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It is very important that people rise up and refuse to accept the continual murder of people, particularly Black people as well as Latinos, by police—this, and the other outrages and atrocities continually perpetrated by this system (as concentrated in the 5 Stops), cannot go down without people fighting back and rocking back the powers-that-be. But this must be built toward revolution—an actual revolution that overthrows this system at the soonest possible time—because there is no solution to these outrages under this system, and as long as we live under this system, this will go on...and on. There is a way that we can make a real revolution—and bring into being a radically different and better society: we have the strategy, program, and leadership for this revolution, in the work of BA and the Party he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party. Everywhere we go, and in everything we do, even as we are continuing to learn more about it, we need to be spreading the word about this revolution far and wide, and organizing for this revolution, drawing people around and into the Revolution Clubs, on the basis of the statement from the RCP Central Committee.
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 "I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science."
Excerpt from the section:
The Basis for Revolution
Here is another statement that concentrates a great deal: The basis for revolution resides in the defining contradictions of this system, which cannot be resolved under this system. We don’t, or we shouldn’t, proceed from “the way the world is,” in a static sense—lacking, once again, an understanding of contradiction and motion—for that will only lead to remaining trapped within “the world as it is.” We need to proceed on the basis of grasping the underlying and driving contradictions in any system or process, the change this gives rise to, and the potential this holds for profound radical change if, in fact, it does. This is something which has been repeatedly hammered at, from many different angles, in my talks and writings. This is also something that is spoken to, again in a very compelling way, in the Interview with Ardea Skybreak. But it is something which has—all too much, and all too often—been forgotten, lost sight of, or turned away from, including by many in the movement for revolution, even within the ranks of the Party, which has the responsibility to be the leading core of the revolution that is so desperately needed. This is something that needs to change—now—and it is something we need to grapple with seriously. For now, I’ll just leave that as something for people to reflect on—and we will definitely come back to this: why we have to be grounded in a scientific understanding of where the basis for revolution lies, and the fact that it doesn’t lie in what people are thinking or doing at any given time, or what your gender studies professor told you, or what you heard from somebody on the street corner last week, but resides in the actual contradictions that define this system and which cannot be resolved under this system.
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
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 and an International Dimension
Internationalism—Bringing Forward Another Way Popularizing the Strategy
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”
The New Synthesis of Communism:
Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach,
and Core Elements—An Outline
by Bob Avakian
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion
On September 14, cops in Columbus, Ohio, chased 13-year-old Tyre King into an alley and gunned him down. These pigs and the media, were quick to justify their murderous deed by spreading the police story that the BB gun they claim King had looked like a real gun.
I don't give a damn if he had a BB gun that looked real. And let's be clear, so far the only story about how this killing happened is the police story, and they lie all the damn time, especially when they're trying to justify murdering a Black youth. I don't care if he ran from the cops. I'm sick and tired of seeing cops getting away with murdering Black people. Now this Black child is dead at the hands of those who are supposed to "protect and serve." This was the illegitimate action by the front line enforcers of an illegitimate system.
From a reader. On Saturday, August 13, 2016, Sylville Smith, 23 years old, was gunned down by police in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the neighborhood around Sherman Park. Residents told Revolution what happened when the neighborhood erupted in righteous anger: Sylville was shot around 2 pm in broad daylight and people began to amass spontaneously in protest at the site. A woman who heard the shots and went over there said, “The police was hostile—told us to disperse—so that’s when we went to the BP [gas] station.” It turns out that there was a long history of antagonism with this particular gas station, culminating last month with an employee there firing his gun in the air to terrorize people and there were protests over this. “Things escalated from there,” the woman said, and before long the police had come in with their “riot crew.” She said that the initial crowd of people protesting the murder included “family and friends of Sylville, young, and old from the neighborhood, and everywhere.”
Saturday night people in Milwaukee poured into the streets in rebellion after police gunned down another Black man. The authorities wasted no time in demonizing the person gunned down, 23-year-old Sylville Smith—saying that he was armed and had a lengthy criminal record—trying to justify the murderous actions of their cops. But still people took to the streets, in the face of cops flooding the neighborhood armed to the teeth and even shooting at people to try to force them to disperse. People have righteously defended themselves in the face of this savage pig violence.
Milwaukee Police Chief Flynn has blamed people associated with the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) for violence against police Sunday night. No, pig chief Flynn—people in Milwaukee rose in rebellion after a cop killed Sylville Smith because they were enraged at the harassment, brutality and even murder inflicted on Black people there. And they are right to stand up and say NO MORE to this state sponsored violence.
We in the RCP stand with the people who are fighting the power today to STOP the terror police inflict on Black people, and we work to transform the people for revolution, which is what's needed to end this and all the other horrors this system enforces on people in this country and around the world.
A Week of Powerful Struggle—That Must Be Built Toward Revolution
July 15, 2016
People all over the country are rising up and rebelling against the police terror and murder that enforces the all-round oppression of Black people, as well as Latinos and Native Americans, in America.... As the point of orientation we posted this week states, this struggle is extremely important “but thismust be built toward revolution—an actual revolution that overthrows this system at the soonest possible time—because there is no solution to these outrages under this system, and as long as we live under this system, this will go on...and on. There is a way that we can make a real revolution—and bring into being a radically different and better society: we have the strategy, program, and leadership for this revolution, in the work of BA and the Party he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party.”
Protesting Murder and Terror by the Police Is Absolutely Righteous and Necessary!
STOP MURDER AND TERROR BY POLICE NOW!!
We Need Revolution!
July 17, 2016: At this point, it is not clear exactly what happened in Baton Rouge today—where several police were shot and killed. But the points in the following statement remain relevant and correct.
A Point of Orientation for Right Now:
In the past few days, in the face of yet more new and awful videos documenting the real role and behavior of the police, people have once again begun to rise up righteously. Despite an incident in Dallas in which five police were killed, THIS PROTEST MUST CONTINUE AND INTENSIFY AND PEOPLE MUST CONTINUE TO SEEK THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM AND ITS SOLUTION.
The protest movement that arose once again in the last few days is positive and important. Slanders must be met with the truth and attempts to suppress this movement must be defeated. Attacks on the families of the victims must CEASE.
Below are reports and excerpts from correspondence from the front lines of struggle, sent to email@example.com. We encourage readers who are part of protests demanding justice for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and against police terror and brutality—especially those of you bringing revolution into them—to hit us up with correspondence, photos and video.
Carl Dix speaking at Revolution Books NYC on July 16, 2016:
A few bad cops... or something deeper?
Opening presentation by Carl Dix, representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, at the program "A Few Bad Cops...Or Something Deeper"—a Harlem Book Fair After-Event—at Revolution Books NYC, July 16. Share this!
The mother of Philando Castile is right to call this a “silent war against Black people.”
Why does this happen? As Bob Avakian, BA, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA has said,
The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness.
Before the eyes of the world, and over and over and over again, this system's armed enforcers are murdering Black and Brown people. And over and over and over again, they get off. But not this time, not if we act. A system that does this over and over again is immoral, illegitimate, and should not exist one day longer. We need an actual revolution.
One: Baton Rouge – Wild Scenarios, Ruling Class Spin, and What We Actually Know To Be True
As of 5 pm Monday, July 18, here is what has actually been made public about what happened in Baton Rouge on Sunday, July 17: after a week in which the Baton Rouge police were caught on video carrying out the vicious assassination of Alton Sterling and then went on to brutally beat down and illegally arrest people who were protesting that murder, a Black man named Gavin Long had an encounter with some of those police, whom as a Black man he would have a legitimate reason to fear, and in that encounter Long and three police ended up dead.
Yet beginning with the first reports of the incident Sunday, the Baton Rouge Police Department, the ruling class media and major ruling class political figures shamelessly fabricated and reported as fact one lurid scenario after another, all designed to sensationalize things and whip up people behind approving the essentially illegitimate occupation of the Black community, and other oppressed nationality communities, by the police. And many of these forces went on to viciously attack the movement against police terror and murder and, in particular, Black Lives Matter, both the particular organization and the overall way that this slogan has become identified with an entire upsurge of protest against murder and terror carried out by these pigs.
It’s not just that the people who rule this society have absolutely no respect for the truth. It’s that they cannot afford to respect the truth because the real truth – that Black lives have never mattered and cannot matter to this system, except as a possible source of wealth and plunder, and that this has been BUILT INTO this system from the slave ships of Day One down to today – is something that exposes their essential nature.
And here is something else to think about, in relation to the controversy of today and the attempts of those on top to control and misdirect the debate. Look at the poster of the Stolen Lives. How many of the people on that poster, all of whom lost their lives to police, received any form of justice? None. And that is the hard, bitter, cold – and, if we take it seriously, ultimately liberating – truth.
Two: A Question Posed: Do Protests Against the Oppression of Black People Under This System Do Any Good?
In a basic sense, yes. Without protest against injustice, nothing changes. Without struggle against the way things are, as people have done, they would have been broken. Without the lessons garnered from such protest, people in their masses would not be able to learn the way forward.
Bob Avakian (BA) has made a historic breakthrough for human emancipation
You are needed—to let the world know! Contribute to the BA Everywhere Campaign
July 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
These are turbulent times. Old orders are straining, societies are polarizing, and people are in motion. Videos of the police executions of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have set off righteous protests and sparked deep anger and agonized questioning across the country. As Obama tries to tamp down the protests and the outrage, he recognizes, in his own words, the deep “fault line” that stands further “exposed” and “widening.” He recognizes an anxiety that the “center won’t hold” and “things might get worse”—sentiments furthered and globally echoed in the context of a world torn apart by Western imperialism and Islamic jihad, with specters of outright fascism looming.
Authored by Bob Avakian,
and adopted by the
Central Committee of the RCP
Will the fabric of society and this system be stitched back together with continuing, and possibly even more horrendous consequences for humanity and the planet? Or is there a radically different alternative that charts a viable path towards the emancipation of all of humanity? That is the question beneath the turmoil, upheaval and questioning.
In fact, there IS a way out of this madness and horror, represented by BA and his work and leadership. But this work and leadership is not known in society widely, either among the vast majority of the world’s oppressed who need this most, or to those who question this world and want a radically better one. The BA Everywhere fundraising campaign is about changing this.
Let’s step back for a moment.
The world is a nightmare for billions: millions driven from their homes by wars, poverty, environmental devastation... women raped, beaten, and degraded in staggering numbers... Black and Brown youth routinely incarcerated and brutalized and even murdered by the police... immigrants demonized and torn from their families... human habitats and food and drinking water supplies—and the planet’s ecosystems—under threat of environmental catastrophe...
These problems stem from, and are woven into, the system of capitalism-imperialism. Solving them requires overthrowing this system through an actual revolution.
Making such a revolution—and building a radically new and far better society and world—is complex. It requires science—a method and approach to understand reality as it actually is, and how it can be changed. And it requires leadership based on this science. Without this, the system’s confines will suffocate the people’s resistance, and the world will remain fundamentally unchanged.
Shattering these confines is the work and leadership of Bob Avakian (BA). Over four decades, BA has developed a new synthesis of communism. This new framework represents and embodies the scientific understanding and approach needed to make an actual revolution that emancipates all of humanity. He has learned deeply from previous revolutions, as well as from many different spheres. He has forged a strategy for how a revolution could be prepared for and won, as well as a concrete vision in the Constitution for a New Socialist Republic in North America for the new society on the road to communism. He is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and the leader of the revolution. Rooted in how needless the horrors of this system are, and based on the revolutionary potential of people to transform themselves and all of society, BA is a champion of, and has a deep visceral connection to the most oppressed in society and those the system has cast out.
This needs to be known everywhere. This is the goal of the BA Everywhere fundraising campaign. Imagine the difference it would make!
Getting BA Everywhere changes how people look at what is possible and desirable. It breaks people out of thinking that their only choices are those dictated by the system. No longer the “lesser of the evils” in the war criminal Hillary Clinton against the fascist monster Trump. Breaking as well out of the deadly dynamic where Western imperialism and Islamic fundamentalist jihadism fuel each other, while grinding up humanity. Raising sights to a far better world, BA Everywhere changes the conversation to the real questions of what it means to be free, and what will it take to get there. Imagine if science—and a scientific approach to knowing and radically changing the world—were a point of reference from the prisons to the housing projects to the universities. Indeed—Imagine the Difference!
BA’s work is controversial in a good way, stirring up discourse, challenging conventional wisdom. And BA Everywhere is essential to a better future—for the concrete leadership and approach he is providing, and for the questioning, elevated sights, and liberating culture this sparks.
But for this to happen on anything even approaching the scale required, BA Everywhere needs serious funding. Funding to publicize his works, to send out advocates, to produce materials, to hold classes or sponsor seminars, to enable the dispossessed to get these works, etc. Funding to seriously challenge the dominant frames of reference in every sphere of society and their hammerlock on the discourse.
Donate generously. Make a difference.
The Bob Avakian Institute is a nonprofit institute organized for educational purposes. Its mission is to preserve, project, and promote the works and vision of Bob Avakian with the aim of reaching the broadest possible audience.
At this time, donations can only be solicited and accepted from residents of the following states: California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming. All donations from these states are greatly appreciated. Residents of these same states can donate online at thebobavakianinstitute.org. (Disclosure statements can be found at The Bob Avakian Institute website at thebobavakianinstitute.org.)
If you would like to make a check or donate online to the BA Everywhere campaign but live in a state other than California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nevada, NJ, NY, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming, contributions can be made payable to RCP Publications online at revcom.us or sent to RCP Publications, PO Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654 (indicate “BA Everywhere”). Contributions or gifts to RCP Publications are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.
Prisoner & Ex-Prisoner Write on Bob Avakian and onScience & Revolution... An Interview With Ardea Skybreak
July 15, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
We recently received the following letters through the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) on the book 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.
These letters give a glimpse of the potential and transformative impact of this book, which needs to get out much more widely among all sections of society, to those incarcerated in its hellholes and ghettoized in its housing projects, to those standing up righteously against the injustices of this society such as the recent police murders and questioning why does this keep happening, to progressive artists and intelligentsia, youth and students, and the halls of academia.
Promoting this book and getting it widely known requires funds. Just among the prisoners alone, the demand is increasingly great, and funds are needed for subsidized copies.
One of the letters states, “Inside, I’ve enclosed the amount of $5 to help raise funds, so that the brothers and sisters still behind the walls can get their own copy of Science and Revolution by Ardea Skybreak. I don’t have a lot since I just recently got out of prison myself, but I think it’s necessary to contribute in any way I can. I hope others will also match my donation with whatever they can as well. If I can, I’m sure many others are in a far better position financially to do even more.”
Here's how. The publisher has a special offer: Buy one paperback for yourself from Insight Press, and buy a second book at 50% off for a prisoner and it will be sent directly to a prisoner. Total price for this offer is $25.50, plus $5.00 for shipping.
I was fortunate to be one of the few brothers that the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) was able to lay this work on before I was released from prison. The fact that I had already became firmly grounded in approaching everything scientifically due to my reading of The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism, I already foresee the impact that her book Science and Revolution will have simply because I know how accessible her books are to the general reader. Not everybody has developed the capacity to break down complex subjects for the average Joe or Jane to understand and be persuaded by. But that’s one of the hallmarks of Ardea Skybreak that stands her apart from many. I remember actually advocating the Theory of Evolution after reading her book as if I too had went to college to be an authority on the subject. From those debates and dialogues, I actually convinced a number of my friends and associates in accepting the scientific validity of Evolution and our origins—not out of blind faith, but by assessing the evidence-based conclusions that were readily apparent after careful review.
Before I got out of prison, I remember giving a friend of mine a copy of Science and Revolution and he and I spending hours debating the scientific method. Although he didn’t become a dialectical materialist per se, I observed his consciousness undergo radical leaps where he began to even understand the scientific method even down to its philosophical level. It wasn’t unusual to walk by and hear us debating what was objective reality and what wasn’t. This is within the midst of a culture primarily concerned about getting high every day in prison or kicking it about who got whopped in another cell house the day before. And that’s big! Because for some people philosophy is just some obscure discipline that has no application to everyday life. It was something that people like Socrates and Plato did or intellectuals did today to intellectually masturbate and sound smart. But I’m sure my friend no longer compartmentalizes philosophy in that detached, unscientific manner any longer now.
I’m going to bring this letter to a close, but I think it’s imperative that this book gets spread far and wide just like BAsics ... just like The New Jim Crow. All of these sorta trajectory changing books have their place in shaping the consciousness of the masses; there’s interdependence between them that enables people to break with their former ways of thinking, behaving, and what they come to see as necessary for radical change to come about. Together they have the capacity to bring clarity to the movement and transform it into the material force it needs to become one day. This is all a part of “hastening while awaiting” the objective conditions.
Authored by Bob Avakian,
and adopted by the
Central Committee of the RCP
Inside, I’ve enclosed the amount of $5 to help raise funds, so that the brothers and sisters still behind the walls can get their own copy of Science and Revolution by Ardea Skybreak. I don’t have a lot since I just recently got out of prison myself, but I think it’s necessary to contribute in any way I can. I hope others will also match my donation with whatever they can as well. If I can, I’m sure many others are in a far better position financially to do even more.
Well... I’m going to close, but I’m glad to see the PRLF still doing the same it did for me, for others.
“What makes BA so important is that he’s out the gates now...”
From a prisoner in California:
Just a few quick words to acknowledge receipt of Science & Revolution. Just got it today... you already know I’m in love with anything by BA and Skybreak. I’m sure your party has many BA’s—in training—and Skybreaks being molded as we speak.
But what makes BA so important is that he’s out the gates now and not only do we not need to reinvent the wheel in that regard, any person who calls themselves “conscious,” “progressive” or “revolutionary” is in violation of their own codes if they aren’t students of BA simply and precisely because he’s put forward concrete, realistic, morally sound & scientific ideas & programs...
So too w/Skybreak and just like BA she’s too heavy & has done too much work for anyone who claims to be thinkers, laymen scientists or revolutionaries are full of shit if they are not grappling w/this stuff. I do understand tho’ what she means when she says BA is miles ahead of EVERYONE ELSE.
ANYWAYS—they’re doin’ Ali’s funeral today. Loved how the crowd honored him during the procession but was heartbroken to see how the dogs pushed people out the street and stopped them from getting close to the hearse when it got to his ol’ house. They really showed they serve no purpose other than to oppress, hold down or back, and they are not the people’s police & definitely not the police for blacks.
But like I said it just shows that they serve & can serve no purpose. No one should get paid to oppress or hold the people back. No one should get paid to make sure people can’t mourn or celebrate the life of someone they love.
Bob Avakian: Police murder... and the murderous logic of this system's election game.
You were RIGHT to reject Hillary Clinton, and find her despicable.
You aspired to something different. But now Bernie wants to lead you back into the fold, back into what you once swore you’d never go along with.
A word. Now is NOT the time to give up on this—your aspirations—with “broken hearts,” to “hold your nose” while voting for Hillary. Precisely the opposite. Now is the time to really follow through on your convictions. Now is the time get really radical and scientific: to dig into the cause of the problems and horrors that drove you to Bernie... and into the solution as well. Ask yourself:
What is the nature of this system that gives rise to the howling inequalities, not only within this country but to an almost unimaginably greater degree worldwide? Is it just control by the “greedy corporations”—or is there something deeper in the very framework and “rules” of how things work?
Revolution Club at the RNC & DNC
Money for bail, legal and organizing support needed urgently.
What is the history of this country, interwoven since its founding with the slavery and continuing oppression of Black people? And how does that play out today?
Is America a source for good in the world, or is it in fact the principal source of the world’s horror—of imperialist wars, unprecedented violence and torture, and oppressive domination of entire nations?
Why do immigrants come here? Who and what drives them on their deadly journeys?
Why are women so pervasively degraded and abused in this society—and in this world?
Could you really solve the rapidly developing ecological catastrophe within the framework of this economic and political system?
If you try to make the Democrats be what they are not and never will be, you will end up being more like what the Democrats actually are.
Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:12
Let’s also ask this: What will it take to get beyond all this? Does the road out lie in rallying big crowds of disaffected people within this system’s workings and choices, and ultimately funneling people back into what they started out rejecting? Does it lie with a “third party”—again, within this system? Is it a social movement that may rattle some chains of this system, only to be suppressed or swallowed up in its entrails?
Or is what humanity requires a REAL revolution that shatters those chains?
What, for that matter, is GENUINE socialism? Is it a basket of Scandinavian-style social reforms (based on a position high in the imperialist food chain)? Or is it a path toward truly uprooting all forms of oppression and exploitation, and getting to a world fit for all seven billion on our planet? A hard path, yes, one with challenges and sacrifices—but one that is actually capable of birthing a whole new world.
There are answers to all of these questions. But this requires science—a method for understanding the world as it actually is and how it can change—and it requires leadership based on this science. Without this, even the most heroic struggles remain confined and contained within the system that is the source of these horrors, and the nightmare continues.
That is what makes Bob Avakian (BA) so important. BA has developed the scientific understanding and approach to make the kind of revolution that can emancipate humanity. He has learned deeply from previous revolutions, as well as from many different spheres. He has forged a strategy for how a revolution could be prepared for and won, as well as a concrete vision for the new society that is on the road to real liberation. At the same time, he has kept his connection to and acted as a true champion of the oppressed, from those who catch the hardest hell in this country’s ghettoes and barrios, to the majority of the seven billion around the world. He has never given up, and today he leads a party which is actively preparing for a real revolution, one aimed not at reforming but overthrowing this system.
That is real leadership—leadership that demands to be engaged and examined. At the same time, there are real outrages that must be fought right now and that people ARE fighting right now. Let’s join together in both dimensions: fighting to STOP the madness and, as we do, digging into what it will take to fundamentally and finally get beyond this insanity. And let’s do this now—at both conventions.
Leave Bernie behind. Get ready for, and get into, the REAL revolution.
Get Radical, Get Scientific, Get Into BA!
Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution!
Again America has forced us to watch Black men being murdered by its police. On top of those horrors, this time we were forced to watch a Black woman who had to remain calm while bravely recording a cop murder her boyfriend, threaten her life, and arrest her. And then, we had to listen to her 4-year-old try to comfort her in the midst of these unspeakable horrors.
These horrors underscore the reality of a people—Black people—who are forced to live their lives in fear of being shot to death by law enforcement for nothing other than the color of their skin. And it concentrates the history of centuries of savage oppression this country has subjected Black people to. It is outrageous, illegitimate, and unacceptable, and it must be stopped!
People who protested the atrocities in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis, and those who took to the streets all across the country in solidarity, were acting righteously. And it was beautiful when these protests continued in the face of mighty efforts by the authorities to suffocate them by using the events in Dallas to try to change the subject from police getting away with murder to expressing sympathy for police officers, and even by trying to blame the protests for what happened in Dallas.
These protests need to not only continue—they must be intensified. Police murdering Black and Brown people again and again and being exonerated by the system when their murderous deeds are brought into the light of day amounts to a message that there is a target on the backs of Black and Brown people. It brings to mind the way lynch mobs used to leave their murdered victims hanging in public places as a message to all Black people to stay in their place. Messages like these can't be allowed to continue to be delivered.
To let our sisters and brothers who are taking to the streets know that we have their backs, that we support them and that we love them, we will gather in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention where Donald Trump, the standard bearer for a growing fascist movement, will be nominated for president to say:
STOP POLICE TERROR! STOP MURDER BY POLICE!
PROTESTING MURDER BY POLICE IS RIGHTEOUS, VERY NECESSARY and MUST CONTINUE!
Initial endorsers: Panzy Edwards, mother of Dakota Bright, murdered by Chicago PD 2012 Gabriel Black Elk, brother of Paul Castaway, murdered by Denver police, July 12, 2015 Willie Ferrell, brother of Jonathan Ferrell, murdered by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, September 14, 2013 Yohana Flores, daughter of Ernesto Flores, murdered by San Bernardino sheriffs, April 15, 2015 Ruben Gonzalez Morejon, brother of Hector Morejon, murdered by Long Beach, CA police, April 23, 2015 Kevin Kellom, father of Terrance Kellom, murdered by ICE agent in Detroit, MI, April 27, 2015 Nate Hamilton, brother of Dontre Hamilton, murdered by Milwaukee police, April 30, 2014 Alice Howell, grandmother of Justus Howell, murdered by Zion IL police, April 4, 2015 Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, murdered by Detroit police, May 16, 2010 Tawanda Jones, sister of Tyrone West, murdered by Baltimore police, July, 2013 Alicia Kirkman, mother of Angelo Miller, murdered by Cleveland police, March 23, 2007 Yolanda McNair, mother of Adaisha Miller, shot to death by a Detroit cop, July 2012 Jessica Care Moore, poet and musician, Detroit, MI Efia Nwangaza, Malcolm X Center for Self Determination, Greenville, SC Anternitia O'Neal, mother of Dontez O'Neal, murdered by Cincinnati police, November 21, 2012 Gloria Pinex, mother of Darius Pinex, murdered by Chicago PD 2011 Chris Silva brother of David Silva, beaten to death by Kern Co. Sheriffs & California Highway Patrol in Bakersfield, CA, May 8, 2013 Donna Wicks, mother of Kevin Wicks, murdered by Inglewood, CA police, July 21, 2008
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From South Central to Downtown—Fighting the Power, Putting Revolution Front and Center
July 13, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:
A march led by Revolution Club to 77th St. Police Station attracted more people to take to the streets of South Central. Photo: Special to revcom.us.
On Saturday, July 9, the Revolution Club, LA led a march through South Central, calling people into the streets to not let this system get away with its official terror against Black people, and in the wake of the cops being killed in Dallas, not allowing the powers that be to change the subject. We put the call out the day before, aiming to reach and draw forward all kinds of people who have been looking for a way to stand up. While we didn’t accomplish this on a mass scale, we did lead an important march that drew forward basic people who were very angry. Together with them we challenged and inspired many more people and we put REVOLUTION front and center, the need for it, and projecting the force organizing now to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time.
Starting from Florence & Normandie—where the 1992 rebellion began and where we’ve been out the past few days—we marched to the hated 77th Division police station that terrorizes people day in and day out and is responsible for the murder of Keith Bursey just a few weeks ago. Keith Bursey was 31 years old. He and his girlfriend had parked their car in a parking lot of a store where people were hanging out. The pigs made his girlfriend sit inside with her hands on the steering wheel and made Keith get out of the car. Then they shot him in front of her. They made up the same lying excuse they always use, saying he had a gun—while witnesses saw his empty hands up.
The march started with the Revolution Club and a few other people who had heard about it and came full of rage and pain and ready to take to the streets. As we stood on the corner, people passing by began to join. A woman pulled her car over and walked over, angry and determined to act. She was in a dress and high heels and called on others passing by: What are you waiting for? Till it’s somebody you know? Till it happens to you? She and others felt and said: They are killing our people and it’s too much. There were others who couldn’t march but joined in on the corner for as long as they could—standing and chanting with signs for a few minutes, getting the RCP Central Committee Message, “Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” and getting it out to others. Almost all of the people who joined in on the spot had seen us on that corner already one of the other days we were there and decided to step up and be part of it.
The Revolutionary Communist Party
IS ORGANIZING NOW TO OVERTHROW THIS
SYSTEM AT THE SOONEST POSSIBLE TIME.
Preparing to lead an actual revolution to bring
about a radically new and better society:
the New Socialist Republic in North America.
We began marching with a little over a dozen people and took over one lane of traffic. Cars slowed down to go alongside the march and get the RCP Central Committee Message through the window. People honked in support with fists up. People along the sidewalks or on porches and balconies filmed on their phones. Those who had joined in got on the bullhorn and challenged people who were watching and filming to stop filming and come join in. Some people took up the challenge and did. Early on the police tried to get us to get back on the sidewalk, but decided not to try to enforce it.
When we got to 77th Division, more people joined to speak out right in front of the police station. The pigs blocked off the street on both sides so cars couldn’t come through. People pulled over to find out what was happening. One young guy from Compton spoke bitterly about the police murdering people in cold blood: “We’re listening, our hands is up, our hands is behind our backs, we’re on the floor, we’re pinned down straight, and ya’ll still shoot us down. So I’m gonna say straight out to y’all, simple as that, we gotta fight back...”
On the way back to Florence and Normandie, the march had grown to over two dozen people. Everyone in it was serious and people saw themselves as the ones stepping forward first to bring forward others like themselves. One young Latino guy who joined in made sure everyone passing by got the RCP Central Committee Message. Everybody in the march was chanting, “How do we get out of this mess? Revolution—Nothing Less!” And when we did the “Mighty Mighty Revcoms” chant, people driving by in their cars were chanting along with us. When a number of police cars zoomed past us with their sirens blaring and so close they could’ve hit people, everyone chanted, “Fuck the Police!”
Revolution Club members in Baltimore.
June 2016. Photo: revcom.us
Afterwards, people who stayed around got introduced more deeply to what the revolution is about and got to hear a Revolution Club member read the RCP Central Committee Message out loud, which everyone paid closed attention to. Everyone also got invited to a Revolution Club meeting the following day and several people we met from this march came to it.
After this march, the Revolution Club headed downtown to connect up with a protest we’d heard was planned for the evening in front of LAPD headquarters. There were about 100 people rallying when we got there, with different organizations speaking on a loudspeaker, and soon after they called for people to march in a circle in front of the building. We decided we would get in our marching formation and join the picket as a force. We got on the bullhorn to indict the whole system and bring forward the need for revolution, to call on people to take to the streets for no business as usual—and we called on people to get organized for an actual revolution. We did the “Mighty, Mighty Revcoms” chant, among others.
When the picket stopped, we split up in teams and went through the crowd getting out the RCP Central Committee Message. People had different responses to the message, but one conversation that stood out was with a Black man in his 40s or 50s who’d been part of different movements of mass resistance against police brutality and against mass incarceration but had been feeling lately that more was required to really put a stop to it. He also expressed admiration for the man who is said to have killed the cops in Dallas. We had a serious discussion about getting organized for an actual revolution, including why revolutionaries don’t initiate violence at this stage. He was very open minded and said he would read the Message and we arranged to meet to get more deeply into all these questions.
Question: What Do Trump, the Christian Fascists and the Islamic Fundamentalist Jihadists All Have in Common?
Answer: Utter, Blatant Misogyny.
July 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Each of these movements uses misogyny, the hatred of women, as an organizing and cohering tool for their movements. Each taps into and aggravates a feeling that is bred into males—no, it is not “natural”—to think it’s their right to lord it over women in general and at least one woman in particular.
The religious fanatics drape their hatred in pious quotes from the Bible and Koran. Trump prefers the leering, sneering posture of the frat boy and the batterer, moronically bragging about his dick and menacingly calling women gross names. But whatever the outward difference, they each appeal to men in a changing world that here is one place where THEY can be an oppressor. Men who fall for this shameful appeal to privilege (and women who, for whatever reason, go along with it) need to be confronted with just what that means in human terms, just how simultaneously vile and pathetic that is, and they need to be sharply challenged to break with that shit and in fact join the fight against it.
As for Trump and the system that spawned him? This, too, makes resoundingly clear that any system which treats someone like this as a legitimate candidate is itself totally IL-legitimate!
Dread Scott and Progressive Art Exhibit Under Attack
July 13, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Revolutionary artist Dread Scott has created an art work that speaks powerfully to the moment now, and has touched off controversy. The work is at the Jack Shainman Gallery, one of the most significant galleries in New York City and in the country. It has a history of showing work by challenging artists, including many Black artists, representing some of the most interesting and well-known artists in the world. Revcom.us/Revolution had a chance to talk to Dread about the work and the events surrounding it.
Revolution: Can you first speak about the work itself?
Dread Scott: The artwork, quite simply, is a flag that is about 84 inches by 52 1/2 inches with white text on black background that says “A MAN WAS LYNCHED BY POLICE YESTERDAY.” And it is hanging outside of an art gallery. It is an updated version of a flag that the NAACP used to hang from their national headquarters in New York whenever someone was lynched. And their flag said “A MAN WAS LYNCHED YESTERDAY.” In the late 1920s and early ’30s they would hang this from their headquarters as part of their anti-lynching campaign. And I updated it to just add the words “BY POLICE.” And I did it in response, actually, to the police murder of Walter Scott who was killed last year, 2015, in South Carolina. Because someone was courageous enough to videotape this murder, people were able to see it. Scott was literally fleeing for his life after a traffic stop, and the cop coldly—while Scott is running—just stands there, aims his gun, shoots him, then tries to frame Scott. But because it was videotaped the world got to see the murder. And so I made my work in response to that—as well as talking about the broader implications for society that has agents of the government that are enforcing relations of exploitation and oppression, that just murder people in cold blood.
Revolution: And this work is part of a show at the Jack Shainman Gallery.
Dread Scott: Yes, it is part of a show called “For Freedoms,” which is an exhibition that has several different artists in it, many of whom are some of the most beloved artists who do work that talks about the world we live in in a sharp way. “For Freedoms” was organized by two artists, Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman. In addition to being an art exhibition, it is also a Super PAC. It is legally a Super PAC intending to give money to artists to talk about this political climate. It is also a conceptual artwork—the Super PAC is an artwork. The idea is not to raise money for Clinton or Trump, but to challenge the whole notion of money in politics, specifically in allowing people that would raise questions that the mainstream candidates are not going to raise—to allow them to raise those questions, on billboards, subway ads, TV commercials.
Revolution: Let’s get back to the work for a moment. What was your thinking around adding “by police” to the original NAACP flag saying “a man was lynched yesterday”?
Dread Scott: Well, a lot of my work looks at how the past sets the stage for the present, but also how it exists in the present in new forms. And so, by and large, Black people are not being lynched today. That is a horror from the Jim Crow era. And yet, the police are actually playing the same role as lynch mob terror did in the late 1800s to early and mid-1900s. They kill more people in any particular decade or year than were killed at the height of lynching. While all Black people clearly weren’t lynched, the threat of lynching hung over every single Black person—that Black people could be lynched for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
Bob Avakian, "They're selling postcards of the hanging."
A clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian given in 2003 in the United States.
And that’s the same way cops are doing people. People are getting murdered for traffic stops... for doing exactly what the cops tell them to do. You know, they’re murdered in two seconds, sitting out there with a toy gun. It’s a threat that every single Black person and Brown person—and a lot of white people—have hanging over them. Cops can just blow people away. And like lynching, the perpetrators of these crimes are never brought to justice. We’re seeing that with the Freddie Gray case. Everybody saw on the video, Freddie Gray was fine beforehand. The cops encounter him, they throw him in the back of the van, twisted up like a pretzel—and he’s dead. And the only people that had an encounter with him were the cops. Everybody knows that—nobody disputes those facts. And yet when the cops go to court, three different times so far, none of the cops are found guilty of killing him. And that’s much like the way Emmett Till was killed. Everybody knew who killed Emmett Till. Yet they went to trial by a jury of their “peers,” and these murderers got off—and then they went and laughed about it. Which is exactly what the cops are doing today.
The other thing about referencing this past is that the NAACP flag was not just a marker of the horror of lynching, but was part of building a national movement to stop that horror. It was an act of defiance and resistance to fly that flag in the ’30s—one which the NACCP were threatened with eviction for doing. And that legacy of defiance is being brought into the present by this artwork and joining with a broader movement fighting to end police terror.
Revolution: When did this work of yours go up?
Dread Scott: It went up at this gallery on Friday, July 8.
Revolution: And, according to a Fox News report, this work and the gallery is coming under attack...
Dread Scott: That’s the thing... where they say there’s a “controversy” around it—Fox News is trying to create a controversy. Until Fox News reported on this, the piece was overwhelmingly supported. There was no hostility. There was no protest against it. There were no calls to the gallery. There were no complaints whatsoever. But Fox News heard about this, and they did a story which both alleged that the gallery should not show the work because of the death of the cops in Dallas—as if that completely unrelated incident would be some reason why people should not have a right to make art about, show art about, or protest murder by police. And then they said the gallery was facing pressure to take the work down and that they defied that pressure. But there just was not—there was overwhelming support—until Fox News did their story, which was trying to create a hostile environment, and have the gallery face threats and intimidation.
And since then, they have. There have been hostile calls coming in to the gallery, threatening emails coming in to the gallery and to me. So Fox News is doing its “job.” But it’s a manufactured controversy. And yes, they have been stung by this—this system doesn’t want to have its police portrayed as the inheritors of lynching. They don’t want people to see that. So from their perspective, this is something that has to be denounced and repressed. But there are lots and lots and lots and lots of people who have tweeted, Facebook posts, there’s been news stories about this. So this piece has a lot of support.
Revolution: Can you say a little more about that support?
Dread Scott: I’m not a big social media person. When I usually post stuff, it will get liked by, you know, a dozen or so people. Posts about this work have been liked by hundreds of people, in some cases thousands of people if you add it all up. And shared by all sorts of people, including people like Shaun King (New YorkDailyNews columnist and prominent voice against police terror) tweeted about it. And he’s got a huge number of followers. There are all sorts of writers and others who have a following on Twitter. Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator at the Museum of Modern Art. Arts organizations Creative Capital, Creative Time, the MAP Fund (all significant arts funders), the Public Art Fund (an important New York arts presenter) and the Walker Art Center (a prominent museum in Minneapolis) all tweeted. Several news sites quickly did stories: i-D/Vice, PBS News Hour, Huffington Post, Artnet.com, Art F City, The Smithsonian, Quartz, ArtNews, Observer, among others. Hyperallergic, which is a really great online arts magazine with a huge following did a story, and their founder/editor, in addition to writing the article has been saying this is an important work, is sending it out to people. I’ve got letters from a number of very prominent artists, saying they’re very glad to see this work out and to see my comments about it.
Revolution: This is very significant, the response and support...
Dread Scott: It’s extremely significant. The level of support, both for the actual art work itself, and the concern over the threats from Fox News, is unprecedented in my online presence and in other ways. The things is, people are outraged, particularly about the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. For anybody who had doubts or hesitation about how the police treat people, those videos shattered any illusions that anybody with a heart had. This artwork has stepped into this upsurge that’s going on right now, and it really resonates with people. I and the gallery happened to take the work to the demonstration at Union Square that happened on the Thursday just before it went up. There was a young woman, about 18 to 20 years old, a white woman who had been out of the country, and had just sort of stumbled upon the demonstration. She hadn’t seen the videos. She asked, “What’s this artwork about?” I proceeded to tell her about these two videos. And she was literally crying. She felt just the tremendous weight of—the implications of it—not just those two murders, but the fact that it’s part of this genocidal program. And then how this artwork sort of concentrated how this current program of genocide is based on the historic program of genocide.
Revolution: And the Shainman Gallery is standing firm.
Dread Scott: Yes. It would be very good if people showed their support and visited this gallery. This is an environment where mainstream politicians of one of the two major parties are calling on their supporters to beat up people at their rallies. It’s a fascist environment. Those kind of people are riled up—that’s who Fox News speaks to. Those are the kinds of people that are calling in and threatening and intimidating the gallery. And it would be good if both prominent people as well as people that are not so prominent who just want to see a really interesting show—come down to the gallery.
There’s this work by this artist named Alfredo Jaar that just says the words “Mississippi Goddamn” on one corner and then it has “[blank] Goddamn” about 150 other times. It’s very heavy. Maria Gaspar’s project has a video that has a camera slowly moving along the outside of prison walls—I think Cook County Jail. It’s this huge massive wall that separates “inside” and “outside.” There are other works that are really talking about the moment. Including an artist that has this really great work, Andrea Bowers, that has all these images of what she calls “feminist posters.” Some of them are posters from the Cultural Revolution in China, and posters from Russia during the Russian Revolution. Also various international posters of women participating in revolution in various ways, including armed defenders of the revolutionary state. There are posters of American suffragists and Black Panther women as well. And this is just a highlight of some of the work in one of the two galleries that make up the show. The work in the rest of the exhibit is equally powerful. It’s a beautiful show with frankly some very challenging, lofty work. I mean, I like my work in the show a lot, I think it’s important and touched a nerve. But people should come see the show overall and should learn from it, enjoy it—and support the gallery that’s courageous enough to show all of the work and my work. And let them know that people are counting on them, and are there to help them in the face of these threats and intimidation.
The “For Freedoms” exhibit is at the Jack Shainman Gallery until July 29, 2016. 524 W. 24th Street and 513 W. 20th Street, New York, New York. Mon.-Fri. 10 am to 6 pm. The flag appears at the 20th Street space.
In that light, and in that spirit, "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.
Between 1946 and 1962, the U.S. government conducted nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean, contaminating thousands of Pacific Islands. Entire peoples suffered and continue to suffer from the effects of this nuclear testing up to today.
Two Japanese fishermen, among 23 showered with radioactive ash from the thermonuclear explosion at Bikini on March 1, 1954, show burns they suffered. Photo: AP
In 1946, a year after the end of World War 2 and the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (see American Crime #97), the U.S. launched its first nuclear test on Bikini Atoll, in the Marshall Islands.1 Between 1947 and 1962 the U.S. conducted 102 atmospheric and underwater tests in the Pacific Proving Ground—comprising 80 percent of all nuclear contamination in the U.S. history of nuclear testing. This is roughly equivalent to 1.7 Hiroshima explosions every single day for the 12 years between 1946 and 1958. Of these tests, 67 were atomic bombs.
The largest of the atomic tests, code-named “Bravo” and 1,000 times greater than the bomb used on Hiroshima, completely annihilated three islands, left a huge crater on the atoll’s reef, and generated an “atomic wave” that washed over the entire island of Bikini. The result was so horrific that an American official warned Marshallese leaders: “If anyone breathes a word of this they’ll be shot before sunrise.”
Some islands were evacuated prior to testing and were obliterated. But other islands where tests were done were still inhabited—and people there were exposed to huge amounts of nuclear fallout. Some of the ships hit by nuclear tests were “decontaminated” by Pacific Islanders who were hired without being warned of the effects of exposure to the radiation.
Inhabitants of Rongelap (an atoll about 90 miles from Bikini) suffered acute radiation illness in 1954 when 2 inches of radioactive fallout from “Bravo” coated the ground. People suffered nausea, vomiting, burns, hair loss, hypothyroidism (hyper-active thyroid, bone marrow shutdown, and among pregnant women, miscarriages. Three years later, in 1957, the U.S. returned inhabitants to Rongelap, declaring the island safe. But no clean-up was ever done! Thirty years later 95% of the residents who lived on the island between 1948 and 1954 had thyroid cancer and the rate today is 200% above the national baseline.
Recently I was reading an essay called “Disarming Images” about an exhibit of art for nuclear disarmament which was held in the early 1980s. And I noticed that the author of this essay points out that according to the dictionary, Webster’s Third International Dictionary, the name “bikini” given to the bathing suit comes from comparing “the effects of a scantily clad woman to the effects of an atomic bomb.” When you think about this, and you think about the horrendous death, destruction, mutilation and suffering alive before dying that was caused by the atomic bombs that the U.S. dropped on Japan, and what would result from the much more powerful nuclear weapons these monsters have today—when you think about all that, and you think about the reasons for naming the bikini after all that, and what kind of view of women this promotes—do you need any other proof about how sick this system is, and how sick is the dominant culture it produces and promotes?
Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:17
Many islanders became guinea pigs in a secret medical experiment called Project 4.1, set up by the U.S. to study the effects of radiation on human beings. Dr. Merrill Eisenbud, one of the leading scientists of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) speaking in favor of nuclear testing said, “It will be very interesting to go back and get good environmental data, how many per square mile, what isotopes are involved and a sample of food changes in many humans through their urines, so as to get a measure of the human uptake when people live in a contaminated environment. Now, data of this type has never been available.”
People in the Marshall Islands continue to suffer from chronic, long-term exposure to radioactive isotopes concentrated in plants, animals, and fruit. At least 24 types of cancer occur at higher than normal rates, including in subsequent generations. Many were forced to evacuate from their islands and relocate to other islands to live in squalid conditions on other atolls. And lack of modern health care and education has forced tens of thousands to move to large population centers—primarily in Guam and Hawai`i, where they face intense discrimination. The inability to earn enough money to pay for housing, coupled with discrimination has forced many thousands to live in homeless encampments.
Today, 60 years after nuclear testing, entire islands remain uninhabitable.
The list of criminals complicit in this crime is endless. In 1947 the U.S. government got the United Nations to designate all of Micronesia—which the Marshall Islands are a part of—as a “Strategic Trust Territory.” This was the first and only trusteeship ever granted by the UN. Only five days later the U.S. established the Marshall Islands as the “Pacific Proving Ground.” The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission continued tests after the Manhattan Project refused to continue.
President Harry S. Truman approved the testing.
The Manhattan Project (a research and development project that produced the first nuclear weapons during World War 2, led by the U.S. with the support of the UK and Canada), was responsible for the development of the atomic bomb, Trinity, nuclear tests in Nevada, giving the go-ahead for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and then the initial Bikini tests.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS:
Henry Kissinger, when questioned later about the danger posed to Micronesia by U.S. nuclear testing said, “There are only 90,000 people out there. Who gives a damn?”
In February, 1946, U.S. Commodore Ben H. Wyatt, military governor of the Marshall Islands, told Bikini residents that the U.S. intended to test atomic bombs “for the good of mankind and to end all world wars.” The U.S.’s formal alibi was that it needed data on the effect of nuclear fallout on U.S. military personnel and equipment.
After emerging victorious from World War 2, the U.S. was intent on demonstrating its imperialist domination of the world. The displays of “nuclear might” by the U.S. were meant to send a message to the Soviet Union (where capitalism was restored in 1956), socialist China, and rival imperialist powers. The nuclear tests were NOT done “in secret”; they were powerful propaganda pieces. The U.S. brought in and invited audiences of journalists, scientists, military officers, congressmen, and foreign observers to witness the bombs’ destructive power. Their reports of shock and awe quickly spread around the world. A historian wrote that the tests “helped restore respect for the power of the bomb.”
The U.S.’s interest in the Pacific has always been predominantly military and strategic. The establishment of the “U.S. Proving Ground” in the Pacific laid the basis for the further U.S. militarization of the entire Pacific region.
1. The Marshall Islands is a country made up of over 1,000 islands, located in the Pacific Ocean, near the equator. An atoll is a ring-shaped reef, island, or chain of islands formed of coral. [back]
Mexico: May the Heroic Spirit of Nochixtlán
Herald a Liberating Revolution!
July 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Protesting teachers face off against riot police on a federal highway near the town of Nochixtlán, Mexico, June 19. (AP photo)
July 11, 2016. A World to Win News Service. Striking teachers and other people have continued to block roads connecting southern Mexico and the country’s capital. On June 19, police and snipers opened fire in an assault on a protest barricade in Nochixtlán, a small town north of the capital city of Oaxaca. Since then teachers, students and many others have occupied the main square in that city. Teachers also blockaded streets, a shopping mall and train tracks in Michoacán, a state in western Mexico. On July 1, teachers took action in the south, west, center and north of Mexico, including the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Chiapas and Nuevo León, and Mexico City.
The government claims that the 400 federal police and 200 state police sent to break the motorway barricade in Nochixtlán were unarmed and the shooting was by unknown snipers—actually, protestors themselves. Yet photos and video footage clearly show police carrying guns, and, in at least one case, very clearly firing into the crowd, who nevertheless beat back the police attack for several hours. Snipers were reportedly posted on the rooftops of buildings at the entrance to the town. The use of snipers to simultaneously crush demonstrations and create confusion by pretending that the attacks came from protestors is a government tactic that has been infamous since the Tlatelolco massacre in 1968, when hundreds of Mexico City university students were gunned down in the beginning of what was called the “Dirty War” against the widespread radical upsurge of that decade.
Education and specifically rural education has been a crucial issue in Mexican society going back to the days when the country was dominated by Spain, feudal landlords and their all-powerful and soul-crushing Catholic Church. The current government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has adopted a plan to use exams to kick out many teachers, shrink the number of students and eliminate aspects of the country’s educational system rooted in the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and later reforms. The government’s response to student and teacher defiant opposition has been to attack the teachers and their union, arresting its leadership several days before the June 19 blockades.
Teachers and especially rural teachers have often been in the forefront of rebellious opposition to the government. This is the second time in a decade that teachers have paralysed roads in Oaxaca. Rural teacher training schools, such as the Ayotzinapa teacher’s college in the neighbouring state of Guerrero, are attended by youth from indigenous peasant families. Teachers and students have to build their own facilities and figure out how to fund them and feed themselves. Often they turn their schools into local sites of political ferment. In September 2014, in the town of Iguala, 43 Ayotzinapa students on a bus returning from a fund-raising protest were kidnapped by local police acting in coordination with the army and federal government, and never seen again.
Since then hundreds of thousands of people in many parts of the country have filled the streets and plazas demanding that the president and the government either produce the students or account for this crime. Last April, a prestigious international investigating committee declared that the government had thwarted its work through a combination of non-cooperation, attempted intimidation and retaliation meant to drive them out of the country. Evidence against the government, however, is continuing to mount. An analysis of the corpse of one of the kidnapped students’ classmates, one of six kidnapped the day before the others disappeared, and, unlike the others, later found, revealed that he had been tortured to death, according to a report released July 11 by the Mexican National Human Rights Commission. It said that he had 64 fractures in his body, mainly his skull. The Ayotzinapa students are only a few of the tens of thousands of people declared to have disappeared during the last decade.
Mexico City, February 2015: Protesting the disappearance of the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college, with posters saying, "You took them alive, return them alive!" (AP photo)
The following is from Aurora Roja, the website of the Revolutionary Communist Organization (OCR), Mexico (aurora-roja.blogspot.com).
They are a bunch of damned murders! The State sent the federal and local police to smash the motorway blockades and resistance of the teachers and people of Nochixtlán, Hacienda Blanca and other towns in Oaxaca on June 19 in an attempt to teach a lesson to people nationwide: don’t you dare defy the system. Photos and videos taken that day in Nochixtlán and their metadata conclusively show that the police were carrying arms since early that morning and that they opened fire on the crowd from up close, as did snipers on a building rooftop, aiming to kill, leaving 12 people dead and 97 wounded. The authorities stopped ambulances from coming and blocked medical assistance. The police themselves set fire to vehicles on the motorway so that later they could blame the movement. These are new crimes by the murderer State that is trying to intimidate people who will no longer stand for the poverty and oppression imposed by this system, a system that has killed, tortured and disappeared people in Iguala, Tlatlaya, Apatzingán, Tanhuato and committed many other crimes.
We need to get organized for revolution, a liberating communist revolution that will smash this criminal State and put an end to this predominantly capitalist system that in the last few years has killed more than 150,000 people, and disappeared 30,000. Some 30,000 women have been murdered. Instead of this system driven by the need for maximum profits for a handful of people, at the cost of the poverty and oppression of the vast majority, we need a new socialist system that serves the people and the emancipation of humanity.
In Nochixtlán, the people fought heroically and chased off the murdering police. When the police first attacked, the small number of people at the barricades retreated and sounded the alarm. Thousands of people from nearby towns and small cities came to their rescue—women and men, teachers, students, youth, peasants, workers, shopkeepers and others. Armed with slingshots, stones and fireworks, they came to bravely stand up to the repressive forces of the State who were armed with assault rifles, handguns, tear gas and a helicopter. The heroism was amazing. Bullets and murder did not make them give way. This demonstrates the great revolutionary potential that is latent in the people.
Many people are sick and tired and angry, sentiments that are the result of the contradictions and outrages of this predominantly capitalist system that produces a handful of hugely rich capitalists and landowners and a majority of poor people. A patriarchal, male supremacist system that has given absolute impunity to the murderers and rapists of tens of thousands of women, a system based on the oppression, discrimination and plunder of indigenous peoples, homophobia and discrimination against LGBT and other differently-gendered people, the destruction of the environment and the barely disguised and disgusting collaboration between the oppressor government and organized crime. Usually people’s anger at these horrors is suppressed, hidden, because it finds no way to express itself. The great merit of today’s teachers’ struggle is that it has brought forward and brought together the struggle and rebellion of many other sections of the people across the country and even among Mexicans abroad. Now the government will try to use negotiations to trick and demobilize the people. We need to struggle to spread and strengthen the people’s protests and get organized right now for the coming revolution. History has demonstrated that this system and its representatives, even when they are forced to make concessions by the people’s struggle, will never stop exploiting, oppressing, torturing, killing and disappearing us.
Demarcations: A Journal of Communist Theory and Polemic seeks to set forth, defend, and further advance the theoretical framework for the beginning of a new stage of communist revolution in the contemporary world. This journal will promote the perspectives of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.
The big capitalist media have told lie after lie—it has been really disgusting. They are trying to hide the proven truth, that the police were armed and opened fire on the people, trying to blame the people for their own deaths, defaming the teachers’ movement and inventing lies about so-called “radical infiltrators.” Every day the media shed great tears about how much money the big capitalists are losing because of the protests, and don’t even mention the people killed by the government. They don’t report that it was the police who burned the vehicles or that the authorities prevented the wounded from getting medical treatment, and threaten the people (including many local authorities) and radio stations and alternative media who support the movement.
Now the government and media come and tell us they are going to “investigate.” Of course they will—just like they “investigated” Ayotzinapa, Tlatlaya, Tlatelolco, Aguas Blancas, Acteal, Atenco and so many other massacres and blood crimes they committed with total impunity, crimes that they continue and will continue to commit until the people finally achieve justice by means of communist revolution. It has to be emphasized that these same media, rulers and so-called experts lying to us about the crimes of this system have also lied to us about communism. They tell us “communism is dead” because the end of capitalism terrifies them. Not only is communism not dead, it is advancing, learning from its past achievements and errors. There is a new communism, the new synthesis of communism by Bob Avakian, that is even more scientific, revolutionary and liberating. People need the truth to get free, and the truth has to be taken out to them about the criminal nature of this system and the real revolutionary solution.
The ruling class mass murderers preach to the people that they should avoid violence! After the Nochixtlán massacre, the head of the Employers’ Coordinating Council shamelessly declared, “It is unacceptable for any cause, no matter how just, to resort to violent and illegal means to exercise pressure.” Was he criticizing the State? No, he was praising the murdering police and attacking the movement for which the dead gave their lives. They consider it just fine when the ruling class and their state carry out massacres, torture and disappearances, but if the people so much as put up a barricade to defend themselves against the murdering police, they call this “illegal” and “violence.” What hypocrisy! Their whole system is based on death, on the exploitation and oppression of the great majority of people by a handful. It’s not enough for them that this system’s laws are dictated by the interests of the big capitalists and the imperialists, to protect the system and their property; even so they violate their own laws every day with extra-judicial executions, torture, corruption, their alliance with organized crime and so many other shameful things. It’s intolerable!
Faced with the endless violence, oppression and misery caused by this system, the only way out for the people is determined struggle and revolution. A real, liberating and triumphant revolution can’t be made through foolishness. It requires a scientific understanding of the problem and solution, and leadership, organization, preparation and deep ties with the people. If we don’t want our children and their children to have to suffer the same abuses and worse, until the possible extinction of humanity due to global warming and this system’s other crimes, now is the time for the people to prepare for revolution. This is why we call on you to get together with the Revolutionary Communist Organization of Mexico, get into the new synthesis of communism and be part of fighting the power and preparing the people for revolution. We need to struggle to build a real revolutionary communist party in Mexico that can embrace a wide range of protest, rebellion and dissent and channel it all as much as possible toward a liberating revolution and the emancipation of humanity.
The so-called educational “reform” is a completely reactionary counter-reform. Communist revolution will implement a critical, scientific, diverse and inspiring education. The educational “reform” imposed by imperialist organizations like the OECD and owners’ groups like “Mexico First” is part of a process meant to privatise the educational system, take away teachers’ rights, smash the democratic teachers’ movement, eliminate any critical or progressive aspect of the curriculum and, for the great majority of people, reduce education to preparations to take stupid multiple choice exams. In contrast, as pointed out in the pamphlet A Liberating Revolution, after today’s oppressive system is overthrown, “The educational system will be transformed from top to bottom, providing a scientific and interesting content that will awaken students’ desire to know and change the world we live in and explore the richness of cultures and human knowledge... Students and teachers will no longer be treated as if they were the enemy, with rigid exams and evaluations that discriminate against indigenous people, the poor and women. Instead, students and teachers will be encouraged to cooperate to improve teaching and learning... There will be a transformation of the policies and social and structural factors that close the doors to a decent education for the vast majority of poor and indigenous people.”
Struggle, Encampment at Governor's Mansion Against Police Murder Continue
July 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
From a reader:
“WE LEAVE WHEN WE GET JUSTICE!”—hung near entrance of the governor’s mansion. Photo: Special to revcom.us
12 noon: the Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar (TCC4J4J) just had the weekly Freeman Protest at the St. Paul office of Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, who prosecutes criminal cases. About 25 people crammed into the front office demanding to see Choi. They were told he was busy at meetings talking about their concerns. No one bought that bullshit.
Stolen Lives Banner at the Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar (TCC4J4J) Protest
Choi’s office sent a lackey to pretend that they were actually listening. TCC4J4J demanded justice for the murders of Philando Castile, Jamar Clark, Phil Quinn, and Marcus Golden. A family member spoke eloquently to all the lies, runarounds, and attacks on their families by the cops and the criminal injustice system. People chanted, “No Justice, No Peace, Arrest the Police” and “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail, the Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!” People made clear this is not over until they get justice.
People held the Stolen Lives banner with Philando Castile’s picture added.
We got out numerous copies of the Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, “Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” and we met more people who are refusing to shut up and want to hear more about how we can stop police terror.
Memorial for Philando Castile at encampment at front gate of the governor's mansion
Evolving Scene at the Encampment
More and more people continue to come to the encampment at the governor’s mansion. The scene continues to evolve. A new memorial to Philando Castile was put up at the front gate along with a giant banner hung nearby saying, “WE LEAVE WHEN WE GET JUSTICE!” Many new people continue to pour in, bringing food and clothing for those staying overnight. Tonight they held cultural performances and brought together people from different parts of the world. Dancers from Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli/Indigenous Roots performed. When I approached them after their amazing performance, they were very thankful for “The Land of the Thief, Home of the Slave” centerfold in Revolution newspaper/revcom.us. They said they would read the paper, in particular the Message “Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution.”
People we’ve met in the past sat on the grass at the encampment discussing the Message. Others came by asking questions, and appreciating that people actually had a plan. One said, “People talk a lot about revolution but there is not much behind it—this does have something behind it.” Others who dropped by said they would definitely check out the website revcom.us and Bob Avakian.
Plans were made to go out Saturday with the Message, and on Sunday to be part of shutting down Rosedale Mall with Black Lives Matter. Afterward we plan to hook up with others who want to sit down and talk about the Message.
High School Students Lead March Through Downtown—Loud, Determined, Enthusiastic
July 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
From a reader:
July 15—Yesterday evening, TV news announced that today was a day of action. Looking on Twitter we found an apparent call from Anonymous for simultaneous protests at 4 pm PST for a Day of Solidarity.
I was leaving Revolution Books in Berkeley when I came upon a small group of high school age women marching in the street with a Black Lives Matter banner. I asked them if they were going to the protest in downtown Oakland. They didn’t know about it—they explained that they had just staged a protest on their own in Provo Park near Berkeley High, practically by themselves, and had continued to march around Berkeley with their banner. I explained that I was on my way to the protest in downtown Oakland, and they piled in my car. I told them about the movement for revolution, and one of them said she had seen the posters of “Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” the Message from the RCP Central Committee. “Are you with them?” she asked.
We arrived in downtown Oakland shortly before 4 pm—we were the first ones there. The young women stood on the corner with their banner as the crowd began to gather, reaching about 200 people at its height. For five hours these young women led a fast-paced march through downtown Oakland and led speak-outs at the police station, city hall, and the federal building.
Downtown Oakland, July 15, 2016. Photo: Special to revcom.us
There were different views on the causes of police violence and on the role of the police. Could you have dialogue with them? At one point one of the high school women asked a Black cop why he was “working for our oppressors.” This was at the Pig Station. The crowd then challenged the police standing there to speak about why this violence kept happening, shouting “speak with your words, not your guns.” The pigs did not respond. When I spoke to the people about the systemic nature of police violence, that the real role of the police is to protect and serve the system that rules over the people, many people nodded. I said that an actual revolution is what is needed to end this police terror, and called on everyone to get a copy of the RCP Central Committee Message and think very seriously about the source of this injustice and about the solution. Many copies of the Message were distributed throughout the afternoon and evening.
Revolution Club members in Baltimore.
June 2016. Photo: revcom.us
The protest was relatively small, but LOUD, determined, and enthusiastic, with many people getting off work and joining as they heard about it at work or on the TV news. The march stopped traffic at two freeway on-ramps and some people briefly ran onto one of the freeways. At one point a cop hit a young protester with his baton in an unprovoked attack and was confronted and jeered at by the crowd.
As I left, I talked with the young man who had been hit by the cop; he was going home to rest his leg, which was hurting pretty bad. He said that he felt it was urgent for many more people to come to the protests, and that while today’s protest was small, he was encouraged by the spirit and said he was determined to be in the streets until there is real change.
Almost 200 people were arrested in Baton Rouge last week for protesting the brutal, unjust, illegitimate murder by cops of Alton Sterling. They have been charged with things like "resisting arrest" and "obstructing a passageway." In fact, their "crime" in the eyes of this system: standing up to demand justice for Alton Sterling, and an end to murder by police. Now it has come out that many of these people—in particular, many women—have been subjected to sadistic abuse and torture by the Baton Rouge police.
Alton Sterling Is Dead, His Killers Walk Free
Just after midnight on July 5, cops rolled up on Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old Black man who struggled to make a living selling CDs outside the Triple S, a quick mart on the north side of town. Within moments they had shot and killed him. They let him bleed to death on the pavement. These two killer pigs have yet to be indicted or charged with anything, much less arrested.
A video a bystander took of the murder in the store's parking lot soon went viral. News—and images—of the police murder of Alton Sterling were all over the internet, and on the TV news. Determined protests erupted in Baton Rouge and helped spark protests against murder and brutality by police across the country. Authorities in Baton Rouge responded with vicious repression.
Police arrayed a massive, thoroughly militarized force to confront peaceful demonstrators exercising what are supposed to be their constitutional rights. One young man arrested on Saturday night, Javier Dunn, was standing on the side of the street, leaning against a car, when he was singled out for arrest by the cops.
He told reporters what happened next: "The police officers pushed me out of the crowd using their shields and threw me down to the ground. I was held by two officers on my back. One officer was stomping on my face and stomping my face into the pavement and another officer kneeling down to throw three punches to my face and to my eye, fracturing my orbital socket." The official report by the police who arrested Javier Dunn and charged him with a "felonious violation" said they did so "without incident."
Bob Avakian: Police murder... and the murderous logic of this system's election game.
On Sunday, July 10, hundreds of police assembled to attack youths on an esplanade and the sidewalk of a quiet residential neighborhood not far from Louisiana's Capitol.
Many, probably most, of the people righteously demanding justice for Alton Sterling that night were women. One woman described how she was "pulled into the street, and then arrested for being in the street." She said plastic cuffs were tightened so much she had no circulation in her hands. When she told this to the cops, they tightened them more, and told her it was "okay to have no circulation for up to six hours." She and 23 other women were put in a cell meant for eight. They were maced twice—for clapping when women were released. They were strip-searched by guards, and placed in freezing cold cells.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other organizations have filed a suit against the Baton Rouge Police Department for an all-out assault on the constitutional rights of arrested protesters by using excessive force, physical and verbal abuse, and wrongful arrests to disperse protestors who were gathered peacefully to speak out against the police killing of Alton Sterling. July 10, 2016. Photo: AP
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other organizations have filed a suit against the Baton Rouge Police Department for an "all-out assault on the constitutional rights" of arrested protesters by using "excessive force, physical and verbal abuse, and wrongful arrests to disperse protestors who were gathered peacefully to speak out against the police killing of Alton Sterling."
The suit describes how one woman saw “lines of police in riot gear, and other officers in green with what looked [to me] to be automatic assault rifles. Marcher Colleen Harrigan recalls that 'there were so many police I could see them all the way to the horizon.'" The report describes how police continued to swarm, beat, and arrest people as they "proceeded down France Street towards East Boulevard in line formation across the road, with the armored vehicle, assault rifles, rubber bullet guns, gas masks, shields up, and what appeared to be a 'long range acoustic device ("LRAD"), which creates a painfully loud transmission.”
On Friday, July 15, Hillar Moore, the district attorney for East Baton Rouge Parish, announced that charges were being dropped against about 100 of the almost 200 people arrested last week. He didn't say a word about arresting people illegally in the first place. He didn't denounce the police torturing the arrested youths.
First of all—it is utterly outrageous and unacceptable that anyone is charged for protesting the murder of Alton Sterling. Charges must be dropped against all those arrested! But this move by the D.A. is intended to carry out further, even more vicious repression, and to threaten further protests. A spokesman for the BRPD said that future protesters would be committing a felony if they "block an interstate." In Louisiana, the charge of "aggravated obstruction of a highway" can lead to up to 15 years in prison, "with or without hard labor."
The authorities are lashing out in other ways, too. Chris LeDay, the Black man who released the video that shows the cops murdering Alton Sterling, was arrested when he returned from his hometown to his current residence in Georgia. He was arrested by military police, told that he "fit the description" of someone who supposedly was wanted for assault, put in shackles, and taken to jail. Then he was charged with not paying an old traffic ticket.
People throughout Baton Rouge remain angry at the murder of Alton Sterling. Gatherings continue every night outside the Triple S. The authorities have unleashed ferocious repression, and are preparing more.
Baton Rouge Youth After Vicious Police Attack: "No Matter What You Do To Us, We Still Standing"
July 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Editor’s Note: On Sunday, July 10, storm troopers from the Baton Rouge Police Department rampaged against hundreds of youthful protesters at the conclusion of a peaceful march to the State Capitol. Armored personnel carriers girded by dozens of riot equipped cops pointing assault rifles, blared ear piercing noises, and lurched down narrow residential streets lined with cottages. Brutal cops swarmed onto the lawns of people who welcomed protesters, forcing the residents into their homes, and arresting people seeking protection on private property. An unknown number of people were beaten and arrested by the marauders. Revolution spoke with one of the protesters – a young African-American woman – about what happened on Sunday.
The following Twitter videos show police attacking people protesting the police murder of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Lousiana, last Sunday .
Tell us what happened when the police attacked the protest.
Well basically, people was just protesting on the side streets. After a while the police started snatching them up off of the sidewalk. Then after a while people kind of backed away from them in the yard, and they was coming all over these people’s porch. Snatching people up. You could tell people were scared, like, why are they snatching us up like this.
[The authorities are] trying to send a message around the world like we were being violent, we’re not peaceful protesters, that is all bullcrap. I’ve been protesting since this incident happened. I haven’t seen any violence except the violence with the police against the protesters. They hate to see us united. And I ain’t say us, Black people, but us, like, everybody. They had white people out there, Black people, Chinese, maybe Puerto Rican if I’m not mistaken. And they couldn’t stand it. They even handled the white people worse cuz they were standing with us.
One officer decided she wanted to point a gun at me. So you tell me, who the violent one is. Is it the protesters, or your law enforcement? Cuz obviously they’re the violent ones. Not to mention, the government. I was on Airline (at the police station protests) as well. And the way they treated them people at Airline was like animals. They had snipers on the roof. You woulda swore to god they was at war. Snipers on the building, people standing outside, trying to get they voice heard. I thought I was in a movie, like is this really happening? Is these police really acting like they at war? SWAT team flying up and down the street, they hanging out the back of the truck, AK-47s.
And they say we ignorant? Look like all law enforcement is ignorant. And they trained. Are we violent? No, they the violent ones. I witnessed, I done seen people be standing on the side of the road, all we did was lock arms on the side of the road, and we stood there, we said “no justice, no peace, hands up! Don’t shoot!” We said that, maybe, three, four times, before the officers took one step, all together, with their riot gear, whatever they want to call it, to me it was war gear. And when we locked arms after that, they bum rushed us. Like they was playing football. They bum rushed us like we was in the middle of the road, and we was on the sidewalk. Not to mention, we pay taxes. So I’m trying to figure out what would make them tackle people like that. They was , “oh, gimme him, gimme her.” Like we’re just merchandise. We’re not merchandise, we’re human beings. We’re not animals.
I could never understand why they’re treating us like we’re the violent ones. I would never understand, like in Mike Brown’s case, all I can say, whatever that officer aimed at, he didn’t need to shoot him the way he did. They supposed to be so smart, they went to school for all this. But how didn’t they see that this young man ... now, they say he was a thug, but he did graduate. Thugs don’t graduate. They don’t know what a thug is. If you’re from the streets you know that. A thug is not somebody you might see, pants sagging, or they off into something like that. It’s just something certain young men do, I don’t know why, I have no idea. But at the end of the day they somebody’s kid. They have a momma. They have a daddy. They have a brother, they have a sister. They have somebody waiting for them back home, and when they don’t make it home for nonsense, it's ridiculous, and we as Americans need to stand up and stop it.
Have you considered that police treat people this way because they ARE doing their job?.
They are, they are. I have to ask myself, why are these people acting this way. It’s how they treated. It's also like, they (the police) got no guts. I said to them, you’re acting like you’re at war? You’re at war in Iraq. You’re at war in Afghanistan. It’s Afghanistan out here. I got my sign, and I got my fist up. Why y’all got all this gear on? Ain’t nobody doing it out here but you. And it was mostly females out there. There was a couple of men, and they stood in front of us. And they (the police) really didn’t like that. They bum rushed them. They treated them like animals. They was dragging them all around the ground, slapping them on the head. I met one white guy, they slapped him on his head because they was over there protesting, and he wasn’t even in the road. He was over in the grass. They slammed him onto the grass.
I seen another white guy, and that’s where I got my sign from. He made that sign. And he got slammed into the ground. I don’t know if he got out, and I hope he did, because he was out there. I don’t understand how people all over the world can see how such a tragedy this was, and our own law enforcement can’t.
The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness.
They do things like this all over the world. Iraq and Afghanistan, like you said, Guatemala, Somalia, all over. And they’ve done things like this in cities across this country.
I see it now. My eyes are opened. And basically I’m gonna try to educate all my brothers and sisters. I’m gonna get into my history. I just need to learn a lot of stuff. Because this system is not right. This man (Alton Sterling) was shot down in front of this store. They talk about Bloods, Crips, gangs, we don’t even have that in Baton Rouge. If anything you might have little neighborhood things. The sad part is, every time a cop kills somebody Black, the first thing they try to do is paint an image of him as no good. And it’s horrible. These people’s family is already through so much, and all you can think about is a Black person being a thug. Newsflash. Every Black person you meet is not a thug. Just because somebody don’t act like you don’t mean they’re the worst person on earth.
What was it like when those armored vehicles and all the cops started marching down the street towards you and the others.
I felt like it was 1918 or something. It felt like I was in a movie. I didn’t think it was real. These people that’s paid to protect and serve us? Hell, I felt like we was at war with the police. And they don’t even need the name police. They need to change their name. They’re not here to protect nobody. Because if they was, they’d understand people are out here hurting. Instead of saying people are out here being violent. I been out here, and I ain’t heard a gunshot since this man was killed, I been out here every night til 3 in the morning sometimes, and I never seen nobody out here shooting, fighting, I never seen none of that. So why they keep saying that?
Bob Avakian – BA – has said that that the police aren’t here to serve and protect the people, they’re here to serve and protect the system that rules over the people.
Oh yeah. I know they’re not here to serve and protect me. One time I got jumped at my house. They never came. They never came. I didn’t see them til I made it to the hospital. What they did on Sunday was slamming people, dragging them out of the yard, just treating people like animals. One person came out and said hey, this is private property. That stopped them for maybe a second. Then they was all on her porch, grabbing people, dragging them out of the yard.
I thought you had to commit a crime to get involved with the police. But obviously not, these days. You could be standing up for your rights, and still get tortured by the police. And if you’re on the streets and you let them know you know your rights, they get mad. Oh yeah, they get very mad. They’ll take you to jail and throw a charge on you. And they wonder why people don’t like them. But that’s why. They’re not professional. I don’t know who is training you, but you’re trained to kill people. They kill more people than anybody. They want to talk about Black on Black crime, I can only be responsible for myself. But what about these police who are trained to protect and serve, are they taking responsibility for the ones who kill us? When are they gonna take action and do they job and stop killing us?
People in the rest of this country, and many people in the rest of the world, know that the young people of Baton Rouge have very courageously stood up to all this. And it’s made a big difference.
Of all the murders these cops have did, this one is on tape. You can see everything. From where he had his hands up, he was immediately tackled. Now mind you, they said they got a call, right? From a homeless man. Ok, so why haven’t we heard his voice? They must think we’re ignorant. Another example – if he had been in front of that store waving a gun, don’t you think they’d have shown that? I don’t want to hear about his background, about his gun, about Bloods and Crips, that’s bs, it’s garbage. Hold these people accountable for what they did. It's wrong, it's sad that a 15-year-old child and four other siblings got to grow up without their daddy. Because of what?
These young people are out here standing up, they’re hurting. They feel like it could be them. They’re scared, this could happen to anyone. It was wrong. And that’s why we’ve been out, same place, every night. It don’t matter. A lot of people are touched and moved by this situation.
People have been shot by the police in Baton Rouge. But we got the tape on this one. We’ve never seen where they’ve shot someone lying down, on their back, and be shot. You can’t be human to do that to someone else, ain’t no way. Justice needs to be served. I don’t know what’s going to happen from here. It’s going to be chaos. Because our youth, they already don’t care. As you can see, law enforcement is already targeting these kids. You can see them walking down the street. I’m a female, I’ve been targeted by the police beaucoup times. I can’t even count on my hands how many times. Just from the vehicle. If you ain’t got a brand new vehicle, oh shit, they’re on you.
One time I’m coming home from work, I’m on one side of the street, he’s on the other. He did a u turn. I say watch him pull me over. He had no probable cause. But he thought there was a nigger in this car. But there ain’t no niggers in this car, I’m in this car. The minute I turned, he’s right behind me turning. I pulled over. You know what he said? “I seen you turning side to side. Where’s the weed?” And immediately that put me into a whole other state of mind. I just had a long damn day at work. And you’re coming in my car looking for weed that isn’t there? Then he asked, “can I search your car?” I got out and I locked it. Oh, he was so mad.
That’s why I say, they hate for you to know your rights. They think we’re so dumb and illiterate, we don’t pay attention to a lot of things. But what they don’t know, we pay attention to everything. Everything. As you can see. That’s why people are out here marching right now. That’s why we’re out here no matter how many times you drag us out of the yard, drag us down the street. No matter what you do to us, we still standing.