Revolution #463, October 31, 2016 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Week Two of the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour—
Lessons, Transformations, Challenges

by Sunsara Taylor

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Noche speaking at the rally, October 29
Noche Diaz, October 29

There was no denying the power of the revolutionaries on stage on October 29 for the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour rally in Chicago. Noche Diaz convened the rally, welcoming and giving confidence to everyone in attendance that they were in the right place if they yearned for a better world. The Revolution Club marched and chanted, attracting the attention of passersby and giving notice that they were fighting for revolution to emancipate the billions of people whose interests they represent. A member of the Chicago Revolution Club spoke about Noche, how deeply he is loved by the people but viciously hated by the enemy. She exposed the two arrests he had already suffered in the last week, read the statements of support that had come in from Chuck D., Dr. Cornel West, and Edward Asner, and called on everyone to stand with him when he defies the University of Chicago ban on him this Tuesday.

Carl Dix called out the ongoing genocide and crimes being carried out by the U.S. government up at Standing Rock in North Dakota, challenged people to see how this—and many other outrages—are rooted in the nature of capitalism-imperialism, and exposed the sham and harm of U.S. elections. He spoke deeply about the kind of person and the kind of leader we have in Bob Avakian and the importance of everyone taking up the scientific approach he has forged. This speech gave everyone a deep sense of the urgent need for revolution, as well as the basis for it and the tremendous strengths we have in our leader, Bob Avakian, and the strategy and approach he has forged.

Then, the Revolution Club stepped to the stage to read the full statement, “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.” This was powerful. The Club had stayed up late into the night rehearsing this reading the night before, but it was much more than rehearsing. They were wrestling with the meaning of the statement, each paragraph and almost each sentence. As individuals, but above all as a collectivity, they were getting inside the meaning and the dialectics of it, internalizing the strategy and approach captured in it in a much deeper way. On stage, the totally audacious and deeply scientific nature of this statement came alive, as did the real feeling of a collective force dedicated to carrying it out.

The culmination of the rally was the induction of the Chicago Revolution Club as official members of this Club and leaders of the masses in revolution. Leaders of the national tour spoke about what it means to take up the responsibility to join the Revolution Club, to consciously study and apply the science of revolution that has been advanced by Bob Avakian, and to fight to advance this revolution in the world. They recognized the transformations and forging that has gone on with members of the Revolution Club here in Chicago and the importance of them being upheld publicly and looked to by masses for leadership. They called on new people to rise to the challenge of joining the Club officially and on members of the Club to advance to joining the Party. Then, the members were presented with official Revolution Club Member patches to sew onto their RevClub T-shirt, and they stepped forward to become official, recognized members of the Revolution Club. Everyone present erupted in applause.

A Shortfall in Turnout—A Challenge to Solve

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

But, just as the power of the content and collective strength of those on stage was undeniable, so was the fact that the turnout was far less than what we had aimed for. Despite a lot of receptivity and interest in the neighborhoods among the masses, very few new people showed up for this rally. This matters because, as stated in “HOW WE CAN WIN, making advances in this now has everything to do with hastening—and having a real chance to win in—a future revolutionary situation.

In THE NEW COMMUNISM, Bob Avakian writes of accumulating new forces and then wielding them to have an even greater impact, on that basis accumulating even more forces and impacting on an even higher level, and again and again. This is a dynamic we have not yet mastered and which we must urgently put ourselves to. At the same time, the potential for this is palpable every time we go out. We are working to make a deeper analysis of this, and—on that foundation—to identify the pathways to build on the beginnings we have made. There is a lot we are still working to sift through, correctly understand, and build on.

Every time we’d been out with revolution into the neighborhoods of the most oppressed, we had connected powerfully with people, inspired and drawn many to checking out and beginning to engage the revolution. At least five times, the Revolution Club had posted up to observe police when they were fucking with youths and others in the neighborhood. Every time, this made a very big impression on friend and foe alike.

       

The last time, the revolutionaries were engaging deeply with a group of masses on a corner when pigs rolled up to assess the scene and test out the revolutionaries. The Revolution Club got in disciplined formation and the scene grew tense as folks from the neighborhood watched. A member of the Revolution Club pulled out a bullhorn and let loose: “These pigs want to know if we are going to talk to them, but we don’t talk to live animals! These pigs roll into these neighborhoods. They shoot and beat and murder our youth. They enforce the system of oppression.” But she wasn’t just fearless, she was disdainful. Reconsidering her statement that “no one should talk to live animals,” she added, “Except maybe horses, they’re kind of cute.”Everyone on the corner fell out laughing. Then they began lining up alongside or directly behind the revolutionaries.

The agitator continued, “We are the Revolution Club and we are getting organized to make revolution and to overthrow their whole system and bring into being a new system and new world into being.” The pigs tried to flip the situation by insisting that the revolutionaries “aren’t from the neighborhood.” A Black man who had recently buried his teenage son who was killed in gang violence would have none of it. “What are you talking about?” he answered back. Gesturing to an older white revcom, he said, “This is my step dad!” Again, the masses erupted in defiant laughter. When the pigs finally left, a woman went up to the revcom on the bullhorn and gave her a huge hug. Then, she proceeded to hug every single person wearing the “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” T-shirt. The whole experience was one of joy and defiance.

This is just one taste. There were many other engagements to sift through. Folks were drawn to and inspired by our agitation about the full liberation of women, bringing alive the nightmare inflicted by this system on immigrants, by the vision of a nationwide revolution organizing tour. People opened up to us about many things, including the feelings of revenge—feelings some were fighting to resist but which still filled their hearts—over loved ones who had been lost in gang violence on the streets and we struggled over this. By the day of the rally, posters for the rally were up all over several neighborhoods—including many that had been put up by people from the neighborhood who had taken stacks.

A relatively small, but significant, group of people we had met had begun to go through the process of becoming an official member of the Revolution Club. Yet, there is still a pattern of people hanging back, not fully joining in or following through.

It’s worth noting that, despite the fact that we hadn’t yet broken through on accumulating and organizing new forces into the revolution, the enemy was clearly worried about—and trying to prevent—this potential. Twice in less than a week we’d been assaulted and arrested; once when we had a permit to be in the streets but were still walking on the sidewalk, and once when we were peacefully on our way out of a campus building after making an announcement. Plus, four members of the NYC Revolution Club were arrested in this same period and the police were a clear and watchful presence throughout our rally on the 29th.

One thing we are fighting to master more fully is how to take on these attacks from the enemy in a way that rallies even more forces to step forward into the revolution, both on the level of new people themselves deeply engaging and get involved with this revolution and spreading it, as well as on the level of fighting for the right of the revolutionaries to function unassailed.

Other things we’ve summed up are that, especially in the beginning, we weren’t enough bringing alive the full scope of the revolution and why it is needed, and on that basis waging sharp enough ideological struggle to get into this revolution. There is almost certainly more we need to learn and sharpen up in our approach to this still. Also, we have summed up that we are still under-utilizing the “HOW WE CAN WIN” pamphlet, both in our work to recruit people and in the broadest projection of this revolution from the very start. The rehearsed, collective reading of this pamphlet is something we want to do more of—on street corners, in schools, and in other formats.

While we are still in the process of fully synthesizing our first couple of weeks on this year-long tour, a few things can be said at this point: We have a real beginning, we are getting a more scientific understanding of the terrain and the work it will take to make the necessary breakthroughs and of what we have yet to learn and struggle through, and it matters a great deal that we have a stronger, more scientific, and more dedicated core of people going to work on this problem together.

 

 


 

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Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

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Get this letter to everybody you know:

U of Chicago Police Viciously Assaulted & Arrested Revolutionaries On Campus TODAY, Don't Stand By!

Read and get the letter


To find out how to support the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour in Chicago with financial, legal, public opinion support, call: (312) 502-7485 or email GetIntoTheRevolution@gmail.com

For Press inquiries, contact: jessiedavis60@gmail.com

 

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Defy University of Chicago and Chicago Police's Ban on Revolutionary Communist Noche Diaz!

October 28, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

Download PDF of this article

 

The University of Chicago and Chicago police have banned Noche Diaz from campus under threat of arrest.  This is illegitimate and will not be respected.  Noche Diaz will speak on campus Tuesday, November 1, and you must be there—to hear what the University is trying to suppress and to have his back.

3:00 pm Tuesday, November 1
JOIN US AT THE CENTER OF THE UC QUAD
Come Hear Noche Diaz on University of Chicago Campus
Defy the campus and Chicago police ban on who and what ideas you can engage

University of Chicago has made headlines across the country this year for its insistence on free and open speech.  They insisted they would not allow students to “shelter” themselves from any idea.  Yet, on October 26, the University of Chicago and Chicago police violently assaulted and arrested Noche Diaz, a member of the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour, for revolutionary speech inside a campus cafeteria.  A student assaulted Noche and another RevCom, but it was Noche and other RevComs who were attacked, injured, and arrested by police at the request of campus administration.

Not satisfied with sending a young woman to the hospital after police punched and elbowed her in the chest above the heart and in both shoulders... not satisfied with violently arresting Noche Diaz as he was peacefully leaving the building on his own... not satisfied with pressing charges against Noche that carry a full year in jail... the University of Chicago and Chicago police issued Noche Diaz with permanent ban and threat of arrest if he even sets foot back on University of Chicago campus property ever again.

What was Noche Diaz speaking about?  He was calling out the crimes of the system we live under—the ongoing murder by police of Black and Brown people, the U.S.' wars and drone strikes on civilians in the Middle East, the violence and degradation of women, the attacks on immigrants, the destruction of the environment—and he was challenging students to get into THE NEW COMMUNISM that has been brought forward by Bob Avakian, into the revolution that can emancipate all of humanity.  Students need to hear this message!

The ban on Noche Diaz—under threat of arrest—for engaging in peaceful speech on campus is completely illegitimate.  It is a chilling threat to all to “stay in bounds” in their thinking, their scholarship, and their lives; “Think, discuss and act on anything you want,” the message is being sent, “as long as it doesn't challenge the fundamental assumptions of the system of capitalism-imperialism which is ruling over you and billions worldwide through brutal and murderous force.”

Do NOT let this go down!  The University and Chicago police are sending a message designed to chill, intimidate, and silence.  Come hear what Noche Diaz has to say and be part of sending a different message, that we will not let them silence revolutionary voices.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/462/U-of-Chicago-Police-Viciously-Assaulted-Arrested-Revolutionaries-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Updated October 27, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Get this letter to everybody you know:

U of Chicago Police Viciously Assaulted & Arrested Revolutionaries On Campus TODAY, Don't Stand By!

Read and get the letter


From Cornel West: "I stand with my brother Noche Diaz and my comrades in Chicago who were arrested and beaten by the Chicago police! They have a right to bear witness for justice and deserve humane treatment!"

From Edward Asner:

Dear President Zimmer,

Are the University of Chicago police now acting as representatives of the city of Chicago?  Freedom of speech, a basis of the United States and customarily universities, broadens that principle even more.  As a former University of Chicago student, I protest the mauling of Noche Diaz and the young girl who was punched.

What's wrong with the University of Chicago President Zimmer?  Has it been Trumpized?  To habitually roust Noche Diaz and others is a crime as you are betraying the ideals of what a university should be.  Drop the charges against Noche Diaz.  Don't cheapen or betray the University of Chicago image!

From Rev. Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Ph.D.: "I stand with my friend and fellow New Yorker Noche Diaz who was arrested and beaten by Chicago police! He has a right to free speech and should be treated with respect. Together we can work for an equitable, safe and sustainable world."

From Chuck D: @MrChuckD: @Noche_RC bringing more logic than your candidates


To find out how to support the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour in Chicago with financial, legal, public opinion support, call: (312) 502-7485

For Press inquiries, contact: jessiedavis60@gmail.com


Email the President of the University of Chicago to demand that the Get With The Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour be allowed on campus, that the charges against Noche Diaz be dropped, and that the university take responsibility for any injuries sustained by people bring this message of revolution to the campus.

Robert J. Zimmer
The University of Chicago
5801 South Ellis Ave., Suite 501
Chicago, IL 60637
president@uchicago.edu

Chicago Police Department
51st and Wentworth
(312) 747-8366


Contribute funds for the Get With The Revolution Tour to continue and maximize its reach and effect. Legal fees, travel, materials—all the kinds of ways for this to reach out even further in the face of these attacks. Get in touch with the Tour at: (312) 502-7485 or GetIntoTheRevolution@gmail.com

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Revcom.us received the following from the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour 2016-2017. Find out more about the tour HERE.

Download PDF of this flier HERE.

U of Chicago Police Viciously Assaulted & Arrested Revolutionaries On Campus Wed Oct 26.

Will YOU Stand BY?
Come Hear What they are Determined to Suppress:

Thursday, October 27
6:30 pm at Cox Lounge
Sunsara Taylor & Carl Dix

“America Was NEVER Great! We Need to Overthrow, Not Vote for, This System!”  This was the message being delivered by Noche Diaz, of the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour, moments before he was violently assaulted and arrested by University of Chicago Police as he was peacefully leaving Campus North Residential Commons.  Police assaulted others, sending one young woman to the hospital.

This is now the 2nd attack on this national tour, and on Noche Diaz, in 5 days.  The first attack was on Sat., at the October 22 demonstration against police terror and mass incarceration, where police on the scene actually violated the permit that had been issued earlier in the week for a march in the street, and jumped on people while they were on the sidewalk.  Then today, while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was speaking on campus, the Revolution Club was engaging U of C students in discussion and debate and verbally exposing the actual character of John Kerry as a war criminal, citing not only the whole history of the U.S. in that region but the current onslaught against the civilians of Yemen which has been backed to the hilt by the U.S., Chicago police again attacked the club (and yes, the U of C police ARE a branch of the CPD) and in this case, after they had let Noche go and he was walking away, they suddenly reversed course and one of the pigs said, “We were told” to arrest him. 

This is an attempt to suppress the message about the true nature of America, the character of this election, and what actually has to be done—a revolution—and a tour to ORGANIZE PEOPLE around this message.

This police attack on people bringing the message of revolution to campus: was intended to keep this message, this analysis, this solution from students—preventing any critical discourse, consideration, and yes activation towards a whole other way the world could be.

Nobody should tolerate this.  And everybody should engage with this message.  What IS going on in this world—with literally millions of people driven from country to country as refugees, in large part through decades-long actions by this state department that John Kerry represented (and Hillary Clinton represented before him)... where right outside the gates of the campus in the communities of Englewood, South Shore, Woodlawn, and beyond there is the genocidal program against Black people whose spearpoint is mass incarceration and police terror... where an openly fascist (and a blatant and unapologetic misogynist) is running for president and is being treated as a legitimate contender and is being opposed by a war criminal... where the earth itself is burning up... at such a time and place, the University of Chicago administration, their security forces and the Chicago Police Dept. want to keep even the idea of revolution from its students. 

To the students at U of C: the administration, for all its talk about allowing ideas to flourish and contend, wants to suppress you being able to hear about, discuss, and get involved with understanding WHY the terrible problems of this world can NOT be remedied by the very system that caused them... HOW a revolutionary society could actually deal with these... and HOW that revolution could be made.  They want to keep you from the new synthesis of Communism—THE NEW COMMUNISM—that has been developed by Bob Avakian.

If you are ok with all that, if you are okay with not even checking out the possibility of a whole different world, then fine... turn away and revel in your ignorance... and your complicity in the crimes now being carried out in your name.

But if you are outraged by what is happening in the world, if you agonize about the future, then you need to raise your voice and demand that the Get With The Revolution Tour be allowed on campus, that the charges be dropped, and that the university take responsibility for any injuries sustained by people bringing this message of revolution to campus.


GET INTO THE REVOLUTION ORGANIZING TOUR IS TRAVELING THE ENTIRE COUNTRY, ORGANIZING TO OVERTHROW THIS SYSTEM AT THE SOONEST POSSIBLE TIME.

Carl Dix is a courageous freedom fighter from the 1960s who became a revolutionary fighter and a communist.  Dix spent two years in military prison for refusing to fight the unjust Vietnam War.  He became a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party and is a follower and advocate of the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian.  Together with Cornel West, Dix co-founded the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

Sunsara Taylor is an ardent follower of Bob Avakian, a fighter for his leadership and the new synthesis of communism, and actual revolution.  She writes for Revolution (www.revcom.us) and has led resistance to this system's wars of aggression, against police terror and mass incarceration, and against all forms of enslavement and degradation of women.  Taylor is the key founder of End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women.

Come out Thursday, 6:30 pm to Cox Lounge.
And go to www.revcom.us to find out more.

For video of the arrest and assault, and to follow the tour: @SunsaraTaylor

Press contact: jessiedavis60@gmail.com


Watch videos from University of Chicago:

.@Noche_RC message as Chicago police arrest him 4 revolutionary speech at @UChicago #revcom http://www.revcom.us .

@Noche_RC arrested at @UChicago by Chicago Police. He was peacefully challenging students to relate to revolution.

Police assaulted @Noche_RC at @UChicago. He's walking peacefully & pigs AGAIN twist arm, shove face.

He's leaving. Pig: "doesnt matter we were told 2 arrest him." Violent suppression of revolutionary speech @UChicago

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/stop-the-arrests-and-attacks-on-revolution-club-at-ccny-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

STOP the Arrests and Attacks on the Revolution Club at CCNY!

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Friday, October 28, four members of the Revolution Club, NYC were arrested at CCNY—the CCNY 4! Their arrest came just two days after Noche Diaz, of the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour, was violently assaulted and arrested by University of Chicago Police. And it came in the context of a larger fight over whether ACTUAL revolution will be on the map in a world of intensifying horrors and crises

The Revolution Club—and others―will be back on campus Thursday, November 3, and you must be there—to hear what the university—backed by its campus police—is trying to suppress, and to have their backs.

Date/Time: Thursday, November 3, 12 noon

Location: North Academic Center (NAC) Building, Convent Ave. off 138th Street

Subway: #1 to 137th Street; A, C, B to 135th Street

Singing “We are the revcoms, the mighty, mighty revcoms!” four Revolution Club members disrupted lunch as usual on October 28 in the cafeteria of the City College of New York. They challenged students: “America was NEVER Great! We Need to Overthrow, Not Vote for, this System” and to connect with the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour, which is traveling the entire country for a full year to recruit and organize thousands into the revolution, getting ready to overthrow the system of capitalism-imperialism at the soonest possible time.

And most important, they challenged students to get serious about the fact that there IS A WAY to go against this, to organize for an actual revolution, and the leadership in Bob Avakian—leadership based on a scientific approach to know and to change the world. They were organizing with the message HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,that a radically different and far better world is possible—and they, the students, have a role to play in this.

Within minutes they were detained and arrested. For nearly two hours they were badgered to falsely incriminate themselves (the Club members stuck to the principle of “don’t talk” to police). They were taken to the Manhattan Detention Center (the Tombs) and denied water for hours. One Club member was denied medicine. Prison authorities threatened to send one woman to the psychiatric ward at Bellevue Hospital for exercising her supposed right to remain silent. They were charged with criminal trespass and held in the Tombs for over 24 hours, overnight in police custody.

Criminal trespass!? For what? In point of fact, the Revolution Club members were attempting to leave campus when they were detained. But beyond that, this charge is outrageous. CCNY is a public university. It brands itself as a place that “nurture(s) the reasoned expression of dissent, including the right of peaceful protest.”

When students and faculty protested putting former CIA director and war criminal David Petraeus on the faculty, the college responded: “We defend free speech and we reject the disruption of the free exchange of ideas.” But when the Revolution Club went into the cafeteria at CCNY challenging students that the world does not have to be this way, that there is a way out, all that bullshit about free speech, free exchange of ideas, and expression of dissent got exposed for what it really is: the “right” of the administration and the system they serve to indoctrinate students with lies and promote war crimes, while sealing students off from the most scientific and unflinching exposure of this system and the real solution.

The Revolution Club was challenging students to raise their heads. To get off the deadly path of finding a place within this system. To get with the revolution, because that’s what humanity needs. They sharply posed crimes of this system, including the ongoing assault on Standing Rock and the epidemic of police murder. And there is a way out through an actual revolution.

This is a moment in history—when a fascist and a recidivist war criminal are running for president, when whole regions of the world are engulfed in reactionary wars and terror, and so much more—when students need to hear this. And, it is a time when students are being confronted by events here and around the world that pose the question of what they need to do with their lives. At the time the Club members were grabbed by campus security, students were applauding their message in the cafeteria.

The arrests at CCNY for engaging in peaceful speech on campus are completely illegitimate. It is a chilling threat to all to “stay in bounds” in their thinking, their scholarship, and their lives. “Think, discuss and act on anything you want,” the message is being sent, “as long as it doesn’t challenge the fundamental assumptions of the system of capitalism-imperialism which is ruling over you and billions worldwide through brutal and murderous force.”

Do NOT let this go down! CCNY is sending a message designed to chill, intimidate, and silence.

Do students have a right to revolutionary discourse and organization, or only to what is officially sanctioned by the authorities, backed up by the campus police, authorized by the brutal and murderous NYPD?

For all those who are outraged by what the police did to the CCNY 4, who feel America was NEVER great, who feel revolutionary ideas and organization need to be part of campus discourse and life, who cherish critical thinking and dissent, and who feel the NYPD has no authority to police this, JOIN US!

Be part of sending a different message: that we will not let them silence revolutionary voices.

We call on all those outraged to:

  1. Join us. Make your voices heard and your stand known! Meet outside the North Academic Center (NAC) building, noon on Thursday, November 3. Officially sponsor and invite the Revolution Club onto campus. Contact us at Revolution Club, NYC: @nycrevclub or nycrevclub@gmail.com.
  2. Contact Dr. Mary Erina Driscoll, Interim President, phone 212-650-6638, email mdriscoll@ccny.cuny.edu to demand that the Revolution Club and the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour be allowed onto the campus. Leave voicemails!
  3. Join CCNY students and others in signing the statement: “I/we demand that all charges get dropped and that revolutionary ideas be allowed on campus, Support the NYC Revolution Club.”

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/open-letter-from-raymond-lotta-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

An Open Letter from Raymond Lotta:

We Cannot Allow Revolutionary Ideas to be Suppressed in the University; We Cannot Allow Revolutionaries to be Criminalized

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

I write to call on voices of conscience and conviction, intellectuals, artists, and all who value dissent and critical thinking to speak out and take a stand against acts of repression and political suppression on two major U.S. campuses. Acts that have dangerous implications for the university and for society.

This generation of students faces a world of endless wars and environmental devastation, of the dehumanization of women, of mass incarceration and mass migrations of humanity. They are questioning the present, and anguishing over the future.

What they need more than anything else is the most advanced scientific theory to understand what underlies the problems humanity faces—and the revolutionary way out—represented by Bob Avakian’s leadership and the new synthesis of communism.

Revolution tour
Read more

And, in mid-October, a national “America Was NEVER Great! We Need to Overthrow, Not Vote for, This System” revolutionary organizing tour began taking its message to campuses.

The reaction from authorities was swift and brutal:

*On October 26, University of Chicago and Chicago police violently assaulted and arrested Noche Diaz, a member of the tour, as he was speaking inside a campus cafeteria. Diaz was charged with criminal trespass, which can carry a year in jail; several others were manhandled by the police; and Diaz is now permanently barred from the campus, facing arrest if he returns.

*On October 28, four members of the Revolution Club in NYC were arrested at City College of New York (CCNY), held in police custody overnight, and also charged with criminal trespass.

These arrests, these criminal charges, and these attempts to suppress revolutionary ideas are completely outrageous and unacceptable. On Tuesday, November 1, the Revolution Club and others from the national tour will be going back to the University of Chicago to assert their right to be on campus. On Thursday, November 3, people will be going back to CCNY.

They and I are calling on professors, students, and others to accompany them back on to these campuses. From other parts of the country and world, send messages of support.

THE STAKES

The University of Chicago and CCNY administrations are seeking to shut down revolutionary discourse and revolutionary organization in the university. No fundamental and positive change in society has taken place without students playing a catalytic role. Will this generation of young people have the opportunity to connect with revolutionary ideas and with a movement for an actual revolution... in a world that cries out for revolution? The University of Chicago and CCNY administrations have answered with a vicious, preemptive “NO.”

Let’s put these events in historical perspective. This political suppression is an attempt to undo a keystone of the Free Speech Movement and other battles of the 1960s. Students fought to bring, “from the outside,” the civil rights, antiwar, and other just and radical struggles and movements to the campus—and to take part in such movements and influence the larger world.

Let’s note the hypocrisy. David Petraeus had recently been a visiting professor in the City University system; and a school for global leadership at CCNY is named for Colin Powell. There are many, not least at CCNY, who see these men as towering war criminals. Meanwhile, revolutionaries declaring that “America was never great” and condemning America’s imperial wars are ejected from the campus. At U-Chicago, the administration proclaimed that it would not allow students to “shelter” themselves from any idea. Yet, it “shelters” the campus community from revolution!

Let’s be clear about the broader stakes of this political suppression. These are chilling attempts to place severe limits on permissible discourse and critical thinking. This at a time when critical thinking is needed more than ever. As part of their message, the revolutionaries were calling on students to engage the work of Bob Avakian, who has brought forward a new communism which rigorously and unsparingly interrogates the world as it is (including the discourses prevalent in society and on the campuses) and sets forth a scientifically grounded strategy for transformation and a vision of a liberatory society. One need not agree with all of this new communism to be provoked by what Avakian has done and see the value in people engaging this—and still more to see the danger in effectively banning any of it.

And so the challenge is posed. Do you want a future where the university becomes a zone of conformity and obeisance to the status quo—where thinking, scholarship, and activism are allowed as long as they do not call into question and challenge the essential foundations of this system? Or will you stand up for critical thinking and be part of the fight for the right of revolutionary voices to be heard?

I call on you to do the right and urgent thing:

1. Demand that all charges against Noche Diaz be dropped, a stop to arrests and attacks on the Revolution Club, and that all orders barring revolutionaries from these campuses be lifted. Email University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer at president@uchicago.edu; and CCNY Interim President Vincent Boudreau at vboudreau@ccny.cuny.edu.

2. Make a statement and send a copy to nycrevclub@gmail.com and to journals like the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education. Sign the petition circulating at CCNY at Support @NYCRevClub.

3. Invite the Revolution Club and the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour to your school, to classes and forums. This needs to be heard by thousands of students!


Raymond Lotta is a political economist, writer for revcom.us, and a spokesperson for The Bob Avakian Institute.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/boldly-putting-out-how-we-can-win-in-midst-of-protests-vs-police-murder-of-alfred-olango-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Letter from a member of the Revolution Club, L.A.:

Boldly Putting Out "HOW WE CAN WIN" in the Midst of Protests vs. Police Murder of Alfred Olango

October 28, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Alfred Olango, a 38-year-old refugee from Uganda, was shot and killed by police on September 27 in El Cajon (a city in San Diego County, California). Family members say he was having a hard time dealing with the death of a close friend and needed medical attention but instead a brutal pig shot him dead. On September 28, I traveled down to El Cajon with 5 Revolution Club members. We stayed over to do follow up with people in San Diego the next day.

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

That evening was the largest (as far as I know) protest for Alfred Olango which shut down streets and intersections, I would estimate 500 people (maybe hundreds more). And throughout that day there were people coming and going, groupings and individuals to the site of the murder where a canopy had been set up with candles and pictures of him. When we got there, the freeways were blocked because a smaller march had taken to the streets. We distributed over 1,000 of the pamphlets “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” both at the protest that evening in El Cajon and the next day at San Diego City College.

As part of getting oriented on the drive down to El Cajon, we read the new pamphlet “HOW WE CAN WIN,” together with the article “Once More, Lying, Murdering Pigs Run Amok: What Time Is It? Time and Past Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution.” I put forward to the Revolution Club a lot of what we’d been struggling over: no “meeting people half way,” no “mass line,” no “populist epistemology.” In other words, we need to lead, we need to start from what people need to know and not from “where they're at” or try to unfold things out of the questions they have. All this was part of fighting to accumulate forces and have an impact for revolution. The Revolution Club was unleashed although the practice was uneven.

Establishing Our Authority

At the site of the murder we established our authority early on. As people began to gather again for another round of protests, a speak-out started. This guy who runs with a Black nationalist group seemed to be in charge, although there were many other forces in the field like members of Black Lives Matter and other political organizations who put forward “identity politics.” The crowd of protesters was mixed, and as it grew bigger, it became even more diverse. Black masses from the area, including people in and around the gangs, young people from different backgrounds (including young white people), people who live in the area and wanted to find out what was happening, students from different nationalities, there were also a few Middle Eastern families and other immigrants (we met a woman from Iraq and some Kurdish youth) that stopped by and took pictures of what was going on. The Revolution Club went up to speak—we lined up next to each other, and I started to do agitation and chants that got taken up by a large section of the crowd.

A lot of what I said in the agitation was taken from the first part of “HOW WE CAN WIN”—that this system cannot be reformed, that we are getting organized to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time, that we have Bob Avakian and the leadership he’s providing and a challenge for people to join the ranks of the revolution now. That America was NEVER great and we need to overthrow and not vote for this system. The chants got taken up by people, including “It’s Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” and “How do we get out of this mess? Revolution, Nothing Less!” And people also liked the “1,2,3,4, Slavery, genocide and war—5,6,7,8, America was NEVER great!” chant.

The Black nationalist guy tried to stop me from talking about BA, and I told him simply that ain’t happening. BA is the leader of the revolution to emancipate all humanity and everyone here has to know that. He backed off and didn’t bring it up again. The next day before we left, I saw him and brought up BA again and he said he used to live in the Bay Area and had looked into the RCP and other groups but took up a Black nationalist program. He said he could not take leadership from a white person. We had a brief but sharp struggle over who BA is (not a white liberal but the architect of a new framework for human emancipation), what he represents, and questions of epistemology and truth.

Getting Out the Pamphlet Broadly

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At all times, there were at least 2 or 3 Revolution Club members broadly getting out the pamphlet, including as the crowd got bigger and as newer people kept arriving. There were a handful of people that took stacks of pamphlets to take back and distribute where they came from. A group of social workers said they would get it out to their co-workers, one older Black man said he would get it out in El Cajon where he lives, a couple of students from different colleges were going to take it to their schools, etc.

We would estimate that several hundred (at least 300) got out in stacks of 50 (the pamphlets come tied together in bunches of 50). Others took smaller stacks. And lots of people in the crowd came up asking for a copy, especially after people heard the agitation which at times was going up against and contending with other class forces and programs. For example, during the confrontation with the riot pigs when many of the protesters were doing a “sit in” in the middle of the street there was a Black woman outraged at what the cops were doing but she kept insisting that “we pay taxes so these cops are supposed to work for us” and other similar sentiments. I spoke to this with BA’s quote about the role of the police as front-line enforcers of this system, and immediately people came up to get the pamphlets and find out about who we were. There were other questions I spoke to during the speak-out, at the march and afterwards—infantile posturing from an older Black man in boots and fatigues, to cite another example. But the starting point was really putting boldly what people need to know—which I took from “HOW WE CAN WIN.”

Briefly during the march: it shut down streets and intersections, although cops were really uptight about the freeways so there were tons of cops blocking them. People along the way chanted and took up our chants. Black Lives Matter had a much louder sound system and would sometimes play hip hop and rap and that would attract some protesters.  However, they were putting forward a weak program, and their attempts at getting white people in the back or white people to form a line to protect Black people from the cops didn’t really stick. Many people there were attracted to the straight-up communist revolutionary authority we were projecting, and many people there were also much broader minded and rejected the narrow shit coming from some “organizers” and “community activists.” One Black woman who’d taken responsibility for the march kept coming up to the Revolution Club to ask and consult on what to do, which was interesting (many people were attracted to the Revolution Club and the force we were projecting). 

Challenging People to Get Into the Revolution

I was on a mission to leave organization behind in San Diego. Everyone I was talking to, I was challenging them to get into the revolution, to join the Revolution Club. We were boldly putting forward what’s in the first part of “HOW WE CAN WIN” (along with the rest of it). We set up several appointments for deeper engagements the following day, but we only ended up meeting with one person, a 17-year-old transgender woman. She goes to San Diego City College, so the Revolution Club went there in the morning and while another Revolution Club member and I were meeting up with her, the rest of the crew posted up with the placards and signs, did agitation and got out more pamphlets to students in between classes (our student friend had suggested a good spot to set up and reach lots of students). We met other students there who also took up small stacks of pamphlets.

       

The woman we were meeting with considered herself a communist and later I learned she is part of a whole interesting Queer scene in San Diego. She talked about how when she was growing up, she worked in the California farm fields where she got hurt and now has to sometimes use a cane to walk. She told stories of being harassed and beat up when she’s dressed as her gender identity and alone on the train or on public transportation. She was attracted to what was in the first part of “HOW WE CAN WIN” (we need to overthrow this system), but as we talked it was clear she does not have a scientific understanding of how the system actually works, which we got into.

When we met at her school she had read the six “Points of Attention for the Revolution” (POA's) and asked about POA #2 where it says, “We fight for a world where ALL the chains are broken. Women, men, and differently gendered people are equals and comrades. We do not tolerate physically or verbally abusing women or treating them as sexual objects, nor do we tolerate insults or 'jokes' about people’s gender or sexual orientation.” She said she “jokes” around with her friends who know her and feels comfortable and safe with. The other Revolution Club member referenced Bob Avakian’s talk REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! where BA talks about humor needing to be part of our whole thing (our movement for revolution and the society we’re fighting to bring into being) but then goes sharply at the bullshit misogyny from the “comedian” Tosh who had made a rape “joke” during a performance. There, BA makes the point that rape is never fucken funny.

We showed her the “What If...” clip from REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN, and she said she was going to download BAsics and read THE NEW COMMUNISM online.  She took 50 copies of “HOW WE CAN WIN” pamphlets to pass out to her Black Studies class, and the next time I saw her (several days later when we came back) she said she got them all out and that people had all kinds of questions she couldn’t answer so she told them to go to the revcom.us website and that she was going to work on writing up what these questions were and send them to the website, together with pictures she’d taken of the protests. We told her the rest of the process of joining the Revolution Club (while she continues to run with it), and she wanted to continue this.

Another person we’d set up to meet was a Latino ex-gang member in his 30s who was out there on 9/28 at the protests. At one point, he was carrying the Stolen Lives poster he got from us and had been all up in the face of the pigs. He recognized our “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” shirt and said he had seen our stuff in prison—he had an ankle bracelet and said he was out fighting a case. He took several copies of the pamphlet, and we’d set up to meet the next day but found out that he got taken in by the authorities for being at the protest and allegedly was in violation of some bullshit rules.

I learned a few days later from another protester that this same Latino ex-gang member had been out there marching on 9/28 with a Black guy he almost got in a fight with inside prison but that they put that shit aside to march together against this brutal murder. As an aside, there were a few Latinos and Blacks who were really calling for unity. At some point during the speak-out, I spoke to this from the point of view of what’s needed, what is the problem (this system) and what is the solution (an actual revolution), and challenged people to stop killing each other and to come together in unity to fight the real enemy.

Another person we met was a 19-year-old Black college student. He engaged with the “HOW WE CAN WIN” pamphlet, and after establishing the need to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time he asked “how,” so we read together the section on how to defeat them. As we were reading through this, I talked about the fighting forces being the fish in the sea of the people. He said the fish could not survive without water and said he understood this, the need to build this up now.

Again, we read from “HOW WE CAN WIN” where it speaks to this. He said it would be suicide to get something going now. Later we watched one of the Q&A’s from BA’s Dialogue with Cornel West where someone asks the question about how the people's forces could take on the strength of the forces of the old order, in a future situation. I put the challenge to him on joining the Revolution Club and becoming part of the thousands working on the revolution, and he said he had a lot of questions but took all this very seriously. This was in the middle of shit and our plans for follow-up did not happen (he couldn’t make it). He did take to distribute a small stack of pamphlets as part of his understanding of building up that sea that we'd talked about.

We met up with a Black woman college student who played an important role in the march on 9/28. We met up with her the second time we went to El Cajon several days later. One thing that another Revolution Club member was summing up afterwards on the way back was that our approach was different and she could see the difference, including in how we kept challenging the student that she needed to join the Revolution Club and that it felt like we were actually organizing people into this revolution.

The Club member commented that she saw how in our discussion with the student, we did not start from what her many questions were (we knew coming in she had lots of important questions about “unity” and how to sustain it, etc.) but our starting point was what people need to know—all what’s in “HOW WE CAN WIN” with a strong focus on the first part. At some point we did speak to this question of unity and mainly by wielding the pamphlet where it says that “we need to approach everything—evaluate every political program... according to how it relates to the revolution we need, to end all oppression.” The student liked that.

At the same time as we struggled over what is the problem and what is the solution, we kept coming back to the need to overthrow this system and how this system actually works, why it cannot be reformed. This was challenging her framework, and she said she’s been thinking that it will take more than what she’s been a part of with the protests. She said she is studying to be a social worker—she cares and wants to do good. She bought BAsics, in part from discussing the “Reform or Revolution” essay. We read together the first 3 quotes from the first 3 chapters in BAsics. She also watched the clip from the BA/Cornel West Dialogue that I mentioned above.

She is broadminded and cares about things we told her, the horrors going on in other parts of the world. We brought out the leadership of Bob Avakian and the “contended question” (the point that people love BA for the same reasons that some hate BA, that he’s about real revolution and emancipating all humanity and nothing less than that) and took the offensive on this, which is something else we noted as different than other times. BA was very much at the heart of what we were talking about and she left wanting to read more from BA and learn more about him. She said she wanted to join the Revolution Club and we told her the process and she said she wants to pursue this.

We spoke to a Black jazz musician who recently moved to San Diego. A Revolution Club member I was with thought we challenged sharply his framework (a Jill Stein [Green Party candidate for president] supporter) after walking him through why this system needs to be overthrown and why it cannot be reformed and how dangerous it is to spread the illusions that anything else short of revolution can do any good. We struggled over populist epistemology because he was arguing that most people aren’t with revolution and maybe Jill Stein can help take things in that direction. He kept getting confronted with reality and he was challenged by this—at one point he looked up at the police drone flying above us and doing surveillance and thought about the repression and what we had been arguing for and said, “I keep thinking that we are not going to be able to legislate our way out of this one.” We kept challenging him to get out of that and get into the revolution. He kept insisting that we had him thinking about shit he hadn’t thought about before. What if an opening for revolution emerges and you haven’t been preparing for this... this was circulating in his brain.

There was an older Black man who works with a group called Stop the Genocide—they have a shirt that shows a number of figures dressed half in KKK outfit and the other half as either a cop or a judge or a gang member or a woman setting someone up to get killed... all people, according to the t-shirt, who are contributing to the deaths of Black people. I showed him one of the Q&A’s from the BA/Cornel West Dialogue, and he ended up buying a copy saying, “There’s too much drama going on right here and this is deep shit that requires my full attention so I need to watch this in the comfort of my home.” He told a heavy story of a Latino gang member he was good friends with and used to roll in the same car together but in jail the Latino dude wouldn’t talk to him because of the prison politics. We talked about this, where it comes from, and how to overcome this as part of people coming together in unity and into the ranks of the revolution.

One quick final story: the second time we traveled to El Cajon we ended up having a scene near the site of where the police murdered Alfred Olango, where most of the people I mentioned here were coming up to the Revolution Club to talk, debate, learn more about and watch clips from Bob Avakian while at the same time others who had gathered there also kept coming up asking for pamphlets and to get into conversations. People were really searching for answers because of deep questions they are agonizing over and being attracted to the radical and revolutionary message and force the Revolution Club was projecting.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/the-democrats-have-already-said-they-will-accept-a-trump-election-as-legitimate-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

The Democrats Have Already Said They Will Accept a Trump Election as Legitimate
What Does That Mean? And What Must We Do?

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To start with the obvious, this is the most volatile and unconventional election in living memory. Anything could happen. On October 28, James Comey, head of the FBI, took the unprecedented step of releasing word of the fact that an investigation was being conducted of emails of someone in the Clinton camp that could bear on Hillary Clinton herself. This goes way beyond the “norms” of American politics, in at least three ways. First, FBI personnel do NOT customarily release word of current criminal investigations, and Comey’s superiors in the Department of Justice apparently made this clear to him. Second, neither Comey nor anyone else has examined the emails in question to actually see what, if anything, is there. Yet that distinction will be lost on most people, who will hear only the sound bite about “Clinton once again under criminal suspicion.” Third, the Justice Department itself traditionally proceeds with great caution in releasing anything that could pertain to an election less than 60 days prior to that election.

We won’t speculate here on Comey’s motivation, nor on whether there are forces at whose behest he is acting, or who they might be. But the objective effect of this extraordinary act is to greatly benefit Trump very close to the election.

This takes place in an election in which one candidate—Trump—is purveying an openly fascist platform beyond what has been done in American politics before. Trump goes beyond George W. Bush, for instance, in his open and inflammatory pledges to persecute immigrants, to criminalize and demonize Muslims within the U.S., to launch a wave of police repression against Black people and other oppressed communities, and to not only utterly outlaw abortion—Bush also pledged to do that—but to legitimize and encourage the crudest misogyny in everyday life. Bush attacked the press—and Obama has gone after whistle-blowers, who have leaked to the press, in unprecedented ways—but Trump promises to go far beyond that, both with legal measures and through his naked contempt for the press itself. Bush gutted key elements of the rule of law—and with a few exceptions, Obama (despite his promises) let Bush’s attacks on basic rights stand. But Trump goes beyond that, essentially vowing to do away with it altogether.*

 Most extraordinary of all in this regard, Trump not only routinely vows to lock up Hillary Clinton, his opponent, but has implied, at least, twice, that she should be assassinated.

As part of this whole package, Trump has for some time been agitating his followers to intimidate Black people, immigrants, and other people of color and to suppress their right to vote. Now at least one armed fascist group has publicly responded. An article in the October 27 Washington Post stated that:

Amid growing concerns about possible violence and vote fraud on Election Day, the Oath Keepers, a national group of former military and law enforcement officers, has urged its members to “blend in” with voters and do “incognito intelligence gathering and crime spotting” at polling places across the country on Nov. 8.

“In particular, we are calling on our retired police officers, our military intelligence veterans, and our Special Warfare veterans (who are well trained in covert observation and intelligence gathering) to take the lead,” group leader Stewart Rhodes said in a “call to action” on the group’s website and in a YouTube video urging members to “help stop voter fraud.”

The Oath Keepers are officially nonpartisan, but their concerns clearly echo Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s warnings about a “rigged” election and his calls for his supporters to monitor polling places for evidence of fraud by supporters of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. (“Militia group calls on members to patrol polls on Election Day,” by Kevin Sullivan)

All of this will mean an intolerable leap in oppression and repression against the oppressed and those who stand with them, and it must not just be resisted... but STOPPED.

Democrats Confer Legitimacy on Trump While Trump Declares the Election to Be Rigged

As part of this situation, there has been the ongoing controversy over Donald Trump’s continuing allegations that the elections have been rigged in advance, and the belief that he has stoked among his followers that any Clinton victory would be illegitimate. Trump refuses to back down; and this has led more than a few of his followers to speculate on civil war should Clinton win.

And what have the Democrats done to oppose this? They have pledged to respect the results of the election, even if Trump wins. Think of the implications. Suppose that Trump does win—which is far from impossible! Every leading Democrat has now declared in advance that this should be accepted. By doing so, they are doing nothing less than paving the way for fascism to be implemented. The reasons for this are pointed to in BAsics 3:11 from Bob Avakian:

These right-wing politicians (generally grouped within the Republican Party) can, will, and do actively mobilize this essentially fascist social base...yet, on the other side, the sections of the ruling class that are more generally represented by the Democratic Party are very reluctant to, and in fact resistant to, mobilizing... the base of people whose votes and support in the bourgeois political arena the Democrats seek to gain. This (Democratic Party) side of the ruling class generally is not desirous of—and in fact recoils at the idea of—calling that base into the streets, mobilizing them either to take on the opposing forces in the ruling class and their social base or in general to struggle for the programs that the Democratic Party itself claims to represent and actually in some measure does seek to implement....

As an amplification of the basic point here, it is important to recognize this: Within the framework of the capitalist-imperialist system, and with the underlying dynamics of this system, which fundamentally set the terms, and the confines, of “official” and “acceptable” politics, fascism—that is, the imposition of a form of dictatorship which openly relies on violence and terror to maintain the rule and the imperatives of the capitalist-imperialist system—is one possible resolution of the contradictions that this system is facing—a resolution that could, at a certain point, more or less correspond to the compelling needs of this system and its ruling class—while revolution and real socialism, aiming toward the final goal of communism, throughout the world, is also a possible resolution of these contradictions, but one that would most definitely not be acceptable to the capitalist-imperialist ruling class nor compatible with the imperatives of this system!

What Must NOT Be Done?

We said at the outset, and we’ll repeat, that what Trump is threatening must not be tolerated. These would represent leaps in the oppression even beyond what is now being endured.

       

What must NOT be done is to rally round Hillary Clinton and throw ourselves into her election, or even vote. First off, as just pointed out, Clinton does not fundamentally oppose Trump. Why else has she bent over backwards NOT to attack his essential legitimacy, while he has never ceased to attack hers? Why has she refused to take him on on his most egregious attacks and remarks (for instance, his threat to re-imprison the Central Park 5, who served long years in prison framed up for a crime for which they were totally exonerated—a frame-up which Trump actively abetted)? Why have the terms of her criticism focused on Trump being too unstable to defend the blood-soaked interests of U.S. imperialism around the world, and too crude to tamp down the very explosive contradictions of a society wracked with oppression of many different kinds?

Second, Hillary Clinton is a major imperialist tool in her own right. If anything, her foreign policy is much closer to “traditional” Republican positions than Trump’s. She is very gung-ho on using U.S. military power to trample on and dominate people all over the world, and this, too, has been a major part of not just her campaign but her actual history. Within the U.S., Clinton and her husband out-Reaganed Reagan by not just cutting welfare but abolishing it, and by pouring 100,000 cops into the streets and presiding over (and helping to foment) a major leap in mass incarceration. Last Friday she didn’t even bother to pay lip service to the righteous protesters at Standing Rock—her national campaign headquarters refused to even accept a letter from a Native American youth delegation and had them bum-rushed by dozens of NY pigs instead. (See “Cold Shoulder and NYPD at Clinton HQs... Pepper Spray at Standing Rock.”)

Both Clinton and Trump are products of this capitalist-imperialist system. They are fighting over which program will best preserve and extend it. Both of them aim to, and must aim to, control and repress the people, not unleash and liberate. Voting for Clinton not only will do nothing to actually deal with the root causes, it will make things worse. It will ideologically disarm and corrupt the outlooks of those who get into this.

To again quote BAsics:

If you try to make the Democrats be what they are not and never will be, you will end up being more like what the Democrats actually are.

And what they are are instruments of imperialism: the very system that got us into this mess, the very system that’s a HORROR for the seven billion people on the planet.

A Way Out—A Way Forward

Should Trump get in, it may well fall to the revcoms to lead the defense of certain institutions of bourgeois democracy (the rule of law, for instance, or basic legal rights of Black and other oppressed nationality peoples, the right to abortion, etc.). And even if Trump does not win this particular election, and even if there is not an immediate aggressive assault by the forces he has brought forward, one thing is very clear: this fascist movement is not going away any time soon and will be moving in different ways and has to be resisted.

But this cannot be done on the basis of defending bourgeois democracy itself. Such resistance must be built as part of the movement for revolution, to get beyond this madness. This will be a challenge, as other forces will contend to bring this back into the terms and framework of returning to the status quo—the way things are right now. Moreover, people will spontaneously tend to frame things in those terms, as they have been taught to. But the status quo—”the way things are”—is a) intolerable for the vast majority of humanity, b) what got us to this nightmare point in the first place, and c) is way far short of what could be wrenched out of a crisis like this.

We need right now to be agitating around the fact that America Was NEVER Great, that this system is a horror, that it must be overthrown at the earliest possible time, and that the choices being dictated to people in this election are evidence of that.

A crisis sparked by a Trump victory or a contested one by Clinton could act as a jolt on people, jarring them out of their normal way of looking at things and leading them to question and resist what they normally accept. We need to come from behind to be ready to seize on whatever does happen to hasten REVOLUTION, preparing and organizing masses of people to 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.

The much-proclaimed democracy under this system is a sham, and worse...

This will mean not only uniting with people when and where they rise up, but calling on them to fight sharp injustices coming down where they are not yet acting. This means continually bringing forward to people in living ways that it is the system of capitalism-imperialism that got us into this horror in the first place, and that this system has been nothing BUT horrors for the people of the world since day one. This will mean bringing out that there is a WAY OUT—that we have the leadership, in Bob Avakian and the party that he leads... that we have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America that Bob Avakian has written and that charts out a society that is on the road to emancipation and that will be a society where people can truly flourish, together, as that struggle goes forward... and that there is a strategy to repolarize and realign the millions needed for an actual revolution and a way to fight and defeat the enemy when that possibility emerges.

And it means right now moving forward, with urgency, to lead others to confront—and act on—the developing situation.

AMERICA WAS NEVER GREAT! OVERTHROW, DON’T VOTE FOR, THIS SYSTEM!

 


*Trump has called for torturing people suspected of links to “terrorists” and kidnapping and murdering their family members. And Trump recently made a point of calling for the re-imprisonment of the Central Park 5—despite the fact that the railroad of these Black and Latinos youths was a notorious racist frame-up in which Trump himself was a major player, and that they have been convincingly exonerated. [back]

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/look-whos-talking-about-peaceful-transfer-of-power-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Look Who's Talking About Peaceful Transfer of Power and Respecting Elections

October 27, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

BA on elections

From a reader

Donald Trump says he will recognize the results of the election if he wins. He is throwing up for grabs one of the basic tenets of U.S. capitalist democracy, in service of a fascist agenda. In response, Hillary Clinton and many voices in the mass media insist that the peaceful transfer of power, based on respecting the results of an election, is one of those things that supposedly make America great.

Reality check! The United States has “respected the results of elections” around the world with invasions, coups, assassination, brutal death squad regimes, and mass murder whenever the results of an election don’t match their interests.

What Happens When An Election Doesn’t Go America’s Way...

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

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

In Tehran, Iran on August 19, 1953, mobs joined by the military took over streets chanting
Case #98 1953: CIA Coup in Iran: Torture and Repression—Made in the U.S.A. In Tehran, Iran on August 19, 1953, mobs joined by the military took over streets chanting “Long live the Shah! Death to Mossadegh!” They ransacked pro-Mossadegh newspapers and attacked his supporters.

Members of the youth wing of the Indonesian Communist Party being hauled to a Jakarta prison, October 30, 1965.
Case #100 1965 Massacre in Indonesia. Members of the youth wing of the Indonesian Communist Party being hauled to a Jakarta prison, October 30, 1965. (AP photo)

Honduran troops inside the presidential palace during the arrest of the president during the 2009 coup.
Case #75 Obama, Clinton and the 2009 Military Coup in Honduras. Honduran troops inside the presidential palace during the arrest of the president during the 2009 coup. (Photo: rbreve/flickr)

In Iran, in 1953, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) along with British intelligence launched a military coup overthrowing Iran’s elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, after he nationalized Britain’s Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. They put the Shah in power and he ruled as an iron-fisted U.S. puppet for 25 years. When millions rose against the Shah in 1978-79, he shot down thousands with U.S. backing before being ousted. The 1953 coup and what followed ended up helping pave the way for a new Iranian nightmare: the 1979 founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran. (See “Case #98: 1953 CIA Coup in Iran: Torture and Repression—Made in the U.S.A.“ in the American Crime series at revcom.us).

In Indonesia, in 1965, the CIA organized and coordinated the mass murder of up to a million communists and others by Indonesian fascists. Bloated corpses clogged and choked the rivers of Indonesia. The objective was to remove the elected government of President Sukarno, who the U.S. saw as too closely associated with the wave of revolutionary nationalist and communist revolution in Asia in the 1960s. The rivers were choked with bodies, and the reign of terror inflicted on the hundreds of millions of people in that country still defines life there today. (See “Case #100: 1965 Massacre in Indonesia“ in the American Crime series at revcom.us).

In Chile, in 1973, the U.S. government orchestrated a coup d’etat that overthrew the elected government of Salvador Allende and installed the fascist regime of General Augusto Pinochet. At the time, Chilean revolutionaries spoke of tens of thousands of victims. Today’s Chilean government says 3,000. Some estimates say that 400,000 people were tortured. A whole generation of intellectuals and others who could escape was driven into exile. Many of those murdered during Pinochet’s years in power were “disappeared,” kidnapped by the U.S.-installed regime and never seen again.

And with Hillary Clinton serving as U.S. Secretary of State, the U.S. backed a coup in 2009 in Honduras, where the military deposed elected president Manuel Zelaya, a liberal-leaning populist, and installed a more openly fascistic and pro-U.S. regime. That plunged the Honduran people even more deeply into the hell of U.S. domination, state-sponsored political assassinations, and terrorism, and intensified violence, poverty, and oppression. These horrors remain in effect to this day, with U.S. backing. (See “Case #75: Obama, Clinton and the 2009 Military Coup in Honduras“ in the American Crime series.)

Installing and Backing Fascist Regimes Across Asia, Africa, and Latin America

Those four examples just scratch the surface of the history and present-day reality behind declarations of “respect for democratic elections.” That’s a metaphor, but it’s not an exaggeration.

What the U.S. REALLY Brings to the World

And look up these U.S. directed or backed coups that overthrew popular or elected governments: Ecuador, 1960-63; Brazil, 1964; Dominican Republic, 1963; Cuba (repeated attempts to invade, assassinate, and orchestrate “regime change”); Bolivia, 1964; Ghana, 1966; Greece, 1967; Bolivia, 1971; Jamaica, 1976; Chad, 1981; Grenada (by invasion), 1983; Nicaragua, 1981-90 (destabilized an elected government by sponsoring a massive campaign of terrorist attacks); Haiti, 2004.

How does this all square with the claim by the rulers of the U.S. that they are the global champions of democracy? The reality is what Bob Avakian says:

The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.
BAsics 1:3

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/462/hillary-clinton-not-champion-for-women-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Why Hillary Clinton Has Never Been, Is Not Now and Cannot Be a Champion for Women

by Sunsara Taylor

October 24, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To all those who listened and cheered because Hillary Clinton finally spoke firmly about abortion during the recent presidential debate against Trump:

1. Why the fuck has it taken her so goddamn long? Hillary has spent decades preaching the defensive mantra that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.”The idea that abortion should be “rare” is rooted in the LIE that there is something wrong, shameful, or even “sinful” about abortion. No! Fetuses are NOT babies, abortion is NOT murder, and women are NOT incubators. There is nothing morally wrong with abortion and it should be available as often as necessary, to women who desire one for whatever reason, without shame or apology. What is immoral is forcing women to have children against their will—that is a form of enslaving women. But, for decades, Hillary Clinton—and the Democratic Party as a whole—has conceded the moral high ground to the Christian fascists who would deny women the right to abortion, has preached “respect” for the anti-abortion movement and its enslaving outlook and positions, has capitulated time and again as anti-abortion laws and restrictions are passed and abortion clinics are closed down nationwide, and has added their weight behind the mountains of shame that are piled on women who choose to use abortion by promoting the view that it should be “rare.” One debate in which Hillary speaks firmly about the right to abortion without apologizing or being defensive does not wipe the slate clean, does not make up for decades of damage she has had a direct part in.

2. No matter how different her political positions on abortion—and women, in general—are from Donald Trump and the other varieties of American fascists, she never has and never will firmly stand up against them and wage the fight necessary to defeat them. The record of the Democratic Party over decades has been one of capitulation and defensiveness in the face of relentless legal, ideological, and terroristic assault on abortion rights and abortion providers. Hillary and the Democrats were silent when Dr. George Tiller, a heroic late-term-abortion provider, was assassinated by a Christian fascist gunman in his church seven years ago. They were silent when a clinic in Wyoming was vandalized in 2014 so severely it has been unable to reopen. Hillary was silent on almost every single one of the more than 200 laws passed that closed dozens of abortion clinics between 2011 and 2013.

There is a reason for this silence. The reason is that no matter how sincere their belief in women’s right to abortion may be, they represent and preside over the system of American capitalism-imperialism, and they value and cherish the preservation and stability of that system above all else. They know that the Christian fascist wing of the ruling class and its social base of millions will stop at nothing to completely criminalize all forms of abortion and birth control. They know that defeating this fascist movement will require not merely a few soothing words from a few politicians, but a massive and ferocious struggle in the streets on the part of millions and in the culture and throughout society as a whole. They know that such a struggle would be profoundly destabilizing to their system and empire. It would interpenetrate with—and inspire people to stand up against—the many other outrages and crimes that are baked into this system: the police terror and murder, the drones and wars for empire, the destruction of the environment, and the massive demonization and deportations of immigrants. And they know that such a struggle would be hard to contain and keep within the bounds of this system. Patriarchy and the oppression of women is woven into the very foundation and functioning of capitalism-imperialism, and to really put an end to all of it—the rampant rape throughout society but especially in the military and on the police forces and in the halls of power; the cult of motherhood and shaming of women who step out of the domestic role; the hatred and shame hurled at women who enjoy sex; the revenge and humiliation of women mainstreamed in porn and strip clubs and sexual slavery; and more; as well as all the other crimes of this system—will take ripping this system up from its foundation and building a whole new society and world. It will take an actual revolution.

So, the kind of massive fight among millions in this country to defeat the Christian fascist program is a genie that Hillary and the Democrats, acting as rulers of this system, do NOT want to let out of the bottle. They fear the upheaval this would cause—and the dynamics it can set in motion—even more than the fascism of Trump and others.

3. Need more proof that Hillary Clinton will not and cannot be the champion women need—not even on the question of abortion? Just look at what she did the very next day after the debate. She sat and joked together with Donald Trump—the man who brags about sexually assaulting women in the crudest and most humiliating terms, the man who promised to “punish” women who get abortions, and who used the last debate to spread vicious and shaming lies about abortion to millions around the world—at a Catholic forum. She prayed with Trump in private and told him, “Donald, no matter what happens, we need to work together afterwards.” Then, she and Trump sat together on either side of Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Who is this “great unifier” Dolan? Who was this man chosen to bring the two candidates together? Timothy Dolan is so viciously against women being able to decide for themselves when and whether to have a child that he not only opposes all abortion in all circumstances, he personally led the movement of Catholic bishops nationally to break the law and refuse to allow secular women employed in Catholic hospitals and other institutions to get birth control coverage. Seriously. This dinner, cozying up to and seeking common ground with Trump on terms set by this arch-fascist bigot Dolan, speaks louder than one minute of lip service for abortion after 30 years of craven capitulation. Hillary is not, cannot be, and will not be a champion for abortion rights. Stop deluding yourselves.

4. There IS a way to beat back the escalating assault on women’s right to abortion—and, there is a way to break ALL the chains that bind women. This will not happen and cannot happen by voting for the Democrats. But it can happen through building massive political resistance to every assault on abortion—in the culture, in the laws, and in the street harassment and terror. By raising the slogan and fighting for its realization: Abortion on Demand and Without Apology! And, most of all, by linking this to—and strengthening—the movement to overthrow this whole system of capitalism-imperialism at the soonest possible time.

The leader we need to look to is named Bob Avakian (BA). As part of leading the all-round revolution that is necessary to emancipate all of humanity, BA has fought for decades to expose and reveal the vicious immorality of those who would deny the right to abortion, the deep roots of this patriarchy in thousands of years of tradition’s chains, the way all this is woven into and required by the system of capitalism-imperialism, the kind of ferocious struggle required to beat these attacks back and the profoundly liberating contribution that can—and must make—the fight to put an end to slavery and exploitation of every kind in every part of the world through an actual revolution. Bob Avakian and the Party he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party, are not afraid of the upheaval it will require to beat back this fascist assault because they have no interest in preserving this system or any of the crimes it carries out against humanity on a global scale and hourly basis. Rather, BA—and the movement for revolution he leads—are fired with the determination to unleash the fury of women as a mighty force for revolution. Determined to lead men to take up this fight out of the deep understanding that it is impossible to break all the chains but one. Determined to bring into being through revolution a world free of exploitation and oppression in every form.

If you are horrified by the open misogyny and cruelty towards women being main-staged and mainstreamed by Trump, don’t settle for the “lesser” yet truly towering evil of the Democrats. Join in resisting these crimes and learning about, getting into, spreading, and becoming part of the actual revolution to bring about a whole different and far better world. Do this today. Here’s where you start: HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/sunday-at-standing-rock-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Sunday at Standing Rock: Bouncing Off "Overthrow—Don't Vote For—This System"

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

October 30—Sunday at Standing Rock, we woke up to a black, charred hill adjacent to the main encampment. Later, we learned from someone that it in fact was an act of arson. There is a climate of intimidation towards the encampment that is being fanned by the police, the private oil company mercenaries, and armed white racists in the area, and so an incident of arson was alarming. But people here are righteously standing up for their land, their people, and the planet itself, and have no intention of backing down. The situation is intensifying by the minute.

As we made coffee and breakfast at our camp in the early morning hours, two youth, one a student and the other a recent graduate, both from L.A., came by and told us that they drove 25 hours in rotating six-hour shifts to be there for the day. They came to talk to as many people as they could so they could get the word out about what was happening on the ground. Neither were journalists but felt strongly that more people needed to be on the ground reporting to the world what was really going on there.

We talked with them about our mission here at Standing Rock, and they united with a lot of what we were getting into—how this system is set up to benefit just a handful of people; the question of so-called “democracy” and the fact that the masses of people do not determine larger decisions made in terms of the direction of society, whether or not to enter into wars for empire, etc.

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

We read the first paragraph and the first two sentences of the second paragraph from the "What We Need To Do Now" section from "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution":

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 talked about how the Get Into the Revolution Organizing Tour 2016-2017 will be coming to Los Angeles. At one point in the conversation, she said that after reading "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" and the Constitution for the New Socialist State in North America, she wanted to get involved and asked how would she do so. We traded contact information. 

Revolution tour

Read more about the tour here.
Contact the tour at
GetIntoTheRevolution@gmail.com.

To find out how to support the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour in Chicago with financial, legal, public opinion support, call: (312) 502-7485

For Press inquiries, contact: jessiedavis60@gmail.com

We had a much longer substantive conversation, getting into questions of objective reality versus relativism, the crisis in physics, how under a different kind of system scientific findings could actually be unleashed and put into the service of the people, and more! They took the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America and we made an appointment with them to meet up and get into this before they leave.

Victims of the Police Attack on the Winter Camp

After this, two more people came across our camp—an older woman and a young guy, who had just gotten out of jail, literally with their bag of belongings on them.

They were arrested when the sheriff's deputies attacked and cleared the Winter Camp on Thursday. This camp was set up, outside the main encampment, to directly challenge the pipeline construction, and was an important, inspiring act of resistance that drew support from all kinds of people around the country and the world. And it was seen as intolerable by the oil pipeline company and the system overall.

Late last week, scores of pigs in riot gear drove protesters out of the encampment. According to news reports, there was one standoff beside a bridge known as the Backwater Bridge, where protesters set fire to wooden boards and signs and held off the police for hours. By Friday evening, at least 142 protesters had been arrested on charges, including engaging in a riot.

There were different forms of resistance and action at that camp. The people we talked to were held in jail for three days for participating in a peaceful prayer circle and got slapped with three charges, including one felony charge. They told us their stories about what led them to come to the encampment, where the two of them met, and felt through the whole process that they had become family.

       

People at Standing Rock resisting police violence
People at Standing Rock resisting police violence.
(Photo: Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, file)

The older woman described how the women were humiliated in jail, sleeping on concrete floors, being held in cages that they and others called dog kennels, and subjected to cavity searches. And those with children were threatened by the authorities in a television news story that their children might be taken from the camp and put into their custody. She also described growing up not living a Native life, because her parents feared her being stolen from them and forced into boarding school. She understood why they had done this and felt very connected with this struggle because of this. She as well as the young guy both felt strongly that they would go through the whole ordeal again and had no regrets.

Bouncing Off “Overthrow, Don’t Vote For, This System”

In the afternoon we hung out with a large group of Native youth, including youth who were a mixture of Chicano and Native heritage, for a number of hours. The group also included some white youth that had come to stand with them. The Native youth were from different tribes from all over the country, with some growing up together and others just meeting here at the camp, all working together, collectively.

One of the youth described the experience they are all going through as a process of healing. He talked about how their people have gone through hell, with many people becoming addicted to substance abuse—and what a difference it has meant that they are coming together to fight this pipeline, and how this is changing them.

Several youth told us they were about protecting the water, that "water is life," and that ultimately this was about protecting the planet. One of them commented, "We shouldn't be fighting for water in 2016.... It's crazy that we have come to the point that this is our last resource.... Someday there will be no water." In addition, they all articulated a view that this struggle must be peaceful.

We brought out “Time To Get Organized for an Actual Revolution” and read the first paragraph of that in the middle of the discussion:

The problem: this system. This system drives refugees and immigrants into exploitation, horror and death. This system wages brutal wars of slaughter. This system destroys the environment. This system locks down generations of Black and Brown youth, brutalizing and incarcerating them and even blowing them away—or else setting them up to fight and kill each other, when they should be fighting the REAL enemy. This system conditions men to disrespect and brutalize women, when the fury of women must be unleashed for revolution. This system—capitalism-imperialism—must be overthrown.

People were bouncing off what we were saying: that America was NEVER great, and overthrow, don’t vote for, this system. One woman, who was saying the important thing for people to know is that the encampment is peaceful and about prayer, at the same time also said, "America was based on genocide and slavery. Everything about the American flag is evil. It's used to conquer people. Right now they have us living in fear.... But there are more of us then them."

At one point, in response to being asked why people should come to Standing Rock to stand with the people, she said, "Why would you not come? It's a generational problem. People are here standing up.... The U.S. Constitution (actually, it’s the Declaration of Independence) says if you don't agree with the government, you can overthrow it." She went on to say that the system is like a machine and that the police attacking them are not the enemy, they are people like us. She put forward that we have to change the people that run the machine and this has to be done peacefully.

We’ve been contrasting that constitution, based on slavery and genocide, when Native people weren’t considered human beings, with the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. And in a number of exchanges, we read BAsics 1:22 to try to set some terms:

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

One woman expressed that people in positions of power just needed to be convinced to do right. And in relation to that, she talked about how much she liked Bernie Sanders—that he empowered people and inspired her to run for office. We’ve been pointing people to the 5 Stops* and struggling with them to judge different programs by how they hold up in relation to these real, intractable contradictions that this system and ALL its representatives have no answer to.

Someone said that America can change, that Black people stood up and fought and now they had a Black president, even though they are still struggling. We came back with what IS the reality with Black people these days? They are being murdered by police over and over, and nothing ever happens to the police. That this system has no future for many people. Some walked away, but other people were attracted to it and bounced off it in different ways.

A young man talked about how great Bernie Sanders is, how he woke people up to all these problems in society. At the same time, he said that if Sanders had been elected, of course on Day 1 his whole program would have been shot down! In response, we tried to get to the bottom of why that is—why they couldn’t do all the things that we get into in the “If You're into Bernie Sanders...” article at revcom.us.

The way Hillary Clinton’s office refused to accept a letter from the youth at Standing Rock has had a big impact here. (See “Cold Shoulder and NYPD at Clinton HQ...Pepper Spray at Standing Rock”) One guy told us he had been into Hillary Clinton but denounced her for how her campaign treated the Standing Rock Sioux youth delegation that went to deliver a letter to her at her campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. He said she is no different than Trump.

We tried to take that outrage and sense of betrayal to another place—getting to the nature of the system. We got into how capitalism works, and what the rulers are forced to do by their nature, including with the environment—we drew on what we had learned in the polemic against Bernie Sanders’s program at revcom.us.

One of us was wearing the "America was never great! We need to overthrow this system" sticker. A couple of the youth were really into these and took one each to put them on right away, and took a handful for their friends.

We asked what they wanted to tell people about why they should come to Standing Rock, and one young woman put a challenge to the world: "If you see something on Facebook, don't just cry. Do something about it... Don't be a witness to genocide. Don't be the person that says, 'I saw genocide against a whole race.'... Our future is fading by the hour... we are destroying more things than we're creating.... The way things are going, we won't be here in 500 years. We have no more time. We're hoping to fight to the end. We have something worth dying for."

When things started breaking up and people were heading out to get more wood, get ready for dinner, etc., we put to people that we wanted to talk seriously with them about what is in the “HOW WE CAN WIN” statement, and so we set up a time to meet back up with them to dig into this. A lot of these youth were excited and looking forward to this, and as we left a number of them were flipping through the pages.

____________________

* The “5 Stops” refers to the following demands that reflect key concentrations of social contradictions. (This is available in poster and leaflet forms at revcom.us):

STOP Genocidal Persecution, Mass Incarceration, Police Brutality and Murder of Black and Brown People!
STOP The Patriarchal Degradation, Dehumanization, and Subjugation of All Women Everywhere, and All Oppression Based on Gender or Sexual Orientation!
STOP Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!
STOP The Demonization, Criminalization and Deportations of Immigrants and the Militarization of the Border!
STOP Capitalism-Imperialism from Destroying Our Planet! [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/dispatch-our-first-24-hours-at-standing-rock-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Dispatch from Revcoms:

Our First 24 Hours at Standing Rock

October 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

October 29—Revcoms are on the ground at the historic Standing Rock encampment in North Dakota. We’re uniting with the Native people who are righteously standing up against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and have been occupying this land for months, refusing to back down. We’re reporting on what is happening here for revcom.us. We’re spreading the message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, “HOW WE CAN WIN: How We Can Really Make Revolution”—and struggling with the people to get into this right now and be part of the movement for revolution, which is getting organized to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time.

Standing Rock, October 29
Saturday, October 29 at Standing Rock blockade. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Since arriving yesterday, the importance and significance of the people standing up at Standing Rock to stop the construction of the DAPL pipeline has become all the more clear. People all over the world are hearing about this struggle. But even more people need to know about this—AND take an active stand on the side of this just struggle. The determined resistance needs to become even more broad, involving many more people from different walks of life—at Standing Rock itself and across the country.

We’ve already seen the potential for this in the short time we’ve been here. As we drove on the highway to the main encampment, one of four protest camps, we saw hundreds and hundreds of people encamped. The more than 200 flags of different Native American nations that have come to Standing Rock to demand that the pipeline not be built and to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux is unprecedented and historic. This has never happened, that so many tribes have come together. Several people told us that the Crow Nation, which has historic conflicts with the Sioux people, was one of the first to come out in support of the Standing Rock Sioux.

The struggle is also drawing many non-Native people—environmental activists and others, including well-known people like actors Shailene Woodley and Mark Ruffalo—to come and stand with people there. In just a few hours here, we have already talked to non-Native people from Boston, Los Angeles, Germany, and Australia.


Carl Dix speaks about Standing Rock at the Get Into the Revolution Now rally in Chicago, October 29.

The heroic and defiant actions of the resisters at Standing Rock—in the face of brutal police, armed company thugs, and government lies at all levels—have put a spotlight on how this country is founded on the genocide of Native people and slavery, and on the whole history of broken treaties, stolen land, enforced poverty, and other crimes committed against Native Americans. This fight has laid bare the genocide and oppression of Native people that continue right down to today. And it has pointed to the wanton devastation of the environment by the rulers that particularly impacts and puts at risk areas where indigenous people and others among the most oppressed live, here and around the world. We revcoms are bringing to people the scientific understanding that there is a system of capitalism-imperialism behind all this, that it cannot fundamentally operate in any other way, that it’s going to take an actual revolution to sweep away this system and bring into being a radically new system, and that there is leadership for this revolution.

Throughout the camp, youths are riding horses bareback, dogs are running around and barking, and people are sharing food and camaraderie. It is a community, like a small town. As night falls, at the camp headquarters people are singing in Sioux for hours and dancing. Teepees and tents abound. Firewood is available for all. People are here for the long haul. Some have been here for three months, and some have just arrived. Everyone has a story of why they came.

People from Standing Rock and afar have told us over and over they are here to protect the water and the life of the Standing Rock Sioux, whose lives are endangered by the poisoning of the Missouri River—their water supply—from oil spills. Many have said they have the responsibility to protect the water and the Earth. Some spoke of this as a global problem—that the water all over the Earth is being poisoned. Some of the older people were very saddened about the violent police attack last Thursday on the new encampment, which was cleared. They are afraid that nothing further can be done in response to this violence.

On the other side, north of the encampment, are the sheriff’s department police and the armed mercenaries of DAPL. They are there to make sure the DAPL pipeline is completed. Originally, the route of the pipeline was planned to go near Bismarck, North Dakota, the state capital, about 40 miles to the north of here. But the route was deemed too dangerous to the Bismarck water supply and was rerouted farther south to run through land adjacent to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation!

Helicopters, from both the sheriff’s department and DAPL, fly over the encampment along with a single-engine plane that is almost continuously over the encampment, especially at night. The sheriff’s deputies have maced, beaten, and shot people with rubber bullets. One young man from Standing Rock told us of his horse being tased by the deputies and dropping to the ground as the rider was trying to protect elders who were being maced.

On Friday night, as darkness began to fall, an older Native woman came up and asked us if we were hungry. She led us back to her kitchen and fed us turkey and wild rice soup along with delicious fry bread. She talked about how she was taken at a young age and sent to a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) boarding school where she was so traumatized that she decided to go to college and become a mental health worker. She talked at length about the need to pray to the Creator and that he had sent us there. She opposed the anger of the youth. She has been telling them not to be “violent” but to use the Freedom of Religion Act to put their bodies on the line.

Also on Friday night, we talked to a youth who knew about the delegation that attempted to deliver a letter to Hillary Clinton headquarters in Brooklyn, asking her to oppose DAPL—but they were rebuffed. He was very glad to see us at Standing Rock. When we asked him if he knew anything about these angry and rebellious youth, he responded, “I guess that is me and my friends.” About the youth being rejected by Clinton’s representatives in Brooklyn, he said, “I am not surprised, but some of my friends were very upset.” He was in a rush to go treat his horse that had been tased, but before he left we emphasized that he needed to read “HOW WE CAN WIN” and that we wanted to get together very soon, and with his friends as well, to dig into this.

       

About 200 people came out onto the road Saturday afternoon for a prayer walk/dance ceremony/drum circle that would provide a presence on the road while some of the elders went to talk with  police about the police moving the blockade.​

About 200 people came out onto the road Saturday afternoon for a prayer walk/dance ceremony/drum circle that would provide a presence on the road while some of the elders went to talk with  police about the police moving the blockade
Saturday, October 29: About 200 people came out onto the road for a prayer walk/dance ceremony/drum circle that would provide a presence on the road while some of the elders went to talk with police about the police moving the blockade.​ Photos: Special to revcom.us

Today, Saturday, started with about 200 Native and other people gathering on the road just north of the camp to hold a “prayer walk” and traditional dance ceremony and to demand that the sheriff’s department reopen the road that leads north to Bismarck. Reopening this road is vital in order to have 40-minute access to the hospitals in Bismarck for pregnant women, the elderly, and the sick, as opposed to a 90-minute roundabout route. The road is blockaded at a bridge by armed sheriff’s deputies and, we are told, armed employees of DAPL that people are calling mercenaries. Two burned-out construction earthmovers lie across the entrance to the bridge. The sheriff’s department is reportedly blocking the road to allow the DAPL construction workers to continue working on the pipeline.

When we got back to camp we talked with two young Native women. One of them is from the Southwest. She said she was there because her late husband, who was Sioux, is buried in the hills near the encampment and this pipeline will desecrate his grave. And she is there to protect the water. She went on to describe how 20 or 30 years ago, her mother was involved in fighting against the forced removal of her people so coal companies could set up massive strip mining operations. They were afraid that the water from the mining operations would be contaminated, and that is exactly what has happened. They have no safe drinking water, and she said their family “could be said to be living there illegally.”

The other young woman is from Standing Rock but is now living in a city on the East Coast. She said this country will never change and that both Clinton and Trump have ties to people who have a lot of money invested in the pipeline. She went on to say that this is bigger than the candidates, that a small group of people make all the decisions. She said, “They’re not going to stop. The U.S. has yet to recognize the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People because to do so would be to admit what they have done to indigenous peoples. That’s the leadership of this country. They have too much at stake to side with indigenous people.”

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

Neither woman responded much when we read the first paragraph of the “What We Need To Do Now” section of “HOW WE CAN WIN.” But when we briefly described the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America to the young woman from the Southwest and suggested in particular that she read the Preamble, she looked through it and asked if she could keep the copy. We made arrangements for her to borrow it and to get it back later. With both these women and the young man we first met in New York, we emphasized the need to get into “HOW WE CAN WIN.” They told us where they and the more rebellious youth are staying and how to find them.

We have met some very interesting non-Native people as well. One young couple from Boston had gone to the San Francisco Bay Area with plans to go camping in the Pacific Northwest. He said that when they heard about what was happening in Standing Rock, they “had an existential crisis.” They felt that they had to be there with the people’s struggle, rented a car and drove to Standing Rock.

About a half dozen people from Burning Man (an annual gathering, described as an “experiment in art and community,” that takes place in Nevada, a collective that takes inspiration from cultures of Native peoples and their respect for the Earth), drove from Los Angeles. One woman is from Germany. She is outraged that people do not see the similarities between the rise of the Nazis and what is happening in the United States. Another woman, from a very spiritual perspective, said she had to be there. We gave them copies of “HOW WE CAN WIN.” They were very excited to hear that we have a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America and immediately wanted a copy.

One last thing before signing off on this dispatch: In relation to our goal of advancing the movement for revolution while on the ground here, there have been a number of people who have felt that revolution is necessary, but we have not yet really drawn them out on how they understand what a revolution actually is, and the need for them to be part of getting organized for an actual revolution, starting right now. We have begun to identify some people who are more serious and are beginning to read the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. And we have told people that we want to begin to pull people together very soon to actually dig into the substance of this as well as “HOW WE CAN WIN.” Going forward, we will much more be fighting to make concrete plans with people to do this!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/interview-from-standing-rock-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Interview from Standing Rock

"We're going to fight and continue to fight...until the end"

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following are excerpts from an interview Revolution/revcom.us correspondents did with a woman and a man at Standing Rock who had just gotten out of jail.

XX: I’m here because this is where I had to be. I knew I had to be here because everything going on here is wrong. This should not be—that’s our water, that’s the water for the rest of our lives. That’s the sacred ground over there. This is sacred ground everywhere, and they’re destroying it. They’re ripping our hearts out, they’re destroying water for the rest of our lives. We may not have any if they continue this. Back in Pennsylvania, we fought fracking back there. We lost. They got to the border for New York, and thank god they stopped the fracking. But this has gotta stop. It’s gotta stop. And we need people to be here and to know the truth. Everything that’s gone on here is to intimidate and to tear down our spirit and they’re not going to win. We’re going to fight and continue to fight. We’re going to be here until the end. And the end is going to be victory.

YY: We need this victory. The earth needs this. We need this. Everybody needs this. I’m from Montana. I didn’t know what was happening—I kinda saw things happening on Facebook but I hate Facebook. So I thought to myself, technically I’m not there so I don’t know what’s going on. I’m only 10 hours away, I just got laid off. Two days, I was here and I just leaped into it. That night I went to bed, the next morning I woke up and they said we need people to do an action. I said, I have no idea what that is, but it didn’t stop me from coming here so I just jumped in a van.... 

XX: I traveled three days to stand up to this. The world needs to know what’s happening. And when I left back east, I talked to a relative. And when I said I was coming out here, she thought I was coming out for a vacation or something. The world doesn’t know what’s happening. A lot of this is not getting out, and it’s making it look like the people who are living here are some kind of fanatics or whatever. And that’s not the truth—they are trying to protect their livelihoods, their families, and everything that matters to them.

Revolution: Where’s the frontline? Is that the one they cleared the other day?

XX: Yeah. That’s where I was arrested, I went to jail. I was in a prayer circle. I was told by the officer who put his cuffs on my arms that if I didn’t resist or anything, I would just be charged with trespassing—we were in a prayer circle. And then of course, when we got to the jail, we were charged with three different charges, including terrorism by fire and all kinds of crazy stuff that I’m not guilty of.

YY: So here’s the charges—criminal conspiracy to endanger by fire, which is a C Class felony; public nuisance; and engaging in a riot, which was a misdemeanor. They charged everyone with this. I don’t know how many people were arrested....

XX: I thought it was like 140. This is another nice thing—now we’re all marked. They wrote on all of us. They made us lie on concrete floors. When we went in, the first thing we faced is that they stripped us down to one layer, and that meant just jeans. If you had a t-shirt on, you were good, but if you didn’t have just a regular t-shirt... a lot of women were there with just their undergarments and a camisole. And the first thing you faced were two porta potties like we’re using here all the time if you needed to go. Then they herded us into these big wire cages that looked like dog kennels, only they were tall enough to stand in, and there were 20 some in each one of them. And then they left us in there, we were down on the floor.

A lot of the women were tired. It was getting late, they were tired, they were sleeping on the concrete floor.... And then they left us there. I think it was about 2 o’clock in the morning when we got upstairs, finally. And then, of course, all the women were patted down and checked up the bottom, not complete, but to make sure there’s nothing extra there. They just did “look”-cavity searches. And that was extremely traumatizing to a lot of the ladies. Because you don’t do that stuff, especially to indigenous ladies—that ‘s just unconscionable. Then you had to take everything off, you got an orange top and bottom. Some people got slippers or socks, some didn’t. Others got none—they were barefoot the whole time we were there.

They put you in beds. There were 12 of us, and there was only room for only 8 and there other four were sleeping on the floor on a mattress. You did get a sheet for the mattress, and you got a towel and a washcloth. In the morning they brought breakfast, and when they brought breakfast we had two paper cups for 12 people... We were sharing a roll of toilet paper between four or five cells. This cell had two or three ladies, and then you handed the paper over to the next cell—one roll. But, you know, it could have been worse, I’m sure. I didn’t get beaten or abused in that respect. But I did see some of that being done, but not severely, just like extra shoves and that kind of thing. I was in there Thursday, Friday, Saturday. I got out late last night.

Some of the ladies were extremely traumatized—that was a lot for some of the ladies. And especially when we started to read that we were getting felony charges for a prayer circle. We had nothing to do with starting a fire. But this is the way it was...

Oh, that’s another thing. I was under the impression that in this country you had a right to your Miranda rights, OK, you have the right to remain silent, etc. That was not given to us. Not that I’m aware of. Now, when we got into court, they said, do you understand all this stuff, but they still did not say “you have a right to remain silent” such and such—that was not how it was read at all. That was one thing. Plus, before we had any court proceedings, it was way over 24 hours. I asked several times about a phone call and never got a phone call...

Revolution: A lot of people tell us that the reason they are here is to protect the water. But a lot of other people are connecting this with the global problem, and I’m wondering if you have some thoughts on what’s going on here, how it’s connected to the larger world.

XX: This is going on in Massachusetts, it’s going on outside of the power plant in New York City. They’re doing all kind of stuff, the industry. They’re working against the people all over the place. I sat on the road to go into the upper camp with a man from the Carolinas, and they’re fighting this in the Carolinas. And we all know that a pipeline broke in Alabama and we know about the fact that the fertilizer plant put all the radioactive water into the aquifer in Florida. We know all this is happening, but everybody seems to keep their eyes closed. Or they turn away and ignore it and think, oh, well, it doesn’t pertain to me. It pertains to the world. It pertains to all of us. As we believe here, water is life and without that water, we’re all gone. Every plant, every bird, every animal, everything on this earth depends on that water.

Another thing we gotta keep in mind is that our fight here is also for the treaty rights for the indigenous people who owned and own the land, and they’ve been denied their rights for years and years. And here again, it’s happening. The government continues to take away the rights of the indigenous people, and we have to stand for the water and for their rights.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/support-revcom-correspondents-at-the-DAPL-protest-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Support revcom.us correspondents at the #DAPL protest encampment at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota!

October 28, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

DONATE HERE TO SUPPORT
REVCOM.US CORRESPONDENTS
AT STANDING ROCK


Travis Morales at Standing Rock


Riley Ruiz at Standing Rock

Travis Morales, and Riley Ruiz from the Revolution Club, are at Standing Rock. They left in a hurry, responding to the need, took time off work, and borrowed money to go. Read a letter from Riley below. Donations for their trip can be made:

1) Cash donations earmarked for "revcom.us correspondents at the #DAPL protest" can be taken to Revolution Books, 437 Malcolm X Blvd., New York, NY 10037; 212-691-3345

2) Checks made out to RCP Publications, with a notation "for the revcom.us correspondents at the #DAPL protest" can be mailed to RCP Publications, PO Box 3486 Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654-0486

3) Donations can be made online via Paypal (at right)

 

We received this letter from Riley:

My name is Riley, and I am writing this letter today calling on you to fill an urgent need and donate towards sending myself and my comrade Travis Morales to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe reservation in North Dakota, to report on what is happening on the ground in this intense struggle to protect the Native people’s land from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Ultimately this is a fight over the future of the planet itself, and revolutionaries need to be in the midst of this struggle bringing the real problem and solution that is urgently needed.

As I write this letter, forces of violent repression are encroaching on the people of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe for standing up against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The tribe has continued to insist that this is completely going against a treaty that was made with the capitalists over 100 years ago, and they are demanding that this pipeline not be drilled on their land. It is incredibly courageous and matters a great deal that people have been standing up against this, putting their bodies on the line, in defiance of this pipeline which would devastate their land, contaminate their only water source, and could lead to the utter destruction of their entire tribe. This struggle is getting sharper by the minute, and it needs to continue, and there is now more than ever a need for revolutionaries to be on the ground uniting with this struggle, and struggling with people there to get into Bob Avakian and the movement for revolution.

All that being said, again I am writing this letter, to call on you to donate the needed funds towards this trip.

So who am I?

I am a revolutionary, a communist, a follower of Bob Avakian, a member of the Revolution Club, and an emancipator of humanity.

So what does all this mean!?

It means I am taking responsibility for getting the seven billion people on the planet free, in the fullest sense. It means I am serious about digging into the science, the strategy, and the leadership for an actual revolution that Bob Avakian and the RCP USA are providing; that I am taking that out into the world, spreading it, applying the strategy, and contributing as much as I can to the advancement of it. It means I am fighting for a world without classes, without masters and slaves, without borders, without backwards, enslaving ideas, without any form of oppression and exploitation. It means I want to fight through all the way through, and not stop when obstacles and contradictions come up, because there is a basis in reality to actually make that vision real. It means I want to win!

It also means that when people stand up against oppression, I am standing with them; whether I am there physically or not, I am standing with those people, and leading others to stand with them, but if this is as far as it goes, if this struggle isn’t connected up with a scientific understanding of the problem and the solution, it will be kept within the confines and framework of this system which is the source of all this madness. So while I will be uniting with this struggle I will also be challenging people to get into Bob Avakian and the scientific approach to making revolution that he has developed and to dig into it and take it up RIGHT NOW because the world cries out for fundamental change!

So when the question was posed to me, whether or not I wanted to go to Standing Rock, I immediately and enthusiastically said “OF COURSE!” But we need a lot of funds in order for myself and my comrade to be able to take the time off work, to get there, and function while we are there.

And so again your funds are urgently needed. Be part of filling a great need. Donate towards sending revolutionaries to Standing Rock to unite with this historic struggle, to report back on what is happening on the ground there, and to spread the revolution that is urgently needed to actually resolve this question of the oppression of the Native people, and to get to a world beyond all this; a radically different and far better world, for all of humanity.

Riley Ruiz

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/standing-rock-sioux-cleveland-indian-fans-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Standing Rock Sioux... Cleveland "Indian" Fans
Compare and Contrast

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Standing Rock Sioux and thousands of others protesting the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline are fighting to protect the waters of this land and lands held sacred in their culture. They have heroically resisted pepper gas, beatings, and hundreds of arrests. In their determined resistance they have brought to the fore the whole history of broken treaties and genocide against the Native American peoples. The protesters are modeling something very important—collectively taking responsibility for the future of the land and people living on it and making sure it is not destroyed.

Contrast that with the people carousing and acting the fool in Chicago and Cleveland, celebrating a “World” Series in which one team uses a grotesque and cruel caricature of Native Americans as its emblem. Hundreds of fans have worn a racist “Chief Wahoo” costume to the games, and millions of people have watched them on TV.

The team adopted the name “Cleveland Indians” in 1915, only 25 years after the Wounded Knee massacre of as many as 300 Lakota Sioux. Cleveland newspapers announced the new name with racist vitriol, evoking a mythological “primitive savage” image which had already served for several centuries to justify genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. One newspaper wrote “...we’ll have the Indians, on the warpath all the time, and eager for scalps to dangle at their belts.” And the “Chief Wahoo” mascot still used today on the uniforms and buildings, and worn by fans in this World Series, is no different than the racist “black Sambo” used during Jim Crow to caricature Black people as an inferior people.

Bob Avakian’s first point of “3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better” is that “1) 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.” Once you do that, the door opens to digging into why the world is that way, and how it can be changed.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/stand-with-standing-rock-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Native Americans Fight Modern-Day Genocide:
Standing Up at Standing Rock

Updated January 24, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

FLASH:
On January 24 the Trump-Pence fascist regime signed an executive order to push ahead and finish the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Keystone XL Pipeline. We will post new developments here. As of this posting, protests are taking place in various cities. It is urgent that the righteous defense of the rights of Native People, and the defense of the environment humanity depends on, not be steamrolled! And it is urgent that this important struggle be part of the defining struggle to STOP the fascist regime of Trump-Pence before it consolidates its power.

The encampment near North Dakota's Standing Rock Sioux reservation, December 4, 2016. Photo: Special to revcom.us

 

Below is background to this important struggle.


Continuing to Stand Strong at Standing Rock... and Spreading the Struggle

December 12, 2016

Over the past week, there have been important developments in the resistance to the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline (DAPL) that threatens the water and tramples treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux in the western Dakotas. Revolution reported on how thousands of people, including a contingent of veterans, went to Standing Rock to stand with people threatened with eviction by federal and state officials. Revolution Clubs mobilized around the country and sent a delegation to stand with people there, and connect them with organizing for an actual revolution.

Read more

Showdown Looms—
Stand With Standing Rock

November 28, 2016

There is a showdown looming at Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the Dakotas. Thousands of Native American Indians, along with supporters, have been camping out there. They have been protesting the installation of an oil pipeline that gravely threatens the water that Native people and thousands of others in the area depend on, and violates Indian treaty rights. Hundreds have been arrested and hundreds more have stood up to beatings, macings, high-powered water hoses in sub-freezing weather, and unending harassment and insult.

Now the Army of Corps of Engineers has vowed to arrest anyone who remains in the camp past Monday, December 5.

The Native people cannot be left to face this alone. The environment cannot withstand yet another insult. It is on everyone—every revolutionary, every radical or progressive, everyone with a beating heart and a working conscience—to stand up for the Standing Rock Sioux and the water protectors.

Read more

Resistance at Standing Rock Forces Gov't to Back Down for Now... The Struggle Continues

December 5, 2016

The past 24 hours have seen dramatic developments in the battle to stop the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline (DAPL) from endangering the water and violating the treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux.

Read more

Voices From Standing Rock—Standing Firm in the Face of Threats

December 3, 2016

The Army of Corps of Engineers, and the governor of North Dakota, have issued threats to arrest anyone who remains in the camp with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe after Monday, December 5. Revolution correspondents at Standing Rock shared these responses from people they talked to about those threats.

Read more

ALERT! North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple Signs Executive Order for Mandatory Evacuation of Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock, Effective Immediately!
RESPONSE: We Aren't Going Anywhere!

November 28, 2016

Read more

A Letter to All of the Veterans
Standing for Standing Rock

From Carl Dix

December 1, 2016

Read more

Revolution Club Delegation to Standing Rock: An Unforgettable Inspiring Experience

December 12, 2016

Read more

 

If you are at Standing Rock, write to us. Tell us why you are there, your thoughts on what is happening and why, and what needs to happen.

Write to revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

 

Stand With Standing Rock!

Solidarity with Standing Rock

From a reader:

Midnight on December 1st, ​Mohawks of Kahnawake, near Montreal, Canada, began a 24 hour blockade of freight trains carrying oil on the Canadian Pacific Railway line. This action was in protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, and in solidarity with the encampment and protest at Standing Rock. ​This action blocked the trains carrying oil while allowing the commuter trains to pass.

A spokeswoman for the protest​,​ Kahionwinehshon Phillips​,​ stated "We as the Mohawk people have a duty to protect mother earth, and we will continue to defend our mother earth for the coming generations as our ancestors did."

​The protesters at Kahnawake have maintained ​an encampment since late October ​at the base of Mercier Bridge, ​which connects the Montreal borough of LaSalle on the Island of Montreal with the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake, Quebec​.

Excerpt from:
More Than 125 Defiant Protesters Arrested: New Clashes in the Battle at Standing Rock (October 24, 2016)

...The DAPL [Dakota Access Pipeline] is a 1,200-mile-long pipeline that, when completed, would carry 500,000 barrels of oil a day, extracted through environmentally destructive methods in northwest North Dakota. The burning of that oil would pump more greenhouse gases into the environment, further escalating the global climate crisis. While DAPL hasn’t attracted the same level of international attention as the Keystone XL pipeline, which crosses the U.S.-Canada border, DAPL is on the same scale. The pipeline route cuts through land that is historically and culturally important to the Sioux and other Native people. And leaks from the pipeline where it is designed to cross the Missouri River would threaten the water, health, and livelihood of the people at Standing Rock reservation and millions of others in the region.

Starting with a few protesters earlier this year, the defiant struggle of the “water defenders,” as many at Standing Rock call themselves, has drawn in hundreds of Native tribes—including ones with longstanding historic conflicts—as well as environmental activists and a wide range of people compelled to take a stand against injustice and oppression. Thousands of people are now part of an encampment near the Standing Rock reservation. Well-known voices, such as Edward Snowden and Susan Sarandon, have come out in support of the anti-DAPL protests, and actor Shailene Woodley was among those arrested at a protest earlier this month. At least 19 city governments have passed resolutions or written letters opposing construction of the pipeline.

The determined actions of the fighters at Standing Rock are posing big questions about the ongoing genocide of indigenous people and the predatory nature of the oil-addicted capitalist-imperialist system. On the other side are not just the capitalists who have billions of dollars invested in the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, but the ruling class as a whole who are all committed to what they call U.S. “energy independence.” Whatever the conflicts among themselves, they are in agreement on the need, based on their imperialist interests, to increase domestic fuel production in order to gain strategic advantage over rival world powers, as part of maintaining their position as top global oppressor and exploiter.

The situation at Standing Rock has been intensifying... Read entire article

 

 

       

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

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob AvakianNow, of course, slavery was not the only factor that played a significant part in the emergence of the U.S. as a world power, whose economic strength underlies its massive military force. A major historical factor in all this was the theft of land, on a massive scale, from Mexico as well as from native peoples. But, in turn, much of that conquest of land was, for a long period of time up until the Civil War, largely to expand the slave system. "Remember the Alamo," we are always reminded. Well, many of the "heroes" of the Alamo were slave traders and slave chasers....And expanding the slave system was a major aim of the overall war with Mexico, although that war also led to the westward expansion of the developing capitalist system centered in the northern United States.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:2

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob AvakianThis system and those who rule over it are not capable of carrying out economic development to meet the needs of the people now, while balancing that with the needs of future generations and requirements of safeguarding the environment. They care nothing for the rich diversity of the earth and its species, for the treasures this contains, except when and where they can turn this into profit for themselves....These people are not fit to be the caretakers of the earth.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:29

Correspondence from Revcoms at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation:

Editor's note: Revcoms are at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. They are uniting with this historic struggle and reporting from the ground for Revolution / revcom.us. And they are taking out the reality that this is an illegitimate system that is behind all this and that it needs to be overthrown at the soonest possible time, and connecting people with HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution. Following are correspondence from them on what they are learning, and doing.

Support revcom.us correspondents at the #DAPL protest encampment at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota!

Revcoms at Standing Rock, November 30:

"The Potential for Humanity to Come Together Around a Totally Different Way"...

From Travis Morales, November 26:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Moves to Evict Water Protectors Encampment by December 5

Revcom.us Interview with Standing Rock Youth on November 20 Police Attack:

"They emptied two canisters of mace on me and counting"

From Revcoms at Standing Rock, November 23:

Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline! No Thanks Genocide Day

From Revcoms at Standing Rock, November 21:

Winter Is Here—Water Protectors Aren't Going Anywhere

From Revcoms at Standing Rock, November 20:

Police Attack With Water Cannons and Rubber Bullets–Standing Rock Protesters Refuse to Back Down

From Revcoms at Standing Rock, November 16:

Thousands Act Together in Solidarity with the Struggle at Standing Rock

Dakota Access Pipeline protesters block rush hour traffic, New Haven, Conn., November 16, 2016. (Peter Hvizdak/New Haven Register via AP)Blocking rush hour traffic, New Haven, Conn., November 16. (Peter Hvizdak/New Haven Register via AP)

Native Americans Fight Modern-Day Genocide:

Critical Juncture in Battle at Standing Rock

Interview with Eleanor Bravo:

"We're destroying the Earth... This is the basic consequence..."

November 11:

Important Update from Revcoms at Standing Rock

November 8: Report from Revcoms at Standing Rock

“Revolution, Nothing Less!—
Ask Us How We Can Win”

Travis Morales at Standing RockTravis Morales at Standing Rock

Correspondence from Revcoms at Standing Rock:

Standing With Struggle, Connecting People With Revolution

On November 5, delegations from Hopi and Lakota tribes arrived at the main camp at Standing Rock. The Hopi Tribe from Arizona ran all the way. A powerful impact! Photo: Revolution Club, NYC @NYCRevClubOn November 5, delegations from Hopi and Lakota tribes arrived at the main camp at Standing Rock. The Hopi Tribe from Arizona ran all the way. A powerful impact! Photo: Revolution Club, NYC @NYCRevClub

November 2:

At the Cannonball River: Bold Move by Standing Rock "Water Protectors," Vicious Pig Attack

Up to 100 riot police attack people who reached Turtle Island. Photo: Special to revcom.us.Up to 100 riot police attack people who reached Turtle Island. Photo: Special to revcom.us.

Standing Rock Interview:

New Zealand-born Samoan Activist Tu'ulenana Iuli

Clergy Standing with Standing Rock

Interview with Methodist Minister, Reverend Matt Richards

Interview with Reverend Mariama White-Hammond

October 31:

Dispatch from Revcoms:
Sunday at Standing Rock: Bouncing Off "Overthrow, Don't Vote For This System"

October 31:

Interview from Standing Rock

"We're going to fight and continue to fight...until the end"

October 30:

Dispatch from Revcoms:
Our First 24 Hours at Standing Rock


Saturday, October 29

October 27, on Highway 1806, police move against protesters.

Berserk police indiscriminately mace peaceful Water Protectors!

Berserk Police indiscriminately mace peaceful Water Protectors! This blatant attack was unprovoked - there were young children and elders in this crowd for prayer. #NoDAPL #WaterisLife #MniWiconi Video by Rob Wilson Photography #WearetheMedia SHARE WIDELY!! Call to Action! We need you here NOW at Sacred Stone Camp! DAPL is trying to finish this pipeline now and they are nearing camp! They have to date destroyed 380 sacred sites! If you've thought about coming out - now is the time - we need you!

Posted by Sacred Stone Camp on Saturday, October 22, 2016

October 22, 2016, police indiscriminately mace peaceful Water Protectors!


The 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie supposedly guaranteed Native people the right to certain lands. But as oil and minerals were discovered, the lands were grabbed back by the U.S. government.

 


On Saturday, October 22, 83 people were arrested as 300 protestors stood their ground to block the attempts to build the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. The proposed pipeline would savage the environment and endanger several nearby Native American reservations and lands.


September 9, more than a thousand people gather at an encampment to protest Dakota Access oil pipeline near North Dakota's Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Photo: AP

 

Posted by Angela Ohmer on Saturday, October 22, 2016

October 22, 2016

 

Standing Rock Sioux...
Cleveland "Indian" Fans
Compare and Contrast

The Standing Rock Sioux and thousands of others protesting the building of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline are fighting to protect the waters of this land and lands held sacred in their culture. They have heroically resisted pepper gas, beatings, and hundreds of arrests. In their determined resistance they have brought to the fore the whole history of broken treaties and genocide against the Native American peoples. The protesters are modeling something very important—collectively taking responsibility for the future of the land and people living on it and making sure it is not destroyed.

Contrast that with the people carousing and acting the fool in Chicago and Cleveland, celebrating a “World” Series in which one team uses a grotesque and cruel caricature of Native Americans as its emblem. Hundreds of fans have worn a racist “Chief Wahoo” costume to the games, and millions of people have watched them on TV... Read entire article


Case #90: The Sullivan Expedition, 1779—Genocide of Native Peoples and Scorched Earth in Upstate New York

Special Issue of Revolution on the Environmental Emergency

This Revolution special issue focuses on the environmental emergency that now faces humanity and Earth's ecosystems. In this issue we show:

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

Read online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)


This video was made in 2009 by Cree singer Buffy Sainte-Marie. It is currently circulating on social media. In her native tongue, Keshagesh means "greedy guts." "It's what you call a little puppy who eats his own and then wants everybody else's."

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/pack-the-courtroom-cleveland-november-3-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Pack the Courtroom & Demand the Charges Be Dropped!
Joey Johnson and the RNC 16 Back in Cleveland November 3 for Court Hearing
Pack the Courtroom!

Thursday, November 3, 2016 – 9:30 am
INJustice Center – Courtroom 15A Courthouse
Ontario & Lakeside, Cleveland

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


What you can do

Funds are needed to defray the costs of the defense, and to make speakers available on this case. To donate, go to: www.crowdrise.com/revolution-club-at-the-conventions

To contact the RNC 16 and to request Joey Johnson or one of the other RNC 16 to speak at your school, email:revclubmedia@gmail.com

Sign the online petition– We demand: Drop the Charges on Gregory "Joey" Johnson and RNC16 Now!

On Thursday, November 3, Joey Johnson and the RNC 16 will converge on Cleveland for a court hearing they are required to attend as they continue to be criminally prosecuted for carrying out their righteous, defiant and timely burning of the american flag at the Republican National Convention on July 20. As the RNC 16 have stated, we are putting their system on trial legally and politically. This means we must pack the courtroom on November 3 and demand the charges be dropped! The RNC 16 will also conduct the People’s Tribunal in Cleveland, again putting the system on trial using their own words and action to prosecute them.

On July 20, as Trump delivered his fascist message of law and order, misogyny, and unbridled vitriolic racist attacks against Blacks, Latinos and Chicanos, Muslims and immigrants, Joey Johnson lit the flag on fire as the Revolution Club chanted “1, 2, 3, 4—Slavery, Genocide, and War! 5, 6, 7, 8—America Was NEVER Great!” As previously written (“Joey Johnson and the RNC 16 Put the System on Trial in Cleveland”), the revcoms “had a right to do what we did at the RNC... and it was right!”

The flyer for the RNC 16 (which can be downloaded and spread) puts the challenge this way:

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!

* Write a letter to the prosecutor and chief assistant prosecutor in Cleveland to demand that all charges against all those arrested July 20 when the flag was burned be dropped immediately. Call Kimberly Barnett-Mills, chief assistant prosecutor, at 216-664-4850. Send letter to: Prosecutor Tim McGinty, 1200 Ontario St #9, Cleveland, OH 44113. Tel. 216-443-7800. Twitter: @Pros_TimMcGinty. Or to send an email, go to: www.prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/Contact.aspx. (Please copy to revclubmedia@gmail.com or Twitter: @joey4revolution)

* Donate money and raise much-needed funds for legal defense and travel costs as these RNC 16 come to Cleveland for their court appearances and for speaking engagements about their case. For more info about what you can do, see DROP THE CHARGES ON JOEY JOHNSON & THE RNC 16!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/chicago-pigs-code-of-silence-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

The "Code of Silence" and the Venal, Vicious, Drug-Dealing Pigs of Chicago

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Dashcam Video of the Chicago Police Murder of Laquan McDonald

Police murder Laquan McDonald at 5 minute mark

At the end of last year, a video surfaced showing the cold-blooded execution of an unarmed Black teenager named Laquan McDonald by Chicago police in 2014. In the video, as Laquan walks away from the cops with hands at his sides, he is shot 16 times—one less than his age. The video, released 400 days after Laquan was killed, led to revelations of a cover-up of the murder at every level, from top officials of the pig department to the “police review” board to the mayor and the state’s attorney. This sparked broad outrage and angry protests in the streets, and has been a big part of a crisis that has been touched off in the halls of power in Chicago.

A recent series titled “Code of Silence” by journalist Jamie Kalven, a result of a three-year investigation, puts a spotlight on another insidious cover-up of crimes by the Chicago police. The articles by Kalven—who had exposed the autopsy report showing Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times and was the first to report on the existence of the video of his murder—are on The Intercept website. The Invisible Institute, a journalistic production company Kalven is involved with, printed 40,000 copies of “Code of Silence” to distribute to more than 400 locations across Chicago, including all 80 Chicago public libraries.

As “Code of Silence” describes, from the 1990s into the early 2000s, an “anti-gang” tactical team assigned to the huge high-rise housing projects on Chicago’s South Side carried out a large-scale criminal enterprise that demanded bribes from drug dealers in return for protection from police crackdowns and rival drug groups. They enforced this setup with violent attacks on those who didn’t comply or got in their way. Kalven’s series focuses on two low-ranking cops who tried to blow the whistle on this but then were pressured, harassed, and physically threatened by high-ranking officials trying to quash exposure of the illegal activities of their “anti-gang” cops. This was the “code of silence” in operation.

This case is not just about a single group of corrupt pigs and not just about a single city. It reveals some deeper points about the nature and role of the police as armed enforcers of a whole oppressive system in AmeriKKKa.

***

Chicago is one of the cities where Black people from the South came up north in their millions, seeking a better life and freedom from lynch mobs and open segregation. They found themselves being super-exploited in the factories and stockyards of this capitalist system, when they could get any jobs. And they were segregated into strictly prescribed areas by real estate interests backed up by the government and racist white mobs that attacked any Black people who dared to go into the “wrong neighborhood.” Tens of thousands of Black people were herded like cattle into a corridor of housing projects on the South Side. And as industrial jobs disappeared from Chicago and other cities, life became increasingly hard.

The high-rise projects have been demolished by the city—not to improve people’s lives but because those with power and influence wanted to break up what they saw from their capitalist class viewpoint as the danger of masses of angry, desperate people living right near the heart of a major urban center. And capitalist interests wanted to grab this “valuable real estate.” But up until the early 2000s, these projects were the largest concentration of poverty in the U.S.

These were the projects where the Chicago PD tactical unit headed by Sgt. Ronald Watts operated for years, carrying out their Mafia-like activity. Watts, a Black cop, had come up in the neighborhood that he and his outfit now marauded. Jamie Kalven writes, “In exchange for ‘a tax,’ Watts and his team shielded drug dealers from interference by law enforcement and targeted their competition. Their operation went far beyond shaking down the occasional drug dealer. They were major players in the drug trade on the South Side.” How major? According to Kalven, one small-time drug dealer estimated that “for a popular drug line sold at multiple sites ... the Watts tax could be as high as $50,000 a week.”

By the time the two police whistle-blowers—Shannon Spalding and Danny Echeverria—came into the picture, high-level officials in the police department, including its Internal Affairs Division, as well officials in the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), had been aware of the activities of Watts and his team for quite a while. But somehow, Watts and his crew were continuing to carry out their enterprise with impunity. Clearly, they were not some “rogue” group operating on their own on the sly but were going about their “business” with the knowledge of, if not active backing from, influential forces within the police department and other law enforcement.

Kalven writes, “Beyond Watts, [the investigation by Spalding and Echeverria] was focused on members of his team and senior officials suspected of conspiring with him. It was also rumored both on the street and in the department that Watts was involved in the murders of two drug dealers who defied him.”

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. Watch the entire film here.
Learn more about BA here.

Speaking on Democracy Now!, Spalding said that they were also investigating allegations that Watts and his group were “planting narcotics on innocent individuals and falsifying police reports, falsely arresting them, putting them in prison for false allegations. There’s also the allegations of ... physical violence, of being beaten, if they didn’t want to comply and pay this tax, as well as warrantless seizures, kicking in doors and going through people’s apartments, stealing everything that wasn’t nailed down. And the allegations kept being repeated over and over again from every individual that we would do intelligence debriefings with, along with our confidential informants.”

One informant who Spalding and Echeverria worked with was a homeless man they nicknamed “Chewbacca” who sometimes acted as a drug courier. When they asked him how often he had seen Watts getting paid off, he replied, “Hundreds of times. For years. The boys call him Thirsty Bird. You have to pay taxes to sell dope. Watts ain’t nothing nice. You come up missing if you go up against Watts.”

Chewbacca described one confrontation between Watts and Wilbert Moore—known as “Big Shorty”—a drug dealer who operated out of the Ida B. Wells housing project. Watts was demanding larger payoffs from Big Shorty, who refused and instead threatened to go to the feds on him. A few days later, Big Shorty was gunned down. Chewbacca told Spalding and Echeverria, “Nobody lives to tell, when they get into it with Watts. Watts leaves no witnesses.”


Black youths play basketball at Stateway Gardens' High. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Watts’ unit wasn’t the only one in the Chicago Police Department carrying out such despicable activity. An “elite” unit known as the Special Operations Section (SOS), for example, ran amok for years—brutalizing people, planting false evidence, breaking into homes without warrants, and stealing large amounts of cash—until a major scandal forced the department to shut down them down in 2007.

And as these groups were carrying out their criminal enterprises, people in the projects faced daily brutalization, degradation, and dehumanization at the hands of the pigs generally. Jamie Kalven, who was an adviser to the resident council at the Stateway Gardens project during some of this period, witnessed this first hand: “Excessive force was more the norm than the exception. For some officers, it was sport. They would grade one another on the blows they inflicted. The language of racial invective—‘nigger,’ ‘monkey,’ ‘hoodrat’—was routine; on occasion, over the loudspeakers of police vehicles. There were officers who found it amusing to toy with those under their power—arranging a foot race of heroin addicts to determine who would go to jail, for example, or forcing a woman they had searched on the street to walk home naked from the waist down.”

****

Spalding and Echeverria thought at first that their investigation had the backing of some officials in the FBI and the Chicago police Internal Affairs. But they met opposition and obstruction in the police department all along—which leaped to a whole other level when a supervising officer “outed” their identity so that the supposedly “confidential” investigation was no longer so. As Spalding told Democracy Now!, “It was imperative that our identities not be revealed, because the targets of the investigation were officers and bosses, and we didn’t know how far up the chain it would go, which meant that they had access to all of our personal information—where we lived, our children, anything that they wanted, which made us very vulnerable. So, to expose our identity is basically throwing us to the wolves.”

       

The two cops filed a “whistle-blower lawsuit” in an attempt to stop the retaliation against them—naming a number of chiefs, commanders, and sergeants. But that only made the threats against them, coming from high-level officials in the department, even more intense. One former cop told a Chicago TV news station of what she personally heard a sergeant say to Spalding: “That she better wear her bulletproof vest. She may go home in a casket, and he doesn’t want to have to call her daughter and tell her that she’s—you know, she’s gone.”

All this forced Spalding out of the department; Echeverria is still on the force but “very isolated,” according to one report. In May of this year, just before their suit was to go to trial, the city settled the case for $2 million. The investigation of Ronald Watts and his crew eventually led to just one charge of theft of public funds. He and a member of his team, Kallatt Mohammed, pled guilty in 2013. For all the years and scope of their criminal activity, Watts received just 22 months in jail and Mohammed 18 months. They paid several thousand dollars in fines—out of unknown huge sums of money they and their cohorts had stolen.


Bob Avakian, "A better world is possible," from his talk REVOLUTION: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About. As part of this clip, BA talks about how guards at the Corcoran prison in California forced prisoners to fight like gladiators.

Learn more about BA here

More tellingly, none of the higher-ups who may have collaborated with Watts or were involved in the suppression of the investigation and retaliation, including death threats, against the whistle-blowers have been convicted of any crime, or even punished in the department. On the contrary, the various officials named as defendants in the whistle-blower suit or alleged to have conspired with Watts have retired from the CPD with six-figure pensions and, in most cases, moved on to other leading positions in “enforcement.”

Kalven notes that the “code of silence” among police is commonly seen as pressure among rank-and-file cops to not report illegal activity and brutality against people carried out by their peers. He says that is an aspect, but points out, “What’s so striking about this story is that the retaliation against these officers is ordered by high-ranking supervisory officials within the department. So it’s really a story ... of how the code of silence operates at the center of the Chicago Police Department.”

****

As damning as the exposure of predatory activities of these criminals in uniform—and the high-level “code of silence” that covered this up for years—is, it is just one layer of the dirt that is coming out about the police in Chicago, in addition to the revelations about the high-level cover-up of the murder of Laquan McDonald. There has been light shed, for example, on how the police kidnapped thousands of people and took them to a former warehouse called Homan Square without even a formal arrest, torturing many of them in an attempt to get “confessions.” An online Chicago Torture Archive, due to open early next year, will contain 10,000 documents about more than 100 Black men tortured by Chicago police between 1972 and 1991.

And clearly, the “code of silence” doesn’t just operate within the Chicago police. The specifics may differ—but what’s revealed here is true of every major police department in the U.S. Just to name one example: A former Baltimore cop (who himself was forced off the force there for trying to blow the whistle on police abuse) wrote in a New York Times op-ed about how a cop who saw others planting drugs on someone was “scared to report it, fearing retaliation.” The ex-cop noted, “It is hard to speak up against colleagues anywhere, but in law enforcement there are more serious concerns, like your safety.” (See “It’s a Scientific Fact: You Can’t Be a Cop in America If You Won’t Be a PIG.”)

This is not fundamentally about corruption, “greedy” cops, or police “bosses” wanting to cover their asses. The police are not just "another gang" or even the "biggest gang." Even the supposedly "honest" cops are part of an oppressive force in this society. As Bob Avakian has pointed out:

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness.

BAsics 1:24

In the inner cities, the police are an occupying force that brutalizes and murders people, sends huge numbers off to prison, and sets people up to fight and even kill each other. The rulers cannot do without such a force, because their system of capitalism-imperialism has created generations of youth whose future has been rendered hopeless even before they are born. The blind workings of this system and the conscious policies of the government have made conditions desperate for millions of Black and Latino people in ghettos and barrios—where many are forced to turn to crime to survive, competing with each other under the dog-eat-dog morality that is promoted by the system. When the drug trade serves their interests, the rulers and their police use it as a means of control—and when they decide to go in another direction, they crack down with fascistic terror.

We do not need to “reform” this oppressive force. What’s needed is an actual revolution that sweeps away the monstrous system that’s behind the pigs who brutalize, murder, and terrorize the people. And we need to work urgently now to prepare the ground, prepare the people, and prepare the vanguard to bring about that revolution as soon as possible.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/awtwns-kids-on-their-own-in-calais-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

From A World To Win News Service

Kids on their own in Calais—the tip of an iceberg-cold world

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

The Calais "jungle," where eight to ten thousand refugees were living before the French government launched its destruction.
Looking out over the Calais "jungle," where eight to ten thousand refugees were living before the French government launched its destruction. (Photo: UNHCR/Corentin Fohlen)

24 October 2016. A World to Win News Service. Some eight to ten thousand refugees have been living in an improvised camp in Calais currently being demolished by French officials. All they've gotten from the French government so far has been tear gas and the bulldozers set to tear down the tents and shacks where they have survived amid the cold and mud thanks to the help of fellow refugees and humanitarian volunteers and organizations. The NGO Help Refugees said that as of 24 October it had a list of 1,028 "unaccompanied" children in the camp, 49 under the age of 13, one an 8-year-old boy. These are kids who lost their families at home, or were separated from them as they travelled across half the world through the most difficult and dangerous conditions imaginable.

Many of these childrenabout 40 percent, according to the NGO Terre d'Asilecame to Calais, on the English Channel, because they have family in the UK and are therefore legally entitled to asylum there. During the first ten months of this year, under public pressure, the UK admitted a grand total of 79. This came only after an enormous outcry from many British people. A Parliamentary measure to admit all refugees under 13, sponsored by a prominent member of the House of Lords, who had himself been given asylum in the UK as a 6-year-old fleeing the Nazi persecution of Jews, went largely ignored until the last week, when the British authorities finally let in 200 more. It took a strong protest from the British Dental Association to stop plans to x-ray the teeth of children claiming asylum to prove their age. Many other refugees in Calais are entitled to enter the UK because they have a spouse or other close relative to live with there, but neither the British nor French governments care to implement European Union laws and agreements.

This is, in fact, official UK government policy. Prime Minister Theresa May was infamous for her rabidly anti-foreigner positions when she was Home Minister. She took the lead among her European counterparts in cutting off funding to Italian-led search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, calling saving lives a "pull factor" for "threats we face".

When the French police attacked and destroyed about half the Calais camp earlier this year, 129 children simply went missing. A Help Refugees spokeswoman says she fears this will happen again, since no government will take responsibility for these children. One reason that many people do not want to leave the camp is that they have built up ties, mutual-help networks and other arrangements that enable them to survive. They have no reason to believe that the French and other authorities who have displayed nothing but alternating neglect and brutality will offer an acceptable solution to their predicament. These kids reached Calais after travelling through many other countries whose governments were no more welcoming than France.

What will happen to these refugees when their camp is bulldozed? The plan is for them to be herded into buses, split up into small groups and sent to hundreds of "welcome centres" scattered across the country. Five of these centres have already been fire-bombed. Right now there are about 500 media people in CalaisNGO members say they fear that when the camera lights go out, refugees who have refused to get on a bus "voluntarily" will be attacked by security forces or the small fascist bands that a thousand police mysteriously cannot hold back sometimes.

The biggest nationality group in the camp is people from Afghanistan, who literally crossed mountains and deserts to flee the mess the U.S. and NATO made of their country. Under a recent agreement with the Western powers, the Afghan government is to accept the forcible return of its refugees in Europe, as many as hundreds of thousands. Ethiopians (whose government is closely allied with the U.S.), Eritreans and other Africans are not generally considered deserving of refugee status. Trying to get by as an "illegal" immigrant is the most rational choice for many people, rather than applying for asylum, getting fingerprinted and maybe expelled. Some people have come to Calais seeking safety in numbers after being forced out of smaller camps in Paris and elsewhere.

The refugees in Calais are not just some unfortunate anomaly, an exception that proves the rule that the world is OK. Their desperate presence tells the truth about an unacceptable world dominated by a handful of countries that have prospered at the expense of the vast majority of the planet's people, through both plunder and war, and the normal workings of a global system of exploitation. The fact that there are, according to the UN, 63.5 million refugees and displaced people in today's world is an irrefutable proofonly one of too manythat the capitalist-imperialist system does not work for humanity and the planet. 

While the British, French and other European governments squabble among themselves about who should help which immigrants, each taking in as few as possible as slowly as possible, some people not only refuse to accept this inhumanity but are taking responsibility to do something about it. A middle-aged, middle-class woman in the French city of Nice, near Italy, heard on her car radio that French police were blocking the city's train station to keep out refugees who had walked across the border. She dropped her daily schedule, went to the station, invited refugees into her car and drove them to train stations where the police would not be expecting them. Someone snitched on her and she was arrested and hit with a huge fine. Overnight hundreds of people sent her enough money to pay it. A New York Times article refers to "a French underground railroad, moving African migrants". While lots of "citizen collaborators tip off the French police", "a low-key network of citizen smugglers are countering police efforts in a quasi-clandestine resistance, angered by what they see as the French government's inhumane response to the crisis". (4 October 2016)  The "migrant crisis" that governments today consider a police problem could become part of a political crisis, with big questions at stake about what kind of society people want, or will accept.

What do the imperialists, fighting amongst themselves to run this world, mean by the words "migrant crisis"? For them, what creates a "crisis" is that a few people have slipped into Europe, the UK, the U.S., Australia and other imperialist fortresses. To promote racism, they call the Calais camp "the jungle," when it is their capitalist system that has turned our planet into the dog-eat-dog place it is today. The real crisis is not Calais but the world. The system's own workings are generating vast upheavals that no wall can hold back, and that cry out for the overthrow of this system in country after country.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/interview-with-annie-day-the-bob-avakian-institute-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Interview with Annie Day on The Bob Avakian Institute:

Making the New Synthesis of Communism Known, Engaged, and Debated Everywhere

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Revolution caught up with Annie Day of The Bob Avakian Institute after the launch of Bob Avakian’s new book THE NEW COMMUNISM to talk about the role of The Bob Avakian Institute, the need it must fill, and exciting plans.

 

Annie Day spoke on the work of The Bob Avakian Institute at the launch of Bob Avakian's book THE NEW COMMUNISM, October 8, 2016.

Carl Dix, Cornel West and Andy Zee discuss THE NEW COMMUNISM at the book launch.

Revolution: First of all, congratulations on the book-launch event for THE NEW COMMUNISM. That was an amazing event, and a project in part of The Bob Avakian Institute. It gave me, at least, a sense of the kind of things that The Bob Avakian Institute can be doing. We’re going to get more into what people can do to become part of this, but before we do maybe we could talk about the mission of The Bob Avakian Institute, why it’s so important.

Annie Day: Yeah, I’d love to talk about that. First, I do think you saw in the launch event for THE NEW COMMUNISM a really powerful example of what difference it would make in the world and society if Bob Avakian’s work were known and engaged—the challenges that presents, the hope that inspires, the moral unity and outrage at the horrors that exist today, and also the deep inquiry into the source of the problem in the system of capitalism and the way out through making an actual revolution to get rid of all the oppressive and antagonistic divisions among people which cause so much unnecessary suffering today. I think all of that was present in yesterday’s event, including the really powerful readings of the book itself. And then coming off that, the talks by Carl Dix and Cornel West and then the discussion moderated by Andy Zee.

These are such important questions around which there was discussion and debate... it was very exciting and you got a feel for what having this book out in the world can open up and change for people. It was really a great place to be, and I do encourage everyone to watch it on the livestream which is still up at revcom.us and linked from our site, TheBobAvakianInstitute.org

Revolution: Can you talk more about the mission of The BA Institute?

Annie Day: The BA Institute is an educational institution whose aim is to project Avakian’s work throughout society. The new synthesis of communism, the body of work of Avakian, the scientific breakthroughs and vision that this concentrates and projects, is a breakthrough for humanity and it could make a big difference if this were known and engaged around the world.

Bob Avakian is the Karl Marx of our time, and the new synthesis of communism truly is a revolution in human thought, a whole different framework, scientifically grounded, for human emancipation. When you have such a big breakthrough, this needs to be known and engaged here and all around the world. Avakian leads a movement for revolution in the U.S., he leads the Revolutionary Communist Party. At the same time, the new synthesis of communism is a breakthrough for humanity internationally; it’s bigger than a revolution or a revolutionary party in one country. Commensurate with that, it’s really vital to have an Institute that’s making that known, making that work available, that’s preserving and protecting the work that exists thus far, but also the ongoing work that Avakian is continuing to do and develop.

This needs to reach throughout society, in the inner cities and urban cores, internationally in a major way, and to impact and influence things in the realm of ideas, to contend framework against framework over problem and solution—up against all the false and baseless verdicts and distortions on the first stage of communist revolution and up against all the outmoded ideas which predominate today. And which are suffocating humanity. It’s really precious to have the understanding concentrated in the new synthesis of communism and where this all ends up isn’t predetermined. Look, there’s a lot to learn painfully from the example of the Library of Alexandria* where they understood very fundamental things about the nature of reality and the nature of the planets and science and math—and that was lost for 1,200 years! Right now, we can have a major impact in how history turns and that has a lot to do with what people understand. And in the world today, this means we really have to contend with what most people are thinking: that all the horrors in the world are a product of human nature, the will of some god, that the most you can do is take care of your friends and family and look out for yourself... or even among those who desperately care about the conditions for humanity, most think you just have to accept the framework of the system as it is and do the best you can within this. This is no good!

So to have an Institute whose mission and purpose is to project the new synthesis of communism, that breakthrough for humanity, that revolution in human thought, that framework for human emancipation, this can have a big impact literally on the planet. That’s the mission of the Institute—to really make this work known, engaged, and debated in every corner of society, yes, all around the world and as a point of reference and contention in the struggle over ideas.

What This Can Mean for People All Around the World

Revolution: At the book launch, you gave the example of people dying trying to cross the Mediterranean in conditions that harken back to the days of the slave trade, and yet knowing there is a way out of all this hell.

Annie Day: All around the world there are people who are objectively up against the biggest questions—people who are thrown from their homelands, sex trafficked, people who are brutalized, beaten, and degraded in a thousand different ways. But people don’t understand the deeper causes of this. There are some who are wrestling with this and trying to understand the nature of what they’re up against and whether there is a way through it or a way out of it.

They need to hear Avakian’s analysis of the problem in the system of capitalism-imperialism, and his answer in what’s required to make an actual revolution and get to a society of real human emancipation... and what their role is in that.

People have no idea that the answers are there in Avakian’s work, that there is actually somebody who for decades has been putting himself in a very scientific way to understanding and answering those problems. This is really an unacceptable situation for the people of the world. Because if people knew this, if people were engaging this work, were working with and applying the new synthesis of communism, it could open whole new paths of inquiry, whole new ways of understanding the problems in this system, going at that problem in a revolutionary way, understanding the relationships and the dynamics of different contradictions in society and actually traversing a way out.

A New Theoretical Framework for a New Stage of Communist Revolution What is New in the New Synthesis? An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA; Understanding the World, And Changing It For the Better, In the Interests of Humanity Some Thank Yous That Need To Be Said Aloud Order the book here Download the full interview in PDF format here

The heart of this is the scientific breakthroughs in the new synthesis of communism. This is a point that Avakian makes repeatedly, this runs through THE NEW COMMUNISM, and it’s further explicated in Ardea Skybreak’s Interview, Science and Revolution. People will not be able to emancipate themselves from all tradition’s chains, will not be able to get out from all the oppressive relations and antagonistic divisions among people without science. So it’s a really big deal that there is this thoroughly scientific framework for human emancipation. In a world where so many progressive people are afraid to stand on anything with real certitude, in a way that leaves them paralyzed and so many oppressed people who are caught up in dark ages religious mentalities, these breakthroughs in the science of communism are such a breath of fresh air and they’re so desperately needed.

I want to add though, too, that on the basis of and informed by these scientific breakthroughs, there is a tremendous body of work that BA has developed. If you’ve not gotten into this yourself, do so! There’s nothing more important or exciting that you can do. In addition to reading THE NEW COMMUNISM, I want to encourage people to take time to go through the bibliography. And go through the first Appendix in the book: “The New Synthesis of Communism: Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach, and Core Elements—An Outline.”

In addition to breaking this down for people, Avakian has done a lot of work to provide the tools for people to take up this science themselves.

At the same time, and I can’t really do this justice, but the range of questions that are dealt with in Avakian’s whole body of work are vast and are a real storehouse for humanity. The fact that he’s written a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America is seminal and unprecedented in its own right. Also, how he’s developed our understanding of questions of democracy and dictatorship, the relationship between political economy and how people’s thinking is shaped, internationalism, art, religion, sports, the driving dynamics of imperialist globalization, new ways of approaching the environment under socialism, questions of law and rights, the relationship between the individual and human society. Further developing the understanding of the contradictions and character of communist society itself.

I could go on and on and I don’t think we can overestimate the difference this could make in academia, in culture—yes, in the arts, but also in the culture and relations among people if this work were known: the theoretical breakthroughs, the ideological, political, yes, the scientific breakthroughs. I’m barely scratching the surface here and you could write a thesis on every one of these questions and it could open up so much for our species if this work were really known and engaged throughout society.

When I spoke at the launch event at the Schomburg, I read this quote from Skybreak’s book where she talks more about what difference it could make if people throughout society were really getting into BA, what that would change. She says, “We’ve seen it before. We’ve seen it in previous periods of revolutionary upsurge. The people get better. The people get smarter. The people get more lofty. They dream bigger and they act in accordance with these bigger dreams. It’s a beautiful sight. And that’s a lot of what BA is actually giving us the tools to accomplish.”

Science and Revolution

Revolution: Earlier you mentioned the important role of Ardea Skybreak’s book Science and Revolution, which is a model of doing what you’re talking about, right?

Annie Day: I do think the Interview with Ardea Skybreak is very powerful, it’s an exciting and enlivening book to read, and it is, like you said, a model in a lot of ways for how to understand and approach the importance of advocating for the new synthesis of communism. But I also think it’s more than that, and the title says it all: Science and Revolution: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian. It’s a very powerful, compelling, and substantive argument for the world historic importance of BA and the new synthesis of communism—in particular, but not only, the scientific breakthroughs. Skybreak deeply walks through how those scientific breakthroughs apply to many, many different contradictions of human society and nature and the process of human transformation and how those things interrelate. And it’s full of sharp critique of all the things that don’t live up to what humanity needs. Skybreak is a scientist in her own right, a biologist and author of several books including, The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters. In Science and Revolution, she makes the case for what BA and the new synthesis concentrates, but also what it means for someone like herself to do their work in the framework of the new synthesis, the tremendous vistas of discovery that can be opened up in the service of humanity getting free.

I really love the book as a whole and I find it, like I said, incredibly fun to read, but I also think the heading of the last section in the book captures what I'm getting at. The heading of the last section is: "An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA: Understanding the World, and Changing It for the Better, in the Interests of Humanity." That dynamic is very exciting. Look, there’s a lot of people doing a lot of important work in the world, but their vistas are incredibly low, even despite their better intentions. This interview is a really powerful example of what it can open up, what it can change if you’re really, yes, a critical thinker, and a follower of BA. A lot of people are going to think those things are contradictory, a contradiction in terms, and this book and Skybreak in her own right is a living example of the fact that those two things have everything to do with each other—yes, she is very serious but also incredibly joyous. There’s no lack of confrontation of the horrors of the world, but there’s also a vibrant example of what it means to be able to confront that scientifically and see a pathway to transform all that in the framework of the new synthesis of communism. So it’s a book that the Institute is wanting to promote much more. I see it both as a model but also a work that should be influencing everyone in society, including the intellectuals and thinkers from all strata, young and old, who seriously want a better world but are up against a painful lack of understanding and a lot of wrong understanding.

Four Things People Can Do

Revolution: OK, so how do people plug in to being part of the work of The Bob Avakian Institute?

The New Communism displayMan reading The New Communism

Annie Day: Well, we’ve got very concrete things that people can do and I’ll speak to those in a minute, but part of this is opening up that question to many, many people who agree with the mission of the Institute, who think this needs to be made known and can share their thinking on how! So I’ll put that back to the readers of revcom.us, and people more broadly, and invite you into the process of feeding with your thinking on accomplishing our mission in a big way.

I encourage people to go to our website at TheBobAvakianInstitute.org, to read our Mission Statement and the projects we’ve undertaken so far. And there’s a lot more we want to do: getting Avakian’s work assigned in classes, having students and grad students do their work within the framework of the new synthesis where we can serve as a resource for getting into Avakian, projects in translation, serious archiving, and the preservation of the world historic breakthroughs of Avakian’s work. We’ve just barely scratched the surface of the potential here.

Revolution: So people reading this need to contribute to wrangling with this challenge and you’ve given us something to really think about. And there are plans in the works now, right? At the launch program you mentioned some exciting initiatives of The Bob Avakian Institute. Can you talk about those?

Annie Day: Right, so, here are the four main things that I want to put to those reading this now.

First, and the main thing right now: invite a speaker from The Bob Avakian Institute to your school, classroom, book club, church, professional association, or host a fundraising salon in your living room. Put this in front of groups of people who need to hear about and engage with the new synthesis of communism—and open up a great debate about Avakian’s analysis of the source of the problem in this system and the need for an actual, all the way revolution. These ardent advocates for the new synthesis of communism can speak to people’s biggest questions and challenge them with the reality concentrated in BA’s work, with largeness of mind and a welcoming spirit. This can be part of opening up a very different, very needed, and very refreshing kind of debate in society. Contact us to schedule this and if it’s a place that’s far from one of the people in the speakers bureau, then let’s figure out how to raise the funds together to bring them to where you are and to whomever you can pull together.

Second, raise funds to get THE NEW COMMUNISM out throughout all of society. This book represents a demarcation from everything that exists in society today in terms of the science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, as the subtitle says. And this book is for anyone who’s agonizing about the way the world is and how it could be different—the kids in the suburbs and rural areas, college campuses in a big way, artists, intellectuals, lawyers, all kinds of people in every corner of society. We want to develop further plans to promote and advertise this book among all those kinds of people.

At the same time, we’re beginning a special fundraising initiative to raise funds to get this book for a subsidized price to people whose life conditions make it so that it’s hard to afford—to get it inside the housing projects in the inner cities, to the people struggling to make ends meet, to the youth on the run, and people who are most up against the brutality and the hopelessness of this system. This section of people need to get a hold of this scientific framework, and the challenge that Avakian’s work poses—to everyone, and to them in particular, that they have the responsibility but also the basis to step forward as emancipators of humanity.

We are raising funds so that we can get THE NEW COMMUNISM to people for $5 apiece who can’t afford the full price. A $60 contribution will subsidize 10 books, $150 will subsidize 25 books, just $3,000 will subsidize 500 books! Plus we want to raise funds to advertise so people know this program exists. And people can find out more and contribute at our website, TheBobAvakianInstitute.org

If you read the statements from people who have read this book—whether those just out of prison, those in prison, people from the inner cities—you can feel the kind of impact it has. There’s a recent comment from someone in a Revolution Club who says: “THE NEW COMMUNISM showed me that there can be a better society than capitalism.” And he talks about his own life and life conditions. And then he says: “The book gave me a way to understand that we need to make a new society and hope. I’m eager to share this book with everybody.”

So we’re saying to people: be part of spreading this hope. Contribute and raise funds. And do that at the same time as you’re getting the book for yourself and everyone you know.

Third, we’re initiating a program of Friends of The BA Institute where we’re asking and enlisting professionals, artists, people in academia, activists, people who want to see our mission accomplished—well known and not—who want to be part of both supporting the work of the Institute in a consistent and ongoing way but also part of strategizing with us about how we’re going to carry out our mission. If you agree with this Mission Statement, and can make a regular financial contribution of a minimum of $250 annually (which can be made in monthly installments), if you want to see the new synthesis of communism and the vision and works of BA reach throughout society, and if you want to join a community of others who are lending their creativity and their thinking to how this is going to be accomplished, become a Friend of The BA Institute.

We are aiming to forge a network of people, encompassing different levels of unity who are part of accomplishing this mission, on different levels and in different ways.

Finally, I encourage people to get into the book yourself and have discussions with people about it. If you’re in an area where people are hosting one regularly, join them and invite others. If you’re on your own somewhere, take the Framework and Guidelines from the back of the book which Avakian has provided and get into those. Become a student of Avakian’s work and let’s really take the world by storm.

Go to the website TheBobAvakianInstitute.org, make a financial contribution, and write to us at info@thebobavakianinstitute.org with your ideas and your thinking.


*In ancient times, The Royal Library in Alexandria, Egypt was a center of learning, and much of the existing knowledge of humanity was preserved on hundreds of thousands of papyrus scrolls there. The Library was destroyed at the dawn of the Christian era.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/the-new-communism-book-launch-interviews-part-two-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Engaging Bob Avakian's THE NEW COMMUNISM:

Voices from the October 8 Book Launch

Part Two

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Watch the Launch of THE NEW COMMUNISM from Bob Avakian

Featuring: Cornel West/Carl Dix, Moderated by: Andy Zee

ORDER THE NEW COMMUNISM HERE.

At the book launch in Harlem, October 8:

Carl Dix gave a passionate talk on the new book and Bob Avakian himself. He gave the audience a sense of BA’s work over the decades—the content of that work (as concentrated in THE NEW COMMUNISM), and what motivated him to do that work.

Cornel West, coming from his point of view as a revolutionary Christian, spoke on the integrity and importance of BA’s leadership and its relation to the whole “profound commitment [of Black people] to trying to understand this capitalist civilization in profound decay and pervasive decline.”

(From left) Carl Dix and Cornel West focused particularly on questions of morality and leadership, including getting into the Cultural Revolution within the RCP. Andy Zee (right) moderated.

Sunsara Taylor and Noche Diaz read excerpts from THE NEW COMMUNISM at the book lauch in Harlem October 8

Sunsara Taylor and Noche Diaz read excerpts from THE NEW COMMUNISM.

Revolution conducted interviews with people who attended the October 8 launch of Bob Avakian’s new work, THE NEW COMMUNISM, at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York (“THE NEW COMMUNISM by Bob Avakian Launched at Great Program in Harlem), and also with people who attended an event in Berkeley, California, where a broadcast of the book launch was aired. Below is Part 2 of edited excerpts from some of those interviews. (Please note: This is a revised version of an earlier posting on October 27.) Part 1 was published October 24.

 

Freshman from Southern California

What provoked you to come tonight?

Well, I’ve always been interested in communist ideals, and I’ve always felt that communism is a good way to change and have revolution, especially for things that interest me, like the environment, given that capitalism doesn’t emphasize environmental issues at all, or when it does, quote unquote, it puts a simple bandage over a cut-off arm, which is a gross analogy but it’s true.

What did you think of the readings from the book?

The readings were very impactful and very true, especially how they put it: Liberals will blind themselves, they will purposely blind themselves from seeing the issue, seeing the problem, they will just offer solutions to a small thing, not to the bigger issue, the catastrophe.

Anything else that stood out from the readings that you wanted to comment on?

There was a quote about the environment [in the readings from THE NEW COMMUNISM]. Environmentalists will give this huge description of the catastrophe, but they offer an extraneous solution that doesn’t solve the problem at all.

What are you gonna do as a result of this program? How did this motivate you?

I’m gonna buy the book, read more about it, try to be more influential, and get the word out there more, try to be more active and try to get more people to learn about the revolution and spread the word because it’s something that needs to be known.

A Black man who visits Revolution Books in Harlem

...the one aspect of Avakian that I found intriguing was the kind of optimism for a larger-scale revolutionary mind-set. I think there was a little optimism and a scale to which people have to measure in terms of what their expectations are. So I found that intriguing.

I believe that there’s a sincerity to what Avakian is promoting but I don’t believe the problem is the system as much as the problem is people. In other words, Funkadelics—they had a song out in the 1970s, “Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow.” The issue in this country and globally is that people have to change the way they think and how they behave. You can only be subjugated if you allow yourself to. So it’s not so much the system as people have to be able to see themselves as free people and conduct themselves accordingly. And you can dismantle being subjugated.

A former teacher who follows revcom.us

One of the things that was most profound for me in this moment and highlighted right now is the first thing that came up which is the whole business about: Will you be there? How committed are you? It’s something I need to grapple with, that we all need to grapple with to see what that means. To really understand that we actually have to take this seriously and go through all the struggle that it takes to understand the necessity that we’re dealing with to actually create the freedom that we need.

On what they thought of the event:

I thought it was very good. I was just talking to Carl Dix about some of my concerns that had to do with some blurring of ... a combination of some of the strengths and weaknesses of some of the people around progressive movements in general. Particularly references to corporate greed as the problem and things like that which I don’t think is quite right on but it certainly reflects a lot of common perspective that people have who are progressive minded and coming into this movement now, trying to figure out how to make revolution. I think it’s real important to understand that there are people who call themselves socialists or communists, like maybe Bernie Sanders, who really don’t understand what that is and really are not. So the reality is that people might say what they want you to think but if they don’t really get down to what’s really true about it, you could be pulled into supporting them or not really understanding deeply what you need to understand to make a revolution. I think that’s a problem that we all have to be aware of. At the same time, I think we need to figure out—and this is what Carl was trying to help me understand—we have to understand how to unite as broadly as we can with as broad a perspective as possible and work with them over time to bring that in to a more correct understanding as we work with them about how to make revolution.

How they see their role, in relation to the movement for revolution:

There’s no question that there’s a moral responsibility to play a role, but the issue is—as I think it is for everyone but it certainly is for me, I’ll just speak for myself—has to do with understanding the relationships and the environment and commitments and responsibilities that I have and to figure out how to press forward with that and make the most of that so that I can play a role which is foundationally important.

A student at City College

I heard about this being a student at City College. I saw flyers and I follow Dr. West online, so I guess I saw it both online and in person. I live relatively close to here and to the school, so I see this in my community constantly. I know the new communist revolution, the Party, is out in the street more or less the last couple of weeks. So I was intrigued. There’s definitely some celebrity draw. I think Dr. West here today, in particular. This is my second time coming to see Carl Dix speak, though. I’m not well versed in Bob Avakian, but I’m interested enough to come out and see this.

...It was interesting that they were reading the book, but prior to that I had no real exposure—it was all new to me. I wasn’t particularly surprised, though, no. I had minimal to no expectations so I kind of just took it in. But nothing was particularly surprising. ... I thought that was fantastic. They both command the room when they speak, so I think the audience was engaged and I certainly was.

...I think it affects how I think. I think the climate of the country right now, especially given the political fervor that’s happening 30 days leading up to the election, I think it’s important for people to have more broad views and to go engage and find out about movements that are happening both in this country and abroad. What I’m taking away from this is just another perspective, not necessarily something I subscribe to, nor do I have a general direction for anything I subscribe to. I would say I’m open. It seems interesting and on course for a positive change.

...I most appreciated the point that Dr. West spoke to about ideology and people saying they’re one thing but they’re really not, kind of talking the talk when you should be walking the walk. I think that’s probably the most important thing that our system is devoid of right now and we need a more revolutionary, more active participation in our system. So that was the most important thing that I took from their talk.

A singer in a band called The Cornel West Theory

I am the throat, which is vocalist, for a band called The Cornel West Theory. ...Yes, and Dr. West is our seventh ghost member of the band. He’s been kind enough to allow us to use his namesake, and he’s been a collaborator as well as a mentor for the last 12years. So we have three albums that he’s all throughout the albums, speaking on them

On the event/readings/discussion:

I won’t say surprising because the other thing that led me here is the spirit that leads everybody who does work like this into the same sectors and circles. It’s refreshing to know that it’s still going on, but I won’t say shocking surprise, because I would like to believe that I’m a warrior of the light as well. So I’m kind of in the know. As far as the new approach, I think I liked the discussion the best because it’s one thing to hear one individual say how they feel about it, but to get across the patterns of different people’s views was good. And everybody’s here for the same, I guess, root cause, but everyone was different, as an individual and in their approach.

Going to get the book?

Yes, of course.

How they see their role, in relation to the movement for revolution:

...increase the intensity. Continue to connect with people who are like-minded who—again their approach may be different and there will be some disagreements, but that’s part of it. Dr. West talks about a thing called Socratic questioning, which means we have to bump heads a little bit and be willing to kind of—not kind of—but be willing to be totally honest so that we can find a true solution and not just something temporary or something surface.

...Well, me, my particular angle is I’m a musician, so I consider what I do sonic activism. So the same way Bob puts this information in a book, I put mine on a record. So if my record is connecting with people who are reading Bob’s books then there we go, that’s more push for what we all wish to see which is for suffering to end, which is for opportunities to be available to everybody. So that’s what I mean about connecting with like-minded people, being on the ground level, and not just someone who comes and shows up. You know, you eat the free food and get the T-shirt, but after that you’re back to your daily comfort.

       

Someone of the millennial generation, familiar with BA

On what struck them about the readings from the book:

The last thing I’m thinking about is what Cornel said and it’s about the book and that there is no, like... there’s such a mainstreaming and streamlining of revolutionary thoughts and ideas, like that people are thinking about things within the confines and the framework of this system. At the same time, there’s been like Ferguson that’s happening where people are going so sharply up against the system not because they’re trying to be, like, radical or political but because that’s their lives, that’s what they come up against every day and they’re like: Fuck this! We’re sick of this. And so I mean those two kinds of things co-existing, that contradiction co-existing at the same time...

And one theme in the readings that I’d be interested in what you thought about it, was not being a condescending social worker but actually taking the truth to people.

Exactly. I loved that. I think that’s in BAsics, too. And that always struck me because I went through college and everything like that, and they train you to think a certain way. They train you to be the next bourgeois leader and whatever, and so you’re thinking like: social workers, oh yeah, here they are doing their good things, but it can be that kind of like condescending...

Some reflections on what they have grappled with in their engagement with the revolution:

That’s a good question. I think I was just kind of like... at the time I think I was like: there can be a third party candidate that can solve the problem, not realizing that if they were to get into office they just get funneled into the whole system itself and become more like the system that they’re trying to “reform.” I was coming from it that way, like being really angry and upset but not being so engaged with the actual reality....

College student from the Bay Area

I like the language of it all. I feel like with all of this revolutionary type of vocabulary, there can be language that’s a little bit of a buffer to people who are new to it, but really listening to it and dissecting it, it gets more and more interesting. I really appreciate how some of the speakers, I don’t know if it was the speakers themselves or if they were quoting Bob Avakian, but they were talking about how a lot of mainstream politicians pretend to be for the people, and it’s sort of like an oedipal complex that the people have with these politicians in terms of always taking the poison, and it’s always bad. And how the media is so controlled by that, and what so many Americans think is progressive is not progressive. It’s still slavery, It’s still operating within a system of oppression. Yeah, I really liked it.

What are your thoughts on what you want to do, in relation to this revolution, going forward after watching this?

I definitely do wanna go and read more revolutionary materials, more things that I’m sure I can find on the internet, written by Bob Avakian. Cuz like I said, I feel like I’m really, really interested in all of what’s being talked about, but they do still have a very specific vocabulary and way of talking that I feel like I need to do a little bit more research to be able to more fully appreciate it, because I’m not like completely ignorant, I’m able to glean what they’re saying, but it’s like I’m able to glean enough that I can tell that if I educated myself a little bit more, there’s a lot more depth to it. So, that’s my honest answer, I still feel like I’m learning. A lot of people including myself, like the reason why I came to this event, or even why I’m interested in this bookstore and have gone to other events too, is because you don’t have to be exposed to revolutionary rhetoric to have a gut sense that there’s something wrong with the system, and I think there’s a lot of people out there who have that sensation but they don’t have the resources, or they don’t have the connections or opportunities with which they can discern what this gut feeling is, in terms of things not right with the system, with its 9 to 5 life that’s promoted.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/october-22-2016-engaging-the-new-communism-at-silver-lake-library-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

October 22, 2016: Engaging THE NEW COMMUNISM at the Silver Lake Library

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This report originally appeared at The Bob Avakian Institute website:

On October 22, 2016, the Silver Lake Library and The Bob Avakian Institute co-sponsored an event about Bob Avakian’s new book, THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation.

Event featuring THE NEW COMMUNISM by Bob Avakian at the Silver Lake Library

Event featuring THE NEW COMMUNISM by Bob Avakian at the Silver Lake Library

 

The event drew a small number of people from this community along with the Revolution Club and people running with it who came from a car caravan which took place in South Central LA, as part of the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. Those who came were both open and serious. A couple people heard about it from KPFK, a couple others heard about it from seeing the flyer around the neighborhood. The topic of the book drew people who were fueled by a deep upset over the state of the world.

Our time at the event was short so we watched a small part of the launch event for THE NEW COMMUNISM which took place in Harlem on October 8. We watched Andy Zee’s powerful introduction to the event, and a selection of readings from the book, giving people an important taste of the work itself.

Annie Day, the director of The Bob Avakian Institute, spoke about the difference it would make if this work were known and engaged throughout society, what The BA Institute is aiming to accomplish and how people can contribute to that. We then opened it up for a lively discussion and Q&A. One woman talked about how upset she is at the suffering in the world but also people’s apathy in response to that and how numbed people in the U.S. are overall. What do we do about that? And specifically, she asked why there weren’t 500 more people at an event like this. Annie agreed with her passion, and went back to the horrors that are going on all over the world, but also got into Avakian’s analysis of the source of these problems and his scientific understanding that these will not be resolved without an actual revolution. To the point that there weren’t 500 more people there, yes, there need to be. But Annie also put it back to people there, “I’m more concerned about what the people in this room will do now that they have heard what they have heard.” She talked about BA’s insistence that we not let what people think at any point in time set the terms—but the reality of what the system will force them to confront by its very workings, and that everyone in the room has a responsibility to act now to set whole new terms in society. This means getting into THE NEW COMMUNISM themselves and it means being on a mission to let other people know this work and this leadership exists, that there is a way out for humanity. A Black woman from South Central spoke and offered the example of her own experience. She witnessed a young Latino being murdered by the police, and said from that point on she wasn’t going to be concerned about what other people were going to do or not do, she had a responsibility to speak out and to act, whatever the repercussions might be. She had to start out with what she knew to be true, and not be concerned with what others thought. That is how you change the world.

There were other questions that were raised about what was meant by an actual revolution, what would that look like and how would that happen, and also about what is meant by real emancipation. Almost everyone there took home a copy of THE NEW COMMUNISM and some joined us at a nearby tavern to continue the discussion for several more hours.

For the two weeks leading up to the event, volunteers with The BA Institute spent time in Silver Lake, an area of Los Angeles with a concentration of artists and others working in creative fields, including many millennials. Word was spread about this pathbreaking book and the upcoming event at concerts, farmer’s markets, bookstores, galleries, coffee houses, libraries, at an art museum and other places in the area.

Through all this, we found many people who were deeply upset about what was happening in the world, angry about the choices represented in the elections, and were badly in need of and very open to learning about the scientific framework and understanding and the way out of this madness that is represented by the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian. There were a small but significant number who were expressly interested in the work that Avakian has done on what it will take to make an actual revolution, and were even relieved that someone was talking about this in such a serious way. Others were drawn to the way that Avakian speaks to the nature of capitalism and imperialism. And there was openness to both re-evaluating the history of communism and wanting to know more about what the impact of the new synthesis of communism would have on a future new society.

This was an important beginning for ongoing work we want to do in this area—having a real impact and breaking open a great of deal of discussion and debate over the state of the world, and what the new synthesis of communism represents and opens up for humanity.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/avakian/science/23ba-science...hastening-while-awaiting-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 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 "III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution."

Excerpt from the section:
Hastening While Awaiting

But, while we’re hastening, we are awaiting. Awaiting is part of the formulation, it’s part of the contradiction, it’s part of the strategy. Why are we awaiting? And what are we awaiting? We’re not awaiting Godot. We’re not waiting for some deus ex machina (some god-like force from outside the contradictions of the material world) to intervene and create, oh finally, a basis for revolution. We’re not even looking or waiting for “the great god, the masses” to come and create for us a revolutionary situation—“Oh, when the masses get ready, then everything will be fine; they’ll all want a revolution, and they’ll all come to us and say, ‘Please lead us to make a revolution.’” If you think that’s gonna happen, you are in for a big disappointment. You could think: “It’s just not fair, we’ve been out here since 1996 with the National Day of Protest against police brutality and murder, criminalization of a generation and repression. Now a lot of people are talking about police brutality and murder, but everybody’s not coming to us and saying, ‘Lead us, please,’ because we’ve been out here for 20 years. It’s just not fair.” Well, tough shit. That’s not the way it works, OK? And if you think that is what is going to happen with a revolution—finally everybody’s gonna come around and say, “Please lead us, because you’ve been out here talking about revolution forever”—forget it. So we’re not waiting for something like that. But we are awaiting while we’re hastening. Why? Maybe this sounds, as they say, counter-intuitive, like it’s self-contradictory in a bad sense, but it isn’t. Why are we awaiting? Because we are actually serious about making a revolution. It’s the same principle Mao emphasized in their situation, in the fight against Japan. There were people in China who said, “We gotta go at the Japanese all-out, right now—we can’t just carry out actions from a strategically defensive position, we’ve got to take the offensive.” And Mao said, if we do that, we’re just gonna be crushed. If you read Mao’s military writings about the resistance against Japan, you’ll see this over and over again: We cannot take the strategic offensive against Japan right away, we don’t have the basis and the forces to do that at this point. If we do that, we’re going to be crushed. So, if you’re serious about defeating Japan, you have to fight during a whole stage of strategic defensive in order to get to where you can go over to the offensive. And if you try to just lash out and take the offensive right away, you’re going to be crushed, because we still have meager and weak forces compared to this powerful juggernaut, which Japan still is.

So, awaiting is part of being serious, if it’s combined with hastening. Why don’t we just jump off and do a few things that make us feel good now? There’s a pull, a temptation, in that direction if you’re serious about this. But if we do that, we’re not actually serious about making a revolution. If we were to just jump off like that, we would get crushed, with terrible consequences for the revolution, and for the masses of people who in fact desperately need this revolution.

Now look, the point is made in “On the Possibility”—and I want to stress this point because things should not be misinterpreted and vulgarized in a social-pacifistic kind of way (socialist in name but pacifist in content)—if you read “On the Possibility,” just like the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic, it is a very carefully and finely crafted statement, not as some kind of intellectual exercise, but because of all the many different contradictions it’s dealing with, including the existence of the enemy, and what that enemy will do if you act foolishly or speak foolishly. And at one point in “On the Possibility” it emphasizes something that is also in the document “Some Crucial Points of Revolutionary Orientation—In Opposition to Infantile Posturing and Distortion of Revolution”:49 If you try to implement a strategy like urban guerilla warfare—attempting to wage armed struggle with the aim of bringing down this system when the conditions do not exist for that—this will be a strategy that can only amount to substituting for the masses of people, because it won’t bring forward, and it won’t be able to bring forward, the masses of people, and you’re just going to be isolated and crushed before you could bring forward the masses of people to be part of such an armed struggle. At the same time, “On the Possibility” makes a point of emphasizing that this is different than the masses of people rising up spontaneously against their oppressors, or defending themselves in a given situation. Anyone with a decent orientation should be able to understand why that is justified. (I’m paraphrasing what’s in the document “On the Possibility of Revolution” where things are stated very precisely, and people can and should study that document carefully.) You can’t use the fact that we can’t go over now to the form of struggle they were using in China in resisting Japan—you can’t use that to say that, whenever masses of people rise up, well, that’s the wrong strategy.

I had a direct experience with this, back in the day. I remember there was a situation in San Francisco, back in the 1960s, where the pigs went into this Black Panther Party office in San Francisco and shot up the office. People from the surrounding neighborhoods—hundreds, even thousands—went out to the streets and rebelled in the face of this; but the Panthers went around and told people to get out of the streets and come to a meeting later. When I talked to Panther leaders and argued with them that this was a bad thing to do, they justified this by saying, “This rebellion was a form of spontaneous struggle, and we’re not for spontaneity.” Well, guess what? Hundreds, even thousands of people were in the streets rebelling—but only 25 people showed up at the meeting. It was meaningless. You don’t do that when masses of people are rising up. You get my point. You don’t do that.

That is different than the important principle that you can’t substitute for the masses of people. If you go out as a force that’s trying to substitute itself for the masses of people, or if you follow a strategy that means you can be easily contained and killed off before you could ever bring forward masses of people into the struggle you’re waging, then you are doing the wrong thing. You have to have the right conditions, the necessary conditions. Look, even for the people who desperately need a revolution, they are not going to support something that’s going to bring down heavy shit against them if they’re not convinced it’s really necessary and something worth sacrificing for. Now, to be clear, this is not a recipe for tailing the masses—it’s an emphasis on being scientific. So, awaiting—again, maybe this sounds, as the phrase goes, counter-intuitive, or ironic—but awaiting is part of being serious, if it is combined with hastening. But we have to understand what it means, and what it doesn’t mean, to say that this is not the time to jump off into things. It isn’t—but there’s a difference between us, as a conscious vanguard force, and what the masses spontaneously do; and you better be able to recognize and handle that contradiction correctly, and not in the way that the BPP did in that situation back in the day, because they killed off the struggle of the masses in that situation. So I want to emphasize that point.

“Oh, you’re just awaiting,” some people might say, in misrepresenting our strategic orientation. No, we’re not just awaiting. We are hastening while awaiting, but the awaiting aspect is part of a serious, strategic approach. I’m using an analogy here—for anybody who’s listening, I’m using an analogy, because it is a different road, a different strategy, different forms of struggle, etc.—it’s analogous to why Mao said, we can’t take the offensive right away. We have to strain against the limits of the objective situation and transform it to the greatest degree possible at any point; but if you just try to ignore, or just arbitrarily and willfully step over, the objective conditions, and act as if you have some whole other set of conditions, when you don’t, you’re on the road to being crushed. And that, too, is a betrayal of the masses of people. So the point is to be hastening while awaiting.

I don’t have time to go into all this now, but I do want to refer people, as has been done before, to the first six paragraphs of Part 2 of Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity,50 where it talks about this very question of hastening while awaiting and what that means, and correctly understanding the relation between what we’re doing and the development of the objective situation—how we work to transform the objective situation as much as we can, as fast as we can, while, at the same time, recognizing that there are larger forces at work. There are the contradictions of the system itself, and there are different class forces—the ruling class and different middle class forces, and so on—who are also trying to change the objective conditions in accordance with how they see their interests. All that’s part of what we’re working on—but working toward a very definite goal: getting to the point where it is possible and right to go all-out for the seizure of power. I won’t go into more detail about that here, because we don’t have time right now, but I would strongly urge people to go back to and grapple with what’s in those six paragraphs that begin Part 2 of Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity, because it has everything to do with the correct orientation and strategic approach of hastening while awaiting.

I will point to this—an analogy with something said by Lenin that is discussed there, in the beginning of Part 2 of Making and Emancipating: Lenin analyzed that in imperialist countries there were certain sections of the working class that got bought off from the spoils of imperialism; and he said, nobody can say exactly where these more bourgeoisified, better-off sections of the working class are going to fall out when the revolution actually comes. Nobody can say exactly, he insisted—we’ll have to see in the actual event. And in those six paragraphs, that formulation—“nobody can say exactly”—is used precisely to make the point that you don’t know, when you’re working on things, where it’s all going to lead. That point is also made in the strategy statement (“On the Strategy for Revolution”51) that you don’t know where the “jolts” in society are going to lead. Uprisings of the masses, for example—you don’t know what mix that might become part of. But what you do know is that you have to be working to push things as far as you can, as fast as you can, toward the goal of revolution, and consolidate, to the greatest degree possible, the forces for revolution out of each such situation, so that you’ve advanced through it and, as that strategy statement talks about, you’re on a higher plane from which then to carry forward further work toward the goal of revolution.

Now, I mentioned earlier that I’m constantly amazed by how things can get twisted into revisionism. You try to use a formulation to help concretize and concentrate things for people, and then it gets turned into something else. It was reported that, in a discussion about this point (nobody can say exactly where things will go when you’re working to advance things toward revolution), somebody actually interpreted this to mean: “Well, nobody can say, so that means you just kinda go out and do what you can do, and nobody can really say if it’ll lead to anything.” No! That’s not the point. The point is exactly the opposite. Nobody can say in advance that there are gonna be “x” limits to where things might go. That’s the point being emphasized. It is very frustrating, I have to say, how things seem to be re-fashioned into revisionism, far too often—into a recipe for bowing down to the objective conditions—when the whole point is how to work as much as possible to transform the objective conditions, and not to, in advance, or at any point, set arbitrary limits on where it might go. We don’t know where everything might go, because there are too many things happening in the world, and we can’t calculate perfectly all of that at any given time. You don’t know where all these things are going to go. One thing leads to another—interacts with another—leads to another—and maybe it goes certain ways and doesn’t go further...and then maybe it does. And that’s the point here, that we shouldn’t set arbitrary limits on how far things might go at any given time, while we also shouldn’t just try to overstep where things are at at any given time. That’s another contradiction we have to handle correctly.

Navigating this is very difficult. You know, in Greek mythology you have Scylla, a dangerous rock, and Charybdis, an equally dangerous whirlpool, narrowly set apart, and ships had to navigate through this narrow opening. If you went too far one way, you hit the rocky terrain, you were shipwrecked; if you went too far the other way, you went down in the whirlpool. Well, that’s what we have to deal with a lot. I mean, not the one or the other—but neither! In making revolution, you have to navigate these kinds of things all the time, and you’re not always going to do it in the best way possible, but we have to strive to handle this in the best way we possibly can, not just individually, but collectively, struggling with each other, in the appropriate ways, through the appropriate channels, in the appropriate spirit, in order to learn how to do this better—learn from our mistakes, but also learn from our advances and build on that.


49. “Some Crucial Points of Revolutionary Orientation—in Opposition to Infantile Posturing and Distortions of Revolution,” Revolution #102, September 23, 2007. Available at revcom.us and also included in Revolution and Communism: A Foundation and Strategic Orientation, a Revolution pamphlet, May 1, 2008. [back]

50. Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity, Part 2: “Everything We’re Doing Is About Revolution” begins with the following six paragraphs:

“Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism”
Hastening while awaiting—not bowing down to necessity
Next I want to talk about “Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism” and its role in building a revolutionary and communist movement. I want to begin by reviewing some important points relating to the whole orientation and strategic approach of “hastening while awaiting” the development of a revolutionary situation in a country like the U.S.

I spoke earlier about the outlook and approach of revisionist “determinist realism”*** which, among other things, involves a passive approach to objective reality (or necessity), which sees the objective factor as purely objective—and purely “external,” if you will—and doesn’t grasp the living dialectical relation between the objective and subjective factors and the ability of the latter (the subjective factor—the conscious actions of people) to react back on and to transform the former (the objective factor—the objective conditions). In other words, this “determinist realism” doesn’t grasp the essential orientation, and possibility, of transforming necessity into freedom. It doesn’t really, or fully, grasp the contradictoriness of all of reality, including the necessity that one is confronted with at any given time. So, one of the essential features of “determinist realism” is that it dismisses as “voluntarism” any dialectical grasp of the relation between the subjective and objective factors, and sees things in very linear, undifferentiated ways, as essentially uniform and without contradiction, rather than in a living and dynamic and moving and changing way.

Of course, it is necessary not to fall into voluntarism. There are many different ways in which such voluntarism can be expressed, leading to various kinds of (usually “ultra-left”) errors and deviations, if you will—including in the form of giving in to infantilist or adventurist impulses—all of which is also extremely harmful. But—particularly in a protracted or prolonged situation in which the objective conditions for revolution (that is, for the all-out struggle to seize power) have not yet emerged—by far the much greater danger, and one that is reinforced by this objective situation, is this kind of determinist realism which doesn’t grasp correctly the dialectical relation between the objective and subjective factors, and sees them in static, undialectical, and unchanging terms.

It is true that we cannot, by our mere will, or even merely by our actions themselves, transform the objective conditions in a qualitative sense—into a revolutionary situation. This cannot be done merely by our operating on, or reacting back on, the objective conditions through our conscious initiative. On the other hand, once again a phrase from Lenin has important application here. With regard to the labor aristocracy—the sections of the working class in imperialist countries which are, to no small extent, bribed from the spoils of imperialist exploitation and plunder throughout the world, and particularly in the colonies—Lenin made the point that nobody can say with certainty where these more “bourgeoisified” sections of the working class are going to line up in the event of the revolution—which parts of them are going to be with the revolution when the ultimate showdown comes, and which are going to go with the counter-revolution—nobody can say exactly how that is going to fall out, Lenin insisted. And applying this same principle, we can say that nobody can say exactly what the conscious initiative of the revolutionaries might be capable of producing, in reacting upon the objective situation at any given time—in part because nobody can predict all the other things that all the different forces in the world will be doing. Nobody’s understanding can encompass all that at a given time. We can identify trends and patterns, but there is the role of accident as well as the role of causality. And there is the fact that, although changes in what’s objective for us won’t come entirely, or perhaps not even mainly, through our “working on” the objective conditions (in some direct, one-to-one sense), nevertheless our “working on” them can bring about certain changes within a given framework of objective conditions and—in conjunction with and as part of a “mix,” together with many other elements, including other forces acting on the objective situation from their own viewpoints—this can, under certain circumstances, be part of the coming together of factors which does result in a qualitative change. And, again, it is important to emphasize that nobody can know exactly how all that will work out.

Revolution is not made by “formulas,” or by acting in accordance with stereotypical notions and preconceptions—it is a much more living, rich, and complex process than that. But it is an essential characteristic of revisionism (phony communism which has replaced a revolutionary orientation with a gradualist, and ultimately reformist one) to decide and declare that until some deus ex machina—some god-like EXTERNAL FACTOR—intervenes, there can be no essential change in the objective conditions and the most we can do, at any point, is to accept the given framework and work within it, rather than (as we have very correctly formulated it) constantly straining against the limits of the objective framework and seeking to transform the objective conditions to the maximum degree possible at any given time, always being tense to the possibility of different things coming together which bring about (or make possible the bringing about of) an actual qualitative rupture and leap in the objective situation.

So that is a point of basic orientation in terms of applying materialism, and dialectics, in hastening while awaiting the emergence of a revolutionary situation. It’s not just that, in some abstract moral sense, it’s better to hasten than just await—though, of course, it is—but this has to do with a dynamic understanding of the motion and development of material reality and the interpenetration of different contradictions, and the truth that, as Lenin emphasized, all boundaries in nature and society, while real, are conditional and relative, not absolute. (Mao also emphasized this same basic principle in pointing out that, since the range of things is vast and things are interconnected, what’s universal in one context is particular in another.) The application of this principle to what is being discussed here underlines that it is only relatively, and not absolutely, that the objective conditions are “objective” for us—they are, but not in absolute terms. And, along with this, what is external to a given situation can become internal, as a result of the motion—and changes that are brought about through the motion—of contradictions. So, if you are looking at things only in a linear way, then you only see the possibilities that are straight ahead— you have a kind of blinders on. On the other hand, if you have a correct, dialectical materialist approach, you recognize that many things can happen that are unanticipated, and you have to be constantly tense to that possibility while consistently working to transform necessity into freedom. So, again, that is a basic point of orientation.

***The subject of “determinist realism” is spoken to in Part 1: “Beyond the Narrow Horizon of Bourgeois Right”—available at revcom.us—and, in the serialization of Part 1, is found in “Marxism as a Science—In Opposition to Mechanical Materialism, Idealism and Religiosity,” in Revolution #109, November 18, 2007.

51. “A Statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party: On the Strategy for Revolution,” Revolution #224 online, February 11, 2011. Available at revcom.us and also available in BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian (Chicago: RCP Publications, 2011). BAsics is available as a free eBook at revcom.us.

 

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

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/american-crime-case-74-the-fbi-assassination-of-fred-hampton-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

American Crime

Case #74: The FBI-Chicago Police Assassination of Fred Hampton

October 31, 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.

 

 

THE CRIME

Fred Hampton
Fred Hampton. (Photo: Paul Sequeira)

At 4:45 am on December 4, 1969, a special operations team of 14 Chicago police stormed into the apartment of Fred Hampton, the 21-year-old chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party. They were being directed by Cook County Prosecutor Edward Hanrahan and acting in close coordination with the FBI Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO). Armed with shotguns, handguns, and a .45-caliber machine gun, and guided by a floor plan of the apartment provided by an informant, the police shot anyone they saw and sprayed the apartment with machine-gun fire.

Moving to the back of the apartment, they entered Fred Hampton’s bedroom. Hampton, already wounded, was still in bed, having been drugged earlier by the FBI’s informant. Alongside him was Deborah Johnson, his girlfriend who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with their child. As they lay there, the cops stood over Hampton and put two bullets in his brain. One cop reportedly said, “He’s good and dead now.”

Fred Hampton's bed after his murder by Chicago police.
The cops stood over Fred Hampton as he lay sleeping and put two bullets in his brain at close range. Above, Fred Hampton's bed after his murder. Photo: Paul Sequeira

The shooting continued—by the time they were done, they had also killed 22-year-old Mark Clark and critically injured four other Panthers, most of whom were asleep when police entered the apartment. After carrying out this massacre, the cops proceeded to abuse the seven surviving occupants and arrest them on major felony charges.

THE CRIMINALS

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover: The FBI played the main role in targeting the Chicago Panthers, and Fred Hampton in particular. It assigned one of its agents to work closely with the Chicago state’s attorney’s office on this. (Initially the authorities hid the role of the FBI, but later the FBI’s own documents revealed not only their key role, but a conscious effort to cover up that role.) An FBI informant (William O’Neal) infiltrated the Chicago Panthers and became Hampton’s bodyguard. O’Neal provided the cops with a floor plan of the apartment. And on the night of the raid, he slipped barbiturates into Fred Hampton’s drink, causing him to fall asleep in the middle of a phone call with his mom and to sleep through the whole raid. After the assassinations, O’Neal received a $300 bonus from the FBI Headquarters in Washington for his work.

Cook County Prosecutor Edward Hanrahan: Hanrahan organized the actual raid—and the outrageous arrests of the survivors—and he was the front man and mouthpiece for the assassinations. He loudly proclaimed that his officers had been under heavy fire from the Panthers and that what went down was a “shoot-out.” He even displayed a revolver that he said Hampton had fired at police. All of these claims were soon exposed as complete lies. The police fired nearly 100 shots and suffered no injuries; only one shot was fired by the Panthers. (Mark Clark’s gun went off accidentally as he fell to the floor, fatally wounded by police.) As the truth was revealed, all charges against the surviving Panthers were dropped, and Hanrahan himself was ultimately indicted for obstructing justice and tried in connection with the raid. (The trial judge directed an acquittal.)

The Panthers'
The Panthers conducted “people’s tours” of Fred Hampton’s apartment. Thousands came from the ghettos and beyond; film crews and reporters were brought in.

Chicago Tribune: The system’s mass media played a key role in preparing public opinion for murderous attacks on the Panthers by painting them as thugs, racists, and animals. A Tribune editorial, “No Quarter for Wild Beasts,” 20 days before the raid, urged cops to approach the Panthers ready to shoot to kill. When the police story of the raid started falling apart, Hanrahan asked the Tribune to run an interview with the killer cops, promoting their lies. The Tribune also ran an article with pictures showing holes in the apartment walls, purportedly caused by bullets fired by the Panthers. They were actually nail holes. A Tribune reporter later admitted that the police and state’s attorney were his “sole source” for this article, even though the Panthers were conducting tours of the apartment for hundreds of people to show the world what really happened.

THE ALIBI

Hanrahan claimed that the purpose of the raid was to seize “illegal weapons” that were in Hampton’s apartment. He also claimed that police were met with heavy gunfire and were forced to fire back in response.

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE

The claim that this was a search for weapons was a lie. For one thing, the FBI knew from their informant that most or all of the occupants of the apartment were at a political education meeting the night before the raid. So they could have executed their search warrant without a confrontation. For another, after the raid, they didn’t even bother to properly tag and catalogue the weapons they allegedly found at the apartment. And no weapons charges were pursued.

       

In reality, Hampton’s assassination was part of a broad campaign by the FBI to smash the Black Panther Party and the rapidly growing revolutionary movement that burst onto the scene in the 1960s.

In September 1968, Hoover called the Panthers “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.” According to PBS, Hoover claimed that “1969 would be the last year of the Party’s existence.”

The Panthers were the number one target of COINTELPRO, which carried out 233 documented operations against them. These ranged from assassinations like those of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark to attempts to turn street gangs against the Panthers, efforts to create divisions within the BPP and between the BPP and white radicals, and setting up Panthers on false criminal charges. Dozens of Panthers were murdered and hundreds jailed on trumped-up charges in a coordinated national effort to crush this revolutionary force.

Hoover specifically aimed to prevent the rise of what he called “a Black messiah”—leaders and potential leaders of the people, like George Jackson or Malcolm X. Many of them were killed by the authorities. Fred Hampton was targeted because he was a bold leader, famous for his chant "I am a revolutionary," who inspired many others to take up revolution. Hampton was influenced by studying the revolutionary communist leader Mao Zedong, and was known for working with the hardest youth in the hood, as well as reaching out to other segments of society. Hampton's influence and that of the Black Panther Party were growing in Chicago and nationally.

All of the things that inspired many to love "Chairman Fred" aroused the hatred of the FBI and other defenders of this system, who feared the potential for a revolutionary force that could seriously challenge their rule during this period of tremendous social upheaval in the U.S. and revolutionary struggles around the world.


Eyes On The Prize - (Part 12) A Nation of Law 1968–1971

So Hampton was placed on the FBI’s “Agitators Index” as a “key militant leader.” His mother’s phone was tapped. Many FBI informants were planted in the Chicago Panther chapter, one to become his bodyguard. The FBI even wrote an “anonymous” letter to the leader of the Blackstone Rangers street organization saying the Panthers were planning to kill him, hoping to incite them to attack Hampton. All of this culminated in the savage assassination of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.

SOURCES:

December 1969: The FBI Assassination of Fred Hampton—'I AM... A REVOLUTIONARY,” Revolution #184, November 29, 2009 (updated December 4, 2015)

Decision in: Iberia HAMPTON et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Edward V. HANRAHAN et al., Defendants-Appellees. UNITED STATES of America ex rel. Honorable Joseph Sam PERRY, Appellee, v. Jeffrey H. HAAS, Attorney at Law, Contemnor-Appellant. UNITED STATES of America ex rel. Honorable Joseph Sam PERRY, Appellee, v. G. Flint TAYLOR, Attorney at Law, Contemnor-Appellant. United States Court of Appeals, Seventh District, 1979. See especially, paragraphs 41-86.

Haas, Jeffrey (2010).The Assassination of Fred Hampton. Lawrence Hill

Wikipedia entry on Fred Hampton

PBS documentary, Eyes on the Prize, America at the Racial Crossroads 1965-1985, Part 12 (“A Nation of Law 1968-1971”) begins with the murder of Fred Hampton and follows with a segment on the 1971 prisoners uprising at Attica State Prison.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/police-kill-another-native-american-woman-in-washington-state-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

From a reader:

Police Kill Another Native American Woman in Washington State. Police Terror Needs to End!

October 28, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Photo of Renee Davis from Facebook
Photo of Renee Davis from Facebook

On October 21, two cops came into the home of Native woman Renee Davis on Muckleshoot tribal land and, with two of her children present, shot her to death. King County Sheriff John Urquhart says police went to investigate a report of someone being suicidal and found Renee Davis possessed of a firearm. The medical examiner says she was shot multiple times.

Renee was 23 years old and a teacher's aide. She was five months pregnant. Foster sister Danielle Bargala said,"She was such a soft person," and "It's really upsetting because it was a wellness check. Obviously, she didn't come out of it well." Jackie Salyers, a Native woman in nearby Tacoma, was murdered by police earlier this year, as reported at www.revcom.us. Other Native deaths at the hands of police in western Washington State in recent years include Daniel Covarrubias, Cecil Lacey Jr., Jack Sun, Sampson Castellane, and John T. Williams. These slayings have had an ongoing and devastating affect on Native communities and families. As Marilyn Covarrubias, mother of Daniel Covarrubias, has said, "When they kill one of us, it is like handing the rest a smallpox blanket." A study by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice shows that the group most likely to be killed by law enforcement is Native Americans, followed by Black people and Latinos. Natives are 0.8 percent of the U.S. population and comprise 1.9 percent of police killings. Combined with frequent denial of health care, reproductive care, education, housing, religious freedom, safe water, safe food sources, and other human rights, this is a picture of a slow genocide.

Police also kill many other people here in Washington state, 23 in 2015 alone. Just this month, on October 8, they killed a young man in mental distress, Ricardo Hernandez, in Federal Way,

As Carl Dix stated this month ("Build the Fight to Stop Police Terror as Part of Organizing for an Actual Revolution! On October 22: Stop Police Terror! Which Side Are You On?"):
"These horrors fall heaviest on Black, Latino and Native American communities. And they are built into the very way this system operates. You can't reform this shit away. You can't vote it away. You can't lobby elected officials to get them to do something about it because their system needs this brutality, incarceration and repression to suppress people they have no future for, and who they hate and fear.

"This system has no answer for people who want to see this suffering ended, but the revolution does. Through revolution we could end all the horrors the capitalist-imperialist system enforces on humanity. We could bring into being a society where those entrusted with public security would sooner take a bullet themselves than kill or injure an innocent person.

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

"And we in the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) are organizing right now for an actual revolution; one that overthrows this system, that dismantles its police forces and its military, and brings a totally different and far better system into being. We have the leadership for this revolution in Bob Avakian, the leader of the RCP, and we have the strategy for how to make revolution in a country like this. If you yearn to see a world where these horrors are no more, you need to get with this revolution!"

To end this police terror, as well as the endless wars for empire, the environmental destruction, the war against women, the plight of immigrants, and so many other horrors, we need to urgently organize for revolution, and people need to get with "HOW WE CAN WIN, How We Can Really Make Revolution" right now!

(For reference to other murders by police in Washington State reported in revcom.us/Revolution newspaper, see Che Taylor, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, John T. Williams.)

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/interview-with-ann-wright-womens-boat-to-gaza-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Interview with Ann Wright:

The Women's Boat to Gaza vs. Israel's Armed Blockade

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

 

The following is a slightly edited rush transcript of an interview with Ann Wright on the Michael Slate Show radio program that aired October 21. Wright and a group of women were on a boat that sailed from Spain toward Palestine to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza when it was seized on October 5 in international waters by an Israeli military vessel.

Women's boat to Gaza
The Women's Boat to Gaza on board their vessel before being seized by Israeli raiders on the high seas. Ann Wright is in the front row, third from left. (Photo: forusa.org)

Michael Slate: Ann Wright is a 29-year U.S. Army reserves veteran, a retired colonel and State Department official, and she’s known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq war and other things. She was a passenger on the Challenger One, which, along with the Mavi Marmara, was part of the Gaza flotilla. The Mavi Marmara was the boat on which nine people were killed a number of years ago. She’s the co-author of the book, Dissent—Voices of Conscience. Ann, welcome to the show.

Ann Wright: Thank you Michael. It’s a pleasure to be with you.

Michael Slate: The Women’s Boat to Gaza—what was this about and who was on the boat?

Ann Wright: It was a mission to bring international attention to the fact that the Israeli government still has an illegal, dangerous blockade on this little place called Gaza. Not only a land blockade but a naval blockade, where three sides of Gaza, this little tiny area, 25 miles long five miles wide, is essentially just isolated from the world because of Israel and Egypt on the southern side of Gaza. But it’s primarily the Israeli blockade that has imprisoned—now over two million people live in Gaza. It’s one of the most densely populated places in the world.

So our mission was to bring international attention by putting women on a boat and taking a long voyage. This was 1,715 miles, starting at Barcelona, Spain, going first to Ajaccio, Corsica, France, and then down to Messina, Sicily, Italy. And then the last leg of it was 1,000 miles from Messina onto offshore of Gaza. We got 35 miles from Gaza when the “Israeli occupation forces” (as we call them), stopped us in international waters on the high seas, kidnapped us and took us against our wills to Israel, stole our boat and then charged us with entering Israel illegally—when we were saying, “You kidnapped us. We didn’t want to even be here,” but [they] charged us with entering Israel illegally and then deported us.

Michael Slate: Who was on the boat?

Ann Wright: On each of the three legs of it we had 13 women, a crew, a tremendous captain that we had from Australia who has extensive international experience, captaining Greenpeace boats and of Médecins Sans Frontières [Doctors Without Borders] boats that have been picking up refugees, migrants on the Mediterranean for several years. She was our captain. And then we had two crew members, one from Norway, one from Sweden. In fact, the two crew members are the ones who wrote the song that you played at the very beginning, a song to the women of Gaza. “We will not be silent until you are free” is really the capturing line of that song.

Michael Slate: It’s a beautiful song, a very powerful song. Why a woman’s boat in particular? Other boats that have gone over there over the years have been general population boats.

Ann Wright: As you mentioned, we’ve had a lot of other ships that have gone, starting in 2008 when the Free Gaza Movement actually were able to get five voyages of small boats into Gaza before in early 2009, the Israeli forces began stopping them forcibly—I mean, ramming their boats and almost sinking them. And then in 2010 six boats with the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, with the attack on the Mavi Marmara as you mentioned, where 9 people were killed, actually executed, and 50 others were wounded. Then in 2011 we had 10 ships that were going to sail to Gaza, but the Israelis paid off the Greek government not to let the ships sail from Greece even though several of us tried to break free and got about five miles offshore Greece before the Greek commandos stopped us. Then in late 2011 we had two boats that actually left from Turkey and then were stopped. In 2012 we had another boat. In 2013, another boat. 2015 we had four boats that attempted to go.

So we’ve had a lot of boats, a lot of international attention, which is the point of this whole thing. But on one level it was like, “Well, we’ve already done that. We need something new that will capture international media attention.” So we thought, “Well, why not send a boat of women?” On the last leg of this mission we had a Nobel Peace laureate, Mairead Maguire from Northern Ireland. We had two members of parliament, one from the Algerian parliament, one from the New Zealand parliament. On previous legs of the voyage we’ve had members of parliament from Spain and Sweden and Tunisia.

Of course, we don’t have a member of the U.S. Congress or legislature, because they’re too afraid of losing their money support for coming out on such a mission. And so I was the only American on it, although there have been plenty of Americans who would have been thrilled to be on it, to represent our country. So many people, millions of people in our country, are totally opposed to the U.S. support for the state of Israel no matter what criminal acts it does.

Michael Slate: In an article you wrote about this particular trip, you did a very poetic thing where you described looking out from the boat as you were captured, and seeing darkness—and the comparison of the darkness and the lights in what was Israeli territory. I wanted you to talk about that.

Ann Wright: Well, we were captured by the Israelis about 4 in the afternoon, and it took about another eight hours for us to be brought into the Israeli court of Ashdod. As we started approaching the shores of Israel and Gaza, it was so distinct. I mean, right in front of us was the last Israeli town before you get to Gaza. That town is Ashkelon. And you can see those three big smoke stacks of the electrical generation power plant there. You can see as you look up to the north, up to the left just an incredible array of lights, because you know, Israel is a very industrialized state now. It’s an economic powerhouse. It’s got all the contraptions of the modern state, all the cities, all the lights and all.

And then you look to the right and it’s darkness. It’s darkness as far as you can see, and that is Gaza. And it’s Gaza that is so severely impacted by the state of Israel. You know, Israel controls all of the electricity that goes into Gaza. It controls the water supply for Gaza. It really controls the resources needed to repair the frequent military attacks on Gaza, the latest big one being in 2014 where over 2,400 people of Gaza—many women and children—were killed by the 51-day attack. Military attack by the most sophisticated military in the Middle East, the Israeli military, which uses Gaza as its testing ground.

Walls meme

And essentially the U.S. is using Gaza as its testing ground too, because the U.S. furnishes weapons and bombs that it is afraid to test itself on human beings because it would be the outrage. But they give it to Israel. For example, the Dense Inert Metal Explosive bomb, the DIME bomb—it was used both in 2009 and 2014. It sprays some sort of microscopic film, but it’s a film that will amputate, will cut off arms and legs and slice off parts of people in a way that has never been seen before. The Norwegian surgeons that were in Gaza and were treating these wounds have written extensively about this.

So it’s U.S. and Israeli experimentation on the people of Gaza that makes us, as American citizens say we’ve got to protest not only the Israeli government but also our own government’s complicity and what’s being done to the people of Gaza. The two million people that now live there; it’s incredible how the population is growing in Gaza despite all the horrific things that are happening to it. And yet the world really turns its back on Gaza.

Michael Slate: There are a lot of risks that you and the other women took on. What were some of those risks that you were aware of and concerned about?

Ann Wright: We didn’t know what the response of the Israeli military would be. We’d seen it in 2010 where they actually murdered people and wounded people. We’d seen it as they assaulted people on boats—they’ve tased them, they’ve hit them with paint bullets. So, we didn’t know what the reaction was going to be, but we had prepared our passengers—our delegates—for the worst. We had gone through all sorts of non-violence training and situations that have occurred in the past. So, we made sure they realized that...it was a dangerous mission and it could be a fatal mission. In fact, one of the women who came all the way to Messina to see us off was the widow of one of the Turkish men who was executed on the Mavi Marmara. And to have her there to see us off really brought home the fact that... you never can tell what young soldiers—I’ve trained them, I’ve been around them—you never can tell what young people with guns will do. And you can’t tell what old people with guns can do either (slight laugh). So anybody with a gun and in a tense, stressful situation—and we knew that the Israeli military was going to tell these young soldiers, young sailors, that, you know, “These are terrorists women. These are just not a Nobel Peace laureate. They’re not just members of Parliament. They stand for terrorism against the state of Israel.” So, we knew the sailors would be tense. And even though we put out lots of publicity on who we were, our backgrounds... it only takes one bullet to get something going.

So we were prepared for the worst. We were willing to do it. As a minimum, we knew we were all going to face time in Israeli prison and we were going to be deported from Israel—a 10-year deportation so if you ever wanted to go back to the West Bank in solidarity with the Palestinians in the West Bank, you knew it was going to be probably a lifetime ban. I don’t think in any way Israel will ever let any of us who have been deported from Israel ever go back. And that means you are really giving up the opportunity to talk with personally, write articles about and witness what the Israelis are doing to the people in the West Bank.

Michael Slate: What was it that compelled you folks to actually take these risks?

Ann Wright: When you see what the Palestinians are going through every single day, whether it’s at the checkpoint and the apartheid wall, the illegal settlements in the West Bank or you see that two million people are really in prison in a place called Gaza. Their whole lives are constricted and constrained by forces that they cannot control. It’s the least we can do to call attention to this in some way.

Of the fact that it’s dangerous—I mean, most people come to grips with it, and you have to do it in order to go ahead and do these things. You kind of make your peace with yourself and with others, although most families are very upset that you go on these things (laughs). But, you know, it’s a conviction within each person’s heart that we who have privilege, that are living in situations where—and particularly when we live in a country that is persecuting others, for example those in Palestine—it is our obligation to speak up and do more really, than speaking up and going on these peaceful, non-violent missions on a boat. We go with a clean heart, a pure heart on it. And what the Israelis do they’re going to have to live with the rest of their lives. So we give them the option of treating us peacefully and hopefully changing their policies toward the Palestinians.

Michael Slate: You folks made the point that the mission of this trip was to break the blockade. Why is this mission so important?

Ann Wright: You need to say that there is a blockade. The mission was to bring international attention to the blockage itself. So, we were intent on going to Gaza, breaking the blockade, going in solidarity with the people, knowing full well that the probability of us actually getting into Gaza was pretty low. But if you don’t say we’re gonna try to break the blockade, then no media’s gonna to cover you. It’s really sad that the actual issue itself is not being covered, so you need to have things as dramatic as 13 women in a small sailboat sailing 1,000 miles across the Mediterranean to challenge the Israeli blockade.

Michael Slate: You also said that in a way this was to bring hope into this situation.

Ann Wright: Indeed it is, and when you see the reaction of the people in Gaza when they know another one of these boats, or maybe two or three boats, or maybe even a whole flotilla of internationals have decided to spend lots of time raising funds to buy boats, get them in good order to invite people from around the world to be on them and then finally sail them... all of this is a year-long process that is used in Gaza by educators, by human rights activists to give hope to the people in Gaza that “We are not forgotten.”

It really was powerful to see all of the things that were happening in Gaza, the young kids that were going out on the beach every day to make sand sculptures to welcome us to Gaza. The Women’s Media Center had a whole week of special workshops of how to write articles, and part of the media was artists making drawings of what it meant for the international community not to forget them. A group called “We Are Not Numbers,” which is a wonderful group of writers and artists in Gaza, did a whole series of videos and essays and photo exhibitions on what it means not to be forgotten.

So in that way we do bring hope. We bring hope that the world is not turning their back on Gaza and that the young people of Gaza—of the two million people, something like 48 percent of them are under the age of 25. So you have a huge population there of young kids that want a life. They want a life without war, without attacks, without drones over them 24 hours a day. Despite all the problems that are caused for the people of Gaza, education still is one of the primary goals. Like 99 percent of the people in Gaza are literate. These young kids want to go to high school, to universities. They want to get scholarships to be able to go to other parts of the world. So anything we can do to give them some hope that they are not forgotten, is really important.

Michael Slate: Alright, Ann Wright. Thank you very much for joining us today.

Ann Wright: It’s been a real pleasure, Michael. Thank you.

Michael Slate: Yeah, me too. And let’s stay in touch so I can find out what you’re doing next, alright?

Ann Wright: Alright. I just came back from North Dakota.

Michael Slate: I wanna talk to you about that.

Ann Wright: Yeah! Powerful! People get in your cars and go to North Dakota!

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/press-alert-noche-diaz-defies-ban-on-university-of-chicago-campus-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We received this press release from the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour:

Oct 31, 2016
Press Alert
For Press inquiries
Contact: jessiedavis60@gmail.com

 

What: Noche Diaz Defies Ban on University of Chicago Campus

When: Tuesday, November 1, 3 pm

Where: University of Chicago, center of the UC Quad

 

University of Chicago Police Viciously Assaulted & Arrested Revolutionaries On Campus

 

The University of Chicago and Chicago police have permanently banned Noche Diaz from campus under threat of arrest.  This is illegitimate and will not be respected.  Noche Diaz will speak on campus Tuesday, November 1 and students have been called upon to come hear what the University of Chicago is trying to suppress and to support Noche.

University of Chicago has made headlines across the country this year for its insistence on free and open speech.  They insisted they would not allow students to “shelter” themselves from any idea.  Yet, on October 26, the University of Chicago and Chicago police violently assaulted and arrested Noche Diaz, a member of the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour, for revolutionary speech inside a campus cafeteria.  A student assaulted Noche and another RevCom, but it was Noche and other RevComs who were attacked, injured, and arrested by police at the request of campus administration.

Statements of support have come in from:

Cornel West: "I stand with my brother Noche Diaz and my comrades in Chicago who were arrested and beaten by the Chicago police! They have a right to bear witness for justice and deserve humane treatment!"

Chuck D: @MrChuckD: @Noche_RC bringing more logic than your candidates

Edward Asner: Dear President Zimmer, Are the University of Chicago police now acting as representatives of the city of Chicago?  Freedom of speech, a basis of the United States and customarily universities, broadens that principle even more.  As a former University of Chicago student, I protest the mauling of Noche Diaz and the young girl who was punched. What's wrong with the University of Chicago President Zimmer?  Has it been Trumpized?  To habitually roust Noche Diaz and others is a crime as you are betraying the ideals of what a university should be.  Drop the charges against Noche Diaz.  Don't cheapen or betray the University of Chicago image!

Who is Noche Diaz?  He is a young revolutionary communist.  A follower of Bob Avakian and a fighter for the emancipation of all humanity.  He has been on the front lines fighting against police murder and terror and fighting for revolution in Ferguson, Baltimore, Cleveland, through the Deep South, and all over New York City and more.  Currently, he is part of the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour, traveling the entire country for a full year to recruit and organize thousands into the movement for revolution, getting ready to overthrow the system of capitalism-imperialism at the soonest possible time.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/revolution-club-members-arrested-at-ccny-speak-out-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

"We are out to change the world, to emancipate humanity."

Revolution Club Members Arrested at CCNY Speak Out

October 31, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

See also:

STOP the Arrests and Attacks on the Revolution Club at CCNY!

An Open Letter from Raymond Lotta:
We Cannot Allow Revolutionary Ideas to be Suppressed in the University; We Cannot Allow Revolutionaries to be Criminalized
Read and distribute this open letter

On Friday, October 28, four members of the Revolution Club, NYC were arrested at CCNY—the CCNY 4! They were challenging students to get into the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour, and to get serious about getting into the way to radically change the world. Following are statements from the CCNY4.

# 1

Being arrested in the supposed realm of ideas was ridiculous from the moment we were told to leave, to being barred from doing so and being detained as a prisoner of the police for hours. The response to using the 5th Amendment right (the right to remain silent) was being told you’d get “the shit beaten out of you,” constant harassment in the form of questioning every little thing over and over again, and being sent to a psych ward for two days because if you don’t answer “you obviously have mental issues.” At every turn nobody (pigs and people alike) knew why we were there or the process that had taken us this far. I had a lot of guidance from the “Don’t Talk” article and the experience of the RNC 16. At every chance we utilized the time to further understanding, talk with the masses and chant/sing messages of communist revolution. I can’t wait to go back to CCNY! The mighty, mighty revcoms aren’t deterred, we are invigorated.

 

# 2

The arrest was completely outrageous, but on the “inside,” we brought the revolution to people who’d been victimized by the system, or wound up locked up for other reasons. Through the whole ordeal, the bullying and mistreatment, we kept in mind the fourth Point of Attention we live by, and never lost sight of the potential for even the people most beaten down by this system to transform, with the understanding that the choices they are forced to make to survive under this system are a reflection of the system itself—ugly, manipulative, and with no future for them or the masses of humanity.

We spoke to them of a whole other way humanity could be, and shared with them some of the “HOW WE CAN WIN” statement and the significance of this being out in the world now, as things get sharper and sharper in the objective situation, and the ruling class descends into further conflict within itself.

We also remembered our other comrades who had been arrested very recently and someone shared a fact about V.I. Lenin who had been arrested on a consistent basis shortly before he led the Bolsheviks to make revolution in Russia.

       

To the people who ache for a better world and have perhaps begun to see this system for what it is, but are shaken by the stories of what the enforcers of this system could bring down on them, it is important to remember for whom and for what we fight—we fight for the seven billion on the planet and the Earth itself, we fight for the future of humanity and the emancipation of all people everywhere. We fight knowing that we are not alone, and that we must not be alone—we fight to win people over now, and to take this all the way when the time comes. We fight with the scientific leadership of Bob Avakian, and with a strategy to truly change the world, together with millions of people, and a scientific approach to reality and overcoming contradictions as they present themselves.

When they hit, we hit back, and leverage their own illegitimate brutality to bring others forward to go up against them. And now is the time to build those forces to go up against them.

This is a mighty task, but we are revcoms, as the chant goes, we are mighty-mighty.

We are out to change the world, to emancipate humanity.

And we have nothing to lose but our chains.

Revolution—nothing less!

 

# 3 (translated from Spanish by revcom.us)

Those of us who fight every day to be emancipators of humanity—in order to deeply understand the foundations of this system and the real solution, a scientific and real way out— were preparing to enter the campus of a state university. The mood among the comrades was very animated, with deep discussions about the message we were going to deliver. It was emphasized that we be very straightforward and sharp in the message, which must be an invitation to join in with the revolutionaries, to approach the problem as scientists and to view reality in its totality.

We were on campus, and we got started! You could feel a great revolutionary spirit. Everybody in the area received a copy of the statement “How We Can Win”. While all of us who are building a new world sang with strength and passion: “ah ah we are the revcoms oh oh overthrow the system, we need revolution,” a woman comrade took the lead in the agitation. She held the attention of the many people there as she exposed the outrages that this system inflicts on people and on nature and the great need that BA become known to all those who desire a new liberating future, a world where science, creativity and the struggle over ideas is the engine of learning and building.

We live under bourgeois democracy, which is nothing more than the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Therefore, and as is to be expected, wherever the revolutionaries take over some space, the forces of repression arrive to silence that which poses a threat to their system. Men came, dressed in blood, death and hypocrisy, disrupting an important space that every educational center in the world should have, a place where the flourishing of ideas, debate and the search for truth cannot be limited. However, as a clear sign of this dictatorship, none of this exists in colleges and universities, not to mention the problems of society and the posing of real solutions. This is not a forum of discussion. What is dominant is a pragmatism in which what is applied is not what is true, but what gives results “that work,” and under capitalism imperialism the law of value is dominant, so science is developed in service of a ruling class, whose interests are far different from those of the masses of people.

We were arrested and were taken on ride during which we suffered disrespect and above all repression. Finally, we entered a building whose upper levels house the “respectable authorities” who repress the masses, while being bored by all the privileges they have as a result of the exploitation of millions of people. In the lower levels of this highly respected building are the masses, behind bars, surrounded by misery, pain, fear, bitterness and hatred. There we were, the revolutionaries accused of illegal trespass, surrounded by people whose “sin” was to be born on the wrong side of society. People who, like BA says “...whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born....”

From this we can clearly see what this system offers people: First, universities and centers of education become hermetically sealed and numbed spaces where there is no room for discussion and the confrontation of ideas to seek truths and really be scientists and apply different branches of knowledge to the interests of humanity.

Second, the police do not represent the interests of the people. On the contrary, they are a force of brutal repression against the masses and the revolution. As BA explains it: “The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness”.

For all these and many other ways in which this system is manifested, there is a real need to raise our voices and say: No more! No longer will we tolerate the atrocities of this system. We will not accept the silencing of the truth. We have the science and the leadership to smash all of this, to overthrow this system and to bring into being a new world that arises from the strength and knowledge of people. Bob Avakian must become known to all those who want and need a new world!

 

# 4

This was my second time being nabbed by the police at this public college campus. We—the Revolution Club, NYC―were talking to students, bringing into the discussion on campus the reality of the world, a world that expands outside of mid-terms and college walls. A world where millions are driven out of their homes because of war and power disputes among nations. A world where millions die of hunger even when the resources are abundant and where tons of food and resources are thrown in the garbage everyday. A world in which the very existence of our planet is in danger because of the destruction and pollution of its ecosystems. A world where the biggest power has as contending candidates for presidency a war criminal and a fascist racist. A world where immigrants and Black people are being killed and mass incarcerated on a daily basis as one of its “legal policies.” We were inviting everyone on campus to dig into the root of these problems humanity is facing. We were challenging students to grab a scientific method to analyze those problems and dig into the logical conclusion to really solve them. We were making the argument of how the system of capitalism-imperialism limits what can be transformed, how its basic rules and interests (a worldwide system of exploitation and oppression, engined by competition and profit and literally powered by the burning of fossil fuels) limits how any social and environmental issue can be addressed. We argued that the only way to even start talking about deeply solving those problems is by overthrowing such a system, overthrowing it to bring about one that is in the interest of humanity and the environment. Just through an actual revolution, we could do that. Yes, we are revolutionaries and we were talking about revolution. Yes, we want revolution to be contending on the college campuses and in society as a whole. Think about this, whether or not you agree with us, banning this conversation on campus goes against any pursuit of critical thinking. It even goes against the very mission and vision of CCNY, in which MISSION states that “...CCNY advances knowledge and critical thinking, and fosters research, creativity, and innovation...” and its VISION states that “...CCNY will attract students who have a tenacious desire to learn, lead, and contribute to the greater good of society...” Now if you think about that, everything we were talking about definitely contributes to that Mission and Vision. Critical thinking involves the evaluation of something in order to form a judgment. What we were bringing into campus doesn’t just have in mind the greatest good of society, or just promote curious and vibrant students to have a great conversation, we were bringing HUMAN EMANCIPATION to the table.

The problem here is not that people go inside the campus without permission. People do that all the time. The problem here is what was being talked about inside. College campuses are supposed to embrace the universality of knowledge, where every idea can be explored and debated, where critical thinking is encouraged and nurtured. But the reality is another one, revolutionary ideas are being targeted, attacked and banned from college campuses. The fact that in this system the only way they (the rulers) can enforce their authority through violence, evidence the dictatorial nature of it. A dictatorship and not a democracy. And college campuses are part of that larger society.

Now, people can say there are “lawful ways to present your ideas.” First of all, a regular trespassing offense almost never gets pursued or gets resolved with a ticket. Instead of getting that, we were put in a 24 hour torturous process, where we were deprived of water and basic medicine, handcuffed and treated as the worst criminals. What does it tell you about the nature of this arrest? Second, let’s think about rights. We have the “right of free speech,” but if you actually look into this, it is a right except when you try to exercise it. They break their own rules! They invalidate their own statements! And the third point but actually the most important: buying and selling human beings was legal under slavery, it was lawful to do so. Jim Crow segregation was legal. Slave labor is legal in prisons today. Black people can be murdered with impunity by police. All of those are clear examples of “lawful ways of acting” at certain points of history. Targeting and banning revolutionary ideas, and revolutionaries, from college campuses might seem legal to some (specially those looking through the eyes of this system), but it doesn’t make it right. It actually makes it very wrong and something to be opposed to. Everyone with the slightest appreciation of critical thinking, and freedom of speech and/or an urgency for a radical change in the world, should come together and demand that revolutionary ideas be allowed on campus. And those who are agonizing for a whole different world need to connect and defend the Revolution Club, look into Bob Avakian’s pathbreaking work on human emancipation, and become an Emancipator of Humanity. Period.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/noche-diaz-and-revolution-club-defy-ban-at-uchicago-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Noche Diaz and Revolution Club Defy Ban at
University of Chicago

Updated November 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

An Open Letter from Raymond Lotta:
We Cannot Allow Revolutionary Ideas to be Suppressed in the University; We Cannot Allow Revolutionaries to be Criminalized

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Defy University of Chicago and Chicago Police's Ban on Revolutionary Communist Noche Diaz!

October 28, 2016
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From Cornel West: "I stand with my brother Noche Diaz and my comrades in Chicago who were arrested and beaten by the Chicago police! They have a right to bear witness for justice and deserve humane treatment!"

From Edward Asner:

Dear President Zimmer,

Are the University of Chicago police now acting as representatives of the city of Chicago?  Freedom of speech, a basis of the United States and customarily universities, broadens that principle even more.  As a former University of Chicago student, I protest the mauling of Noche Diaz and the young girl who was punched.

What's wrong with the University of Chicago President Zimmer?  Has it been Trumpized?  To habitually roust Noche Diaz and others is a crime as you are betraying the ideals of what a university should be.  Drop the charges against Noche Diaz.  Don't cheapen or betray the University of Chicago image!

Posters with statements of support

 

 

Follow Sunsara Taylor's Twitter feed

 

Bob Avakian

Available now: ORDER HERE

ABOUT THE BOOK, WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING AND MORE HERE

Get Into BA HERE

Science and Revolution, interview with Ardea Skybreak
Order here
Download full interview as PDF here

 

 


 

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

Revolution #463 October 31, 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

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/carl-dix-why-I-am-not-voting-in-this-election-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Why I Am Not Voting In This Election, Why You Shouldn't Either... But Why I Will Defend The Right Of Black And Other Oppressed People To Vote!

By Carl Dix

November 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Download PDF for printing this statement

I am not voting in this election. I’m telling you not to vote. But I’m also gonna be defending the right of Black and other oppressed people to vote come Election Day, and doing that as part of organizing for an ACTUAL revolution—and I’m asking you to join me.  

Let me break all that down.

Why I'm NOT Voting...

I am not voting in this election. First off, why the hell should I? Why should anybody, who wants to end oppression, vote?  This system is responsible for horrors here and all over the world—from refugees dying trying to escape imperialist wars to people gunned down by police in the streets right here... from women being used, abused and degraded on a worldwide scale to the environment being destroyed.  Voting is set up by that system and endorses that system. It’s like if during slavery they had let people vote for which slave master they wanted to be owned by—not only would you still be a slave, but then they’d use the fact you voted for one of the slave masters to say, “see, slavery’s not so bad—and by participating in choosing between slave masters, you’re agreeing with that.” We don't need a better form of slavery—we need a whole new world, without any kind of slavery, exploitation or oppression.  We need a revolution—an actual revolution where masses of people OVERTHROW the system—to get to that world.

Voting keeps you in the world as it is.  Voting isn't neutral—it does harm and it's designed to do harm. Not only that, any gains that people have made in this country have been won thru determined struggle, not thru elections. That's why we in the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) say: “America Was NEVER Great! We Need to Overthrow, Not Vote For, this System.” And it's why we are organizing right now for an actual revolution at the soonest possible time and why you need to be part of this.

I know we're being told we should vote for Clinton to keep out Trump.  And let's be real: Trump is a fascist who demonizes Muslims and immigrants, who hates and demeans women, and who totally disregards the humanity of Black people.  He calls for letting these pigs run even more rampant against Black and Brown people.  He trumpets “America Number One” “hate-riotism” and utterly disrespects, in word as well as deed, the rule of law.  The fact that this unapologetic snorting pig of a fascist has been built up and treated as a legitimate candidate for president by this whole system, from day one right down to today, tells you a lot about how IL-legitimate this whole damn system is! 

But Hillary Clinton serves the same damn system. Clinton is a proven war criminal. In the 1990's, her husband's administration, in which she played a key role, imposed sanctions on Iraq that caused the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children.  The Clinton administration considered this to be acceptable collateral damage. She brags about her role in the toppling of the government of Libya, which led to the deaths of many thousands and the further growth of reactionary Islamic jihadism.  From the ’90s till now, she's loudly backed up Israel in every single move of aggression against the Palestinian people.  In the 1990's, she called Black youth “super predators” who needed to be “brought to heel” and she supported flooding the streets with 100,000 cops and taking away legal rights from defendants. These moves more than doubled the number of people in prison from a little less than a million to over two million!  That’s something that Donald Trump could be and would be proud of —and he was back then, even praising Hillary Clinton and calling Bill Clinton a great president back in 2008—before these “thieves fell out.”  She is a monster who brags about her blood-soaked expertise to be the commander in chief of this empire.  And to boot, she's refused to call out Trump for what he is—a goddamn racist-fascist—and has said that she'll respect the results if the fascist wins!

The truth is this: whoever wins will shed whatever blood it takes to serve this system, to keep this capitalist-imperialist global empire in effect—here and around the world.   Clinton and Trump are criminal choices of a criminal system, and people need to reject them both.

       

Bob Avakian, the architect of the new synthesis of communism and the leader of the revolution, puts it like this: “Choosing between oppressive rulers will not stop them from ruling over and oppressing you and committing horrific crimes against humanity. This is true of all the major presidential candidates, of both the Republican and Democratic parties, and it will be true of anyone who becomes president, or occupies any major political office, under this system. What supporting these people does accomplish is making you complicit with these crimes.”

But Why I'm Defending the Right to Vote

In an unprecedented move, Trump has refused to agree to accept the results of the election, asserting that the only way he could lose is if massive voter fraud stole the election from him. And he has called on his supporters to go into and “monitor” polling places in Chicago, Cleveland, Phoenix, and Detroit—i.e., cities with large numbers of Black and Latino people, as well as people from countries with large numbers of Muslims.  This comes down to calling the dogs into the street against Black people, against immigrant citizens, against anyone whose skin isn’t white.  And a number of fascist groups have taken up this call and are organizing to go to the polls to intimidate people on election day. 

This kind of voter intimidation has a long ugly history in this country.  Black and Latino people fought and died for the right to vote—up against threats, lynchings, KKK terror, and persisting down to today's voter ID laws, which disproportionately target Black people and other people of color.  Donald Trump now revives this and threatens to take it to a whole other place.

We can’t let shit like this go down.

Any attempt to take away people's basic rights, like the right to vote, not only insults and denies their humanity, it comes down to trying to beat down and degrade them so far that they could never raise their heads.  If this foul plan succeeds, it will further fuel the fascist forces who want to see Black people back in slave chains or dead, immigrants out of the country, and other “minorities” “in their places.”  On the other hand, if we beat this back, if we reach out and win support in all kinds of places as we do, if we make clear that this is not part of keeping the world as it is but fighting for a whole new world through revolution, then we can turn this attack around.

I will call out and fight against any attempts to deny or restrict the rights of Black people and other oppressed people to vote.  And I will stand together with those who want to genuinely fight these attempts to deny the rights of oppressed people to vote.

Again, I will do this as part of ORGANIZING FOR AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION. REVOLUTION, and nothing less, which is what's needed to end these horrors.  And be clear: the conflicts among the ruling forces are sharp and no one knows where all this will go—but if you really want a better world, you can't respond to this by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers!  Be part of the revolutionary forces, taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution.

This revolution is possible.  We've got the leadership, in Bob Avakian (BA), who has brought forward a new communism, and the Revolutionary Communist Party that he leads.  We've got the vision and plan for REAL emancipatory society, where people have the right not just to vote but to remake all of society on the path to ending all exploitation and oppression, in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by BA.  We've got the strategy to win which you can check out in “How We Can Win.”  What we need now, as we head into what will be heavy times whatever happens on November 8, is YOU!

Throughout this week and on Election Day, I will be building a fight to stop the attacks on people's right to vote as part of building this revolution.  And I will be there after, whatever happens, fighting to wrench a whole new world out of this rotten one. 

Be there with me.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/cannonball-river-bold-move-by-standing-rock-water-defenders-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

At the Cannonball River: Bold Move by Standing Rock "Water Protectors," Vicious Pig Attack

November 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Today the world saw images of militarized police brutally attacking Native Americans and their supporters at the Cannonball River. The people at Standing Rock are determined to stop Energy Transfer Partners from building an oil pipeline that tramples on burial grounds held sacred by the Standing Rock Sioux, and threatens their water supply.

Revcom.us correspondents are there—Travis Morales, and—from the Revolution Club, NYC—Riley Ruiz. They are standing with the struggle, learning from people, and engaging people with the new communism—including among delegations from Latin America.

Here is their report from today:

Last Thursday, people were forced back from an encampment near the site of pipeline construction. It was a vicious attack by the police, and people defended themselves. Over 140 people were arrested. Today, people made a move to seize back initiative. There have been ongoing protests aimed at disrupting the route from Bismark, ND (where the construction workers are housed) to the pipeline site and that was one focus of struggle.

And at the same time, in a bold move, people attempted to re-occupy Turtle Island in the Cannonball River. This site has numerous burial grounds that are being trampled by the pipeline construction. First, protesters built a bridge from Standing Rock encampment to Turtle Island. Game wardens tore that bridge down.

Then, as people gathered on the bank of the river, one heroic youth plunged into the icy waters, heading for Turtle Island. Several people followed her. Then more took up the challenge. About 50 people made it across the river.


Photo: Special to revcom.us

When people reached the shore of Turtle Island, they were attacked by 100 or so riot police.


Photo: Special to revcom.us

Some 150 people rallied on the riverbank supporting them. People brought canoes into the water with masks, first aid supplies, and materials to protect the people in the water.


Photo: Special to revcom.us

In the face of rubber bullets and mace, in frigid water, protesters maintained a standoff on the shore for over an hour.


Photo: Special to revcom.us

 

 

Interviews at the Cannonball River

A man from Oregon:

Revolution: So what were you doing here today?

I got here this morning and they said that we’re doing an action, that we’re coming over here to Turtle Island to pray. And so we came down and we were helping them finish the bridge. We saw the sheriffs and the police and the National Guard all lining up over here. Once they came and pulled the bridge down, we saw the first young woman who went in the water over there. And some others stood with her. So I kinda waded in the water. And finally she came back, she was so cold, we helped pull here back up on the bank. And I just felt like I needed to stand with the brothers that were standing there—there were already people there.

Revolution: What’s that on your face?

That’s from me getting doctored up. We got pepper-sprayed pretty heavy, like three different times over there. We were standing in the water, standing there just peaceful with our hands up showing them that we’re just standing there peaceful and in prayer, not letting their intimidation tactics work to push us away. For myself, I’m not really angry at the officers over there. There’s one, when we were coming back, this boat was coming over there, and they came in and rammed ‘em with, the National Guard guys on that boat came in and rammed them as they were coming in to get me and the girl I was standing next to—we were both burning pretty bad from the pepper spray, we were standing in the water about an hour.

They wouldn’t let us up on the Island. We stood in the water about two or three feet back from the bank, in about three feet of water, just standing there. Like myself, I told the officers, I’m sorry you have to be out here, I’m sorry you have to be on that side of things. I’m sure there are more than one, I could see it in their eyes, when they get home they have to think about this and they can’t feel good about this. Maybe some of them do. I know there’s assholes in every group. But the other side of it is they’re the police offices, they have a job to do, their bosses tell them to come out here and they have to come out here. They have families to support.

Revolution: What do you think about the chant that people were doing, “Who do you serve, who do you protect?”

Well, you know, that’s the point that makes me start crying. This isn’t protection, they’re being sent out here to guard the interests of energy transfers and the interests of Dakota Access LLC; they’re protecting a corporate interest, they’re not protecting the people. We’re here protecting the water, we’re here protecting the environment. We’re here saying enough raping of the land and damage to the environment in the name of greed. Land is for people. I have children, I have a grandchild and another one on the way. And if at some point, if we don’t take a stand like we are here and say enough is enough, then there won’t be water for my grandchildren and their children. This isn’t the whole war, this is just the first battle. This is the first great fight, it doesn’t stop here.

Revolution: What would you tell people who are reading or listening to this interview, about why they should come here?

Come here and take a stand. I think they should come here to continue to bring attention to this issue. I think they should come here to really get connected to the earth and really get connected to the water. I think they should come here and let their spirits heal and let their spirits wake up. If they’re non-Native, then they should come here and find out what being Native is about.

Revolution: What do you think it’s actually going to take to stop DAPL, to stop them from building this pipeline? What needs to happen?

In my opinion, I guess I would say that the people who are in power need to quit ignoring the majority of the people who say they are against this pipeline. When you have the whole world—80,000 marchers in Ireland and they’re fighting against privatized water, corporate-owned water, and they’re supporting Dakota Access. When you have Palestinians who are in a fight for their life, from genocide and they’re stopping and they’re saying we standing with Standing Rock, what that says is that it’s THE PEOPLE—the people of the world are saying enough fossil fuel extraction, enough pipelines, enough poisoning of the water. And so the governments and the people in places of power need to start listening to the people—they’re going to have to. At some point they’re going to have to.

A Native Woman

Revolution: Why you out here at the river today?

There are sacred burial grounds over this hill right here—there are 12 of them and they are disrupting our ancestors. And they’re trying to say that this is private land when it’s treaty land. That’s the most reason that we’re here, to pray for our ancestors whose land is being broken up.

We heard that everybody needed to be at the frontlines, so we went to the bridge first and on the radio. We heard someone got shot—oh, my god, he’s bleeding from his mouth. So we ran in, it took some courage to get in, I ain’t going to lie. But we got in there—we all just stood there. They were just like wanting to mace us—“let’s just mace them cuz it’s fun, let’s just play with our toys.”

Revolution: Did you see them shoot people with rubber bullets?

Woman: Yeah, right over here, when we came up here already, they had shot somebody. It looked like straight forward, right there and that guy had that shield. The fact that they shot at him and he had no weapons. They only shot at one person right here.... I couldn’t really see—I was all maced up, it was all white, but they really maced us.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/463/we-need-to-overthrow-not-vote-for-this-system-memes-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Novemer 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Trump vs. Clinton:
Criminal Choices of a Criminal System
We Need to Overthrow, Not Vote For, This System

 

Share these all over!

 

[Tweet this]


[Tweet this]


[Tweet this]


Bob Avakian and Cornel West:
Is there value to voting?
Can voting stop fascism?



Bob Avakian:
"The 'voting trap' under capitalism"


Bob Avakian:
Police murder... and the murderous logic of this system's election game


Bob Avakian on defending the right to vote...and why having the right to do something is not the same as saying you should do it


 

 

See also:

Bob Avakian on Elections

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[Tweet this]


[Tweet this]


N, Clinton, We DON'T 'Owe' Fascist Trump an Open Mind

[Tweet this]


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[Tweet this]


[Tweet this]


[Tweet this]


[Tweet this]


[Tweet this]


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[Tweet this]


[Tweet this]


[Tweet this]


[Tweet this]


[Tweet this]


[Tweet this]


 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/464/interview-with-rev-mariama-white-hammond-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Interview with Reverend Mariama White-Hammond

Clergy Standing With Standing Rock

November 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

November 3: 300 clergy and lay people from all over the country this morning, answering a call that was put out for the religious community to come to Standing Rock for an action to stand in solidarity with the Native people.

About 300 clergy and lay people from all over the country this morning, answering a call that was put out for the religious community to come to Standing Rock for an action to stand in solidarity with the Native people. Following is an interview, at Standing Rock, with one of those who answered that call.

Revolution: Tell us your name and who you are with.

Reverend White-Hammond: I’m Reverend Mariama White-Hammond and I’m from Boston, Massachusetts, I’m a minister of Bethel AME Church in Boston.

Revolution: And why are you here?

Reverend White-Hammond: There are so many reasons. I think the biggest reason is that we were asked to come. I have been following what has been going on at Standing Rock. I am also part of a group in Massachusetts that’s resisting a fracked-gas pipeline. And what we realize is, in addition to these pipelines being dangerous—so that is the first issue is that there’s just no regard for the human life that’s here right now, no regard for the beauty of this creation, of God’s creation, that we don’t have a right to destroy in the here and now. But we also know that this system, this way of being, this addiction to fossil fuels, is the death sentence for our future generations. And so I’m a clergy person and I felt called to be there to help people find who they’re supposed to be, really connect with their deeper spiritual traditions. I work, for instance, with people who have addiction. And it’s a real hard thing for people to turn around, and I think our country has an addiction. And I so I’m here because I feel like Standing Rock is calling out that addiction. Not just for themselves but also to lead us in the way that we need to be going and we’re not going.

So, as a person of African descent I felt it was of particular importance because we have also felt the oppression that comes when people don’t honor our lives, don’t think that we matter, don’t think that we have the same rights to live in our land and be safe that everybody else has. And so I felt it was important to come for that reason. But I see so many things connecting in this. It’s not just one thing—there were so many things that called to me to be here.

November 3: 300 clergy and lay people from all over the country this morning, answering a call that was put out for the religious community to come to Standing Rock for an action to stand in solidarity with the Native people.
November 3: 300 clergy and lay people from all over the country this morning, answering a call that was put out for the religious community to come to Standing Rock for an action to stand in solidarity with the Native people. Photos: Special to revcom.us

Revolution: What would you tell people who are listening to this or reading what you have to say about why they should come here?

Reverend White-Hammond: I think some people should come here. But I also think we need to stand in solidarity all across the country. Going back to Massachusetts we’re asking, what are the financial interests, what are the governmental interests that are also helping this to happen here. So I think we need people to come here to stand, to push back. But we also need to make it untenable in other places. It’s not OK for big banks to pretend like they have nothing to do with this. They do have something to do with this. And we need to make them feel this all across the country, not just here. So I think it’s important to come here. But I also think, not everybody is going to be able to come, it costs a lot of money sometimes to come. And I think that there’s also a strong importance to being in solidarity where you are—to seeing the interconnectedness between these institutions that make this happen. We see the police out here, right? There’s a few of them in the car but they are backed by lots of other people who are not here, but need to be held accountable for what is happening here.

Revolution: I guess what I would pose is, here we have a system of capitalism-imperialism; there has been a genocide that has been going on for hundreds and hundreds of years. There’s right now an epidemic of police killing Black and Latino people in this country, there’s the mass incarceration; the wars for empire. There’s what you talked about, the addiction to fossil fuels and the destruction of the environment. I guess the question I would pose to you, from your point of view, what is it actually going to take to change all this?

Reverend White-Hammond: It’s interesting, I just was having a real deep conversation—so, for me I believe this is a spiritual crisis. For instance, for years scientists have been telling us about climate change but people don’t seem to be able to move. And part of what it is, is I think that we are sold a way of being, a way of living. A lot of that has to do with manifest destiny and why people came here and you’re gonna have this better life. And now I think more people are awakening to the reality that that “better life” was always built on the oppression of other people. It was built on the oppression of people in Central America. It was built on the degradation of the land. And so now that we are getting more clear on the costs—and some of us have felt the costs for a long time. But I think more and more people are getting clear about the costs—we have to ask ourselves the fundamental question like, are we ready to walk away from this way of being and into a new way?

Do I have all the solutions? No. Do I know how we’re going to get there? Not exactly. But I do know we need a new economy. We need a new way of being with each other. We need a new way of being in community with each other. We need to be a lot more local instead of shipping things all over the world, which we now know that way of being doesn’t work. But you can recognize something is wrong. This is a human challenge; we often see something in our lives and know it’s wrong. But it’s hard, it’s hard work to say I’m gonna walk away from this into something else. And so that’s why I think as people of faith, as clergy folks, we have a specific responsibility to say we want to help you find the moral and personal courage to walk away from a system we know is not working, as well as the vision and creativity to imagine what a new world would be like.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/464/rally-at-ccny-stop-the-attacks-on-the-revolution-club-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Carl Dix speaking at CCNY, November 3
CCNY, November 3. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Rally at City College of New York:
STOP the Arrests and Attacks on the Revolution Club!
Drop Orders Barring Revolutionaries from Campus!

November 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Today, members of the New York City Revolution Club, joined by Carl Dix and other supporters rallied in front of the North Academic Center, in the heart of the CCNY campus, to denounce last Friday’s arrests of four members of the Revolution Club—the CCNY4—for bringing revolution to the campus, and then the University’s outrageous orders barring two of the revolutionaries from campus.

Carl Dix began the rally saying: “In today’s world—with tens of millions of people driven into exile by wars for empire, the environment being ground up, police getting away with murdering Black and Brown people, women subjected to degrading treatment, immigrants hit with massive deportation raids and more - students need more than anything else to be connected with the way out of these horrors. That way out is by the revolutionary leadership of Bob Avakian and the new synthesis of communism he’s brought forward.” He exposed how the CCNY administration is attempting to suppress engagement with revolutionary ideas on campus through barring revolutionaries from coming onto the campus under the threat of arrest. Dix challenged students to stand with revolutionaries to defeat this attack. Nicholas Heyward Sr., whose 13-year-old son Nicholas Heyward Jr. was murdered by the NYPD in 1994 for playing with a toy gun, challenged the students to confront the reality of police terror, and expressed his support for the Revolution Club being at CCNY. Other statements of support were read, including from Prof. James Vrettos of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Today, another 20 or so students joined the 100 people who had already signed the petition “Support @NYCRevClub.”

After the rally people marched to the administration building to deliver a statement to CCNY’s Interim President, Vincent G. Boudreau, demanding the order barring two members of the Revolution Club be lifted and that the administration and the NYPD stop arresting and jailing people with the Revolution Club for coming on campus. Afterward Carl Dix concluded by putting CCNY on notice that this battle to lift the order barring revolutionaries from the campus was not over, and the revolution was NOT going away.

Carl Dix and Nicholas Heyward at CCNY rally, November 3.
Carl Dix and Nicholas Heyward Sr. at CCNY rally, November 3.
Photo: Special to revcom.us

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/464/black-church-burns-in-mississippi-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Black Church Burns in Mississippi,
"Vote Trump" on Wall, This Must STOP!

November 3, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On the night of November 1, a Black church in Greenville, Mississippi was hit by an arson attack, leaving this historic 100-year-old church largely gutted. And the attackers left behind a message: the words “Vote Trump” spray painted in white on one wall of the burned out church.

Hopewell Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi gutted by arson, with the words "Vote trump" spray-painted on one wall.
AP photo

Nobody was killed in the attack on the Hopewell Baptist Church in Greenville—but this despicable act brings back memories of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963 that killed four girls, the thousands of lynchings, and the countless other incidents of racist violence against Black people in the history of Amerikkka.

And this torching of the Mississippi church takes place in the situation today where Trump has whipped up a whole ugly climate of racist threats and vitriol against Black people and other oppressed people, as part of the overall fascist program he and the powerful ruling class forces he represents are promoting. The Trump campaign issued an official “condemnation” of the arson attack. But this is the same campaign that has been riling up followers against Black people, immigrants, and other people of color, with one aim being to intimidate them from voting. And fascist groups have responded, vowing to act on Election Day. This kind of racist intimidation has a whole ugly history in this country—and Trump now threatens to take this to a whole other place.

Everyone of conscience must make clear that this racist, reactionary shit is intolerable. And take a deep look at where this is coming from—and what it’s going to take to stop it for real.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/464/NYPD-pigs-tase-and-kill-man-with-learning-disabilities-en.html

Revolution #463 October 31, 2016

Following the Execution of Deborah Danner:

NYPD Pigs Tase and Kill a Man with Learning Disabilities

November 4, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Ariel Galarza (Facebook)

Two weeks after the NYPD executed Deborah Danner, a 69-year-old Black woman who suffered from schizophrenia (see “Chronicles of a Police Murder Foretold: The NYPD Execution of Deborah Danner & the Sick System Behind It”), the murderers with badges struck again. Ariel Galarza, a 49-year-old man who had learning disabilities, died after being tased twice by cops at his apartment in the Bronx, the same NYC borough where Deborah Danner was killed.

As reported by the New York Daily News, Mildred Galarza said her brother Ariel “received disability payments and was never able to learn to write. He had a mild form of asthma and suffered a stroke earlier this year.” An upstairs neighbor said Ariel was “not an aggressive guy at all, he’s a real good man.” According to the neighbor, “He was real good with my son. My son called him ‘Big Buddy.’”

None of this mattered to the pigs who showed up at Ariel Galarza’s door in response to a 911 call about someone who supposedly had a knife and was yelling. All we know about what followed is that the police claim they had to use their taser when Galarza held up a glass bottle and again when he resisted being handcuffed... and that he ended up dead after suffering a heart attack from the electrical shock. The second stun gun blast was delivered directly on his body.

No one should take the pigs at their word, in this or any other instance. Over and over again, cops have justified cold-blooded murders by claiming they felt their lives were “in danger”—and over and over again, except in very rare circumstances, they walk away without even being charged with any crime, let alone convicted. Look at Michael Brown, shot down as he had his empty hands raised, by a cop who described him as a “demon.” Or Omar Abrego, an unarmed Mexican immigrant who was chased down and beaten to death by LA cops. Or the Tacoma police murder of Jacqueline Salyers, an unarmed 33-year-old Native American woman who had three kids and was pregnant at the time she was killed. The horrific list goes on and on. And the police are backed up by the laws of this system, which say that if the pigs have a “reasonable” belief that they are physically “threatened,” they are “justified” in using deadly force.

Even if Ariel Galarza, for whatever reason, was acting unusually and did have a bottle in his hand—why would that be any reason to blast him twice with high-voltage shocks from a taser, which is known to potentially cause serious injury and even death? Why do the police, in these types of situations, immediately resort to using violent force against the people—instead of talking to family and neighbors to learn more about what’s happening, and taking steps to resolve the situation without people getting hurt?

This isn’t about a need for more “training” of the police, better rules and regulations, body cameras to monitor cops’ actions, or any other such reforms. The reality is that when the police carry out wantonly brutal, murderous, terroristic acts against the people, and get away with it time after time, they are doing their job. Bob Avakian got to the heart of what the police are about when he said (in BAsics 1:24):

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness.

People do not need to work for “better police” or more “oversight” of the cops or any other such harmful notions that will only help keep the police murders and brutality going on and on. What is needed is to demand that police murders and brutality must STOP, and to do this AS PART OF preparing for an actual revolution to overthrow the system behind these cops, at the soonest possible time. Everyone who hates the epidemic of murders by the police, and all the other crimes of this capitalist-imperialist system—get into this revolution NOW. Find out how here.