Revolution #437, May 2, 2016 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

Two Important May 1 Statements from
International Communist Groups

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We want to call our readers’ attention to two significant statements released on the occasion of May 1 this year—one from the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (CPI-MLM) and one from Grupo Comunista Revolucionario de Colombia (GCR). Both groups comment on the crossroads now facing communists and revolutionaries all over the world, and both underline the importance of revolutionaries taking up the new synthesis of communism, developed by Bob Avakian. Rather than attempt to summarize them here, we strongly urge our readers to go over them in their entirety.

These statements should give further impetus to every revolutionary communist in every part of the globe to take up this new synthesis of communism, and to be part of what is called for in BA’s seminal new work The Science, The Strategy, The Leadership for An Actual Revolution, And A Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation:

There is an urgent need for this new synthesis to be taken up, broadly, in this society and in the world as a whole: everywhere people are questioning why things are the way they are, and whether a different world is possible; everywhere people are talking about “revolution” but have no real understanding of what revolution means, no scientific approach to analyzing and dealing with what they are up against and what needs to be done; everywhere people are rising up in rebellion but are hemmed in, let down and left to the mercy of murderous oppressors, or misled onto paths which only reinforce, often with barbaric brutality, the enslaving chains of tradition; everywhere people need a way out of their desperate conditions, but do not see the source of their suffering and the path forward out of the darkness.

Declaration of the Grupo Comunista Revolucionario de Colombia, May 1, 2016:
It is urgent to adopt the new synthesis of communism of Bob Avakian, the new framework required for a new stage of revolution!
Read the statement

 

Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)—May Day 2016:
This is an Emergency May Day Call! No Time to Waste! A Radically Different World Is Possible! Only If We Take Up the New Synthesis of Communism!
Read the statement

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

Declaration of Grupo Comunista Revolucionario de Colombia, May 1, 2016:

Urgently needed: Take up the new synthesis of communism of Bob Avakian, the new framework required for a new stage of revolution!

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The translation from Spanish to English of this statement is the responsibility of revcom.us/Revolution.

The world as such is intolerable, it is suffocating.

It is a world in which the capacity to feed all human beings coexists disgracefully with more than a billion people who “live” with chronic malnutrition, and literally every five seconds a person dies of hunger!...

It is a world in which they justify wars of aggression in country after country, torture and massacres, with a morality that values the lives of people in Western countries (and of white people, men, the rich) over the lives of everyone else...

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It is a world in which millions of people are forced to risk their lives, driven from their homes by reactionary wars and plunder and other problems caused by the system that rules over them...

It is a world in which the oppressed are rounded up wherever they go, running the risk of an early death, a life foreclosed and ruined, insulted at every turn and even murdered, simply due to who they are...

It is a world where everything (including people, especially women and children) becomes an object to be bought and sold...

It is a world where women face a daily onslaught of harassment, discrimination, oppression and hidden or open and even physical and lethal brutal aggression...

It is a world of outrageous political and legal attacks and vicious intimidation against LGBT people...

It is a world in which, due to the environmental emergency, the future of life on this planet is uncertain...

It is a world ruled by a system that snuffs out spirits, and degrades the people stripping them of their status of full human beings...

And although material resources, knowledge and people exist that could make another way of life possible for all of humanity, they are fettered and then used to suck people into more ignorance, superstition and misery.

Yes, it is true that exploitation and oppression breed resistance. Around the world again and again signs of discontent and outbreaks of fury burst forth. It is commonplace that a deep sentiment arises that there should be a better way to organize human society, that another, different world must be and is possible. But without a scientific approach, method and leadership, in general that sentiment is channeled into dead ends, and the masses continue to be subjected to endless horrors.

Today’s world is a horror, not because of human nature but the functioning of the system. There is no permanent necessity for the state of affairs that exists. The world does not have to be this way. There is a way out, communist revolution.

Those who want to create this completely different world immediately confront two things. On the one hand, the repressive forces of the power structure that are used against any challenge to its authority and, on the other hand, there is also contestation in the realm of ideas.

Let us do both: fight the power structure; and debate and wrangle with the most advanced, radical and revolutionary ideas of these times. All in the midst of developing a new revolutionary movement and upsurge, that go further than even the best of the past.

There is debate in society over whether another world is really possible or not, and over what kind of world we want: Is there a way to actually change how people have to live? Instead of changing the various ways in which people suffer oppression, what would it take to eliminate oppression concretely and completely?

In general, there are struggles in the realms of morality, science, religion and worldview; over the question of compromise or resistance; on how to understand and evaluate the first stage of communist revolutions and on many other fronts.

But the most important struggle in the realm of ideas today focuses on the kind of change we need, the theory that can guide this change and the leadership to bring about this radical transformation. There is no other way around it: a revolution, a communist revolution, is still needed.

A real revolution is the only way to end the source of the problem, end the capitalist-imperialist system that dominates the world. The imperialist powers like the United States, the European powers, Russia and China are at the top of this system and dominate countries like Colombia. Of course the capitalist-imperialist system is not all-powerful. There are crises and cracks in the walls of this system. And therein lies the material basis for possibilities of making revolution.

The world capitalist system is no mystery, it can be known and understood. Karl Marx, 150 years ago, laid the foundations for a new science and revealed the secrets of the system’s functioning and how to overthrow it through a new kind of revolution, the communist revolution. Since then, the communists along with millions of proletarians and other oppressed masses throughout the world have tried to continue on this revolutionary path and have changed the history of humanity forever, although they suffered bitter defeats.

The Paris Commune was a first attempt, drowned in blood by the repressive forces of the system after two months. Marx, along with Friedrich Engels, synthesized this short but valuable experience and conceived the kind of state needed for the communist revolution: the dictatorship of the proletariat.

On the basis of Marx’s theory and approach, revolutionary efforts to transform the world began. In the twentieth century there were two great socialist revolutions with great achievements and experiences for humanity, first in the Russian Revolution of 1917 under the leadership of Lenin and later the Chinese Revolution in 1949 under the leadership of Mao Tsetung.

With their theoretical developments and advances in the science of Marxism, Lenin and Mao were able to lead the class struggle, amid tremendous difficulties, to victory in order to immediately take to new heights the difficult process of uprooting the old and building a new economic base and political and cultural superstructure for the new society. They undertook what Marx called the great ruptures with traditional property relations and with the traditional ideas produced and conditioned by them.

However, the Soviet Revolution in Russia was defeated in the mid-1950s and the Chinese Revolution was defeated in late 1976. In both cases a new bourgeoisie that emerged within the party and the socialist state seized power and undertook the restoration of capitalism, although they continued to use the label “socialist.”

In grappling with how to understand the reasons for and preventing the restoration of capitalism, Mao developed the science of Marxism, and to that end he proposed and led a “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.” The Cultural Revolution was not able to prevent restoration, and after a coup d’état, the “capitalist roaders” seized power and helped imperialism turn China into the “sweatshop” of the world. This brought to an end the first stage of communist revolutions in the history of humanity.

A wave of counterrevolution broke out. And among the oppressed masses, reactionary political movements took hold in many places. But important revolutionary wars led by Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties also made significant advances that inspired revolutionaries and masses of people worldwide. However, those heroic struggles came up against the reality of the great changes in the world and the limitations and distortions of the theory. And the science of communism demanded a new leap even more. A new framework was needed to lay the basis for a truly new stage of communist revolution.

The communist movement faced a real crossroads. With the false verdicts of the reactionaries and the reformists, the liberating history and experience of communism were being discarded in the revolutionary movement, among the bulk of the previously-progressive intelligentsia and among the masses in general, taking up the tattered flags of bourgeois democracy instead. On the other hand a smaller section clung dogmatically and religiously to the revolutionary experience and theory of the first stage of the revolution, including its errors and limitations.

It should be said that many of the prevailing errors in the international communist movement do not come from Marx, Lenin and Mao, who struggled against many of them. However, elements of these incorrect tendencies existed in their own thinking that were then taken up by one or another section of the communist movement and developed into fully developed lines.

But besides the dead ends of the dogmatic trend and the bourgeois-democratic trend (both increasingly becoming residues of the past), there were those who fought to stay on course and clear the revolutionary way forward. The theoretical and practical developments of the communist movement have been rescued and enriched in vision and clarity by another leap in the science of communism. A new leap whereby it is possible to understand much better than before the functioning of the current system and how to free ourselves from it.

This great breakthrough has not been easy. It has taken decades of painstaking scientific work of analysis of the many aspects of the experience of the first stage of revolution, synthesizing its lessons. It has made it possible to recognize and criticize many errors (although the accomplishments were principal) of this first stage of revolution. Ruptures have been recognized and made with various misconceptions in the body of the science of communism developed by Marx, Lenin and Mao, and all the correct parts in this body (which are principal) have been synthesized and reconfigured at new heights.

This new leap in the science of communism has been the product of the theoretical work and the revolutionary leadership of Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and the greatest revolutionary of our time. Avakian has not just stayed the course but has produced a whole body of work with a new synthesis of communism: a new level of freedom with which we can interact with the necessity that we now face and transform it in a revolutionary way. Facing up to the necessity—that is, reality and what we are up against—is the basis for achieving freedom—that is, the capacity to transform that reality (based on understanding it).

Facing reality, as it really is, sounds easy but it is not. It is neither automatic nor “natural,” and therefore requires scientific approach and method. The scientific approach and method of communism has been rescued, given a new foundation and enriched by Bob Avakian, who has identified and engaged the thorniest problems facing revolutionaries. In this process, he has revolutionized communism even more, not only by identifying and breaking with aspects of it that were not scientific but by putting all of communism on a more scientific basis.

Therefore, the essence of the new synthesis is the further development and synthesis of communism as scientific method and approach, and the more systematic application of this scientific method and approach to reality in general and in particular to the revolutionary struggle to overthrow and uproot all systems and relations of exploitation and oppression and advance to a communist world.

As with all advances in all science, these do not easily break new ground. Within the Grupo Comunista Revolucionario itself, a serious struggle has been necessary to understand it, take it up and get bearings with it in order to advance the revolution in Colombia as part of the world revolution, which requires above all building the party required to lead it.

And a central focus of today’s genuine communist revolutionaries, in the midst of the actual process of building the genuine communist party, is working to root the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian in the revolutionary movement, and among the masses of people as part of building a movement for revolution under the leadership of such a party. All those who really are concerned about the situation in the world and yearn for real change must engage and fight for this new synthesis.

Humanity needs revolution and the new synthesis of communism of Bob Avakian!

Revolution, nothing less!

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)—May Day 2016:

This Is an Emergency May Day Call! No Time to Waste!
A Radically Different World Is Possible! Only If We Take Up the New Synthesis of Communism!

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Living in today’s world is suffocating and unbearable. Just look at refugees fleeing war-torn countries and miserable poverty only to be drowned in the seas while all the giant ships and equipment produced by the work of the same people, by our collective work world-wide, stand still, doing nothing and just watching them go under! And those who do not drown have to face barbed wire, gangster laws, and the law enforcement of reactionary capitalist imperialist states. Is not this enough to want to bury this imperialist capitalist system and their states and laws and law enforcements? Yes, it is!

We produce more food than the earth’s seven billion people need. But millions are dying of hunger and malnutrition. We have produced science that enables us to go back in time more than one billion years to understand our cosmos but children in Africa, Asia and Latin America are dying of preventable diseases and the propaganda and educational machine of the capitalists injects ignorance of all types into the minds of people in every corner of the world. Racists, bigots and religious obscurantists present themselves as poor peoples’ “leaders”! In how many ways can they commit horrors against humanity? There is no question that this world HAS TO CHANGE. But how? This is the most important question facing humanity.

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The source of the problem is the imperialist capitalist system which dominates the world and leads and deploys all sorts of reactionary state powers—including those such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc. The great imperialist powers such as the US, European states, China and Russia are sitting at the top of this dung heap. This system must be taken down and a fundamentally different world must replace it. But how and in what way?

The world capitalist system is not all-powerful, it is not a sealed secret never to be known or understood. More than 150 years ago, Karl Marx revealed the secrets of its workings and the way to undo it through a new kind of revolution which is called a COMMUNIST REVOLUTION. Since Marx’s time we, the revolutionary communists along with millions of proletarians and oppressed masses of the world, have tried to go forward on this path and have changed the history of human society forever, but we have also been bitterly defeated.

The Paris Commune of 1871 was the very first attempt to do this. But it did not last long enough and it was drowned in blood by the bourgeois state and its military. Marx, and his lifelong comrade Engels, summed up this short but very important experience and drew an overall picture of the kind of state which would be needed to carry through the communist revolution: the dictatorship of the proletariat. Based on Marx’s revolutionary and scientific theory and approach, a revolutionary effort for changing the world began. The twentieth century witnessed two great socialist revolutions with tremendous achievements and experiences for humanity on its march to bury capitalism. It happened first in Russia with the October revolution in 1917 under Lenin’s leadership and then in China with another October revolution in 1949 under Mao’s leadership. Lenin and Mao, with their theoretical breakthroughs and advances of the science of Marxism, were able to navigate class struggle through tremendous odds and uncharted waters to victory and began the tortuous process of uprooting the old and building the new economic base and political and cultural superstructure of the new society. This was the beginning of what Marx called rupturing from the traditional relations of ownership and traditional ideas which are produced and conditioned by them.

The revolutions in Russia and China lasted longer than the Paris Commune but not long enough. The revolution in the Soviet Union was defeated in the mid-1950s, capitalism was restored and a new bourgeoisie that had grown within the socialist state and the Communist Party came to power. The socialist revolution in China continued until 1976. Mao developed the science of Marxism through solving the riddle of why under socialism a capitalist restoration occurs, and how it should be prevented. A second revolution was carried out in Socialist China in order to prevent restoration: the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.” But this too failed to prevent capitalist restoration. Following the death of Mao in 1976, capitalist-roaders carried out a coup and seized power. With the assistance of the imperialists they turned China into the biggest and most miserable capitalist sweatshop of the world. In this way the first wave of communist revolution in human history came to an end.

An era of counter-revolution ensued throughout the world.

Instead of revolutionary communist and emancipatory movements, reactionary political movements became popular among desperate and deprived masses. For example, the Iranian revolution of 1979 turned into a counter-revolution when the Islamic fundamentalists seized power.

Not long after this, Soviet Social imperialism, which in contention with the US-led Western imperialist bloc had taken the world to the brink of a nuclear war, faced internal crisis and collapsed. This was used by the international bourgeoisie to claim the so-called “death of communism.” But the USSR was merely another capitalist imperialist state which for historical reasons had kept a socialist mask even after capitalism had been restored in the mid-1950s in the previously Soviet socialist country. After the collapse of the USSR, an era of capitalist “globalisation” gave new life to capitalist greed, wars of aggression, racism, rape of women, infanticide and genocide. Today we can clearly see that if a second wave of communist revolution does not begin, this nightmare of capitalism will continue its destructive existence. But what do we need to initiate this new wave and from where?

There is resistance and struggle throughout the world against all kinds of oppression that the capitalist system doles out to people. Yes, people fight back, but they fight back while having the same illusions the system has produced and trained them with. Many people fight back while holding the religious illusion of taming the wild forces of capitalism by going backwards. Many fight back while maintaining illusions about the possibility of reforming capitalism. We can see it in the Syriza and Podemos movements in Europe. Sadly the only emancipatory vision, programme and movement which is revolutionary communism is absent from the scene and this is the most tragic aspect of the present situation. The emancipatory history and experience of communism are buried. And when you do not know your liberatory history and the tools it has honed, it is like you have been born yesterday. A mere baby facing a vicious and experienced enemy!

But this history and its achievements have been saved for us and rendered much richer in vision and clarity, through another exhilarating leap in the science of communism. With this leap in the science of communism we can understand the workings of capitalism and how this system can be undone through revolution, much better than before. This new leap in our science of revolution has not come easily. In a four decade-long period, very hard scientific work went into dissecting every layer of the experience of the first wave of communist revolution and synthesizing its lessons in order to start the second stage or wave. Many errors of the first stage were identified and criticized. Many wrong understandings in the body of communist science as developed by Marx, Lenin and Mao were dug out, and its mainly correct body was synthesized to a higher level, making it a very sharp and more correct explanation of the complicated world that we have to change. It has also produced a very clear and correct understanding of the tortuous path that we have to open up in order to change the world.

This new leap in the science of communism is called the New Synthesis of Communism and this hard work has been carried out by the greatest revolutionary of our time: Bob Avakian. This is the most important and the most urgent message that we want to bring to you on this May Day: to be sure, this exhilarating scientific production stands in the same rank as Marx’s work. It gives humanity a framework to begin the second stage of communist revolution and rise to the challenge of the most urgent need of all humanity: getting rid of capitalism in every corner of the world.

Relying only on our hatred of the suffering of billions of people and all kinds of ugly things that capitalism produces we cannot overthrow it and change the world. We have to get hold of comrade Avakian’s works, just as all revolutionaries back in the 1960s did with the works of Marx, Lenin and Mao. That old stage of science of communism has now divided into two, and a more correct and thus a more revolutionary understanding has come out of its womb.

It is not possible to summarize a whole science and the road map for communist revolution in a May Day message. But through this message, we urgently call upon all those who yearn and need to make a real revolution and radically change the world for the better, to immediately plunge into this scientific work and road map of the new wave of communist revolution. This is the microscope and telescope of a real (and not phony) revolution. To fully abolish capitalism and class-divided society throughout the world is a difficult task to fulfill, and without applying the New Synthesis of Communism we will not be able to take even one step in the right direction and all of our tremendous struggles and sacrifices all over the world will be derailed and exhausted by powerful forces of the system. We have no time to waste! This is our message for a Red May Day!

Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)
—May Day 2016

Contact : cpimlm@gmail.com             Website: www.cpimlm.com

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #437 May 2, 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/437/justnotsports-video-society-saturated-in-hatred-of-women-en.html

Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

JustNotSports Video

A Society Saturated in the Hatred of Women—and the Way Out

by Sunsara Taylor | May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Last month, the website JustNotSports produced a damning video that revealed a taste of the pervasive hatred and harassment against women in sports. In this video, men read out loud just a few of the countless hateful comments that have been directed at Julie DiCaro and Sarah Spain, two female sports reporters. They read these comments directly to these women’s faces and they can barely get through it. You really have to watch the video. Here is a sample:

“One of the players should beat you to death with their hockey stick like the whore you are.”

“Cunt.”

“Why bring up your own rape in the story? Is it your way of firing back at critics who said you can’t get any?”

“I hope your boyfriend beats you.”

Think of the psychic toll of having to wade through this sewage of abuse every day just to do your job. Think of the stress and degradation of knowing that anonymous men are lusting for you to be hurt, raped, or killed. Think of the real physical danger that confronts women everywhere. Every 15 seconds in this country a woman is beaten. Every day three or four women are killed by their “partners.” Millions are raped. Millions more face harassment and abuse. Think of the men who carry out mass killings of women, leaving behind revenge-filled screeds dripping with anger at women for not sleeping with them.

Download the PDF of this pamphlet: A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity

And if you are a woman who speaks out against this abuse, it only makes you a bigger target. Think of Anita Sarkeesian, who spoke out against sexual degradation and harassment in video gaming, only to be sent drawings of herself being raped, stalked, and driven from her home. Her face was turned into a video game where, with each virtual “punch,” her face bruises, then bleeds, and finally disappears in a bloody mulch.

What JustNotSports has brought to light is powerful and invaluable—but there are three points that need to be made in response:

1. The hatred of women is not a “problem in sports,” it’s pervasive throughout this entire putrid society and system.

Misogyny—the violent hatred against women—saturates society. It fills the comments sections of sports and gaming websites. It is celebrated and glorified in pornography, where gang-rape, torture and abuse is mainstreamed. It is spewed—to the cheers of crowds—by the fascist bigot Trump.

In this society, nearly every boy and man has been trained since a young age to see women as sex objects who exist to titillate and please them, and to feel entitled to a woman all his own and to the subservience of all women. They learn this through porn, which shows women being routinely demeaned and degraded—and loving it. They learn it through comedy and music that calls women “bitches and hos.” They learn it through sports and video games that promote a grotesque “guy culture” of winning at all costs, being callous to the feelings of others, building oneself up by dominating others, and most of all degrading and demeaning women and LGBT people.

Then, way too many men, way too much of the time, spew and act on this hatred against women—in the bedroom, on the street, in locker rooms, on the Internet, at the job, in the military... everywhere.

2. The oppression of women by men is not being “overcome,” it is intensifying in its venom and volume.

Constantly, we are told that in this country, women have won their equality. We are shown the faces of women in politics and sports, in academia and the sciences, in the media and the boardrooms, and told these women are proof.

This is bullshit. As this video powerfully demonstrates, behind every public face of a woman who has broken into a previously exclusive male realm—be it sports, tech, gaming, etc.—is a barrage of abuse, raw anger, backlash and threats.

Break All the Chains!

Break ALL the Chains!
Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

Sampler Edition | Full Work

The hatred that so many men feel against women and feel the need to vent, is not new. For thousands of years men have been trained to treat—and rewarded for treating—women like chattel. Women have been beaten and forced to serve fathers and husbands, to guard their virginity and bear children—or have been cast out, shamed, killed outright, and/or treated as “whores.” The subservience of women to men is preached by every major religion. The Bible commands women to submit to their husbands as if they were the lord, and commands death to women who are not virgins when they get married. This oppression of women by men emerged with, and is a cornerstone, of all societies divided into classes, all societies in which one section of humanity rules over and lives off the labor of others. This definitely includes U.S. society today, a system of capitalism-imperialism that extends its armies and exploitation to every corner of the globe, and which has the oppression of women woven into its very fabric and functioning.

Yet, today, many men feel they are losing control over women. Major changes in the global capitalist economy, together with struggles waged by women, have undermined many traditional forms of patriarchy in this country. Gone are the days of “Father Knows Best” where women obediently stayed home with kids, while men were the sole breadwinners. Gone are the days when sports, the office, and politics were realms of male exclusivity and unvarnished domination. With some traditional forms of patriarchy slipping from their grip, but patriarchy itself remaining and growing in strength, men are lashing out and hitting back. Attempting to drive women out of “male realms” with threats of rape and violence. Attempting to force women into motherhood against their will through clinic bombings and laws that deny access to abortion and birth control. Openly proclaiming, as one commenter does in this video, “This is why we don’t hire any females unless we need our cocks sucked or our food cooked.” Today, this misogyny is intensifying and getting worse.

3. The oppression of women is NOT “human nature,” it can be overcome. This will take a total revolution. This is what Bob Avakian is leading and the time is NOW to get into—and get with—this revolution.

In the video, you see the pained reactions of the men who read the comments (not their own). The men squirm. They stall. They flinch. They apologize repeatedly. They ask if they can stop. “Uhhhh, okay, so I have to read all of them, right?” They avert their eyes. “I’m having trouble looking at you when I am saying these things.” Their faces crumple or go wide in shock. “I don’t think I can even say that.” You see how, when men begin to confront this misogyny for what it is, there is tremendous potential for them to reject it and want to break with it.

But for this potential to be realized not just among individuals or in small countercurrents, but throughout all of society and ultimately throughout the world, we need a total revolution. The system of capitalism-imperialism must be overthrown. A radically new economic system, a radically new social system, and a radically new state power must be brought into being—a socialist society on the road to a communist world. This new revolutionary state power would unleash the pent-up fury of women at thousands of years of tradition’s chains and give it backing throughout society—in the media and schools, in music and culture, and beyond. This revolutionary state power would give initiative to people as they experiment in bringing forward new ways for genders to relate, to forge relationships of love and friendship, to find new ways to live together and share in the rearing of children not rooted in women’s subordination. This revolutionary state power will unleash struggle against the hold of patriarchal religion over people’s thinking. All this would interpenetrate with the struggle to build a new economy free of exploitation, to strengthen the world revolution, to uproot white supremacy, to abolish enforced ignorance, to protect and repair the environment, and more. This will not be without contradiction and it won’t only be done from the top down—the whole society will be filled with turmoil and ferment and learning and experimentation, but there will also be leadership fighting to lead this entire process on the broad road to the complete abolition of exploitation and oppression of all kinds.

It is very good that JustNotSports made this video. We need more people resisting the intensifying hatred of women. At the same time, if you want future generations to grow up without ever knowing what it was like for half of humanity to be demeaned and degraded just because of what lies between their legs—the ONLY way this can be done is as part of the movement for a real revolution.

Get into the leadership of Bob Avakian, the foremost revolutionary leader and scientist on the planet today. Dig into his Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America to see how the new society will concretely function. Dig into his compendium Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution for the most realistic and liberating approach to winning the complete liberation of women. Read A Declaration: For Women’s Liberation and the Emancipation of all Humanity. Go to www.revcom.us every day to learn and stay connected to this movement. And join with the Revolution Clubs and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution, getting ready and getting organized to bring this system down and bring something much better into being.

Break the Chains! Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

From the Carl Dix & Sunsara Taylor National Campus Tour

"Yes, We MUST Seize State Power.
And No, They Are NOT Unbeatable!"

by Carl Dix

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

ON THE POSSIBILITY OF REVOLUTION

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During the “Meet the Revolution” tour, we have engaged in many formal and informal discussions with students over big questions. Here I want to get into a discussion I had with a couple of graduate students after one of the talks where we got right down to two big basic questions: Do the masses absolutely need to make revolution, or is there something short of that which could be liberating? And if we DO need to make revolution, could the rulers of today actually be defeated?

Sunsara and I had just put before the audience that the horrors inflicted on people all over the world were unnecessary; that they could be ended once and for all through revolution, nothing less; that Bob Avakian (BA) has developed a new synthesis of communism that takes the understanding of how to make revolution and bring into being a totally different and far better world; and that there was nothing more important students could do with their lives than get with the real revolution.

One of them began by saying, “Violent seizure of power from the ruling class is flat out not possible.” When I asked why, he replied: “Because the left is so far away from even thinking about that. Instead the left is thinking about how to build up movements that could achieve real things.”

Can the Masses Just “Withdraw From” the Authority of the State?

I asked what he saw such movements achieving. “They could spearhead mass withdrawal from the authority of the state by people concerned about income inequality, the environment, racism, sexism, etc.” He argued that this would lead to the state collapsing. Citing Antonio Negri (co-author of the book Empire), he added: “This would resolve the ‘problem’ of leadership because withdrawing from the domination of the state could be achieved by a horizontal movement.”

I probed the model this student was arguing for, asking whether he really felt people could just withdraw from the authority of the state and whether the state would allow them to do so or still unleash its repressive apparatus against such a movement if it considered that movement a threat. He said people could withdraw from the state’s authority, but he had to admit he wasn’t sure the state would respect such a withdrawal. He said: “That’s the problem I see with my approach.”

I directed things to what was the actual problem we were confronted with here and what would it really take to deal with that problem. “Look, seizing state power isn’t on the radar screen of the ‘left,’ or of hardly anyone else in society. But whether or not people are thinking about this isn’t the question. It really is the case that the horrors humanity faces are built into the fabric of this system, and revolution is what’s needed to get rid of this system. So we have to grapple with how this could be done. We have to look at what the problem actually is, and not redefine it into being something else which we think might be easier to solve.

“Neither Eric Garner nor Sandra Bland had the option of withdrawing from the system. Neither do immigrants driven from Mexico to the U.S. in search of work and survival, or women seeking to have an abortion. Neither do villagers in Pakistan or Yemen being targeted by U.S. drone strikes or children living in garbage dumps in Angola or the Philippines. They and billions of others around the world have no choice but to live their lives in the gears of the imperialist system. And the question is: What’s needed to emancipate humanity from this situation?

“Even people not aiming to seize power will be subjected to savage repression if the ruling class decides they’re a threat.” I cited the coordinated assault on Occupy as an example of this. “The horrors of this world are actually real, and anyone who finds them intolerable needs to grapple with how to end them by getting rid of the system that causes them. And this requires an actual seizure of power. BA has led the Revolutionary Communist Party in figuring out how to go about doing that.”

How the Revolution Would Have to Be Fought

On the Strategy for Revolution
Click to read

I directed him to “On the Possibility of Revolution” (OTP) and the strategy for revolution statement on revcom.us, urging him to read them. And I spoke in broad strokes to what they lay out. “History has shown it is necessary to rip the power from the ruling class through meeting and defeating their military and repressive apparatus; if this isn’t done, the capitalist-imperialist system will remain in effect, grinding away, breaking the bodies and crushing the spirits of billions of people worldwide.

“By applying science, the science of communism, it’s possible to figure out how even a state as powerful as this one could be defeated. Key to doing this is to be clear that an all-out attempt to seize power could only have a real chance to win if it were launched in the midst of a revolutionary crisis—that is, when the rulers are divided up and fighting fiercely among themselves and when millions of people are ready to be led to go all out to make revolution. That time is not yet here. But it is our responsibility to work politically to hasten that time and to prepare a core NOW to lead those millions to win, when times do change and the chance opens up.”

I continued, saying that “In launching and carrying forward the attempt to seize power, the revolutionary forces would have to fight in ways that were consistent with the liberating society they were fighting to bring into being; and in ways that would take the reactionary rulers ‘out of their game.’ This would include refusing to be drawn into decisive encounters with the rulers’ military prematurely and working to wear down the effectiveness of the enemy’s forces. And it would include fighting in ways that would make it harder for the rulers to unleash all their military might on the revolution; or at least would drive even more people into opposition to their attempts to suppress the revolution if they did unleash all their military on the revolution. And the revolutionaries would have to go at this in a way that would make it possible to draw on the support of the millions of people who wanted to see the system brought down.” I noted that OTP goes at how this would have to be done in a country like this one, and I urged him to go to the website revcom.us and get into it. (I urge everyone reading this to do the same.)

Villagers massacred by U.S. Army troops at My Lai in Vietnam, March 16, 1968.Villagers massacred by U.S. Army troops at My Lai in Vietnam, March 16, 1968.

GIs refuse to go out on patrol, AK Valley, Vietnam, September 1969
GIs refuse to return to combat, AK Valley, Vietnam, September 1969.

What Are the Real Lessons of the U.S. Defeat in Vietnam?

Finally, I cited what happened in Vietnam in the 1960s as an example of a smaller, less powerful, military force that tapped into an oppressed people’s desire for liberation and succeeded in defeating the much more powerful U.S. military. Vietnamese liberation forces had defeated the French army, liberating the northern part of their country from French colonialism. The U.S. had sent more than 500,000 soldiers into South Vietnam to back up the government France had set up in that part of the country. The U.S. also dropped more bombs on Vietnam than had been dropped in Europe during WW 2 to keep the liberation forces from uniting the whole country under their rule.

The Vietnamese people resisted this U.S. invasion for a decade, fighting its powerful military to a standstill and kicking its ass in many encounters. In the speech, I had laid out how I had been in the U.S. army and been given orders to go to Vietnam, orders that I had refused to obey.

One of the students responded that he didn’t think the U.S. had been defeated in Vietnam. He felt the U.S. chose to withdraw their forces and support South Vietnam’s army against the liberation forces, but the South Vietnamese army proved not to be able to defeat the liberation forces. I had to tell him that this missed a big part of the reality. “I was in the U.S. army in the 1960s and 1970s. Things had reached the point where U.S. soldiers were refusing to go on patrol to seek out the liberation forces and fight them. There were many cases of U.S. soldiers killing U.S. officers who tried to force them to go out and fight. This was a significant part of why the U.S. rulers pulled their troops out in the early ’70s.”

This student didn’t see that progressive forces could engage in this kind of warfare today. He said he was familiar with “asymmetrical warfare”—warfare in which less powerful forces take on larger, better armed military forces—but he felt this was only suitable for fascist forces today. I asked why, and he replied, “They’re the only ones carrying out this kind of warfare today.” He also felt the Vietnam experience backed up his approach of taking the system on through decentralized, nonviolent resistance because he felt the U.S. military’s effectiveness had been worn away by GI resistance in the military and the impact of the antiwar movement.

I told him that now he was only looking at what happened in the U.S. and ignoring more fundamental things that were happening in Vietnam and laying the foundation for what was happening in the U.S. “The antiwar movement in this country and resistance of soldiers inside the army were factors in the defeat the U.S. suffered in Vietnam, but important as they were, they were secondary ones. The most decisive factor was how the Vietnamese revolutionaries had fought the U.S. military to a standstill and inflicted many defeats on it in the process. This, along with the influence of the powerful Black liberation struggle within the U.S. and the youth movements, is what eroded the effectiveness of the U.S. military and contributed to soldiers like me opposing the Vietnam War from inside the U.S. army.”

What People Think... and How to Think About It

This called to mind Bob Avakian’s quote that “What people think is part of objective reality, but objective reality is not determined by what people think.” I told this student that reality was far more dynamic than he saw it. Yes, it matters that not only the “left” but society more broadly isn’t even thinking about revolution. “But what’s more fundamental is what the underlying reality will compel people to think about and do as things develop. Because of that, it’s crucial that those who see the need for acting to stop the horrors of today’s world to spread broadly throughout society the need for, and possibility of, revolution and to organize them into an actual revolution.”


Revolution Club at Rise Up October

Get with the Revolution Club  here

Join the REVOLUTION CLUB!

I took this back to the message of our tour, connecting this generation of students to the actual revolution and recruiting them into it. That this was why it mattered if people connected with the Revolution Clubs, studied the works of BA with it, and ran with it to fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution. That what people did right now would determine whether there would be hundreds of trained and tested leaders prepared to lead millions whenever a revolutionary crisis opened up. And that this would contribute to hastening the development of a revolutionary crisis.

By this point, not just the room we were in, but the whole building was being shut down. We had to draw to a close for the evening, as did the other knots of students and revolutionaries huddled in other parts of the room. I worked to get him connected to the Revolution Club members in the area and urged him to go regularly to this website, revcom.us, where we will be reflecting much more about these and other big questions as part of taking this fight forward for students to join the revolution.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/437/sunsara-taylor-an-open-letter-to-columbia-students-en.html

Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

A Salute, and an Invitation
An Open Letter to Students Demanding Columbia University Divest from Fossil Fuels

from Sunsara Taylor

April 28, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Students at Columbia University recently occupied President Bollinger's office to demand the university divest investments in companies profiting in fossil fuels—as they contribute to global warming. During this, I spoke to some of the students, and others on campus. Off this, I extend the following message.

You are right that our planet is in peril from global warming: melting ice sheets, dying oceans, desertification of formerly fertile lands, stronger storms, collapsing ecosystems...death and immiseration of people in the most poor and oppressed parts of the world...with time running out.

Your occupation and defiance drew broad support and forced many to confront the emergency we face.

For all this, a salute! More people, especially students, need to put themselves on the line before it’s too late for humanity and the planet.

Your acts hopefully will inspire others to radical resistance, not only on this front, but also to STOP police terror and mass incarceration, especially of Black and Brown people, STOP the degradation and subjugation of women, and oppression based on sexual orientation and gender, STOP wars of empire, and STOP the deportation and demonization of immigrants. 

Read here

I extend an invitation, to follow through on your convictions, to keep fighting the power until we stop all the horrors described above, all the while going more deeply and scientifically to the root of the problem, and what it will actually take to resolve all this. In this process, do not be afraid to go outside comfort zones, to interrogate and challenge conventional wisdom and deeply held beliefs—for it matters for humanity, the seven billion people. In this context and spirit, two major points:

I. First, as solutions, some students I spoke with suggested “a truly green economy” and others suggested “local, worker-run cooperatives”—within and in the interstices of the existing capitalist system. Given the urgency and stakes, I speak frankly, and question how these measure up to reality and actually solve the problem we confront. In particular:

How do you see it possible to rapidly and comprehensively transition away from a fossil-fuel economy to a truly green economy under this capitalist-imperialist system?

Capitalism is driven by cutthroat competition between blocs of capital. These blocs stalking and permeating the globe seeking starvation wages and the cheapest resources. These blocs clawing ahead, or getting driven under. Countries compete and are forced to compete viciously. In these driving dynamics and profit-driven calculus, the protection of the environment is an added cost, an “externality” at best. At worst, the environment is a resource to be plundered.

The world could be a whole other way. Take a radical step into the future...

Read the entire Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).

Order the book here

How do you see this transition working when the system of extracting oil and gas has been so productive and profitable? (Oil production and fracking skyrocketed under Obama, the “environmental president.”) When tremendous resources, infrastructure, and investment capital are tied up in fossil fuel production already—and private owners have to recoup these (their) huge investments? Do we just have to wait till this is no longer the case, and should this even be the criteria? How do you see getting countries to “rise above” their competitive national and economic interests? When the science is attacked and undermined by powers that be, the scientists mocked and ignored, their dire warnings fundamentally unheeded?

How do you see local, worker-run cooperatives providing a real alternative to capitalism and a way to solve this planetary crisis?

How would these local, worker-cooperatives in the imperialist countries like the U.S., Western Europe and Japan avoid just “socializing” (equally distributing) the wealth from centuries of global plunder? How would this network of small-scale producers coordinate and prioritize to solve the global problem of climate change—again, while addressing the lopsidedness of a world divided between imperialist powers and the oppressed nations (the “Third World”)? How would it meet the basic needs of seven billion people on the planet, food, clothing and shelter, in an environmentally sustainable way? How would they “trade” with each other? How would these cooperatives consistently sacrifice based on the larger interests of humanity? How would they overcome centuries-old relations of oppression and exploitation, inequalities based on nationality, race, gender and sexuality—on a societal level?

There are answers to these questions: I have had to dig at them, and I have had to approach the world scientifically. We all do, if we are to rise to and meet the great needs and challenges before us.

Read the Revolution special issue on the environmental emergency that now faces humanity and earth's ecosystems.

In this issue:

  • the dimensions of the emergency...
  • the source of its causes in the capitalist system, and the impossibility of that system solving this crisis...
  • a way out and way forward for humanity—a revolutionary society in which we could actually live as custodians of nature, rather than as its plunderers.

Read online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

II. Second, the truth is, the environmental crisis cannot be resolved under this system. Neither can the oppression of Black people, of women, of immigrants, and bringing an end to wars of empire. The system must be overthrown—at the earliest possible time, with millions part of an actual revolution.

This requires science and scientific leadership. This is what makes Bob Avakian (BA) so critical. Bob Avakian’s leadership concentrates a thoroughly scientific approach to knowing and radically changing the world, and on this basis, he has developed a new framework of human emancipation. 

If you are serious about what is confronting humanity and the planet, you need to get into BA.

To those who offer facile dismissals of Bob Avakian based on claims that his promotion is “cultish,” come off it. This claim is just an inexcusable and facile pretext for refusing to engage his actual contribution—the serious work and leadership that enables us to wrench a future in which all of humanity could flourish, while healing and protecting the world’s diverse ecosystems and environment.

We are getting organized for an actual revolution. Carl Dix and I spoke on your campus a few weeks ago, to recruit you to this revolution, the REAL revolution. We reiterate this call, and if you missed us at Columbia, we invite you to attend the next stop of the tour at City College of New York (CCNY), just up the street in Harlem (138th Street & Convent Ave, off the #1 train to 137th) on May 11 from 3–5 pm in Shepard Hall 51, Student Organization Club Space, Conference Room Q. And come visit Revolution Books at 437 Malcolm X Blvd/Lenox Ave @ 132nd St. to get deeper into the revolution.
 

Sunsara Taylor

***
Go to www.revcom.us for the following:

The Science, The Strategy, The Leadership for An Actual Revolution and A Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation, by Bob Avakian

Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian

State of EMERGENCY! The Plunder of Our Planet, The Environmental Catastrophe & The Real Revolutionary Solution,” a special issue of Revolution newspaper (www.revcom.us)

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

A Vote for the Democrats Would Be a Vote for War Crimes

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

An article titled “How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk” appeared in the New York Times Magazine on April 21. It is telling you what to expect if Hillary Clinton is the next president:

For all their bluster about bombing the Islamic State into oblivion, neither Donald J. Trump nor Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has demonstrated anywhere near the appetite for military engagement abroad that Clinton has. (our emphasis)

This is a mainstream, liberal, ruling class institution telling you that fascist lunatics like Cruz and Trump don’t have anywhere near the appetite Hillary Clinton has for invasions, bombings, civilian massacres, war crimes, baby-killing sanctions, and everything else for which “military engagement abroad” is a euphemism (a way of talking about U.S. wars without acknowledging what they really mean).

Maybe you got involved in the elections because you saw Bernie Sanders as being about something fundamentally different than that. We disagreed. (“If You’re into Bernie Sanders...”) But now what? Are you going to vote for Hillary Clinton?

Look at four “highlights” of Hillary Clinton’s record and positions on “military engagement abroad”:

1. The Iraq War

Fallujah, Iraq, November 12, 2004.
U.S. Marines in Fallujah, Iraq, November 12, 2004. AP photo

Today, Hillary Clinton justifies voting for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq by saying she “made the best decision I could with the information I had.” However anyone might spin or interpret that, Hillary Clinton has never taken responsibility for the human cost of invading Iraq.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the occupation that followed, caused the deaths of more than 600,000 Iraqis. It drove more than four million people from their homes. And it played a key role in generating the forces that became ISIS. The war was a massive war crime wave on the part of the U.S.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq was characterized by civilian massacres, torture (including at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison), and war crimes. In destroying the city of Fallujah in 2004—to send a message to anyone who got in its way—the U.S. used white phosphorous shells in a massive and indiscriminate way against civilians.

Hillary Clinton has never apologized or expressed regret for any of that.

2. Clinton’s closest advisers are perpetrators of and cheerleaders for invasions, war crimes, and torture.

Children killed during a U.S. raid north of Baghdad, March 15, 2006.
Children killed in a U.S. raid north of Baghdad, March 15, 2006. AP photo

Hillary Clinton and her people are telling you that she has always thought Obama was not and is not militarily aggressive enough in the Middle East.*

She relies on and is close to the most rabidly pro-war-crimes generals and diplomats. One of Clinton’s close advisers is Madeleine Albright, who made headlines a few months ago saying “there’s a special place in hell for women” who don’t support Hillary. And Madeleine Albright, herself, like Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state, justified U.S. sanctions that devastated Iraq’s infrastructure and kept children from getting essential nutrition and medicine that resulted in the deaths of more than 500,000 of them. Said Albright: “We think the price is worth it.”

On behalf of the Clinton camp, Albright attacked Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech on April 27 as being too isolationist. And Albright is just one of a whole crew of extreme military hawks close to and advising Clinton. Another is Jack Keane, a retired four-star general whom the Times described as “the resident hawk on Fox News, where he appears regularly to call for the United States to use greater military force in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.” Clinton has also had close ties to former general and CIA director David Petraeus, infamous for his role in civilian massacres, torture, and death squads in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2014, Petraeus said Hillary Clinton would “make a tremendous president.”

3. Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, was the driving force in the White House behind the U.S. role in the bombing of Libya, and gleefully celebrated it.

The U.S./NATO bombing of Libya effectively overthrew a regime that had been a thorn in the side of the U.S. and the West. In the aftermath, Libya is in utter shambles, torn apart by reactionary warlords and a breeding ground for ISIS. The U.N. estimates that roughly 400,000 Libyans have fled their homes since the U.S. and its NATO allies overthrew Gaddafi—a quarter of whom have left the country altogether.

When Hillary Clinton got news that Gaddafi was dead, she ghoulishly laughed and gloated “We came, we saw, he died”—invoking the imperial words of Julius Caesar, who is reported to have celebrated a victory over a rival by saying “veni, vidi, vici”—“I came, I saw, I conquered.”

The result? Libya is dominated by forces “guilty of arbitrary detention, torture, unlawful killings, indiscriminate attacks, disappearances, and the forceful displacement of people. In addition, armed groups that pledged allegiance to the extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) are also summarily killing people in areas under their control.” (Human Rights Watch)

4. At a time when the apartheid—openly and violently racist—nature of Israel is becoming more and more exposed, Hillary Clinton is making a big point that she will be way more aggressively pro-Israel than Obama.

In a speech to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Clinton lashed out at the movement that is opposing Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians with boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). She slandered and promoted moves to legally ban that movement on campuses and communities in the U.S.

In her speech, Clinton made it clear that when it comes to Israel, she is way to the right of Obama—who himself backed Israel’s massacre in Gaza in 2014 that killed more than 500 children. She announced that one of her first acts as president would be to invite Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House. Netanyahu is a particularly rabid Zionist fanatic even within the spectrum of traditional Israeli politics and someone who basically spit in Obama’s face by speaking, without an invitation from the White House, to the U.S. Congress to denounce the Iran nuclear deal.

* * *

Voting for the Democrats is complicity with those crimes—past, present, and future. Is that what you want? Is this why you got involved in trying to change things through the Democrats?

So... what are you gonna do now?

* * *

Sources

1) Iraq War Deaths

For documentation on the death and devastation caused by the U.S. invasion of Iraq, see: “Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey” by Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi, and Gilbert Burnham (The Lancet, November 20, 2004) and, “Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey” by Gilbert Burnham, Riyadh Lafta, Shannon Doocy, and Les Roberts (The Lancet, October 21, 2006.

For documentation on U.S. use of phosphorous in Iraq War, including on-screen, first hand testimony by U.S. troops who carried out or witnessed war crimes (and then spoke out against them) see: Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre, the documentary film by Sigfrido Ranucci and Maurizio Torrealta. The film documents the use of chemical weapons, particularly the use of incendiary bombs, and other indiscriminate use of violence against civilians and children by military forces of the United States in the city of Fallujah in Iraq during the Fallujah Offensive of November 2004.

2) For documentation that Madeleine Albright upheld 500,000 children killed by U.S. sanctions against Iraq, see: “Madeleine Albright The deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children was worth it” (video).

3) For documentation on the situation in Libya after the U.S./NATO bombing campaign that facilitated the downfall of the Ghadafi regime, see a Human Rights Watch report at www.hrw.org/middle-east/n-africa/libya.

For documentation on Hillary Clinton’s defining role in the bombing of Libya and creating the current hell on earth in that country, see the New York Times series “The Libya Gamble.”

See Hillary Clinton ghoulishly laughing and celebrating U.S. invasion of Libya and death of former ruler Ghadafi: “Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi: We came, we saw, he died.” (video)

4) For documentation of Israel’s war crimes in Gaza and apartheid oppression of the Palestinians. For a report on the 2011 war, see “Report of the independent commission of inquiry established pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution S-21/1” (UN Human Rights Council, June 24, 2015).  For a current survey of crimes against humanity being committed against the Palestinians today see “Freedom of Movement: Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.” (UN Human Rights Council, February 2016)


* One of the factors behind significant sections of the ruling class getting behind Obama in 2004 was that there was tremendous war weariness and discontent in society in opposition to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. This was seen as a potentially dangerous threat to the perceived legitimacy of the whole system. These forces, and Obama himself, played up the fact that he had voted against the Iraq war and much of the outrage against the war was channeled into getting behind him. Another factor in Obama’s attempts to de-escalate U.S. involvement in the Middle East was an assessment by powerful voices in the ruling class that it was necessary and possible to “pivot to Asia” in order to more aggressively confront and contend with China’s rising influence and power. That “pivot” didn’t prove to be possible to accomplish to the degree it was envisioned—given how the Middle East has spun increasingly out of control during the Obama administration. [back]

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

Horrific Suicide Epidemic Devastates Attawapiskat People:

Genocide, Canadian Style

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

17-year-old Attawapiskat woman tells of her 13-year-old sister's suicide, as well as of her owon previous suicide attempts.
17-year-old Attawapiskat woman tells of her 13-year-old sister's suicide, as well as of her own previous suicide attempts. (Photo: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

For the Attawapiskat First Nation Indians of northern Manitoba, Canada, Saturday night, April 9 was an unimaginable nightmare: 11 of their youth tried to commit suicide on this night alone.

And this was just one day in the suicide epidemic devastating the Attawapiskat and other indigenous peoples. One hundred Attawapiskats—five percent of their population of 2,000—have attempted suicide since last September. The oldest was 71; the youngest 11. In March there was a suicide attempt nearly every day. That same month, the Pimicikamak Cree Nation in northern Manitoba declared a state of emergency after six members killed themselves in three months. Of the 1,200 students in their local school, 120 have been placed on suicide watch. Suicide rates among Canada’s 1.4 million indigenous peoples are 10 times higher for young men and 21 times higher for young women than the national average.

Just pause for a moment and think about the massive amounts of human pain, agony, and suffering contained in these statistics. Ask yourself what led so many young people to such despair that they concluded they were better off dead.

“Kill the Indian in the Child”

Each of these suicides is unique, but they all share a common history: genocide.

Under its 140-year-long “Indian Act,” Canada robbed native peoples of their land by forcing them into reserves, robbed them of their resources, even robbed them of their children! Between 1876 and 1996, 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families and put in mainly church-run schools whose policy was to “kill the Indian in the child.” More than 6,000 children died and countless thousands were abused. “These measures were part of a coherent policy to eliminate Aboriginal people as distinct peoples and to assimilate them into the Canadian mainstream against their will,” Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission found last year. ["Aboriginal people" refers to the inhabitants of a land before it was colonized.]

Think about that, for a moment: “to kill the Indian in the child.” Think of the psychic toll that must have taken, and still takes, on entire generations.

Genocide to Serve a System

The lands of the Attawapiskat and other First Nations were stolen and their cultures attacked, first to forge Canada as a British colony and then as a foundation for an imperialist Canada independent of Britain.  Canada’s founding and existence is based on ongoing brutality against aboriginal peoples and the violent theft of their lands and resources.

This systematic plunder, abuse, and genocide has changed form, but not stopped. Today the Attawapiskat suffer extreme poverty, over 60 percent unemployment, an abysmal lack of basic services and schools, and acute housing shortages—with 10 to 15 people sometimes forced to live in a single, small run-down house, this in areas where winter temperatures can drop to well below zero.

“This is how First Nations live in the Bantustans of Canada’s north,” one indigenous Canadian writes. “Broke and broken people with little to no opportunities live in cold, run-down homes and suffer from generations of sexual, physical and psychological abuse.”

Download PDF

Meanwhile the South Africa-based De Beers conglomerate extracted $392 million in diamonds in 2013 alone from lands stolen from the Attawapiskat by a Canadian government-imposed treaty in 1930.

This horrific genocide formed part of what Karl Marx called the “rosy dawn” of the capitalist system; and it will be the communist revolution against that system which will draw forward and lead those whom this system has tried to crush to be part of the overthrow of that system—a revolution which will right those historic wrongs and overcome those historic scars, as part of the revolutionary struggle to transform the whole world and emancipate humanity.

 

 


 

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Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

American Crime

Case #100: 1965 Massacre in Indonesia

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

American Crime is a regular feature of revcom.us. Each installment will focus on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 

THE CRIME: Bloated corpses clogged and choked the rivers of Indonesia. Villagers didn’t want to eat anything caught in these waters because human fingers were found inside the fish. This sounds like a horror movie. But this was an American-made reality.

Members of the Youth Wing of the Indonesian Communist Party being taken to a Jakarta prison, October 30, 1965.

Members of the youth wing of the Indonesian Communist Party being hauled to a Jakarta prison, October 30, 1965. AP photo

For many months, starting at the end of 1965, the Suharto regime in Indonesia slaughtered people with wild abandon. At least 500,000, perhaps more than a million, people were killed, including members of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), trade unionists, intellectuals, teachers, land reform advocates, ordinary peasants, ethnic Chinese, women, and children. Hundreds of thousands more were arrested and tortured.

This massive bloodbath was set in motion, backed and orchestrated by the United States. The U.S. provided the Suharto regime with equipment, weapons and ultimately tens of billions of dollars. CIA advisers counseled Indonesian generals. Top U.S. Embassy officials compiled and approved a list of those who might oppose the new regime and this HIT LIST with 5,000 names was handed over to the Indonesian military. Then during the slaughter, U.S. advisers coldly calculated and assessed the progress—methodically checking the names of the dead, one by one, off the list.

Robert J. Martens, a former member of the embassy’s political section who was responsible for compiling the lists and turning them over to the Indonesian military, said in an interview, “It really was a big help to the army. They probably killed a lot of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment.”

By the end of January 1966, the deputy CIA station chief in Indonesia said the checked-off names were so numerous that CIA analysts in Washington concluded that the leadership of the PKI had been destroyed.

THE CRIMINALS: Thousands in the Suharto government carried out this massacre, and many U.S. operatives were there behind the scenes, facilitating the carnage. But U.S. president Lyndon Johnson was ultimately responsible for calling the shots, and he was clearly pleased with the horrific outcome. The New York Times described the Johnson administration’s “delight with the news from Indonesia” and the private responses of U.S. officials who were “elated to find their expectations being realized.” President Johnson’s secretary of state, Dean Rusk, cabled his encouragement to the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta. The “campaign against the communists,” he wrote, must continue as the military “are [the] only force capable of creating order in Indonesia.” The U.S. ambassador replied that he had assured Suharto and his generals “that the U.S. government [is] generally sympathetic with, and admiring of, what the army is doing.”

CRIMINAL PAST: In the early 1960s, the U.S. laid the groundwork for massive repression. An April 1962 meeting between American and British officials resulted in a consensus “to liquidate Sukarno.” The U.S. trained thousands of Indonesian army officers. The CIA built networks of agents and informants in the trade unions, where the PKI had a lot of influence. According to former CIA agent Ralph McGehee, “[In 1963] U.S.-trained Indonesian trade unionists began gathering the names of workers who were members or sympathizers of unions affiliated with the national labor federation, SOBSI. These trade unionist spies laid the groundwork for many of the massacres of 1965-1966. The CIA also used elements in the 105,000 strong Indonesian national police force to penetrate and gather information on the PKI.” (Covert Action Quarterly, Fall 1990)

THE ALIBI: The reactionary pro-U.S. regime of Suharto seized power after a failed military coup. Before this, Sukarno led a nationalist coalition government in which the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) played a prominent role. The PKI didn’t advocate armed revolution, but the U.S. saw them as a threat to be eliminated. Suharto claimed the attempted military coup was part of a nationwide conspiracy to commit mass murder. This became the pretext for a massacre that targeted the PKI but also killed trade union activists, youths and women’s groups, peasants in remote villages, progressive intellectuals, students and others who the regime claimed were “murderers and accomplices” in this so-called conspiracy.

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE: In the early 1960s, U.S. imperialism faced huge challenges. U.S. efforts to crush the revolution in China had failed and a new government led by Mao had come to power in 1949—with one quarter of humanity building a socialist society, inspiring people around the world. In the early 1950s, the Chinese Army stopped the U.S. Army cold in its move into northern Korea, and delivered a historic defeat on the world’s most powerful imperialist army. Throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America, national liberation struggles rose in armed revolution against colonialism and imperialism, and often put forward socialism and communism as the ultimate goal of their struggle.

The U.S. was very worried about maintaining control in Southeast Asia, where Indonesia is located. With socialist China to the north and the growing struggle for national liberation in Vietnam, U.S. rulers felt compelled to crush any other spark of rebellion or possible trouble for them. The U.S. could not allow the Sukarno coalition government, in which the Communist Party of Indonesia played a prominent role. It needed to try and crush growing unrest and anti-U.S. sentiment. In March of that year,1965, students had taken over the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta to protest the murder of Malcolm X. Right before the coup, U.S. President Johnson spoke about the need for the U.S. to take on the “communist threat,” saying, “There are great stakes in the balance. Most of the non-Communist nations of Asia cannot, by themselves and alone, resist the growing might and the grasping ambition of Asian communism. Our power, therefore, is a very vital shield.”

And so, as many as one million people were slaughtered and the people of Indonesia were subjected to a 40-year rule of military terror (which included a terrible genocide against the people of East Timor, as well as other crimes): all in the service of what the imperialists deemed to be in their interests.

For more information:
Indonesia: U.S. Role in 1965 Massacres,” Revolution, November 9, 2015
Suharto’s Purge, Indonesia’s Silence,” Joshua Oppenheimer, New York Times, September 29, 2015

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/437/after-bombing-hospital-in-afghanistan-2015-en.html

Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

After Bombing a Hospital in Afghanistan in 2015:
U.S. War Criminals Judge Themselves "Not Guilty" of War Crimes

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

At 2:15 in the morning, Saturday, October 3, 2015, the United States carried out a massive, sustained bombing attack against a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (also known by their French acronym, MSF) in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Forty-two people died, including courageous hospital staff treating patients in the most extreme circumstances, and helpless patients.

A report in The Intercept described the impact of the attack: “By the time the attack was over, the intensive care unit, the emergency room, and the operating theaters were burned to a husk. The corrugated tin roof had peeled off, and only the walls remained standing, pockmarked with cannon fire. The aircraft had fired 211 shells, killing 42 patients and staff who had trusted in the hospital’s neutral and protected status. Patients had burned in their beds. Six charred bodies awaited forensic investigation to determine their identity; they had been burned beyond recognition.”

Doctors Without Borders administrators had given the U.S. the exact coordinates of their position, so at the very least this attack revealed reckless disregard for the lives of people in the hospital—which defines it as a war crime. Then, the attack continued for at least a half hour while Doctors Without Borders officials were on the phone with U.S. military commanders demanding the bombing stop.

Doctors Without Borders immediately called for an investigation by a third-party international agency with the assumption that a war crime had been committed. Instead, the U.S. military announced they would investigate themselves. On April 29, they announced that they had found themselves not guilty.

In clearing themselves of war crimes, the U.S. military released a 3,000-page report. A Pentagon spokesman said those who ordered and carried out the massacre “were trying to do the right thing.” And that the sustained bombing was just “a combination of human errors, compounded by process and equipment failures.” The Pentagon announced there would be no criminal charges against the commanders and perpetrators, the identities of the killers would not be revealed, and the so-called “discipline” for 16 people involved would be slaps-on-the-wrist such as “letters of reprimand and admonishment” or “retraining.”

First of all, the U.S. case that this was an accident is basically irrelevant. The reckless disregard for human life revealed by the military’s own account (and that is if you buy the military’s story) by itself defines this as a war crime. Beyond that, whatever the exact circumstances of this attack, it is part of a long-term pattern and policy of U.S. attacks on medical workers and patients in Afghanistan.

For years, Doctors Without Borders has been protesting a series of murderous U.S. and NATO assaults on their hospitals including helicopter attacks, armed raids by U.S. troops, and terrorizing patients and staff. And, Doctors Without Borders has gone on record refusing to coordinate their work with the agenda of the U.S. (or anyone else) in Afghanistan. Instead, they have insisted their mission is to help desperate people in need of medical care.  (“Afghanistan: A Return to Humanitarian Action”). The October 3 massacre of their hospital in Kunduz was a bloody message from the U.S. military that there is an open season on Doctors Without Borders.

The Pentagon’s statement accompanying the release of the April 29 report is a total whitewash. The U.S. military invented its own definition of war crimes and declared itself “innocent.” The U.S. military is burying the essential facts of what happened: that the U.S. by all accounts continued to bomb the hospital long after Doctors Without Borders reached U.S. commanders by phone demanding the bombing stop. And there is no recognition that this crime was part of a whole pattern and policy of the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan.

The U.S. refusal to cooperate with a credible independent inquiry as demanded by Doctors Without Borders is outrageous. Refusing to seriously punish anyone responsible is an insulting offense to the heroic medical workers, hospital staff, and patients who were murdered, and their loved ones. And as such, the Pentagon report and the whole U.S. response to charges of war crimes is essentially a green light for more U.S. war crimes.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/437/paying-out-for-right-to-carry-out-police-murder-en.html

Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

"Paying Out" for the Right to Carry Out Police Murder of Innocent People: Just the Cost of "Doing Business" in Capitalist America

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old playing in a park who was gunned down by police in Cleveland, Ohio on November 22, 2014.

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Last week, the City of Cleveland, the same city that would not indict the police who took the life of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, paid out $6 million to Tamir’s family. Part of the settlement was that Cleveland does not admit to any wrongdoing.

When corporations want to do highly profitable projects that do real damage to the environment, they buy “polluting rights” in the form of carbon credits under the Clean Air Act. It’s considered the cost of doing business in Capitalist Imperialist America.

The Cleveland payout, the latest in a series of seven-figure payouts by major American cities facing national outrage, is the cynical and soulless “reasonable cost accounting” of running a capitalist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie—where cash settlements are considered the cost of protecting the police whose purpose is to serve, protect and enforce the capitalist system. It’s the price of ensuring that police are allowed to continue to kill with impunity, especially at those times when they are caught red-handed.

This is NOT justice. And it raises the question: Why do we tolerate a system where the “cost of doing business as usual” includes the murder of Black children? How long will this outrage, this horror, go on?

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/437/one-year-after-baltimore-uprising-en.html

Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

Baltimore Anniversary:

Two Lessons Courtesy of a Pig System

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

freddie gray
Freddie Gray

Just over one year ago, a gang of Baltimore pigs chased down 25-year-old Freddie Gray for the crime of “making eye contact”—they beat him down, twisted him up like a pretzel, cuffed him and put him, unbelted, in the back of a police van as they lurched around town in one of the “rough rides” for which they are justly hated... and they kept it up until his spinal cord was snapped and he was dying.

After Freddie’s funeral the youth of Baltimore rose up—RIGHTEOUSLY—to demand an end to this police murder and terror, deeply rocking this system and raising big questions about its treatment of Black people and the legitimacy of its armed enforcers.

Shaken and rocked back on their heels, the system’s political leaders and media went into high gear. They preached “reconciliation,” commissioned reports and investigations and paraded “progressive” candidates for office. They even mounted a half-assed and so-far botched prosecution of some of the cops involved in murdering Freddie. Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby claimed “I hear you; I understand you,” as she filed indictments against the cops. Then they surreptitiously fomented or “allowed to happen” a wave of crime and violence among the people to create confusion and demoralization.

Flash forward one year

Dedric Colvin
Dedric Colvin

On the anniversary of Freddie Gray’s funeral, two plainclothes Baltimore cops rolled up on 14-year-old Dedric Colvin, who was playing with a toy gun. Whether because he was sensibly scared of cops or just thought he was being challenged by two armed men, Dedric took off running. The cops gave chase. A witness said Dedric turned to the cops saying “It’s not real. It’s not real.” Then the cops shot Dedric, in the shoulder and the leg.

Dedric’s mom rushed to the scene, pleading with the cops to tell her “Is my son alive?” When they didn’t answer she tried to leave to call the hospital—the cops handcuffed her and put her in their car! They took her to the station, interrogated her some more, put her in a cell while she pleaded to be taken to the hospital; it was two hours before she saw her son!

Dedric’s blood didn’t have time to dry before Police Commissioner Kevin Davis justified the shooting, saying he had “no reason to believe that these officers acted inappropriately whatsoever...” and “That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what cops do” when going after anyone they suspect may be armed. [Emphasis added.] Straight-up, the top cop in the city said that shooting an unarmed and innocent Black youth is “what we’re supposed to do”!

Two major lessons to draw from these two outrages—the murder of Freddie Gray and the shooting of Dedric Colvin

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

First, they show that the system’s promises mean nothing. Until this system is overthrown through revolution and until these murderous pigs, the powers that control them, and the economic system that all this serves have all the power ripped from their hands, they are going to go right on doing this same savage shit.

Second, they show that the brave actions of those rebel youth who rose up after Freddie’s funeral—and rebels like them around the U.S.—were totally justified. In fact we need more resistance and rebellion—built and waged as part of building up strength to overthrow this system.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/437/demand-criminal-charges-targeting-april-14-protesters-be-dropped-en.html

Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

From Stop Mass Incarceration Network, LA:

It's Right to Protest Murder by Police!
Demand Criminal Charges Targeting April 14 Protesters be Dropped

Call Mike Feuer (213-978-8100), LA City Attorney

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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, three 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 started trial (and trial is set for three more defendants in early May). The three on trial now were sent to Judge David Fields' court, the same judge who presided over the railroad of the three 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. The judge has suppressed defense efforts to explain the politics of the protest to jurors and the prosecution appears to have unethically coached the LAPD to fabricate testimony, which should be grounds for a dismissal.

The arrests, charges and prosecution of these protesters 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 protesters. 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. Pack the courtroom Monday, May 2 at 10:45am and 1:30pm. Dept. 44, 3rd Floor, Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, 210 W. Temple, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Sign and spread the statement "It’s Right To Protest Murder by Police."

Watch and spread the YouTube video “A14 - Day of Global Resistance Against Police Brutality

Ph for info: 213-840-5348 / email: stopmassincarcerationsocal@yahoo.com

StopMassIncarceration.net

Twitter: @Smin_LA / FB: facebook.com/stopmassincarcerationsocal/

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/437/awtwns-barack-obama-and-winston-churchill-en.html

Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

From A World to Win News Service:

Barack Obama and Winston Churchill

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Revcom.us Editors’ Note: Recently, there was a brouhaha in the mainstream media over the revelation that at the start of his presidency, Barack Obama had returned a bust of Winston Churchill, the British prime minister during World War 2 and in the 1950s, that had been in the White House during the George W. Bush years. Some claimed that Obama was snubbing Churchill. The following is an excerpt from an article by A World to Win News Service, dated April 25, 2016.

Obama’s press secretary responded that it is customary to return items given to former presidents, and that another bust of Churchill enjoys a prominent place in the White House. Obama said he keeps this Churchill bust where he can see it every day. “It’s there voluntarily... I love Winston Churchill. I love the guy.”

Some of the 150,000 Kikuyu people who were forced into detention camps in the Mau Mau rebellion, 1952.
Some of the 150,000 Kikuyu people who were forced into detention camps in the Mau Mau rebellion, 1952. (AP photo)

What is there to love about Winston Churchill? His hands were shamelessly drenched in the blood of literally millions of people in Africa and Asia, and he defended these deaths by arguing that the world’s dark-skinned natives benefited from the rule of the superior white man. Yet people are so brainwashed that UK polls hail Winston Churchill as a great statesman, perhaps the greatest ever.

As a young man he set off for Africa to take part in “a lot of jolly little wars against barbarous peoples.” When he found the local population fought back against British troops and settlers occupying their land, he branded their resistance as “a strong aboriginal propensity to kill” and demanded they be crushed. As Colonial Secretary in the 1920s, he unleashed Black and Tan thugs (the Special Forces of the day) on Irish rising up against British rule. When Kurds rebelled against British domination in the 1940s, he declared himself “strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes.”

Churchill believed the fertile highlands of Kenya should belong to white settlers and indigenous populations should be cleared out. When the Kikuyu people fought against this in what became known as the Mau Mau rebellion, some 150,000 were forced into detention camps. In her book Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag, based on five years of investigation, Pulitzer prize-winning historian Professor Caroline Elkins describes the electric shocks, whipping, horrendous mutilation and murder, including burning people alive, used against Africans suspected of supporting the uprising.

In sheer numbers, Churchill’s imperial policies were most brutally demonstrated in colonial India. In the 1943 famine, at least three million people starved to death in Bengal. In full awareness, Churchill refused to send food supplies to the region, saying it was the fault of Indians themselves for “breeding like rabbits.”

Madhusree Mukerjee’s book Churchill’s Secret War vividly describes the famine’s effect, drawing on interviews with survivors. “Many suicides, mercy killings and cases of child abandonment took place among families who could no longer bear to see the wild-eyed, starving faces of their children. Mass prostitution by village mothers, wives or daughters with anyone who had grain often saved whole families. Brothels for [British and Australian] soldiers were serviced by the starving young girls from the countryside. Many were lured by promises of a real job and then forced into servitude, in much the same way as today women are forced into prostitution around the world.” (See “Book Review: Churchill’s Secret War in India.”)

After WWII, the British empire gave way to U.S. domination, and British imperialism flourished as junior partner in this new “special relationship” with the U.S. The days when Western powers enjoyed direct and open government over colonies may be mainly over, but imperialism as an economic and political system in which a handful of countries dominate and bleed the world is still in force. For instance: the troop occupations and wars spawned by the need to protect U.S., UK and other Western interests in the Middle East, and the sweatshops in Bangladesh and China without which there would be no Western malls, are no less devastating than the horrors faced by directly colonised peoples who once made up most of the world’s population.

Obama’s own Kikuyu grandfather was imprisoned under Churchill’s reign. But Churchill is Obama’s role model, just as he is for most leaders and would-be leaders of imperialist powers. When Obama says “I love the guy,” he is speaking as the commander in chief and chief executive officer of the American empire, and like Churchill, he is prepared to do whatever he can to defend it.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/437/awtwns-mass-deaths-in-mediterranean-en.html

Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

From a World to Win News Service:

Mass Deaths in the Mediterranean: a "Non-event"

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A man and child try to reach shore after falling from a boat on which they crossed a part of the Aegean sea from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos, Jan. 3, 2016. Photo: AP

April 25. 2016. A World to Win News Service. No one knows exactly how many refugees drowned in a shipwreck somewhere between Libya and Italy in late April. The 41 known survivors, who drifted in a small boat for days before being picked up by a freighter, said that between 400 and 500 died.

These hundreds of deaths of Somalis and other East Africans barely made it into the news. This was not only because they were born in countries where the common people have no right to expect to stay alive, in some Western eyes, but even more because these deaths are part of a shameful situation that all the Western powers have conspired to bring about.

A similar shipwreck in October 2013 left hundreds of bodies of adults and children floating off the shores of the Italian island of Lampedusa. At that time, only fishermen and other local people bothered to try to save them. With its legitimacy and the “normal” functioning of society at stake, the Italian government launched Mare Nostrum, a naval operation to rescue people.

Though many people drowned, about 150,000 people were pulled out of the water during the following year. Many European governments considered that a problem: the chances of death had to be drastically increased to keep out migrants. Mare Nostrum was replaced by Operation Triton, with police vessels that are not equipped to rescue and safely transport people. Italy’s participation is called “Mare sicuro” (“Secure Sea”) because the aim is to “secure” the European coastline from non-Europeans.

Leading European politicians and their media stooges bang on about how “traffickers” are responsible for these deaths. Yet if these traffickers say, we don’t have the facilities to rescue anyone when boats accidentally tip over and at any rate we’re not in the business of saving people—isn’t that exactly what NATO and the European Union are saying? And these traffickers, unlike the Western powers, are not responsible for the situations that make risking death at sea the best option for whole populations.

The European authorities have had to go back and forth on this, sometimes trying to emphasize their “humanitarian” values so that the indifference to human life of their states and system does not stand naked. Almost exactly a year before this latest criminal tragedy, after 800 people drowned under similar circumstances, Europe also launched Operation Sofia, which has rescued 12,600 people. Almost four times that number are believed to have drowned since then. Amnesty International said that Operation Sofia was “bound to fail” because saving people is not the mission it is meant and equipped for.

Right now, there is not a single government-owned ship in the Mediterranean meant for that mission. The only such vessel has been the Aquarius, operated by Medicins du Monde (Doctors of the World) and SOS Mediterranee. Financed mainly by donations on the Net, this former German Coast Guard patrol boat rented by the NGOs is fitted to carry up to 500 people, equipped with a clinic and staffed by medical personnel. Without emergency treatment, many people found floating in the sea will die. After the latest drownings, Medicins Sans Frontieres [Doctors Without Borders], whose three ships halted their work in January, resumed operations, finding and rescuing hundreds of people immediately.

The Aquarius has been stationed just outside Libyan territorial waters. It is this part of the sea and, perhaps, the Libyan coastline, where NATO and the EU (European Union) are now discussing sending their warships—not to rescue people, but to stop them.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/437/protesters-confront-trump-in-california-en.html

Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

Protesters Confront Trump in California

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Protesting Trump at Costa Mesa, April 28, 2016
Protesting Trump at Costa Mesa, April 28, 2016. (Photo: Andrew Guerrero/@pachucoparadox via Instagram)

April 28, more than 1,000 people—mostly high school and college students—confronted Donald Trump when he spoke in Costa Mesa, California, an upscale city in Orange County (home to more than a million Latinos). For hours, protesters with Mexican flags and signs denouncing Trump and his threatened wall on the Mexican border went nose-to-nose with police and got into intense confrontations with Trump supporters. It was the largest, most defiant protest of a Trump rally since protesters shut down his March 11 event in Chicago.

The next day, thousands more confronted Trump at a California Republican convention in Burlingame, south of San Francisco, forcing Trump to sneak into the convention through a back door.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/437/will-reese-commemoration-and-celebration-en.html

Revolution #437 May 2, 2016

Commemoration and Celebration
of the Life of Will Reese (1950-2016)

Saturday, May 14th, 2016 4:00pm
Metropolitan Baptist Church
West 128th St. & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.
New York City

May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Will Reese

Come together for a Commemoration and Celebration of the life of Will Reese (Bobby Hill) – revolutionary communist, dedicated fighter for the people, and follower of the new synthesis of communism and the leadership of Bob Avakian (BA).

Will Reese (Bobby Hill) died at the end of February in NYC after a four-year battle with cancer. Our hearts ache at this loss. On May 14th you are invited to celebrate a remarkable person and truly meaningful life.

Will came up in rural southwest Virginia under the suffocating reign of open white supremacy, where the rules for Black people were written in Jim Crow laws, in reactionary customs... and in blood. As a young man, Will responded with defiance and refusal to go along with the way things were. He adopted the Black Panther attire, and attempted to integrate barber shops and skating rinks.

Will Reese saw the need to radically change things, and that set the terms for his whole life. In the mid-1970s, he encountered the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and recognized that this Party and this leadership was what he had been looking for. He became a member of the RCP and a follower of BA, the Chairman of the Party. Will spent the rest of his life devoted to spreading this revolution. 

Will's compelling agitation on the street corners of Harlem and beyond laid bare the outrages of the capitalist system and made real the possibility of a radically different and better future. Will was incredibly warm, playful, and loving. He saw, and reached for, the best in everyone he met, welcoming people to play the greatest role they could in the movement for revolution.   

We look forward to remembering and celebrating Will's life with you.

The Commemoration and Celebration of Will Reese is sponsored by Revolution Books.

Please read obituaries about Will at Revolution newspaper and  the Amsterdam News.

Donations in memory of Will Reese can be made to: The Bob Avakian Institute and Revolution Books NYC.

For more information and to contact the Memorial organizers, call: (646) 543-0508, or visit Revolution Books at 437 Malcolm X Blvd. @ 132nd Street.