Revolution #435, April 18, 2016 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/431/a-basic-point-of-orientation-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

A Basic Point of Orientation:

In Answer to the Question
"Who are you to say what the masses of people need?"

March 23, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Download PDF

We are people who represent, on a scientific basis, the fundamental interests of the masses of humanity, the great majority of the 7 billion people on this planet; who understand what the problem and the solution is to the situation that faces the masses of humanity; and who have taken on the responsibility of leading people to fight to bring about, through revolution, the solution that is urgently needed.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/avakian/ba-on-free-elections-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

So long as human society is divided into different classes of people, there is, and there can be, no such thing as a "free election," in the sense that no group in society has a greater influence than others on elections and in general on political decision-making. In a world of this kind, one group in society—fundamentally representing a ruling class of one kind or another—will always have greater influence than the rest of the people. Only when we get to a communist world—without class divisions, and without oppressive social relations and social antagonisms—will this no longer be the case; and then elections will not have the same character and the same role as they do now.

All this is very much bound up with the following "three sentences" on democracy and class rule:

In a world marked by profound class divisions and social inequality, to talk about "democracy"—without talking about the class nature of that democracy and which class it serves—is meaningless, and worse. So long as society is divided into classes, there can be no "democracy for all": one class or another will rule, and it will uphold and promote that kind of democracy which serves its interests and goals. The question is: which class will rule and whether its rule, and its system of democracy, will serve the continuation, or the eventual abolition, of class divisions and the corresponding relations of exploitation, oppression and inequality.

Bob Avakian
Chairman, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/435/chicago-eight-years-later-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

Chicago Eight Years Later:
If You Think Voting Solves a Single Goddamn Thing, Look at Obama's Home Base and Tell Us Why...

April 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

BA on elections

 

Pierre Loury
Pierre Loury

May 6, 2015, victims of police torture under the command of retired Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, at the Chicago City Council.May 6, 2015, victims of police torture under the command of retired Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, at the Chicago City Council. Some victims spent decades in prison after confessing to crimes they did not commit. (AP photo)

Chicago State students and supporters shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway to protest the closing of their school.
January 28, 2016, Chicago State students and supporters shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway to protest the closing of their school. Photo: YouTube

If you think voting can change a single goddamn thing, look at what went down last week in Obama’s home base, Chicago. Then tell us why voting for anyone else is going to change anything.

Obama has done little or nothing about any of this. Angela Davis told you that Obama’s election was a “victory, not of an individual, but of ... people who refused to believe that it was impossible to elect a person, a Black person, who identified with the Black radical tradition.” All that did was set you up for another eight years of horrors.

Some of those who promised you “change” say: Well, see, Obama, or whoever, can’t do it all alone, we have to pressure “the system”—as if you can make this system work in the interests of the very people it eats up. That’s a lie too—as we insisted, pretty much alone, eight years ago: the fact is, "pressure from below” or not—Obama couldn’t bring about any real change even if he tried, and he wasn’t intending to in any case. Why? Because it IS a system—the system of capitalism-imperialism—and that has real meaning. You can’t get justice out of this system by voting. And it’s not just a waste of time, it’s harmful to try. If you play that game, it makes you complicit of the crimes of the system. Wake the fuck up, admit it, and act accordingly.

Eight years ago, when almost everyone else was drinking the Obama-lade—the Revolutionary Communist Party fought with you to confront the reality that this system’s elections wouldn’t and couldn’t change things. And what WE were saying about elections eight years ago is just as true today, and in some ways even more apparent.

Humanity can get beyond all this. None of these outrages are necessary. But NOTHING is going to change under this system.

Revolution CAN bring about a whole new, and much better, way of organizing society. Here’s the reality:

  1. This system of capitalism-imperialism cannot bring any justice and must be overthrown and replaced with something far better—a socialist society on the way to communism.
  2. This IS possible, but it will require us to be very scientific to identify and take advantage of the weaknesses of this system and to develop the potential strengths of the people.
  3. We have a leader, Bob Avakian, who has developed the new synthesis of communism that has taken the science of revolution and emancipation to another level, and following THIS leadership—and REJECTING the Obamas, Sanderses, and Clintons of the world—is what is needed.

 

 


 

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Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

One Week in April... Three Reasons Why Fundamentalist Islamic Jihad Is NOT Radical—and Is DEFINITELY NOT a Real Answer to Oppression

April 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Forward 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 rulers of this capitalist-imperialist system—built on slavery and genocide, operating through vicious exploitation, and perpetuated through unjust wars—declare they bring freedom and progress to the world. They proclaim themselves liberators of women while they enslave half of humanity in a world of sweatshops, forced motherhood (through denial of abortion or other forms of birth control), degrading pornography, and systematic sexual violence and rape. They brand themselves as champions of enlightenment while imposing forced ignorance on the oppressed.

Fundamentalist Islamic jihad poses as an answer to this, one that is lashing back with a vengeance. But look at the reality: In one week in April...

April 13—video emerged of 15 of the young women students kidnapped by Boko Haram while they were taking a physics exam. Two years ago, Boko Haram kidnapped over 300 (276 still in captivity) young women at a school in Northern Nigeria, part of their campaign against women learning science. Since then, hundreds of other women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram. They have been imprisoned, sold as wives against their will, raped, and sometimes forced to bear the children of their rapists.

What does that serve? The subjugation of women arose with and serves modes of production—ways of organizing how the things people need to survive are produced and distributed—where the wealth of society is violently appropriated by a few from the many. Defining women as property of men, and violently enforcing that, is necessary for the stability and functioning of societies based on exploitation. Fundamentalist Islamic jihad imposes old forms of enslaving women as an “alternative” to new forms of enslaving women. That isn’t radical. That doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Tightening the chains of women’s oppression reinforces all the chains of oppression.

But the world could be a whole other way. Read this.

* * *

April 7, during a raid near Damascus, Syria, ISIS kidnapped hundreds of workers at a cement factory. They publicly murdered those who were Druze—followers of a different religion.

What is radical about this? Everywhere you turn in this imperialist world, one country, nationality, religion, or “race” is oppressing another. And capitalism-imperialism drives the oppressed to kill each other—from the prisons and inner cities of the USA, to the sectarian slaughters in the Middle East.

Does fundamentalist Islamic jihad contribute to oppressed people coming together to throw off the divisions this system imposes and emancipate humanity? Just the opposite: fundamentalist Islamic jihad carries out religiously “justified” ethnic cleansing, fanning the flames of divisions that serve oppression.

But the world could be a whole other way. Read this.

* * *

In the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, on April 6, Mohammad Nazim Uddin, a law student who frequently posted his atheist views on social media, was publicly attacked and murdered by men who, according to witnesses, shouted “Allah is great!” as they rode off. Fundamentalist Islamic jihad insists on, and enforces with violence and law when they can, fundamentalist Islam as their brand of ignorance, superstition, and Dark Ages mentality. They fear the unfettered search for the truth.

No to the US, No to fundamentalist Islamic jihad

What is radical about this? Under capitalism, science and truth get distorted and twisted, reduced to what is useful in the mad drive for profit. When ideas and discoveries come forward that challenge the legitimacy of the rule of capital or would get in the way of how capitalism functions, these ideas and the people putting them forward get marginalized, mocked, and suppressed, even violently at times.

Who and what does it serve when fundamentalist jihadists terrorize and kill atheists and others who challenge notions that this world of oppression was mandated by “god”? It serves keeping the world as it is. Fundamentalist Islamic jihad is just another force crushing people’s ability to understand and change the world.

But the world could be a whole other way. Read this.

* * *

Fundamentalist Islamic jihad is not in any way an answer to the madness of imperialism. It does not and cannot contribute in any way to humanity getting free of the long night of societies divided into masters and slaves, oppressor and oppressed nations, exploiters and exploited, shrouded in ignorance and superstition. These so-called “radicals” are nothing but wannabe exploiters and oppressors—small-time slavers fighting to get in on the plunder, not to end it—and using horrific oppression all dressed up with religious mystification to cover it over.

NO ONE should want any of this.

There is something else that actually is a radical alternative, another way this world could be—through an ACTUAL REVOLUTION—COMMUNIST REVOLUTION. This answer is found right here.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/435/celebrate-may-1-2016-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

Celebrate May 1, 2016!

Get Organized for an Actual Revolution
Get Ready to Bring This System DOWN...
And Bring Something Much Better Into Being

Prepare the ground, prepare the people, and
prepare the vanguard—get ready for the time
when millions can be led to go for revolution,
all-out, with a real chance to win.

 

On the weekend of May 1, the movement for revolution should celebrate this holiday with revolutionary internationalist dinners. These celebrations should have international dishes and international culture. They should be occasions to bring together people of different backgrounds, ages, and nationalities in the spirit of the liberating struggle to emancipate all of humanity—and inspire and challenge people to get into Bob Avakian and his work, and grasp what a tremendous thing it is for the people of the world to have this leader and the new synthesis of communism that he has brought forward.

As part of the celebrations, there could be dramatic readings of excerpts from BA's new work, The Science, The Strategy, The Leadership For An Actual Revolution, And A Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation. (Excerpts and the whole work are online at www.revcom.us.) And there could be clips shown from one or more of four important films: BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!; REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian; Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About (which is also available in Spanish); Stepping into the Future: On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics: A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World.

On the days before the celebrations, we encourage readers to make special efforts to get out among the people to raise money for the BA Everywhere fundraising campaign, build for the May 1 dinners, and get out this issue of Revolution newspaper.

We Refuse to Accept Slavery in Any Form Here and Around the World!

DONATE to the
BA Everywhere Campaign!

Click Here

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/435/a-world-of-refugees-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

A World of Refugees, Imperialism, and Borders:
Intolerable and Unnecessary

April 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A food distribution center in Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp complex, the world's largest.
A food distribution center in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp complex, the world’s largest.  Built for 90,000, it now holds some 330,000 refugees, most from war-ravaged Somalia.  Some have been there more than 20 years. (AP photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

Migrants in Idomeni clashed with police, April 7
Migrants in Idomeni clashed with police when they tried to tear down a section of border fence between Greece and Macedonia and escape to Europe, April 7, 2016. (AP photo/Amel Emric)

Today a flood of humanity—some 42,500 every single day on average—are being forced to flee for their lives from war, terror, and persecution. This deluge of displacement has reached 60 million people. That’s one out of every 122 people on Earth—more than ever recorded, even during World War 2. Millions are now desperately trying to find shelter in Europe, where one million landed last year alone.

What do the overwhelming majority of these refugees—the 12 million Syrians, nearly four million Afghans, some five million Iraqis, and 15 million from Sub-Saharan Africa—have in common? They’re escaping regions long dominated by Western colonialism and imperialism—especially Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Why? Because imperialism has made life hell, through decade after decade of exploitation and plunder, of backing despots, and now more than 15 years of bombs and war, which have killed millions and fanned the flames of reactionary Islamic jihadist terror, which has created its own nightmares for the people.

And what is the response of European powers (and the U.S. in its own way) that got rich off robbing and exploiting these areas and created this nightmare? To slam the door shut with walls, barbed wire, armed guards, and now deportations to the brutally repressive state of Turkey.

The predator powers who rampage across the globe bombing, murdering, and exploiting complain that this flood of humanity is "illegally crossing their borders." But what’s sacred about their borders? Nothing. They arose and reflect the division of humanity into masters and slaves, oppressor and oppressed classes. In Europe they largely emerged from the rise of capitalism, etched through wars and mass carnage. In the colonized world, these borders have most often been drawn by the colonial powers to divide the spoils and maintain their control.

All this is intolerable and unnecessary. It cries out for a revolution to bring into being a much better system whose ultimate goal is communism--a world without division of humanity into classes, without oppressive social relations, and without borders.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/433/if-you-re-into-bernie-sanders-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

The following article appeared at revcom.us in April, during the build-up to the Democratic National Convention. We are reposting it in light of developments inside, and outside the Democratic Convention.

If You're into Bernie Sanders...

by Lenny Wolff | April 4, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

...it’s not hard to see why.

You listened and agreed when Sanders decried the outrageous and grinding inequalities that mark U.S. society. Same when he went after the ruthless way that tens of millions have been locked out of basic necessities like housing, health care, decent jobs, and education. Or when he talked about the tens of millions more who had been taught to expect a better life—and now find themselves in a cycle of huge debt and utter uncertainty about the future.

You nod when Sanders proclaims the mass incarceration of Black and Latino youth to be intolerable, and calls for an end to the war on drugs. And you know that Hillary Clinton and all the rest were neck-deep in that horror till people began rising up. Sanders talks about the need to overcome the oppression of women, gay people, and immigrants, and you feel all that, too. When he attacks the other candidates for having supported destructive wars against other countries and people, and he calls for a different relationship to the environment and goes after the fossil fuel industry—that hits you, too.

More. He says “the system is rigged” in favor of the super-rich. He points the finger at “Wall Street and the billionaire class” and says “they can’t have it all.” He goes after “the 1%” and counts it a badge of honor that the bankers have never asked him to give a speech, let alone throw the money at him like they do at Clinton or Ted Cruz. He says that we need a revolution and that all real change comes from ordinary people banding together and saying “no more.” Sometimes he even talks about “socialism.” When he says “future to believe in,” well, you want that, too—it’s not an exaggeration to say that most of your friends are terrorized when they even think about the shit going on and what the future holds. Sanders says it in a way that seems direct and honest, and seems to be about uniting people and not dividing them.

And then there’s the answer: vote for Sanders. Give some money, and then vote and get others to vote. It sounds almost easy: a revolution with no real upheaval, no real battle, no real sacrifice. Even those who say that the Sanders campaign is a way to build toward a movement that would be full of upheaval and struggle—and we’ll return to just what kind of movement that would be a little later—still find themselves seduced by the ease of a “jump-start” off elections.

Now if you think about that for a minute, you might say a “just add water” shortcut approach to revolution is a bit of a contradiction. And you’d be right. If you are one of those people drawn to the Sanders campaign because you feel deeply that the old ways are working against people and we badly need something new, then you’ve got the responsibility to ask yourself whether this really IS what’s needed.

To be clear: We’re not about to tell you to lower your sights, or to “be realistic” in the nay-saying way that just means to go along with the status quo and do what you can on the margins. You probably get enough of that from the Clinton people and your parents. And we’re not gonna tell you to give up your principles—we’re gonna tell you to be true to the best of your convictions and to seriously dig into what it would take to bring about a world in which seven billion humans could flourish. To raise your sights to that.

But first we have to talk about Bernie.

How Bernie Sanders Defines the Problem

Let’s begin with how Bernie Sanders defines the source of the horrible situation we face. Sanders sees this as principally a problem of the super-rich “rigging the system,” but not the system itself. He bitterly attacks Wall Street and says “it can’t have it all”—but he never mentions the word “capitalism.” Wall Street is just a manifestation of the economic and political system of capitalism-imperialism. It’s a symptom, not the disease.

So, what is capitalism? First of all, it’s a whole “mode of production”—that is, the whole set of ways people must relate in order to produce the necessities of life. Like any other system, it’s got rules. Capitalism means that a relative handful of private individuals and blocs of capital own, control, and dominate the wealth that is socially produced by billions around the world. Capitalism means a system where that small class uses their ownership of the means to produce wealth to compel others to work for them. That relationship—that exploitation—is the fundamental source of the huge amounts of wealth concentrated in individual hands. Capitalism means that the capitalists compete with each other to maximize profit in a deadly game of “expand or die.” If you don’t exploit to the fullest, if you don’t constantly search out how to get more, sooner or later—and usually sooner—you will go under. Capitalism leads to huge wealth at one pole and tremendous immiseration on the other—independent of the intentions of any individual capitalist or group of capitalists. And this gets reflected—and it must get reflected—in the power relations in every single sphere of society.

The problem is not that the system is rigged; the problem is the system itself. In defining the problem as he does, Sanders points to the symptoms of the disease but refuses to name the disease itself.

Bernie Sanders and Empire

Girl in India, US troops in Afghanistan
Left: A girl in India. Background: U.S. troops on patrol in Afghanistan. Photos: AP

Sanders likes to talk about the time when poor immigrants like his parents were able to have a decent life. True, there was a time when, on the basis of dominating and plundering the entire world, the U.S. was able to provide a secure standard of living for a relatively broad section of people. That time—which again was based on a global reign of terror, stretching from Iran to Vietnam to South Africa to the Middle East and Latin America and costing the lives of millions of people—is gone, both because people fought back but even more so because other capitalist-imperialist powers came up to challenge the U.S., as well as reasons having to do with globalization, etc. And nobody should shed any tears over its demise, either. To be clear, the U.S. still tries to run roughshod over the world, still plunders the people and environment all over Africa, Asia, and Latin America. But they cannot provide the same crumbs to the “home population.”

That leads to a second huge and related problem with Sanders. Bernie Sanders has at best a blind spot toward the very towering injustice that makes both the flagrant parasitism he decries and the dream of redistributing those spoils even possible. Sanders compares the U.S. unfavorably to other “major countries” in measurements of citizens’ well-being. But he never says how these “major countries” got to be “major.” He can’t bring himself to say the “I” word—imperialism. He conceals the most profound division in the world today—the division between imperialist and oppressed nations. The only time Sanders really mentions these nations, which contain the vast majority of the seven billion people on this planet, is as destinations for what he calls “American jobs.” Well, there are no “American jobs”—there is a worldwide system of exploitation in which capital flows, and must flow, to where the maximum profit can be made and which exploits people in those areas.

Let’s be clear here: millions of children every year—millions—die from preventable disease and malnutrition in Africa, in Asia, in Latin America. Millions today are fleeing imperialist military invasions, economic devastation and looting, and ecological catastrophe. These outrages are neither accidental nor necessary—they are products of the ways in which the imperialist, or in Bernie Sanders’ parlance, the “major,” countries plunder and fight to dominate the vast majority of the world. And Sanders really says nothing about this. More: quiet as it’s kept, his whole program of taxing the super-rich depends on these super-rich still being super-rich... which is only possible on the basis of this plunder and immiseration. (By the way, these so-called model northern European countries—the examples of the so-called socialism that Sanders talks about—not only partake in this plunder, they distinguish themselves by their heartless attitude toward the refugees they’ve helped to create.)

American lives are NOT more important than other people's lives

Yes, compared to the other candidates, Sanders is not an outright warmonger and he did vote against the invasion of Iraq. But press him, and Bernie Sanders makes very clear that he is about maintaining a “strong military”—a military whose basic function is to ensure the continuation of that division into oppressor and oppressed nations and the continuation of America’s status vis-à-vis the other powers. When push comes to shove—as it did with Israel’s invasion of Gaza—Sanders supports imperialist aggression.

In short, the program put forth by Sanders would leave untouched the most towering and fundamental injustices in the world. And, really, let’s tell the truth here: Bernie Sanders’ campaign is training people to see everything from the standpoint of “what’s good for Americans” and NOT what’s good for humanity. There is a very ugly, if unspoken, chauvinism at the heart of his campaign. The trappings are different from Trump and Cruz, and even Clinton, but at the end of the day, the effect is the same.

Third, Sanders points to the racism, the oppression of women, the bitter exploitation and persecution of immigrants, and the destruction of the environment. He will change these, he says. But he does not actually get to the ways in which these people-mutilating horrors have been woven and structured into the capitalist-imperialist mode of production. Getting rid of these whole interknit systems of oppression is not as simple as a few reforms—it will require tearing up the roots of these institutions through revolution to get rid of capitalism and all the institutions and ideas which reinforce it. How can anyone and why should anyone take him at all seriously on this?

Bernie Sanders and the Myth of Peaceful Change

Because Sanders so badly misdiagnoses the problem, his solution is not really a solution. It’s a trap. Let’s just suppose for a minute that Sanders did get elected and suppose somehow he could implement his program. Very quickly, those with investment capital would feel that “the climate was unfavorable,” that American capital was being put at a disadvantage. Money for investment would flow out of the U.S. at an even more accelerated rate, searching for higher profits. Not mainly because the capitalists would be rigging the system, and not mainly because of their greed. No. The main reason that they would have to do this is the expand-or-die compulsion at the heart of the system. Before long they would present Sanders with an ultimatum—either change the policy or else.

But suppose Sanders defied this edict. First, capital would in fact flow out of the U.S. and the economy would be devastated. But much more likely would be that the real power of the capitalist state—concentrated in the courts and the military/police forces, with their power of violent suppression—would move against him, in different ways. Sanders himself may not be “in the pocket” of this or that bloc of capitalists in precisely the same overt way as Clinton is. But even with a “President Sanders,” the capitalists as a class will still control both the levers of production and the state apparatus of violent suppression, and on that basis will present Sanders with “an offer he can’t refuse.”

If you were “President Sanders” at that point, either you would fold or you would have to lead people into a battle which you haven’t prepared them for. This is what has happened in many countries where people tried this path of seemingly “painless progress.” People in Chile tried this path in the early 1970s, electing an avowedly socialist president, Salvador Allende. Allende tried to carry out a moderate program of reform and adopted a different policy toward the Soviet Union (which was the chief rival of the U.S. at the time). By 1973, the U.S. orchestrated a military coup in which thousands, including Allende, were slaughtered. People in Greece tried this just last year, where the Sanders-like “anti-austerity” Syriza government ended up caving in to all the demands of the dominant European imperialist powers.

The fact that this would be true in a situation where the only thing at stake would be an effort to make some reforms makes doubly clear that unless and until the instruments of violent suppression of the capitalist class are defeated and dismantled, there can be no liberation. Conversely, so long as those instruments continue to exist, the masses of people will be at the mercy of the capitalist ruling class. The overthrow of this power of violent suppression is at the very heart of any real revolution.

So What DO We Do?

Revolution Club, New York City
Revolution Club, October 24, 2015, New York City. Photo: Alex Seel

Right about now you may be saying, “OK, Sanders may not be the total answer. But what am I supposed to do?”

First, Sanders is not just “not the total answer,” he is actually part of the problem. He is putting forward a FALSE solution, an “easy-bake oven” road to liberation that is nothing but illusion. This does real harm. It may “feel” liberatory, people may be getting active around this—but you have to ask what the program actually does. If it’s not going to solve the problem, if it’s actively promoting illusions about the character of the problem, the source of the problem and the solution to the problem... then, yeah, it’s harmful.

Let’s be blunt here. This “wisp of painless progress” that Sanders promotes... this idea that voting and sending 27 bucks is gonna change anything for real... this is just BS, if you’ll excuse the pun. Any REAL revolution—in fact, any serious act of standing up against the injustices of the system—is going to involve a lot of sacrifice. And those of you who claim this campaign will jump-start a movement of mass struggle—the same claim people made eight years ago—think about this: you hope to build a movement based on a lie. The lie that you can make this beast work in the interests of the very people it consumes... the lie that you can fundamentally change the way this system does the seven billion people on the planet WITHOUT a complete rupture with its economic and political relations and structures, a real, root-and-branch revolution. Where can such a movement built on such a lie lead but right back into the killing embrace of that same system you claim to oppose? But don’t take our word for it. The history of movements that died in the suffocating “embrace” of the Democratic Party goes back decades in this country.

To those who in all sincerity, though, are awakening through the Sanders campaign: Look, you are right to think the situation is urgent. You are right to think that something drastic must be done.  You are right to be thinking about revolution. But think about—check out—get into the REAL revolution. And get into, learn about and follow the real leadership we have for that revolution.

The Revolution We Need...

On the Strategy for Revolution
Click to read

The revolution we need is a communist revolution. The ultimate goal of this revolution, as we say on our website, is

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.

Necessary because of everything we’ve only touched on here about how this system functions and much, much more. Possible because with the advent of capitalism, production became global and highly socialized in a way far beyond anything previous. The means to eliminate want and to make possible a full life for all humans now exists. It is the system of capitalism that stands in the way of that and instead brings in its wake misery, terror, privation, and foreclosed lives and futures all over this planet. It is from this contradiction—both the crises that it repeatedly gives rise to, and the ways in which people resist and search for answers in response to this—that makes this revolution possible.

The first real attempts at this revolution took place in Russia and then China in the 20th century. Contrary to what you are taught in school and the media, these revolutions actually achieved great and unprecedented things, up against enormous resistance and aggression. But they were eventually defeated. There are today no communist countries in the world, despite the labels that various regimes may claim.

...The Leadership We Have

But there is leadership to carry all that forward, to build on the positive achievements and overcome the shortcomings and the errors—sometimes serious ones—of those first attempts. That leadership is Bob Avakian.

BA has taken to another level the scientific method to understand and change the world first developed by Marx. Because of BA 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.

On the Strategy for Revolution” can be accessed on revcom.us or in the book BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian. Beyond that, there is the basic framework of a doctrine that could, when and as conditions change, with the system in even deeper crisis and millions ready to fight, enable people to actually defeat the violent suppression of the state. (See “On the Possibility of Revolution” online at revcom.us and in print in the pamphlet Revolution and Communism: A Foundation and Strategic Orientation.) There is a plan, concentrated in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by Bob Avakian and adopted by the Revolutionary Communist Party, which gives a concrete and living sense of how the contradictions of the new revolutionary society would be grappled with, struggled over and resolved, as part of getting to the communist world described above.

And if you want to hear someone who REALLY tells the truth... who REALLY is “the real thing”... who can tell you why we’re in this horror and what to do about it, then watch BA’s speech BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live, or REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion—A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian. (Watch online or get the DVD at revcom.us/film.)

What to Do Right Now

So, what to do now? Right now? Get into the movement for revolution—real revolution. Get into and spread BA, learning about his work and helping spread it to others. As you do, fight back against the outrages that drew you to Sanders, not through the killing dead end of the ballot box, but through mass resistance. Join with the Revolution Club in doing this, or write to us and find out how to start one. If there’s a Revolution Books near you join it. Learn about and relate to the vanguard of the revolution, the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Be part of raising funds, right now, as people are agonizing over the future and what to do about it, to get the work and leadership of BA everywhere.

This is controversial. If you think about it for one minute, a REAL revolution would have to be controversial. This goes all the more if it is a revolution in human thought as well. As Ardea Skybreak has said:

In any field of science, whenever you have people who are bringing forward genuinely new thinking and really visionary analyses and syntheses, and who are critiquing old ways of thinking, old methods, old ways of approaching things, it’s unfortunately often the case that, for a while at least, their work is not understood, is mocked, and reviled, or simply ignored. The history of science—all science—is full of examples of this. And it’s a shame really... it constitutes a loss for humanity. In my view, every minute that goes by where Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism is not being seriously engaged and grappled with is another minute lost in the struggle to emancipate humanity from the horrors of this capitalist-imperialist world.
Science and Revolution: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, an Interview with Ardea Skybreak

“Another minute lost.” The people can’t afford any more of those minutes. As we said at the beginning, if you’ve been into Bernie Sanders, it’s not hard to see why. Our call to you is not to settle for something less, but to truly raise your sights to the greatest thing worth living and fighting and dying for—the emancipation of all humanity and to act on that basis.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/434/what-do-fundamentalist-islamic-jihad-and-zionism-have-in-common-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

The Case of Israel: Bastion of Enlightenment or Enforcer for Imperialism?

For background on the nature and role of Israel see the special Revolution/revcom.us issue:
The Case of Israel: Bastion of Enlightenment or Enforcer for Imperialism?

BAsics. from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

After the Holocaust, the worst thing that has happened to Jewish people is the state of Israel.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 5:12

Question:
What Do Fundamentalist Islamic Jihad and Zionism Have in Common?

by Alan Goodman | April 11, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

They swear they are mortal enemies. But they have an awful lot in common...

Is it just the fact that Israel has historically financed and promoted the rise of fundamentalist Islamic jihad, and still does when it serves its purposes?

No.

Is it just that Zionism and fundamentalist Islamic jihad invoke an imaginary “god” to sanctify their “right” to terrorize, subjugate, and oppress other people?

No.

Those are real, and important. But the heart of it is this: Zionism and fundamentalist Islamic jihad arose among oppressed people who were trying to go up against oppression, but they did that on the basis of the logic that “My people have been fucked over, and so we can do anything we need to, to fuck over anyone who stands in our way.” Today, both use their states to carry out terrorist ethnic cleansing of peoples and all manner of other crimes. And the lesson is this: Movements based on revenge or “my people first” end up leaving the world as it is.

We need a whole different world!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/433/next-step-for-ba-everywhere-house-parties-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

Next Step for the BA Everywhere Campaign: A Movement of House Parties and Film Showings

Updated April 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The next step for the BA Everywhere campaign is a movement of house parties being envisioned for the weekend of April 22-25—introducing many more people to BA and raising significantly more funds. There are four important films, excerpts of which can be shown at these gatherings:

*BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

*REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN

*Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About, a film of a 2003 talk by Bob Avakian (this film is available in Spanish)

* Stepping into the Future: On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics: A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World, the film of the cultural event celebrating the publication of BA’s book BAsics.

Who Can Be Involved?

Those who have recently discovered BA through coming to the dinners, through seeing video clips, or through starting to read BAsics; students on the campuses; people living in the housing projects. People who are amazed to have found out about a leader like this who speaks so directly and so deeply about the biggest questions of “whither humanity” and want to tell everyone they know about this. People who are deeply disturbed about the current political atmosphere and are questioning all the dangerous and dead-end solutions being offered. All of these kinds of people, and more, can be part of contributing in one way or another to this movement of house parties if the BA Everywhere committees develop and unleash the plans and means for people to participate.

How Should It Be Organized?

Some people will have friends and family they can invite to a gathering in their home. Others may be happy to open up their home for a party—and then an invitation can go out widely to different social circles to draw people to come. Groupings of people who have been part of the fight against police murder and terror, or the fight against the mounting war on women—can figure out a place and a time, bring some tasty food, and sit down together to watch, discuss, and donate. Showings can be organized in dorms or community centers and fliers can go up calling on people to come. This all can be a means to begin to “light up the sky” with BA Everywhere among certain sectors of society—but it will take organization and determination and working through the questions and controversy that all this will ignite.

These big questions of “whither humanity,” such as: What is the problem, what is the solution, what is going on in the world, why is it going on, does it have to go on, if there’s a solution to it, what is the solution, how do we bring about that solution?—all these big questions are very much at the heart of what the new synthesis of communism and the leadership of BA is all about. Gathering people to watch these films can be part of opening the door for many more people to engage with all this—so that even as they are figuring out what they agree and/or disagree with, they can be won to see the importance of being a part of raising the funds that will enable the work of BA to have much greater impact and visibility throughout society.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/435/readers-write-on-hosting-ba-everywhere-parties-and-film-showings-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

Readers Write on Hosting BA Everywhere Parties and Film Showings

Updated April 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following are letters we have received from readers who are holding gatherings as part of the movement of house parties/film showings to raise funds for the BA Everywhere campaign.

Iranian immigrants:
"There is a party, a leader and a strategy that I want to let people know about”

April 19, 2016

From a reader: 

Recently I got together with a group of Iranian immigrants who wanted to discuss and share their thoughts on the “Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.”  They decided that they will host a potluck fundraising dinner as part of the BA Everywhere campaign movement of house parties, asking people to contribute $20 each.  Below are some of the things which people said in the discussion

One woman spoke about the seriousness and sense of responsibility that BA feels about the whole world and the whole of humanity. She said: “I know very little and since I have come to the U.S. I have been sinking deeper and deeper in this swamp of capitalist and imperialist way of life.  I see the world in an even more horrible situation than I could have imagined, but there is a sense that BA gives of hope for a different future and different dreams that most of us once had and wanted to put our life on the line for.  He presents this as something possible and he challenges all of us...I want to live up to that, but it is not easy...”

One of the key qualities that she sees in BA is his views about the woman question which she says no one in the world speaks to as clearly as he does. She thinks that BA speaks beyond these times we live in now and is so farsighted, and she finds this to be very admirable. She is reading and struggling with others to read the special issue of Revolution on The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future, and plans to study more about BA’s new synthesis of communism in the polemic “Ajith — A Portrait of the Residue of the Past” from the journal Demarcations.  She feels she has more gravitation towards BA, and the party that he leads than anything else. 

A man spoke about the level of hopelessness in the world. He went on at length to describe the situation of refugees who have a 50/50 chance of survival even by throwing themselves and their little kids into the ocean.  Why?  Because if they stay in their countries it is 100% chance of misery and death.  “And this I never thought I would live to witness...”

Another person spoke up and said:  “There are a lot of horrors all over the world from wars, refugees, migrations and more, but follow the trails: they all get connected to imperialism and particularly the U.S. They are the ones trying to control the world and we see the consequences of that. And who is suffering?  Innocent people...all under the banner of freedom and democracy brought by the U.S.

“There are revolutionary situations but there is no real alternative.  We do have this alternative and leadership and strategy [with BA] but we are very small here and we have to do something about it. That is why this potluck fundraising dinner is important and we should involve a lot of people...I think we have to pay a lot of attention to young people, they are more poised and engaged and have the know-how. People do not need to repeat the example of Libya or Egypt... I have a lot of handicaps/barriers—including my language and the lack of knowledge and know-how... which I think these readings may help.  I want to be in the game, and there is a party, a leader and a strategy that I want to let people know about.”

Another woman had been checking BA out on YouTube and wants to watch the film Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian. She talked about her earlier experience on the 4th of July passing out palm cards with quotes from BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian.  Every one jumped at that and thought that was a great idea, since they all have limited ability to speak to people in English.  We need to put these cards in their hands. And we got into how they can help bring BA Everywhere in ways like this which are important. We talked a little bit as well about the film of the cultural event celebrating the publication of BAsics, Stepping Into the Future which we plan to watch, and also start watching BA Speaks—Revolution Nothing Less!  

 

From a Black woman:
“When I watch BA or listen to BA I get hope”

April 17, 2016

Because more people need to open their minds to the idea of a new life. BA is the only one speaking anything about getting rid of a real problem. People think that because this is the only system they are born and raised in they don’t see another way out. That we have to deal with it, work with it. And even if we do this it still comes back and bites us in the Ass. They make the laws on the one hand that are supposed to help you succeed in the system. And then hatred raises its ugly head and people are shot down in the street by police. It isn’t just Black people anymore. Though others aren’t getting massively incarcerated to the same degree. In this process it is this genocide going on and we are being wiped out on every side.

BA is actually putting it out there that we can band together and get rid of this system for good. And without the profit economics that we have now there wouldn’t be any need for Oppression. The oppression of Women and Black people would be eliminated. All the things we call a horror, little kids living in garbage dumps or working as slaves in other countries. People being blown up in their homes by the U.S. All the different horrors.

Maybe they have heard in casual talk about communism but it hasn’t been good. They’ve never been anywhere—I’ve never been anywhere. When you say about communism... I’ve never been there. When you talk about a state that was communism and they did those things people think it is too good to be true. When I watch BA or listen to BA I get hope—that there is a chance. Getting people to see this is going to be... Once people listen to BA—once people hear the things BA is saying, and how passionate he is about having people in on this people will say to themselves, “We could have a chance.” My money is on Humanity. Even though I was already there when I came into this.

***

Introducing BA to the Underground Electronic Music Scene

April 17, 2016

I am hosting an event, to introduce my friends, and a whole underground culture of open, progressive, left friendly thinkers, to Bob Avakian, and the RCP. The reason for this, is that the two groups really need each other. The underground electronic music scene, had been targeted by the U.S. government, to commercialize, in the past decade. During that time, not only has the scene’s culture deteriorated from this forced commercialization, but we are unable to even call an event, a “rave” anymore, or throw them in any place we could in the past. Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect, is not upheld, but forgotten. “Rave culture,” used to be more about camaraderie, and living life separate from mainstream society’s judgement, and rules. It was about acceptance, having fun, exploring ourselves, and bonding with each other as humans, through dancing, technology, and musical innovation. It was futurist, and exciting. It is now looked at as a new market, by the record companies, and industry. Egotism, rather than being called out as jerkish behavior, is catered to, the same way that it is done in the rock music scene. I don’t even need to mention the “Bros,” causing fights at bars, and music festivals.

Bob Avakian, has a relevance to not only our country’s situation, but is alive in our lifetime. His writings, analyze the past communist revolutions, and conceptualizes how we, as modern American citizens, can learn from our eastern comrades’ great struggles, to create a functioning, free society. We can only do that, through a real, socialist state. It is the key that our country is lacking, from its common knowledge. Communism is the best way to mobilize, and free our species, from the grip of Capitalist Imperialism. Communism frees ALL human beings. It would change not only our country for the better, but free the rest of the world of this country’s brutal military. 

Not only is his work able to tell us how we would have a revolution in the United States; because every country has to have their own revolution, relative to the conditions in those countries, but it helps us understand why our country has the problems that it does, has always had, and makes for the third world. His speeches really speak to the younger generations. Here is a social leader, whom curses about horrible situations, and injustice. He quotes George Carlin. His tone of voice is relatable to the fans of electronica, as members of an underground culture, and people whom distrust police, hate the prison system, and are open to people from all over the world.

Interestingly enough, the first electronic musical instrument, the Thereminvox, was created by a Soviet inventor, named Leon Theremin. Theremin introduced his invention to Vladimir Lenin, whom was musically talented, and held the first electronic music event in 1922, at the Kremlin, in Lenin’s office. Lenin played the Theremin, and took to it fast. He loved this new instrument, and the music it produced. Lenin had Theremin work with the Soviet government to create more electronic devices, for all sectors of soviet society.

Raving is a global society, based on freeing human beings to be themselves, to reject social castes, commercialism, and capitalism. So is Communism. Rave culture, in a very ironic way, is like a manifestation of communism, through a musical society. Knowing this, I think that anyone whom is interested in the betterment of our species, and our planet, could appreciate that.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/435/awtwns-western-civilization-death-to-migrants-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

From A World to Win News Service:

Western Civilization: "Death to Migrants!"

April 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Migrants protesting the closed border at Idomeni, Greece, April 10Greek/Macedonian border at Idomeni, April 10. A Syrian man at the site of the attack told the New York Times, “This is the last day. This is our last hope. We will either go through and die or we will die in Greece.” AP photo

April 11, 2016. A World to Win News Service. On April 10, after the 28 European Union countries voted to shut their borders and ship refugees back to Turkey, Macedonian police attacked a crowd of about five hundred migrants who had massed on the Greek side of the double-row, barbed wire border demanding to be let through. They unleashed volley after volley of riot gas canisters, stun grenades, rubber bullets and streams of high pressure liquid from water cannons.

According to Doctors Without Borders (MSF), its medical staff treated some 260 casualties. About 200 people were treated for breathing difficulties. Some were knocked unconscious when fumes blew into the tents where more than 11,000 people have been living in the mud and rain since the borders were closed March 20. More than 30 were wounded by rubber bullets, including three children under the age of ten, and another 30 had other kinds of open wounds. MSF reports that pregnant mothers and children were among the casualties, injured by rubber bullets. Although the attempt to break through the border and force Europe to grant them asylum was led by young men, the majority of people in the camp are women and children, and the children are getting sicker and sicker.

These courageous migrants who refuse to give up should be supported. A Syrian man at the site of the attack in the Greek/Macedonian border town of Idomeni told the New York Times, “This is the last day. This is our last hope. We will either go through and die or we will die in Greece.” The alternative to dying in Greece or Macedonia right now is to accept being shipped to Turkey, where there is little hope for a work permit or anything other than being warehoused in a giant people-trafficking scheme under which the EU pays Turkey per each soul sent there.

Although protecting Syrians is supposedly the reason for the U.S.-led bombing and creeping invasion of Syria, right now, Turkish border guards are shooting Syrians, including children, trying to walk into Turkey. According to Amnesty International, it is an “open secret in the region” that Turkey is also forcibly returning refugees to Syria, because the European powers have agreed to pay them to house only a certain number and no more. Amnesty declared, “In their desperation to seal their borders, EU leaders have wilfully ignored the simplest of facts. Turkey is not a safe place for Syrian refugees and is getting less safe every day.”

Many others being sent as human cargo from Greece to Turkey are Afghans, Iraqis and Pakistanis, who have been told that the EU refuses to consider them refugees. Their misfortune is to come from countries under the dominion of the U.S.—they are fleeing from situations and governments created by the U.S. and its European allies, especially the UK, France and Germany. For the EU, this just shows they are ungrateful and can’t be allowed to escape the blessings that the West has bestowed on them: societies imprisoned in backwardness and ruled by reactionary Islamist governments fighting rival anti-Western reactionary Islamists.

The EU’s division of refugees into “economic migrants” and potential “political refugees” (which means people from countries the West doesn’t currently run) is not meant to help any group of people but to divide these fleeing masses and deceive public opinion.

A reported clash between Afghan and Syrian refugees on the Greek island of Chios has to be considered a moment of success for the policy of getting slaves to fight slaves that goes back at least to Roman times. But after this incident, about 800 people tore down the wire fences surrounding the detention centre and marched into the tourist-destination port to camp in full view of the world. There they are still in danger of attack by both the police and the Golden Dawn Greek neo-Nazi party. A similar situation now exists in Piraeus, where 4,500 refugees are refusing to leave the area in front of the ferry terminal.

The day after the Idomeni attack, long after it had been shown on international media and been widely denounced by NGOs and others in Greece as well as abroad, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called it “a great shame for European society and a country that wants to be a part of it” (namely Macedonia, whose entry into the EU has been blocked by Greece because of historical rivalry). This was a shameful dodge of responsibility on his part.

This attack came just after the Greek parliament passed a law making it legal to deport refugees despite the utter illegality under Greek, European Union and international law. Whether they admit it or not, the Macedonian police were shooting on behalf of the Greek government and the European Union—so ready to punish Greece for not paying banks and so ready to reward Greece to stop, humiliate, harm and deport migrants.

This attack was only one in a series that have been continuing for a month. It was not a blot on “Western civilization”, but part of the workings of a global system of exploitation that has split the world into imperialist countries and the countries they dominate economically, politically and militarily, even while the imperialists and other reactionaries also fight each other. Faced with the consequences produced by their system itself, they cannot be expected to react other than with force when the “stability” of that unjust system is threatened.

The worth, dignity and rights of individuals, the sanctity of human life and all the other fine words the Western powers pretend to uphold are being massively trampled before the eyes of everyone who allows themselves to see.

“Death to migrants!” This is not only the chant of fascist gangs seeking to assault refugees in Greece and many other European cities, it is also the deliberate, if unspoken, policy of the European Union and NATO.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/435/check-it-out-underground-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

Check It Out

TV Series: Underground

April 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“I have the plan.”

“I will break free.”

“I know the way North.”

“I will risk it all.”

“I will do whatever it takes.”

These are the voices of characters in Underground. The year is 1857. The Civil War is still four long years away. This WGN TV series takes you into the lives of a group of slaves on a plantation in Georgia in a life-and-death struggle to try to escape to freedom. You will be drawn into the story and learn a lot of history about the horrors of slavery that was so essential to whole history of the United States. You get not only a gut-wrenching, visceral feel for the inhumanity of slavery, but also, the bone-deep, irrepressible and fierce yearning of a people to be free. Two of the actors who play slaves in the series have this to say about the significance of Underground:

Jurnee Smollett-Bell (who people may remember from the TV series Friday Night Lights and True Blood) said, “The show explores the testament of human will and how strong we are as human beings, how we are capable of triumphing over tragedy.” And Alano Miller said, “It is American history. It’s not African American history. It is American history and it is also something that transcends to all over the world. People who want freedom. People who have hope. It is the revolution. It is these people saying, we’re taking back.”

The first show in the series starts with a slave running away from bounty hunters. You hear his fierce panting, then the driving bass and percussion of Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead.” Singer-songwriter John Legend, an executive producer of Underground who also oversees the shows musical score said, “You hear the breathing, you hear the beat, you know it’s a contemporary song. But it fits perfectly with what the guy’s doing on the screen. From the very beginning, it sets the tone.” Legend says he wants to make sure the show’s music communicates its message while pacing the action. He told Rolling Stone, “This story could have easily felt like it should have been on PBS and on a museum wall, but we wanted it to feel more thrilling than that, and the music helps to bring that energy and connect the audience to the action. The action itself is pretty urgent, but the job of the music is to enhance that.” (March 7, 2016)

Executive producer Misha Green says that when she and her co-creator/producer Joe Pokaski first presented the idea for Underground, they got feedback along the lines of “It sounds cool, but we can’t really see it, ’cause we’ve only seen this one way.” Green says her counter was simple: “We’re not telling a story about the occupation, we’re telling a story about the revolution—and that’s something you can come back to week after week.”

There’s a lot more to say about Underground and we hope our readers will watch it and write to revcom.us at revolution.reports@yahoo.com and share their thoughts.

The series is available on cable on demand and full episodes can also be watched online at: wgnamerica.com/series/underground.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/434/trump-border-wall-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

Trump Announces Plan to Pay for Border Wall: Extortion

April 11, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian, "Why do people come here from all over the world?"

 

U.S./Mexico border at Tijuana
Looking through the bars of the current wall on the U.S./Mexico border. AP photo

Stop thinking like Americans

A centerpiece of Donald Trump’s campaign is his vow that, as president, he would build a 1,000-mile concrete wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and make Mexico pay billions of dollars for it. This fascist demagogic pig recently said he would force the Mexican government to pay by threatening to block the money transfers (known as remittances) from Mexican people working in the U.S. to their families back home. If this extortion scheme was actually carried out, it would be devastating for the millions of people in Mexico who rely on these remittances to fend off starvation. And it would be a huge blow to the Mexican economy overall, especially at a time when other sources of revenue, like oil, have declined.

Trump’s threat is like the slave master demanding that the slave pay for the bullwhip.

Forged, like the U.S., through conquest and genocide of native people, Mexico itself was invaded by the U.S. in the 1800s. The theft of one-third of Mexico’s land strengthened slavery, as well as the rising capitalist system in the U.S. overall. The nation of Mexico today is thoroughly dominated by the U.S., its economy answering to the heartbeat of U.S. capitalism-imperialism.

For all the talk from Trump (along with Bernie Sanders and others) about how the “free trade” agreement the U.S. signed with Mexico (NAFTA) has been bad for the U.S., it has actually opened up Mexico to even more imperialist plunder and domination. This has been disastrous for the oppressed people of Mexico. The livelihoods of millions of small farmers have been crushed, while the transformation from self-sufficiency in food to Mexico's having to import most of its food has been intensified. Millions of Mexicans have been driven north in search of a means to survive, forced to endure the harrowing crossings through the border region that has been turned into a militarized zone by the U.S. Each year hundreds of immigrants, including children, lose their lives in horrible ways during the trek through desolate deserts. If they make it into the U.S., they are super-exploited in the most low-paying, back-breaking, and dangerous jobs, indispensable to the profitability of U.S. capitalism. They strive to send money to help their families back home, while not being able to see them for years or even decades at a time. Meanwhile, they are hunted down by immigration police—like fugitive slaves in the pre-Civil War U.S. And when captured, the immigrants are mercilessly deported, including parents forcibly separated from their children—as Bob Avakian has said, like how slaves in Virginia were “sold down the river” to plantations further south, ripped from their loved ones.

These are human beings that Trump demonizes as “criminals” and scapegoats for the serious problems in the U.S. economy. But as outrageous as Trump’s border wall plan is, the response from the other candidates, from the White House, from the media and other voices of power only compounds the outrage. Where are the clear and forceful statements denouncing Trump as a fascist, repudiating him as being totally illegitimate, and standing with the Mexican people? There are none. In fact, the other Republicans compete with him to be even more repressive and chauvinist, while the Democrats talk out of both sides of their mouths, but do not challenge the essence of his agenda—that any “reforms” (like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, a policy that allows some young undocumented immigrants to receive work permits and exemption from deportation) must be accompanied by more repression. The net effect is the old “good cop, bad cop” routine—with the outright fascists setting the agenda.

So here we have Obama criticizing Trump’s plan as “impractical” and “something that’s not thought through.” Obama said, “They don’t expect half-baked notions coming out of the White House. We can’t afford that.” This comes from the mouth of the “Deporter-in-Chief,” who has deported more immigrants than any other president. What the fuck would a more "practical" and "thought through" U.S. government plan to further lock down, dehumanize, criminalize and deport immigrants and militarize the border mean?!?

The outrageous response to the Trump wall plan is a reflection of the role that Trump has been playing so far for the bourgeoisie (ruling class) in the U.S. as a whole. He has been allowed to spout his fascist shit all over, treated as a serious voice and given an extensive forum through CNN, the New York Times, and the rest of the media. While there are now concerted moves among some sections of the rulers to deny Trump the nomination, the fact remains that they do NOT go after the basic themes of his campaign—especially this one. The other candidates are promoted as a “more sensible” choice by contrast, including the Christian fascist fanatic Ted Cruz—while the whole political scene has been moved in an even more reactionary direction. Trump, with his call to “make America great again,” is not some unacceptable exception to this criminal system. He is an extreme concentration of what America stands for.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/435/sf-pigs-murder-homeless-immigrant-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

"They just shot him"
San Francisco Pigs Murder Homeless Immigrant

April 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From readers:

Luis GongoraLuis Gongora poster
Download poster (PDF 8½x11) | Click image to enlarge

Memorial for Luis Gongora, killed by police in San Francisco
Memorial for Luis Gongora. Special to www.revcom.us

Welcome to San Francisco, the so-called progressive city of tolerance and respect for diversity, the “beautiful city by the Bay,” seen by people around the country and the world as a trendsetter in liberal causes, social justice, and high-minded efforts—something that’s an exception to America. But San Francisco IS in America. Look beyond the cute tourist areas and past the well-endowed museums, urban parks, and designer bridges; search behind the calculated gestures or cynical lies of its city officials—and you’ll see a city of ethnic cleansing. A city where a large majority of Black people and thousands of Latinos have been driven out in recent years. A city where Black people make up less than six percent of the population and 56 percent of those in county jail. A city of thousands of homeless treated like an eyesore to be hidden away—or shot down in the street. Welcome to San Francisco, a city that’s part of the same America built on the foundation of slavery, genocide, conquest, and oppression.

And in San Francisco, the police have murdered yet again.

At about 10 am, Thursday, April 7, Luis Gongora, a 45-year-old immigrant from Yucatan, Mexico, and resident of a homeless encampment in the Mission District, was coldly killed by two SFPD cops. According to news reports, earlier that morning a city homeless outreach team working at the encampment called police to report someone waving a large kitchen knife. A security camera recorded the arrival of three squad cars to the encampment. Police exited their patrol cars and rushed towards an area off camera. Within seconds police can be heard shouting, “Stay on the ground, stay on the ground” and “Drop it, drop it”—followed by the sound of cops firing four beanbag gun rounds and seven gunshots from 40-caliber police pistols. Luis Gongora was hit and declared dead shortly after at SF General Hospital.

Luis was fatally wounded in less than 30 seconds from the time the police exited their cars. The executive director of the city’s Coalition on Homelessness, Jennifer Friedenbach, said, “From the video, it appears that the officer came at the situation with guns blazing.”

Shortly after the shooting, SF police chief Greg Suhr told reporters that after the initial volley of beanbag rounds, Gongora “charged” at the officers with a knife, forcing cops to open fire with live rounds. But a witness who was at the encampment, quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, said that Luis “didn’t charge the officers. He was going round in circles. He didn’t understand what they were saying. They just shot him. They just shot him.” (Luis did not know English and could not have understood the police commands.) Another witness told the UK Guardian that she ran to her apartment window when she heard someone shout, “Get on the ground!” She said about Luis, “He was on the ground, crouched with his head between his knees. He didn’t get up until they were shooting. I would by no stretch of the imagination say that he was charging them. His body was recoiling from bullets. It’s like they came out shooting. It’s complete bullshit what’s happening. There’s no way that somebody deserved to lose their life.”

In a press conference after the murder, a police spokesperson displayed a photo of an approximately 13-inch kitchen knife Luis allegedly had. But numerous witnesses have said that Luis was not brandishing a knife and not threatening anyone, and folks in the encampment pointed out that carrying a knife for self-defense is common among homeless people who live and sleep outside and have few ways to protect themselves and their possessions.

Gongora was regarded as a friendly man who collected bottles and cans and loved to kick a soccer ball around. A resident of an apartment in the area described how her son practiced Spanish by talking with Luis. A friend who lived in a tent near Luis’s, and who was with him shortly before he was killed, tearfully related how Luis always called him “hermano” [brother] and how he and Luis would help each other out and share whatever food or money they managed to come by. “It was half down the middle with everything.”

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.

Luis Gongora was one of the tens of millions driven from homelands ransacked and ruined by the workings of this system of capitalism-imperialism and seeking a way to survive in the U.S. Behind the glitter of the SF Bay Area is cutthroat, expand-or-die competition for big profits within the global networks of capitalist exploitation, especially among high-tech firms and big real estate and financial investors. Huge profits have enriched some—and caused havoc and hardship on many more. Housing prices and rents have spiraled into the stratosphere, along with evictions of those who can’t afford a roof over their heads. Shiny new skyscrapers with multimillion-dollar condos rise while the streets below and areas under freeway overpasses or embankments are lined with tents of the homeless—filled with people discarded by the system and forced to fend for themselves.

According to a 2015 report, 71 percent of San Francisco homeless people formerly had housing in the city. Luis Gongora was one of them. The contrast here could hardly be more stark: The tent community where Luis lived sits within a shrinking Latino immigrant neighborhood, the Mission District—where more than 8,000 Latinos have been forced out in the last 10 years and rents have soared to among the highest in the world. The rising population of the homeless on the streets has caused numerous West Coast cities to declare homeless shelter crises or homeless states of emergency—acts normally reserved for natural disasters.

The powers that be in San Francisco see the rising population of homeless encampments on many city streets as a stain that mars the value of the SF “brand”—as a financial and high-tech center, as a trendy place to live, as a tourist attraction. When San Francisco hosted the Super Bowl 50 spectacle this February, city officials took great pains to force the homeless out of sight of visitors and media. Within days after Luis Gongora’s murder, SF mayor Ed Lee announced that all homeless encampments in the city were going to be taken down! The supposed reason given by the mayor? To make the city “safe.” SAFE?! If this heartless move was about safety of human beings like Luis Gongora, the city officials should have set out to disband the SF police, with their vicious record of murder and mayhem, and Luis’s blood fresh on their hands. But taking down the homeless encampments is not about protecting the safety of people—it’s about protecting the interests of this people-crushing system.

On April 10, the SFPD sent three or four officers to the homeless encampment where Luis had been killed. An activist reported that the police “arrived with long sticks with which they hit the tents. Residents of the tents, including three eyewitnesses to the shooting, were told to leave or risk arrest.” Cops smashed candles that had been lit for Luis by his friends. Some people fled while others started packing their belongings. Cops slashed tents with knives, and a city worker loaded some belongings in a truck. The activist said, “This was an act of harassment plain and simple, because after tearing down three tent homes, the cops just left. They left a mess and they left several homeless people without shelter on a rainy night.”

On the Strategy for Revolution
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The taking of Luis Gongora’s life and the cruel and violent attacks on the homeless come amidst a murderous onslaught by SF police over the past several years—as well as important beginning resistance and a scramble among local authorities to try to contain the outrage.

Just hours after Luis Gongora’s murder, the Justice for Mario Woods Coalition held a town hall meeting just a few blocks away. Hundreds of people marched from the meeting to the encampment where Luis was gunned down and on to the Mission District pig sty. Mario Woods was a 26-year-old Black man executed by police early last December in the city’s largely African-American Bayview district. A cell phone video caught the brutal murder of Mario, shot at 40 times by five SFPD thugs in front of a city bus filled with middle school children. The video went viral and set off torrents of angry protests, including disruption of Mayor Lee’s inauguration.

The city has ignored the demands that Police Chief Suhr be fired and murder indictments be brought against the killers of Mario Woods. Instead, the mayor and police chief have trotted out threadbare and pathetic promises to “re-engineer the SFPD’s Use of Force policies” so as to “de-escalate” conflicts.

We now see the results of such promises in the brutal police murder of Luis Gongora! His name has been added to the growing list of those unjustly and outrageously murdered by San Francisco police. Along with Mario Woods, recent victims include Alejandro “Alex” Nieto, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, O’Shaine Evans, Kenneth Harding, Herbert Benitez, Alice Brown, and many more. And they are among the thousands upon thousands of other stolen lives, murdered by police across the country.

Again and again, SF cops murder someone in cold blood, in front of all kinds of witnesses, often captured on video. There is outrage, protests, sometimes powerful protests. Then Chief Suhr gets up in front of everyone and justifies it once more—“the officers feared for their safety,” blah blah blah. And the cops get off, again and again and again. This must be brought to a stop!

Repeated scandals over racist, sexist, and homophobic text messages sent among at least 18 SFPD officers have  also deepened the rage against the police. The first revelations came in court filings from a 2015 federal corruption case involving at least 14 officers, including veterans with more than 10 years on the force. The texts carried vile genocidal rants like “All n*****s must fucking hang” and “Cross burning lowers blood pressure.” In early 2016, a new batch of texts was discovered by prosecutors during an investigation of an alleged sexual assault by an SFPD officer. Again the texts were racist and homophobic, used the “n” word and even mocked the investigation of the original text scandal. The cops in this second round of texts felt completely free with their racist texts even at the time that there was a public scandal over the first round of racist texts. Why? These cops were trained by the system in the outlook of white supremacy, male supremacy, homophobia, and loathing for the masses of poor and oppressed. They knew there is backing for their ugly views from the highest authorities and that this is in line with what they are called on by the system to do every day in the streets.

The powers that be are maneuvering to contain the widening outrage and limit how much more about police murder and brutality comes out, to quell questioning of the legitimacy of the police’s use of force against oppressed communities, and to channel the anger into dead ends of puny reforms and empty promises of “change.” They want this moment of heightened outrage to be a big go-nowhere moment.

But we—those most directly hit by police terror as well everyone who refuses to be silent in the face of these outrages—have to stay in the streets, raising hell, demanding justice, and building the movement for revolution. As part of that, the call for nationwide student protests on April 21 to stop police terror!, issued by students at San Francisco State University and taken up by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and students at different campuses, is timely and urgent right now.

Luis Gongora came from Yucatan to the U.S., responding to a world in which capitalism-imperialism dominates the globe and reaches into and warps and exploits countries like Mexico. He found himself in the shadows of the SF capitalist “success story,” living in the streets with others forced into a similar situation. Treated like a criminal by the enforcers of this unjust system, he was shot down in cold blood—and the encampment he was part of was ripped to pieces by the cops who forced Luis’s fellow homeless out into the rainy night. This is the capitalist-imperialist system, once again showing everyone it is utterly cold-hearted and vicious, ravaging and destroying lives.

We need a revolution and a whole new system. Nothing less will do.

 

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/434/la-drop-charges-april-14-protesters-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

It's Right to Protest Murder by Police!

Demand Criminal Charges Targeting April 14 Protesters be Dropped

Call Mike Feuer (213-978-8100), L.A. City Attorney

April 11, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We received this from Stop Mass Incarceration Network So Cal:

On April 14, 2015, 1000 people in Los Angeles protested to STOP murder by police. At LAPD headquarters, a broad range of speakers, and hundreds of high school students, exposed the epidemic of police murder and called for it to stop, now! ~ and then took the streets. Business as usual was shut down in downtown Los Angeles that day. The march went to the site of Brother Africa's murder by the LAPD on skid row and culminated on Washington Blvd, where protestors rightfully took the intersection of Washington and Main and Washington and Broadway. The MTA train was stopped. There was major media coverage of the event. The protest occurred in conjunction with 30 other cities in the U.S. on April 14: #ShutDownA14 ~ Stop Murder by Police!

There was an LA Police Commission permit for this April 14 protest and march and for the culminating rally on Washington Blvd. The LAPD, stung by this "retaking of the political offensive" and the largest protest in LA since late 2014, arrested 15 people before the permit "disband time" of 6pm. 13 were charged with "trespassing on railroad property" (the Metro railway), "refusing to comply with an order by police" and "malicious obstruction of the free movement of people on a street or public place." Outrageously, 3 were convicted in late 2015 in a trial where the judge worked hand-in-glove with the prosecution to convict the defendants.

Three more defendants have just started trial, jury selection is underway, with opening statements set to begin either Wednesday or Thursday, April 13 or 14 (and trial is set for April 25 for 3 more defendants). The three on trial now were sent to Judge David Fields court, the same judge who presided over the railroad of the 3 defendants convicted in November 2015! This is a due process violation of the defendants rights, as Judge David Fields has made clear in open court he considers the defendants guilty, before any evidence has been presented.

The arrests, charges and prosecution of these protestors is part of an operation by the authorities, in Los Angeles and nationwide, to criminalize and derail protests determined to STOP murder by police - the national upsurge since Ferguson - and to intimidate and criminalize the people and organizations that have been steadfast in their opposition to the genocidal onslaught of police murders here and around the county.

Since the year 2000, police in L.A. County have shot more than 1300 people! And, since 2000, not one single criminal prosecution has been brought by L.A. County "prosecutors" against the police for these shootings. Yet those protesting to stop these police shootings and murders in Los Angeles, and thousands more nationwide, are criminally targeted and face up to 1.5 years in jail if convicted at trial. This cannot be allowed to happen. And you are needed! Call Mike Feuer at 213-978-8100. Mike Feuer is the Los Angeles City Attorney. Demand charges be immediately dropped on the April 14 protestors. Express yourself on the 1300 shootings by police in LA County and the outrage of prosecuting the April 14 defendants and all those fighting to stop these murders by police while police who murder walk off scot-free, time after time.

The LA City Attorney's office is withholding relevant material (discovery) that would show an unconstitutional bias driving efforts to criminalize protests and protestors who have been acting to expose and stop murder by police, especially since Ferguson, including the A14 defendants. The prosecution is refusing to hand over documentation of unconstitutional surveillance and spying on protestors, LAPD "post-operation" reports and more. The L.A. City Attorney, LAPD and other law enforcement agencies need to turn over that material. And the City of Los Angeles prosecutors must drop the charges on the April 14 protestors.

Tuesday, April 19th 1:30 pm. Be In Court With April 14th Defendants for Opening Statements! Court 44, 7th Floor, Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center 210 W. Temple, Los Angeles.

Sign and spread the statement "It's Right To Protest Murder by Police." www.stoppoliceterror.org/its_right_to_protest_murder_by_police
Ph for info: 213-840-5348 / email: stopmassincarcerationsocal@yahoo.com / StopMassIncarceration.net Twitter: @Smin_LA /
FB: www.facebook.com/stopmassincarcerationsocal

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/435/north-carolinas-bathroom-bill-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

North Carolina's Bathroom Bill:
Persecuting LGBT People Under Cover of "Non-Discrimination"

April 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a member of the Revolution Club:

February 22, 2016, North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte, joined 18 states and over 200 cities and counties in passing an ordinance intended to prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in “places of public accommodation.” The ordinance included a measure that allowed transgendered people to use public restrooms that correspond to the gender with which they identify. Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance was set to go into effect on April 1.

Rally protesting HB2, Chapel Hill, NC, March 29
Rally protesting HB2, Chapel Hill, NC, March 29.(Photo: Chris Seward/The News and Observer via AP)

The reality—supported by actual facts and evidence—is that life for LGBT people in the USA is a horror... suffocating, dangerous, and traumatic in a million ways. Even with all the culture changes going on, it is still the case that outside of a few neighborhoods in a few big cities, or some college campuses, if you are lesbian, gay, transgender, or bisexual, wherever you go you face insults, threats, humiliation, and physical danger.

But before the Charlotte ordinance could go into effect, the North Carolina General Assembly stepped in to block it on March 23. For the first time in 35 years, the state assembly called an emergency session to pen its own “non-discrimination law,” House Bill 2 (HB2—since dubbed the “Bathroom Bill”). The assembly debated the bill for only 12 hours, during which Senate Democrats walked off the chamber floor in protest while the remaining Republicans gave the legislation unanimous approval. The governor, Pat McCrory, signed HB2 into law the same night, thus putting into effect the most anti-LGBT law in the U.S. to date.


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).

Since January of this year, over 200 anti-LGBT laws have been proposed around the U.S.—a tidal wave of reactionary backlash against the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. Essentially, HB2 is an amalgam of these reactionary laws, which shroud their hateful intentions with the façade of “religious protection” and “non-discrimination.”

However, HB2 is unique in several ways: it includes a preemption clause which overrides and prevents city and local governments from passing their own non-discrimination ordinances (which might include LGBT protections). It also requires all government-controlled facilities—including schools and universities—to assign all multiple occupancy bathrooms and locker rooms to a single sex and prevent anyone who doesn’t match that biological sex from using the facility. The law nullifies Charlotte’s and six other jurisdictions’ LGBT protections and blocks any other local or city government from providing these protections in the future. In addition to dismantling and preventing laws to protect LGBT people, the bill prevents cities and local governments from establishing a minimum wage higher than the federal requirement of $7.25, nor does it allow local governments to form legislation requiring companies to provide employees with paid sick leave.

North Carolina’s HB2 and the 200 other bills and ordinances proposed nationally that aim to deny rights to LGBT people are outrageous—cruel and oppressive. They seek to demote whole sections of people whose sexual orientation and/or gender identity do not conform to “traditional” gender norms to second-class citizens. They claim the law is to protect women and children from sexual predators (falsely equating LGBT and specifically transgendered people to sexual predators), despite the fact that there is absolutely ZERO evidence to support this allegation in cities with ordinances protecting LGBT people’s use of public accommodations and a world of evidence that LGBT people are victimized in every corner of society.

THINK ABOUT IT! What kind of system even conceives of a law as absurd as this? What kind of system calls emergency sessions of its legislature to pass “non-discrimination” laws that are actually intended to enforce discrimination?!?!? What kind of system would even consider using its law enforcement to police who can and cannot use the restroom—and deem it moral, let alone rational, to base this right on evidence of one’s genitals? The answer: a thoroughly rotten, illegitimate, criminal system that needs to be done away with at the soonest possible moment!

Societal views toward gender and sexual orientation, as well as all other human institutions, have evolved and will continue to evolve. The oppressive ideas that flow from notions of “traditional morality” stem from the inception of class society, the division of society into oppressor and oppressed. These relations gave rise to patriarchy (men dominating women) and consequently, the enforcement of strict societal mores regarding sexual orientation, gender, as well as marriage and sex more generally. Jolts and shifts in human society have transformed these relations in numerous ways, however despite the outward appearance of these institutions, class society is inextricably bound to patriarchy.

A WHOLE NEW WAY IS POSSIBLE—THROUGH REVOLUTION

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As long as society is divided into oppressor and oppressed, the vast majority of humanity will continually be subjugated to needless suffering and real human beings who do not fit into the mold of what is considered “acceptable” by the dominant group at that time will continue to be discriminated against, abused, violated, and killed.

HUMANITY SHOULD NOT ACCEPT THIS ANY LONGER. WE DON’T HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THIS!

We’ve reached a point in human history where it is possible for humanity to break free from tradition’s chains and build a society free of oppression and exploitation—this is COMMUNISM. While leading the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Bob Avakian has developed a new synthesis of communism which draws lessons from previous attempts at human emancipation, synthesizing and developing both a strategy for revolution, but also a basic model for the type of society that could be brought into being through that revolution and contribute toward the goal of human emancipation globally. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) exemplifies what this new society would look like and provides the framework for a new society Day One after the current system is overthrown. The Constitution goes into great detail, laying out the overall framework of society and its functioning, but also the laws, regulations, and rights of the people. In regard to the latter, with the establishment of the new state power—anything even remotely resembling the so-called “Bathroom Bill” would be off the table—NO MORE OF THAT!

Even after the establishment of socialism, many of the ideas and backward relations from the old society would carry over. Unlike the capitalist-imperialist system that currently fronts as the defender of freedom and democracy, the basic rights of the people—ALL PEOPLE—would not be up for vote, the legislature would not be allowed to tear away the rights of the people based on non-scientific arguments and religious superstition. On the contrary, our constitution bans all discrimination against people whose sexual orientation doesn’t fit into traditional, patriarchal forms and norms. Beyond that, it outlines a society whose educational system and culture brings to light the real history and background of backward prejudices, and how they stem from different forms of oppression—changing not only laws, but hearts and minds. (See “Same-Sex Marriage: A Basic Right, a Just Demand,” Revolution, April 7, 2013.)

As communists, we stand with the fighters who are demanding their basic human rights and going up against these bigoted laws and fascist politicians. Also, as communists, we seek to build and strengthen this resistance as part of building the overall movement for revolution. As part of strengthening the movement for revolution, we will continue to struggle for many more people to engage the work of Bob Avakian, challenge traditional ways of thinking, stand with others who are under the system’s boot, all while deepening their understanding of the cause and solution to... ALL OF THIS! We will continue fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution and challenging YOU and millions of others to bring a liberated world into being.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/436/carl-dix-no-justice-for-akai-gurley-en.html

Revolution #435 April 18, 2016

No Justice for Akai Gurley—Another Killer Cop Walks!

by Carl Dix

April 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On November 20, 2014, Akai Gurley’s life was stolen by a killer cop. Peter Liang, the cop who gunned down Gurley on that day, was patrolling a housing project in Brooklyn with his gun drawn and his finger on the trigger. He entered an unlit stairway and pulled the trigger when he heard a sound in the dark, killing Gurley with a bullet to the heart. As Akai Gurley lay dying, Liang argued with the cop patrolling with him over which of them should call in the shooting and called his union rep to start working on how to escape punishment for what he’d done. Neither of the two cops gave any emergency medical assistance to Gurley.

THE WHOLE DAMN SYSTEM IS GUILTY!

Yet the system spared this killer cop jail time. Before the sentencing, Ken Thompson, the prosecutor who brought the case against Liang, wrote to the judge asking that Liang receive no jail time because “the incarceration of the defendant is not necessary to protect the public.” The judge presiding over the case pronounced a sentence of probation and community service. This judge even reduced the charge the cop was convicted of from manslaughter to a lesser charge because he felt the cop hadn’t entered the housing project thinking about killing anybody. This is an outrageous injustice!

This sentence of no jail time comes down to the system telling us that Akai Gurley’s life, and the lives of Black and Brown people targeted by police terror, don’t matter. That the whole system will go into motion to keep killer cops from going to jail no matter how murderous their actions. This sentence also tells us something about whether you can deal with police terror by electing new prosecutors. Ken Thompson’s election as the Brooklyn District Attorney in 2013 was hailed as a step toward reforming the criminal justice system because, unlike the previous DA, he would hold brutal, murdering cops accountable for their criminal deeds. Yet in this case he was part of letting a killer cop walk.

Bob Avakian spoke to why police get away with murdering Black people when he said: “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 everybody who is sick and tired of hearing about and seeing videos of police gunning people down, beating people to death, tasing them to death, choking them to death; who hates knowing that the killer cops will almost always walk free: THIS POLICE TERROR MUST STOP AND IT’S UP TO US TO STOP IT! Stopping it and all the horrors this system enforces on humanity—the attacks on women, the destruction of the environment, the attacks on immigrants, the wars for empire and more—will take revolution, nothing less. Get with the real revolution.