Revolution #459, October 3, 2016 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

To Do This, We Need To Know:

Why we need an actual revolution.
What we need to do now.
How we could defeat them.

Why We Need An Actual Revolution

An actual revolution does not mean trying to make some changes within this system—it means overthrowing this system and bringing into being a radically different and far better system.This system of capitalism-imperialism cannot be reformed. There is no way, under this system, to put an end to the brutality and murder by police, the wars and destruction of people and the environment, the exploitation, oppression and degradation of millions and billions of people, including the half of humanity that is female, here and throughout the world—all of which is rooted in profound contradictions built into the basic functioning, relations, and structures of this system. Only an actual revolution can bring about the fundamental change that is needed.

What We Need To Do Now

To make this revolution, we need to be serious, and scientific. We need to take into account the actual strengths of this system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions. We need to build this revolution among those who most desperately need a radical change, but among others as well who refuse to live in a world where this system spews forth endless horrors, and this is continually “justified” and even glorified as “greatness.”

We need to be on a mission to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution. We have Bob Avakian (BA) the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party. We have the website of the Party, revcom.us, and its newspaper Revolution, which sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution. We have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by BA and adopted by the Party’s Central Committee, which provides a sweeping and concrete vision and “blueprint” for a radically new and emancipating society. People in the inner cities, and in the prisons, students, scholars, artists, lawyers and other professionals, youth in the suburbs and rural areas—people in all parts of society—need to know about this and seriously take it up.

Those who catch the worst hell under this system, and those who are sickened by the endless outrages perpetrated by this system, need to join up with this revolution. Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution. We have seen the potential for this in the protests that have taken place against police brutality and murder, and other ways in which large numbers of people have gone up against the established authorities and the political “rules of the game.” But this needs to be transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization. The organized forces and the leadership of this revolution must become the “authority” that growing numbers of people look to and follow—not the lying politicians and media of this oppressive system—not those who front for the oppressors and preach about “reconciliation” with this system—not those who turn people against each other when they need to be uniting for this revolution. While many people will do positive things in opposing the crimes of this system, we need to approach everything—evaluate every political program and every organized force in society, every kind of culture, values and ways of treating people—according to how it relates to the revolution we need, to end all oppression. We should unite with people whenever we can, and struggle with them whenever we need to, to advance the revolution.

While awaiting the necessary conditions to go all-out for revolution, we need to hasten this and actively carry out the “3 Prepares”: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, Prepare the Vanguard for Revolution—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Fight, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win. We need to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—protest and resist the injustices and atrocities of this system, and win people to defy and repudiate this putrid system and its ways of thinking, and to take up the outlook and values, and the strategy and program of the revolution, build up the forces for this revolution, and defeat the attempts of the ruling powers to crush the revolution and its leadership. With every “jolt” in society—every crisis, every new outrage, where many people question and resist what they normally accept—we need to seize on this to advance the revolution and expand its organized forces. We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

All this is aiming for something very definite—a revolutionary situation: Where the system and its ruling powers are in a serious crisis, and the violence they use to enforce this system is seen by large parts of society for what it is—murderous and illegitimate. Where the conflicts among the ruling forces become really deep and sharp—and masses of people respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers, but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution. Where millions and millions of people refuse to be ruled in the old way—and are willing and determined to put everything on the line to bring down this system and bring into being a new society and government that will be based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. That is the time to go all-out to win. That is what we need to be actively working for and preparing for now.

How We Could Defeat Them

“On the Possibility of Revolution” is a very important statement from the Party, which is posted on revcom.us. It sets forth the foundation—the strategic conception and doctrine—for how to fight with a real chance of winning, once a revolutionary people in the millions, and the necessary conditions for revolution, have been brought into being. Now is not yet the time to wage this kind of fight—to try to do so now would only lead to a devastating defeat—but ongoing work is being done to further develop this strategic conception and doctrine with the future in mind, and the following are some of the main things the revolutionary forces would need to do when the conditions to go all-out to make revolution had been brought into being.

  • When the revolutionary situation is clearly emerging, rapidly transform backbone forces of the revolution into organized fighting forces in key strategic areas, carry out the necessary training, obtain the necessary equipment and provide for the basic logistical needs of this revolutionary fighting force to start the all-out fight, while preventing the enemy from crushing the revolutionary forces at this crucial juncture. Back up these core fighting forces with millions more organized into powerful “reserves” for the revolution.
  • Initiate actions throughout the country, accompanied by a bold declaration to the world, which make clear that there is an organized force determined to defeat the forces of the old order and bring into being a new, revolutionary system. Upon completion of these initial actions, quickly regroup forces for “follow-on” actions and maintain the momentum of the revolution.
  • Counter the enemy’s superior destructive force by seeking to fight only on favorable terms, and actively avoiding decisive encounters, which would determine the outcome of the whole thing, until the “balance of forces” has shifted overwhelmingly in favor of the revolution. Utilize equipment captured from the enemy in ways that fit the fighting strategy of the revolution. Build up political and logistical bases of support, in key strategic areas, but do not attempt to openly control and govern territory, until the necessary “favorable balance of forces” has been achieved.
  • Maintain the initiative—or, if it is temporarily lost, regain it—through surprise and maneuver. Fight in ways the enemy does not anticipate. Carry out actions to keep the enemy off balance, disrupting the concentration and utilization of his forces and contributing to their disintegration. Always conduct operations and act in ways that are in line with the emancipating outlook and goals of the revolution, and turn the barbaric actions of the enemy against him—to win greater forces for the revolution, including those who come over from the ranks of the enemy.
  • Combine strategic direction and coordination for the fight as a whole, with decentralized actions and initiative by local units and leaders. Relying on mass support, the intelligence this provides for the revolution and the denial of intelligence to the enemy, counter the enemy’s efforts to find, fix and annihilate revolutionary leadership and key fighting units. Rapidly replace forces and leaders that are lost—continually train and deploy new forces and leaders.
  • Correctly handle the relation between this all-out fight and the situation—including the character and level of revolutionary struggle—in countries to the south (and the north).
  • When the “balance of forces” has shifted in favor of the revolution, conduct operations aimed at achieving final victory, while continuing to “calibrate” these operations so that decisive encounters are still avoided until the forces of the old order have been brought to the brink of total defeat—and then fully, finally, rout and dismantle the remaining enemy forces.

All this depends on winning millions to revolution in the period that leads up to the ripening of a revolutionary situation. The chance to defeat them, when the time comes—the chance to be rid of this system and to bring something far better into being—has everything to do with what we do now. Everyone who hungers for a radically different world, free of exploitation and oppression and all the needless suffering caused by this system, needs to work now with a fired determination to make this happen, so we will have a real chance to win.

 

Now is the time to spread these messages to all of society

"HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" is a companion to the Message from the Central Committee of the RCP, USA posted on www.revcom.us on May 16, 2016.  Get "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,” together with “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” out everywhere.  Now is the time to spread the word to all of society.

Download "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" HERE (36”x24” PDF): ENGLISH  | ESPAÑOL.  Download “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” HERE (17"x 22" PDF): ENGLISH | ESPAÑOL.  Our suggestion is that they be printed on white bond paper and posted together in the appropriate ways all over the place. Here’s a rough picture of what this could look like.

“HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” now in booklet form!

Printing Instructions:
The PDF of a booklet that includes “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” and the “Points of Attention for the Revolution”is now available. This booklet is 16 pages long. The size of the laid-out pages is 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". It can also be printed 6" x 9". There are two layouts here. 1) One is a single PDF with 16 consecutive, individual pages. 2) The second is a printer's spread; that is, the first spread is page 16 and page 1, the second is page 2 and page 15, etc., so that when it prints and is folded, the pages will be in order. Printers can tell you which layout they need. Readers should make plans for printing this 5 1/2" x 8.5" booklet, raising money, and getting it out in the tens of thousands everywhere as soon as possible.

ENGLISH:
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread

SPANISH:
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

Download PDF of entire work

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

Excerpt 1 from the section:
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core

This principle of “solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core” applies not only to the state apparatus (the police, the military, the executive, etc.) but to the government overall: with regard to all government institutions, there is both the solid core, as characterized here, and there is the elasticity on the basis of the solid core. As the Ardea Skybreak Interview puts it, it is not the case that this is just a big mush, where the elasticity is not based on the solid core and it goes all over the place. At the same time, once again, it is not all solid core, in the sense that whatever the party decrees will be what happens. As an illustration of this, let’s look at how elections are envisioned in this Constitution. I don’t know how much people have paid attention to this, but a tremendous amount of thought and work went into the exact, the very precise, percentages for voting that are in the beginning of the Constitution where it’s talking about the legislature on the national level. What was the guiding thinking and what are the guiding principles here? Why does it say, in relation to the proportions of the election process, 20% instead of 60%, or something else? Why were those specific percentages chosen, in talking about the way the national legislature would be elected? The guiding principle—and this is another example of solid core and elasticity on the basis of the solid core, and another example of the principle that’s sometimes stated as being willing to go to the brink of being drawn and quartered (to the brink of being pulled apart in all directions), even under socialism, and even as you’re struggling to take things continually on the communist road—the guiding principle is that these percentages for voting are set up so that if the overwhelming majority of people in the society turned against everything that we were trying to do, they could actually vote to reverse it all. If you examine what’s there—and I would be willing to bet that not that many people have approached it this way and really looked at it in this way, but if you examine what’s actually there, it’s set up so that, if a very large majority of the people decided they didn’t want this system any more, they could actually vote it out. But, on the other hand, it would take a lot of people feeling that way.

Why is that done? Just so the petite bourgeoisie would be neutralized, and stop complaining all the time? No. Given that it would take such a large majority to overturn this (to vote out this socialist system), it clearly operates on the basis of the solid core of what this is all about; at the same time, it’s also presenting necessity and a challenge to the vanguard—which does represent the solid core in an overall sense, although not just in some organizational sense—it’s presenting a challenge to the vanguard by having it set up this way, so that the vanguard can’t just act like, “Well, we’re in power now, we can do whatever we want, and who cares how we do it and what the masses of people think about it.” No, you’ve actually got to go out and work among the masses and continually win them to this. All this is finely calibrated, in how things are constructed in this Constitution, as an expression and a means of handling that contradiction in that way, so that the solid core is maintained, but you’re actually willing to go to the brink of being drawn and quartered, particularly if you take a wrong turn, and large numbers of people in society are dissatisfied with you.

And don’t think that couldn’t happen—even with the people who suffered terribly under the old society. It happens now. Again, I go back to things like what’s been happening in Baltimore: people rose up heroically, and now what’s going on? The authorities are using the fact that the masses are going at each other, in order to buttress the idea that the police have to use their brutal power to keep order and keep down all the craziness that they blame the masses for getting caught up in. This reminds me of things I’m familiar with from back in the day in Chicago, where I used to live in the 1970s. There was a phenomenon involving some of the big real estate interests in the Chicago area (of the kind that Obama became all tied in with a little later, but here I’m thinking back to the period of the 1970s, before Obama came along), and when these big real estate interests wanted to “turn a neighborhood” that had been mainly white, and they wanted to get people to flee the neighborhood so they could buy up the houses cheaply and then resell them at a big profit, these real estate interests would work with the police. They had a whole unit within the Chicago police that was responsible for dealing with the gangs—and that had infiltrated the gangs—and they would put out the word through their contacts: If you go over into this neighborhood and create mayhem and havoc, we won’t do anything about it. Well, pretty soon, even the white people who weren’t coming from such a bad place would get up and leave, sell their property cheaply, because the neighborhood became intolerable; and then Black people were allowed, even encouraged, to buy those homes, but they would be charged a price much higher than what the houses had just sold for. So the real estate interests made a real killing in that way. And there’s the thing where the police take people from one gang, or one set, and if they want to get some shit going, they arrest them, or pick them up, and then dump them off in the neighborhood of another gang or another set—and the shit flies. And then, after awhile, it’s got its own momentum, the police don’t even have to do anything. Well, this is the kind of thing the police still do, not just in places like Chicago but more generally—and they do it especially when the masses rise up.

So, there’s all this complexity that you have to deal with, when you’re working to build a movement for revolution. And the same kind of thing happens when you have actually made the breakthrough and established a socialist state and you’re on the road of building socialism and moving toward communism. There are forces who are not going to like what you’re doing. So what are they going to do? They’re going to try to sabotage your economy. They’re going to try to turn the people against each other, as well as turning them against the socialist state. They may not come out openly and say, “Restore capitalism,” when that’s not popular. But if they can mess things up and create enough chaos, then some people will say, “Well, maybe we do need the old system back, because at least then we had order, at least then things functioned.” Again, this kind of thing happens now when people rise up in struggle. And then pretty soon the masses say: “Goddamn, I guess we do need the police, because somebody’s gotta keep order here.” We have to deal with that contradiction, by the way. That’s our responsibility. If they’re stirring up this shit, or just on their own the masses are getting caught up in this shit, transforming that situation in a positive direction is our responsibility. We can’t be the police among the people—and we certainly can’t act like the police of this oppressive bourgeois state—but that’s our responsibility, to transform that situation and, through a tremendous amount of struggle, get the masses of people on the road they need to be on. We’re never gonna make a revolution if we don’t take responsibility for all of this, including dealing with the needs of the masses in this kind of situation. If we don’t, then the masses are gonna be pulled toward accepting the idea that, “Maybe we do need the police back in here, much as they’ve messed us over and brutalized us and killed us, because things are just too crazy without this.” If we don’t deal with this, then, even when they rise up, the masses are gonna get caught up, once again, in the oppressive order of the system that exists. Now, clearly, this is not easy, and I’m not saying it’s easy—it’s very difficult. But we have to apply ourselves and do the work to figure out how to handle these contradictions, even now, because we can’t let the system come back at the masses in this way. They come back in all kinds of ways—they come back with overt brutal repression, but they also come back with ways they get the masses turned against each other and starting to doubt themselves: “Maybe we were better off with the police doing this shit, maybe they do have to do this shit they do.” Well, transforming that situation is our responsibility.

Imagine, if you get to socialist society—you will have the same kind of contradictions: people trying to sabotage and undermine your economy, and turning the masses against each other. You will have forces out there that are antagonistic to what you’re doing—remaining imperialists and other reactionaries in the world, and inside the country itself—and they can be very adept at finding ways to turn the people against you by creating hardships for the people. So then people say, “Look, I like you revolutionaries, but goddamn, at least we could do something to get something to eat in the old society; now you guys, your economy’s completely broken down. I’m sorry, but we gotta get you out of there and get somebody in who will at least get us something to eat and a roof over our heads.” And, by the way, if there is a socialist revolution, as I’ve pointed out before, we are responsible then for the needs of the people. I don’t mean like social workers, but we are responsible, the vanguard is responsible, for leading the society to meet the needs of the people. And there are lots of forces who will work to turn the people against you on the basis that you are not meeting the people’s needs.

 

 

 

Contents

Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

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

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

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

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

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

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

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

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

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion

Notes

Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author

 

 


 

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Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Build the Momentum for the October 8 Book Launch of THE NEW COMMUNISM by Bob Avakian

October 1, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, by Bob Avakian, can change the discourse on what is needed, possible and desirable to confront and deal with what vast sections of humanity are facing. THE NEW COMMUNISM can speak to and attract millions who do care, who are angry and unsettled—about wanton police brutality and murder and the oppression of Black people, a migrant crisis from lands devastated by war, outmoded ideologies and global warming, electoral choices dictated by this system and its many, many other horrors—and who "agonize over whether fundamental change is really possible." THE NEW COMMUNISM, in title, content and look, represents something radically new on the horizon, demarcating with what came before, bringing forward a fully scientific approach and resolution to what it will take for an actual revolution and a radically different society on the road to emancipating all of humanity. 

This is why it is really important that we let everyone know about and feel compelled to attend and engage the book and the October 8 launch of the book, why this matters! People will learn about and be able to buy this book, and find out how to spread this. They’ll learn about the leadership of Bob Avakian (BA), who combines theory on a world-class level with a deep feeling for and connection to those who catch the hardest hell every day in this society. And they’ll hear Carl Dix and Cornel West get into their own responses to this pathbreaking work and BA.

Let’s get the word out every day from now until October 8. This weekend, we are making a really big push to secure 100 new commitments—selling tickets and blocks of tickets, with commensurate sales of THE NEW COMMUNISM. And this Monday at 7 p.m. at Revolution Books in New York, everyone who wants to be part of and contribute to this whole process will get together to sum up and make further plans.

Let’s plunge into key sections of society where there is ferment and dynamism, and let’s bring forward people in waves—to spread this, to get involved and build for this, to engage as they go, and to “get organized into the revolution,” including coming to Revolution Books in New York on Monday at 7 p.m. And come to revcom.us every day to find out new developments toward the 8th.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/peoples-tribunal-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

RNC 16 Put the Pigs on Trial

People's Tribunal Finds the System GUILTY!

Updated with video October 31, 2016 | Originally published October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Judge:

As one of the RNC 16, and in the interest of emancipating all humanity, I now call this People's Tribunal to order. Please come forward to make your opening remarks.

Opening Statement:

Read Message

Download PDF 11x17"

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

Listen to audio of the Message in Spanish


Get With the Revolution Club

I'm a member of the Revolution Club and one of the 16 people facing criminal charges.

We’re standing here outside the criminal INjustice center in Cleveland, a meat grinder that grinds up the lives of masses of oppressed people every day. What we are doing here is a People’s Tribunal to indict agents, known and unknown, who were involved in suppression of righteous protest against the hideous Republican National Convention. This past July, Donald Chump came to Cleveland with the fascist message of “Make America great,” of law and order, white supremacy, “build the wall” scapegoating of immigrants, disgusting misogyny, and naked “USA #1” chauvinism.

But this did NOT go down without a fight. On July 20, the Revolution Club went right up to the gates of their RNC Nazi rally, linked arms in a circle, and then Gregory “Joey” Johnson stood in the middle of the circle and announced, “America Number 1? America first? It always has been first: at genocide... at slavery... at exploitation... of destruction of the environment... of torture... of coup d’etats... of invasions. We’re standing here with the people of the world today.” Then Joey lit that bloody red, white, and blue rag on fire. This bold action, and the message behind it, was picked up by national and international media and broadcast to the world: There is a force right here in the belly of the beast, the Revolutionary Communist Party, the Revolution Club, and our leader Bob Avakian, with a whole different message: America Was NEVER Great! We Need to OVERTHROW the system!

At a time of deepening divisions and cracks in their system, of growing eruptions of struggle against the ongoing epidemic of police murder, this was NOT what the ruling class wanted to see interrupting the “legitimacy” of their election charade. Despite the fact that burning the U.S. flag is constitutionally protected political speech thanks to the Supreme Court decision Texas v. Johnson, and despite the fact that the same Gregory “Joey” Johnson that decision is named for is the one who also burned the flag this time, that did not stop the pigs from breaking their own laws to brutally assault and arrest Joey and 15 other members of the Revolution Club! Even before he lit the flag on fire, the pigs were attacking the Revolution Club’s protective circle to try to prevent the flag from burning and silence our message, which they failed to do.

Today, we are going to put them on trial, We will indict the various pigs and pig agencies responsible for this illegal attack. They have been subpoenaed and have arrived at the court in their full pig regalia... Homeland Security/Secret Service pig, FBI pig, Cleveland police chief pig Calvin Williams, Alex Jones Infowars pig, Cleveland prosecutor pig Timothy McGinty, and others. They are in the pig pen and they will be called up to testify one by one. We will prosecute them, present evidence and they will testify in their own words. If all they can do is oink, a pig Latin translator will be provided. Joey Johnson will give the closing arguments. The jury will listen to all the evidence and then give their verdict!

Judge:

The charges are:

Aiding and abetting crimes against humanity being plotted by the RNC.

Conspiracy to commit thuggery in the service of a criminal fraudulent enterprise, also known as the 2016 presidential election.

Conspiracy to prevent lawful flag burning by Joey Johnson and the Revolution Club.

Violation of First Amendment protected political speech, specifically violation of Texas v. Johnson.

Assault and illegal arrests of Joey Johnson and the RNC 16.

Conspiracy to cover up said unlawful police attack.

Homeland Security/Secret Service Pig

Read the entire HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution HERE

Judge: Pig pen manager, please bring the Homeland Security/Secret Service pig up to the witness stand.

Judge Oath: Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is based on actual statements that have already been made publicly, and are of the public record?

Pig: Yes.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: What was your role in the RNC?

Pig: The RNC was designated as a National Special Security Event. The lead agency was the U.S. Secret Service, under the overall command of the Department of Homeland Security. We collaborated on the design and implementation of the overall security for the event. We have the FBI in charge of intelligence gathering, in partnership with local law enforcement. As the City of Cleveland’s “Safety and preparedness update for the RNC 2016 stated, “Anyone wishing to exercise their first amendment rights will be able to do so, and the City of Cleveland will assist them to ensure a safe environment.”

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that you gave $50 million to the City of Cleveland to pay for “heightened security measures including expanded law enforcement and surveillance”?

Pig: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that this included money for 2,000 sets of riot gear, 10,000 sets of plastic handcuffs, 2,500 steel barriers stretching 3.7 miles, 2,000 26-inch retractable steel batons, 100 sets of body armor, 310 police bicycles and protective gear, 16 Pointer Illuminator Aiming Lasers, rubber and wooden bullets, tear gas, tasers, sound amplifiers, bean bags, sting-ball grenades, pepper spray, night vision devices, a video surveillance system, and other devices?

Pig: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true you also brought in 300 extra Homeland Security agents and 5,000 other police from around the country to supplement Cleveland police?

Pig: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Was all this to “ensure a safe environment” for our First Amendment rights?

Pig: Oink, oink, oink, oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: In addition to creating a police state in Cleveland, isn’t it true that the Secret Service also played a direct role in the illegal arrests of the RNC 16 at 4th and Prospect on July 20?

Pig: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that Secret Service agents pointed out specific members of the Revolution Club to be arrested?

Pig: Oink, oink.

Judge: Order! Order! All this pig is doing is oinking! Bring in the pig Latin translator.

Pig Latin translator: What this pig is saying is, of course we created a police state and targeted the revolutionaries at the convention. We’re the pigs, not the people!

FBI Pig

Judge: Please bring the FBI pig up to the witness stand.

Judge Oath: Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is based on actual statements that have already been made publicly, and are of the public record?

Pig: Yes.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that in the lead-up p to the RNC, agents from the FBI, along with local police, paid “home visits” to dozens of community organizers and activists, as well as people associated with supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party?

Pig: We were doing “community outreach.” Oink, oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that you questioned people about their plans for the convention, and the plans of other groups and individuals, and some were asked about previous addresses and their political and social affiliations?

Pig: The deputy police chief, Ed Tomba, said, “The Cleveland police have a very robust pre-convention intelligence team. We have a real, real good idea of who we think is coming here and what their objectives are. And if we can deter those objectives, that’s what we’re going to do.”

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Since most of the “visits” were directed at activists, particularly those associated with struggles against police brutality, what exactly were the objectives that you were trying to deter?

Pig: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: You say this was “community outreach.” Is this kind of like the “community outreach” that you did with COINTELPRO, your illegal counter-intelligence program [in the 1960s]?

Pig: Oink, oink, oink.

Judge: Order in the court! Bring in the piglatin translator.

Piglatin translator: What this pig is saying is, we were trying to harass and intimidate people from coming to protest at the RNC. And we had the assistance of the media in all this. We had a lot of success... but those damn revcoms!

Cleveland Police Chief Pig Calvin Williams

Judge: Please bring Cleveland police chief pig Calvin Williams up to the witness stand.

Judge Oath: Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is based on actual statements that have already been made publicly, and are of the public record?

Chief Pig Williams (CPW): Yes.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Chief Pig Williams, isn’t true that you were informed ahead of time that this flag burning was happening?

CPW: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that the Revolution Club sent out a press release announcing this well in advance?

CPW: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Did you or did you not pre-meditatively plan an attack on this legal demonstration?

CPW: As I said in the press conference, “There are people that their only purpose of being here is disruption, disorder, chaos, hurting people and destroying property. And those are the only people at this point that are giving us any kind of problem at all... There’s one group, that you all know who they are, that this is what they came for, and we’re prepared for it.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Which group are you referring to?

CPW: Oink, oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Don’t you know that it’s legal to burn the flag under Texas v. Johnson?

CPW: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: And didn’t you know that the Joey Johnson who won that Supreme Court case was the same Joey Johnson who the press release announced would burn the flag at the RNC?

CPW: As I said in the press conference. “According to my legal team and the Constitution, you can legally burn a flag if you don’t incite violence or are a danger to other people while you’re doing it,”

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that one of the RNC 16 was initially charged with “desecration of a flag”?

CPW: Oink

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Is that a crime?

CPW: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that Joey Johnson was initially charged with “arson”?

CPW: Oink. Well, as one of my officers said on ABC Channel 7, “We have a law against open burning in the city of Cleveland and that’s what that was. It’s not about the flag, it’s about open burning.”

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that flag burning is considered speech, and is not in the category of “arson” or “open burning”?

CPW: Oink. Like I said,We know they had a right to burn the flag, but we have a responsibility to protect public safety. Right? [directed toward the pig pen; pigs oink and nod and nudge each other] “I think a couple of people, their pants got on fire, and we actually put that out.”

Revolution Club: [in unison] LIAR! LIAR! Nobody’s pants were on fire!

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that the Revolution Club formed a protective circle to ensure the safety of the flag burning? [Pig: Oink]. Isn’t it true that your pig police forced their way through this safety circle before the flag was even on fire? [Pig: Oink]. Isn’t it true that the only safety danger was caused by your pig police, pushing people, choking, and dog piling six or seven officers on top of Joey Johnson and other members of the Revolution Club? [Pig: Oink]. Did Joey Johnson and the Revolution Club feel safe in these moments [pointing to pictures of Joey Johnson and Revolution Club members being put in chokehold by police]?

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that of the hundreds of videos online of this action, and thousands of photos, not one of them shows a person on fire?

CPW: Oink. But, “There were also counter-demonstrators that were ready to attack the people that were lighting the flag on fire! All those things were arrestable in this situation.” I mean, really, “The area got amped up when this happened.”

Revolution Club Prosecutor: But isn’t it true that it was the Revolution Club members, not the “counter-demonstrators ready to attack,” who you had arrested? [Pig: Oink]. Isn’t it also true that “a hostile crowd” is not a legal justification to suppress free speech? [Pig: Oink]. Isn’t it true that the Westboro Baptist Church was in Cleveland for days and was on the scene at 4th and Prospect when the Revolution Club burned the flag? [Pig: Oink]. Isn’t it true that their hate-filled signs against women and LGBT people invoked a hostile crowd? [Pig: Oink]. Isn’t it true that they were protected, rather than attacked and arrested? [Pig Oink].

CPW: But we had to disperse the crowd because of “violence being perpetrated.” That’s why I initially instructed officers to charge the RNC 16 with “inciting violence.”

Revolution Club Prosecutor: So what excuse do you have for the Revolution Club members you arrested after the flag burning, while they were doing nothing more than chanting? What exactly was their crime?

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true, Chief Pig Williams, that you selectively targeted the Revolution Club, that the only violence being incited and perpetrated was from the pigs under your command? And if there was any fire danger, it was caused by you violently attacking our protective safety circle?!

CPW: Oink! Oink! Oink!

Revolution Club Prosecutor: [disgusted] I think we’ve heard enough. Chief Pig Williams conspired with the whole hierarchy of federal and state pig police agencies to plan and carry out an attack to attempt to stop Joey Johnson and the Revolution Club from burning the flag. They brutalized Johnson and the Revolution Club, arrested them illegally, and concocted one lie after another to justify their actions.

Cleveland Prosecutor Pig Timothy McGinty

Judge: Please bring Cleveland Prosecutor Pig Timothy McGinty up to the witness stand.

Judge Oath: Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is based on actual statements that have already been made publicly, and are of the public record?

Pig McGinty: Yes.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that you are prosecuting Joey Johnson and the RNC 16 for political speech that’s protected by the First Amendment?

Pig McGinty: Oink, oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Now I’d like to turn to the issue of preventative detention. Before the convention your court system bragged that they were set up to process 1,000 people a day, from 5 am til 1 am. Why, then, were the RNC 16 held for over 24 hours, when there were only 24 arrests during the whole convention?

Pig McGinty: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: As the director of the ACLU in Ohio said, in response to our extended detention: “There is no reason these people should be held for so long on minor charges.... The delays in processing these cases suggest that protesters are purposefully being held to keep them off the streets. This is simply unacceptable treatment.” Isn’t it true that you preventatively detained the RNC 16?

Pig McGinty: Well, you see, we “misplaced the paperwork!” Right? [Looking over at the pig pen; pigs oink and nod and nudge each other.]

Judge: Timothy McGinty, I want to remind you that you are under oath. Bring in the piglatin translator.

Piglatin Translator: What this pig is saying is, We wanted to keep these revolutionaries off the streets until after Trump’s speech and the RNC was over.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: As county prosecutor you are responsible for calling grand juries and seeking indictments. When 12-year-old Tamir Rice was gunned down by the police before our eyes, in a video that was clear as daylight and should have been an open and shut case of murder, you waited a year and a half after the murder before finally going before a grand jury. This grand jury, based on the case that you failed to present, did not indict the killer cop. You are a very good prosecutor when it comes to prosecuting people like Tamir. Did you forget how to prosecute when it comes to cops?

Pig McGinty: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: And is it true that a mere two weeks after the flag burning you called a grand jury which added additional felony and misdemeanor charges to the two RNC 16 defendants already being charged with felonies?

Pig McGinty: Oink, oink, oink.

Judge: Piglatin translator!

Piglatin Translator: This pig is saying, Our job is not to prosecute police who terrorize and murder youth like Tamir Rice. That’s what they’re hired to do, to keep the whole system going! Our job is to prosecute people like Tamir Rice and people who expose our system and organize to overthrow it, like you revcoms.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: No further questions.

       

Alex Jones Pig

Judge: The sole charge against Joey Johnson and one other Revolution Club member is assault on two alleged reporters for Alex Jones Infowars. Please bring pig Alex Jones up to the witness stand.

Judge Oath: Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is based on actual statements that have already been made publicly, and are of the public record?

Jones: Yes.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Is it true that you and your website, Infowars, support Donald Trump?

Jones: Yeah, Trump was on my radio show in December 2015 and praised my “amazing” reputation and promised me, “I will not let you down.”

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that you had “special guest” credentials to attend the 2016 RNC? [Pig Oink]. Isn’t it true that you praised Trump’s acceptance speech?

Jones: [proud oinking & emphatic nodding]

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Got it. Just checking. So, Alex Jones, why don you tell us what your so-called reporter said when you interviewed him on YouTube about what happened in Cleveland on July 20 of this year, at 4th & Prospect.

Jones: He said, “They came out and burned the American flag in front of me, and I’m a veteran... I ripped the guy’s shirt off, and just punched him and kicked him, man. The cops were like, aaah! You know, it was intense, man. I was like dude, I’m a fucking veteran, my buddies died for this country, and you’re going to burn this flag in front of me? Screw you. It’s not gonna happen.”

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Oh, okay then. So your reporter openly admitted to having assaulted Joey Johnson to try to stop him from burning the flag? And the alleged injuries happened in the course of carrying out this criminal assault on Johnson? What do you think about all this, Alex Jones?

Jones: People have free speech all day long until they’re trying to overthrow the country. At that point it’sedition and we’re coming after you. As my reporter said: “Im gonna go meet up with the Cleveland police department. I’m gonna file a charge against the Revolutionary Communist Party... I’m gonna submit this in and then go after revcom cuz these guys are un-American bastards. And this is America and we are here to defeat communism.... Revcom for prison.” [proud oinking & emphatic nodding]

Revolution Club Prosecutor: So, people of the jury, here you have the pig Alex Jones, an operative for the Trump campaign, on the night of July 20 recording his reporters, who admitted they targeted the Revolution Club because of their political views and assaulted Joey Johnson, yet these two reporters are still named by pig prosecutor McGinty as the so-called “victims” that Johnson and the other RNC defendant are charged with assaulting! Can we get McGinty and Williams up here again?

Judge: I’ll allow it. Will the Pigs McGinty and Williams please come back to the stand?

[McGinty & Williams Pigs join Jones Pig]

Revolution Club Prosecutor: [addressing McGinty & Williams Pigs and pointing dramatically at Alex Jones Pig] So let me see if I understand this. You want us to believe that THESE Alex Jones reporters are the “victims” you’re relying on to prosecute Joey Johnson and another revolutionary for assault??

[McGinty & Williams Pigs oink and nod]

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Have you SEEN the video they made where THEY proudly confess to being the ones who assaulted Johnson?? Where they say they were trying to violently stop a legal protest???

[McGinty & Williams Pigs oink]

Revolution Club Prosecutor:How is it that you have not immediately dropped the charges after seeing that??

[McGinty & Williams Pigs oink] [Pigs look increasingly exposed]

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true, therefore, that you all are part of a conspiracy to silence the message and punish those who stand against your system and are organizing to overthrow it as soon as possible?

[McGinty & Williams & Jones Pigs] Oink, oink, oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: [disgusted] No further questions. Get back to the pig pen, pigs.

[Revolution Club boos them off the stand]

Cuyahoga County Jail Sheriff Pig

Judge: Cuyahoga County Jail Sheriff pig is being charged with cruel and inhumane treatment of the RNC 16 detainees. Please bring him up to the witness stand.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that harsh treatment was directed at the women RNC 16 detainees?

Pig: Oink?

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that you denied medicine?

Pig: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: That you turned up the AC and refused to provide blankets?

Pig: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: That one Revolution Cllub member was strip searched, strapped to a chair, tormented, and did not receive food for 24 hours?

Pig: Oink.

Revolution Club Prosecutor: Isn’t it true that you separated all the women from each other, in solitary confinement?

Pig: Oink oink.

Judge: Piglatin translator?

Piglatin translator: What this pig is trying to say is, These women were rowdy, proud, defiant. They were chanting. They were not submissive like women should be. So we punished them and tried to put them in their place.

Closing Statement

Judge: Joey Johnson, please come forward to make your closing argument.

 1, 2, 3, 4, Slavery, Genocide and War!

 5, 6 , 7, 8, America was NEVER great!

You’ve heard a lot here today...

All this reveals that the essence of this society is not a “democracy,” but a thoroughly rotten capitalist-imperialist dictatorship, run by a ruling class that sets the terms and limits of the debate. This presidential election is a case in point. Trump, a fascist monster, versus Clinton, an imperialist war criminal! And they can talk about “freedom and democracy” all they want, but if they see it in their interests to break their own rules, they will, whether it’s rights that don’t apply to Black people and murder laws that don’t apply to cops, or international war crimes laws that the U.S. breaks with impunity... or Supreme Court decisions that burning an American flag in protest is protected speech.

The Revolution Club came to Cleveland to represent for the hopes and aspirations of the seven billion people on the planet. As Bob Avakian says, "American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People's Lives." As Bob Avakian says, "Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First."

We had a right to do what we did, and it was the right thing to do, by burning that symbol of oppression and empire!

Judge to the jury: I understand you have a verdict.

Jury: We do, judge.

On Count 1, aiding and abetting crimes against humanity being plotted by the RNC, we find the pigs... guilty!

On Count 2, conspiracy to commit thuggery in the service of a criminal fraudulent enterprise, also known as the 2016 presidential election sham, we find the pigs... guilty!

On Count 3, conspiracy to prevent lawful flag burning by Joey Johnson and the Revolution Club, we find the pigs... guilty!

On Count 4, violation of First Amendment free speech, we find the pigs... guilty!

On Count 5, violation of Texas v. Johnson, flag burning as protected speech, we find the pigs... guilty!

On Count 6, assault and illegal arrests of Joey Johnson and the RNC 16, we find the pigs... guilty!

On Count 7, conspiracy to cover up said unlawful police attack, we find the pigs... guilty!

In sum, we the jury of this people’s tribunal, find... The whole damn system is guilty as hell!

[Rev Club chants: The whole damn system is guilty as hell!]

This is what we want to announce: We are going to defeat these charges against Gregory “Joey” Johnson and the RNC 16, expose their system, and accumulate forces for revolution in the process! We are going to wage this struggle inside and outside the courtroom. What we did today was political theater, but it was based on the actual facts of this case.

We are announcing today that we will be filing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service, the FBI, the City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Police Department, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty for false arrest, for assault pursuant to a false arrest, and malicious prosecution of the RNC 16. We are putting them on trial for violating their own laws, undermining Texas v. Johnson, in order to politically suppress and repress the RNC 16 because of our righteous message, and thereby having a “chilling effect” on people’s freedom to express themselves by burning the flag.

If you know something about the history and reality of this country, that America was NEVER great, and you support the Revolution Club delivering this message powerfully and dramatically right in front of the RNC... if you think revolution and Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism need to be heard and known, and not silenced or suppressed by the powers that be... if police murder after murder after murder of Black and Brown people makes you sick and you’re feeling like Colin Kaepernick... if you think people should have the right to burn the flag and you don’t want to let them undercut Texas v. Johnson... if you think it was right to burn the flag... JOIN us in demanding: DROP THE CHARGES ON GREGORY “JOEY” JOHNSON AND THE RNC 16!

[Everyone Chants] Drop the charges! Drop the charges!]

[flag burning]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/458/joey-johnson-and-the-rnc-16-are-putting-the-system-on-trial-in-cleveland-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Joey Johnson and the RNC 16 Put the System on Trial in Cleveland

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This past July, Donald Chump came to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland with his fascist message of law and order, white supremacy, “build the wall” scapegoating of immigrants, disgusting misogyny, and naked “USA #1” chauvinism. He said he would “make America great again.” But this did NOT go down without a fight. On July 20, the Revolution Club went right up to the gates of their RNC Nazi rally, linked arms in a circle, and then Joey Johnson stood in the middle and announced, “America Number 1? America first? It always has been first: at genocide... at slavery... at exploitation... of destruction of the environment... of torture... of coup d’états... of invasions. We’re standing here with the people of the world today.” Then he lit that bloody red, white, and blue rag on fire. This bold action, and the message behind it, was picked up by national and international media and broadcast to the world: There is a force right here in the belly of the beast with a whole different message: America Was NEVER Great! We Need to OVERTHROW the system!

At a time of deepening divisions and cracks in their system, of growing eruptions against the ongoing epidemic of police murder, this was NOT what the ruling class wanted interrupting the “legitimacy” of their election charade. Despite the fact that burning the U.S. flag is constitutionally protected “freedom of speech” (thanks to the landmark Supreme Court decision Texas v. Johnson), and despite the fact that the same Johnson who fought to win that right is the one who burned the flag this time, this did not stop the pigs from breaking their own laws to brutally assault and arrest Joey Johnson and 15 other members of the Revolution Club! Even before Joey lit the flag, the pigs were attacking the Revolution Club’s protective circle to try to prevent the flag from burning and silence our message. They failed!

But they did succeed at something...

In all this, what did the rulers of this system reveal? That the essence of this society is not a “democracy,” but a thoroughly rotten capitalist-imperialist dictatorship, run by a ruling class that sets the terms and limits of the debate (a fascist monster vs. an imperialist war criminal!), deciding who is a “legitimate” candidate and what is a legitimate issue. And they can talk about “freedom and democracy” all they want, but if they see it in their interests to break their own rules—whether it’s rights that don’t apply to Black people and murder laws that don’t apply to cops, or international war crimes laws that the U.S. breaks with impunity—they will.

But they are NOT all-powerful. They have already been stung by our bold action. And there is a powerful basis to make this illegal and outrageous attack against us boomerang back against them, further exposing the illegitimacy of their system and advancing the movement for revolution. We had a right to do what we did at the RNC... and it was right! The flag burning burst through the suffocating, disgusting atmosphere in Cleveland, and news of it reached tens of millions of people. Since then, others coming from their own perspectives have taken up their own forms of protest. Millions are openly questioning America’s special “greatness” and refusing to salute its symbols. Righteous struggle against police murder of Black people has exploded once again. People have tried all the reform solutions—they don’t work, and they can’t work, because police murder is built into this system.

Now is the time to go on the offensive with this RNC 16 case and let the world know that we are the mighty REVCOMS who burned their fucking flag at the RNC. We are organizing to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time. Our leader is Bob Avakian, the architect of the new synthesis of communism and the most radical and scientific thinker and leader on the planet, who has a strategy for how we can WIN a revolution to bring this monster down once and for all and build up a whole new liberated society.

       

We are going to meet the counter-revolutionary assaults on the RNC 16 with more revolution. We are going to fight this system in the political arena and in the legal arena. There is lot at stake here, both in terms of this particular case, but also as a test for what we will be facing in the coming storms. We need to defeat these charges, expose their system, and accumulate forces for revolution in the process! We can’t allow them to get away with draining our energies, and resources, playing by their rules and trapped in their criminal INjustice system.

We are putting THEM on trial! Inside and outside the courtroom.

We are putting the system on trial for the towering crimes U.S. imperialism has committed and continues to perpetrate against the people of the world and masses of oppressed people in this country. We are putting them on trial for violating their own laws, undermining Texas v. Johnson, in order to politically suppress and repress the RNC 16 because of our righteous message, and thereby having a “chilling effect” on people’s freedom to express themselves by burning the flag. We are exposing that the so-called “democracy” in this country is democracy for the capitalist-imperialists who exercise dictatorship over the masses.

The RNC 16—the people including Joey Johnson who burned the flag at the Republican National Convention—converged in Cleveland for a People’s Tribunal at the courthouse on Thursday, September 29. We indicted the various pigs and pig agencies responsible; they were subpoenaed and arrived at the court in their full pig regalia... Homeland Security pig, Secret Service pig, FBI pig, Alex Jones Infowar pig, Cleveland Police Chief pig Calvin Williams, Cleveland prosecutor pig Timothy McGinty, and others. They were placed in a pig pen and called up to testify one by one. We prosecuted them using their own words and actions. When all they could do was oink, a pig Latin translator was provided. Joey Johnson gave the closing arguments. The jury listened to all the evidence and then gave their verdict... guilty! And then the RNC 16 once again burned the American rag. We announced our plans to SUE ALL OF THEM FOR THEIR ILLEGAL ACTS AGAINST THE RNC 16!

If you know something about the history and reality of this country, that America never was great, and you support the Revolution Club delivering this message powerfully and dramatically right in front of the RNC... if you think revolution and Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism need to be heard and known—and not silenced or suppressed by the powers that be... if police murder after murder after murder of Black and Brown people makes you sick and you’re feeling like Colin Kaepernick... if you think people should have the right to burn the flag and you don’t want to let them undercut Texas v. Johnson... if you think it was right to burn the flag... JOIN US in demanding: DROP THE CHARGES ON JOEY JOHNSON AND THE RNC 16!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/oakland-castlemont-high-steps-up-kaepernick-joins-in-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Oakland's Castlemont High Steps Up by Lying Down! Colin Kaepernick Joins In!

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

At the start of last Friday’s Castlemont High School football game, when the nasty-full anthem played, Oakland Castlemont players lay on their backs on the ground with their hands up (see tweet). Colin Kaepernick, who came to the game to support the team, took a knee. The players wanted to step up and be part of the protests—they lay on the ground to graphically show that the police will shoot people even if they are lying on the ground with their hands up. One player told us, “It’s not right that people are wrongfully and unjustly being killed by these police and people are just sitting back and watching it. They are just seeing it on the news and just shaking their head or changing the channel. It’s not right. It’s sick, actually.”

What happened at Castlemont was a moving and powerful contribution to the national outbreak of players, coaches, and athletes in different sports and cheerleaders who have taken a knee, raised a clenched fist and in one way or another demonstrated their refusal to stand at attention for that anthem when the police for this system continue to shoot down Black people and others in the street. It is a further example of how Kaepernick himself is continuing to do the right thing despite a barrage of racist attacks and threats.

Castlemont High is in deep East Oakland, a place with Black, Latino, Tongan, and many other oppressed nationality students. Hunger is part of life for many who go to school there, and police abuse and murder are a constant threat and a part of everyday reality. The head football coach at Castlemont grew up in the area and attended Castlemont. In a documentary, A Coach in Deep East, he talks about the school, the neighborhood and what the students go through. The area, known as the “Kill Zone,” where 85 percent of Oakland’s murders happen, is the area from 70th-100th Avenue. Castlemont is right in that zone. There are only 500 students in a school that has the capacity to have 2,000. But in Oakland, students can choose which high school they want to go to, so they don’t have to attend a school in their neighborhood. The coach talks about what the students are up against—he himself has gone to 70 funerals for people who were under 24 years old.

On September 19, at the game the week before Kaepernick came, the Castlemont football team had made an important statement by taking a knee and raising their fists when the anthem played. Kaepernick saw a report on this, tweeted it, and came to their next game to support them. He talked to them in the locker room before the game started. His talk to the players in the locker room has been reported widely on the Internet. This is part of what he said:

“I know situations like a lot of y’all might be in where people don’t treat you the same, they don’t give you that time of day, they don’t give you those opportunities to be the best you can be.

“That’s why I made the decision to do what I did. You all inspired me with what you did, following that and standing up. You all are doing this at a much younger age than what I did. This took me a while to get to this point. And you all are conscious of this at this point in time to make that stand.”

Read the entire HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution HERE

We went out to Castlemont to support what the team had done, to spread word of revolution (including the “Top 10 Reasons to Sit Down for the Nasty-full Anthem,” Revolution newspaper, and the new statement “How We Can Win—How We Can Really Make Revolution”), and to find out what the people are thinking. We were able to interview some of the coaches, teachers and players. We found a spirit of defiance and resistance, and a real openness to revolution. When we talked about the RNC 16, burning the flag at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and now facing charges, several teachers were eager to have them come speak to their classes. The fact that we are a nationally organized force, working for revolution, was compelling and attractive. We also found out that that the teachers, coaches, and the school are being subjected to vile racist and reactionary attacks including many death threats, through social media and even letters mailed to the school. Even the players are being subjected to death threats.

It is very important that in the face of attacks on Colin Kaepernick, people have stepped out to have his back and to take a stand themselves against the nasty-ful anthem from different perspectives. But ABOVE ALL AND MOST OF ALL, people need to know the truth about what the United States, its flag and national anthem, have always been, and always will be, about, and why only an ACTUAL revolution can fundamentally change anything for the better. This is part of the “3 Prepares”: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, Prepare the Vanguard for Revolution—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Fight, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win.

 

       

Here are excerpts from interviews we did:

Interview with Castlemont football player:

Q: Why did you take such a strong action?

A: Because it hits home with me. Things I’ve been through, things I’ve seen. I’ve seen people having to deal with this, I’ve had to deal with it and it’s not a good feeling. It’s not right that people are wrongfully and unjustly being killed by these police and people are just sitting back and watching it. They are just seeing it on the news and just shaking their head or changing the channel. It’s not right. It’s sick, actually. People are losing lives for no reason. Lord knows what they’ve done... It’s very uncomfortable for us. It always has been and it most definitely is now. More often than not you’re lucky to make it through the night if you’re with the police. I want to make an impact so that things like this can stop. It’s not safe. You don’t know what is going to happen. We already live in a very poverty stricken area. To deal with that on top of poverty, it’s not safe. You don’t know what is going to happen. I want to raise awareness so things like this won’t have to go on. Maybe my kids or those of my sister won’t have to worry about things like this.

Q: How did you feel about Kaepernick coming to talk with you and stand with you?

A: I was very moved because I got the idea from him. He sat in preseason and kneeled and stuff like that, and I really respected him for that. Personally, I’m not really a 49 Niners fan, so Kaepernick wasn’t a household name for me. When he started doing interviews I saw all the unnecessary hate that he’s been getting for standing for something that he believes in and that I believe in. I just wanted to know that we got his back like he’s got ours. He came to the game and showed us love. It’s just all love here.

Q: How did this come about, to do the protests at your last two games?

A: At first I wanted to kneel because we had a team from Canada coming in, so we had this opportunity. If we stood for the Canadian anthem to show respect for them but when it came time for the national anthem, ours, that was an opportunity we had to make some noise, have an impact and raise awareness. So we all took a knee, but in the moment, it seemed that just taking a knee wasn’t enough, so I told everyone to just raise a fist when you take a knee and that’s what happened. Last game, laying down, we wanted to show the vulnerability we have with the police being the authority and us being the citizens. We’re showing how we are being submissive and also honoring the lives taken by the police because I’m pretty sure a lot of them were like, how we are: laying on the ground with our hands up. That sends a strong message and it really strikes home with people who have been through these types of events. We wanted to show them that this is what you are doing. This is what it comes down to. It’s not just grown men but children are also dying. It’s out of hand. We certainly don’t feel safe. You see police get into altercations with people and you just want to flee the scene because you don’t know what is going to happen. All it takes is one sudden movement. He’s got his hand on his holster already. You’re either getting tased unnecessarily or getting shot or beat...

We’re not doing this to get publicity and be on the news. That’s not what we want to do. We want to make change. We want to make a stand. If that means that we’re on the news with Colin Kaepernick, we’re on the news with Colin Kaepernick trying to make things better. This is for us. This is for our futures or the future of our people. We want to make an impact and have a say and make change so the future is a whole lot brighter than it looks now...

We’ve received death threats, the team as a whole, my coaches, the players, the school. I feel that’s kinda stripping us of our freedom of speech. It’s like you don’t know what to do, you’re backed up in the corner and all this stuff is happening and we’re just supposed to let it all happen. We want to make a change. A lot of people are scared that they might get killed, life might not be the same so they just don’t step up. Those of us who are taking that risk we are just a rebellious, rambunctious group that doesn’t care. We don’t just want fame and people to look at us. That isn’t what it’s about. It’s about change.

Interview with a Castlemont football coach (excerpts):

Coach: He (Kaepernick) retweeted a picture that our group put up on Twitter. He was moved by it, and when he came to thank us he ended up learning more about what these kids have to face being in this area. This is a great school but it’s an impoverished area—economically deprived—and with that comes a lot of other stuff. Just for these kids to get to school every day, it can be a struggle. He learned that our kids are not eating three meals a day. I have a feeding program where I feed the kids. I ask people for money and donations and I buy food to feed the kids. I have a refrigerator and things like that. Once he learned that, he was so moved, a tear came to him. He said, I just didn’t know. After the first quarter, he became like coach Kap. He was running up and down the sideline... It was beautiful. He is one of the most humble people I have met in my whole life. One of the most down-to-earth dudes on the planet. If you have anything negative to say about that dude you probably just don’t have a soul.

Q: What did the players think about it?

A: They loved it. That was something that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. He was so cool and down to earth and real. With our kids once you tell them you love them, and you’re consistent, then you’ve got their respect...

Q: You said that you are getting death threats and a teacher said that there is a lot of controversy in the school?

A: Not so much in the school. People are sending things to the school saying, “Die you Black something." They’re sending letters to the administration saying, “How dare you let those Blackies do that,” or “We’ll send them on a one-way ticket back to Africa.” I got a call last night: “You Black dirty n-word, we hope you die, you monkey swinging from a tree.” But I got to keep pushing on because the most important thing is the message. The message is, we’re tired of this. We’ve been tired of it and these young people are standing up.

Q: Are you getting messages of support?

A: On social media, the people in this community, my family, some of the people I went to college with—yes—they are definitely supporting me and I appreciate that. Mainly I appreciate the support of our kids. Like I said before, they are beautiful.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/great-debate-demonstrates-america-was-never-great-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

"Great Debate" Demonstrates:
America Was Never Great....and Has NO Answers!

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

They have no answers...but the revolution does!
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We’re told that presidential elections, and especially presidential debates, epitomize why America and its democracy are so great. That’s when people supposedly get to choose, through open and serious debate and discussion, which leader will address their most pressing needs and concerns.

Billions around the world are suffering terribly. Syria, Yemen and much of the Middle East have been turned into infernos of death and destruction, thanks mainly to decades of U.S. domination and aggression. In the U.S., Black, Brown, and Native people are being relentlessly murdered by police. There’s nowhere on the globe—including America—where women aren’t subject to abuse and dehumanization, whether modern or medieval. And the planet itself is in the grip of an environmental crisis more threatening than anything we’ve faced since modern humans first emerged 200,000 years ago.

And what did we get treated to at this most serious, perilous moment? Ninety plus minutes of lying, deceit, rank chauvinism, empty promises, self-serving manipulations, personal attacks, and bullshit trivia that made reality TV look deep and meaningful. When all was said and done, not a single real answer and positive solution in people’s interests to any of the multiple crises imperiling humanity was offered. Instead, the proposals put forward and the debate itself were designed to strengthen and legitimize the very system responsible for all these nightmares, and channel people’s anger and aspirations into its killing confines.

On one side, Trump, his racism, misogyny, and law-and-order fascism hanging out all over the place, along with his lunatic self-promotion and shameless lying and bullying.

On the other, Clinton, the “reasonable,” steady, experienced candidate, already up to her eyeballs in the blood of literally millions of people here and around the world. All smiles, she signaled to the world that she’s ready to shed more.

Treating Trump As Legitimate...What Does THAT Tell You?

If Hillary Clinton represented the interests of the people and the children, as she claims, she’d have begun by calling Trump out as illegitimate for his naked racism, misogyny, America-over-all jingoism, and law-and-order fascism—and refused to debate him. But she didn’t; she welcomed him: “Donald, it's good to be with you.” Why? Because she does NOT represent those interests. She represents the interests of the same oppressive system he does, agrees with his core objective of maintaining America’s global dominance, and is fighting to maintain this system’s legitimacy. But what kind of a system treats someone like Trump as legitimate?

And treat Trump as legitimate she did. Look at how and where she focused her attacks. Not on the horrors his program would actually bring to millions and millions, or the system Trump and his program spring from and is supported by, but on Trump the person, his “temperament,” his "erratic" behavior, his personal dealings, as if the problem here is some individual personality disorder. Did Trump get a big loan from his father? Did he pay his taxes? Had his businesses failed? WHO GIVES A FUCK? What does any of this have to do with the future of humanity?

Clinton called out a bit of Trump’s personal racism and misogyny around his treatment of a Latina who was a former Miss Universe.

But speaking of racist, oppressive treatment of Latino/as and immigrants, Clinton’s been part of and supports the Obama administration which has deported over 2.5 million people, mainly Latin American immigrants. That’s more than any president in U.S. history. What did Hillary Clinton say in 2014 when thousands of children were fleeing from gang and police violence in Central America—in part “fallout” from U.S. wars against Central American countries and rebellions in the 1980’s—children desperately seeking sanctuary in the U.S.? Clinton said they should be deported: “Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay ... they should be sent back.”

And speaking of misogyny, Hillary Clinton claims to be a defender of women’s rights, including abortion. Yet during her husband’s administration in the 1990s, and as a New York Senator from 2001-2009, she sought “common ground” with misogynist anti-abortion fanatics. She said abortion should be “safe, legal and rare,” a position she’s only recently stopped stating. This did enormous harm by putting women on the defensive and demobilizing mass resistance to these outrageous assaults.

"Achieving Prosperity"... By Plundering the World

What moderator Lester Holt called “Achieving Prosperity” was a big theme. It revolved around how Americans can have more jobs and better jobs. Hillary promised “an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top,” with “new jobs, good jobs, with rising incomes.” How to do it?  Simple—“having the wealthy pay their fair share and close the corporate loopholes.”

Trump’s diagnosis: “Our jobs are fleeing the country. They're going to Mexico. They're going to many other countries.” America is getting ripped off—China is using America as its “piggy bank.” He’s going to stop that by bringing the jobs back through massive tax and regulatory cuts and renegotiating trade deals.

Do people need to work and survive? Of course. But Clinton and Trump are spooning out poison. First, they’re training people to think only of America and Americans. Throughout the whole night there wasn’t a single expression of concern—much less outrage—about the plight of anyone outside U.S. borders, heaven forbid the actual truth about how the U.S. creates many of these horrors.

And they were lying to people about how U.S. capitalism-imperialism actually functions.

There’s no such thing as “American jobs.” Jobs are created when—and where—it fits the needs of one capitalist or another to maximize profits, gain market share, and position themselves against competitors. The system of capitalism-imperialism compels U.S. capitalists to circle the globe to exploit labor, dominate markets, and plunder resources in ruthless competition with other capitalists. This is backed and enforced by enormous military violence. This predatory system creates misery and suffering for billions around the world and is destroying our environment. Both Clinton and Trump represent this system. Its workings will mainly determine the “state of the economy,” not campaign promises.

Clinton, Trump and the rest of the ruling class know full well their wealth and power depends on global exploitation. Their crowning achievement, the U.S. high tech industry, was built by super exploiting labor in Asia—especially in China. Yet the needs of their empire and the disruptive impacts of globalization are forcing them to lie about and cover up this basic truth.

“Healing the Racial Divide”...
Law-and-Order Racist vs. Architect of Mass Incarceration and Police Terror

“Race” —in other words the very acute and increasingly acute contradiction between this system and Black and other oppressed peoples, a profound Achilles heel for this system that can only be resolved by revolution—was a big topic. “The share of Americans who say race relations are bad in this country is the highest it's been in decades, much of it amplified by shootings of African-Americans by police, as we've seen recently in Charlotte and Tulsa,” moderator Holt said, introducing the segment. “Race has been a big issue in this campaign, and one of you is going to have to bridge a very wide and bitter gap.  So how do you heal the divide?”

Donald Trump vomited out his “law-and-order” fascism, justified by phony concern for African-American communities, while blaming the masses for their own oppression. Blacks and Hispanics “are living in hell because it’s so dangerous,” he said because bad people, felons, gangs, often of “illegal immigrants” are roaming the streets shooting people. His false sympathy is another racist assault to vilify and encircle the most oppressed and justify escalating police terror. Trump didn’t utter a negative word about the police, and condemned the righteous uprising in Charlotte against their murder and terror. “Look at what's going on in Charlotte, a city I love, a city where I have investments,” he whined. Then he demanded “we need law and order in our country” —violent police suppression.

And that’s Trump’s answer: law-and-order, racist profiling and stepped-up mass incarceration and terror in the form of stop-and-frisk, and giving the police free rein. Rudy “Adolph” Guiliani is one of Trump’s snarling mouthpieces, and Trump is a big fan of the racist, murdering policing carried out during Guiliani’s tenure as New York mayor. It was “Guiliani time” when they plunger-raped Abner Louima, and murdered Amadou Diallo with 41 shots for holding up his wallet just like he was supposed to.

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

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

Right now, Trump claims “police, in many cases, are afraid to do anything.” So in the midst of an ongoing epidemic of police murder, Trump is calling for even more warfare and naked terror against Black and other oppressed people.

Hillary Clinton: Maintaining the System Through More "Effective" Police Terror

Hillary Clinton portrayed herself as someone very concerned about police killings (while taking great care to whitewash the overall character and role of that pack of racist brutalizers, murderers and liars called cops). She seems to hope everyone has historical amnesia and no one will look into her actual record. And the debate was an example of deliberate historical amnesia.

But Hillary and Bill Clinton trafficked in some of the same racist vilifications of Black people and promoted the same draconian assaults on Black people as Trump is promoting now. In 1992, Bill Clinton ran for president, in part, on the basis not only of being tough on crime but willing “to put the Blacks in their place” —including major figures at the time like Jesse Jackson. And give Hillary her due—she was a major strategist in Bill Clinton’s camp.

The Clinton administration passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which led to a doubling of the prison population and added 100,000 police. The administration militarized the U.S.-Mexico border, ended “welfare as we know it,” and ideologically vilified Black and oppressed youth as “super-predators that need to be brought to heel.” All this destroyed millions of lives, including children’s. Over four million Black children now live in poverty and hunger.

       

Has Hillary Clinton repudiated this history in the face of video after video of police murders? No! She’s apologized for calling Black youth “super predators,” but she said, “Now, I believe in community policing. And, in fact, violent crime is one-half of what it was in 1991. Property crime is down 40 percent. We just don't want to see it creep back up. We've had 25 years of very good cooperation. But there were some problems, some unintended consequences. Too many young African-American and Latino men ended up in jail for nonviolent offenses.”

Unintended consequences? Are you fucking kidding? The whole point of your crime program was locking up tens of thousands of youth! The whole point of putting 100,000 more cops on the street was to criminalize and terrorize whole generations! And now you think you can wash away all the tears, the pain, the shattered and destroyed lives by talking about “unintended consequences”?

Now Clinton claims she’s concerned about police killings. But during the debate she whitewashed the police murders in Charlotte and Tulsa by labeling them “tragedies.” She whitewashed the nature of the police, saying there are “so many good, brave police officers,” and told people they should respect the pigs, who dog and abuse them, behind the lie that someday the pigs will respect them. She called for community policing and minor sentencing reforms and more “second chance” programs.

None of this is about ending police murder and terror. It’s about trying to legitimize the police and their violence, and make it more “effective” for the system, at a moment of profound questioning and ongoing upheaval about this—one of this system’s most outrageous and  intractable crimes.

For instance, Clinton didn’t touch the much more damning example of Trump’s role in railroading the Central Park 5 in 1989—five Black and Latino youths jailed for years for a violent crime in New York they didn’t commit. Trump took out a full page ad, a modern-day call for lynch-mob “justice,” demanding: “Bring Back the Death Penalty. Bring Back Our Police.”

During the debate, there was back and forth over Trump’s defense of “stop-and-frisk.” Hillary “critiqued” this racist, draconian program as “ineffective ... It did not do what it needed to do.” But she refused to say a word about what stop-and-frisk actually did: target an entire population of Black men of all ages, especially youth; treat them as having absolutely no rights; and subject them at any time to what were almost invariably extremely abusive and threatening police searches—for any reason or no reason whatsoever.

Why not go after Trump around the Central Park 5 and stop-and-frisk? Because that would open up big questions, for millions and millions of people, about the whole criminal machinery of mass incarceration, the actual role of the police as this system’s murderous enforcers, and the ideological campaigns the rulers have consciously waged to demonize Black and Brown youth. “Super predator” Hillary Clinton—and the whole U.S. ruling class—have supported and played a critical role in justifying and expanding all this. And this system still rests on massive incarceration and police terror to maintain its rule, no matter how many duplicitous crocodile tears these mass murderers shed about “tragedies” in Charlotte, Tulsa, or wherever else their armed enforcers have gunned people down.

Lester Holt questioned Clinton on her recent comment that “we have to do everything possible to improve policing, to go right at implicit bias. Do you believe that police are implicitly biased against black people?” Clinton’s response: “I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police.”

No Hillary Clinton: police brutality and murder is NOT a problem of individual personal bias. That glosses over the reality that racism and the oppression of Black people is embedded in the deep structure of every institution of this system—from education to health care, from housing to employment, from culture to, yes, the so-called criminal justice system. It ignores how all of this was baked into the whole way capitalism developed in this country and worldwide and can only be eliminated by uprooting that system. Reducing this sordid, bloody history and present day reality to a few phrases—and only because she HAS to in the face of a mass upsurge which has raised “uncomfortable questions” for the system as a whole and the Democratic Party which has presided over much of this—does not cut it.

None of this is about ending police terror—it’s about legitimizing it and maintaining the system that cannot do other that keep carrying it out!

Vying to Be Commander-In-Chief of a Violent, Global Empire

For all his bullying and bluster, in vying over who would be the most belligerent, ruthless “protector” of American interests, it was Hillary Clinton, not Trump who spelled out the most ruthless program.

There was some back-and-forth about whether or not Trump had supported the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq—he had despite his lying denials. Nobody bothered to ask Hillary—she’s acknowledged she made a “mistake.”

But Hillary Clinton didn’t just have a bad day and cast a bad vote. For 24 years, she’s been at the center of U.S. imperialism’s wars, interventions, and machinations to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Hussein was a reactionary oppressor whose savagery had been backed by the U.S. at different points, but by the 1990's, he had become an obstacle, undermining American domination of the Middle East. It was a towering crime that she was part of causing the deaths of 500,000 children as a result of starvation and preventable disease caused by the U.S. sanctions on Iraq during the 1990s—sanctions maintained behind the deliberate conscious lie even back then that Saddam was refusing to disarm in violation of UN resolutions. He had disarmed, which the U.S. knew. That’s why no WMD were found when the U.S. and UN searched high and low after the 2003 invasion. But that wasn’t Clinton’s only crime; sanctions were part of a bigger plan to bring down Hussein’s regime which also included bombing strikes and using arms “inspections” for intelligence gathering and coup plotting. In 1998 the Clinton administration backed the “Iraq Liberation Act” and made regime change official U.S. policy. All this paved the way for George W. Bush, the 2002 vote authorizing war, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which has led to over a million deaths. Has Clinton been grilled on any of this history? No, because the rulers pretty much all supported it.

(Trump clamored that the U.S. hadn’t been imperialist enough, arguing the U.S. should have grabbed Iraq’s oil. Actually, while the war’s main strategic objectives were strengthening U.S. regional and global dominance, grabbing the oil was one U.S. objective in the 2003 war. It took the form of attempting to reshape Iraq as a U.S. client and open up its economy and vast oil fields to U.S. capital and the global market. But things didn’t work out as planned and this grand design failed, with severe and long-term consequences for the U.S. imperialists.)

Clinton continued this murderous course as Secretary of State under Obama (2009-13), highlighted by her lead role in the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime in Libya and the horrors that followed for millions of Libyans.

As if to prove the point, Clinton went on to outline what sounded like a massive expansion of spying and extreme aggression, possibly war on a global scale. The U.S. needs an “intelligence surge” she said, “looking for every scrap of information ... vacuum up intelligence from Europe, from the Middle East"—in other words massive spying on steroids. She threatened cyberwar: “We need to make it very clear—whether it's Russia, China, Iran or anybody else—the United States has much greater capacity.” She talked of escalating against ISIS in Iraq, pushing into Syria and assassinating their leaders. She refused to reject the first use of nuclear weapons, and declared the U.S.—the world’s number one bully—would stand up to “bullies.” “We cannot let those who would try to destabilize the world to interfere with American interests and security...” Clinton essentially attacked Trump from the right, declaring, “Donald is unfit to be the commander- in-chief.” Why? Because he wouldn’t give peace a chance? No! Because he wasn’t capable of effectively maintaining U.S. global domination with all the tools at its disposal at a moment when it’s under great stress and strain, and possibly facing major setbacks.

All this points to why supporting Hillary Clinton, as the “reasonable alternative” to Donald Trump is a vivid example of why Bob Avakian says “The politics of the ‘possible’ is the politics of monstrosity. To adhere to, or acquiesce in, the politics of the ‘possible’ is to support, and actually facilitate, monstrosity.”

Also see: The Deadly Logic of the Lesser Evil

Fact-checking?  What about truth-telling?

“Fact-checking” was the big theme afterward, and yes there were plenty of lies—by commission but also by omission—all the way around.

But what about “history-checking”? Have Lester Holt or any of the media brought up Trump and Clinton’s real history? Trump’s role in the lynching of the Central Park 5? Clinton’s part in the mass murder of 500,000 Iraqi children? Or doesn’t the ruling class believe in history-checkers? Or is “oops, I made a mistake,” all it takes to wipe away responsibility for the suffering and deaths of millions?

And how about truth-telling? Were there any “truth-tellers” informing the public that both sides lied about the nature of America, etc., that it was never great, that it’s a predatory imperialist power, that the oppression of Black people and women is built into the fabric of this society, and that the only way out of this madness is through revolution, and that thanks to the work of the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian (BA), which readers can check out at this website, there is a strategy to make such a revolution and a framework and blueprint for a radically different and much better society on the road to human emancipation? BA’s work and leadership stands in stark contrast to the representatives of this system like Clinton and Trump who have no scientific understanding of their own system and no answers to the horrors crippling humanity, but further horrors.

We Need to Overthrow, Not Vote For, This System

The candidates on display on the Hofstra debate stage, and the proposals, claims, and lies that came out of their mouths—a few of which we’ve had space to detail here—were ugly, horrific, and deadly for humanity.

But the whole spectacle also pointed to this system’s profound difficulties and vulnerabilities. There was the pathetic, pitiful and absurd: Trump up there going on and on about himself, his ugly American outlook on full display: No, I haven’t borrowed too much, “I'm extremely underleveraged.” Sure, I was indicted for racism in housing, but “We settled the suit with zero—with no admission of guilt. It was very easy to do.” It sounded like movie lines spoken by a petty criminal.

And think about just how nasty, vituperative, and verging on out of control the whole “debate” was. And the question Holt’s felt he needed to end with: “One of you will not win this election. So my final question to you tonight, are you willing to accept the outcome as the will of the voters?”

This ruling class may—or may not—be able to hold it together for the time being, but they are seriously fractured and getting more so, with no answers to the intensifying and intractable contradictions they face. They have a huge challenge in trying to maintain the legitimacy of their system at a time of enormous stress, when they’ve facing defeats in the Middle East. “We've lost control of things that we used to have control over,” Trump blurted out. There is deep anger among millions, and bitterness approaching open warfare within their own ranks over how to advance and hold it all together.

The worst thing anyone who yearns for revolution or a better world could do at this moment of crisis is to turn to either of these representatives of imperialism, the system responsible for this world of horrors. This debate actually pointed to the need, and—with all their infighting and acrimony—the real possibility for revolution. We need to seize on these predators’ difficulties to hasten their overthrow—not allow this system to continue chewing up humanity and the very earth we live on.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/5-take-aways-from-first-trump-v-clinton-debate-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

5 Take-Aways from First Trump v. Clinton Debate

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian on Elections

 

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.

From Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution—Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

 

1.  Lying About How the System Works...There’s No Such Thing As “American Jobs.”  The debate was an exercise in lying about and covering up how this system of capitalism-imperialism actually works. Take jobs. People need jobs. Clinton promised “an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top,” with “new jobs, good jobs, with rising incomes.” Trump argued “Our jobs are fleeing the country. They're going to Mexico. They're going to many other countries.” He said America was getting ripped off and he’d bring the jobs “back.”

There’s no such thing as “American jobs.” Jobs are created when—and where—it fits the needs of one capitalist or another to maximize profits, gain market share, and position themselves against competitors. The system of capitalism-imperialism compels U.S. capitalists to circle the globe to exploit labor, dominate markets, and plunder resources in ruthless competition with other capitalists. This is backed and enforced by enormous military violence. This predatory system creates misery and suffering for billions around the world and is destroying our environment. Both Clinton and Trump represent this system. Its workings will mainly determine the “state of the economy,” not campaign promises.

2.  Ugly Americanism Run Wild.  Everything was about America this, America that. Keeping Americans safe. Strengthening American power. Healing divisions within America. Keeping America great or making American great. The sick message: only American lives counted. There wasn’t a single expression of concern—much less outrage—about the plight of anyone outside U.S. borders, never mind the actual truth about how the U.S. creates many of these horrors. Clinton and Trump are vying to be Commander-in-Chief of America’s global empire, and are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the U.S. remains the world’s dominant power, no matter how many lives are destroyed around the world. For all Trump’s bullying and bluster, it was Hillary Clinton who spelled out the most ruthless program, including an “intelligence surge”—spying on steroids—and escalation in Iraq and Syria. She refused to reject the first use of nuclear weapons, and threatened cyber war and outright war: “We cannot let those who would try to destabilize the world to interfere with American interests and security...”

3.  Police Murder & Terror: Neither Can or Will End It.  In the segment on healing “racial divisions,” Trump called for “law-and-order” fascism under the banner of keeping Black communities safe. In the midst of an ongoing epidemic of police murder, he called for giving  the police free reign ,including through racial profiling and stop-and-frisk.

Hillary Clinton helped expand mass incarceration and police terror in the 1990s, and during the debate she defended that: “violent crime is one-half of what it was in 1991. Property crime is down 40 percent. We just don't want to see it creep back up. We've had 25 years of very good cooperation. But there were some problems, some unintended consequences. Too many young African-American and Latino men ended up in jail for nonviolent offenses.”

Unintended consequences? Are you fucking kidding? The whole point of your crime program was locking up tens of thousands of youth. The whole point of putting 100,000 more cops on the street was to criminalize and terrorize whole generations. And you think you can wash away all the tears, the pain, and the shattered lives by talking about “unintended consequences”?

Now Clinton claims she’s concerned about police killings. But during the debate she whitewashed the police murders in Charlotte and Tulsa by labeling them “tragedies.” She whitewashed the nature of the police, saying there are “so many good, brave police officers” and told people they should respect this pack of racist brutalizers, murders and liars, who she claimed someday would respect them. Her plan for community policing isn’t about ending police murder and terror—it’s about trying to legitimize it and make it more “effective” for the system.

Both covered up the truth that police murder and terror and the oppression of Black and Brown people is built into this system, and can’t be ended without ending this system.

4.  Anti-Immigrant Deporters Both.  Donald Trump is notorious for his racist attacks on Mexicans and immigrants, calling them drug-dealers and rapists. He repeated that shit Monday: “We have gangs roaming the street. And in many cases, they're illegally here, illegal immigrants...And they shoot people.”

Clinton claims to stand for the humane treatment of immigrants, but Monday she said nothing to refute Trump’s racist, anti-immigrant rant. But then she was part of and still supports President Obama’s administration which has deported over 2.5 million people, mainly Latin American immigrants. That’s more than any President in U.S. history. And what did Hillary Clinton say in 2014 when thousands of children were fleeing from gang and police violence in Central America (“fallout” in part from U.S. wars against Central American countries and rebellions in the 1980’s) and trying desperately to find sanctuary in the U.S.? Clinton said they should be deported: “Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay... they should be sent back.”

5. This System Has No Answers.  During the debate, Donald Trump’s racism, misogyny, and law-and-order fascism were hanging out all over the place, along with his lunatic self-promotion and shameless lying and bullying. Did Hillary Clinton condemn Trump, arguing that all this made him an illegitimate candidate? No. She welcomed him: “Donald, it's good to be with you.” Any system that treats someone like Donald Trump as a legitimate candidate for President demonstrates its utter illegitimacy.

Billions around the world are suffering terribly. The Middle East has been turned into an inferno of death and destruction, thanks mainly to decades of U.S. domination and aggression. In the U.S., Black, Brown, and Native people are being relentlessly murdered by police. There’s nowhere on the globe—including America—where women aren’t subject to abuse and dehumanization, whether modern or medieval. And the planet itself is in the grip of an environmental crises more threatening than anything we’ve ever faced since modern humans first emerged 200,000 years ago.

And what did we get treated to at this most serious, perilous moment? Ninety plus minutes of lying, deceit, rank chauvinism, empty promises, self-serving manipulations, personal attacks, and bullshit trivia that made reality TV look deep and meaningful. When all was said and done, not a single real answer or real solution in the interests of the people to any of the multiple crises imperiling humanity was offered. Instead, the candidates’ proposals and the debate itself was designed to strengthen and legitimize the very system responsible for all these nightmares, and channel peoples’ anger and aspirations into its killing confines.

STOP THINKING LIKE AMERICANS AND START THINKING ABOUT HUMANITY

WE NEED TO OVERTHROW, NOT VOTE FOR, THIS SYSTEM

More debate analysis at revcom.us

 

       

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/sunsara-taylor-my-piece-on-nate-parker-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

My Piece on Nate Parker Was About What's True and What's Liberating
NOT "Whose Narrative" Will Get "Privileged"

by Sunsara Taylor

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

I received much positive feedback on the article I wrote calling bullshit on the manufactured controversy about a 17-year-old rape allegation against Nate Parker that got whipped up on the eve of his new film about a powerful slave rebellion. At least one person argued, however, that I had separated, and then elevated, racial justice over gender justice.

Bullshit.

That’s not merely a complete distortion of my piece. It is a distortion that reflects an outlook imprisoned within the existing system of capitalism-imperialism—because, as long as this system of capitalism-imperialism remains in effect, the “best” you can do is to juggle the interests of different oppressed groups within this oppressive system.

Communist revolutionaries have zero interest in negotiating the relative privilege of different interest groups WITHIN this system. We do not “elevate racial justice” above “gender justice,” nor do we seek to “balance” the two. We are fighting to END exploitation and oppression IN EVERY FORM for ALL SEVEN BILLION ON THE PLANET. This can only be done by overthrowing the SYSTEM that is the SOURCE of this oppression—making communist revolution at the soonest possible time. Only then can we go to work on really digging up the roots of each of these different forms of oppression in their own right, as well as the way that these different forms of oppression have been woven into, and driven forward by, the system of capitalism-imperialism. Yes, this is possible—it is mapped out in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. Get into it!

All along the way, this requires approaching everything by first doing the work to discover what is actually true (what corresponds to objective reality). Then, on that basis and no other, acting on the real pathways for change that correspond to human emancipation. NOT picking which “narrative” we think should be “privileged” at any given time.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/shimon-peres-a-genocidal-operative-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Shimon Peres—A Genocidal Operative in the "Special Relationship" Between the U.S. and Israel

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

When former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres died on September 28, Bill and Hillary Clinton issued a statement saying Peres “championed [Israel’s] security, prosperity and limitless possibilities from its birth to his last day on earth.” In his eulogy, Barack Obama credited Peres for serving “common interests—vital cooperation that makes both our nations more secure”—but also embodying “bonds which matter most [and] run deeper” between the U.S. and Israel.

What the president, the ex-president, and the aspiring president all said was true. But not in the way they meant it.

Shimon Peres was a champion of Israel’s interests and a key player in what rulers of both countries tout as the “special relationship between the U.S. and Israel.” And he did embody the “bonds which matter most,” the shared outlook of the rulers of the U.S. and Israel. As such, Peres was a key architect, executioner, and lifelong ideologue for terrorist ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Palestinian people. And even beyond that, an enabler and enforcer of a world of exploitation and oppression with the U.S. on top of all that.

An Ethnic Cleansing Terrorist for a State Built on Ethnic Cleansing

Shimon Peres made his mark as a member of the Haganah, the militia primarily responsible for the terrorist ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages during the Nakba. The Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) was an orgy of terrorist ethnic cleansing that drove a million Palestinians from their homes up to, during, and after 1948.

During the Nakba, Palestinians were brutally forced from their land and from hundreds of villages, fleeing with only the possessions they could carry. Many were raped, tortured, and killed. Their villages and even many olive and orange trees were destroyed. When the Nakba ended, there had been 31 documented massacres—and probably others.

Zionism and its global sponsors—capitalist-imperialist powers—declared Israel was a “land without a people for a people without a land.” And as an influential ideologue of Zionism, Shimon Peres is famous for declaring that before the Zionist settlers drove out a million Palestinians, “there was nothing there.” (For background on the nature and role of Israel, see the special issue of Revolution, “The Case of Israel: Bastion of Enlightenment or Enforcer for Imperialism?“)

A Nuclear Bagman to Apartheid South Africa

By the mid 1960s, U.S. imperialism was being battered by national liberation struggles around the world, uprisings at home, and an emerging rival from the Soviet Union and its bloc (where capitalism had been restored since the mid 1950s). In that context, the rulers of the U.S. identified the potential for Israel to play a critical role as an attack dog and enforcer for their interests in the Middle East, and beyond.

From 1967 on, the “special relationship” between the U.S. and Israel has been a cornerstone of U.S. domination of a world of sweatshops, plantations, slums, and oppression. As a minister of “defense,” Shimon Peres was a linchpin in forging that “special relationship.” He negotiated one of Israel’s first major purchases of cutting-edge U.S. missiles in 1963.

Shimon Peres boasted he was “an architect of Israel’s nuclear weapons program.” But he should have given the main credit to the U.S., which green-lighted and facilitated Israel’s development of nuclear weapons in the late 1960s.

Defenders of Israel claim Israel needs these nukes to defend itself. But there is no legitimacy at all to Israel’s war machine. What defenders of Zionism call “defending Israel" is in fact defending the illegal, unjust, terrorist ethnic cleansing of Palestine. That said, how do defenders of Israel explain Israel’s long and deep military training and equipping the army of apartheid South Africa and trying to give them nuclear weapons?

In the mid 1970s, that violently white supremacist regime in South Africa was not only a vital economic source of profit for U.S. and British imperialism, it was a strategic thug in carrying out and sponsoring a reign of terror against liberation struggles and newly independent regimes in neighboring countries. Many of those movements and regimes had ties to the imperialist Soviet Union, which was contending with the U.S. for influence in Southern Africa. (In the mid-1950s, a new capitalist class systematically restructured the Soviet Union from a socialist society into a state-capitalist society, and by the mid-1970s, the capitalist-imperialist Soviet Union was contending with U.S. imperialism around the world, including in Southern Africa. See “You Don’t Know What You Think You ‘Know’ About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future,” an interview with Raymond Lotta.)

 

       

The U.S. rulers saw the rise of liberation movements and new regimes in Southern Africa—and especially the influence of the Soviet Union within them—as a strategic threat to U.S. global domination. Wars launched by U.S./South African proxies in Angola and Mozambique resulted in a regional reign of death and terror. From the mid-1970s into the 1990s, an estimated one million people died in the war in Mozambique, and the war in Angola claimed even more lives. Millions more in each country were displaced.

As much as the rulers of the U.S. needed the apartheid regime, they were up against worldwide outrage and opposition to apartheid. So Israel was assigned to do the dirty work for the U.S. In 1975, Shimon Peres—yes, that “man of peace”—met with South African Defense Minister PW Botha to work out a deal for Israel to build up a nuclear weapons capacity in service of the apartheid regime. The extent to which this secret deal was consummated remains unclear, but Israel and apartheid South Africa continued to collaborate in developing South Africa’s military technology, including nuclear weapons.

And Israel played a similar role in places around the world where the U.S. needed to outsource torture, terror, and genocide, including in Guatemala in the early 1980s (See “American Crime Case #95: Reagan’s Butcher Carries Out Genocide in Guatemala.”)

The Bloody Essence of an Israeli “Peacemaker”

The first Palestinian Intifada (uprising) erupted in the late 1980s. This was a period of sustained, heroic mass revolt by the Palestinian people, going up against bullets, bulldozers, and torture chambers. Over a thousand Palestinians were massacred by Israeli troops in the six-year period leading up to 1993. The struggle of the Palestinian people won tremendous support from people from all walks of life, all around the world. And global exposure and protest shined a light on the role of the U.S. in the slaughter of the Palestinian people, denting and disrupting efforts by the U.S. to paint itself as bringing democracy and equality to the world.

So in addition to, and in concert with outright bloody suppression, the U.S. and Israel initiated a so-called “Peace Process.” Shimon Peres was Israel’s foreign minister under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the time, and the two of them represented Israel in the “Oslo Accords,” signed in 1993.

Under this agreement, Israel transferred about 40 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority (PA). This PA territory is only about 10 percent of historic Palestine and consists of small, disconnected pieces of land surrounded by areas under Israeli control. The main roads, key water resources, and access to neighboring countries and the sea are all controlled by Israel. The Oslo agreement made no provision for the millions of Palestinian refugees living outside of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Despite the outrageous and unjust nature of the Oslo Accords, forces in the Israeli ruling class, identified with the current Prime Minister Netanyahu, saw these accords as treasonous to Israeli interests. They created a climate in Israel that led to the assassination of Rabin.

A “Special Relationship” in a World of Crises

There is no substitute for the role the state of Israel plays as an enforcer for the interests of the U.S. empire—in the Middle East and around the world. Since Oslo, the contradiction between Israel’s interests and its defining role as an enforcer for the U.S. empire has intensified. Nonetheless, today, when the U.S. imperialists face a shitload of crises, the U.S. is both stuck with and sticking by Israel. And Israel is dependent on the U.S.—diplomatically, financially, and militarily.

The high-powered turnout of “world leaders” at the funeral of Shimon Peres was, in part, a form through which both parties to the U.S.-Israel “special relationship,” as well as other global players, were pushing and pulling on the terms of that relationship. In part, Obama and the Clintons' gushing over Peres (Obama compared him to Nelson Mandela!) was a form of contending over the state of the “special relationship.”

But Shimon Peres was not a “voice for peace” or freedom. He was an architect and lifelong enabler of terrorist, genocidal, unjust wars. And he was a key link in a capitalist-imperialist system run by ghouls and monsters who have made this planet hell on earth for billions.

The fact that someone like Shimon Peres is celebrated by the “world’s leaders”—especially the rulers of the United States—as an “idealist,” a “dreamer,” and a “fighter for peace” tells you how utterly devoid of any redemption their values, and the future they have for humanity, are.

Resources and sources:

Special issue of Revolution, “The Case of Israel: Bastion of Enlightenment or Enforcer for Imperialism?”

Shimon Peres: “Israeli war criminal whose victims the West ignored,” by Ben White, Middle East Monitor 9/28/16.

“Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons,” by Chris McGreal, The Guardian, 5/24/2010.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/prisoners-in-americas-hellholes-continue-national-strike-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Prisoners in America's Hellholes Continue National Strike

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Announcing: The Launch of a Pathbreaking New Book from Bob Avakian

Read more

Get this book into the
hands of prisoners!

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.

Contact Insight Press
info@insight-press.com
773-329-1699

As we go to press, a national prison labor strike, which started on September 9, is entering its fourth week. Information is hard to confirm because of censorship and prison lockdowns, but there are reports that prisoners have participated in the strike in prisons across the country, including in Alabama, California, Florida, Texas, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington.

The USA leads the world in mass incarceration with five percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of its prisoners. There are more than 2 million people in prisons and jails in the U.S. and African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans have, by far, the highest rates of mass incarceration. This system locks up millions of people in this society for whom it has no future, and who this system fears as a socially unstable force and potential base for revolution. Many who were sent to prison for crimes they did not commit. Many who are without decent jobs or education and living in poverty, driven to crime by the workings of this system.

Mass incarceration in the USA is a crime against humanity that serves to violently enforce the needs and interests of a system of exploitation and oppression. It is significant and inspiring when prisoners find the ways to rise up and resist the barbaric, inhuman conditions they are subjected to. They do so at great risk. And anyone with a conscience must stand with them and oppose all attempts by authorities to punish these rebels.

In recent years, there have been other powerful strikes and protests by prisoners around issue including horrific prison conditions, the torture of solitary confinement, and the mistreatment and deportation of immigrants in detention centers. This past May a strike demanding an end to prison slave labor began at Alabama’s Holman, Staton, and Elmore Correctional Facilities, and then spread to at least two other prisons.

Now, this current strike is shining a light on the fact that on top of the genocidal dimension of mass incarceration, and the sadistic brutality inflicted on prisoners, nearly 900,000 prisoners in the U.S. are forced to work in jobs that pay, in some states, nothing or as little as 12 cents an hour. In Texas, inmates who refuse to work lose their privileges and are confined to their cells for 24 hours a day.

The strike is demanding a repeal of that part of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolishes slavery “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”

This strike began on September 9, the anniversary of the famous 1971 Attica Rebellion – the most powerful and significant prison rebellion in U.S. history. At New York’s Attica State Penitentiary over half of Attica’s 2,200 inmates, mainly Black but also white and Puerto Rican prisoners, seized control of large parts of the prison, taking 38 guards hostage, declaring, “We are men. We are not beasts, and we do not intend to be beaten and driven as such... What has happened here is but the sound before the fury of those who are oppressed...” Four days later police, sheriffs, park police, and the National Guard launched a murderous assault at the prison, killing 39 unarmed people.

Organizers of the current strike issued a call to prisoners to refuse to work their jobs maintaining prisons, cooking meals, and working at jobs that produce profit for the prison system and private corporations. A call for the strike said, “This is a call to end slavery in America. This call goes directly to the slaves themselves. We are not making demands or requests of our captors, we are calling ourselves to action. To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.”

Prisoners at dozens of America’s hellholes across the country had organized for months, using creative ways to communicate, including social media and the support of family members and others on the outside. [see: http://revcom.us/a/456/45-years-after-attica-rebellion-resistance-in-americas-hellhole-prisons-en.html]

Protests Erupt, Strike Spreads

Two days before the strike, starting the night of September 7 and lasting into the early morning of September 8, more than 400 inmates at Florida’s Holmes Correctional Institution rose up in a series of protests that spread throughout the compound. Prisoners worked together to disrupt ways in which the dehumanizing network of surveillance cameras and guard posts keep prisoners under constant scrutiny. As the guards suppressed one outbreak, new protests erupted in other dormitories. According to the Miami Herald, authorities re-established control “after setting off canisters of chemicals, making it hard for the prisoners to breathe.”

Then on September 9, at the Kinross Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan, prisoners assigned to the kitchen didn’t show up for work. The next day about 400 of the prison’s 1,300 inmates staged a more-than-three-hour protest march in a commons area in front of the facility’s housing units. After this, when prison authorities began going through the housing units and targeting organizers to be removed, some prisoners began damaging things. Reportedly 150 prisoners were shipped out to another prison, and Kinross remained on lockdown.

There were also reports of prisoners refusing to go to work on September 9 in three prisons in Florida—Gulf Annex Correctional Institution, Mayo Correctional Institution and Jackson Correctional Institution. And women prisoners joined the strike at the Central California Women’s Prison in Chowchilla, at the Fluvanna prison in Troy, Virginia, and at a prison in Kansas.

Authorities Retaliate

Prison officials reacted to the strike with vicious retaliation. A number of prisoner have been put on lockdown with prisoners kept in their cells, denied phone access or any way to communicate with the outside. By Wednesday evening, six days into the strike, the Incarcerated Workers' Organizing Committee (IWOC) estimated that 15,310 prisoners were on lockdown in facilities where organizing or strikes had been confirmed.

Organizers have been targeted for punishment, put in solitary confinement and in some cases transferred to other facilities. Prison authorities have imposed ominous censorship, denying prisoners access to the media to tell the truth about the conditions they face and the violence they were hit with. And for weeks now, there has been almost no coverage at all of the strike in the mainstream media.

Azzurra Crispino, the media co-chair of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee said on Democracy Now! that at Kinross, “a riot repression team came in and dragged prisoners out of their showers and out of their cells, zip-tied their arms behind their back and threw them out in the yard and left them out there for five to six hours in the rain without any access to bathroom facilities.”

A Radically Different and Better World Is Necessary and Possible

These courageous acts by prisoners pose the biggest questions about the nature of a system that brands itself as the “leader of the free world” and “the model of human rights,’ but finds it necessary to lock up more people than any other country under the most horrific conditions.

The actions of these prisoners create an opening, and a real challenge to those who see that the world does not have to be this way: to connect people with a scientific understanding of the problem, and enlist them in the solution.

How the new revolutionary society will address this situation is blueprinted in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by Bob Avakian and adopted by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party. “Article III. Rights of the People and the Struggle to Uproot All Exploitation and Oppression” includes a section “Legal and Civil Rights and Liberties.” We are reprinting part of that section on this page, and strongly encourage readers to dig into and promote the whole Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

 

       

 


 

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Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Another Outrageous Police Murder:
Alfred Olango, Unarmed Black Man Shot Down in El Cajon, California

September 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Alfredo Olango, murdered by police in El Cajon, California. Credit: Facebook selfie.

On Tuesday afternoon, police in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego, California, shot and killed Alfred Olango, a 38-year old refugee from Uganda, in a shopping center parking lot.  His sister had just called 911 for help, telling dispatchers her brother was having a mental health emergency.  According to news reports, eyewitnesses stated Olango was holding his hands up when police first tased him.  Then another cop shot him five times.  Olango was unarmed.  He was reportedly holding was a 3-inch e-cigarette.  This is yet another outrageous police murder!

From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:  Hundreds of people gathered at the site of the murder of Alfred Olango in El Cajon, a city near San Diego. The Revolution Club traveled to El Cajon to organize people into the revolution. We participated in a speak out at the site of the murder and the subsequent march that shut down several city intersections and streets. The Revolution Club distributed hundreds of the new pamphlet "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" to people from El Cajon and many others that came from all throughout Southern California and beyond. There was deep engagement with people over problem and solution. More to come.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/cj-snell-shot-five-times-in-the-back-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

CJ Snell Shot Five Times in the Back for Driving with Temporary Plates

Murdering Pigs on the Rampage – Time and Past Time to Get Organized for An ACTUAL Revolution

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

CJ Snell
CJ Snell

Saturday afternoon, October 1. Los Angeles pigs murdered 18-year-old Carnell “CJ” Snell Jr. They murdered him for being a Black man, in South Central, driving in the middle of the afternoon, with temporary license plates. And for running for his life when they pulled him over. People on the scene say the police shot CJ five times in the back. Witnesses told reporters Snell was running with his hands up and was telling officers to not shoot him. In other words, the pigs murdered him in cold blood.

To add degrading obscenity to murder, police at first refused to allow CJ’s mother, who was at the scene, to see her son, as he lay dead or dying on the street in handcuffs (video here).

Immediately an angry crowd gathered, blocking the intersection near where CJ was shot, disrupting a police news conference and confronting a line of police in riot gear. “People are fired up and can't take it anymore,” one woman said.

CJ’s former teacher posted this on Facebook:

Just learned that the police killed one of our former students 3 hours ago. Carnell was trying. Im afraid of what he felt. Im afraid of my numbness. Im afraid of the rage that stays on the tip of my tongue. Im afraid of Carnell's life being reduced to a hashtag. Witnesses say that his hands were up when he was shot in the back. He will always be more than what the LAPD considers as disposable.

He made my day everyday. He made all of our days. He was 18.

Rest sweet, Carnell.

Murdering pigs are on a rampage in the United States. In just the past two weeks: Charlotte police shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott for waiting to pick up his child coming home from school. Tulsa police murdered Terrence Crutcher for peacefully backing away from police with his hands up. Police in El Cajon, California, murdered Alfred Olango for having a mental health crisis. Columbus, Ohio police shot down 13-year-old Tyre King for being a Black child playing with a toy gun. And just two days ago, the pigs in Pasadena murdered Reginald “Junior” Thomas. He was a father of eight with a mental condition. He was tased and beaten to death.

Why do they do this? Because when police carry out random terror and murder, they are doing their job. They are violent enforcers of a system of exploitation and oppression. That is why they brutalize, terrorize and murder, over and over and over again ... and get away with it over and over and over again.

Investigations? Commissions? Body cameras? Conferences? Voting? None of that does shit.

So what do we do?

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... 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...

—from “A Basic Point of Orientation” at revcom.us.

Come to the website www.revcom.us and find out “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” and what we need to do now. Find out more and get organized into this revolution.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/458/rahms-only-answer-to-violence-among-the-people-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Rahm's Only Answer to Violence Among the People—Ratchet Up State Violence Against the People

From the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Chicago Branch

September 26, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Chicago, December 2015

Chicago, December 2015. (Photo: FJJ)

Chicago is known around the world for two things. One, for its murdering, lying, racist, cover-up-plotting, defendant-torturing pigs. Witness the video of Laquan McDonald, shot 16 times in cold blood by a Chicago cop, and the attempts by the pigs involved, the “police review” board, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the police department, the state’s attorney, and every level of the so-called justice system to cover it up. Two, the city is known as the murder capital of America. So far this year, there have been over 3,100 shootings and over 500 murders concentrated in the poorest, most destitute communities.

On September 22, Emanuel presented his vicious new blueprint to address the second thing (“gun violence”) while trying to chill out the outrage over the first (police murder) and draw people into collaborating with the police. His program overwhelmingly rests on hiring 1,000 more cops to boost the total police to over 13,000—beefing up the very police force that killed Laquan McDonald and many more people, and that daily terrorizes, degrades, and suppresses the people whose lives are already made a living hell by this white supremacist system. All this while nothing has changed since the McDonald murder video was released. His murderer has been charged but is walking around free. None of the other cops have been charged. Only a month ago the police murdered Paul O’Neal and videos showed the cover-up in progress minutes after he was shot. More police terror—this is the only answer of this system.

Stop Police from Murdering People

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Emanuel wants to use the fact that people are very upset that every day people are killed in gang-related shootings to pull people back into having faith in the system and actively strengthening their reactionary genocidal program against the youth. His speech issued a deadly call for the “Chicago community” to come together as “partners” with the police. NO WAY! There can be no partnership between the enforcers of oppression and the people they oppress; it would only mean joining the brutalizing system in cracking down on the people and intensifying their oppression. The police are the enemy of the people. Their role, as Bob Avakian has said, “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.”

This plan is not neutral, it is very harmful. It identifies all 7,000 of the 8th, 9th and 10th grade boys from 20 of most impoverished neighborhoods and puts them into a program that keeps track of their “progress.” This has Orwellian Big Brother and even potentially genocidal implications, tracking the names and vital information of every single male youth and a record of their school attendance and ranking, arrests, and imprisonment. A handful of youths might get some opportunity to find a way into college or a job, while the vast majority are ground up in the meat grinder and with this program put even more directly under the thumb of a state that has nothing for them but more and more oppression and worse.

Emanuel did reveal one true thing in his speech: “I see kids who have a look in their eyes of hopelessness.” While admitting that there are many neighborhoods with desperate poverty, no jobs, no stores, nothing for the youth, he did not blame the structural racism that has locked them out and locked them down. He did not blame the blind workings of the capitalist system, which has moved the jobs that Black people used to depend on out of the city or automated them out of existence. He did not blame the conscious policies—including his own policies of slashing schools and social services, and destroying public housing—that have reinforced this oppression and often made worse pre-existing conflicts among different “sets.” He did not talk about the whole legacy of this rotten system and its history, including the vicious segregationist past and present of Chicago in which Black people were murdered en masse in 1919 for daring to use a “white beach” and in which even up to a few decades ago Black people were attacked by mobs for daring to move into “white neighborhoods.”

BAsics 1:13Tweet this | Find out more about Bob Avakian here

So, in fact, it is this system of capitalism-imperialism that is the cause of generations of youth who are born into a situation where their hopeless future is determined before they are born. The workings of this system force Black and Latino people into ghettos and barrios where the conditions of life are desperate. These conditions push many into crime to survive, and the system forces people into competition with each other and “models”“ the dog-eat-dog morality that serves that. Then the police come in as an occupying army, brutalizing and murdering the people, sending huge numbers off to prison, or setting them up to fight and kill each other. These are the “choices” that this system presents to the youth to choose from.

No, Emanuel, we will not let you try to turn it around and put the blame on the youth and their supposed lack of training in “character” and “morals” and “making good choices.” This shit about “character” and “morals” is coming from the very mayor who has enforced the racist policies that have taken the hope from these kids! What is Rahm Emanuel’s “character” in shutting down 50 schools and half of the community mental health centers a couple years ago, and a month ago laying off 1,000 teachers, school counselors, and nurses? The character of ruthless hatchet man for the system enforcing poverty and hopelessness! What are the morals of this mayor who knew about the police murder of Laquan McDonald, covered it up for over a year, and then when the court ordered the video to be released, threatened dozens of ministers and community activists that if they didn’t stop the people from rising up in their neighborhoods he would cut off the funding to their food and social programs? A shameless liar and sneak. And what kind of role model was Emanuel himself in his role of chief of staff of the Obama administration with its wars, its drone strikes, its support of Israeli criminal attacks on Palestine, etc.? A model war criminal.

Do the youth need better models? Do they need to break with the madness of fighting and dying in mayhem against each other, instead of organizing for an actual revolution against the system that has set them up like this? Yes, absolutely—and we, the vanguard, are working on that problem right now, challenging people to NOT fall into the system’s traps and to aim their anger at the source of the problem and get organized into the revolution. (See “Defiance and Protest Since Police Murder of Paul O’Neal.”)

This is a communist revolution to emancipate all of humanity and it takes up a liberating morality that serves that goal. (See “Points of Attention for the Revolution.”) As Bob Avakian says in BAsics, the youth that have gotten caught up in terrible things today are capable of GREAT things, and “it is the responsibility of those who are the vanguard to lead the masses to realize this potential.” With leadership and a lot of struggle for them to realize their revolutionary potential, they can stop fighting each other and start fighting the system. Their anger and daring and defiance need to be channeled into getting organized for an ACTUAL revolution to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time. We can aim for no less. There is the leadership for a revolution in Bob Avakian, and the party he leads—the Revolutionary Communist Party. There is a serious strategy for revolution—see HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution and the Message from the Central Committee of the RCP, USA “Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution.” Get your hands on these messages now at www.revcom.us. Read them, and get them out everywhere.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/second-black-man-having-mental-health-crisis-murdered-by-southern-calif-police-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Second Black Man Having Mental Health Crisis Murdered by Southern California Police in Less Than a Week

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

Candlelight vigil for Reginald Thomas at Pasadena City Hall, September. 30, 2016. (Photo: Walt Mancini/The Pasadena Star-News via AP)
Candlelight vigil for Reginald Thomas at Pasadena City Hall, September 30, 2016. (Photo: Walt Mancini/The Pasadena Star-News via AP)

Just three days after El Cajon cops murdered Alfred Olango, a Black man having a mental health crisis, Pasadena cops murdered Reginald Thomas, another Black man struggling with mental illness, early Friday morning, September 30.

This outrageous murder is similar to the murder of Olango. Both men were having a mental breakdown episode, and 911 was called for help. The help they got was a death warrant delivered and executed by the brutal, murdering cops who answered the plea for help.

When the cops arrived at the residence of Reginald Thomas, a 36-year-old father of eight, Thomas had a fire extinguisher and a knife in his hands. The cops tased Thomas twice and then, according to Thomas’ partner, Shainie Lindsay, who has four children with Thomas and is pregnant with their fifth, the cops beat him with their batons and kicked him. Lindsay tearfully told KTLA News that “They was wrestling with him, was kicking him in the head and beating him with the baton stick. Then, after that, they was doing CPR and then he was dead.” She said, “He called the police on himself.” Lindsay said that he was bipolar and was ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘out of it’ at the time. “He was a good father,” she said, and “he just wanted help.”

Residents of the neighborhood took to the streets and sidewalk this morning (September 29) around the Thomas-Lindsay residence demanding to see the video and shouting at the cops. One man angrily shouted out, “Stop sacrificing Black men.” As I’m writing this, the local news is showing several dozen protesters, Black and white, out in the street, protesting the murder of Reginald Thomas.

How many more are going to be murdered before we put an end to this horrendous system? This shit has got to stop right now and people need to be out in the streets and learning about becoming a part of this revolution when the Revolution Club is on the scene.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/rally-for-iggy-and-alfredo-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

September 28

Chicago Revolution Club and others fill the courtroom to demand: DROP the CHARGES NOW against Iggy and Alfredo!

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Courthouse steps
Holding t-shirt at Iggy and Alfredo's hearing
At court for Iggy and Alfredo, September 28.
Meme for Iggy

On Wednesday September 28, members of the Revolution Club and supporters rallied outside the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago before the court hearing for David “Iggyflow” Rucker and his co-defendant Alfredo Reyes. Both face felony charges of assaulting a police officer after THEY were in fact brutalized by the police at a powerful demonstration against the police murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner in December of 2014. A decorated van circulated in the area before and during the hearing with signs demanding DROP ALL THE CHARGES NOW. Wearing T-shirts with the names of different people murdered by the police, we entered the courthouse. Not sure what to expect, we got in line to go through the search and metal detectors openly displaying the shirts. We had agreed ahead of time not to let them stop us. To our surprise, they didn’t even try to stop us. We were joined by several activists against police murder inside the court room. When the case was called, 10 people stood up, most wearing the shirts, to represent for Iggy and Alfredo. We remained standing the whole time. We plan to return to the court house at least once a week to organize people into the revolution by getting into “How We Can Win—How We Can Really Make Revolution” and to continue to demand justice for Iggy and Alfredo.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/american-crime-case-78-operation-wetback-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

American Crime

Case #78: "Operation Wetback"—1954-56

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian recently wrote that one of three things that has "to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this." (See "3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.")

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.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 


“Operation Wetback” was a U.S. government program of mass deportations of Mexican workers in the early 1950s. Above, Mexican officers guarding deportees awaiting train into Mexico at the Mexican side of the border.

THE CRIME: Beginning in June 1954 and continuing in one form or another through the summer of 1956, the U.S. government carried out a military-style campaign of round-ups and deportations of Mexicans living in the United States. They called it “Operation Wetback,” after the openly racist term for Mexicans and Mexican immigrants—”wetback”—first invoked to slander immigrants who crossed the Rio Grande River.“Operation Wetback” drove 1.3 million immigrants from the U.S., tearing apart immigrant families and terrorizing and decimating entire communities, especially in California, Arizona, and Texas. It intensified racial divisions and stoked the fires of hatred against Mexicans and immigrants for years to come.

With the launching of the operation, Border Patrol agents in California and Arizona, and later in Texas and other states across the country, reinforced by units from other areas, set up roadblocks, boarded trains, and cordoned off neighborhoods demanding to see people’s papers. At the outset of the campaign, 3,000 a day were rounded up. In the first three months alone, 170,000 were detained. Suspected “illegal aliens” were picked up on farms and other places of work, were turned over to immigration agents by employers, or were arrested by local police on vagrancy charges and held for the Border Patrol.

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

Learn more about BA here

According to someone who lived through the experience, “In Los Angeles, in the center of the city, no one was shopping to buy anything, because of the raids. They [the INS] were grabbing people and deporting them. There were people with and without papers. There were family members who had their papers, but didn’t have them with them at that moment and they were taken away.” But there were no hearings or due process for those seized.

Immigrants were loaded onto trucks and dumped in border towns like Mexicali, Nogales, and Nuevo Laredo in the sweltering heat of summer with little provision for their survival. According to one historian, some 88 “died of sun stroke as a result of a round-up that had taken place in 112-degree heat, and [an American labor official] argued that more would have died had the Red Cross not intervened. At the other end of the border, in Nuevo Laredo, a Mexican labor leader reported that ‘wetbacks’ were ‘brought like cows’ on trucks and unloaded fifteen miles down the highway from the border, in the desert.”

Calculated efforts were made to instill fear and encourage “self deportation.” Some deportees had their heads shaved, marking them in case they tried to cross back over the border. Others were put on trains and buses, ships and planes and sent deep into the interior of Mexico without regard to their places of origin. Thousands of immigrants were brought to Port Isabel, Texas, and packed into filthy cargo ships bound for Veracruz, Mexico. An investigation compared one of these vessels to “an 18th century slave ship.” On one trip, 500 were packed on the Mercurio, a ship meant to hold 90. Conditions were so bad 40 immigrants jumped overboard, with seven drowning, sparking a rebellion aboard the ship.

The INS claimed it drove 1.3 million immigrants from the U.S. through the summer of 1954. It boasted that hundreds of thousands left the country because of the fear that racist propaganda and heartless actions had generated. Whether or not the INS figures are exact, it's clear “Operation Wetback” brought widespread suffering, anguish, and by some estimates, hundreds of deaths.

THE CRIMINALS:

President Dwight Eisenhower (1952-1960) and Attorney General Herbert Brownell. They conceived, advocated, and organized “Operation Wetback.”

Lt. General Joseph Swing, a veteran of the U.S.'s 1916 invasion of Mexico (an unsuccessful campaign to hunt down the revolutionary nationalist leader Pancho Villa) and head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Swing organized "Operation Wetback" as a military-type campaign. He claimed that an "alarming, ever increasing flood tide" of undocumented migrants from Mexico constituted "an actual invasion of the United States." He boasted that "Operation Wetback" was a "direct attack . . . upon the hordes of aliens facing us across the border."

       

THE ALIBI: The advocates for “Operation Wetback” claimed that “illegal” immigration was undermining wages and robbing U.S. citizens of jobs, while driving up costs in health care and other social services. They claimed that the border was out of control, immigrants were pouring across, and the INS was helpless to stop them. The INS claimed that immigrants had “criminal tendencies.” In the words of one official, “because the ‘wetback’ starts out by violating a law . . . it is easier and sometimes appears even more necessary for him to break other laws since he considers himself to be an outcast, even an outlaw.”

Popular pictorial magazines, weekly news publications, and newspapers had paid little heed to the generally miserable conditions of Mexican workers in the fields of California, Arizona, Texas, and elsewhere. Yet in the months prior to “Operation Wetback,” they began to show intense interest in the “dramatic influx” of “illegals” and their impact on American life. “This week,” wrote Time magazine in its April 27, 1953 edition, “wetbacks were seeping across the border at a record breaking rate—two a minute, day and night. ‘Like ants,’ said Chief Patrol Inspector Ed Parker. ‘They’re swarming over the deserts like ants.’ U.S. Attorney General Brownell warned, ‘wetback smuggling’ has mushroomed into a grave social problem involving murder, prostitution, robbery, and a gigantic narcotics infiltration...a malignant threat to the growth of our society.’”

“Operation Wetback” took place during the Cold War clash between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and anti-immigrant hysteria was also being fanned by “red scare” rhetoric. The acting immigration commissioner told a House subcommittee in 1953, “A harvest of dangerous byproducts from the seemingly harmless invasion by illegal aliens is now in the making. Who can say that communists and subversives do not cross the Rio Grande?”

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE: The purpose of “Operation Wetback” was to maintain tight control over Mexican immigrant labor, whose super-exploitation was the backbone and foundation of the economy in the Southwest. It also aimed to prevent this workforce from rising above the level of near-slavery by settling down and becoming part of the civil, social, and political life of the region and helped to maintain white supremacy overall.

Soon after Texas, Arizona, and California (along with other states) were seized from Mexico in the war of 1846-1848, a labor system was set in motion which relied on immigrant labor. By the 1920s, Mexico became the preferred supplier of labor in the expanding agricultural industry in the U.S. Southwest. Due in large part to American domination and exploitation of their homeland, conditions for peasant farmers and workers in Mexico were so horrendous that hundreds of thousands were willing to endure great abuses so their families could survive. The INS and Border Patrol were not developed mainly to “defend” the border, but to regulate the labor supply—opening the border “gates” when labor was needed, driving workers out when not.

A more structured labor system came into being in 1941 when the U.S. negotiated an agreement with Mexico for a program of contracted labor called the Bracero Program. “Bracero” means arm, and that’s how U.S. capitalists treated immigrant workers—not as human beings but as bodies to be ruthlessly exploited. “Braceros” were contracted to work in the fields and rail yards, often paid only 50-60 percent of the prevailing wage, and obligated to leave the U.S. when their contracts ran out. Conditions for “braceros” were so terrible that many escaped from their contracting employers and sought work elsewhere in the fields, or in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. Even without papers, they became more settled and part of U.S. society and more connected to existing Mexican-American communities than the short-term and closely controlled “braceros.”

The growth of Mexican communities in the post-World War 2 era, along with a period of economic downturn in 1953, created a clamor for controlling the flow of undocumented immigrants. “Operation Wetback” was aimed at driving out workers who were not contracted as braceros, while stopping, and reversing, the growth of these non-white communities.

Even as immigrants were being rounded up, U.S. authorities made sure the supply of cheap, vulnerable labor was maintained. One goal of “Operation Wetback” was to round up thousands of undocumented workers and “convert” them into “braceros,” a process labeled “drying out the wetbacks.” Meanwhile, the number of “braceros” brought into the U.S. actually doubled (from 148,000 to 298,000) in the over two years that “Operation Wetback” was in effect.

Sources:

Juan Ramon Garcia, “Operation Wetback”: The Mass Deportation of Mexican Undocumented Workers in 1954 (Greenwood Press, 1980)

Kitty Calavita, Inside the State: The Bracero Program, Immigration, and the I.N.S. (Quid Pro Books, 2010)

Richard D. Vogel, Stolen Birthright: The U.S. Conquest and Exploitation of the Mexican People, (Houston Institute of Culture (http://www.houstonculture.org/hispanic/conquest.html)

Interview with a veteran of the Bracero period, May 1995

Mae M. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton University Press, 2004)

Handbook of Texas Online, Fred L. Koestler, “Operation Wetback,” accessed September 28, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/pqo01.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/458/revolution-interview-high-school-civics-teacher-lee-francis-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Revolution Interview:

High School Civics Teacher Lee Francis Punished for a Living Lesson in Flag Protest

September 26, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Revolution Interview is a special feature to acquaint our readers with the views of significant figures in art, theater, music, literature, science, sports and politics. The views expressed by those we interview are, of course, their own, and they are not responsible for the views expressed elsewhere in Revolution.

Lee Francis
Lee Francis

Lee Francis is a civics teacher at Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. On September 19, as part of a lesson on the First Amendment, he stepped on the U.S. flag—which became a huge incident in the media. As part of the lesson, he mentioned the 1989 Texas v. Johnson Supreme Court case that established that burning a U.S. flag in political protest is protected speech.

When Gregory “Joey” Johnson—the defendant in that Supreme Court flag-burning case—heard about Lee Francis, Johnson immediately contacted him. In Cleveland this July, Joey Johnson with the support of the Revolution Club burned the flag outside the Republican National Convention—saying in response to Trump’s “Make America great again” poison that “America was NEVER great” and that “It’s always BEEN first: at genocide, at slavery, exploitation, destruction of the environment, torture, coup d’états, invasions... we’re standing here with the people of the world today.” Joey Johnson and others were brutally assaulted by the police and arrested for this legal political protest. There is a campaign now to demand that the charges be dropped against Joey Johnson and the RNC 16.

The following is Joey Johnson’s interview for www.revcom.us with Lee Francis, edited for publication.


Joey Johnson: Hi, Lee, How are you?

Lee Francis: I’m fine.

JJ: Could you describe what you did?

LF: I was teaching a lesson leading into the American Revolution and, the long story short, I took out the flag as kind of a teaching tool. We were talking about Texas v. Johnson, about some of the founding documents that would lead to the American Revolution and would lead to the documents that would be the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights and to the Constitution. So we’re teaching about those things, and I pulled out the flag. And I placed it on the ground, and I just stepped on it somewhat gratuitously. And immediately two students stood up and walked out of the room, and the second student comes over to take the flag as he leaves.

JJ: And about how many students were in the class?

LF: There was a total of about 26 students in class.

JJ: And what was the response of the rest of them, the other 24? (laughs)

LF: Actually a very positive response. We actually continued the discussion after the two students left and I had a very good discussion with them tying it to a lot of issues that we’re facing today as far as freedom of speech and some limitations on that. I received emails, and Facebook notes, and letters from students who had even been interviewed and they said, we stand by him and we understand what the lesson was.

JJ: So you said the response from the class overall was positive—they didn’t have the knee­jerk rejection of it that these two students did.

LF: That’s correct.

JJ: What inspired you to take this particular approach?

LF: It was really something that was really more spontaneous. Students didn’t know that there were other forms of speech outside of what could be written or what could be spoken. And so, harkening back to the [Texas v. Johnson] case where the flag was in flames, I said you could even step on the flag, and this is an example of symbolic speech, freedom of expression. And so it wasn’t something that I sat down and spent a week planning to do, or saying now I’m gonna use this particular flag, and do it this particular way. It was a very spontaneous teachable moment that I noticed my kids, for the majority, comprehended and understood and appreciated.

It really was something that was a spur of the moment, spontaneous teaching moment that was politically charged and definitely was not meant to be offensive to anyone. And it’s unfortunate that a lot of the military community find that the act was offensive. But what really my intent was, was to give a teachable demonstration, a visual demonstration, of what other kinds of speech, as Americans, we are afforded. And in that regard, it is ironic that I had been labeled a “terrorist” and called “un­American.” Someone had gone as far as to say that I was a “pedophile” because I had “harassed” children. And so it wasn’t anything that was politically charged, or anything that was really thought out beyond that moment of teaching.

JJ: All of that is really outrageous. They’ve brought you up on disciplinary charges, suspended you from school at this point, right?

LF: Absolutely. I am suspended with pay and that can extend up to 90 days. [Editor’s note: Toward the end of their conversation, Lee Francis received a phone call informing him that he would be suspended for 10 days without pay.] The ironic thing is that the district attorney, who I spoke to, denied filing charges and has said I was well within my rights to do what I did, so my question is why the suspension? I am not sure what ground the suspension falls upon... I’m not sure what grounds termination falls upon. I don’t know the justification for any of this. And based on what I have read in my notice of suspension, and even in the meeting that I’ve had with several folks involved in the central office, no one is actually able to clearly define what I did wrong. And so I am questioning the grounds for suspension and all of these things as they come.

Attorney William Kunstler (right) and Joey Johnson (second from right) in front of U.S. Supreme Court during arguments presented in a historic legal and political battle to defend the right to burn the American flag. Photo: AP

JJ: I really wanted to reach out to you as soon as I heard about this. There was an article, a press account that said you were pivoting off the decision in Texas v. Johnson, my Supreme Court case, which was a victory that was hard fought for. And what’s happened to you is just more evidence of it being frequently violated, even though there’s a Supreme Court decision. In my case it says there’s a right for people to do what’s called symbolic speech, and that is to burn the American flag in protest, or to step on it for that matter, or to do things with it artistically that provoke people’s thinking in terms of the content of the symbolism. But there’s still in over 40 states criminal statutes against “flag desecration” or use of the flag in protest. I just think it’s completely outrageous what happened with you, for somebody demonstrating a right that has been upheld by the Supreme Court, for giving a living civics lesson, you know, and they want to punish you like this. I think it would be important for you to talk about what you had mentioned before—the death threats and other intimidation and what’s been going on around that.

LF: Absolutely. I actually started receiving threats as soon as I found out that the photo and the post went viral. [Editor’s note: One of the students who walked out of class had taken a picture and posted it on social media.] I was out of school. This was probably late Monday evening that I realized that there was an issue. I received death threats from those in the military that are currently serving in the military. I have received death threats from all over the country—from Nevada, Boston, Alabama, Louisiana, every state you can imagine, I received death threats. Just last night, I received a death threat that had my address and my phone number, my contact information. The newspaper has printed some of the death threats that I’ve received. And it’s unfortunate that that’s the way people feel that they can get their point across. It’s very unfortunate that not only myself has received death threats, but my students have received death threats. Others in the school system have received death threats and that’s unfortunate. That’s very inappropriate. Because this was never intended to offend or disrespect anyone.

I have most respect for our men and women in the military. I come from a very long line of military family. I find it a bit ironic that we can celebrate 9/11 and the chorus/refrain “never forget.” But when we talk about the issues of Native Americans, or that Blacks are facing in the country at the hands of the police, or the women that are being raped on a daily basis and their rapists are walking free, the song changes to “when are you going to get over it”—we have a child molester in Fayetteville and he’s walking around—these are the larger issues out there that really need to be brought to the forefront. The flag as it is, is a piece of fabric. The larger issues are the issues of racism, are the issues that are tearing at the fabric of this country.

JJ: What’s the reality of what that cloth, that symbol, is flying over? Myself, I think people in the military need to be told the truth just like everybody else. What the U.S. has been doing in the Middle East is not a glorious cause. It’s been a war for empire. There’s millions of lives that have been shattered in a whole arc of countries from Afghanistan to Tunisia, from Somalia to Syria. It’s over empire. And people’s lives don’t mean anything, including all those people who have died for the empire, you know. Soldiers need to be told the truth about what they’ve been fighting and dying for. I just think that’s important.

What you’ve done has provoked an enormous conversation not just in Fayetteville. I very much feel it’s linked up with what’s happened in Charlotte over the last several nights, the uprising of the people there against yet once again another blatant police murder of a Black man, of Brother Scott. It’s just outrageous, man, that they’re trying to subject you to this kind of harassment and terror, and intimidation. I am really glad you are not succumbing to it and not being cowed by it, intimidated by it, but standing up and taking this back out to society and arguing and having a big societal conversation and debate and struggle over it.

LF: It does get to the fact that there are larger issues. I never intended to be on this stage. When I did that lesson, I was expecting to have a good discussion and come back the next day and talk about something else. But now that I’m here, I think it would be irresponsible of me not to really talk about, and to bring back to the forefront of our lives that the issue is much bigger than the piece of cloth. And with all due respect to that symbol, and for how people see it, we have to realize that we have to value human life, and we don’t. Innocent children are being shot and killed by police, and women are being raped and told to get over it.... There was an incident I believe at University of Chapel Hill where a football player was accused of raping a young lady, and she has been trying to get justice for months. And they have quietly pushed her aside. It’s very unfortunate that these are issues that people refuse to talk about.

JJ: I think it would be interesting if you talked about how you started out as a Young
Republican, going to an all-white school.

LF: Yeah, you know it’s funny, this young man [Editor’s note: Lee is referring to the student who took the photo of the flag lesson and posted it], this rabble-rouser, has been hailed now as a patriot... and everyone is saying that this is the kind of role model we need... I was in an all-white school. I was a member of student government; I was president of the Republican organization for two years. But I didn’t know anything. It was a way for me to fit in. It was a way for me to make friends. It was a way for me not to be singled out as one of the Black kids in an all-white school. So it was interesting that I had this perspective, but it wasn’t until I got to college, to graduate school, that I really started reading things by Althusser, Foucault, bell hooks, and Judith Butler that are really talking about a different issue and my paradigm shifted.

JJ: Is there anything that you want to say about what you want people to do to support you?

LF: Continue spreading the message. Get on Facebook and talk about these issues that are affecting people—not just talk about the flag, but that are really affecting people, that are changing lives, that are destroying lives, as we’ve seen in Charlotte, as we see in Tulsa. We need to stand up and make sure that our voices are being heard. If a presidential candidate can walk out on Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and not lose a vote we shouldn’t just sit down and be okay with that. We got to stand up and not be afraid to stay there and not back down. First Amendment, must defend it.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/flash-arrests-in-protest-of-police-murder-of-cjsnell-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Flash: Revolution Club Members & Others Arrested in South Central LA Protesting Murder By Police of "CJ" Snell, Jr.

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Update Tuesday October 4:
All were released last night after much misinformation and dragging out the process.  Thank you to everyone who made calls for the release of the Revolution Club members and friends and family of CJ Snell.  More reporting to come soon on ongoing protests.

 

FLASH: Two members of the Revolution Club in Los Angeles and two other people were arrested in South Central protesting the murder by police of Carnell “CJ” Snell, Jr.

Call the 77th Precinct to demand their immediate release 213.473.9308 and contribute to the bail fund HERE.

People righteously took the streets for the second night in a row. CJ was 18 years old, shot in the back five times as he was running away from murderous pigs. Witnesses say he had his hands up and that he was alive for 20 minutes with an ambulance nearby which the pigs wouldn't let through. They wouldn't even let his mom near her son's dead body.

The Revolution Club has been out in the streets, uniting with friends and family, activists and others from all over the city. We've been standing together as we took the streets, stayed in the streets and refused to back down in the face of an army of LAPD and sheriff pigs with batons out, helicopters above, bean bag rifles in hand. We've been getting out the message, How We Can Win—How We Can Really Make Revolution.

We waged a lot of struggle about the role of the police among people in the neighborhood. Even as there's a deep anger, there's confusion about what the police actually represent. We pointed to the Stolen Lives banner and talked with people about where the genocide against Black and Brown people comes from, why it can't be ended within the system and why this system needs to be overthrown... that it will take an actual revolution and this—pointing to the new statement—is how we win. These got in a lot of hands and we got more deeply with people who are serious... and let people know we'd be back tomorrow to go even more deeply.

Some of us hit the ground in South Central coming directly from the protests in San Diego against the murder of Alfred Olango (more on this to come)... and as we were in the streets, the pigs murdered another man in South Central, just a few miles away. His name hasn't been announced yet but he was a young Latino man and a witness said he had his arms down, and they killed him with no warning.

The LAPD—along with pigs across the country—are on a fucking rampage and it's truly time and past time that we get organized for an actual revolution... and that's what we're in the streets to do.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/Los-Angeles-demand-the-release-of-revolutionaries-and-others-held-for-protesting-police-murder-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Urgent: Demand the Release of Revolutionaries and Others Still Jailed for Protesting Police Murder

October 3, 2016 10 pm | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Update Tuesday October 4:
All were released last night after much misinformation and dragging out the process.  Thank you to everyone who made calls for the release of the Revolution Club members and friends and family of CJ Snell.  More reporting to come soon on ongoing protests.

 

Urgent! As of the night of October 3, members of the Revolution Club and two other women who were protesting the criminal murder of Carnell CJ Snell are STILL in police custody! Call the LAPD 77th Precinct at 213.473.9308 NOW to demand they be released IMMEDIATELY. One woman is supposed to be let out without bail and the bail has already been posted for three others. But the vicious police are dragging this out in what can only be understood as preventative detention and punishment for having stood up against the police's murderous actions.

See also: Flash: Revolution Club Members & Others Arrested in South Central LA Protesting Murder By Police of "CJ" Snell, Jr.

 

These four were arrested last night righteously standing up against this cold blooded murder... they were arrested just hours after the LAPD from a nearby precinct murdered another 18 year old, whose name has not been released.

The police are on a murderous rampage! It is right to stand up against this—and everyone must have the backs of these revolutionaries and protesters.

Those in custody include two members of the Revolution Club, CJ Snell's cousin and neighbor and close friend. This is an outrage that can no longer be allowed to stand!

Call the 77th Precinct NOW (213.473.9308) spread the word throughout all society. Contribute to the bail fund (need to raise $400 more to cover the bail): https://www.crowdrise.com/revolution-club-los-angeles-emergency-fund

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/Cornel-West-invites-you-to-book-launch-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Cornel West Invites You to Book Launch of THE NEW COMMUNISM

October 4, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Posted Monday October 3 on Cornel West's Facebook page:

I invite you to join me and Carl Dix in launching Bob Avakian's pathbreaking new book The New Communism on Saturday, October 8 in Harlem at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library This event is for everyone agonizing about the state of the world and hungering for fundamental change. After, join us for a celebration and reception down the street at Revolution Books to raise funds to get BA's work more widely known. #theNewCommunism

RSVP & get tickets here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1128928543850115/

 

From Twitter:

Join me Sat Oct 8 w/ @Carl_Dix talking about Bob Avakian's new book#TheNewCommunism 1:30pm @SchomburgCenterhttps://t.co/Mwk2amGG0f

— Cornel West (@CornelWest) October 4, 2016

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/message-from-carl-dix-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Message from Carl Dix: "You Need to Be in the House for This Book Launch"

October 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following letter from Carl Dix was sent out by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

Friends,

Carl Dix and Cornel West at the Republican Convention

Over the last few months I've been in Baltimore when the prosecutors failed to convict even one cop for killing Freddie Gray; in Baton Rouge and Charlotte when people rose up in mass protest at the killings of Alton Sterling and Keith Lamont Scott were murdered by police. Every day there's another person murdered by the police—3 in the last several days in southern California alone.

In almost every case, the killer cops get away with murder, and get no punishment. This needs to be met with powerful resistance, as we did with #RiseUpOctober last year in NYC, and I will be there on the front lines with you, as always, going forward.

But the truth is that police terror is built into the fabric of the capitalist/imperialist system, and it cannot be ended without getting rid of this system thru an actual revolution, one that overthrows the system and puts a totally different and far better system in its place.

I know the conventional wisdom is that revolution isn't possible because the system is too powerful and the people are too messed up. But this isn't true, and anyone who wants to see the way police get away with murder, and all the other horrors this system inflicts on humanity, ended once and for all has to grapple with the question of the necessity for and possibility of revolution.

A great way to grapple with that question is to get a copy of THE NEW COMMUNISM by Bob Avakian. I am a long time follower of Bob Avakian, and I can tell you he's devoted his life to addressing everything that stands between humanity and its ultimate emancipation. This book speaks to why revolution is both necessary and possible, how a revolution could be made in a country like this and the kind of world that could be brought into being through revolution.

Cornel West and I are going to be part of a launch for THE NEW COMMUNISM doing commentary about it on Saturday, October 8 at 1:30PM at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. If you are in New York, or can get there, you need to be in the house for this book launch.

Order THE NEW COMMUNISM

The Bob Avakian Institute co-sponsors...

Buy Tickets Now for Bob Avakian Book Launch

The launch event will be livestreamed through a public link at the website of Revolution Books, New York. The video of the program will be available after the event at the same site as well as at www.revcom.us. Group viewings are organized in Baton Rouge, Berkeley, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and Seattle.

Finally, I'd like to hear from you on what you think about THE NEW COMMUNISM, so write me with your feedback about this important book.

Sincerely,
Carl
PressOffice@carldix.us

 

October 8 promo image

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/homicidal-pigs-murder-joseph-mann-in-sacramento-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

"I'm Going to Hit Him!" "Go For It! Go For It!"
Homicidal PIGS Murder Joseph Mann in Sacramento

October 4, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

It’s another video of murder by police that is obscene, outrageous, and infuriating. Watch it.

On July 11, the Sacramento, California pigs murdered Joseph Mann like they were hunting for sport. Or like they were playing a fucking video game. A newly released dashcam video of the murder begins with a pig yelling, “Fuck this guy” while police roll up on Joseph Mann, terrorizing him with their cars and sirens. “I’m going to hit him,” one of them yells. “OK! Go for it! Go for it!” yells another of these homicidal pigs as their car bears down on a mentally ill Black man. And when they didn’t hit Joseph Mann with their car, the police chased him down and blasted away at him 18 times—hitting him 14 times.

If this isn’t premeditated MURDER what is?

Joseph Mann was a homeless Black man in need of mental health care in a capitalist-imperialist system that has no place for him, and millions more—human beings whom this system would just as soon see dead.

You’ve read it at this website before, but the following gets more urgent every day:

What do we do?

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 ... 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...

—from “A Basic Point of Orientation

Come to the website www.revcom.us and find out “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” and what we need to do now. Find out more and get organized into this revolution.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/prisoners-on-THE-NEW-COMMUNISM-BA-and-Ardea-Skybreak-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

Prisoners on THE NEW COMMUNISM, BA and Ardea Skybreak

Updated November 7, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


 

Prisoner Writes on Bob Avakian’s THE NEW COMMUNISM:

“I have read and reread the great work and am now using it with other comrades in our study groups”

The following is an excerpt of a letter from prisoner:

THE NEW COMMUNISM is yet another great scientific work produced by Bob Avakian. The most well rounded materialist of our time. This is the most comprehensive, most in-depth work yet. I love how he, in the most simplest terms, dissects not only the problems that the world faces at the hands of capitalism-imperialism, but also details in very real and meaningful ways, what we as communist revolutionaries face in our struggle as emancipators of humanity. But most important of all is how in this single book Chairman Avakian outlined what is meant by “new communism.” While explains why a new communism is indeed necessary in order to emancipate humanity. I have read and reread the great work and am now using it with other comrades in our study groups. EVERY WORK by Chairman Avakian should come with a study and discussion section. Great book and truly, its content is revolutionary in the most fundamental sense of the word. Thank you for sending me the copies and thank you Chairman Avakian for putting so much into emancipating humanity.

In Struggle,


From a prisoner in California:

Please send me the soft-cover version [of THE NEW COMMUNISM] & I should be writing soon in regards to your request. But for the record I think the talk is pretty heavy, gives a good overview of communism, its missteps, setbacks, triumphs & present day state of affairs. But most importantly the book & the new synthesis in general is a great place to turn to in regards to how do we go about challenging ourselves & others to confront & dismantle u.s. capitalism & build a "new stage" of scientific socialism internationally.

As I also stated previously Skybreak's book SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION is just as vital & she clearly uses the new synthesis & her scientific grasp to plunge a mighty dagger in the monsters gut & I know how important it is for her and the party to promote the leadership of B-A & I believe this is rightly so...But I also believe her voice is just as urgent even if not just as heavy. But speaks volumes to who & what the party is. So im screamin' both B-A & Skybreak to all who will listen.


From a prisoner:

I would like too start off by giving thanks to Mr. Bob Avakian and the PRLF volunteers. I appreciate the PRLF for reaching back out. To take time out of yall day to help spread the word and help uplift those who might feel forsaken by their people, or who's looking for a better way of life.

By reading articles and books I can understand yall point of view. Which drive me to want to learn more and be as much of the help. To take the literature that I learn and share it with others.

More of my issues is the people, and what I mean when I say the people, is that they are lost and have no idea what's going on around them. They rather sit around and blame other people for their problems and do nothing and how can I blame them, I was once that way. Until I meet a brother by the name XXX. Who told me all about Revolution. I then learned that we shared a lot of the same thoughts.

So for those who are waiting for the time to stand for something, I would like to be of help. To do this I will need all the literature that I can receive. So to name a few, 1. Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, 2. Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, 3. Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, 4. Science and Revolution, 5. BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, 6. Break ALL the Chains.

I'm also on my way home


From a Black prisoner:

Insurrectionary love!!... One of my comrades just tossed me the August 15, 2016 edition of Revolution and I am really impressed with BA's piece: THE NEW COMMUNISM. I grappled with thoughts of revenge myself but BA put that shit in proper perspective for me as well as a couple of other points....RCP's publications are all bammin' thru like a ma'fucka!! Subs to Revolution as well as books such as BAsics and other publications are desperately needed here. I resisted the hell out of BA for some years now. But now I'm forced to get into the line he's pushing and get DEAD SERIOUS ABOUT REVOLUTION. Help me, help the youth bring about a CHANGE.


Excerpted letter from prisoner in California, August 16, 2016:

I will continue to let others know, that getting a copy of the book is very important to understand why we need communism, and also how very important it is to destroy the capitalist system. I've shared my xerox copy with 3 other revolutionaries who by now should've written you for one of there own copy. As you know we New Afrikans inside this prison diaspora practice scientific socialism as our world view, and by so doing, have laid the foundation for others to follow. I can see the transformation of peoples values and ideas change around this practice, and it can only increase as the understanding of destroying capitalism develops. I look forward to hearing from you volunteers regularly, and I will try to submit more articles for you to put on your website.

In struggle,
From California


       

From a prisoner:

I hope that everyone in the Party is doing well. I remember when I dreamed of paroling and joining the Party, but now my dream is coming closer to materializing into reality. When I am released, one of my priorities is to work with the Party, because had it not been for a member of the Party like Ardea Skybreak, I would not be as advanced in science and evolution as I am today.

And I know if an older man like me can learn about evolution and science, imagine what a young child in the inner cities could learn in their life span? You see, for me, the ship has sailed. But my legacy is an altruistic legacy, and that is to teach a young inner city child something about evolution and biology and that child goes on to be a scientist or doctor etc. Then my mission would be well done.

In addition, would you please send me Science and Revolution. And once again thank Ms. Skybreak for changing my life by teaching me so much. When Revolution comes Ms. Skybreak should be in charge of scientific education.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Excerpted letter from prisoner in Indiana, September 14, 2016:

Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund...

Greetings Comrade. I am writing to acknowledge that I received the book BAsics by Bob Avakian you sent me and wanted to thank you for such a gift. Having already a copy of the book I knew what a jewel it is. Reading Mr. Avakian's view on some of the most important issues of our time has brought me a lot of insight on the world in which we live. Like all of you I too recognize the inherent contradictions of this capitalist society and the need to organize ourselves to bring about revolutionary change in the nature of our conditions. As a New Afrikan prisoner who has spent the past twenty five years incarcerated, railroaded for the attempted murder of a pig (police officer), I can definitely relate to the message and good work you all are doing out there. It was after reading BAsics that I first reached out to you and started receiving your monthly newspaper "Revolution", which has open my eyes to the large and diverse community of activists out there working to prepare for the day when the people will be ready for a real revolution. Being a conscious minded prisoner activist naturally I was excited and wanted to join all of my comrades in order to do my part. Yet I realize I don't have to wait till I am set free here within the next few years to take action. Why not educate and organize those around me to wake up and realize their conditions and the power we have to effect change.

Force to grow up in prison over the years through serious deep soul searching I've been able to transform my mind-set from petty criminal to one of social consciousness. With this new state of mind came with a desire to challenge the conditions of my confinement. For the past few years I've been at constant odds with the pigs who run this slave camp and the entire administration has nothing but contempt for me....

Year by year we are being stripped of every meaningful program and opportunity which is replaced by superficial ones that while looking good on paper doesn't offer us anything useful in the area of marketable job skills. Though I realize your organization preach no participation in the system at all, the reality is that people in here are so program that it is hard to get them to see the system as illegit. And if you even mention the possibility of doing away with that system they look at you as if you're crazy. We gotta first bring to light the contradictions then demonstrate why it is that those contradictions exist and explain the only way to rid ourselves of them is to do away with our oppressor. So that is why I do the work I do because my mission is to free our minds from the chains that lock them into the slave like conditions that they find themselves. To be effective at this requires not just dedication on my part but the support of the community out there I am a part of, the revolution community. It is with this purpose in mind to hope that we can build a relationship beyond me being just someone on your mailing list. I would like to correspondence with those amongst you who are willing to share and supply information I can use to help educate my fellow prisoners. I also need help in getting out the word on the abuses taking place behind these walls for if I expose them they won't be able to blatantly continue to do it.

Below you will find a list of other books I am interested in as you requested I supply you with. Like with all literature I read there are books and I pass them around so that others can receive the knowledge as well. One more thing before I go. Do you have any back issues of the Revolution with that "Stop Murder & Terror By Police" and the faces of some of those murdered by police? If so I would love a copy of that if you don't mind. Thanks once again for everything and I look forward to hearing from you all soon.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/459/how-this-system-works--and-why-it-must-be-overthrown-en.html

Revolution #459 October 3, 2016

How This System Works—And Why It Must Be Overthrown

Updated November 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

(Note: This is a shorter version of the original article, that people can duplicate or use to read aloud with people. Download PDF for printing this statement.)

 

Capitalism is a “mode of production”—the specific way that society is organized to produce and distribute the necessities of life.  Billions of people worldwide work collectively to produce these necessities.  Yet the means of producing this wealth are privately owned and controlled by a much smaller ruling class, the capitalist-imperialists.  These capitalists exploit the billions on the planet who own no such means and must exchange their ability to work for a wage, or search desperately for some other way to survive. 

The capitalist-imperialists on top set the terms for all of society, including the hundreds of millions “in the middle” who may own a small business, or work as a professional, a manager, a teacher, etc.  And these capitalists compete with each other, in a ruthless, expand-or-go-under struggle to stay on top.  On the basis of that ownership and the control over the wealth that comes with it, the capitalist-imperialist class dominates politics, culture, and ideas—and builds up a massive machine of repression and military might to maintain its rule.   They use forcethey dictate tothose who do not go along with those terms.  And they fight with each other over how to rule.

All the forms of oppression today—one people or nationality dominating another, men dominating women, the senseless wars of plunder—benefit these capitalists, either economically or politically.  At the same time, attempting to uproot these sources of outrage, abuse and oppression would NOT benefit these capitalists.  The social upheaval that would result would disrupt all of society, including production.  The resources needed to heal the scars of oppression, or on the other hand, to stop the destruction of the environment, would be vast, and would cut into “profitabililty.”  And these oppressive structures actually economically benefit the capitalists in many ways—through forcing oppressed people to work for less, taking advantage of their conditions to “skin them twice” (using discrimination in lending, for instance, to charge extra high mortgage rates to Black people).  Because of this, the system keeps them going.  

Even more important: the capitalists could not solve these problems even if they wanted to. 

Here's why.  Capitalism “works” and can only work through the competition of one capitalist, or bloc of capital, against another.  Each capitalist must pursue profit and more profit.  To do so, they must carry out production ever more efficiently and cheaply, on an ever larger and more technologically advanced scale, and exploit the workers at their command as thoroughly and ruthlessly as possible.  If they do not, some other capitalist will seize the opening and drive them under. 

This compulsion to expand or go under underlies and has ultimately driven every crime of capitalism.  It drives and shapes every change in the way people work and go about their daily lives.  But it is blind, and out of the control of society.  Today, with the development of capitalism into the worldwide system of imperialism, the shark-like dynamic plays out on a worldwide political scale, in gangster-like wars of one power against another. 

The point is this: even if somehow one set of capitalist-imperialists were to be convinced, against all their “bottom-line” interests, to agree to the social upheaval needed to abolish and transform the oppression that mark and dominate this society; and even if these capitalists could be convinced to redirect the necessarily massive resources in an attempt to solve these problems... they would, very immediately, run up against the very way this system works: eat or be eaten.  They would be crushed. 

This is how the economic and political system we live under works.  These are the rules of the game.  For these reasons, in order for humanity to breathe freely, nothing short of, and nothing less than, a revolution against capitalism-imperialism—a revolution which defeats and dismantles the institutions of violent repression which capitalism-imperialism deploys for its protection and expansion—is absolutely necessary. 

 

 

Additional Readings:

"Preliminary Transformation into Capital"... And Putting an End to Capitalism

Excerpt from The New Communism, “Through Which Mode of Production” 

Naomi Klein’s “This Changes Everything” vs. Actually Confronting the Climate Crisis

Everyone's Talkin' About Inequality—Let's Talk About the System Causing It
Lesson from Bangladesh