to abortion are really all about.

Seattle

From a member of Stop Patriarchy in Seattle:

We responded to Sunsara Taylor’s call for emergency protests against the Colorado Springs shooting attack on Planned Parenthood by quickly rearranging plans and hitting the streets in the middle of the busiest holiday shopping district in downtown Seattle. There were only two of us at first but it was well worth it. We reached many more by agitating, holding the orange Abortion on Demand and Without Apology signs, getting out stickers, and passing out flyers.

The response was somewhat contradictory; one person walked by us and yelled “murderers!” A man approached one of us in an intimidating manner as she was agitating, and another member intervened, calling him over and taking on his argument, which was that Dark Ages notion that women shouldn’t have sex if they aren’t ready for the “consequences.” He left quickly after we asserted that a baby is not a punishment for having sex. On the other hand, some people in line for the Christmas carousel clapped, raised their fists, and asked us for stickers. Two women who signed up with us are interested in going to San Francisco or Washington, DC. to stand up for abortion rights on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and join us in counter-protesting the March for “Life.” Other people seemed taken aback that we were so vocal, and I’m sure many of them were there to shop.

A few who stopped to talk hadn’t heard anything about the shooting, and most everyone that we talked to who had heard about it were not connecting it up to the war on women, and how that’s intensifying, in particular around abortion rights. One young man from Canada who I talked to as we were wrapping up asked me what people’s responses are like when we go out, and said, “It’s Seattle, things are OK here, right?” His eyes got wide with shock when I told him about being called murderers earlier in the day, and I laid out some of the scope and depth of the abortion rights emergency happening now.

A longtime supporter and donor to Stop Patriarchy who has a deep understanding of and outrage at Christian fascism ran into us and expressed how good it was to see us out there. He joined in on the spot. A family of six stopped to talk about how wrong this violent attack was and proudly posed with signs and stickers, the mother telling us: “I taught my kids that fetuses are not babies.”

Some press showed up and did a short interview that got printed online and shown on the local Fox News that night. From the article: “Some residents in Seattle felt the gunman’s actions were part of a growing assault on women’s rights. ‘What we do know is there has been an escalating war on women and escalating attacks on abortion rights, both legally and then in situations like this, extralegal violence. And all of this creates an atmosphere in which women are being forced into motherhood through denial of this basic and essential thing, abortion rights. If women can’t control their own reproduction they can’t control the course of their lives,’ said rally participant Andrea Strong.”

Cleveland

Cleveland, in solidarity with Planned Parenthood
Cleveland. Photo: Special to www.revcom.us

From a reader:

To be part of the day of solidarity with Planned Parenthood after the violent attack in Colorado Springs, a dozen people rallied near the Planned Parenthood office. We had Cleveland Revolution Club members out, Black activists, a man who works for Planned Parenthood in New York, Revolution paper sellers, and others who joined in. We were at a busy corner, some cars honked, people stopped, many saw the signs. We passed out the “Statement on the Violent Attack on Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood” from revcom.us. A young woman came up from Columbus and said, “I am against violence, I am pro-choice, it is about what Planned Parenthood provides.” The man who works for Planned Parenthood in New York City said, “No one is free until we are all free. I support allies of Planned Parenthood in a time of need, we need to reach across groups and get greater justice for all. It is ridiculous that Planned Parenthood has to be defended. Abortion is healthcare."

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/excerpts-of-revolution-and-religion-at-london-film-festival-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Excerpts of Revolution and Religion to be shown at a film festival of political documentary at Goldsmiths University in London on December 5

December 1, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Bob Avakian Institute is excited to announce the screening of excerpts of the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN as part of a film festival of political documentaries at Goldsmiths, University of London.

The festival runs from November 30—December 8. Revolution and Religion will be screened on Saturday, December 5, 12pm.

The film festival, titled “Films from the Underside” is being organized by Goldsmiths' Centre for Postcolonial Studies and will be showing documentaries from all over the world. The introduction to the festival's program explains: “the festival reflects the principles guiding the Centre’s intellectual activities, including its new MA in Politics, Development and the Global South: that politics must be conceived in its broadest sense, as an arena of social contestation, and not merely as electoral politics and the doings of the state; that to grasp contemporary politics, we need to start by ‘provincializing Europe’ and looking beyond its borders; and that the study of politics and society is inconceivable without a serious engagement with culture.”

For tickets and more information, go to the Festival's website here. To download the Festival program, go here.

Read about, and watch the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN here.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/outrageous-convictions-of-A14-defendants-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Outrageous Convictions of A14 Defendants!

“I am not gonna stop, because they’re the ones
that should be found guilty.  Not me!”

Deceber 1, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Thursday, November 19, three young revolutionaries were convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court of three misdemeanor charges each: being on railroad property without permission; disobeying a “lawful” order from a police officer; and blocking public access.  They were arrested on April 14, a national day of protest against police murder.  Their sentencing is scheduled to take place this Thursday, December 3.  The trials of seven other #April 14 protesters are scheduled to begin on December 11 on the same charges.

Los Angeles April 14

Los Angeles April 14, 2015.

These verdicts are outrageous, and completely unjust.  One of the three defendants, right after being found guilty, spoke with passion to the heart of this injustice:

I have not taken one life from anybody.  And these cops have killed more than 1,000 people in one year, and almost none have spent one day in court.  I’ve spent more time in jail than they have.  I have not taken anybody’s life, and yet I was found guilty.  I did nothing wrong.  And if they think I’m gonna stop because I was found guilty then they are fucking wrong.  I’m not gonna stop, because they are the ones that should be found guilty.  Not me! 

Police murderers are exonerated; protesting them is a crime

Murder by police in this country is an epidemic and is part of a genocide against Black people and horrific oppression of Latinos.  Yet time and time again, police get away with murder.  Eric Garner, father of six children and three grandchildren, strangled to death for selling loose cigarettes; Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old child in a park with a pellet gun, shot dead less than two seconds after cops drove up to the scene; “Brother Africa” in L.A.’s Skid Row, shot to death after being jumped on by half a dozen cops; Sandra Bland, stopped and arrested without cause in Texas, found dead while in custody two days later.  The list goes on and on, added to every day.  Very few of these killings lead to arrests, and even fewer lead to convictions.  When this does happen, it is only because of the kind of resistance that is being criminalized through these trials.

Importance of the April 14 actions to “Shut Down Business As Usual”

The April 14 protests that took place in over 30 cities across the country came at a crucial moment in the battle to Stop Police Murder.  Was the massive, unprecedented upsurge of thousands across the country that had been sparked by the actions of the “defiant ones” in Ferguson, Missouri, going to be smothered by the attacks, slanders, and calls to return to “calm” which had been this system’s response?  Or was this movement going to retake the offensive to stop these unending police killings, and at the same time advance the overall movement for an actual revolution in this country.  Those were the stakes.  In the face of all that, through the actions on April 14 in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and many other cities the door was kicked back open! 

In Los Angeles the protest began downtown with close to a thousand protesters, including hundreds of high school students who had walked out of several schools in the face of warnings and threats by school administrators and marched blocks and blocks to get to the rally in front of LAPD Headquarters!  As we wrote in summing up the April 14 protests around the country, “A major element—you could even say the driving force—in the success of A14 were the youth who are fed up with this and refuse to be bottled up, or put in the pen of protest-as-usual.”  This was definitely true in Los Angeles. 

When the march went through Skid Row and stopped at the site where “Brother Africa” had been murdered by the LAPD just six weeks earlier, many of the students were stunned and silent at seeing the way that tens of thousands of human beings are forced to live under this system.  The permitted march continued through downtown, stopping traffic and making drivers ask themselves “Which side are you on?”  A recently graduated African-American student, when he learned what the protest was about, parked his car, grabbed a sign, and joined the march! 

The protest eventually came to its scheduled rally site in the intersection with the street where the Blue Line train runs.  The remaining 100 to 200 protesters took over the intersection, with an hour left before the permit for the march and rally expired.  They marched a block along the tracks, up to the spot where a Blue Line train had stopped.  The police arrived in massive force; they arrested 14 protesters, charging them with blocking the train; they declared the protest an illegal assembly; and dispersed the crowd.

A politically motivated prosecution from start to finish

As part of the overall political repression against protests to stop police terror, the City Attorney piled on charges against these protesters—three misdemeanors for each defendant with a possible three years in jail.

Even before the trial started, the defendants and their supporters were harassed by the sheriffs and prevented from entering the courthouse wearing the “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” t-shirts.  Revolution newspapers and political literature were confiscated.  The sheriffs searched the backpack of another defendant and prevented her from getting to her own court appearance because she was carrying “prohibited literature”—palm cards promoting the Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West on Revolution and Religion.   After a lawyer made an argument to the judge, where he was facing potential contempt of court, the judge ruled the t-shirts would be allowed. 

The prosecutor assigned to the case specializes in political prosecutions.  She is reportedly handling all the cases of people arrested since the outbreak in Ferguson last November.  And this is the same prosecutor who went after the Occupy Los Angeles protesters arrested when Occupy was driven from their space in front of City Hall—including a photographer grabbed by cops from behind and thrown down a flight of stairs—leading to a $2.5 million settlement by the city for unlawful arrests. 

The jury was told by the judge and the prosecutor that while the case arose out of a protest against police murder, they were not to consider that fact in arriving at their verdict—even though the heart of the case was whether the state was going to get away with continuing to exonerate one police murderer after another, and punish those who were putting themselves on the line to challenge what has become “business as usual.”  Also, in the trial itself, the prosecutor brought in irrelevant political questions about whether people were with the so-called “Radical Communist Party” and asking what was meant by the t-shirt people were wearing: “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!”

Most significantly, one of the cops overall in charge of operations that day testified that a sergeant and four other officers were assigned to operate undercover from beginning to end—to “provide intelligence.”  He testified that he was constantly being updated by these undercover cops, informing how he made decisions.  But no reports by these undercover cops were ever provided to the defense, nor were their identities disclosed.  What they were reporting—and doing—from within the march, and how that affected what the police did that day, has yet to be revealed. 

The jurors were told that the LAPD was forced to call for a city-wide Tactical Alert.  This is outrageous!  The prosecutors painted those fighting for justice, unarmed and sitting on the ground, as more dangerous to the population than the LAPD who have killed more people this year than any other police force in the country. 
 
In her closing arguments, the prosecutor had the nerve to justify this despicable prosecution by pointing to Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, who she said were both willing to “suffer the consequences” when they broke the law.  She was telling the jury that the rule of law in this country—where it is deemed “justifiable” when police murder innocent people and wrong for people to protest this—should be tolerated and enforced.  This is itself a deep exposure of the actual role of the courts in defending the crimes of this system—justifying convictions in this case by pointing to previous courts that defended the horrors of legal segregation in the South against MLK’s fight to end them; and the ugly Apartheid system of racist South Africa that sent Mandela to prison for 27 years.   

The Jury Verdict Was Unjustified

Each of the defendants took the stand and spoke with heart and with clarity about the continuing killings by police.  One defendant told the whole story of what happened to Tamir Rice and talked about their own 12-year-old nephew.  They spoke about feeling a moral responsibility to put themselves on the line to stop this. 

In their closing arguments, all three defense attorneys gave moving and substantive tributes to the defendants; they talked about how honored they were to represent them; that they were doing something right—out in the streets protesting injustice—and that we need more of them.  They made the argument that the defendants should not be punished while police who consistently break the laws go unpunished.   Many of their supporters inside the courtroom were moved to tears.  One of the attorneys said that her client was giving voice to those who will not get to go home to their families.  Another said they should never have been arrested; “you can do something about stopping police killings by voting not guilty.” And that’s what the jury should have done. 

These defendants should never have been charged let alone convicted of any of the charges in this case.  And the jury had plenty of evidence to draw that same conclusion themselves.  Look at the way the laws are applied, over and over, when it is the brutality and killings by police that are called into question: Ezell Ford was murdered by the LAPD nearly 16 months ago; and it’s been six months since the Los Angeles Police Commission issued a ruling stating that one of the cops violated Ezell’s civil rights by stopping him—yet no charges have been filed.  The video of the killing of Brendon Glenn by LAPD seven months ago in Venice, California still has not been released, despite the chief of police himself saying after viewing it that he hadn’t seen any evidence that would justify this killing.  The video of the brutal beating of Clinton Alford by LAPD cops 14 months ago has still not been released.  And with the murder of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, they’ve only now pulled together a grand jury and are greasing the skids to exonerate the killer cop.

Yet those who protest this—with right on their side—are prosecuted.  Again, the question is posed: which side are you on?

Demand No Jail Time; and Drop the Charges on the Remaining Defendants!

The legal attacks on, and now the convictions of, the three April 14 protesters in Los Angeles, as well as the attacks and threatened prosecutions of demonstrators at other protests against police murders over the past year, are the real crimes that are being carried out—in order to protect the criminal system that needs the police to enforce their rule with such brutality and violence.  This is what is being resorted to and relied on in the face of the growing outrage and questioning of the legitimacy of a system that continues to exonerate killer cops.  We have to go on the political and legal offensive against these prosecutions and convictions—fighting this is an absolutely necessary part of STOPPING police terror. 

As a statement from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network LA against these charges and prosecutions says: “These arrests and prosecutions are meant to send a message of fear and intimidation to force people to accept the business as usual of murder and brutality by police; they are meant to send a message that ‘if you act in meaningful and determined political resistance, we will shut you down.’  Whether it be the tanks and tear gas in the streets of Ferguson, boycotts and bully threats aimed at silencing prominent voices who speak out or mass arrests in Baltimore, Los Angeles or New York, we will not accept this.”

NO JAIL TIME for the convicted defendants; 
DROP THE CHARGES on the remaining seven A14 defendants
and all those who are under attack for fighting to stop police terror!

What you can do:

  1. Sign and circulate this statement:
    http://riseupoctober.nationbuilder.com/its_right_to_protest_murder_by_police

  1. Call Judge David Fields at 213-628-7746 to demand no jail time for the convicted protestors. Send statements to stopmassincarcerationsocal@yahoo.com or call SMIN SoCal at 213-840-5348. Stop Mass Incarceration Network will forward the statements to Judge David Fields and to the City Attorney's Office.

  1. Pack the courtroom:
    Thursday, December 3 at 9:00am and Friday, December 11 at 8:30am. Criminal Court Building; 210 W. Temple St., downtown Los Angeles. December 3 is the sentencing hearing for the three convicted protestors. 7th Floor, Department 46. December 11 is the start of trial for the next set of April 14 protestors. 7th Floor, Department 56

  1. Contribute funds for the political and legal defense.
    Organize fundraising parties and activities. Send checks to Stop Mass Incarceration Network / AFGJ. In the memo line write: "Legal Defense - LA April 14 Protests." Send to:
    Stop Mass Incarceration Network
    PO Box 941, Knickerbocker Station
    New York City, NY 10002-0900

  1. Be part of building this political and legal defense!
    Contact:
    Stop Mass Incarceration Network, So Cal
    Phone: 213.840.5348
    Email: stopmassincarcerationsocal@yahoo.com

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/joe-veale-the-whole-damn-criminal-system-is-guilty-as-hell-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

The Whole Damn Criminal System is Guilty as Hell, Not the #A14 Protestors Who Stood Up Against It!

By Joe Veale and a member of the LA Revolution Club

December 1, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

As the imperialists—whom Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party has referred to as fouler, more monstrous criminals than mythology has ever invented or jails ever held—commit the most horrendous crimes against the people of the world, their system’s police, courts, and prisons work to keep the people they rule over “here at home” in control through murder and mass imprisonment. Millions are kept locked in their prisons, while their brutal murdering police routinely snuff the life out of an unarmed Black or Brown person. These monstrous crimes are not the problem, say the courts; it is the people who call them out as crimes.

On April 14, 2015 thousands of courageous people throughout the country took to the streets to protest police murder and brutality. They dared to expose the murdering, white supremacist nature of this system’s repressive forces after the powers that be had been working so hard to push resistance to their racist oppression back down since Ferguson had erupted a few months before. The protestors let society know that they weren’t going to let resistance just die down and allow murder after murder by police to become the new normal. People shut down freeways, blocked traffic, and stopped passenger trains by taking their protest to the railroad tracks. For this they are being dubbed criminals, they are being prosecuted and three have already been tried and convicted in Los Angeles (See, “No Jail Time for Political Resisters!: LA Fighters Against Police Terror on Why They Acted”)

The reality is that it is this whole system that is criminal, including the courts that enforce “the rule of law”, not the people standing up against it. Their courts almost never do anything about rampant police murder—and when they do it’s only because people go outside the "proper channels" and wage determined resistance—but they’ll prosecute people who stand on the railroad tracks, arms linked in righteous indignation and courageously call it out.

The #A14 protestors in Los Angeles have been prosecuted not for breaking the law, they’ve been prosecuted for taking a moral stand, for their courage, and for their willingness to go beyond the limits of normal protest that the real criminals find acceptable. The message that is being sent is, “We will continue to brutalize and murder people we have no use for under this system and anyone who refuses to accept this will suffer the consequences.”

Fuck that! We can’t let bullying murderers set the terms. Whoever you are, you must search your conscience and take a side. We can’t respond to the political persecution of #A14 protestors by cowering down and staying within the limits drawn for us by a system that carries out and justifies murder by its enforcers on a daily basis. We need to show no less courage than these freedom fighters who took a stand to say that murder by police must stop. We have to let all of society know how this system deals with people who speak out against its crimes and mobilize others to flood the courtrooms where they are being tried and sentenced, demand no jail time, and all charges dropped. If they want to jail anybody for committing crimes, than demand they jail the killer cops NOT the protestors. Check out, “It’s right to protest murder by police!: Oppose the Convictions of April 14 Protestors and Drop the Charges Against All Those Arrested for Protesting Police Terror." This movement needs YOU.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/point-of-orientation-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Point of Orientation on the Events in San Bernardino, California, December 2, 2015:

December 3, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

As we write this statement, the motivations behind the horrible killings of 14 people and injuring of 21 people in San Bernardino, California, are not yet clear. What is clear is that some political forces are using these murders to promote jingo-ist and chauvinist attitudes and policies, especially against Muslim people in general. In addition, there is the continual murderous aggression against countries in the Middle East carried out by the U.S. and other powers like France and Britain, and moves to “ramp that up.” 

Whatever the actual character of the events in San Bernardino turns out to be, such chauvinist attitudes and policies—as well as calls for greater surveillance and repression, which will inevitably be used against ALL political forces (as it recently was in France, when “emergency powers” were used to arrest and suppress people in the movement protesting the environmental plunder carried out by this system)—should be firmly opposed. 

As things become clearer, we may have more to say on various issues that may have been bound up with these murders. 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/184/Fred_Hampton-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

December 4 marks the 46th anniversary of the assasination of Fred Hampton, orchestrated by the FBI and carried out by the Chicago Police. We are reposting here for our readers an article originally posted in 2009.

December 1969: The FBI Assassination of Fred Hampton

"I AM... A REVOLUTIONARY!"

Photo: Paul Sequeira

December 4, 1969—40 years ago this week: Chicago police led by Cook County prosecutor Edward Hanrahan as part of an FBI Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) operation stormed into Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton's apartment. Armed with shotguns, handguns, and a .45 caliber machine gun, and guided by a floor plan of the apartment provided by an informant, the police killed Mark Clark and critically injured four other Panthers. They gunned their way through the apartment into Fred Hampton's bedroom. There he lay sleeping, having been drugged earlier by an FBI informant. As he lay there, the cops stood over him and put two bullets in his brain, at close range. Following this murderous attack—where the police fired nearly 100 rounds in the house and were completely uninjured themselves—Hanrahan brazenly lied that the police were under heavy fire from the Panthers.

The cops stood over Fred Hampton as he lay sleeping and put two bullets in his brain at close range. Above, Fred Hampton's bed after his murder.
Photo: Paul Sequeira

Among all the many thousands and thousands of actions that show why the Black Panther Party correctly dubbed the police "pigs," few compare to the viciousness and lies surrounding the assassination of Fred Hampton.

The media took up and spread these lies from the authorities as if they were the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But the Panthers in Chicago—still shocked and grieving from the terrible loss of their key leader, and with many of their core members now in jail—refused to give up. Instead, they turned to the people and mounted a defiant political counter-offensive. The Panthers organized "people's tours" of the apartment. Thousands came, first from the ghettos and then more broadly. Film crews and reporters were brought in. People saw with their own eyes. And the evidence was clear: All the bullet holes were coming in. The famous picture supplied by the authorities and run in the Chicago Tribune at the time, of a door supposedly riddled with bullets coming from the Panthers, was shown to be a door with nail holes.

Even mainstream commentators felt compelled to speak out. Hanrahan had claimed that it was only through the "grace of God" that his men escaped with scratches. Mike Royko, then a columnist at the Chicago Daily News—and no Panther supporter—wrote in response, "Indeed it does appear that miracles occurred. The Panthers' bullets must have dissolved into the air before they hit anybody or anything. Either that or the Panthers were shooting in the wrong direction—namely, at themselves." (Cited in The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther, page 102, by Jeffrey Haas, Lawrence Hill Books)

The Panthers' "people's tours" of Fred Hampton's apartment. Thousands came from the ghettos and beyond, film crews and reporters were brought in.

Fred Hampton was a 21-year-old leader of the Panthers who inspired all kinds of people to take up revolution. As Bob Avakian says in his memoir, "many people throughout the country had been moved by Fred Hampton and had made a leap in their revolutionary commitment because of his influence—the whole way in which, before he was killed, he boldly put forward: 'You can kill a revolutionary, but you can't kill the revolution.'" (From Ike to Mao... and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist, Insight Press).

In one short year from the founding of the Black Panther Party in Illinois to the time of Fred's murder, there was a transformation in the culture of society in Chicago. Based on the teachings of Mao Testung, the leader of the Chinese revolution, there was a "serve the people" ethos and culture the likes of which Chicago had not seen before. The Panthers set up free clinics in neighborhoods of the oppressed, where before health care had been virtually unavailable. The Black Panther newspaper was sold everywhere. Posters from the paper were used for political education sessions in the communities and on campuses. Former gangbangers and student intellectuals became revolutionaries. The culture was so widespread in Chicago that conductors on the el and subway trains would announce "All power to the people" when calling out the stops where revolutionaries were getting off the train.

Hampton's assassination was part of a broad campaign to smash the Black Panther Party and the burgeoning revolutionary movement that burst onto the scene in the 1960s. In September 1968, notorious FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover called the Panthers "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country," and by 1969 the Panthers were the number one target of the FBI's COINTELPRO operations, which included 233 different documented operations from assassinations like those of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, to attempts to turn street gangs against the Panthers, efforts to create divisions within the BPP, and setting up Panthers on false criminal charges. Hoover specifically aimed to prevent the rise of what he called "a Black messiah"—that is, he focused on taking out leaders and potential leaders of the masses. Revolutionaries like Malcolm X, George Jackson, Bunchy Carter and John Huggins in LA, and Fred Hampton were either directly murdered by the government, or set up. These were counter-revolutionary criminal acts—not only were innocent people murdered by the U.S. government, but the ability of the masses of people to raise their heads and liberate themselves was grievously set back.

People lined up for blocks outside funeral home to honor Fred Hampton.
Photo: Paul Sequeira

Fred Hampton drew forward the best from among all these sections of the people, inspiring them with a revolutionary vision and calling on them to rise to being revolutionaries. And many thousands heeded the call. His famous chant "I am...a revolutionary" was transformative, as people would take it up, thinking seriously as they did so about what they were committing their lives to when they said it.

Leadership is critical to making revolution. Although revolutionary leaders like Fred Hampton were taken from the people, and others capitulated to capitalism and gave up on revolution, the spirit of devoting your life to making revolution and doing all you can to hasten the day when revolution can be made still lives—most of all in the leadership being given today by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the RCP, who worked and struggled closely with the Black Panther Party when it was the most advanced revolutionary force in the U.S. The possibility for revolution, right here in the belly of the beast of U.S. imperialism as well as around the world, is greatly heightened because of the leadership of Bob Avakian and the RCP.

Humanity still cries out for the revolution that Fred Hampton devoted his life to. As the Constitution of the RCP says: "The emancipation of all humanity: this, and nothing less than this, is our goal. There is no greater cause, no greater purpose to which to dedicate our lives."

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/415/chicago-rcp-statement-mccarthy-fired-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

From the Revolutionary Communist Party, Chicago branch:

McCarthy fired. Now Indict EVERYONE who is part of the CONSPIRACY to cover up Laquan’s officially-sanctioned MURDER!
POLICE MURDER AND TERROR MUST STOP!
The whole damn system is guilty as hell. We Need an ACTUAL REVOLUTION!

December 4, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

For days there has been national outrage and spreading anger and protest in Chicago over the police murder captured on video of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014. Laquan was gunned down in the street worse than a dog. Demonstrations have been rocking Chicago, especially the shutting down of N. Michigan Avenue and major stores on Black Friday.  (See below for upcoming protests).

Download and spread (PDF)

Every day more comes to light about the cover-up by police that started right from the start...surveillance video and dash cam audio disappear...eight other police, none spoke up....lies spread through the media that Laquan lunged at the cops...hush money...400 days of cover-up.

In the face of all this, Mayor Emanuel did an about face from having complete confidence in police superintendent McCarthy to firing him. Yes, McCarthy has presided over and covered up the crimes committed by the police department and he should have been indicted. But let’s be clear, the whole damn system is guilty as hell. The powers that be are scared and maneuvering to contain the outrage, limit how much more about police murder and brutality comes out and quell questioning of the legitimacy of the police’s use of force against oppressed communities. The representatives of this system have backed up an inch...this is not a time to let up, but to take the resistance broader, deeper and to a more determined level as we continue to debate what is the problem and what after all is the solution to the hundreds of years of the oppression of black people and the other crimes of this system. 

Besides firing McCarthy, Emanuel created a task force to “study the problem.” Who is heading up the task force? The current head of the Police Board!!

This is your answer? Really? NAH. We are not fools. We aren’t having it.

Here is a just demand: EVERY SINGLE PERSON involved in Laquan’s murder and the cover-up should be indicted and prosecuted. EVERY SINGLE COP involved in the police murders and cover-ups of a long list of other people, like Ronnie Johnson or Roshad McIntosh, Darius Pinex, Dakota Bright or Martice Milner should ALL be indicted. There is no statute of limitations on murder. The list is long and the crimes are many.

Our demand is simple: Stop police terror. And we want to know—which side are you on?

The murder of Laquan McDonald and then the ongoing cover-up was not a one-time horrific act. Every day there is more news about just a small fraction of other cases of police murder and brutality of people in Chicago. It should not need saying after the past year, but it does—it is not that police in Chicago are more brutal, more corrupt or have a more engrained white supremacist culture than other cities big and small across the U.S. Ferguson and Baltimore, Minneapolis and Madison, New York and Los Angeles, Albuquerque and Pasco, WA....and many other cities. All these cities have been rocked by protests against police murdering people in this past year because there is a nationwide epidemic of police murder and terror.

This is the nature and role of the police in modern day America. As the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian says, “The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people....” (BAsics 1:24)

This is not going to be fixed by some puny reforms like more cameras (Laquan’s murder was caught on camera!), more Black cops (like commander Evans!), independent prosecutors (Wisconsin’s independent prosecutor let the police who killed Dontre Hamilton and Tony Robinson off!), community review (NY City has this and Eric Garner was choked to death on camera and his police killers exonerated).

Further, let’s be blunt since a lot of people are calling for Federal investigations: there is NO JUSTICE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. Ask the families of Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Nicholas Heyward, or Trayvon Martin or Mike Brown. None have seen justice. Why is it you cannot name one case where the federal government has convicted a cop for killing someone. So stop kidding yourself about saviors from the Department of Justice coming to the rescue.

It is up to us. It is on us to spread, deepen and broaden the resistance to police murder and demand it stop. Why do you think the city was so afraid to release the video of Laquan’s murder? It wasn’t just Chicago politics. It was Ferguson and the uproar in the country over the police murder of Mike Brown and their worry that Chicago would erupt with a fury that surpassed Ferguson and Baltimore. The fact that in Ferguson, defiant ones from rival gangs set aside their beefing with each other and stood up, together with many others from the community – and said we aren’t taking this anymore. They braved tanks, National Guard, massive arrests, tear gas and more. Their standing up won support for the justness of their cause from many artists, students, community people and people of all nationalities who themselves are not directly feeling the boot of the police but do not want to live in a society where this happens to people because of the color of their skin.

Again, this system is guilty as hell. This system has a name. It is a system of capitalism-imperialism that has murdered Black people, Latino, Native Americans and other oppressed people since the day of its founding. As Carl Dix (a co-founder of Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Rise Up October and a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party) put it in his statement on Laquan’s murder:

We need a revolution to deal with this, and the path to that revolution has been charted by Bob Avakian and is being hastened every day by the party he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party. And right now, everyone who wants change... everyone who wants freedom... everyone who wants justice... everyone who is willing to say that these are OUR youth and the murder must stop—needs to do two things.

One, be out there on Friday demanding that MURDER AND TERROR BY THE POLICE MUST STOP! Take defiant and determined action to make clear to everyone, all around the world that killer cops like the one who wantonly stole Laquan McDonald’s life must all be indicted, convicted, and sent to jail. Jason Van Dyke, the pig who murdered Laquan, had many, many complaints for excessive force and using the “n” word. Yet he still marauded through Black and Brown neighborhoods with a badge and gun and a license to kill, as long as he said the magic words that killer cops always use—“I feared for my life.”

And two, go to the web site www.revcom.us and find out more about Bob Avakian and the revolution we need. Everybody, every group and every person that opposes this kind of madness, that wants a better future for the youth, should be reached with this statement. And they should get with the movement for revolution the RCP is building and Fight the Power, and Transform the People, For Revolution!

We support the call from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network:
 
’Tis the season to be defiant. Stop police murder. Justice for Laquan
Saturday, December 5 at State and Jackson in Chicago at noon
Wednesday, December 9, Chicago City Council meeting, 10 am, City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, Chicago

Revolutionary Communist Party, Chicago branch

For more information and showings of film of a talk by Bob Avakian, BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less! call: 773-489-0930

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/416/bob-avakian-on-the-two-historically-outmodeds-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

From Bringing Forward Another Way:

Bob Avakian on the Two "Historically Outmodeds"

December 4, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Foward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters, in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

Read the full talk | Download PDF

The following is from Bob Avakian’s work Bringing Forward Another Way, March-September 2007.

 

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system, and in particular the U.S. imperialists...

It is interesting, I recently heard about a comment that someone made relating to this, which I do think is correct and getting at something important. In relation to these “two historically outmodeds,” they made the point: “You could say that the Islamic fundamentalist forces in the world would be largely dormant if it weren’t for what the U.S. and its allies have done and are doing in the world—but you cannot say the opposite.” There is profound truth captured in that statement.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/416/further-points-of-orientation-on-killings-in-san-bernardino-and-aftermath-en.html

Revolution #415 November 30, 2015

Further Points of Orientation on the Killings in San Bernardino and Their Aftermath

December 4, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Editor’s note: The following updates and supplements the posting “Point of Orientation on the Events in San Bernardino, California,” posted December 3, 2015 at revcom.us.

 

1) As we emphasized in the immediate wake of the killings, the murders of 14 people at a holiday social event for environmental health inspectors in San Bernardino, California, and the injuries to 21 more, are a terrible outrage. They were men and women, with a wide range of backgrounds, interests, outlooks, and of many different nationalities―including people who immigrated to the U.S. from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. There can be no justification for targeting these people. Their deaths, whatever the motives behind the killing, are a terrible crime and a painful tragedy.

At the same time, pain and outrage are being channeled by the powers-that-be and their politicians and media to train people to see the world through a grossly warped lens. The killings in San Bernardino are being used to enlist people behind an agenda that will escalate the cycle of death and terror in the world. In the name of “safety,” people are being whipped up into xenophobia (irrational fear and hatred of “outsiders” including people from other countries) aimed especially at Muslims, paranoia, and a program of repression that actually makes people here and around the world much less safe.

People are being trained to see only American lives as being precious, when in reality, American lives are not more important than other people’s lives. The million plus people who died as a result of the U.S invasion of Iraq; the people killed by an ISIS bomb attack in Beirut, Lebanon; the people who died when U.S.-ally Saudi Arabia bombed a hospital in Yemen; the people being tortured for years in Guantánamo... these were human beings too!

2) And people are being trained to look at the world from this incident out, instead of seeing what happened in San Bernardino as a manifestation―in some form―of a global phenomenon that has fueled that death and terror. The global conflict that this incident appears―in one way or another―to have been shaped by brings death by drone, torture, assassination, invasion, and massacres to a wide swath of the world on a daily basis. This global dynamic is best understood and defined in the following quote from Bob Avakian:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “‘historically outmodeds’” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the "historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system," and in particular the U.S. imperialists...

It is interesting, I recently heard about a comment that someone made relating to this, which I do think is correct and getting at something important. In relation to these “two historically outmodeds,” they made the point: “You could say that the Islamic fundamentalist forces in the world would be largely dormant if it weren’t for what the U.S. and its allies have done and are doing in the world—but you cannot say the opposite.” There is profound truth captured in that statement.

(From Bringing Forward Another Way)

3) In the way supposed “evidence” from the killings is being trickled out, people are being trained to suspend critical thinking and put sheep-like faith in the powers-that-be. For example, a deleted Facebook page that nobody can see is being cited as evidence of motive. And what is supposed to be a critical crime scene was not secured by law enforcement authorities, but instead opened up to reporters who trampled the entire scene and corrupted any possible evidence on the site.

4) Within all this, different sections of the ruling class and their political representatives are spinning this incident in their own interests and with their own conflicting agendas. But while there are sharp conflicts within the ruling class, they are over how―not whether or not―to maintain the U.S. empire of exploitation and oppression, and how to enforce their rule in the “homeland.” None of them even claim to represent the interests of humanity.

5) There is a way out! There is a viable and visionary alternative to, and strategy to break out of this deadly dynamic, and into a world where people can dream and breathe. That way out is being led by Bob Avakian, and the Revolutionary Communist Party, which he leads. This is a movement for revolution aimed at getting to a world without any exploitation and oppression, and the horrible conflict and bloodshed that is a product of, and enforces exploitation and oppression.

6) As part of fighting to break out of the terrible “choices” of Western imperialism or Islamic Jihad, and for everyone with a conscience: there needs to be a visible spirit of looking at the world from the interests of humanity. People in this country need to resist the crimes of “our” government, and support people around the world who oppose both the U.S. empire and Islamic Jihad (for more on what that means, see “Why We Should NOT Root for Our Own Rulers... And Why It’s Better If They LOSE Their Wars” by Larry Everest at revcom.us).

Critical to breaking out of the disastrous cycle of escalating death and terror: It must become clear to the world that millions of people in the U.S. do not accept the actions and crimes of “our” government, however they are “justified,” that ratchet up intolerance and repression at home, and a cycle of death and terror in the world. Millions need to visibly manifest that these actions are not being carried out in our name.