Revolution #441, May 30, 2016 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

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Editors' note: The following is an excerpt from the new work by Bob Avakian, The New Communism. In addition to excerpts already posted on revcom.us, we will be running further excerpts from time to time on both revcom.us and in Revolution newspaper. These excerpts should serve as encouragement and inspiration for people to get into the work as a whole, which is available as a book from Insight Press. A prepublication copy is available on line at revcom.us.

This excerpt comes from the section titled "Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit."

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Now, let’s move right into the substance of this presentation. Let’s begin with a statement by Lenin which not only has great importance in an overall sense but is also highly relevant in today’s world. Lenin said:

People always were and always will be the foolish victims of deceit and self-deceit in politics until they learn to discover the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises. The supporters of reforms and improvements will always be fooled by the defenders of the old order until they realize that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is maintained by the forces of some ruling classes.4

This is a very important statement by Lenin, so let’s dig into it. Let’s begin with the first sentence: “People always were and always will be the foolish”—notice what he says—“victims of deceit and self-deceit in politics...” In other words, people get fooled, and they fool themselves, “until they learn to discover the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises.”

Now, you can see this right around you in the electoral process—the whole circus around the bourgeois elections that is being promoted now. You can’t even turn on the news without having someone like Donald Trump stuck in your face. And then here comes Hillary Clinton. Will Joe Biden run or not? And what about Bernie Sanders? You can’t get away from it. You’d think the election were next week—and it’s more than a year away. But they want you to focus on this, and they want you to think that this is about you—that somehow these people represent you—when in fact they represent what? A ruling class that’s ruling over you and ruling over the masses of people. Beyond just the relentless hype, even the serious contention that goes on through this bourgeois electoral process is contention among candidates for the position of presiding over a literally, and massively, murderous system of exploitation and oppression, on a world scale. To the degree that people do not recognize this, it is not because it is not true, but because, to invoke again Lenin’s critical insight, they have not learned to recognize the interests of the ruling class behind all this, and they remain the foolish victims of deceit and self-deceit.

There is this old saying that George W. Bush couldn’t get right. The actual saying is: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” But this goes even further, because not only do they fool people over and over again with this electoral process, but they often fool you while they’re telling you they’re fooling you. I was watching this commentator, this guy named Jonathan Alter, who was on MSNBC the other day talking about the elections, and he said Bernie Sanders, everybody knows he’s not really gonna be the candidate, but he can generate a lot of enthusiasm and momentum, and then that’ll be very helpful to Hillary Clinton when she runs. They’re telling you what they’re doing, how they’re manipulating you. They’re manipulating you right now and telling you, “Hey, by the way, we’re manipulating you.”

So shame on you, if you don’t get it. But then there’s the self-deceit, where people don’t want to get it to a certain degree. I made the statement one time about liberals, that liberals have an oedipal complex. Now, Oedipus was this character in Greek mythology who ended up, unknowingly, sleeping with his mother; and then, when he found out that that’s what he’d done, he stabbed his own eyes out. So I said, liberals have an oedipal complex: It’s not that they want to sleep with their mother, it’s that they deliberately blind themselves—blind themselves to the reality of what’s going on in the world. This is a real problem with liberals.

And there’s the phenomenon I call “Fisher-Price ruling class.” Now maybe you all are familiar with Fisher-Price—they make toys for kids, right? They have a little tea set, and kids can come out and pretend—there’s no tea in there, but they can pretend they’re having a tea party. Or they make little trucks and kids can pretend they’re driving on a highway, while they’re puttering around in their little trucks. Well, now you’ve got what I call “Fisher-Price ruling class,” where you turn on something like Bill Maher on TV, and here’s Alec Baldwin, the actor, talking about, “This is what we ought to do in Iraq.” What do you mean “we,” white man? You’re not running the fucking country. But they’ve got these people—you know, Hollywood people, “Meathead” Rob Reiner and the rest—trying to act like they’re gonna shape what the politicians do, ignoring—or being ignorant of—the fact that the system is gonna dictate what the politicians do. People like that are just playing around with little Fisher-Price toys, pretending like they have some role in the running of the government.

And then there’s the role of the media, and in particular the “news” media. These are not vehicles for providing people information about important things in society and the world—and they are certainly not “objective,” if that means presenting reality as it actually is, nor are they a “free press,” in the sense of not being beholden to and controlled by powerful interests. They are in fact the propaganda machinery of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class. This is not “rhetoric,” but something which can be, and has been, clearly demonstrated on the basis of scientific analysis of these media: who owns and controls them, how they “manage” and distort what information they provide (and don’t provide) to people, and what this has to do with the basic relations in society. But people will not see this—and see through the ways these media operate to shape and manipulate their understanding of things—until, again, they learn to recognize the interests of this ruling class behind these media, as well as all other major institutions in society.

You can see this same kind of phenomenon with things like the environment. You’ll see people do really good exposure, deep and all-around exposure, of the desperate situation with the environment, where things really are on the precipice of going over to where it will be very hard, if not impossible, to reverse the damage to the environment; these people go through all that, graphically bringing this alive, and then they get to the end and they act as if everything they just said had no meaning. They start talking about, “If you recycle this, or you get a hybrid car, that is gonna solve the problem”—a problem they just described as so enormous that it would be impossible to solve it in that way. But they’re deceiving themselves because they can’t see beyond the confines of the existing system, or they resist seeing beyond the confines of the existing system. So, as Lenin so sharply characterized it, they remain supporters of reforms and improvements who are always the foolish victims of deceit, and self-deceit. As long as they stay within this framework, they’re always fooled by the defenders of the old order, because they haven’t yet realized that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is maintained by the forces of some ruling classes.

Or think of what some people say about police murder: put cameras on the police. Well, I think we know that there was a video of what happened to Eric Garner! They have had cameras taking pictures of many other people murdered by the police, but the idea is that, somehow, if you record it, that’s gonna change things. Or if you have “sensitivity training” for the pigs—you know, let’s get the pigs to be more “sensitive”—so now, instead of oinking when they murder someone, they first say, “Excuse me sir, may I shoot you?”—BAM! All these illusions, because people don’t understand that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is maintained by the forces of some ruling class. The police are part of the forces of the ruling class and its state apparatus of repression. They’re part of the machinery that enforces, on behalf of the ruling class, and with all the violence they deem necessary, the existing system of exploitation and oppression. And you cannot reform that away. Now, it isn’t enough to just say that; if you can’t make the case, then you might as well not bother to say it, because you’re not going to convince anybody. So, we need to get into that more deeply, to the scientific basis for understanding why this is so.

But we have the problem, which I pointed to in Ruminations and Wranglings5 that every class wants to “remake the world in its image.” In other words, you’ve got people in the middle class who are always promoting reforms and things like that, because they don’t want things to “get out of control,” they don’t want the conflicts in society to become really sharp, because then they’ll be caught where? Right in the middle. They have a sort of privileged position, even as many of them don’t like a lot of abuses that are perpetrated under this system. This is something spoken to very powerfully in the Interview with Ardea Skybreak that you have all read (SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian).6 So, people like this are strongly inclined toward the sentiment: “Let’s not have things get extreme.” As if it’s not extreme what’s happening with the environment. As if it’s not extreme what’s happening to women all over the world. As if it’s not extreme what’s happening to people in the inner cities, with the police and with their conditions overall. As if it’s not extreme what’s happening with immigrants, being driven thousands of miles from one part of the world to another because of wars and overall desperate conditions. As if it’s not extreme with people being blown apart by bombs in all these different countries where wars are going on. “Oh no, let’s not have things become too extreme,” say people in the middle class because, even though they can’t do it, in their minds they’re constantly trying to remake the world into one where all these conflicts can somehow be resolved without a lot of chaos, upheaval and destruction.

Here is something important to understand: The way people look at things is a reflection—not in a mechanical one-to-one sense, but in a fundamental sense it is a reflection—of the position and inclinations of some social group or some class of people in society. Now, why am I emphasizing that we shouldn’t approach this in a mechanical way? Because people can and do take up the viewpoint of a social group or class other than the one that they themselves are part of. For example, basic masses, who are not in the middle classes, can take up the outlook that’s common among the middle class. They can get influenced by that. Or they can get influenced by ideas that come directly from the ruling class: “Well, you can’t do anything about this or that problem because it’s all human nature.” Who hasn’t heard that? Or: “Nothing can be done about that because it says right in the Bible that nothing’s gonna happen until the book of Revelation is fulfilled.” These are ideas that are pumped at people by the ruling and dominant institutions; and, in a fundamental sense, these ideas represent the viewpoint of a class of people that wants people to believe that you can’t do anything about the problems of society and the suffering of people—or that the most you can hope for is a few petty reforms—because this class, this ruling class, wants to keep the existing system going the way it is. In a basic sense, we can say that every class either wants to keep the world as it is, or to remake it in line with what it would like it to be, whether there’s actually a basis for that in reality or not.

But we have to go further. It is true—a very important truth pointed to by Lenin—that all these outmoded institutions are maintained by the forces of some ruling class; and it is also an important truth, understood correctly and not mechanically, that every way of looking at the world reflects the viewpoint, or the approach, of one class or another; but if you stop there, you could still be trapped within the confines of going for reforms: “This ruling class is dominating things too much, so, like Bernie Sanders says, let’s take away some of the power and some of the wealth from those people, and spread it out more in society.” You could still look at the existing framework and just try to rearrange things so they wouldn’t be so dominated by one class, or so that things wouldn’t be so prejudiced toward the middle classes, or however you look at it. We have to dig deeper. We have to ask the questions: What are classes rooted in? And can you change the system of class relations, the system where some classes dominate others, within the existing system—or does it require a complete break with that system in order to change this?

 

4. V.I. Lenin, “The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism” (March 1913, Collected Works, Vol. 19 pp. 23-28, Progress Publishers) as cited in Bob Avakian, Phony Communism is Dead...Long Live Real Communism! Second Edition (RCP Publications, 2004) and Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity, a talk by Bob Avakian, serialized in Revolution beginning October 21, 2007, in issues #105 through #120, available at revcom.us and also contained in Revolution and Communism: A Foundation and Strategic Orientation, a Revolution pamphlet, 2008. [back]

5. Bob Avakian, Ruminations and Wranglings: On the Importance of Marxist Materialism, Communism as a Science, Meaningful Revolutionary Work, and a Life with Meaning. From a talk given in 2009. Revolution, May-September 2009. Available at revcom.us. [back]

6. Ardea Skybreak, SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, an Interview with Ardea Skybreak (Insight Press, 2015). Also available at revcom.us. [back]

Contents

Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

Materialism vs. Idealism
Dialectical Materialism
Through Which Mode of Production
The Basic Contradictions and Dynamics of Capitalism
The New Synthesis of Communism
The Basis for Revolution
Epistemology and Morality, Objective Truth and Relativist Nonsense
Self and a “Consumerist” Approach to Ideas
What Is Your Life Going to Be About?—Raising People’s Sights

Part II. Socialism and the Advance to Communism:
            A Radically Different Way the World Could Be, A Road to Real Emancipation

The “4 Alls”
Beyond the Narrow Horizon of Bourgeois Right
Socialism as an Economic System and a Political System—And a Transition to Communism
Internationalism
Abundance, Revolution, and the Advance to Communism—A Dialectical Materialist Understanding
The Importance of the “Parachute Point”—Even Now, and Even More With An Actual Revolution
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America
   Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core
Emancipators of Humanity

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

One Overall Strategic Approach
Hastening While Awaiting
Forces For Revolution
Separation of the Communist Movement from the Labor Movement, Driving Forces for Revolution
National Liberation and Proletarian Revolution
The Strategic Importance of the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women
The United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat
Youth, Students and the Intelligentsia
Struggling Against Petit Bourgeois Modes of Thinking, While Maintaining the Correct Strategic Orientation
The “Two Maximizings”
The “5 Stops”
The Two Mainstays
Returning to "On the Possibility of Revolution"
Internationalism—Revolutionary Defeatism
Internationalism and an International Dimension
Internationalism—Bringing Forward Another Way
Popularizing the Strategy
Fundamental Orientation

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

The Decisive Role of Leadership
A Leading Core of Intellectuals—and the Contradictions Bound Up with This
Another Kind of “Pyramid”
The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP
The Need for Communists to Be Communists
A Fundamentally Antagonistic Relation—and the Crucial Implications of That
Strengthening the Party—Qualitatively as well as Quantitatively
Forms of Revolutionary Organization, and the “Ohio”
Statesmen, and Strategic Commanders
Methods of Leadership, the Science and the “Art” of Leadership
Working Back from “On the Possibility”—
   Another Application of “Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core”

Appendix 1:
The New Synthesis of Communism:
Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach,
and Core Elements—An Outline
by Bob Avakian

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion

Notes

Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author

 

 


 

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Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

The U.S. military, which they claim is "heroically protecting you," is in fact the machinery of slaughter and destruction enforcing a system of oppression and exploitation that causes horrendous suffering and death on a massive scale throughout the world.

Bob Avakian
Chairman, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/441/trump-people-stand-up-to-the-fascist-pig-en.html

Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

"Honestly, our goal was to drive Trump out"

People Stand Up to the Fascist Pig

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Albuquerque, NM, May 24
Protesters disrupt Donald Trump's rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 24. (AP photo)

This past week, thousands of people took to the streets to say: SHUT THE FUCK UP TRUMP! GET YOUR UGLY ASS OUT OF OUR TOWN!

In several cities, there was an outpouring of anger—and joy—as people boldly confronted the police and Trump supporters with a real sense of having right on their side, sending a message to the world that the people will not tolerate, will not allow, Trump to keep spewing his fascist, racist, anti-woman, anti-Muslim poison.

Many of those, including a lot of youths, who are the very ones Trump has been targeting with his ugly shit, like immigrants and the children of immigrants, were a big part of these anti-Trump rallies. People went into Trump’s rallies, disrupted him, called him out and caused huge, defiant commotions that could not be ignored. That put smiles on the faces of many people around the world.

Things got started in a big way on Tuesday, May 24, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when for more than four to five hours some 3,000 people demonstrated at the Convention Center where Trump was speaking. Then things spread to cities in California where Trump held rallies—in Anaheim on Thursday, then Fresno on Friday, and San Diego on Saturday, where there were more than 1,000 people who protested and at least 35 people were arrested.

In Albuquerque, the crowd included students from the University of New Mexico, lots of immigrants, Latinos, Native Americans, some from the Muslim community, and others, including many white people. Thousands rallied outside while others went inside to confront the ugly rally of 8,000 Trump supporters. They repeatedly interrupted Trump, shouting, “Stop the Hate!” Trump, who at so many other rallies has incited physical attacks on protesters and defended his followers who carry them out, called on the protesters to be removed and they were viciously attacked by security and Trump supporters and physically dragged out. This scene—of Trump setting his attack dogs against people—would be replayed at the rallies later in the week.

Via Twitter/@rorycarroll72
Photo via Twitter/@rorycarroll72

We Need to Overthrow, Not Vote For, This System!

BA on Elections

The anger of the protest in Albuquerque seemed to build as the day went on. There were signs and chants that said, “Trump is a Fascist!” “Fuck Donald Trump!” “Undocumented and Unafraid” and “No human being is illegal.” According to news reports, people broke through the barricades police had set up to prevent protesters from getting near the Convention Center and the glass door at the entrance to the Convention Center ended up broken. TV cameras captured people taking Trump T-shirts that said, “Make America Great Again” and setting them on fire and some people righteously defended themselves against the attacks by the police.

Police and Trump Supporters Attack Protesters

The Albuquerque police attacked people with pepper spray and smoke grenades. Trump supporters also physically attacked protesters, responding like the fascist, racists they are—yelling things like, “Build that wall!” and “Go back to Mexico” and “You’re a wetback.” Protesters said that while they were pushed and shoved by the cops, the police either stood by as Trump supporters attacked protesters or actually facilitated confrontations.

A group of women who are members of KIVA (a Native American student organization at the University of New Mexico) and The Red Nation coalition talked with revcom.us about what they witnessed at the protest. Hope Alvarado, from the Navajo and Comanche peoples, said, “There were actually rocks thrown at one of our Red Nation members [by Trump supporters] and she didn’t retaliate, and her niece was with her, who is also a youth. There were many, many people who were harassed who actually got into physical altercations with Trump supporters.... And the Albuquerque PD itself tear-gassed people and there were like five-year-olds in the crowd when they did this.”

Jennifer Marley, also from KIVA, The Red Nation, and from the Pueblo of San Ildefonso, said, “Honestly, our only goal was shutting it down, driving him [Trump] out of this state. That a white supremacist rally was happening in our city—this city is built on Native land, a city that does not consist of wealthy white individuals and we weren’t going to have the hatred and the violence brought here. And that’s exactly what we got, there were violent people who were there harassing us. And even after the protest there were white supremacist biker gangs harassing people who were still gathered.”

In San Diego, a massive force of riot police was sent in very aggressively against protesters and at least 35 people were arrested. In Albuquerque, three people were arrested inside the Convention Center and only one anti-Trump protester was arrested outside. But now Albuquerque police are madly trying to exact revenge and make more arrests. The next day Trump put out one of his usual lynch mob type calls, tweeting, “The protesters in New Mexico were thugs who were flying the Mexican flag. The rally inside was big and beautiful, but outside, criminals!” Albuquerque police are now saying they’re trying to identify about 30 “thugs” they say were throwing rocks; they’re looking at video and photos in order to identify, arrest, and prosecute people. They’re releasing photos—trying to get people to snitch, offering rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest; and the mayor is also offering $10,000 to try and get people to become rats.

It is right to rebel against reactionaries! And the people must demand all charges be dropped against anyone arrested at any of these anti-Trump rallies—and that no one else be arrested!

Protesting Trump... and More

Among those compelled to join these anti-Trump demonstrations—many protesting like this for the first time—there is a feeling that Trump poses a real danger to the people, especially for immigrant families. One youth at the protest in Anaheim, when asked why he came, said, “Just fuck Trump, you know? I don’t like nothing about him, that’s all. I guess he hates everyone else, like the other races, probably. He makes it seem like it. I think he’s trying to bring minorities down. He’s trying to keep them down, like he’s trying to build that wall and shit, you know? I don’t like the wall, and the whole way he talks about immigrants—I hate it. A lot of my friends were immigrants. He’s trying to break the country up, trying to make it his way, you know? Cause he’s trying to get a lot of Mexicans out. Separating families. He makes it seem like he’s just gonna drive all the immigrants out. This all used to be Mexico, then somebody fucked up and the white people were able to come in and take it. I want to live in a world where everyone’s all the same, like we don’t have [some who are] richer.... Just like a fair world, you know?”

People brought into these protests not just their rage at Trump, but also anger at the oppressive conditions Latinos, Native Americans, and others have faced for generations. A number of people told revcom.us that their undocumented relatives asked them to join the protests. And in Albuquerque, organizers talked about how the ongoing struggle and anger of people against police brutality and murder was a big element at the protest. Juan, one of the organizers of the demonstration, was asked why people turned against the police and said, “I mean, of course they’re upset about the police. There’s a history of police murdering people in Albuquerque that goes back decades. All these people probably know someone that’s been harassed by police so of course there’s a lot of issues with police here, that hasn’t been forgotten. And so when you bring a big police presence where people already are frustrated with the process, of course that’s what’s going to happen. That shouldn’t come as any surprise.”

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Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the SouthWest Organizing Project, one of the main organizers of the protest, told revcom.us, “There’s a really strong sense that this guy [Trump] is attacking our communities, that his followers are attacking our communities; the rhetoric that he has brought up has really emboldened a lot of white supremacy, emboldened a lot of white nationalism. And it’s very scary for our folks—people in the undocumented community, people in the immigrant communities, period, have a lot to lose if this rhetoric really takes a foothold on a policy level. And not that it hasn’t already. Obama has already deported more people than any other president, right? The Deporter in Chief. That only intensifies under Trump. And we see this return to shit like Operation Wetback, like Operation Gatekeeper, where they’re going to come into our communities and round folks up and we’re just not going to stand for that again.”

Leoyle Cowboy from the Dine (Navajo) people, and a member of KIVA and The Red Nation, said, “The way my family and my community has been treated by law enforcement has been really violent in a way where I have a family member who has PTSD from that, antagonizing myself and her father. So I know they’re racist, I know they’re violent. And these are things that continuously happen and we’re really tired of it. And I know in the community, everyone is tired of it, too. So us collaborating and being out here and absolutely visible, we have to be. We have no choice. This is our obligation. It’s important that we are standing because we need others to stand. I know they want to stand, I can feel it. In order for change to happen, someone has to take action.”

Rodrigo talked about the history of what this system has done in New Mexico, especially to Native Americans: “This state has a very long history, a very brutal history of colonization, of brutalization, but also resistance. There’s a lot of culture and history that’s very rich, a history of struggle.... But we are a military colony, that’s just the reality folks are living under. There are these Air Force bases, there are the nuclear proliferation facilities, they do the uranium mining out in the Navajo Nation and then they refine and weaponize it at the national laboratories at Los Alamos in Sandia. And then they make weapons, they store them in our mountain here in Albuquerque and then they dump the waste here in Carlsbad. So we have a very long legacy of like colonial powers coming in, subjugating our folks and then selling off the resources. We are one of the most resource rich states, but we’re consistently the most poor, consistently generational poverty has destroyed our communities. So there’s a really tangible sense of pain and fear. So when the Nazis roll into town, then people get scared...”

A System That Needs to Be Overthrown

The Coming Civil War cover
Click to read

Also check out:

Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution
Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution

Part I: “Once More on the Coming Civil War... and Repolarization for Revolution”

Trump’s decision to speak in Albuquerque, Anaheim, Fresno, and San Diego was very calculated—these are all places with huge populations of immigrants, Latinos, and in Albuquerque Native Americans. On Trump’s part, these rallies represent a big offensive [in both senses of the word] move. After all his ugly, racist attacks on immigrants and other people of color, he is basically throwing down, saying I’m going to come into where you live and throw my shit in your face. But as the people are showing, they are not going to let this go down quietly.

But in the face of a media machine that continues to give this fascist billions of dollars in free air time; in the face of an election system that says an outright racist and fascist is a legitimate candidate; in the face of the Democrats who refuse to call out Trump for the fascist he really is (and in many cases actually agree with a lot of his program) and have no answer for people but participating in the whole election hustle... In the face of all this, people are taking bold mass action to say NO, this fucker is NOT legitimate, we are NOT going to tolerate him, and he MUST BE SHUT DOWN.

The youth and others who came forward this past week and rose up did a fine thing, and this should be defended—especially against idiots like Don Lemon on CNN, who say “you’re hurting your own cause,” and then channel it to the question of defeating Trump in the elections. Folding up the protests now, backing off in the face of police attacks, and channeling everything into the electoral arena is a recipe for disaster.

The whole Trump thing—the whipping up and organizing of a fascist social base... the radical shifting of the terms of discourse... the demonization of Black people, Latinos, women, disabled people, etc. and whipping up violence against them at his rallies—this is not going to get settled through elections. Trump was brought forward and made a big deal by forces larger than himself, and his fortunes in the electoral arena will be determined by forces larger than himself as well. We cannot bottle up our outrage, our struggle and desire for change, and sink it into the electoral quicksand. The idea that oppressed people, people under direct attack, should just duck their heads and play by the rules of the established channels has a long and dishonorable history.

At the same time, big questions lie beneath the surface. The deeper social dynamics that have given rise to a Trump... the very outrages so vividly exposed by the young people we interviewed... have a cause. They grow out of a SYSTEM. That system arose with the genocide of the indigenous people of the Americas and thrived with the enslavement of Africans... that system in the U.S. actually invaded Mexico to seize Arizona, New Mexico, California and other parts of the Southwest in the hope of expanding slavery... and that system has continued those historic dynamics of oppression down to today, adapting them to different times, but never able to give them up, and in many ways making them worse.

That system is capitalism-imperialism, and the fact that an open fascist like Trump has risen to be a serious contender for the top-dog of it today indicates both how vicious that system is, and in what desperate straits they find themselves. At a time like this, we urge those who have stepped forward to check out the party that has an actual program that could overcome this system’s historic injustices as part of a getting to a whole new world... that has a strategy that could actually defeat the imperialists who run this system... and the leadership to get there in Bob Avakian.

There is, in short, a way to get free of this madness. Check it out:

Revolution Club at Rise Up October

Get with the
Revolution Club
 here

 


 

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Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

Food for Thought: Trump and an Illegitimate System

On the Strategy for Revolution
Click to read

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Donald Chump has built his whole campaign on a clearly fascist appeal, right down the line.

What does it say when this braying fascist jackass, this openly racist, bigoted, and misogynist inciter of hatred, this brazen liar and cowardly bully who glories in his ignorance and threats, is one of the two major candidates in this election?

What does it say that Chump’s whole campaign was built up and given literally billions of dollars in free air time by the media, and that now Chump himself is treated as fully “legitimate” by that same media, and by the other mouthpieces and functionaries of this system?

What does it say when the core of one of the two major “legitimate” parties of this system has, for some time now, been appealed to and cohered on essentially the same fascist basis?

It says that this system is utterly illegitimate and must be overthrown.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/441/bloody-jawed-wolf-offers-peace-and-prepares-for-war-en.html

Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

Obama Trip to Asia:

The Bloody-Jawed Wolf Offers Peace and
Prepares for War

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

What country incinerates and massacres literally millions of people for domination and empire, and then decades later pats itself on the back for returning to the scene of its towering crimes, not to make amends, but to utter a few peace platitudes, hug a few survivors, and lay a wreath or two—all to serve current military contention with other powers and possibly slaughter even greater numbers than before?

Answer: America under “peace” President Barack Obama.

Exhibit A: Obama’s May 22-27 trip to Asia.

As Obama traveled through Asia, preaching morality, peace, and reconciliation, powerful U.S. warships loaded with weapons of mass destruction were trolling the tense waters of the South China Sea, challenging and playing cat and mouse games with Chinese planes and warships.

Obama’s first stop was Vietnam. In 1961, the U.S. invaded this California-size country—a country that is nearly 8,000 miles away from the U.S. and had never committed anything that could remotely be conceived as an aggressive act against it. The U.S. then went on a 14-year rampage of mass murder and terror—bombing, burning, massacring, and poisoning three million Vietnamese to death.


U.S. guided-missile destroyer, part of John C. Stennis aircraft carrier Strike Group, operating in the South China Sea. Photo: DOD

Did Obama apologize for this horror? Are you kidding? He papered over and even justified U.S. war crimes: the two countries had a “difficult history” and were “pulled into conflict,” as if they were both at fault. There was “pain and the sacrifices on both sides,” he said, as if 58,000 Americans counted for as much as three million Vietnamese whose whole country had been napalmed, carpet bombed, and poisoned. And capping it off, he claimed the U.S. stood for the principle: “Big nations should not bully smaller ones.”

Then, on May 27, Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in Hiroshima, Japan. Did he come to apologize on behalf of the United States for incinerating and irradiating more than 200,000 people to death there and in Nagasaki? For unleashing nuclear horror on humanity as the first and only country to ever use nuclear weapons? For justifying this slaughter with the bald-faced lie that it was necessary to avert an even bloodier invasion? Apologize? Get serious!

Obama acted like the U.S. nuke dropped itself – “death fell from the sky and the world was changed,” he began his speech in Hiroshima. He put the entire blame for the war on Japan. Then he supposedly paid homage to the victims, hugged a few survivors, and laid a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Of course, even here he had to make a big deal about the handful of U.S. prisoners of war who were killed by the bomb! And then, with a straight, sincere face, he pledged to work for a world free of nuclear weapons—all this with his finger on the world’s deadliest nuclear arsenal, and more importantly, as he orders $1 trillion (yes, you read that right, $1 trillion!) to be spent to expand and modernize the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal. The hypocrisy is astounding. It further continues when you consider that he’s cut fewer nukes from the U.S. arsenal than any president in the last 25 years, including George W. Bush.

All this would guarantee Obama a place in the lying, hypocritical, mass murderer hall of shame, but it wasn’t even the worst of it. All his excusing and justifying past crimes was part of getting ready for crimes to come.

As Obama traveled through Asia, preaching morality, peace, and reconciliation, powerful U.S. warships loaded with weapons of mass destruction were trolling the tense waters of the South China Sea, challenging and playing cat and mouse games with Chinese planes and warships. Obama didn’t mention China in his Vietnam and Hiroshima speeches. But this points to what his trip was really about: building up alliances and military power to aggressively confront and contain China, with violence and war if need be.

What the Hell Are U.S. Warships Doing in the South China Sea?

The South China Sea is at the southwestern edge of the Pacific Ocean and links it to the Indian Ocean. It’s one of the world’s key trade and transit routes, through which some $5 trillion worth of goods are shipped each year. And beneath these waters lie potentially enormous reserves of oil and natural gas.

China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam all border the South China Sea and all have competing territorial claims. In recent years, China has moved aggressively there, building up various reefs and shoals into actual islands that it is claiming as its own. (China has added more than 3,200 acres of land to build these up since 2013.). Some are basically military bases, complete with runways, and China claims it has the right to control navigation through the nearby waters.

Pardon us, but the last time we looked, the South China Sea was not Lake Fucking Michigan or even the Gulf of Mexico. The South China Sea lies halfway around the world from U.S. shores! The U.S. has no claims there that could be considered legitimate by any stretch of the imagination—but it has huge economic interests ($1.2 trillion worth of U.S.-traded goods goes through the South China Sea every year), and a crucial part of U.S. global dominance is its overall control of world trade and navigation. So the U.S. claims the “maritime freedom” to send its warships (and project military power) to pretty much any corner of the globe, including through the South China Sea. The U.S. will “continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows,” Obama declared in February.

The U.S. has openly challenged China’s claims. It frequently sends warships—often with high-ranking U.S. military and political leaders on board—through these waters to insist that China cannot dictate the terms of navigation, and flies military aircraft through this airspace as a show of U.S. dominance. U.S. ships are in turn being shadowed by Chinese warships while in the area, and China is issuing statements that these moves by the U.S. are basically dangerous provocations.

World War 2 & Today: Human Nature? Or an Expand-or-Die System?

In Hiroshima, Obama blamed Japan for starting World War 2 and said the war “grew out of the same base instinct for domination or conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes.” This is just a bullshit excuse and cover-up. This war was not caused by human instinct or “bad policies.” It arose out of a SYSTEM—imperialism.

In Hiroshima, Obama blamed Japan for starting World War 2 and said the war “grew out of the same base instinct for domination or conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes, an old pattern amplified by new capabilities and without new constraints.”

This is just a bullshit excuse and cover-up for the horrors of capitalism-imperialism. World War 2 didn’t grow out of human nature. It grew out of a battle between the world’s major capitalist-imperialist powers at the time over which would dominate and set terms throughout the world—even as it included wars of self-defense against imperialist invasion by the then-socialist Soviet Union and progressive wars of national defense in the colonies and oppressed nations—most notably China’s heroic battle against the Japanese imperialist invasion, in which communists played a critical role, under the revolutionary leadership of Mao Zedong.


Hiroshima after the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb.

This was not about human instinct, or even “bad policies.” This war arose out of a SYSTEM—imperialism. Imperialism is a system in which huge blocs of capital dominate the economic life and exploit billions of people all over the planet... in which the most powerful capitalist-imperialist nations divide the world and its peoples into “spheres of influence” and contend with each other over how that plunder will be organized and divided... and in which that contention has meant dozens of horrible genocidal wars against the oppressed nations and peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America and—at key times—has erupted into massive world wars between the imperialists in which scores of millions have perished. It is an expression on a world scale, in politics and war, of the expand-or-die competition at the heart of capitalism.

World War 2 took place against the backdrop of a serious world economic crisis, massive political eruptions, attempts at revolution, and fascist coups. The previous division of the world that grew out of World War 1 felt like a straitjacket to each imperialist power—and each of these saw World War 2 as a way to get out of that straitjacket. They fought the war to pursue world dominance—including as part of it, Hitler’s Germany attacking what was then the socialist Soviet Union to bring it under German imperialist control. (In fact, the Soviet Union bore the brunt of the war, losing somewhere between 20 and 28 million people! For more on the Soviet Union, and the history of the revolution in that country, see the interview with Raymond Lotta, You Don’t Know What You Think You ‘Know’ About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future.”) The U.S., which drew up plans for the “postwar order” long before the war had even begun, maneuvered and came through as the “top dog” of the imperialist camp—a position it still occupies today—in the process displacing Britain, and also defeating and bringing into subordinate status Germany and Japan.

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

Imperialism means huge monopolies and financial institutions controlling the economies and the political systems—and the lives of people—not just in one country but all over the world. Imperialism means parasitic exploiters who oppress hundreds of millions of people and condemn them to untold misery; parasitic financiers who can cause millions to starve just by pressing a computer key and thereby shifting vast amounts of wealth from one place to another. Imperialism means war—war to put down the resistance and rebellion of the oppressed, and war between rival imperialist states—it means the leaders of these states can condemn humanity to unbelievable devastation, perhaps even total annihilation, with the push of a button.

Imperialism is capitalism at the stage where its basic contradictions have been raised to tremendously explosive levels. But imperialism also means that there will be revolution—the oppressed rising up to overthrow their exploiters and tormentors—and that this revolution will be a worldwide struggle to sweep away the global monster, imperialism.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:6

The use of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a strategic decision on the part of the U.S., reinforced and signified this—bringing Japan to its heels and, importantly, signaling the U.S.’s willingness to inflict unprecedented brutality and suffering as the “top dog” of a vicious system, and one that would fight desperately to maintain that position. It proved this just a few years later in 1950 with its war against North Korea, in which U.S.-led forces killed three million North Korean people and destroyed all but two modern buildings in the country(!)... and in which key figures in the U.S. ruling class contemplated using nuclear weapons again—against China, which at that point was a revolutionary state led by Mao Zedong. (For more, see Interview With Raymond Lotta.)

Its horrific crimes against Vietnam and other countries in Indochina, like Laos and Cambodia in the 1950s, ’60s, and early ’70s, continued that imperialist-made ocean of blood and tears. Obama’s “peaceful” trip there now is just a different form of that contention in different circumstances. Today, U.S. imperialism battles to stay on top against a new and rising rival: China. Capitalism was restored there after Mao died in 1976 (even though China still calls itself “communist”), and so is now also being driven to expand its economic, political, and military reach. While the U.S. has been focused on the Middle East, China has cut deals and invested billions in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and Latin America. And it has made military moves to nail down its dominance in the immediate region around it, concentrated in the South China Sea. This has brought China into conflict with the U.S., and control of the Asia-Pacific region in particular is once again being contested.

Obama’s Trip and His “Pivot to Asia” Strategy

This clash is intense and potentially explosive because the U.S. rulers, and Obama in particular, consider the Asia-Pacific region to hold the key to America’s survival as a dominant imperialist power. Atlantic magazine writer Jeffrey Goldberg extensively interviewed Obama and summed up his views this way:

For years, the “pivot to Asia” has been a paramount priority of his. America’s economic future lies in Asia, he believes, and the challenge posed by China’s rise requires constant attention. From his earliest days in office, Obama has been focused on rebuilding the sometimes-threadbare ties between the U.S. and its Asian treaty partners, and he is perpetually on the hunt for opportunities to draw other Asian nations into the U.S. orbit. His dramatic opening to Burma was one such opportunity; Vietnam and the entire constellation of Southeast Asian countries fearful of Chinese domination presented others.

Obama and the U.S. are determined to deploy the military power to make this a reality. This is why since he’s taken office, Obama has visited Asia 10 times, and worked to strengthen relations with countries in the region. This is why, even as the U.S. and China collude and negotiate sometimes when it serves their interests, the U.S. military has built a chain of air bases and military ports to encircle China. This is a big reason Obama has fought to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would set new, U.S.-favored terms for trade and business investment among the United States and 11 Pacific nations—and exclude China.

Obama considers the Asia-Pacific region key to America’s survival as a dominant imperialist power, and his Asia trip was part of the U.S.’s intense and potentially explosive rivalry with China. While he talked peace in public, behind closed doors the U.S. was negotiating military and strategic deals with Vietnam and with Japan and other world powers.

And China is making its moves in the South China Sea—embarking on a major military build-up, including building the biggest navy of any Asian country, fighting to line up its allies, and proposing its own Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

Preaching Peace While Sharpening Swords

Obama’s Asia trip was part of this strategic rivalry. While he talked peace in public, behind closed doors the U.S. was negotiating military and strategic deals with Vietnam and Japan and other world powers. Obama lifted a 41-year-old ban on selling Vietnam U.S. weapons, and reportedly discussed making the massive deep water port on the South China Sea at Cam Ranh Bay, once a staging area for U.S. bombing runs against the Vietnamese people, again available to the U.S. military.

His visit to Hiroshima was aimed in part at bolstering popular support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign to build up Japan’s military strength (which includes 47 tons of plutonium, enough for thousands of nuclear weapons) and perhaps break its prohibition on sending its military to other countries.


Against the backdrop of Hiroshima, Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Abe step up their military collaboration against China. Photo: AP

And after talking of peace and a moral awakening in Japan, he met with the Group of Seven (G7) imperialist countries (the U.S, Italy, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, and Japan), who sharply criticized China’s territorial claims in the western Pacific.

Think about it: Obama and the entire U.S. media was telling you that the whole lesson of this trip was how much the U.S. fights for and stands for peace, how the U.S. leads the whole world in learning from the past so that nations and peoples will cooperate. Obama, and the whole media, did everything they could to train you to see America as a force that may make mistakes once in a while, but is mainly a force for good. They papered over and justified huge war crimes that were carried out for the sake of empire... and to cap it off, did it all to serve their REAL aim—to line up forces for a possible conflict with China that could be far beyond the huge crimes they’ve already committed!

Seven Decades After World War 2 and Control of the Asia-Pacific Region Again Being Contested: Humanity Cannot Tolerate This

What does it tell you that seven decades after World War 2 and the towering war crimes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and four decades after the towering war crimes of Vietnam, that tensions between rival powers in the Asia-Pacific region are again escalating, and the U.S. rulers are again forging their alliances, building their militaries, and developing their nuclear arsenals, once again threatening to plunge humanity into a nightmare of death and suffering?

Two things: one, that such a system isn’t fit to rule and threaten the Earth for one more day, and must be overthrown through revolution at the soonest possible moment. Two, that those who rule this system face huge instability and threats and are driven to policies that could cause upheaval and shocks in the societies they rule, and that out of that soil could arise real openings for revolution—IF revolutionaries are prepared to work on and seize them.

                       

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/441/ny-times-on-obama-visit-to-hiroshima-en.html

Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

The New York Times on Obama's Visit to the Hiroshima Memorial:
Training People to View World Through Eyes of Empire

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 Devastation and burned bodies in the aftermath of Hiroshima.
Devastation and burned bodies in the aftermath of Hiroshima.

On May 27, President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to ever visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan, which is dedicated to the memory of the tens of thousands mass murdered when the U.S. dropped the first nuclear bomb in history on that city.

The New York Times reportage repeated all of Obama’s bullshit with a straight face. But then it offered a few bits of “objective reportage.” Take this bit for example:

The park offers a victim’s narrative, illustrating in gut-wrenching detail how more than 100,000 people in the city perished and thousands more were injured. It provides few of the historical reasons for the bombing, such as descriptions of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the savagery of Japan’s occupation of China, or the extraordinary death toll of soldiers and civilians in the invasion of Okinawa.

Think about that for a minute. Can you imagine the response if the New York Times had, in its coverage of the 9/11 Memorial, followed this logic and noted that the memorial did not include the “historical reasons” for the attack and demanded that it include “descriptions” of U.S. attacks in the Middle East, or the “savagery” of its (or Israel’s) invasions and occupations, or the “extraordinary death toll of soldiers and civilians” in America’s 1991 Persian Gulf War and the decade of sanctions that followed (all crimes that helped fuel reactionary Islamic fundamentalism)?

Or take this gem:

Many historians believe the bombings on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki, which together took the lives of more than 200,000 people, saved lives on balance, since an invasion of the islands would have led to far greater bloodshed.

Yes, many do believe that—and many also believe that it was an utterly unnecessary exercise of brute power designed to intimidate the Soviet Union and any other possible rival or opponent in a postwar world that the U.S. aimed to dominate, coming at a time when U.S. President Harry Truman himself wrote in his diary that the Japanese emperor had sent him a telegram suing for peace.

Finally, what is the largest article on the New York Times page? A feature about Obama’s embrace with a Hiroshima survivor to get the facts on... American prisoners of war who died in the bombing!

Notice a pattern? Think someone may be trying to mold your outlook? To get you to see the world through the eyes of empire... to look at things through the lens of “America first” and not humanity—or objective truth?

You’d be right.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/441/attn-comics-with-edge-honesty-and-guts-to-call-out-obama-en.html

Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

Attn: comics... anyone out there with the edge, honesty, and guts to call out Obama?!

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A call to comedians out there who have REAL attitude, edge, honesty, and guts, who don’t just talk about “keeping it 100” but are really willing to call out Obama. The comedy team of Key & Peele do Obama’s Anger Translator in a way that sucks up to the world’s most powerful war criminal. But how about somebody doing an Obama REALITY translator? That might go something like this on Obama’s speech at Hiroshima:

 

Obama: “Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed.”

Obama Reality Translator: Drop out of the sky? Oh, hell no! WE dropped that bomb on 100,000 innocent people. Burned them to death. It might have been the worst terrorist crime in one day in human history. But you know what? Three days later we DID IT AGAIN.

Obama: “A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself.”

Obama Reality Translator: No, that wasn’t “mankind” doing shit. That was US—the United States of AMERICA—sending a message that WE could destroy mankind.

Obama: “And since that fateful day, we have made choices that give us hope.... Oppressed people and nations won liberation.”

Obama Reality Translator: After Hiroshima it was OUR turn to plunder and exploit those oppressed people. We invaded, bombed, massacred, dropped napalm that set people on fire, and tortured to try to crush liberation struggles. I’m not exaggerating: we killed millions of people in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. In Indonesia we orchestrated the massacre of a million communists and others that choked the rivers with corpses. We overthrew governments from Iran to Congo to Guatemala. We set up and bankrolled Israel in the Middle East to carry out our bidding there. Everywhere we went we installed torturers and tyrants. But they were OUR torturers and tyrants.

Obama: “[A]mong those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them. ... We can chart a course that leads to the destruction of these stockpiles.”

Obama Reality Translator: George W. Bush—that warmongering worshipper of the “NUKULAR” bomb, as he loved to mispronounce it, actually got rid of more nuclear weapons than I did. Hell, I ordered a $1 trillion expansion and modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal! “Environmental president”? Please! Call me the NUKULAR president, muthafucka.

Obama: “We must change our mind-set about war itself. To prevent conflict through diplomacy and strive to end conflicts after they’ve begun. To see our growing interdependence as a cause for peaceful cooperation and not violent competition.”

Obama Reality Translator: You believe that, I got a battleship to sell you. I’m over here right now lining up and tightening up military allies to encircle and threaten China. I’m busy egging on Japan’s reactionary new prime minister to pump up military spending. Plus, I’m working on naval bases in Vietnam and the Philippines. Now THAT is what I call “peaceful cooperation.”

Obama: “My own nation’s story began with simple words: All men are created equal and endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Obama Reality Translator: My own nation’s story began with simple words: GENOCIDE and SLAVERY. Yeah, I like to talk that other stuff, but without killing off the Native American peoples who lived here and enslaving millions of Africans for over 250 years, U.S. imperialism wouldn't be shit.

Obama: “That is why we come to Hiroshima. So that we might think of people we love. The first smile from our children in the morning. The gentle touch from a spouse over the kitchen table. The comforting embrace of a parent.”

Obama Reality Translator: Yeah, until we dropped the atomic bomb on them. Then a blazing, million-degree fireball instantly killed, burned alive, or vaporized tens of thousands of them. We left red-burned and bloated dead bodies piled up high. We turned those smiling children and loving spouses into corpses with their guts and eyes popped out. Oh, and by the way, our whole American Way of Life and a whole empire we call “bringing democracy to the world” was built with that crime.

And MY country is not only the only nation to use nukes, we threatened to use them again. Oh, yes—we did that well after the effects of these weapons were known and the risks of thermonuclear holocaust involving at minimum tens and hundreds of millions of people were in the balance. Hell, we even developed a strategy to win the Cold War against the Soviet Union by building what we called “first-strike” capability—the ability to use nukes FIRST, blow up tens of millions,and cripple the ability of the Soviets to respond. My man—Ronald Reagan—for whom I have often expressed respect and admiration—was all gung-ho for that—used to JOKE about blowing up Russia!

You expect me to apologize for that? As long as there is a United States of America, that will never happen. Not on my watch!

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/441/pig-goes-free-in-freddie-gray-murder-en.html

Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

Pig Goes Free in Freddie Gray Murder
Outrageous Verdict... Ominous Move

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Monday, May 23, a judge found Baltimore cop Edward Nero not guilty on all counts for his role in the murder of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man.

Mural at the spot where police  grabbed and arrested Freddie Gray.Mural at the spot where police grabbed and arrested Freddie Gray. AP photo.

This is obscene. And it is an ominous step in letting all the police who murdered Freddie get off scot-free. The verdict sets things up in a very dangerous way for the upcoming trial of Caesar R. Goodson Jr. Goodson is the only pig charged with murder (second-degree murder) in the death of Freddie Gray. Goodson is charged with explicitly denying Freddie’s desperate demands for what might have been life-saving medical care. And even as Freddie was in extreme pain and near death, Goodson continued the “rough ride” torture. Goodson’s trial is set for June 6.

Freddie Gray Was Murdered by Police

It was early on a Sunday morning—April 12, 2015—when six Baltimore police, working together, murdered Freddie Gray. According to the official story, Freddie was guilty of the “crime” of being eyeballed by a pig and making a perfectly rational decision to try to run. In less than a minute, Nero and his partner chased Freddie down and had him on the ground. They brutalized him to the point that a neighbor described Freddie as folded up “like origami.” Then they threw Freddie’s battered body into the back of a police van and took him on what Baltimore pigs call a “rough ride,” during which he was intentionally slammed into the walls of the van for 45 minutes. At the end of all this torture, Freddie’s spine was 80 percent fractured and his voice box crushed. A week later he died.

So far, there have been two trials of the pigs involved. The first, of William G. Porter, ended in a hung jury. And now Nero: not guilty on all counts.

Nero is guilty as hell. A video taken by Kevin Moore—a neighbor—shows Nero helping to drag Freddie Gray’s battered and tortured body toward a police van. Freddie’s legs trailed behind him, and he screamed in pain. Nero was in on throwing Freddie Gray into the back of a police van and not seat belting him, which every Black person in Baltimore and every cop knows means a “rough ride.” Later, Nero and his partner pulled the brutalized Freddie Gray from the van and placed him in leg restraints before they loaded him head-first onto the floor of the van—like he was a dog, and not a human being.


After all that, how could a judge find Nero not guilty? Here we are not going to analyze all the ways in which Nero’s “trial” was a sick travesty of justice, but we will pose this: What would it mean for a judge to find a cop guilty of unjustly chasing down and arresting a Black man for no reason—setting in motion events that led to that man’s murder at the hands of police?

Baltimore defense attorney Warren Brown, who observed the trial, pointed to the answer when he told the New York Times, “If you’re going to go back and charge every police officer whose arrest was determined to be illegal with assault, or every search that’s deemed to be absent probable cause, you’re going to indict the entire police force.”

His comment speaks volumes to the actual nature of the police: every one is involved in illegal arrests and searches that lead to brutality and even death.

In the ’Hood: Seething Outrage

Reaction to the Nero verdict in Gilmor Homes was one of bitter anger and outrage. On the afternoon following Nero’s acquittal, a woman outside her apartment in Gilmor Homes, who knew Freddie Gray all his life, told Revolution she had heard Freddie’s horrible screams from her apartment, almost a block away. His screams still haunt her.

And that poses a question to anyone who has even begun to—as Bob Avakian puts it, “fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this.” That question is: How can anyone not make a connection to the terror inflicted for decades on ex-slaves in the Jim Crow South by the Klan and lynch mobs, who would kill a young Black man for looking the wrong way at a white person... or for nothing at all. All with the intent that the victim’s screams of pain and terror would send a message to an entire people.

The Only Reason ANY of These Pigs Are on Trial Is Cuz People Rose Up

The murder of Freddie Gray would have been just another police murder in America. But, first of all, Kevin Moore’s video went viral. And then—most decisive—youths in Baltimore rose up in determined rebellion on April 27, 2015, clashing with police long into the night. Youths who under other circumstances might have been fighting, even killing each other, came together to fight the power. Their determination, and the fact that they defended themselves when police tried to suppress their just outrage, was the single most decisive reason the murderers of Freddie Gray are even on trial in the first place. For that, President Barack Obama called them “criminals and thugs.”

Two days later, thousands of students from colleges and universities in and around Baltimore, as well as from some highs schools, rallied and marched through the center of Baltimore to demand justice for Freddie Gray. Outrage spread nationwide, among people of all walks of life. And protests demanding justice for Freddie Gray broke out around the country.

The authorities in Baltimore virtually admitted that it was the resistance of the people that forced their hand in bringing criminal charges against pigs who were carrying out business as usual in the murder of Freddie Gray. Two days after the uprising, and in the wake of mass protest, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced, “To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America. I heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace.’” Translation: The people in the ruling class for whom I am speaking are quite worried that this rebellion may intensify and spread, so I've been told to give you a temporary concession while we prepare to take it back.

The Empire Strikes Back—But That Cannot Stand

From the moment the indictments came down, the empire struck back—in different ways trying to clear the ground to let the pigs who murdered Freddie Gray walk. Ruling class media “legal analysts”—who never saw a Black person who wasn’t guilty as charged—turned reality upside down and inside out, claiming the murdering police were “over charged” or not guilty at all.

Immediately after the indictments, police—who essentially “regulate” drug trafficking and crime—orchestrated a spike in violent crime in poor and Black neighborhoods in Baltimore.

And police and their backers whined that they were “under siege” and “afraid of going to jail for doing their jobs properly” because of the indictments. (Quotes are from the head of the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police, but the same basic message was pumped out all over the ruling class media by politicians and “crime experts.”)

What is that other than basically saying police fear being exposed or arrested if they brutalize or murder people on video? And what is that but an admission that wanton murder and terror is an essential part of “doing their jobs properly”? You can’t manage crime without that? Then get the fuck out of the way and take the whole system you enforce so sadistically with you!

* * *

Here we are over a year after the world saw Freddie Gray publicly lynched by police, and so far, no justice. Only a hung jury, and now the Nero acquittal. This has all had the effect of endorsing the murder of Freddie Gray.

The authorities are, step by step, moving to exonerate every one of the pigs who killed Freddie Gray. The next big trial—the one that everyone is focused on—looms on June 6. Caesar R. Goodson Jr. is the one and only cop charged with anything close to murder—the charge being “second-degree depraved-heart murder.” If Goodson is not convicted, it would be a bright, flashing green light to pigs everywhere that it is open season on Black people in America—more than ever.

This cannot go on. That cannot go down.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/441/american-crime-case-95-reagan-butcher-carries-out-genocide-in-guatemala-en.html

Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

American Crime

Case #95: Reagan's Butcher Carries Out Genocide in Guatemala

May 30, 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.

 

 

Ixil indigenous women outside the court the day after a judge ordered the suspension of the genocide trial against Guatemala's former dictator General Efrain Rios Montt and General Jose Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez, April 19, 2013.
Ixil indigenous women outside the court the day after a judge ordered the suspension of the genocide trial against Guatemala's former dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt and General José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, April 19, 2013. AP photo

THE CRIME: In the early 1980s, following a U.S.-backed coup by General José Efraín Ríos Montt, the Guatemalan military systematically destroyed more than 600 indigenous Mayan villages in the highlands of the country. Seventy-five thousand people, overwhelmingly Mayans, were slaughtered under Ríos Montt in this small, impoverished country in Central America. Soldiers ripped the hearts out of children as their bodies were still warm and piled them on a table for their parents to see.

THE CRIMINALS: Two Truth Commissions—one sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church and the other by the United Nations—documented widespread massacres, rape, torture, and acts of genocide carried out under Ríos Montt. In 2013, Ríos Montt was tried and convicted in Guatemala City of genocide, in particular the murders of 1,771 Ixil Indians. A higher court, filled with Ríos Montt’s political allies, overturned his conviction.

The United States has never been held accountable for its role in any way. The CIA advised, trained, and helped to run the Guatemalan forces who carried out these massacres and provided “technical assistance”—communications equipment, computers, and special firearms. The Green Berets instructed Guatemalan Army officers at the U.S. School of the Americas in Panama. And when the genocide in Guatemala threatened to expose the nature of the U.S. and its ally, the U.S. subcontracted much of the dirty work to Israel, which supplied transport to remote villages, war planes, military training, “advisors,” and 10,000 Galil assault rifles.

Everything Ríos Montt did was orchestrated, embraced, endorsed, and backed by the U.S.—with ghoulish gusto by President Ronald Reagan. At a time when the massacres were becoming an international scandal, Reagan declared Ríos Montt ‘‘a man of great personal integrity and commitment.” He said Ríos Montt was “getting a bum rap” from human rights activists. Reagan was never put on trial for his role in these and other crimes against humanity. Instead, he is promoted as one of the most honored and revered U.S. presidents of modern times—praised by Democrats and Republicans alike.

Ríos Montt was a favorite of the leaders of the Christian fascists in the U.S.—Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell—who vigorously supported Reagan’s backing of Ríos Montt’s military dictatorship. Ríos Montt became a minister in the California-based Evangelical/Pentecostal Church of the Word after leaving the Catholic Church in 1978. Robertson praised Ríos Montt’s “enlightened leadership” and claimed the dictator insisted on “honesty in government.” A week after Ríos Montt seized power, Robertson flew to Guatemala to give him his first interview and aired it on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s program The 700 Club. Robertson was in Guatemala three days after the coup and claimed the people were “dancing in the street for joy, fulfilling the words of [the Bible]... When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice.”

THE ALIBI: Reagan claimed Ríos Montt was “confronting a brutal challenge from guerrillas armed and supported by others outside Guatemala.” Reagan called this genocidal slaughter an effort to “restore democracy and to address the root causes of this violent insurgency” and to “improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to promote social justice.”

Christian fascists in the United States provided an alternate alibi: A pastor with the California-based church that Ríos Montt belonged to told a group investigating the atrocities, “The [Guatemalan] Army doesn’t massacre the Indians. It massacres demons, and Indians are demon possessed; they are communists.”

THE MOTIVE: After emerging as an imperialist power in the late 1800s, the U.S. enslaved the peoples of Central America, including Guatemala, on plantations and in sweatshops. The U.S. declared that Central America, as well as Mexico, was its own “backyard” to exploit and dominate politically and militarily as it contended with rival oppressors.

The U.S.-backed genocide in Guatemala was aimed at crushing a popular insurgency against a viciously oppressive regime which could have threatened the U.S.’s grip over the country. This was made all the more urgent for the U.S. rulers by the influence of their rival imperialist power, the Soviet Union, in Guatemala, and in other Central American insurgencies, at a time when the two imperialist superpowers were in a furious and extremely intense fight for world domination, which at that time held a real possibility of world war. In this situation, the U.S. lashed out with torture and genocide.

REPEAT OFFENDER: In 1954, the U.S.-engineered a coup in Guatemala that overthrew elected president Jacobo Árbenz because his government nationalized unused land held by United Fruit, a U.S. corporation, to distribute to peasants. By the late 1960s, the Pentagon had as many as 1,000 Special Forces troops in Guatemala, carrying out a massive counterinsurgency against anti-government guerrillas. Death squads were created on the urging of the head of the U.S. military mission in Guatemala. Over decades, monstrous spasms of state-sponsored violence took the lives of 200,000 people, more than 80 percent indigenous Mayan peasant farmers.

Other popular uprisings in the 1980s against vicious Central American regimes were also drowned in blood by the U.S. imperialists and U.S.-sponsored death squads and terrorists. In El Salvador, U.S.-backed regimes of Roberto d’Aubuisson and José Napoleón Duarte killed over 75,000 people. Nicaragua saw nearly 50,000 casualties through the 1980s as counter-revolutionary “Contra” military forces, secretly funded by Reagan, carried out terrorist attacks aimed at bringing down the Sandinista government, which had overthrown the pro-U.S. dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979.

These crimes against humanity form the backdrop for the desperate situation today in Central America that is driving people to risk their lives to escape the hellish conditions that have been “made in the USA.”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/438/textbook-definition-what-is-a-pig-en.html

Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

Textbook Definition: What Is a Pig?...

Updated August 1, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Scroll down for earlier entries.

July 20, 2016. Charles Kinsey, a behavior therapist was bringing back a young autistic man who had wandered away from his group home. Cops arrive, point their guns at Kinsey and order him to lie on his back with his hands up. Kinsey complies. The autistic man is sitting next to him and Kinsey shouts, “All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home,” and, “There is no need for firearms.” The pigs shoot Kinsey—who is still on his back and hands in the air—in the leg, then rush over and handcuff both Kinsey and the young autistic man. What kind of sick, depraved racist shoots a Black man who lies down on his back, puts his hands up in the air and makes it very clear that he is a professional, caring for an autistic young man?

July 28, 2016. 18-year-old Paul O’Neal is shot in the back by Chicago cops after he drives away from a traffic stop. Police admit no gun was found at the scene and that the shooting violates their own regulations—that prohibit officers from shooting at moving vehicles if no weapons are being used against police.

What kind of murderous group armed by the U.S. government stops Black people all the time for “routine traffic stops,” and then ends up killing them in cold blood, many times, shooting them in the back?


 

 


July 25, 2016. People were hanging out together in the Nickerson Gardens housing projects in Watts. LAPD came on the scene and people began to run away. The cops shot and killed 18-year-old Richard Risher who was unarmed and running away. Risher stumbled after he was shot, the police kept shooting, and then they came over and kicked and spit on Risher as he lay dying. After this, the police sealed off the entire neighborhood and forced whole families to stand out in the street while they went through their homes, supposedly searching for a “shooter.”

What kind of monsters with badges and guns—chase a young man who is unarmed, shoot at him, then when he falls down, keep shooting and then as he’s dying come over and kick and spit on him?

What kind? Here’s an excerpt of how the Black Panther Party once defined a pig:

What is a pig? A low natured beast that has no regard for law, justice, or the rights of people:..a foul, depraved traducer, usually found masquerading as the victim of an unprovoked attack.

...And What Should They Do?

Here’s what Bob Avakian said in 2002, responding to the murder by police of the unarmed and unconscious young woman Tyisha Miller in Riverside, California:

If you can’t handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people. Fuck all this “serve and protect” bullshit! If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene. They could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it’s been in power has handled—and would again handle—this kind of thing, valuing the lives of the masses of people. As opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses. And that’s one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people.

BAsics 2:16

 

 


Earlier entries:

June 2016. At least 14 Oakland cops are under investigation for having sex with an 18-year-old woman; three of them allegedly had sex with her when she was 17. The woman, the daughter of police dispatchers, says she had sex with the officers in exchange for money and protection. Some of the cops sent obscene, sexually explicit photos to the woman’s phone. Other police departments are also implicated: The woman says she got “referrals” from cops for other pigs from nearby cities as well as from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. There is evidence the Oakland police chief knew this was happening but looked the other way.

What kind of sick pack of animals use their position of force and power to prey on a young woman—passing her around and abusing her in what amounts to long-term serial gang rape?

Squeals and Oinks from NYPD Commissioner Bratton in New York City and the State Government of Louisiana:

On May 25, after yet another NYPD cop was caught on video brutalizing someone in Harlem and pointing his gun at and then punching and arresting the videographer(!), NYC head pig Bill Bratton said: "When you interfere with a police officer making a lawful arrest, you with your cameras attempt to really get into it ... then you are creating circumstances that are dangerous for the public and dangerous for the police officers.... This has become a very serious—I would almost describe it as an epidemic in this country."

What kind of depraved individual would preside over an institution whose members are repeatedly exposed brutalizing and murdering Black and Brown people with impunity and immunity and then say those who videotape this brutality and murder are the problem—and even the reason people get beaten and killed?

The Louisiana state government just passed and signed into law legislation that puts police on the list of those protected under state hate crime laws supposedly designed to protect victims of acts of conscious prejudice because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity. Those who back the Louisiana law claim law enforcement nationwide is under attack.

Reality: The FBI documents 41 on-duty police were killed in 2015, one of the lowest numbers in decades. For the same year, the Guardian newspaper documented at least 1,000 people killed by police in the U.S. nationwide, nearly 100 unarmed. The police who commit these murders are routinely defended and even praised as heroes.

What kind of vile governing body presiding over what kind of sick system would unleash and defend racist murdering pigs, then make up a lie and pass legislation that claims the police are the victims?

Good riddance to rotten pork. Police Chief Greg Suhr, pictured above, was driven from office this week by mass outrage and struggle in San Francisco. Suhr had risen through porcine ranks by personally supervising the April 6, 1996 murder of Mark Garcia.

 

Racist vigilante George Zimmerman is auctioning off the gun he used to murder Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman says proceeds from the sale will be used to “fight [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers.” Last year Zimmerman tweeted “Cops lives matter, black slime doesnt [sic].”

What kind of sick motherfucker tries to sell the weapon he used to murder an unarmed young Black man, portrays the epidemic of police terror and murder against Black people as “violence against law enforcement officers,” openly dehumanizes Black people and brays that their lives do not matter?

Steve Loomis is the head of the Cleveland Police Union. He represented the cops who murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice for playing with a toy gun—in a playground. Now he’s demanding Tamir’s family use money from their wrongful death lawsuit settlement to “educate” youth about how to play with toy guns.

What kind of a heartless motherfucker has the gall to back child murderers, blame the totally innocent child for his own death, and then demand his heartbroken parents pay up or be blamed when police murder other kids with toy guns?

 

 

Tom Angel, the No. 2 cop in Burbank, California, and then the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s chief of staff, was hired to reform departments riddled with police brutality, racism, and sexual harassment. All that time he was emailing racist, degrading “jokes” mocking Black people, Latinos, Muslims, women, and homeless people: “I took my Biology exam last Friday, I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently ‘Blacks’ and ‘Mexicans’ were NOT the correct answers.”

What kind of sick, depraved animal pretends to be cleaning out racism and sexism but all the while spreading vile racist, chauvinist, sexist contempt for the people, unleashing his minions to wreck mayhem on those his department claims to “serve and protect”?

San Francisco cops Jason Lai, Curtis Liu, and Keith Ybarreta sent racist texts calling people of color “barbarians,” “cockroaches,” and “a pack of wild animals on the loose,” and containing dehumanizing anti-woman and anti-gay insults. A few: “I hate that beaner, but I think that nig is worse.” “Indian people are disgusting.” “Burn down walgreens and kill the bums.”

What kind of vile scumbags heap contempt and abuse—even wish for death—on those over whom they hold the power of life and death?

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/441/questions-on-getting-organized-for-an-actual-revolution-en.html

Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

Questions and answers on getting organized for an actual revolution

Updated June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Read Message | Download PDF 11x17"

Listen to audio of the Message, recorded by members of the Revolution Club

Question: Who can join the Revolutionary Communist Party?

Answer: Continually building and strengthening the Party is crucial in preparing for the actual revolution that is urgently needed. Anyone who is helping to build the movement for revolution the Party is leading, who hungers for, and is ready to dedicate their life to fighting for, a radically different world, without exploitation and oppression in any form, and who feels that they agree with the goals, methods, and principles of the Party, can and should apply to join the Party. Such an application will lead to a process of systematic discussion of the line of the Party, beginning with the Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, January 1, 2016 (available at revcom.us), the responsibilities of Party members as set forth in the Constitution of the Party, and other important questions, which will be the basis for determining whether the person applying is in fact ready to join the Party, or whether a further process of work and discussion with the applicant is required before they can be accepted as a Party member.

Share this Q&A

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Question: Why do we not initiate violence during this period when we are carrying out the “three prepares”—why do we not just “get it on,” and try to bring down this system, right now?

Answer: Because we are serious about revolution, and we are proceeding according to a strategic approach to bringing about an actual revolution, working to hasten and prepare for the time when a revolutionary situation has been brought into being—when there is a deep revolutionary crisis throughout society and among the powers that be, and there is a revolutionary people in the millions and millions—and we do not intend to make it easier for the vicious ruling class of this system, and its violent machinery of oppression and repression, to crush us and the movement for revolution we are building, before it is time to go for the whole thing, with a real chance of winning.

Question: Aren’t Ferguson and Baltimore examples of the people initiating violence?

Answer: NO. These are examples of the people, masses of people, rising up in response to violence initiated and perpetrated against them by the police and the system that the police enforce.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/441/spreading-the-new-message-from-the-rcp-in-the-projects-en.html

Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

Spreading the New Message from the RCP in the Projects

May 26, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


Last week, six people got up at 4am to get organized to spread the new Message from the RCP in a housing project. They knew they were part of a larger local effort, an even larger national effort, and ultimately the largest interest of humanity, to accumulate forces for an actual revolution.

Read Message | Download PDF 11x17"

Listen to audio of the Message, recorded by members of the Revolution Club

We met before sunrise in hats and hoodies, determined to create a situation where the people in this project, who are under constant surveillance, harassment and threat from several police agencies, and routinely criminalized and treated as less than human, would wake up to the message that another world is possible. Where everywhere they went on the way out to wherever they were going, they would see that there was a world-class leadership hell bent on emancipating humanity, calling on them to play a special role in the most radical revolution the world has ever seen!

By the time the sun came up, there was a Message on every door: Time to get organized for an actual revolution. On every car parked on the surrounding streets. Posters up on the gates and walls. On the way out the door, walking down the street, and getting into your car, you saw this serious and inspirational invitation to join the revolution. When they were done, everyone expressed how meaningful it was to take the extra effort to make sure these messages appeared overnight, in force, unavoidably, to some of the people who need it most.

Before the Revolution Club went out as a force into this housing project, they met together in a park. They practiced getting in step, literally and politically: marching together, organized and in uniform, and discussing and deciding how best to bring alive the statement in chants, in agitation, and through living out and breaking down the world we are fighting for through the points of attention for the revolution.

When the Revolution Club made its first foray after the Message appeared, they marched in uniform, in step, chanting loudly and announcing itself as the mighty mighty revcoms, fighting for a new world. People came to their windows or porches, some raised fists, while half a dozen small children ran alongside with a combination of awe and smiles. When the Revolution Club stopped, they agitated for people to come out of their houses and get with the revolution. The problem? The whole damn system. The solution? Revolution, nothing less! Get with the leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian, and be part of fighting to overthrow this rotten system and bring into being the New Socialist Republic of North America.

The Housing Authority pigs, who patrol the place like it is a prison, tried to stop the Revolution Club from calling out to people this way, to overthrow the system. One pig grabbed at the bullhorn and another Revolution Club member blocked him. The pig said “You are under arrest” and we all starting shouting about how illegitimate that was. A girl maybe 13 years old came out yelling “This is what they do!” about the police and their reign of terror. The Revolution Club marched off and a bunch of pigs in cars pulled up and camped out nearby, but left us alone. While people were nervous about this, they still stopped to talk about the statement, watch the video clips, and to tell us, “This is what they do to us every day: follow us, threaten us, for no reason.” We said we know what they are about, what else this system does to people here and around the world, and how unnecessary it all is, in light of the possibility of revolution and communism, and in particular the new synthesis.

The Revolution Club returned the following day, and the day after, too. We talked to angry youth, older women, and others. One woman with several children was moved by the BA Through the Years video, and in particular the clip from the 2003 talk about how people are made to think they are “regulating” when they are really being regulated, and if someone is breaking everybody’s legs, maybe we should get together and stop him! Several others had seen the Message, read it, and gone to revcom.us already. One young man said, if you keep coming back here, you will find a lot of people who want to get with this. Another young man, in the middle of a “transaction,” heard the Message being read and said, “That’s the realest shit I ever heard.”

Overall there is a warm reception to the revolutionaries. We are connecting more deeply with about half a dozen people every day, who are going to revcom.us and are being challenged to seriously engage with the solution to humanity’s unnecessary horrors, and the leadership of Bob Avakian. Some have taken copies of the Message to spread around. Others want to make art around the phrase “Actual Revolution.” The Revolution Club is challenging everyone to join the Revolution Club and act to spread this now while learning more about what is necessary and possible. The message is clear: This system lies about everything, but the biggest lie is that this world is the best we can do. Bullshit. Get with the revolution.

We had several conversations about why it matters to know who your real friends & enemies are, and cut through the bullshit, by really taking up the scientific method of Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. About why it matters to live now by the Points of Attention in the statement, because that is what it will take to get to the kind of world that is possible, without masters and slaves. One former prisoner wanted to know how we could actually win, so a Revolution Club member broke down what a revolutionary situation looks like, and also emphasized why it matters that we get organized now around this leadership, for anything good to come out of that situation. Another young man pondered about how hard it was to imagine anything really different from what exists today, where everybody is forced to look out for themselves and their family. A young mother reflected on how fighting with each other is just going along with what the system wants us to do, and we can do better, if we can really make a revolution. An older woman who sells candy to kids in the complex took a stack of Messages to distribute to people who come around. A woman in her fifties told the story of marrying an 80-year-old man, thinking her life would be better with a man to take care of, and as soon as they were married he began to treat her just like a housekeeper and an extra income for more beer. We told her one of the crimes of this system that divides everyone into masters and slaves, is to brainwash men into thinking with all the shit they put up with the police and everything else, they can treat women like their own personal slaves. This revolution is about breaking ALL the chains, and she sighed with relief, saying she wanted to go to revcom.us to find out more about “that kind of revolution.”

There’s more to say, but for now—the Revolution Club is getting connected to people in these projects, and working to re-imagine how many different people with different constraints can throw into meaningful revolutionary work, who else can be involved in this work who may not live in that complex, and how to bring together a first gathering of people here to watch BA speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! discuss and wrangle, and increase all this impact and transformation exponentially going forward.

 

 

Join the Revolution ClubGet with the Revolution Club HERE

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/441/call-for-volunteers-american-crimes-series-en.html

Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

Confront the Actual History of the USA
Contribute to the “American Crime” Series

Updated August 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Want to volunteer for revcom.us, and feel like you are in basic agreement with the principles for volunteers? We have a project for you! Revcom.us recently began a new regular feature, AMERICAN CRIME. Each installment focuses 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

Read the American Crime series here

This series of articles is focused on the first of the “3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better” from Bob Avakian:

People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this.

Right now the American Crime series takes on heightened importance, when both Democrats and Republicans are filling the air with the putrid and dangerous stench of how “great” America is, was, or could be. These articles follow this basic format:

You can find articles that have already been written for the American Crime series on revcom.us here.

If you or others are interested in researching and/or writing to contribute to this series, contact spreadrevolution@gmail.com. You may have a suggestion or the editors can propose one for you.

You won’t be on your own in working on this. Editors will be working with you as you tackle the project, and will want to hear what you are running into and what you are learning, and may make suggestions.

In working on this project, you will be making a real contribution to waking and shaking people up about the real history of this country, provoking them to learn more about why this country is this way, and inspiring them to look at the real solution.

A NEW PROJECT:

In addition to documenting particular American Crimes, revcom.us has a new, related project: scientifically determining, through as accurate a survey as possible

  • how many deaths have been caused by direct U.S. military intervention in the past 70 years
  • how many deaths have been caused by U.S.-supported proxy wars and U.S.-provided military “aid”
  • how many refugees have been created by U.S. military aggression in all its forms.

Our goal: to arrive at an ironclad figure that no one can factually dispute. This would include, but not be limited to, those crimes covered in the American Crime series. If you want to contribute to this survey, email spreadrevolution@gmail.com.


Below are some suggested American Crimes in our series that need to be researched and written. If you’re interested in these or have other suggestions, email spreadrevolution@gmail.com.

U.S. Invasion of the Dominican Republic

In April of 1965, President Johnson sent U.S. Marines and then the U.S. Army's crack counter-insurgency unit into the Dominican Republic. Within 10 days, 23,000 U.S. troops were in the Dominican Republic. Rebel forces fought against the U.S.; a total of about 4,000 Dominicans—mainly civilians—and 44 U.S. soldiers died in the war.

The Coup in Chile in 1973

On September 11, 1973, the U.S. government orchestrated a coup d’etat in Chile that overthrew the elected government of Salvador Allende and installed the fascist regime of General Augusto Pinochet. No one can say for sure how many people were murdered. At the time, Chilean revolutionaries spoke of tens of thousands of victims. Today’s Chilean government says 3,000. Some estimates say that 400,000 people were tortured. A whole generation of intellectuals and others who could escape was driven into exile. Many of those murdered during Pinochet’s years in power were “disappeared,” kidnapped by the U.S.-installed regime and never seen again.

Torture Chamber Guantánamo

Guantanamo
Photo: AP

People around the world have been rounded up, kidnapped, and illegally held starting right after September 11, 2001, for years on end, including at Guantánamo. Prisoners there have been systematically tortured, some tortured to death. It has rightly become a global symbol of American barbarity.

 

The Murder of Fred Hampton

Fred Hampton, photo by Paul Sequeira
Photo: Paul Sequeira

On December 4, 1969, a squad of special police raided a Black Panther Party apartment in Chicago and killed Panther members Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in a hail of gunfire. In a carefully staged press conference, the police claimed there was a shoot-out when all evidence showed that Fred Hampton was murdered in cold blood while sleeping in his bed.

BP Gulf Oil Catastrophe

BP Gulf Oil Catastrophe
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 2010, off the Louisiana coast, a surge of gas burst up through the well being drilled by the oil giant BP. It exploded in an inferno of flame and smoke. Eleven workers were killed. The Deepwater Horizon drilling platform was destroyed, and a toxic gusher was let loose, which poured more than 200 million gallons of crude oil and natural gas into the rich waters of the Gulf before it was capped nearly three months later. It was an almost immeasurable environmental catastrophe that killed workers, ravaged wildlife, and savaged ecosystems from the deep waters of the Gulf to the environmentally vital shores. It threatened human health and created an economic disaster for the many thousands whose living depended on the Gulf’s waters.


 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/441/what-it-means-to-be-a-volunteer-for-revcom.us-en.html

Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

revcom.us home page

What It Means to Be a Volunteer for revcom.us

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

1. Volunteers for revcom have basic agreement with the following:

Humanity Needs Revolution and Communism
Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution

2. Volunteers for revcom are working, whether for a few hours a week or much more, and as they learn more about this, to advance the goals outlined in Resolution 4 of the January 1, 2016 “Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party”:

Resolution 4:

The main vehicle through which the Party leads the ongoing ideological and political work of preparing for revolution is its website, REVCOM.US—the “second mainstay” of our Party’s work.

The website provides ongoing orientation and leadership, both long-range and “in the moment.” It encompasses the key works of Bob Avakian, as well as the newspaper of the Party, REVOLUTION. It analyzes world events and brings out the underlying dynamics and contradictions in those events, how they are grounded in the fundamental nature and dynamics of the capitalist-imperialist system and how they relate to the struggle to overthrow and move beyond this system; it includes reports on the Party’s work in mass struggles around major social contradictions, key Party documents and articles on the importance of building the Party as the leading core of the revolution that is needed. Within this website, the newspaper plays a particular role.

As BA has put it:

WWW.REVCOM.US/REVOLUTION NEWSPAPER brings alive a scientific analysis of major events in society and the world—why they are happening, how different events and developments relate to each other, how all this relates to the system we live under, where people’s interests lie in relation to all this, how revolution is in fact the solution to all this and what the goals of that revolution are, how different viewpoints and programs relate, positively or negatively, to the revolution that is needed, and how people can move, and are moving, to build toward that revolution. Revcom.us/Revolution is the guide, the pivot, the crucial tool in drawing forward, orienting, training, and organizing thousands, and influencing millions—fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution—hastening and preparing for the time when we can go for the whole thing, with a real chance to win.

This website is already powerful—but REVCOM.US must truly become a website that reaches and speaks to millions, providing guidance to them in understanding and moving to radically transform the world, as well as providing leadership to those already won to or drawn toward revolution.

3. Volunteers for revcom uphold, live by and fight for these principles:

1 We base ourselves on and strive to represent the highest interests of humanity: revolution and communism. We do not tolerate using the revolution for personal gain.

2 We fight for a world where ALL the chains are broken. Women, men, and differently gendered people are equals and comrades. We do not tolerate physically or verbally abusing women or treating them as sexual objects, nor do we tolerate insults or “jokes” about people’s gender or sexual orientation.

3 We fight for a world without borders, and for equality among different peoples, cultures and languages. We do not tolerate insults, “jokes” or derogatory names about a person’s race, nationality, or language.

4 We stand with the most oppressed and never lose sight of their potential to emancipate humanity—nor of our responsibility to lead them to do that. We work to win people of all backgrounds to take part in the revolution, and do not tolerate revenge among the people.

5 We search for and fight for the truth no matter how unpopular, even as we listen to and learn from the observations, insights and criticisms of others.

6 We are going for an actual overthrow of this system and a whole better way beyond the destructive, vicious conflicts of today between the people. Because we are serious, at this stage we do not initiate violence and we oppose all violence against the people and among the people.

4. Volunteers for revcom.us are working for the liberation of all humanity, and as such take seriously assignments they have volunteered for, working collectively with others, meeting deadlines, and summing up lessons with a scientific approach.

5. Volunteers for revcom.us take very seriously the protection of the website, its role in society, and the leadership of Bob Avakian and those who are responsible for representing for him and those responsible for revcom.us. Volunteers don’t drink or use drugs while working on the paper or website, or while out spreading the word about the website. Volunteers do not bring weapons or any illegal substances to the website offices.

 

 


 

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Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

Hedy Epstein: Holocaust Survivor, Passionate Fighter Against Israel's Crimes

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

Hedy Epstein joined the Gaza Freedom March in 2009
In 2009, in the aftermath of a months-long Israeli slaughter of the Palestinian people in Gaza, Hedy Epstein (above center, with pink scarf) joined the Gaza Freedom March. (AP photo)

On May 26, Hedy Epstein passed away at age 91. Hedy was a Jewish Holocaust survivor who embodied the spirit of those who saw the lesson of the Holocaust NOT as: whatever needs to be done to preserve MY people is OK, no matter who we oppress, but instead that great crimes against humanity must never happen to ANY people. And as such, she stood literally shoulder-to-shoulder with the Palestinian people in their struggle against Zionism, and with struggles against oppression throughout this country and around the world.

Hedy was a kindergarten student in Germany when Hitler’s fascists began the genocide against the Jews with a violent fascist riot known as the Kristallnacht. Hedy was expelled from school. Her parents were unable to escape to the United States, which had a policy of refusing to grant asylum to victims of Hitler’s racist terror. And, as Hedy said in an interview with an Israeli newspaper in 2014, they did not want to be part of what is now Israel because “They did not wish to live in a country that was run by Jews and for Jews only.”

Hedy’s parents were able to get her to England, but both of them were trapped in Germany and died in the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp, along with almost all her relatives.

Hedy grew up in England, and later moved to the U.S., where she became an active opponent of the Vietnam War. As she came to be familiar with the oppression of Black people in the U.S., she made connections between the way the Nazis had made outcasts of the Jews, and how the U.S. treated Black people.

After Israel orchestrated massacres of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, Hedy became increasingly passionate and committed to supporting the Palestinian people’s struggle. Beginning in 2003, she traveled several times to the West Bank with the International Solidarity Movement. In Israel, she was tear-gassed by police while demonstrating against the Israeli occupation and suffered damage to her hearing when sound bombs went off.

In 2009, in the aftermath of a months-long Israeli slaughter of the Palestinian people in Gaza, Hedy joined the Gaza Freedom March. This was an attempt to go beyond efforts to deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza, and to physically break the blockade on land by marching across the border from Egypt into Gaza. Under direct instructions from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to the Mubarak regime that ruled Egypt, the Gaza Freedom Marchers were prevented from getting to the Egypt-Gaza border crossing, and repeatedly and violently attacked by Egyptian police. Hedy was on the front lines of protests in Cairo—a tiny, frail, but fearless fighter. She led a group of protesters who declared a hunger strike in Cairo, demanding the authorities allow the Freedom March to get to the border. When Egyptian authorities shut down transportation to the border, the Gaza Freedom March took place in the streets of Cairo just outside Tahrir Square.

90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein—an activist in resisting Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people—was arrested with eight others in St. Louis in August 2014. She was opposing the deployment of the Missouri National Guard to suppress protests demanding justice for Michael Brown – a Black man murdered by police in nearby Ferguson, Missouri. Photo: Steven Hsieh

When Black youth and others rose up in fierce rebellion in Ferguson, Missouri, after the police murder of Michael Brown, Hedy joined a sit-in outside the office of Missouri governor Jay Nixon in her home town of St. Louis. The sit-in demanded an end to police repression of the uprising, and protested the governor’s decision to deploy the National Guard to further clamp down on protest. At age 90, Hedy Epstein was handcuffed, taken to a nearby substation and charged with “failure to disperse.”

Hedy was an unassuming person who didn’t see the struggle against oppression as being about her, or that her experience as a Holocaust survivor in-and-of-itself imbued her with some special privilege—despite the terrible personal loss and sacrifice that had meant for her and her family. But in a world where the grossest, most obscene and unjust oppression is “justified” by invoking the Holocaust, she didn’t hesitate to invoke whatever “right to speak” is associated with being a Holocaust survivor to speak out, and put her body on the line, against ALL injustice, including Israel’s crimes—backed by the U.S.—against the Palestinian people.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/441/awtwns-afghanistan-three-decades-of-mass-exodus-en.html

Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

From A World to Win News Service

Afghanistan: Three Decades of Mass Exodus

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

May 23, 2016. A World to Win News Service. What became the “refugee crisis” in 2015—when it started to impact Europe—is not going to go away. How to handle its various aspects, mainly how to keep out refugees, continues to be a main point on the agenda whenever representatives of the imperialist powers get together. Who are these refugees, and why are they so desperate to get to Europe?

Family of Afghan refugees who fled war in their homeland collect their belongings in Peshawar, Pakistan as refugee homes are demolished by government authorities.
Afghanistan is an example of how imperialist interventions and occupations have destroyed the lives of millions. The country had the highest number of refugees in the world for 32 years in a row until last year, when another reactionary war fueled by the imperialists and other reactionary powers, each in pursuit of their particular interests, created even more refugees, this time from Syria. In fact, Afghan refugees at the present time constitute a quarter of all refugees worldwide. According to UN figures, 95 percent of them live in Iran and Pakistan. Above, a family of Afghan refugees who fled war in their homeland collect their belongings in Peshawar, Pakistan as refugee homes are demolished by government authorities. Many refugees face deportation back to Afghanistan. AP photo

Of the million or more who entered the European Union last year, after Syrians, who made up almost half, the second largest nationality group, about 180,000 people, were from Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is an example of how imperialist interventions and occupations have destroyed the lives of millions. The country had the highest number of refugees in the world for 32 years in a row until last year, when another reactionary war fuelled by the imperialists and other reactionary powers, each in pursuit of their particular interests, created even more refugees, this time from Syria. In fact, Afghan refugees at the present time constitute a quarter of all refugees worldwide. According to UN figures, 95 percent of them live in Iran and Pakistan.

What is different about the new wave of Afghan refugees is that many are better off, or at least have a house to mortgage and intellectual skills. There are reports they include many people with government jobs or in their last year of university studies in law, engineering and other professions. This shows there is no hope for the future among nearly all strata in Afghanistan, especially young people.

People trying to come to Europe from Afghanistan have to cross Iran and then go to Turkey, facing many hardships, including arrest, imprisonment and atrocities by the authorities and border guards. At a minimum, they have to pay large amounts in bribes. In many cases they have to pay traffickers as much as 3,000 or more U.S. dollars per person. Most do not have that much money, so they sell all the belongings they have gathered over their lifetime. There are reports that the number of second-hand shops in Kabul and other major cities in Afghanistan has tripled. So many people have had to sell or mortgage their homes that property prices have been brought down.

Most who cross into Europe from Turkey via the Greek islands travel in unsafe plastic or wooden boats. At least 800 people from Afghanistan were among the almost 4,000 who have died in the Aegean Sea.

Map of Central-South Asia, focus on Afghanistan

The majority of Afghans who get to Europe are heading for Germany. Some 154,000 Afghan arrivals were registered in Germany in 2015. Chancellor Angela Merkel and German leaders at first wanted to take advantage of the situation and use refugees to revitalise some of the country’s dying villages and towns. But this opportunistic official welcome soon turned into hostility towards refugees, who were falsely accused of coming to “abuse” Germany’s welfare system and German people.

After the U.S. and its Western imperialist allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001, ousting the fundamentalist Taliban regime and installing the government headed by their hand-picked flunky Hamid Karzai, they promised to reconstruct the country and bring it stability and prosperity. But the people saw nothing but war, air raids, night raids, imprisonment, torture and a corrupt government of drug dealers and ex-jihadists backed by the Western countries. Along with poverty and unemployment came the return of poppy growing and soaring drug addiction. On top of that, the fundamentalist Taliban re-emerged as a powerful and constantly-expanding force. According to the latest statistics released by the UN’s Afghanistan mission, the number of civilians injured or killed last year was more than 11,000, the highest since the start of occupation. Even some U.S. officials, including National Intelligence director James Clapper, believe that “Afghanistan is at serious risk of a political breakdown during 2016.”

According to Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission, “violence and instability in 21 out of 34 provinces caused the displacement of more than 1.2 million Afghans in 2015.” Only a small fraction of them have been able to find their way into Europe. This disproves the argument that Afghans are leaving for Europe simply in search of a higher standard of living. The majority leave because they are forced to leave. Nearly a million Afghans have been displaced internally or gone to Iran and Pakistan. Some cannot go that far, and have to withstand the war, poverty, hunger, insecurity and brutalization by the Taliban, Daesh (IS) and government forces and the imperialist air strikes that even target patients, doctors and nurses in hospitals.

But the German and other Western European governments consider Afghanistan a safe country, or at least try to distinguish between refugees from areas they label safe and unsafe in Afghanistan. They pressure Afghan refugees to leave “voluntarily” by denying them asylum, and threaten to resort to force to send people back to a country that has been a battlefield in the contention between imperialists, and between imperialists and other reactionaries, for four decades.

The official number of Afghan refugees worldwide was 2.6 million even before the new wave of refugees in 2015. However the real number is estimated to be up to six million. There are about 1.5 million registered in Pakistan, and it is estimated that between half a million and a million more Afghans live there “illegally.” About 900,000 are registered in Iran, with up to two million living and working there “illegally.”

Prior to the mid-1980s, the number of Afghan migrants was not significant. However, after the Soviet occupation that was followed by the intervention of the U.S. and other Western powers who backed and empowered the fundamentalist jihadis, Afghanistan became one of the most intense battlegrounds in the rivalry between the two imperialists blocs headed by the U.S. imperialists and the Soviet social-imperialists (fake socialists who took the USSR off the socialist path and became imperialists). Fundamentalists from all over the world were mobilised to fight in Afghanistan against the “godless” Soviets. The country also became a battlefield of contention between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on one side, which support Sunni fundamentalists, and on the other side the Islamic regime of Iran, which supports Shia fundamentalists.

At the same time Afghanistan became the centre of another contention in the region, between India and Pakistan. Pakistan saw an opportunity to enter the playing field in support of the Western imperialists. The Islamisation of Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s interests in its rivalry with India. Financial, military and logistic support for various fundamentalist groups was mainly channelled through Pakistan. This gave rise to the setting up of several jihadist headquarters in Pakistan, Pashtuns mainly in Peshawar, and Hazra and Uzbeks in Quetta. The rise of these groups was followed by the mass departure of thousands of Afghans.

As the war intensified and destruction left millions homeless, a more massive exodus began. About a million were estimated to have been displaced to other areas in Afghanistan, while three million fled to neighbouring Pakistan and a similar number to Iran. Still, very few Afghans went to Western countries except for Canada, where immigration was limited to around 4,000.

The majority of those who left Afghanistan and their home were thinking of a temporary departure, hoping to go home and restart their normal life soon. However this thinking was out of sync with the interests and goals of the imperialists and other reactionary powers acting in the region. The war in Afghanistan continued and continues today. Even when the Soviet armed forces withdrew from Afghanistan and the pro-Soviet Najibullah regime was toppled, the war didn’t end.

During that period the long-term effect of what the imperialists and the regional reactionary powers had done to Afghanistan was on full display. A war between different jihadi fundamentalist groups started. The differences were not only based on the immediate interests of different reactionary jihadist leaders but also based on distinctions between Shia and Sunnis, ethnicity among Afghans and other sorts of reactionary differences, and, obviously, the backing they were getting from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, India and the Western imperialists.

The 1992-1996 civil war between warlords effectively destroyed Kabul and had a devastating effect on the people. The ruthlessness with which the mutually hostile groups acted against people of other ethnicities cannot be forgotten. The civil war divided the people based on reactionary differences. This was the product of the seeds that the imperialists and reactionary regional powers had sown.

At one point the main Pashtun warlords gathered around Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a notorious warlord supported by Pakistan and the Saudis, who went on to fight the current government in Afghanistan. There are reports that in recent weeks he has begun negotiating with the government to become part of the power structure. The main non-Pashtun jihadists gathered in the Northern Alliance headed by Burhanuddin Rabbani (assassinated by the Taliban two years ago) and Ahmad Shah Massoud (assassinated by Al-Qaeda on September 9, 2001). This situation didn’t encourage any of the refugees in Iran or Pakistan to go home. Even if they did, many had to flee again, as did many new refugees.

The extreme fundamentalist Taliban came to power with the military, financial and political support of Pakistan and indirect support from the Emirates and Saudis, and the silence of the U.S. They imposed one of the harshest Islamic regimes on the people and particularly stepped up the oppression of women and non-Pashtun nationalities. Not surprisingly, most Afghan refugees abroad stayed there, despite pressure from the host authorities. Only a few thousand went to the West, again mainly to Canada.

After the collapse of the Taliban, many of the six million who had fled to Iran and Pakistan were planning to return to their country. But soon it became clear that the occupation would mean war on the people, and that eventually made the influence of the Taliban stronger than before. Even though some refugees in Pakistan and Iran returned home, they were replaced by new refugees. What began to change was their destination, now no longer mainly limited to Iran and Pakistan, but also the United Arab Emirates, Australia and Europe. As of 2014, according to UN statistics, there were over 300,000 in the UAE, 150,000 in Germany, 90,000 in the U.S., 56,000 in the UK, 20,000 in Australia, 20,000 in Austria and many others in an expanding list of other countries.

Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan are under tremendous pressure, permanently facing arrest and deportation, especially those two to three million refugees who are not registered. Reports indicate that Afghan refugees randomly arrested can be taken to the border and deported unless they agree to fight in Syria. Many of those who are not registered are deprived of health care and their children are deprived education. Even for those who are registered, their movement is restricted.

The refugees in Pakistan are also under financial and political pressure. They have encountered serious harassment and terrorist attacks throughout their stay. For example, a religious memorial in Quetta organized by people of the Hazara ethnic minority, who are mainly Shia, was attacked by Sunni bigots in 2003, killing and injuring many participants. In December 2014, Pakistani Taliban attacked a school in Peshawar, killing more than a hundred children. Following these attacks, Afghan refugees in Pakistan faced even more government hostility and were often told to return to Afghanistan.

It is not uncommon for politicians and commentators in the West to characterise Afghanistan as a place of never-ending war, a country of Islamic fundamentalists, backwardness, tribalism and warlordism. As if the Afghan people were to blame for their own suffering. But who is really responsible for such a situation and who has fuelled the on-going war and the exodus of millions? The imperialists are responsible for what the people of Afghanistan are going through, both the war and the onslaught of religious fundamentalism.

The influx of refugees from Afghanistan and other places devastated by imperialist-fuelled wars and the workings of the imperialist system will continue. Measures to deter refugees by deporting them or deals with the Erdogan regime in Turkey might have an effect, but the crisis will never go away as long as the world is organized the way it is. The “refugee crisis” is a crisis of the global imperialist system and can only come to an end in a way that is in the interests of the world’s people with the end of the imperialist system and its brutal and occupational wars, imperialist-dependent repressive regimes and the imperialist globalization of the planet’s economy that instead of meeting the needs of the world’s people sends them fleeing in search of survival.

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #441 May 30, 2016

Prisoners Write on the Oppression of Women

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Revcom.us is sharing with our readers these excerpts from letters written by prisoners about the oppression of women, including their responses to what Revolution newspaper has written.

“Chauvinism and misogyny were deeply ingrained in me”

For myself personally, becoming familiar with the R.C.P. and the work they do has helped me to grow not only academically but ethically as well. I’ve discovered that the more I learn about revolution, communism, emancipation, and equality the more empathetic I become. Not only with regard to my fellow man but to women also.

As a young man growing up in the barrio I developed all of the thoughts, ideas, and opinions that such an environment gives rise to. Chauvinism and misogyny were deeply ingrained in me. And the sad reality is that these attitudes and ideas are still alive and well here in prison. I believe that it is only through education can we liberate ourselves of these false beliefs. And the R.C.P. and the Revolution newspaper provide us with exactly the kind of education that we need.

—Prisoner in California

“There isn’t a day in their lives that women aren’t made to feel like less than what and who they are”

I’m 28 years old. Ten years ago I treated and believed about women what men have for millennia. In my mind men were stronger and smarter and therefore deserving of their higher position. I’ve come to realize that if men were subjected to even half the things women deal with every day, they would break down and beg for something else.

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

The objectification, the degradation, the body-shaming, the slut-shaming, the system which has created a society in which women feel it’s not only right they should sell themselves (stripping, prostitution, pornography) but empowering as well, these things are engineered specifically to keep what is in all reality the superior gender from taking its rightful place in the hierarchy. Even many of the most successful women in the world (musicians, actresses, etc.) had to and have to sell themselves as objects of men’s sexual gratification to succeed and remain successful. Our entire culture is geared toward making girls and young women feel that the best (and sometimes only) way to get ahead is through their appearance or what sexual act they’re willing to perform, not through character or intelligence. It’s so engrained that even women defend it.

Spending 9½ years in the system, surrounded at all times by men, seeing the way they catcall the few women that do come through, hearing the way they speak of women, the way they view them. To the majority of men, women are simply a set of holes to get off in. It’s sickening and frustrating and sometimes I’m ashamed to be of the male gender. Women are viewed in this very animalistic way, never taken seriously as human beings. Men have it so easy, and still we complain when things don’t go exactly as we had envisioned. I admire all women, for the simple fact that there isn’t a day in their lives they aren’t made to feel like less than what and who they are, especially in this day and age, when children are seeing more and more sex at earlier and earlier ages. Strong? Women are the most tenacious and resilient beings on this planet. Would that I were one.

—Prisoner in the Midwest