Revolution #482, March 13, 2017 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

No Ban! No Wall! Resist Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0

Updated March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Thursday, March 16, the Trump/Pence regime's Muslim Ban 2.0 is set to go into effect, some seven weeks after Donald Trump's January 27 executive order barring Muslim immigrants and refugees was met by fierce protest and then put on hold by the federal courts. Right after the courts blocked the first ban, Trump’s senior policy adviser Stephen Miller declared that they would not retreat from their goal, saying, “these are mostly minor, technical differences. Fundamentally, you are still going to have the same, basic policy...”

This new ban, like the one before it, is a horrible injustice—and a major step toward consolidating a fascist form of rule in this country. It signals a more openly aggressive military posture, and a major leap in molding a fascist population within the U.S.

The “New” Ban

Trump’s March 6 order will not only block hundreds of millions of Muslim people from immigrating, fleeing to, or even visiting the U.S., but also opens the door to including many more countries in the ban, as well as pointing a finger of suspicion at Muslims who have lived in the U.S. for decades, including citizens.

Donald Trump promised a ban on Muslims coming into the U.S. He told his close adviser Rudolph Giuliani to come up with such a Muslim ban, and to, according to Giuliani, come up with “the right way to do it legally.” Everything about this new ban is still in that mold. This is still a Muslim ban. David Cole, legal director of the ACLU, said the new ban is “still religious discrimination in the pre-textual guise of national security. And it’s still unconstitutional.” Shortly after the announcement, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House, and actions have taken place in cities and on campuses (see "PROTEST! MARCH 16: No Ban! No Wall! Resist Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0").

The people being denied entry into the United States are coming from countries that have been turned into a living (or unlivable) hell. The U.S. government is more responsible than any force in the world for the environmental, military, and economic conditions that are driving people from their homes in these countries. It is an obscene crime against humanity to demonize and ban the victims of what the U.S. has done in this region.

WHY Is This Ban Happening Now?

Many commentators, including right-wing ones like the Cato Institute, have pointed out that the refugees or immigrants from these countries have not even been accused of a single “terrorist” act on U.S. soil in the past 15 years. So why is this happening?

First, whatever the intent of the ban, it is clear that this signals a major change in the posture toward the many majority Muslim countries in the world. Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon made clear in a 2014 speech in the Vatican that he saw the conflict between the “West” (that is, the imperialist countries of Europe and the U.S. in particular) and the Islamic fundamentalist jihadist movements as a continuation of and perhaps a once-in-a-hundreds-of-years concentration of a historic and defining clash of civilizations with the Judeo-CHRISTIAN side being the flower of civilization and Islam being the mortal enemy and threat to that.1

Trump has departed from even the stance of the fascist warmonger George W. Bush, as well as “who-do-I-drop-a-drone-on-and-kill-this-week” Obama, who took care to draw a distinction between the jihadists and most Muslims. (See “Murder by Drone.”) This travel ban effectively says that everyone in Muslim majority countries is guilty until proven innocent. This has extremely serious implications when you have someone like Trump, who has already stepped up U.S. military action in the Middle East, made a nauseating spectacle of the widow of a Navy SEAL war criminal in his address to Congress2 and has made a point of asking, “if we have them [nuclear weapons], why can’t we use them?” (For those who argue that the ban is inconsistent because it doesn’t take in other majority Muslim countries from which people who have committed terrorist acts in the U.S. did come from... well, be careful what you wish/ask for.) So, again, whatever the real intent of the ban, the effect will be to send a message to the people of this country and to the world at large that the U.S. regards every person from a Muslim-majority country as a potential enemy and to actually increase identification with and support for the reactionary jihadist forces in these countries; and this may very well be the intent, precisely in order to aggravate the dynamic.

Molding a Fascist People

The second purpose of the ban is to mold a fascist people—to feed raw meat to the hard-core Trump partisans who already hate Muslims (and immigrants in general) and to train the people at large to go along with these outrages, so long as it doesn’t directly affect them. People like Hitler needed and wielded both—his core of fanatical followers and the “good Germans” who turned their heads and pretended that they didn’t see, or who saw but did nothing.

Remember the words of Martin Niemöller, a German pastor imprisoned by Hitler from 1937 to 1945:

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Now, in America, they are coming for the immigrants, and the Muslims. Niemöller’s quote drives home the urgency of acting against this ban and defeating it—both because it is extremely outrageous, unjust, and ominous in its own right AND because it is a step toward consolidating Trump’s utterly illegitimate election victory and inauguration into a full-out fascist regime.

The New Executive Order

The original order was met with a coming together of different forces. There was inspiring, important outrage from people from all walks of life and perspectives, people who see demonizing Muslims as utterly intolerable to values they consider foundational. And, at the same time, there were real concerns from sections of the ruling class who see this policy in particular, and even more the whole agenda it serves, as being very dangerous to the economic, political, cultural, and military stability and interests of the U.S. empire. In the context of all that, and the obvious unconstitutionality of targeting a religion, courts halted the ban.

The new ban is a move, in part and on some level, to clean up some of the more obviously, overtly unconstitutional parts of the original. Notably, the first order barred permanent legal residents (“green card” holders) from re-entering the U.S. if they went back to their home countries to visit; the new order exempts these people from the ban. The first order created scenes at airports where people with legal approval to come to or return to the U.S. were detained for hours and hours, subjected to cruel and degrading conditions, while their families and friends were kept in the dark. It applied to seven countries, the new one applies only to six (Iraq is now off the list). And the first order had an all-but-explicit exception prioritizing Christian immigration from the banned countries. The new order does not say that, although there is vague language allowing U.S. officials to use their “discretion” to override the ban even from these six countries—language that is obviously a wide-open door for admitting Christians but not Muslims.

The new order in some ways “outsources” the ban. People who have visas are being told—for now—that they can come to or return to the U.S. But people who have applied for visas—to visit family and friends, or to come to the U.S. for a whole range of reasons—are locked out. It still promotes and enforces racist xenophobia. It still bars immigrants from six predominantly Muslim nations for 90 days with the underlying assumption that all of them are suspected terrorists unless and until they can “prove” that they are not. This despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of these immigrants and refugees are not connected to any terrorist group, and in many cases are actually fleeing from ISIS, the Taliban, or other Islamic fundamentalist forces.

The new ban applies to people from six Muslim majority countries for now, but it adds that “The Secretary of State, the Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security may also submit to the President the names of additional countries for which any of them recommends other lawful restrictions or limitations deemed necessary for the security or welfare of the United States.” This poses the real danger that this initial order is only the first step in a wider ban on Muslim people.

The order also lays the basis for attacking Muslims already in the U.S., including permanent residents and citizens. For instance, the order alleges that “hundreds of persons born abroad have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes” in this country, and it specifically brings up the case of “a native of Somalia who had been brought to the United States as a child refugee and later became a naturalized citizen” (emphasis added)—and then allegedly became involved in a terrorist plot. The point of including this in the order is to say that all Muslims are suspects, no matter how long they have been here. Even refugee children should be viewed as “potential terrorists.”

And to drive this home, the order calls for issuing regular reports to the U.S. public about any “foreign nationals ... who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States” or “who have been radicalized after entry into the United States,” or who are involved in “gender-based violence against women, including so-called ‘honor killings.’” This program has the obvious intention of demonizing all Muslims, and of whipping up racist hatred and attacks against them—which are already on the rise. (And we just have to say, it is truly mind-blowing hypocrisy for Donald Trump, that open sewer of rape culture, the “pussy-grabbing” president of a country where one in three women is a victim of sexual assault already, to pose as defending women against gender-based crime!)

March 16: A Critical Moment

The Hawai’i attorney general has gone to court to block implementation of this new ban. More than a dozen other states have gone to court to block the new ban, or have taken the position that their cases against the original ban apply to the new one. Immigrants’ rights and civil liberties groups have made compelling arguments against the ban in court.

The ban is unconstitutional. Omar Jadwat, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said, “The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban. Instead, President Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination, and he can expect continued disapproval from both the courts and the people.”

But this time around, the Trump/Pence regime has tweaked the wording in ways that may make it more difficult to fight the ban in court and to try to mollify objections from some forces in the ruling class like the tech industry (which strongly objected to people with existing visas being denied re-entry or entry into the U.S.). And if courts do block implementation of all or part of this ban, who can guarantee that Trump will respect that? After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the implementation of Trump’s original ban, White House policy adviser Stephen Miller made a series of high-profile appearances on Sunday network news shows. In response to the Ninth Circuit ruling, he told Fox News, “The president’s powers here are beyond question.” And, “We do not have judicial supremacy in this country.” Immediately after this, Trump tweeted, “Congratulations Stephen Miller―on representing me this morning on the various Sunday morning shows. Great job!” If there were to be some kind of “national security incident,” real or not, this regime might well use that as a pretext to simply ignore and dismiss any court orders in the name of “protecting the American people.”

All of which points with great urgency to the need to resist Muslim Ban 2.0, and to drive out the Trump/Pence fascist regime in the name of humanity.


1. In this talk, Bannon quite clearly lays out a “holy war” perspective of “Judeo-Christian capitalism” versus Islam. He traces this back to religious wars of the past and in the process accuses “secularism” of sapping the “strength” of the West. The entire talk is found here.

To get a sense of this, read the following question/answer from this talk:

Questioner: One of my questions has to do with how the West should be responding to radical Islam. How, specifically, should we as the West respond to Jihadism without losing our own soul? Because we can win the war and lose ourselves at the same time. How should the West respond to radical Islam and not lose itself in the process?

Bannon: From a perspective—this may be a little more militant than others. I think definitely you’re going to need an aspect that is [unintelligible]. I believe you should take a very, very, very aggressive stance against radical Islam. And I realize there are other aspects that are not as militant and not as aggressive and that’s fine.

If you look back at the long history of the Judeo-Christian West struggle against Islam [editor’s note: Islam full stop, not “radical Islam”], I believe that our forefathers kept their stance, and I think they did the right thing. I think they kept it out of the world, whether it was at Vienna, or Tours, or other places... It bequeathed to us the great institution that is the church of the West.

And I would ask everybody in the audience today, because you really are the movers and drivers and shakers and thought leaders in the Catholic Church today, is to think, when people 500 years from now are going to think about today, think about the actions you’ve taken—and I believe everyone associated with the church and associated with the Judeo-Christian West that believes in the underpinnings of that and believes in the precepts of that and want to see that bequeathed to other generations down the road as it was bequeathed to us, particularly as you’re in a city like Rome, and in a place like the Vatican, see what’s been bequeathed to us—ask yourself, 500 years from today, what are they going to say about me? What are they going to say about what I did at the beginning stages of this crisis?

Because it is a crisis, and it’s not going away. You don’t have to take my word for it. All you have to do is read the news every day, see what’s coming up, see what they’re putting on Twitter, what they’re putting on Facebook, see what’s on CNN, what’s on BBC. See what’s happening, and you will see we’re in a war of immense proportions. It’s very easy to play to our baser instincts, and we can’t do that. But our forefathers didn’t do it either. And they were able to stave this off, and they were able to defeat it, and they were able to bequeath to us a church and a civilization that really is the flower of mankind, so I think it’s incumbent on all of us to do what I call a gut check, to really think about what our role is in this battle that’s before us. [back]

2. This “hero” had been part of a raid that murdered 10 children under 13, as well as a number of other non-combatants. [back]

 

 


 

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Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

CALL TO ACT

PROTEST! MARCH 16: No Ban! No Wall! Resist Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

No ban! No wall!
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On Thursday, March 16, the Trump/Pence regime’s Muslim Ban 2.0 is set to go into effect. Trump’s January 27 executive order barring immigrants and refugees from seven majority Muslim countries inflicted horrible suffering and terror on people coming from some of the most ravaged and unlivable places on Earth. In the midst of massive protest, the ban was put on hold by the federal courts, but the new ban is set to go into effect this week.

The people—the human beingsbeing denied entry into the United States are coming from countries that have been turned into a living (or unlivable) hell and the U.S. government is more responsible than any force in the world for the environmental, military, and economic conditions that are driving people from their homes in these countries. They are victims of the U.S. empire. It is an obscene crime against humanity to demonize and ban the victims of what the U.S. has done in the Middle East and North Africa.

Trump’s ban has nothing to do with protecting people. But it feeds xenophobic fear and hatred of Muslims that was a cornerstone of his campaign. Trump invoked real or invented incidents to forge a fascist base for a brutal, repressive society. History has horrific examples of where that kind of ugly hate can lead. This ban is a critical element in hammering down a fascist America. The ban itself must be defeated and this whole move to fascism must be stopped the only way it can be—by driving out the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

And this Muslim Ban will escalate the war between Western capitalism-imperialism on the one side, and fundamentalist Islamic jihad on the other. This is a clash that is reactionary on both sides, even as the crimes of the U.S. empire dwarf even the dreams of the fundamentalist Islamic jihadists. To the extent people around the world, and people in majority Muslim countries in particular, do not see resistance to this ban in this country, that fuels the paradigm of a holy war. And that serves both sides. On the other hand, the inspiring response against Trump’s first ban by people of all walks of life, of the legal community, of many religious leaders, and others when people coming from Muslim countries were being detained at airports on January 27, sent an important positive message to the world. That has to be taken higher, in all kinds of realms of society. Visible, powerful resistance to the Muslim Ban in this country can contribute to people in every part of the world fighting for a whole other kind of world than either of these Dark Ages forces impose where they rule.

The new ban has been tweaked, but everyone knows it’s still a Muslim Ban. People around the world must see people, especially those who are not directly in the crosshairs of this ban, resisting. Knocking back Trump’s moves to isolate and terrorize Muslims will give heart to all who are in the crosshairs of Trump’s fascist agenda in this country. And the more that it becomes clear to all that people are refusing to be let this go down, the harder it will be for anyone to be complicit.

Especially on March 16, we call on our readers everywhere to join with protests, cultural expressions, legal assistance... or call for something on your own. Bring “NO!” into everything, and the message Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime! And send in reports, photos, and videos what you and others did that day right away to revcom.us (send to: revolution.reports@yahoo.com).

 

 


 

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Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

The Outpouring on March 8, a Day Without a Woman—and the Wellspring of Outrage Against the Trump/Pence Regime

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

It was very important that on March 8, International Women’s Day, women across the U.S.—and across the world—took off work, wore red, went into the streets, and acted in other ways to give voice to their outrage against the intense, and intensifying, oppression they face, and in many cases against the Trump/Pence regime. And it was important that many men joined in the Day Without a Woman protest that had been called for that date.

Many who acted on March 8 were part of the Women’s March on January 21, the day after Trump’s inauguration, when millions of people throughout this country and in many places across the globe poured into the streets, making clear their disgust and anger at the rise of Trump/Pence. The Women’s March was followed by other determined protests—people rushing to and clogging up the airports against Trump’s Muslim ban; the Day Without an Immigrant and other actions against the Gestapo-like round-ups of immigrants; students mobilizing to stop fascists on their campuses; and other resistance. In all this, many who are being compelled to act, both young people and those who are older, are new to political protest.

Like the Women’s March and other recent protests, the broad range of actions and people involved in the Day Without a Woman points to the reality that there continues to be a deep and significant well-spring of alarm and anger against the Trump/Pence regime. In particular, there is alarm and outrage among many, many women—and people of all genders—at the   crude, rape-culture, women-hating piggery that Trump concentrates, in combination with the straight-up Christian fascist patriarchal clampdown represented by Pence.

All this shows the potential for the kind of resistance that is urgently needed, now, as the Trump/Pence regime forges ahead very rapidly to consolidate fascist rule. As the speech from the Revolutionary Communist Party given at this year’s International Women’s Day events said, in relation to the recent resistance including the Day Without a Woman:

This is extremely important—and it must be built upon, it must get even broader and more determined, and it must spread. At the same time, it must get increasingly linked up with the fight to drive this fascist regime from power—and growing numbers within it need to increasingly be linking this to the fight to make an actual revolution, to dig up the roots of this oppression by overthrowing the system that requires and enforces this oppression, by putting an end to all exploitation and oppression and the very division of society into classes, into masters and slaves, oppressors and oppressed, exploiters and exploited.

On this page is a round-up of what happened on "A Day Without a Woman" around the U.S. (including reports from readers in a number of cities), report about response to Refuse Fascism's call for people to go out into the streets on March 8, and a survey of International Women's Day protests around the world.


"A Day Without a Woman"

Several hundred demonstrators marched through downtown Boston on International Women's Day demanding an end to the Trump/Pence Regimes war on immigrants, his attacks on abortion rights and on the LGBTQIA community.
Boston, Massachusetts, International Women's Day. (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

On March 8, International Women’s Day, women—and men—across the United States marched and rallied, took off from work, wore red in solidarity and acted in other ways for “A Day Without a Woman.” The call for the action came from the organizers of the January 21 Women’s March when millions took the streets across the U.S. and around the world. They said that on this day, “women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people”—and that they drew inspiration from “recent courageous actions like the ‘Bodega strike’ led by Yemeni immigrant store owners in New York City and the Day Without Immigrants across the U.S.” They say the day was meant to show women’s economic and political strength and to speak out on many different social justice issues, like reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, immigrant rights and environmental justice. And many of these actions served as a way for women to speak out against the Trump/Pence government. Read more


Refuse Fascism, International Women's Day in NYC: March to the Tower! Drive Them From Power!


Refuse Fascism co-initiator Sunsara Taylor speaks to hundreds of defiant protesters near Trump Tower in NYC on International Women’s Day.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, Refuse Fascism called on people to go into the streets saying:

Break the Chains! Unleash the FURY of Women!
Say NO to All Forms of Female Enslavement!
Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!

In response, hundreds of people rallied at Columbus Circle in New York City. A dozen or so wore bloody pants and people carried bloody coat hangers, invoking the reality of women who have died from illegal or unsafe abortions. After the rally, people marched towards Trump Tower chanting, “No Pussy Grabbing! No Patriarchy! No Fascist USA!” They intersected in the streets with a contingent on its way to the women’s strike—some of them joined with Refuse Fascism heading for Trump Tower chanting, “March to the Tower! Drive Them From Power!” At one point, the two marches were going down sidewalks on both sides of the street, creating a wild scene of resistance. Read more

Around the World: International Women's Day—in the Streets for Equality and Against Anti-Women Violence

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, tens of thousands were part of the Ni Una Menos (
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, tens of thousands were part of the Ni Una Menos (“Not one less,” meaning not one more woman killed by violence at the hands of men). (Photo: AP)

Across the world on March 8, women as well as men were out in the streets to mark International Women’s Day. A particular target of many of the protests was demanding an end to rape, murder, and other forms of violence against women. Some of the actions were part of a Global Women’s Strike, demanding equality for women at work in other areas of life and society.

As the speech from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, for this year’s International Women’s Day said, “International Women’s Day could not be more important and urgent than it is this year. We gather at a time when all across the globe, women are being violated, brutalized, humiliated, kidnapped and beaten, bought and sold into actual sexual slavery, objectified and humiliated in pornography, denied control over their own lives and reproduction, forced to have children against their will or to risk their lives and even die to avoid it... Women are raped, stalked, viciously exploited in the factories and fields, imprisoned in veils and harassed on the streets, terrorized, shamed, taught to submit and treated as less than human. Everywhere.” Read more

 


 

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Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Refuse Fascism, International Women's Day in NYC:

March to the Tower! Drive Them From Power!

March 8, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


Refuse Fascism co-initiator Sunsara Taylor speaks to hundreds of defiant protesters near Trump Tower in NYC on International Women’s Day.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, Refuse Fascism called on people to go into the streets saying:

Break the Chains! Unleash the FURY of Women!
Say NO to All Forms of Female Enslavement!
Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!

In response, hundreds of people rallied at Columbus Circle in New York City. A dozen or so wore bloody pants and people carried bloody coat hangers, invoking the reality of women who have died from illegal or unsafe abortions. After the rally, people marched towards Trump Tower chanting, “No Pussy Grabbing! No Patriarchy! No Fascist USA!” They intersected in the streets with a contingent on its way to the women’s strike—some of them joined with Refuse Fascism heading for Trump Tower chanting, “March to the Tower! Drive Them From Power!” At one point, the two marches were going down sidewalks on both sides of the street, creating a wild scene of resistance.

Near Trump Tower, people pulled together for a speak-out. A Puerto Rican woman spoke out against those in her community who have gotten caught up in wanting a wall against Mexicans—saying “NO!” and speaking in English and Spanish. A woman from South Africa who had been forced into marriage as a child bride and denied education because she is Black spoke against violence against women worldwide. A woman from Tennessee spoke about what it is like to not have sex-ed or birth control as a teenager and how this ruins young women’s lives. Several older women spoke about the days when abortion was illegal and how terrifying and stifling and deadly it was. Another speaker exposed the horrible implications in poor countries in the Third World for Trump’s ban on funding any organizations that even make people aware of the option of abortion.

Jenny Heinz, who was turned away from an event at NYC's Lincoln Center for wearing her Jenny Heinz, who was turned away from an event at NYC’s Lincoln Center for wearing her “NO!” sign, called for cultural institutions to take a stand against the fascist regime. (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

Earlier, at Columbus Circle, Jenny Heinz, who was turned away from an event at NYC’s Lincoln Center for wearing her “NO!” sign, spoke out powerfully about the importance of cultural institutions not being neutral, let alone censoring resistance, and instead taking a stand against this fascist regime.

Throughout it all, Sunsara Taylor—a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism and a correspondent for Revolution newspaper—not only spoke bitterness about what women face all over the world, and not only about how Trump and Pence are taking this woman-hating to new heights of cruelty and viciousness, but also about how this unprecedented reassertion of woman-hating and patriarchy is a cornerstone of their fascist juggernaut being imposed on people here and around the world. She exposed how this is of a piece with their subversion of the separation of powers, of the ripping up of the separation of church and state, of their attacks on the media aimed at shutting down and closing off any ability for people to challenge their LIES, of their criminalizing dissent and remaking the law and the society in a fascist way with implications for people all over the world and for generations to come.

Sunsara Taylor called on people to get organized with Refuse Fascism, to take up the four things called for in the Call to Action:

“Our single unifying mission must be to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime.

“We must manifest the power of NO! everywhere: on signs, billboards, walls, social media and the news. NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America must resound.

“Every outrage committed by this regime must be met with greater and greater resistance.

“We must ORGANIZE: working with all our creativity and determination toward the time when millions of people can be moved to fill the streets of cities and towns day after day and night after night, declaring this whole regime illegitimate—Demanding, and Not Stopping, Until the Trump/Pence Regime Is Driven from Power.”

And Sunsara Taylor said humanity needs a total revolution to break all the chains of oppression that bind women and to emancipate all of humanity. She read BAsics 3:22:

You cannot break all the chains, except one. You cannot say you want to be free of exploitation and oppression, except you want to keep the oppression of women by men. You can't say you want to liberate humanity yet keep one half of the people enslaved to the other half. The oppression of women is completely bound up with the division of society into masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited, and the ending of all such conditions is impossible without the complete liberation of women. All this is why women have a tremendous role to play not only in making revolution but in making sure there is all-the-way revolution. The fury of women can and must be fully unleashed as a mighty force for proletarian revolution. (BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian)

She called on everyone to get into Bob Avakian, to learn about the revolution and come out on Sunday to the program at Revolution Books about International Women’s Day. At the same time, she gave a shout-out to everyone who was out from all their different perspectives and called on everyone to stand shoulder to shoulder in the movement to stand up today to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power in the name of humanity, for people all over the world.

 

In Cleveland, more than 200 people rallied and marched for IWD and Refuse Fascism, and the In Cleveland, more than 200 people rallied and marched for IWD and Refuse Fascism, and the “NO!” message was in the mix with signs, fliers, stickers, and people signing up. Among the chants: “No Pussy Grabbing! No Patriarchy! No Fascist USA!” (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

The Drive Out Trump/Pence Regime Tour is in New Orleans, where they marched on International Women's Day.The Drive Out Trump/Pence Regime Tour is in New Orleans, where they marched on International Women’s Day. (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

A member of Refuse Fascism spoke at a Women's March rally at San Francisco City Hall at noon, and was warmly received by the crowd of 1,000.A member of Refuse Fascism spoke at a Women’s March rally at San Francisco City Hall at noon, and was warmly received by the crowd of 1,000. Later, Refuse Fascism joined a “Gender Strike” rally at SF’s Justin Herman Plaza, then marched with some 400 people to the Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) building. Following that, Refuse Fascism rallied at Powell and Market in the heart of downtown, then marched through the Union Square area spreading the NO!, including to visitors from around the world. (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

 


 

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Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Refuse Fascism, International Women's Day in New Orleans

Fighting for Women, Fighting to Oust This Fascist Regime

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime National Tour was in New Orleans for International Women’s Day, March 8. The following report appeared at RefuseFascism.org:

New Orleans, March 8

March 8, New Orleans Photos:
Kat Stromquist

The National Tour to Drive Out Trump/Pence recognized International Women’s Day in New Orleans today with a beautiful rally and march, bringing NO! into the streets all across the city!

We woke up early and spent our morning with a fun and productive brainstorming session, discussing all of our creative ideas for organizing at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX, and at the U.S./Mexico border. We have some wonderful ideas in store, and we’re working with several organizations and individuals who are excited to spread the message of NO! broadly and in new, interesting ways. Learn about how you can get involved with the Tour at South by Southwest.

Following our great discussion, we headed out to Jackson Square to begin our rally, which we organized with assistance from the Louisiana Socialist Network. Around 50 people joined us, including women who had taken off from work for the day in protest for A Day Without a Woman, Planned Parenthood workers, a high school teacher, a traveling writer, and families. We gathered in the square with a massive “NO! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime” banner, stacks of NO! posters, stickers, Calls to Action, and some homemade signs supporting gender equality and demanding an end to misogyny in the White House.

We set the rally in motion with a megaphone, explaining who Refuse Fascism is, why Trump and Pence are misogynistic fascists, why we are on a national tour, and why we must drive them out before it’s too late. We led chants, such as “No! No! NO, NO, NO! In the name of humanity, we refuse a fascist America!” As more and more people gathered, some wearing red in solidarity for a Day Without a Woman, others in gorgeous glitter and creative outfits, we invited everyone to come to the megaphone and share their stories—why they took the day off work, why they came to the rally, why they reject Donald Trump and Mike Pence, and why they want to continue this fight for equal human rights for all genders.

Many of those who came out to the rally, as well as all of the Tour Volunteers, were eager to speak about their own experiences and the harsh realities women face around the world from the moment they’re born until the moment they die. This goes even beyond the shameful fact that white women in the U.S. make 79 cents for every dollar a white man is paid, and women of color make only 56 cents to the dollar. This is about the tens of thousands of women globally who will die because of the global gag rule. This is about a man being elected President of the United States after having been accused of sexual assault by over a dozen women. This is about having abominable, misogynistic barbarians in the White House. At first glance, Trump and Pence seem like polar opposites; while the sexual-predator-in-chief brags about being able to “grab them by the pussy” because of his status as a reality star, his second in command practices right-wing Christian fascism with the primary goal of keeping women barefoot and pregnant, controlled by their husbands and denied any autonomy whatsoever.

We centered the rally on refusal of woman-hating in the U.S. administration and internationally, also explicitly including our rejection of racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, anti-Semitism, hatred and violence toward immigrants, shouting “HELL NO!” Then, an incredibly inspiring, courageous woman shared her story on the megaphone. Two years ago, she was forcibly raped at knifepoint by 2 men who broke into her home. When she went to the emergency room, she was not provided Plan B in the rape kit, and she had to fight for the right not to become pregnant with her rapist’s child. “My uterus is my most private part of me. That is mine. And nobody—especially not a white fascist asshole, just because he sits behind a desk at the White House—has any say on what happens to my body.” We thank her so sincerely for sharing her experience and for standing up for women across the globe who are denied these basic rights.

We also heard from a very young woman who told us she had been raised to stand up for herself in a society that tells her not to; she chooses every day to use her voice to speak up for all oppressed women. Another woman, who had taken off from work in protest, emphasized the millions upon millions of women who are silenced around the world, who are not treated as full human beings. It was beautiful to hear so many different perspectives, personal stories, and words of encouragement; several of these speakers, who were not previously part of Refuse Fascism, explicitly described Trump and Pence as fascists—a true fact that must be understood across the nation.

After these great speeches, we began marching through the streets of the French Quarter of New Orleans. One woman held a large banner she made that read, “A woman’s place is in the Revolution.” We were strengthened by our resolve to never accept a leader who accused a woman of “bleeding out of her wherever” because she asked the questions he didn’t want to answer. We united under the unshakable belief that a woman must never be denied ownership of her own body, as we chanted, “Without this basic right, women can’t be free. Abortion on demand and without apology!”

Our march had a tremendous impact on bystanders and tourists in the city. Many raised their fists in solidarity, applauded us, or chanted with us. They eagerly reached for Calls to Action and NO! stickers as we passed them out on the sidewalks adjacent to the march through the streets. Others, however, said “Well I’m a Trump supporter,” and some even went as far as to call us “bitches” or shout, “Show us your tits.” These disgusting, ignorant, vulgar brutes are representative of growing sentiments within Trump and Pence’s social base; this regime is fomenting open, unashamed misogyny among supporters, and the increasing normalization of sexist slurs was clear to us in certain moments. These repulsive and aggressive reactions showed us exactly why marches like this are so essential. As we gather together to stand up for all women, we outwardly reject the fascist administration which relies so heavily on misogynistic speech and policy. The vast majority of people we encountered, though, were highly supportive. The success and beauty of our march showed us the tremendous potential for widespread growth in our movement to drive out Trump/Pence.

Following the march, we heard a powerful speech from a Tour Volunteer addressing the fact that what makes someone a woman is not whether she can “pass” as one by society’s standard by buying enough of whatever makes her beautiful. We fight for equality for anyone who identifies as a woman, and we will drive out the fascist administration that denies transgender people the simple human right of using the bathroom corresponding to their gender. She also shared her thoughts on the severe economic equality she saw in New Orleans, particularly the stark class division between tourists and impoverished locals. It’s essential for us all to recognize the breadth of issues we must address when pushing back against this fascist regime. Striving without pause for equality for all women throughout the world is one part of our movement to oust fascism in the name of humanity.

All of us who marched were loudly rejecting the physical and verbal abuse of women that is being normalized and applauded by this fascist administration. We shouted, “No pussy grabbing, no patriarchy, no fascist USA!” Thank you to our amazing supporters in New Orleans! As we plan to move forward on Tour, traveling soon to Houston, Austin, and the U.S./Mexico border, we will organize and mobilize the millions who are ready to fight for women and for all of humanity.

Women’s rights are human rights!

When women are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!

Trump and Pence are fascist, Trump and Pence are illegitimate!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/481/a-day-without-a-woman-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

"A Day Without a Woman"

Updated March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On March 8, International Women’s Day, women—and men—across the United States marched and rallied, took off from work, wore red in solidarity and acted in other ways for “A Day Without a Woman.” The call for the action came from the organizers of the January 21 Women’s March when millions took the streets across the U.S. and around the world. They said that on this day, “women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people”—and that they drew inspiration from “recent courageous actions like the ‘Bodega strike’ led by Yemeni immigrant store owners in New York City and the Day Without Immigrants across the U.S.” They say the day was meant to show women’s economic and political strength and to speak out on many different social justice issues, like reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, immigrant rights and environmental justice. And many of these actions served as a way for women to speak out against the Trump/Pence government.

As was the case with the Women’s March and other recent protests, many people who were part of "A Day Without a Woman" had never protested before or had not been active for many years. The New York Times gave a couple of examples: In Lafayette, Indiana, “a retired nurse and first-time protester” who said she had come out for the day because of “the injustice that women deal with—like jobs, everyday life”; and in Denver, Colorado, a teacher “had driven 90 minutes from Colorado Springs for her first political march, noting proudly that she had a male substitute in her classroom.”

Reports are still coming in about the day—how many people took part in the day in various ways, including not working or shopping, or wearing red clothing to show they were in solidarity with others taking action, and all the places where people took action, in cities as well as suburbs and smaller towns. There were news reports that a number of school districts had to shut down because so many women—and men—teachers and staff were not going in to work for the day. For example, in Maryland, Prince George’s County schools closed after some 1,700 teachers and 30% of its transportation staff requested leave for the day. Public schools also closed in Alexandria, Va., across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., along with Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools in North Carolina. In Providence, Rhode Island, the municipal court had made plans to close because the demonstrations would have left the city with not enough staff in the courthouse.

The president of the Prince George’s County Educators’ Association (the teachers’ union), Theresa Dudley, who herself wore red for the day, told Revolution/revcom.us that the action by hundreds of teachers in the school district to be part of the one-day strike was “not an orchestrated thing at all—it just took a life of its own.” She said that hundreds of teachers from the district had gone to DC on January 21 for the Women’s March and “perhaps some of the spirit of the March played a big role in people’s decisions to stay home on Wednesday... I think it shows that women are really frustrated in this country—that someone could be elected president that doesn’t respect women at all, unless they allow him to grope and allow him to treat them however he wants to treat them, and having no rights, as far as reproductive freedom is concerned.”

Teachers in other school districts around the country took part in the day in various ways. A retired teacher who helped the Chicago Teacher’s Union organize a protest by active teachers for "A Day Without a Woman" told the Los Angeles Times, “We stand in danger of losing so much of what women have fought so hard to gain. I’m talking about abortion rights. I’m talking about the gains that women have made through union labor.” At Palo Alto High School in the San Francisco Bay Area, about 30 women teachers took the day off and held a “women’s brunch,” while other teachers and many students wore red. A journalism teacher at the school told Palo Alto Weekly that “she took the day off to make a statement in protest of the president’s stance on women and women’s rights, particularly his recent offer to maintain federal funding for Planned Parenthood if they stop providing abortions.”

And in many other different types of workplaces, women and some supportive men took the day off or wore red to work as part of the day. The New York Times reported that “the chief executive of the advertising agency 360i, said that hundreds of the company’s 600 New York employees were participating in some way.” Various TV newscasters wore red, and Slate.com reported on what happened at various news outlets, including at Verge and MTV News where employees who did show up “tweeted photos of nearly empty offices, demonstrating the visual power of not showing up.”

Rallies and marches were held in cities around the country. A crowd of some 2,000 rallied in Los Angeles. In New York, over a thousand marched with chants like “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go!” Fourteen women were arrested in a civil disobedience action outside the Trump International Hotel & Tower. A San Jose Mercury newspaper headline said “‘A Day Without a Woman’ draws thousands to Bay Area rallies while others skip work in solidarity.”

In Santa Cruz, California, protestors—including students from the University of California campus—marched through the streets and blocked traffic. Hundreds marched in Denver, Colorado; Boston; Philadelphia; and other cities—and there were gatherings in smaller cities and towns.

Among the actions in Washington, DC, was a march of hundreds of people to the front gates of the White House, protesting in particular the Trump regime’s attacks on women’s right to abortion—including the global “gag order” that threatens health providers around the world with cut-off of funds if they even discuss abortion. One of the chants was, “Resist Trump, stop the gag.”

From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

In Los Angeles, there were two rallies on March 8, International Women’s Day. About 1,000 filled Grand Park (across from City Hall) for “A Day Without A Woman” rally called by the Women’s March. Women and men of different nationalities, backgrounds and ages were there. An older woman mentioned she had not been to a protest since Roe v Wade made abortion legal, but felt compelled to start coming out ever since Trump won the election. A young Latina woman said she had never been into politics until she started seeing the attacks on immigrants and felt she needed to do something. A young Black man, a journalist, had been thinking about the impeachment of Trump and said we have to keep an eye out for the bad stuff they do to get him impeached. He said as a journalist he was thinking about what role to play in preventing this all from being normalized. From the stage organizers, activists and local politicians spoke about the horrific situation facing women in the U.S. and around the world. 

Later in the day, there was another rally of hundreds at the downtown Federal Building, organized by the International Women’s Strike. Many of the organizations focused on the situation facing women around the world, including the conditions of poverty and exploitation in Third World countries.

Refuse Fascism was at both rallies and had an impact with a colorful banner that said “No! Pussy-Grabbing No! Patriarchy No! Fascist USA,” along with several banners with the NO! in different languages. The Refuse Fascism team distributed many NO! posters and the Call to Action, and challenged people to confront the reality that the Trump/Pence regime are fascists and they are going for a total fascist re-ordering of society. Many women and men were challenged to become organizers to drive out this fascist regime from power.

The Revolution Club was also there, taking out the Call to Action and distributing the “Break the Chains” compendium by Bob Avakian, which excerpts his writings on the emancipation of women and the communist revolution. They also had a huge banner that read, “Women Are NOT Bitches, Ho’s, Punching Bags, Incubators, Sex Objects or Breeders! Women Are Full Human Beings! revcom.us”

A member of the Revolution Club who is an organizer with Refuse Fascism went to both rallies with red “bloody” pants to symbolize the women who lost their lives when abortion was illegal. She also wore a homemade T-shirt that read “Forced Motherhood=Female Enslavement” and wrote “NO!” on her face with red paint. She reported that throughout the day women would come up to her and express how powerful the outfit was. That response was mainly coming from older white women. When she tried to speak to younger women about what the outfit symbolized, most of them didn’t understand it.

When the first rally ended, this organizer for Refuse Fascism got on the megaphone and began to call on people to stick around and talk. She explained the meaning of her outfit and what that had to do with Trump, “He’s already told us that he’s going to reverse Roe v. Wade. And the reality is, whether abortion is illegal, women will seek it! And we will end up going back to this! Women dying from inducing their own abortions!” She also took on very sharply the dismissive comments she had seen on social media about the "A Day Without A Woman" strike. “I read some disgusting comments about the strike, people saying we are here today to whine about how we are being underpaid! But there is something much deeper than that! The reality and the horror of walking down the street with a vagina! And fearing for your life, the fear of getting sexually assaulted, harassed, or raped! And now with this PIG in power saying it’s okay to grab a woman by the pussy, saying it’s okay to grab a woman and kiss her without her permission!!! This is training men to disrespect and view women as objects!” And she called on people to get organized to DRIVE OUT the Trump regime from power!

People responded to the agitation. A woman from India signed up right away and was challenged to donate $100, She responded to the need for materials and what impact this can have when we translate the “NO!” into Spanish, Farsi, and Arabic, donating $60. She brainstormed about what were some places she could take these materials to, taking a kit of 50 posters, 50 fliers, and 15 stickers. She was very upset about the new Muslim ban and wanted to do something about it.

There was struggle with people throughout the day about how they were viewing the situation and what people were gonna do about it. The Call to Action was used to speak to why we don’t have four years to “wait and see,” that we have to be working very hard right now to organize people, for people to confront that this is fascism. And to drive the fascists out!

An older guy said he had heard the agitation earlier, congratulated the organizer and said to “keep up the good work.” He said he would look forward to our emails to hear more about the work, but she struggled and challenged him to take materials right then and spread them everywhere, because there is no time to waste. He agreed and took a stack of fliers to get out to people where he lives.

Others were signing up and committing to raising funds for Refuse Fascism, and were taking materials. A seven-year-old took up the task of distributing 60 fliers to the crowd, after an organizer for Refuse Fascism explained to him what this was about. His mother, who was wearing a hijab, encouraged him to pass out the fliers and he later came back with almost none left. A Latina woman who was agonizing over the deportations said she appreciated and agreed with the message of driving out the fascist regime, not preparing for four years of horrors. She had never been political before, but the urgency of the situation made her want to do something and she wanted to get organized right away.

We talked to many people who were agonizing over what is happening in the world, about the deportations, about women’s right to control their bodies, about the Muslim ban. And after a short discussion with people, they would take up the materials and sign up and donate.

From a reader:

IWD in Eugene, Oregon:

On the evening of Wednesday, March 8th around 6 pm the Intersectional People's Network of Eugene/Springfield hosted a rally at the Free Speech Plaza (aka Park Blocks) to celebrate an International Women and Women-aligned Day, featuring predominately marginalized sectors of women such as indigenous, Latina, disabled and transwomen. This event was a rally, taking place in pouring rain, for about an hour. There are other events planned for Sunday, March 12. There were 20-40 people, mostly older but some young people, mostly women. And mostly non-white, in a city that is majority white.

From Readers:

Seattle

About 600 people rallied at Westlake Park in Seattle on International Women’s Day, while 150 people in south Seattle held a night walk to protest all violence against women and remember My-Linh Nguyen, a 45-year-old Vietnamese woman who was killed by an attacker on the street near her home on December 15, 2016. The downtown rally included special guests Pussy Riot and New York Daily News columnist Shaun King. After the rally, Refuse Fascism united with about 40 others who were demanding to march and led people through the streets of downtown and up to Capitol Hill. It became even more clear that the full fury of women had yet to be unleashed when one young woman let out a primal scream as we stepped off, with chants of “No Pussy Grabbing, No Patriarchy, No Fascist USA,” “Abortion on Demand & Without Apology, Without this Basic Right, Women Can’t be Free,” and “Women Aren’t Things, Women Aren’t Toys, Women Aren’t Objects for the Boys!” There was a speak-out in the middle of a busy intersection, stopping traffic. A number of women, men and non gender-conforming people spoke of being raped and escaping violent and abusive relationships and homes—and of their fear and anger at having a sexual predator in the White House. The rally ended with people signing up with Refuse Fascism and a powerful mic-check of the 4 points that Refuse Fascism is calling on millions to resolve to accomplish until Trump and Pence are driven from power.

From Readers:

Cleveland

In high winds by the lake, over 200 people, Black and white, young and older, women and some men gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day. There were many homemade signs exposing the attacks on women from the defunding of Planned Parenthood to outlawing abortion by the Trump/Pence regime and signs that spoke to the fighting spirit of women. A young speaker from Refuse Fascism spoke about the need to drive out the Trump/Pence fascist regime and ended with a mic check of the pledge: “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!” Most of the people there joined in the pledge with feeling and determination. Then people marched through downtown chanting enthusiastically “NO TRUMP NO KKK NO FASCIST USA” as well as some took up “NO Pussy Grabbing, NO Patriarchy, No Fascist USA.” Refuse Fascism was in the house with lots of signs, fliers, stickers and people signing up. Throughout there was a feeling that the horrors against women promoted by the Trump/Pence regime must be fought against and that the rally and march for IWD was part of that fight.

 

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/482/around-the-world-international-womens-day-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Around the World:

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, tens of thousands were part of the Ni Una Menos (
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, tens of thousands were part of the Ni Una Menos (“Not one less,” meaning not one more woman killed by violence at the hands of men). (Photo: AP)

In Mexico City, Mexico, the slogan
In Mexico City, Mexico, the slogan “Ni Una Menos” was also raised. (Photo: Mexicoenlared/Twitter)

Istanbul, Turkey (AP photo)
Istanbul, Turkey (AP photo)

In Islamabad, Pakistan, women and men protested with signs calling for an end to attacks on women.
In Islamabad, Pakistan, women and men protested with signs calling for an end to attacks on women. (Photo: AP)

In Manila, Philippines, protesters burned a U.S. flag with Trump's image on it.
In Manila, Philippines, protests at the U.S. embassy called out the brutal Philippine ruler Duterte. Trump has expressed support for Duterte, and protesters burned a U.S. flag with Trump’s image on it. (Photo: AP)

In Tbilisi, Georgia, demonstrators rallied in support of LGBQT rights and in defense of women's right to abortion. (Photo: AP)
In Tbilisi, Georgia, demonstrators rallied in support of LGBTQ rights and in defense of women’s right to abortion. (Photo: AP)

Warsaw, Poland, International Women's Day
Warsaw, Poland (AP photo)

International Women's Day—in the Streets for Equality and Against Anti-Women Violence

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Across the world on March 8, women as well as men were out in the streets to mark International Women’s Day. A particular target of many of the protests was demanding an end to rape, murder, and other forms of violence against women. Some of the actions were part of a Global Women’s Strike, demanding equality for women at work in other areas of life and society.

As the speech from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, for this year’s International Women’s Day said, “International Women’s Day could not be more important and urgent than it is this year. We gather at a time when all across the globe, women are being violated, brutalized, humiliated, kidnapped and beaten, bought and sold into actual sexual slavery, objectified and humiliated in pornography, denied control over their own lives and reproduction, forced to have children against their will or to risk their lives and even die to avoid it... Women are raped, stalked, viciously exploited in the factories and fields, imprisoned in veils and harassed on the streets, terrorized, shamed, taught to submit and treated as less than human. Everywhere.”

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, tens of thousands were part of the Ni Una Menos (“Not one less,” meaning not one more woman killed by violence at the hands of men.) This is a country where there is one case of “femicide”—murder of women in domestic violence and other crimes directed against women—every 30 hours. One protester said, “They are killing us. We can’t get used to that as if it were normal.”

There were Ni Una Menos marches in a number of other Latin American countries on March 8.

Tens of thousands took to the streets on International Women’s Day in a number of cities  in Turkey, where hundreds of women are killed every year, often by their husbands. In the city of Istanbul, more than 10,000—mostly women, according to news reports—marched as they chanted “end male-perpetrated violence” and “Tayyip, Tayyip, run, run, we are coming.” “Tayyip” refers to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been carrying out extreme repression against opposition to his regime since a failed coup attempt last year. Many protesters carried signs saying simply “No.” People also marched in Ankara and Diyarbakir, in an area the country where the oppressed Kurdish people are concentrated.

In Islamabad, Pakistan, women and men protested with signs calling for an end to attacks on women—hundreds of women each year are disfigured by acid attacks, beaten, and killed, accused of bringing “dishonor” to their families because they are raped, accused of adultery, or commit other alleged “offenses.”

In Ireland, a strike was called for March 8 to call for repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution, which broadly outlaws abortion except in rare circumstances. Thousands marched in Dublin, shutting down a landmark bridge and major streets, and there were marches in other cities across Ireland.

In Manila, Philippines, protesters rallied at the U.S. embassy, calling out the brutal Philippine ruler Duterte, whose police and vigilantes have murdered hundreds of people under the guise of going after supposed drug dealers. Trump has expressed support for Duterte, and protesters burned a U.S. flag with Trump’s image on it. Some protesters wore masks dripping with fake blood to symbolize violence against women.

Some of the other International Women’s Day protests around the world:

Over 20,000 marched in Rome, Italy, the largest of the protests on March 8 in dozens of cities across the country. In Sana'a, Yemen, women protested outside the UN offices with signs saying “Yemen women die due to war and siege!”—opposing the U.S.-backed war and blockade by Saudi Arabia, as well as direct U.S. military strikes, that have killed many Yemeni civilians and caused tremendous suffering. In Bucharest, Romania, dozens of women lay on the ground and read out names of women, aged 16 to 66, killed by their partners in Romania in an event called “If one falls, we all fall.” In Tbilisi, Georgia, demonstrators rallied in support of LGBTQ rights and in defense of women’s right to abortion. The Associated Press reported on March 8: “Women across Poland are staging rallies and marches to demand protection against violence, equal rights and respect.”

In Sanaa, Yemen, women protestors outside the UN offices opposed US-backed war with signs saying
In Sana'a, Yemen, women protesters outside the UN offices opposed U.S.-backed war with signs saying “Yemen women die due to war and siege!” (Photo: AP)

Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine (AP photo)

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/481/drive-out-the-trump-pence-regime-national-tour-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime National Tour
NO! In the Name of Humanity – We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America

Updated March 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

"The Trump/Pence Regime is a Fascist Regime. Not insult or exaggeration, this is what it is. For the future of humanity and the planet, we, the people, must drive this regime out…

"Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. All of this has already begun under the Trump Regime. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late."

RefuseFascism.org is organizing people across the country to rise to the challenge of driving from office the fascist Trump/Pence regime, before it is too late. A key part of RefuseFascism’s plan is the Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime National Tour. Organizers set out on February 26 from NYC in a van to go to the South heading to Texas – areas where the two futures for the country and world are starkly contested.

The Tour is going to hotspots where the lines are sharply posed. The Tour is reaching out to campuses and small towns that want to get organized to put a stop to fascism. This Tour will be a dynamic factor on the national terrain with people following its progress, learning of its impact taking inspiration and redoubling their own efforts. As people are resisting the outrages of the Trump/Pence regime around the country, as people are building Refuse Fascism in the big cities and campuses, the Tour can galvanize the hearts and minds of people who want to say NO! to the fascist Trump/Pence regime and oust it from office.

The Tour pulls up to college campuses and rallies students in the quad. It meets up with and work with people who’ve been following Refuse Fascism on social media. When it arrives at hotspots that are on the frontlines of struggle against different aspects of Trump’s fascist program, the Tour connects up with individuals and groups who have been resisting… religious organizations, student groups, immigrants rights activists, new anti-Trump groups, and more.

Those who encounter the Tour directly, or hear about it and reach out to it, will be worked with by the National Office to go out and organize even more people to become organizers. The Tour is not just inspiring people nationwide, but is a seeding machine to build organization and movement to make history by driving out this regime.

RefuseFascism.org features photos, reports, and lessons of the Tour as it travels so that people nation-wide can follow it, bring it to their area, and join its efforts. Through social media and media coverage it generates, the Tour will project its message out into society.

There are several key ways people can help make this Tour a success:

tour@refusefascism.org
646-851-6739

To follow the progress of the "Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime Tour", visit RefuseFascism.org


Day 5 – Charlotte, North Carolina to Atlanta, Georgia:

Charlotte N. Carolina: There is Nothing More Positive than Saying NO! Right Now

March 5, 2017 by Refuse Fascism

Hi everyone!

The Refuse Fascism National Tour volunteers woke up early this morning to travel from Greensboro to Charlotte, NC, where we attended an organizing meeting and Tour send-off at a coffee shop. We were joined by activists from Indivisible and MoveOn.org, the organizers of Resist Trump Tuesdays in Charlotte, some college students, a high school student, people from a communist collective, and a Greenpeace activist who had been arrested for protesting the Rex Tillerson hearing (we originally met her in court in DC because two of our Tour members were arrested for protesting Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing). The meeting began in "a very Southern way," as one Charlotte activist put it. A Reverend, who also works as a professor and is affiliated with the NAACP, led a prayer about the importance of equality and rights for all people. We had a great turnout and were all blown away by the strong enthusiasm of the crowd, their powerful sense of urgency, and consistent participation throughout the meeting and afterwards.

One Volunteer began with a presentation on the Call to Action, emphasizing examples of the manifestation of fascism in the Trump/Pence regime and building on the crowd's excitement and willingness to get to work right away. After another Volunteer gave a compelling fundraising pitch, she was immediately followed by a community activist who stood up to drive home the need for financial support for our food, transportation, and materials. The atmosphere of the meeting reminded some Tour members of a church service; all attendees openly affirmed the points we were making, clapped and nodded in support, and participated freely to contribute their own ideas, concerns, and goals.

We spoke about the implications of fascism for the United States broadly, but we also discussed some of the issues in North Carolina specifically. The state received extensive media attention and came under fire from reasonable people around the world for denying our transgender siblings—especially young children in schools—the human right to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender. After former President Obama outlawed this shockingly cruel action of the state, Trump wasted no time in his first month repealing this motion and stripping protection from an entire group of people, who are absolutely, unquestionably deserving of equality and safety. We also discussed voter suppression and the movement for redistricting the state because of the illegitimate gerrymandering that benefits the right wing.

An important question came up during the meeting from the Reverend, who commented that the widespread message of NO!, while powerful and useful, may be overwhelmingly negative. He asked, because we are advocating for refusal so much, what exactly are we saying "yes" to? It is implicitly clear that, as we deny fascism the rise to power they hunger for, we promote human rights, love, and equality. One Tour Volunteer, though, gave our audience an unbelievably moving and very significant response: "Imagine if everyone in Nazi Germany stood up and said NO!, and stopped the Holocaust before it started. Think of the Abolitionist movement. We do not remember the Abolitionists as the people who said 'yes' to no slavery. They said NO! We will not accept this. There is nothing more positive than saying NO! right now."

One of the greatest outcomes of this meeting was the concrete organizing we were able to do. Each of the Volunteers shared their own story and then linked it with a direct plan of action the people of Charlotte could take to join the movement to drive them out. We were actually able to create a Refuse Fascism Charlotte chapter on the spot by interacting very personally with the audience. One Volunteer asked for each person who would be interested in joining the new chapter to raise their hands, and she then asked who would be able to host the first meeting. By the time we left, the new chapter was set up and had planned a conference call with the Refuse Fascism national office for the next morning.

On top of this accomplishment, we inspired two people to join us on the Tour. There were also talks of the Charlotte chapter holding a fundraising with the goal of raising money for a NO! billboard in the city. We received donations and distributed more materials than we had at any other meeting. Afterward, all of the Volunteers had more intimate conversations with attendees, gathering detailed information about what brought them to our movement and what can help them in moving forward from here. Once we got back on the road, we received a text from two women who attended the meeting with pictures of posters they put up all around the city after leaving the coffee shop. We are enlivened by the spirited mood of all the Charlotte organizers we met, and we're proud to have been able to inspire them toward actual, quick action to move millions now. We left them with an understanding of the necessity of working now to remove their power because fascism moves at a rapid pace, actively seeking any opportunity to dismantle democratic and human rights.

We spent the afternoon traveling to Atlanta, where several kind and welcoming hosts greeted us. We all had a group dinner at a nearby Nepalese restaurant, and we were able to discuss recent events in Atlanta, upcoming protests, and all of the meetings and events we have planned, including a Tour welcoming party we're looking forward to tomorrow. The food and conversation were wonderful, and we were able to begin preparing for our radio interview, activist training session, teach-in with Sunsara Taylor, and the other plans we have for our stay in Atlanta. We are so grateful to the awesome activists in Charlotte and our hosts from the Refuse Fascism Atlanta chapter for their hospitality, support of the Tour, and passion for organizing and spreading the unifying NO! message. Together, the existing chapters and the new ones we're initiating in the cities we visit on Tour will guide organizers to recruit more leaders to educate the entire nation and the world on what fascism is and why it is undeniably present in this unacceptable, horrifying Trump/Pence regime. These are the people who will bring millions into the streets to refuse. With their amazing dedication and fervor pushing us forward, we will organize, we will mobilize, and we will drive these fascists out!

Follow the tour every day at refusefascism.org

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/482/scott-pruitts-lying-illegitimate-ramblings-on-carbon-dioxide-and-climate-change-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Scott Pruitt's Lying, Illegitimate Ramblings on Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This week, Trump’s head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, denied that carbon dioxide was a main cause of global warming. In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Pruitt said, “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so, no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”

"Not Fit Caretakers of the Earth," a clip from the film Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian. Learn more about BA here

First off, Pruitt is just lying. It is challenging to measure the impact of human activity on climate, but scientists are now doing it with increasing precision. And among climate scientists who have studied “human activity on the climate,” there is 97 percent agreement, basic unanimity or what scientists call consensus, that not only is climate change happening as a result of human activity, but that it is clearly caused by the burning of fossil fuels and other human practices that produce CO2 and other greenhouse gases.1

And second—really, Pruitt? We should believe you? You, who have absolutely zero knowledge and zero expertise to determine this? Instead of believing the thousands of climate scientists who have studied this issue from many angles, over decades, and found that human-caused climate change is real and evidence for it is overwhelming? Somehow you have authority or legitimacy to speak as an expert on this, when your whole career and position has been as a toady for fossil fuel conglomerates? When you have slavishly copied memos written by energy companies who stand to earn millions in profits, into your press releases, to brazenly cover efforts to eviscerate climate and clean water standards that would give some protection to people and nature?

And what do you have to back up your conclusion with? What evidence can you bring to explain what the planet is experiencing? Tell us, how would you explain the cause of rising sea levels and the disappearance of islands and coastlines worldwide? How would you explain the melting and shrinking of Arctic and Greenland polar ice masses, which is being measured year by year?2 How would you explain the global average temperature records being broken in 2016, and before that in 2015, and 2014? And that of the Earth’s 17 warmest years in recorded history, 16 have occurred since 2000?3 And how these temperatures are rising in close step with the rise of carbon dioxide levels measured independently by 40 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sites worldwide?4 Or the fact that the greenhouse effect—the connection between levels of certain gases like CO2 in the atmosphere with warming of the Earth—is a well-established scientific fact and has been understood since the late 1800s?5,6

How, Pruitt, do you explain the increasingly severe storms that have destroyed people’s lives—like those fueled by warming oceans that killed thousands and displaced millions in the 2010 flooding in Pakistan, or the occurrence in recent years of the most powerful hurricanes in recorded history, such as Haiyan in the Philippines, where 10,000 people drowned or were swept out to sea?7 Or the recent studies documenting how warming is decreasing oxygen in the seas, threatening to disrupt ocean life critical to all life on this planet?8

The idea that anyone should believe you—or reality-denying lunatics like Trump, who claims climate change is a hoax—and the confusion and lies you’re spreading that production of greenhouse gases by capitalist energy production is not connected to global warming, would be laughable if it wasn’t so dangerous. You would have us disbelieve mountains of evidence, thousands of scientific studies, and glaring reality. The truth is, yes, human activity—and its production of greenhouse gases along with other practices—is warming the planet, changing the climate, and helping destroy the basis for much of Earth’s natural world, and the basis, too, for human beings to continue to exist on this planet.

       
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:

Read online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

That a man like Pruitt would be given authority to head a government agency that supposedly has as its whole reason-to-be the protection of nature and the safety and health of people makes this regime totally illegitimate. That the president of supposedly the “most advanced” country in the world would appoint such a man, and himself claim climate change is a hoax, demonstrates, as do many other things, the complete illegitimacy of this regime. And what does it say about this capitalist-imperialist system which, due to its inexorable drive for profit and its expand-or-die competitive dynamic, has now brought forward a “Trump” and is rushing headlong to make things worse?

This regime is moving to eliminate programs that research or monitor climate change. It’s planning to erode or eliminate whole programs and sections of government agencies that would limit climate change. It’s on a mission to eliminate protections and limits on plundering the environment by wiping out all manner of regulations and rules. An all-out savage war on the natural world is being launched by this regime, in the service of unfettering unlimited feasting and plunder by U.S. capitalist monopolies. If this is allowed to fully unfold, it will guarantee, and further intensify, the accelerating erosion of ecosystems. It will put humanity—especially the poorest and most oppressed of humanity who have done the least to cause this—in the crosshairs of eco-catastrophe.

The Trump/Pence cabal is not only denying climate change and its connection to human activity but is working to hamstring the ability of people to prevent such an engulfing catastrophe already swirling like floodwaters around our legs. This should scream out another sharp alarm—along with all the other outrages they are carrying out—that this fascist regime must be swept from power at the soonest possible time.


1. Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers, IPCC [back]

2. Arctic Sea Ice & News Analysis, National Snow & Ice Data Center [back]

3. “Earth Sets a Record Temperature for Third Straight Year,” New York Times, January 8, 2017 [back]

4. Carbon dioxide levels rose at record pace for 2nd straight year, NOAA [back]

5. What Is the Greenhouse Effect? Livescience.com [back]

6. Greenhouse effect, Wikipedia [back]

7. “The Human Cost of Climate Change,” www.revcom.us [back]

8. “It’s official: the oceans are losing oxygen, posing growing threats to marine life,” Washington Post, February 15, 2017 [back]

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/481/resist-trumps-moves-to-disembowel-epa-and-wreck-environment-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Resist Trump’s Moves to Disembowel the EPA and Wreck the Environment

March 9, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Watch Bob Avakian: "Not Fit Caretakers of the Earth," a clip from the film Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian given in 2003 in the United States.

Trump’s Attacks on Scientists and the Resistance

The Trump/Pence regime’s assault on the EPA and environmental protections goes along with an attack on scientists, in particular researchers on climate change and those charged with protecting the environment. Scientists at the EPA, the National Park Service and other government agencies have been silenced and had important public information scrubbed from websites, and they are now facing dramatic cuts that will throw many out of work or cut their funding so much that important work cannot be done. Things have gotten to the point where climate scientists have been furiously backing up their data on alternate computers for fear that Trump officials will simply wipe out decades of valuable work that is essential to understanding climate processes that are of grave concern to world humanity. This very real possibility of destruction of scientific work by Trump/Pence brings to mind the burning of books in Nazi Germany.

This fascist cabal’s attacks on science may be starting with environmental scientists, but it won’t end there. The Trumpites cannot stomach and will not accept a society where people probe reality and figure out what is true based on employing a critical scientific method that relies on evidence.* They are moving to beat down people’s ability to determine what is true, and instead impose a Trumpian universe of lies, doublespeak and unquestioned obedience to fascist authority. This cannot be allowed.

Important resistance among scientists is growing. Alternative “rogue” government websites have continued to publish facts in their fields and criticism of the regime via social media in defiance of White House media suppression. Scientists are speaking out against the Trump regime, its lies and attacks on science. For instance, climate scientist Michael Mann recently called Trump’s budget plan, with its cuts to EPA and NOAA, an “all-out assault on Earth.” A March for Science declaring “science not silence” has been called for Earth Day, April 22, and has spread worldwide


* One recent sharp example among others: Since January 30, the website of the EPA’s Office of Science and Technology, which has been until now charged with developing state clean water standards, has removed wording that it uses “science-based” standards to evaluate safe levels of pollutants and replaced it with “economically and technologically achievable standards.”

Sources inside the Trump regime are saying the White House has proposed deep cuts to the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of Trump’s new budget plan. Reports are that EPA funding will be slashed by one-quarter and staff by one-fifth. Trump/Pence had already prohibited EPA officials from speaking to the press, frozen hiring, and scrubbed climate change information from the White House website. Now, these fascist know-nothings are moving to gut the EPA, whose job is supposed to be to safeguard the environment and people’s health.

Some of the EPA’s key official responsibilities include funding state safe drinking water and clean air programs, cleaning up toxic sites and spills, setting environmental health standards for water and air pollutants to protect people and fish, and limiting greenhouse gas pollution that is causing devastating transformations of the earth’s climate. To be clear, the EPA has always performed these measures in a limited way, seeking to enforce “safeguards” so they weren’t in fundamental conflict with U.S. capitalist-imperialist profit-making and global power. (For an example of this, see the revcom.us article “The Severe Danger of Neonic Pesticides to Bees”)

Still, the EPA’s actions since its founding in 1970 have meant some improvements in air pollution standards, limiting of environmental disasters like acid rain and DDT (pesticide) poisoning, and cutting lead from gasoline, etc. One important cause of these improvements was widespread exposure of, and mass resistance to, environmental destruction. And the positive changes that did occur happened against a backdrop of continuing environmental damage to waterways, habitat and wildlife. And in certain cases, such as greenhouse gas pollution causing climate change, the situation has actually gotten a lot worse since 1970.

But now, Trump and his allies would make things exponentially worse.

What the EPA Cuts Will Mean for the People

The EPA cuts include slashing things like funding for lead cleanup. This will mean more people poisoned, like the children in Flint, Michigan, some of whom have suffered long-term neurological damage. The cuts target funding to clean up toxic waste sites. This could mean that thousands of industrial sites containing toxic and radioactive waste will remain uncleaned—fouling water and land, harming people and the environment. The plan calls for slicing the grants that were planned to help Native American tribes protect members from pollution on their lands. Funding for enforcing pollution laws would also be cut, meaning many more kids would get sick with asthma. A 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study showed that air pollution causes early deaths in 200,000 people each year in the United States. The number of early deaths would likely increase if the EPA and other environmental regulations are axed in this way.

Also hit will be funding countering the enormous danger of climate change, like a program to monitor the emissions of methane from the oil and gas industry. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and the emissions of this gas are adding to the threat of irreversible damage from planetary warming.

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s Hatchet Man at the EPA

These cuts, tremendously damaging in their own right, are part of a larger campaign. Make no mistake, these proposals are just the beginning of moves to eviscerate the EPA and remove any limits on capitalist interests from plundering and ruining the environment.

       

Trump’s EPA head Scott Pruitt has been put in place to oversee this. Pruitt made his career as attorney general in Oklahoma by working to block and overturn environmental protections for clean water, regulations for safe mercury levels and steps to limit climate change. He sued the EPA 14 times, working as a hatchet man for huge capitalist fossil fuel interests, as documented by the release of thousands of his personal emails in late February. Trump rewarded these despicable acts of destruction by appointing him EPA chief, and the Republicans in Congress approved him.

At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, Pruitt said that the Trump regime was going to roll back environmental regulations in an “aggressive way.” According to the Natural Resources Defense Council when a moderator asked the crowd at the conference to raise their hands if they hoped Pruitt would “just sort of make the EPA go away...Pruitt laughed and the crowd cheered.”

Opening Salvoes of a Savage War on the Environment

Trump’s proposed cuts to the EPA come on top of rule changes in just the last few weeks to allow coal mining interests to dump waste into streams, and an executive order to begin getting rid of the Clean Water rule, which was supposed to have protected drinking water and wetlands for 117 million people.

It has also been revealed that the regime plans a 17 percent slash of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) budget—cuts that would damage important research on climate change, tracking storms, and other environmental questions. Trump has already promised to eliminate Obama’s Clean Power Plan that would have cut greenhouse gas emissions by very modest amounts.

Other key environmental standards or laws, such as the Endangered Species Act, are also under the gun from the White House or Congress. All of this is occurring just in the first six weeks of the Trump/Pence regime. Imagine the horrors to unfold if this continues.

A March 5 New York Times article reported that the Trump regime is being flooded with requests by big capitalist business and lobbyists to slash all manner of regulations. These interests, the Times said, see with this administration a “potentially historic opportunity to lower compliance costs and drive up profits.” These attempts to implement unprecedented U.S. capitalist plundering and enshrinement of corporate enrichment and power are one key component of Trump/Pence’s overall fascist remaking of society that includes many other horrors.

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:

Read online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

The reality is that this regime has launched the opening salvoes of a full-on savage war on the environment. If allowed to continue, their plan will be a complete nightmare for the planet and human well-being at a time of great ecological peril, when segments of the natural world are already unraveling.

Climate change and other related human-caused eco-destruction has humanity facing what some scientists call a threat to human survival. To point to just two sharp examples: It’s predicted that by 2050, 17 million people in Bangladesh will be displaced by rising sea levels, which are largely driven by the melt of polar ice caused by the planet being warmed due to burning of fossil fuels. This warming, which also is driving the acidification of seawater, is also dangerously impacting the world’s oceans. A recent study found that already the oxygen content of the oceans, which sea life needs to survive as do humans, has declined two percent due to warming. It’s been predicted that if warming continues as it is, by 2050 four-fifths of the oceans will be disrupted, threatening marine life that feeds one billion people.

The plans to drastically cut the EPA and destroy the environment are sickening and criminal. They must be met with much escalated, passionate and determined resistance, and joined with overall crescendoing resistance to this whole fascist regime that aims to drive them from power, in the name of humanity and to save the planet.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/481/thousands-march-in-dc-defending-native-peoples-rights-opposing-dapl-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Thousands March in D.C. Defending Native People's Rights and Opposing Dakota Access Pipeline

“City by city! Block by block! We must stand with Standing Rock!”

March 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Thousands of people filled the streets of D.C. standing with the struggle at Standing Rock.
Thousands of people filled the streets of D.C. standing with the struggle at Standing Rock. (Photo: @collinrees/Twitter)

Protesters defied wind, rain and hail, and the fascist Trump regime.Protesters defied wind, rain and hail, and the fascist Trump regime. (Photo:@tommiesunshine/Twitter)

In front of Trump Hotel in D.C., marchers chant "Trump must go!" In front of Trump Hotel in D.C., marchers chant "Trump must go!" (Photo: @aku_matu/Twitter)

Chanting “City by city! Block by block! We must stand with Standing Rock!” thousands of people from around the country marched on the White House opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline and defending Native people’s rights. The march took place in defiance of the Trump regime and bitter cold, wind and hail. It was the focal point of four days of protest, a concert, and other events in D.C. People carried massive props like a black snake-like “pipeline” with “NO PIPELINE” inscribed on it, and banners and flags from many Native tribes.

For the past year and more, the battle of the Standing Rock tribe in the Dakotas against a $4 billion oil pipeline has been an epicenter of the battle for Native people’s survival, and defending the environment. Thousands of people, from all around the world, joined in resistance at Standing Rock. Over two hundred different Native tribes participated—the largest gathering of Native tribes in resistance in the history of the U.S. The march in D.C. included a contingent of about 200 people from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Under the Obama administration, nearly a thousand people were arrested simply for standing up against the pipeline, many of them brutalized by militarized police and private mercenaries working for the pipeline company. At the same time, in the face of global outrage at the insult, injury and danger of a massive oil pipeline infringing on Native people’s treaty rights, the Obama administration temporarily paused construction just before last election. But four days into his regime, one of Trump’s first acts was to remove all government obstacles to the pipeline. (See Trump Order Gives Green Light to Dakota Access Pipeline ...). On February 7, 77 people were arrested at Standing Rock, and several face serious criminal charges.

Defending Indigenous Peoples and the Environment in the Time of Trump

In the period since Trump came into office, and in D.C., activists in the Standing Rock battle are making connections between the battle at Standing Rock, to historic and ongoing crimes of this system, and to the particular crisis posed by the Trump regime. The march route led past the doorway of Trump’s D.C. hotel, where people erected a teepee and chanted: “Donald Trump has got to go!”

Kristina Elote of the Jicarilla Apache Nation in New Mexico wore a huge “Make America Great” hat with a special decoration; she told reporters, “I saw the hat everywhere and I hated it. I wanted to do something about it so I put an arrow through it.”

In a speech near the White House on Friday, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II said, “Many tribes across this country and Indigenous Nations around the world are struggling with this very same problem—the imperialistic, conquistador spirit is so deeply embedded in Western and capitalistic society that hundreds of years later, our government is using the exact same arguments to disavow the safety and well-being of entire populations. Not only do they disrespect people of a different origin, they disrespect the treaty rights retained by the original Americans.”

“We are in dark and unknown territory. Very real threats to our way of life and our freedom are being issued daily, and we are facing a realistic dismantling of our country as we know it.”

And he said, “Fellow Americans; allies—I stand with you. I hope that you understand that this is the way my fellow Native Americans have felt for centuries. Now we are all in the same boat. We are facing a regime that has no regard for American values, and does not hesitate to fly in the face of the law to benefit the immature antics of an unhinged leader and his moneyed friends.

“We are here to resist hate and fear. All around the country we see protests and marches, it is obvious that we are at a tipping point where we must inevitably stand up for what is right. Never before in Indian Country have we experienced the level of public awareness and the strength in diverse numbers that we see now. We have reached a critical moment in time where citizens are realizing that we must stand for the core of humanity.”

Interviewed from shortly after his arrest at Standing Rock on February 7, Chase Iron Eyes—who has been on the front lines of resistance at Standing Rock and is an initiator of Refuse Fascism—told Carl Dix, “ [I]t’s clear that Trump is representing the interests of the corporate state. Indeed, what was known all along to be fascism, in its truly modern form. And Standing Rock is going to be one of the epicenters, as every airport was, during the Muslim ban, as probably another Indian reservation will be, when they try to build the wall. There are some Native nations that are going to say, no, you’re not going to build a wall here.” (See “On the Battle at Standing Rock and Resisting Trump: “The whole country is going to have to stand up and take risks“).

Resistance to trampling on Native people’s rights and destruction of the environment has spread over the past few months. Native Americans and others, some of them veterans of the encampment at Standing Rock, are resisting the Trans-Pecos pipeline in Texas, the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana and the Sabal Trail Pipeline, which would carry natural gas from Alabama to Central Florida. These pipelines all threaten safety of the water of millions of people, are environmental nightmares in their own right, and contribute to pumping more fossil fuel products into the air, escalating deadly climate change.

Groups of people have remained camped at and near Standing Rock, while at the same time, activists have called for spreading the struggle nationwide. There have been protests in cities and on campuses across the country, including a march of 2,000 people in Los Angeles on February 5.

The heroic resistance at Standing Rock and beyond shines a bright light on the historic and ongoing crime of the genocide and theft of land of the Native peoples that is part of the foundation of what the rulers of this country call “the land of the free.” The Trump/Pence regime is hell bent taking things to a whole other, far worse state. In their first days in office, they began shredding the most minimal restrictions on environmental devastation and spitting on the just demands of Native peoples. They are aiming to cohere U.S. society on the most extreme and overt white supremacy. And, even beyond all that, they are racing to impose fascist repression. Resistance and support for Standing Rock must spread and become more determined. And most importantly, for the sake of humanity, this regime must be driven out before it can fully tighten its grip on the reins of power.

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/482/rcp-speech-march-8-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

On This March 8 When the Future of Women Is Being Fought Out All Over the World...
Break the Chains! Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!

In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse To Accept A Fascist America

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

BA—Charting the Path Forward to Emancipation, for the Women of the World, and All of Humanity

Break All the Chains!

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

Sampler Edition | Full Work

 

The following is the text of a speech that was prepared by the Revolutionary Communist Party and given at International Women’s Day celebrations around the country this past weekend.

 

Welcome everyone to this celebration and gathering for International Women’s Day. And welcome to the screening and discussion of clips from Bob Avakian’s historic speech REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! This is a real treat because no one has gone as deeply as he has into the roots of women’s oppression and how we can end this oppression that binds half of humanity once and for all as a key part of making revolution to end all exploitation and oppression everywhere. If this were all he had done, this would be a huge contribution; but BA has actually taken the science of revolution, of human emancipation and communism, to a new level... he has made this method available to all... he has developed a Constitution for a new society, the New Socialist Republic in North America... and he has developed a strategy for how people could fight for and actually win, when millions are ready to fight and the time is right, an all-out revolution with a real chance of winning. And he has done this from the standpoint of making revolution all around the globe, from the interests of the seven billion...

And in addition to all that, BA leads the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA – he’s fought to keep it on the revolutionary road and right now that party is preparing the ground to make a real revolution in the belly of this beast at the soonest possible time and, as a crucial immediate part of that, joining with others to drive out the Trump-Pence regime.

So, for everyone who is perhaps engaging BA for the first time today, this should be just the beginning of going deeper into his work—and for everyone else, the same.

Before we dive into the film clips, I want to speak a little bit about the moment we are in.

International Women’s Day could not be more important and urgent than it is this year. We gather at a time when all across the globe, women are being violated, brutalized, humiliated, kidnapped, and beaten, bought and sold into sexual slavery, objectified and humiliated in pornography, denied control over their own lives and reproduction, forced to have children against their will or to risk their lives and even die to avoid it... Women are raped, stalked, viciously exploited in the factories and fields, imprisoned in veils and harassed on the street, terrorized, shamed, taught to submit, and treated as less than human. Everywhere.

Think about this: Just this past week the New York Times ran a headline exposing a “secret” Facebook group of Marines and ex-Marines that shared naked and sexually compromising pictures of female soldiers—pictures that vengeful boyfriends had leaked, pictures they had taken surreptitiously while women were changing or going to the bathroom, or pictures they had stolen. And then they traded crude comments about these women, threatening and “joking” about rape and sexual violence against these women, demeaning them for their bodies, insulting their humanity. Now, when you hear the word “secret” in the headline, you think this might have been a few Marines who ran this site... or maybe a few hundred... but no, it was 30,000 Marines. It wasn’t a “secret”—it was a widespread alliance of male supremacy and predation, tens of thousands of Marines who took part in this, who reveled in it, who bonded over it—who openly conspired together to degrade and humiliate the females they work and fight alongside. Men who have been conditioned to see these women they work and live among not as full human beings, but as sex objects to be threatened and dehumanized for sport and for bonding. This goes along with the epidemic levels of rape, sexual assault, and rampant harassment and violence against women in the military. And this is not just the military—armies are a concentration of the kind of society and the kind of relations they are fighting to protect and extend. The oppression and degradation of women, treating women like sex objects or punching bags, like breeders of children or servants of men, is a cornerstone of U.S. society—just as it is a cornerstone of all societies based on exploitation and oppression.

Or, think about this: Cervical cancer—a cancer which by its very nature only affects women—is completely preventable, but it takes the lives of a quarter of a million women worldwide every year, 4,000 women right here in the U.S.—a hugely disproportionate number of them Black women. Revolution newspaper, www.revcom.us, got into why this is, in an article last week—you should read the whole thing. Actually, you should read revcom.us every day. The article gets into the two big things that stand in the way of stopping these needless deaths of women. First, there is the “bottom line.” Like everything under capitalism, medicine is an industry. People get health care if some capitalist can make a profit—otherwise, they are left to suffer and die. Black women are doubly oppressed and disproportionately in extreme poverty, so they die needlessly in disproportionate numbers. But then there is the other part. For years, Christian fascists like those grouped around Trump have fought against the vaccine that could prevent this deadly cancer. Why? Because the main strains of cervical cancer come from sexually transmitted infections, and these woman-haters don’t want to send the message that it’s OK for women to have non-marital sex. Women, in their view, must be virgins until marriage and then breeders for their husbands. They are so opposed to women controlling their own sexuality that they have absolutely no problem punishing these women with death if they choose to have sex.

But that is not all. We gather at a time when, despite all the claims of progress and equality—and even despite the very real and heroic struggle of women to break out of many traditional forms of enslavement and oppression—all around the world, the chains of women’s oppression are being tightened, patriarchy is being violently reasserted and intensified, and women are being slammed even further backwards. Mass and repeated rape as a weapon of war. Trafficking of millions of women and young girls as sexual slaves. Shrouding women in burqas and veils and burning them with acid if they don’t submit. Sexually harassing women in the workplaces, raping them in the prisons and detention centers. Beating them in their homes—from one corner of the globe to the other.

Right here in the U.S., Donald Trump—a man who boasted about sexually assaulting women in the most crude and degrading terms, a man who has unapologetically shamed women, calling them “fat pigs” and “slobs” and “dogs,” a man who oozes arrogant contempt and hatred for women—has become president. He is not only enshrining this open, crude degradation and hatred of women as normal and acceptable from the highest office of the land, he is championing a cruel revenge against women—whipping up and giving vent to the frustration that many men have felt about having to hold back their desire to degrade and hold women down after it got challenged for a time by women rising up. Trump is ushering this back with a vengeance. And all the while, he is holding hands with that Christian fascist theocrat Mike Pence—a man who has spent decades shaming women, fighting to criminalize abortion even in cases of rape and incest, and even when the woman’s life is in danger, and who has also fought to take away birth control from women, to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ people, and to enforce Old Testament Biblical literalism as the law of the land.

       

One of their first acts was to sign the Global Gag Rule, which denies funding to any agency around the world that provides health care or any other services if they even so much as mention to women where they might go to find a legal, safe abortion. In other words, they are blackmailing health agencies around the world—telling them you cannot provide Ebola care or other health care if you don’t become part of denying women access to safe abortions. This immediately sentenced thousands of women to death—because when women cannot access safe, legal abortions, they die from illegal back-alley abortions. Some 70,000 women die every year around the world from lack of safe abortions. But that is not all: Millions of women have their lives foreclosed by being forced to have children against their will; they are driven into poverty or trapped in abusive relationships, or forced to drop out of school, or go to desperate measures to survive and feed their children. This has already been done by these woman-haters in the White House, and they are only getting started. They have the full intent to stamp out abortion and birth control for women altogether, including here. And let’s be very clear—this is NOT about the so-called life of the fetus, this is about controlling and enslaving women. Fetuses are not babies. Abortion is not murder. Women are not incubators. Women are full human beings.

Or look what they are doing to women who are driven in desperation to flee their countries and make the dangerous and degrading trip across the border into this country. Not only has Trump whipped up all this vicious anti-immigrant hatred... not only has he already unleashed the state to kick down doors and snatch immigrants away from their children and families... Trump is openly threatening to charge women who are detained near the border with their children with the crime of “human trafficking”! To take their children from them, detain the children and women separately—and then to charge these women with human trafficking—as if they, who are risking everything to help their children escape desperate conditions, are the criminals and traffickers! This is tantamount to the great crime of the U.S. in turning away Jewish refugees in the 1930s from Nazi Germany, but it’s worse—it’s as if they had also charged these women with crimes! All this from a boastful sexual predator!

These two men—Trump and Pence—concentrate not only the vile hatred and misogyny that stalks women all over the world, but also the ugly revenge and punishment that is being unleashed against the ways that women have risen up against and broken out of many of the traditional forms of oppression they have faced—and as a means for seeking to hold society together in a reactionary way precisely in a time when their system is going through major challenges and big changes. This violent reassertion of patriarchy is part of an all-around fascist remaking of society they are hammering into place—with their violent attacks on immigrants and Muslims, their threats against the press, their undermining of the separation of powers, their denial of climate change and frontal assault on science altogether, and much more.

It would be very difficult to overstate the profound danger this represents not only to women everywhere, but to all of humanity. This regime must not be allowed to consolidate its fascist agenda; it must be driven from power. So, we gather at a time of great and growing danger.

But this is not the only thing going on. We also live in a time of profound stirrings of resistance and outrage. It is very important that the day after Trump’s inauguration, millions of women and men poured into the streets and clogged up every major city and many small towns across this country—as well as many around the world. They could not sit home and stomach all this—they had to be among others, make their voices and outrage heard and felt. This has been followed by other very important forms of resistance—against the Muslim ban when people flooded to the airports, against the roundups of immigrants as Latino immigrants and others went on strike and took to the streets, among students rising up against fascists on their campuses and in other ways. And, just a few days ago, women across the country and around the world once again rose up—taking off work, going into the streets, wearing red, giving voice to their righteous outrage. This is extremely important—and it must be built upon, it must get even broader and more determined, and it must spread. At the same time, it must get increasingly linked up with the fight to drive this fascist regime from power—and growing numbers within it need to increasingly be linking this to the fight to make an actual revolution, to dig up the roots of this oppression by overthrowing the system that requires and reinforces this oppression, by putting an end to all exploitation and oppression and the very division of society into classes, into masters and slaves, oppressors and oppressed, exploiters and exploited.

Most of all: We gather at a time when the future of women—half of humanity—is being fiercely battled out. And this fight is completely bound up with the fight for the future of all of humanity. As Bob Avakian put it several decades ago, but which continues to be true and even sharper today:

The whole question of the position and role of women in society is more and more acutely posing itself in today’s extreme circumstances... It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms... The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution; will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement?

The answer to this question—of whether this struggle over the role of women will be resolved in the most revolutionary and liberating of ways, or whether it will be resolved through the forceful reassertion and cementing into place of even more cruel and oppressive enslavement—is not yet determined. What we do has a lot to do with what the answer will be. And, what we understand is going to shape what we do.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/482/some-points-on-strategic-orientation-for-the-next-period-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Some Points on Strategic Orientation for the Next Period

Central Committee, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

These are initial edited excerpts from a report and working document recently prepared by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA that contain some points on strategic perspectives, orientation, and plans for the coming period. They have been edited for wider publication and accessibility. The orientation and plans will be further developed through continuing editorials, articles, and letters on the website, and through the role of revolutionary communists in the crucial battle to oust the fascist Trump/Pence regime from power, including initiatives like Refuse Fascism.

I. Fascism—An Even More Grotesque and Openly Murderous Form of the Same System

Liberal bourgeois democracy, such as that represented by Clinton and Obama, and fascism, such as that represented by the Trump/Pence regime, are different forms of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, that is, of the capitalist-imperialist class, exercising its rule and enforcing its system. This is what is essentially in common between bourgeois democracy (bourgeois dictatorship in the “democratic” form) and fascism, even if they represent the rule of different sections of this same class. This is what was illustrated and manifested when Obama said of Trump soon after the election that “ultimately we are all on the same team,” even with their sharp differences.

At the same time, fascism is an even more grotesque and openly murderous form of this same system, representing horrors for humanity and the planet, beyond what this system already inflicts every moment. This relationship of being qualitatively different, even while sharing a common essence, is considered “a unity of opposites.”

The communist revolution aims to get rid of the capitalist-imperialist system and replace it with a radically different economic and political system, socialism. Socialist society represents the dictatorship of the proletariat (DOP), the rule of a different class, the proletariat―and is a transition, as part of a protracted worldwide process, to get to communism, a world free of exploitation, oppression, and antagonistic social divides. This revolution is also the only real solution to the horrors of what is concentrated in the 5 Stops1—the wars for empire, the oppression of women, of Black, Latino, and other oppressed nationality people, of immigrants, and the destruction of the environment—none of which can be resolved under this capitalist-imperialist system. This stands in stark opposition to the “unity of opposites” of bourgeois democracy and fascism.

As a form of rule, fascism resolves the contradiction between the essence and appearance of bourgeois democracy by exercising this class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in its naked form. Describing this, and its dynamics, revcom.us has recently been running the following definition of fascism:

Fascism is the exercise of blatant dictatorship by the bourgeois (capitalist-imperialist) class, ruling through reliance on open terror and violence, trampling on what are supposed to be civil and legal rights, wielding the power of the state, and mobilizing organized groups of fanatical thugs, to commit atrocities against masses of people, particularly groups of people identified as “enemies,” “undesirables,” or “dangers to society.”

At the same time—and this can be seen through studying the examples of Nazi Germany and Italy under Mussolini—while it will likely move quickly to enforce certain repressive measures in consolidating its rule, a fascist regime is also likely to implement its program overall through a series of stages and even attempt at different points to reassure the people, or certain groups among the people, that they will escape the horrors—if they quietly go along and do not protest or resist while others are being terrorized and targeted for repression, deportation, “conversion,” prison, or execution.

The capitalist-imperialists can enforce their system and its dominance through either bourgeois democracy or fascism, even as they may differ sharply as to what is the necessary and desirable means at a given time. Describing this, Molotov (a top official in the Soviet Union—a socialist country at the time—during World War 2) memorably termed fascism a matter of taste for the bourgeoisie.” However, this is decidedly not so for the masses of people—here and around the world. It matters a great deal whether or not fascism is imposed and successfully implemented―both because of the extreme levels of horror and atrocity that are perpetrated, as well as the draconian ways in which the “trampling on what are supposed to be legal and civil rights” make the waging of any larger struggle for human emancipation much more difficult.

With the Trump/Pence regime in its early stages, one can see both pre-figurations of these aspects of fascism—and the dynamics of fascism on the march, with worse horrors to come. They have issued and implemented executive orders ratcheting up vicious and cruel measures against sections of the people, including undocumented immigrants and those from particular Muslim-majority countries, labeling them “undesirables” and “dangers to society.” They have launched an unprecedented and escalating assault on the mainstream press as “the enemy of the American people” with related assaults on the truth as “fake news.” They have advanced fascist mass mobilization around these themes. Where the judiciary and intelligence agencies have posed obstacles to their program or not done their exact bidding, this regime has attacked them as well, asserting the unchallengeable supremacy of the executive branch in opposition to “the system of checks and balances” between the different branches of the government, which is a fundamental principle of the U.S. Constitution, and even within the executive branch, asserting the unquestionable domination of the hard core fascists at the very top, even in relation to other bourgeois forces within the state.

Why did the Trump/Pence fascist regime arise now? In fact, this did not “come out of nowhere.” For many years now, Bob Avakian has pointed to the rise of fascist trends and a definite fascist movement in U.S. political life.

Bob Avakian (BA) is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. He is the architect of the new synthesis of communism, a whole new framework for human emancipation on a thoroughly scientific foundation. For more, we encourage readers to read and engage THE NEW COMMUNISM, by Bob Avakian and other works of BA, along with the interview with award-winning scientist and advocate for BA's new communism, Ardea Skybreak, Science and Revolution: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian. They are available on this website, revcom.us. BA leads the revolution in the U.S., theoretically and practically.

BA has scientifically analyzed the rise of this fascism, its underlying causes and drivers, and peculiarly American expressions such as Christian fascism—and what is to be done for the emancipation of humanity—and we strongly encourage people to seriously engage the following works by Bob Avakian: (a) The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer, and (b) the compilation of excerpts in The Coming Civil War and Re-polarization for Revolution in the Present Era.

In a nutshell, in response to the underlying necessity and challenges faced by the U.S. ruling class, globally and in this society, sections of the bourgeoisie have coalesced around a fascist program and regime, the Trump/Pence regime. This may not be a “perfect fit” and carries tremendous risks, but this is what Trump represents and aims to consolidate. And theocratic Christian fascism is a critical dimension of this.

What is that necessity—what contradictions do the capitalist-imperialists in the USA confront? In a large section of the world, U.S. imperialism is bogged down in wars for empire, locked in struggle with the historically outmoded forces of Islamic jihadism, even while they mutually reinforce each other in a dynamic that is deadly and oppressive to hundreds of millions. The U.S. faces challenges from China as a rising economic and military power, and inter-imperialist rivalry with Russia and Europe. The warming of the planet has growing and long-term implications, including mass migration from the oppressed nations which are disproportionately affected. In this society, the oppression of Black, Latino, and other oppressed nationality people, of women, and of immigrants intensifies, even while the traditional social fabric is strained by changes in demographics, the role of women, and gender and sexuality norms.

Clinton, Obama and the section of the ruling class associated with the Democrats profess, and to a degree give expression to, “multiculturalism,” “inclusiveness,” and liberal secularism even while maintaining the essential Christian, white supremacist, and patriarchal relations that characterize U.S. capitalism-imperialism. In contrast, the fascist Trump/Pence regime, and the Republican leadership that supports them, represents an extremely reactionary section of the bourgeoisie and their response to these contradictions, which in worldview and program is qualitatively different. With the leading edge of “America First,” white supremacy, patriarchy, and absolutist “traditional values” and Biblical morality, this constitutes and further reinforces underlying oppressive and exploitative relations of this system―and coheres its base around an uncritical exaltation of American might and a violently oppressive and repressive stance toward all who do not fit, or will not subordinate themselves to, the white Christian-fundamentalist mode.

Imposing this fascist program on society requires going after and replacing the norms and institutions of bourgeois democracy, especially those that pose obstacles to them like the press, the judiciary, and other sections of the ruling class. Bob Avakian makes the following crucial observation in "The Fascists and the Destruction of the 'Weimar Republic'... And What Will Replace It" (one of the excerpts in The Coming Civil War and Re-polarization for Revolution in the Present Era):

[B]esides attacking people who are genuinely opposed not only to this fascism but to the capitalist-imperialist system as a whole, one of the main lines of their assault is (to use a very relevant analogy) viciously going after the Weimar Republic (the bourgeois-democratic republic in Germany after World War 1, which was replaced and forcibly abolished when Hitler and the Nazis came to power in the 1930s)....

Going after the equivalent of the Weimar Republic in the U.S. today, the Democratic Party and the “Liberals” and so on—attacking them as nothing less than traitors―is part of an overall program aimed at silencing and outright suppressing, including through the force of the state, any group or section of society, even within the ruling class, that would pose an obstacle to the implementation of the program that the Christian Fascists, and forces in the same general camp with them, are very seriously seeking to impose on the U.S. (and indeed throughout the world). There is, and for some time there has been, a very definite, conscious and concerted effort by the forces in that general fascist camp to systematically attack not just communists, or anarchists and other radicals, but liberals, mainstream ruling class liberal politicians—attacking them as having been nothing less than traitors, from the time of the cold war to the “war on terror.” [bolded emphasis original, italicized emphasis ours]

This is the phenomenon we see with Trump branding the mainstream press, principally and normally a propaganda organ at the service of the liberal bourgeois state, as “the enemy of the American people,” for criticizing his regime and exposing its extreme measures. Similarly, while the principal role of the judiciary is enforcing the system, enshrined in the laws of the land, it also includes the protection of “civil and legal rights” even if that is more formal than actual for vast sections of the oppressed masses under this system. In this context, fascist assaults on the judiciary aim to remove institutional obstacles to both “unchecked” power of the fascist executive and to the “trampling on what are supposed to be civil and legal rights”for the people. This is the dynamic of the fascist juggernaut.

The imposition of different and more oppressive cohering norms in society, the escalated, violent, and viciously cruel attacks on sections of people, the trampling of civil and legal rights, the mobilization of violent fascist social bases, require, contribute to and are part of this dynamic and momentum of the fascist juggernaut. Precisely because of this dynamic, the scope and space for protest and even dissent is undermined by a fascist juggernaut on the move, with a constantly weakening basis for the masses of people to fight, to resist―even as the horrors of fascism accelerate and accentuate!

For these reasons above, the fascist regime needs to be DRIVEN OUT before it consolidates! This is the NECESSITY of the moment!

II. The Necessity We Face―The Need and the Basis to Oust This Fascist Regime, Its Relationship to Making Revolution

While the fascist Trump/Pence regime has its hands on the reins of state power, it has not fully and firmly consolidated its power and successfully implemented its fascist program.

There is both a normalization of fascism even while there are manifestations of sharp divides and protestations against this regime’s measures in the ruling class—among the Democrats, the mainstream media, etc. Those in opposition to the regime—including sections of the mainstream press, the judiciary, and the intelligence agencies—have not yet been fundamentally silenced and/or suppressed.

Resistance, protest, and outrage among the people have been and continue to be a feature from the very beginning of this regime. The Women’s March the day after the presidential inauguration and all the protests against Trump’s executive orders on immigration have manifested widespread and defiant resistance from sections of the people. We have to learn from these, to lead what is needed. This starkly manifested some of “the reservoir” of those who hate what this regime represents, and we must win growing sections of them to the necessity to oust this regime, and no less. With the unfolding reality, it is also becoming clearer, among growing sections of people, that Trump/Pence is a fascist regime, and has the potential to perpetrate horrors way beyond what the system also produces, and possibly posing existential threats to humanity—with the use of nuclear weapons―and the planet—with environmental devastation and global warming.

In assessing and understanding this moment, it is similar to the time period between Hitler being appointed chancellor and the consolidation of fascist rule where the Nazis had crushed the opposition. The Trump/Pence regime has not yet succeeded in imposing and institutionalizing its new norms, against both resistance and protest from sections of the people, and overcoming all the divides and protestations from sections of the ruling class and others.

Stopping this fascist regime, through massive political resistance, before it consolidates its power, is NECESSARY and still viable at this point, with a window and possibility in a relatively finite/telescoped period. While this window is uncertain, and could be slammed shut with major events in society and/or acts of this regime, there is an urgency to act and make real advances in ousting this regime in the immediate few months. This “window,” the possibility to oust this regime, could possibly re-open later with major changes in the world and this regime, but there is no guarantee of this, and in the meantime, this fascist regime would potentially inflict horrors untold, and it would be immeasurably harder to unseat this regime as time passes and fascism consolidates. This poses the urgent need for the necessary forces to be brought forward, united, organized, and mobilized in the ways, and on the scale necessary, in this finite/telescoped period, with the appropriate and commensurate means and forms for doing this.

In this context, it is sobering and critical to recognize, as an analogy, that “once Hitler consolidated power, it took a whole world war to bring him down, and then he was not brought down by any internal dynamics and struggle from within German society itself.2 Given the circumstances that this fascist regime has not consolidated, the concrete objective of removing this regime from power remains a valid objective in its own right―for now―from the perspective of making revolution.

There is a dialectical relation between the crucial and immediate political battle against the Trump/Pence fascist regime and the even further heightened importance and urgency of carrying forward the “3 Prepares”3and building for revolution in this highly fraught situation. At this moment the former is principal and the latter fundamental.4

What is decisive in this context are the two mainstays—promoting and popularizing BA, and the website, revcom.us―along with accumulating forces for revolution, all the way INTO the Party, and building and growing the Revolution Club as a form of revolutionary organization—at a moment when millions of “new” people are being thrust into political life. This is integral to everything we need to be doing and to actually even succeed in this crucial political battle... in line with what is ultimately needed to get to a radically different and far better society through revolution.

III. A Strategic Perspective on, and Approach to This Moment and the Crucial Political Battle

The correct orientation of those forces leading the revolutionary proletariat in the kind of situation we face now is captured in the last paragraph of the Weimar article by BA, “The Fascists and the Destruction of the ‘Weimar Republic’... And What Will Replace It”:

The “Weimar Republic” does need to be replaced, and superseded. The bourgeois republic—the rule of capitalism and imperialism, in its bourgeois-democratic form―is in fact a repressive system of rule, rooted in a whole network and process of exploitation and oppression, which brings untold, and unnecessary, suffering to millions, and literally billions, of people, throughout the world, including within the republic itself. It needs to be replaced and superseded, however, not by an even more grotesque and more openly murderous form of the same system, but by a radically new society, and a radically different kind of state, that will open the way and lead finally to the abolition of all forms of oppressive and repressive rule and all relations of domination and exploitation, throughout the world.

First, this orientation highlights the even greater import of projecting a radically different and far better society that is represented in concrete and visionary form in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (CNSRNA), authored by Bob Avakian. Particularly at a time when the question of how society should be organized, and on what principles, is much closer to the surface, this needs to be much more widely known. This Constitution represents a qualitative advance beyond previous socialist societies, and is a concrete application of BA’s New Communism―the result of more than four decades of work, scientifically summing up past communist and revolutionary experiences and theory, leading the revolution, practically and theoretically, in this country, and drawing from developments in other fields of human endeavor like the sciences, history, and art.

Objectively there are three futures contending in this struggle—(a) what is represented by the Trump/Pence fascist regime, the whole reactionary social phenomena that brought them to power, and the Republicans who support them, (b) what is represented by Obama, Clinton, and the Democrats more broadly, and (c) communism as advanced by BA, THE NEW COMMUNISM.

Even while the first two represent the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (DOB), and have nothing to do with genuine emancipation and the fundamental interests of humanity, there are real differences between them in regard to societal cohering norms and epistemology (what is true, and how do you get to it), and the understanding and approach to the overall necessity/freedom faced by the imperialists at this moment, domestically and globally. The open and stark manifestations of white supremacy and misogyny among the fascists, Christian fascist absolutist epistemology and morality co-existing with wholly relativist “alternative facts” epistemology and Trump morality, and attacks on longstanding institutional norms of bourgeois democracy are manifestations of these differences.

What is more fundamental, however, is that what is represented by the 5 Stops—the wars for empire, the oppression of women, of Black, Latino, and other oppressed nationality people, of immigrants, and the destruction of the environment—are not resolvable under this system, causing untold horrors, even while Obama/Clinton and Trump/Pence have different approaches and responses to these. The approach of revolutionary communists in taking fascism on is not to return to what “was” in Obama/Clinton, but to move forward toward replacing the whole goddamn system and bring about a radically different and far better society as represented by the Constitution of the NSRNA.

Second, this orientation stands in contrast to a position or orientation, historically characterized as United Front against Fascism (UFAF), which was dominant in the international communist movement in the 1930s in response to the rise of Nazi Germany. This line fundamentally divorced fascism from the capitalist-imperialist system, ultimately drawing too sharp a distinction between the democratic, antifascist section of the bourgeoisie and the reactionary section of the bourgeoisie for whom fascism was a response to and resolution of underlying contradictions. Fundamentally conflating different and antagonistic class interests, this line and approach called on the international proletariat to strategically ally with those bourgeois sections upholding bourgeois dictatorship in its "democratic" form, objectively making its upholding the centerpiece, and was part of an international line that drew the dividing line between fascism and democracy, full stop. UFAF also concentrated a crude economist approach of “the most widely applicable” means to attract people at the moment, what people are in motion around, rather than responding to necessity from a scientific and revolutionary communist viewpoint and goals. All this stands in opposition to leading the masses of people in independent historical action to achieve a crucial objective short of socialist revolution, with the overall strategic perspective and goal of working towards a radically different future embodied in that revolution.

At this immediate moment, scientifically analyzing the objective situation and the necessity we face, ousting this fascist regime is “a stage we have to go through.” In this, there is an aspect common with UFAF, but this aspect in common is very secondary to the fundamental differences in approach, orientation, and goals. Further, this immediate objective of driving out the fascist regime could change radically and quickly, including with the more or less full consolidation of the fascist regime, or some other resolution yet unforeseen, and the necessity faced will correspondingly change—where it will simply no longer be the case or necessity that ousting this regime is a valid objective and “stage we have to go through” as part of making revolution and carrying out the “3 Prepares” in this changed objective situation. This is therefore relative, and contingent on an objective situation in flux.

In this crucial battle, a guideline and orientation is to apply what is concentrated in the “mouthful sentence” from BA, i.e., “to continuously forge (and re-forge under new conditions) unity as broadly as possible so that it is objectively in line with and furthering the aims of the proletarian revolution and so that, at any given time in that process, as many people as possible are being won and influenced in their subjective consciousness toward the communist position, without however overstepping and undermining the correct unity for the given circumstances, which will be on a level different from, and short of, support for the communist position and proletarian revolution.” [Emphasis ours]

A rather simple illustration of an application of the first part of the mouthful sentence is to proceed in this crucial battle from the standpoint of what is in the interests of all of humanity, “In the Name of Humanity,” not of America per se―and struggle to win others and unite as broadly as possible around this orientation.

IV. The Necessity to Drive Out This Fascist Regime, and the Possibility on This Basis

We have to make—and continue to make—a case for the NECESSITY to oust this regime. This is the principal aspect of the NECESSITY/POSSIBILITY dialectic, where the possibility for ousting this regime is primarily based on the necessity of doing so, and the means realized by growing sections of people being won to this, and acting on this understanding.

When people ask “how” or what is the “mechanism” to oust this regime, the question to be returned to IS the “why,” the NECESSITY! This is first and foremost. When people understand this and become convinced, all sorts of things become possible with people doing all kinds of things, taking initiative, with creativity and defiance. History is full of such examples, including defiant, persistent, and growing protests that withstood and overcame tremendous repression and led to the fall of reactionary regimes (for example, the Arab Spring protests against Mubarak in Egypt, or those against Ceauşescu in Romania in the 1990s, etc.). More recently, we understand the upcoming scientists march on April 22 was originally initiated by someone horrified by this regime’s attacks on science, coming to feel this is unacceptable as they learned more, and confronting the need being posed for a scientists’ march, took this to heart and acted on it. This is what is needed, on a growing mass scale.

Grasping the necessity to oust this regime is the key link in ideological struggle in this realm, and we should explicitly lead people in this, with ways they can talk to their friends, colleagues, and others they are reaching out to—bringing the case back to NECESSITY, with substance.

In this instance, it is a concrete application of Lenin’s What Is To Be Done, and Mao’s emphasis on the decisiveness of line.

This—the decisive import of making, and increasingly winning the case for the necessity to oust this regime―is both a summation of experience of the past period (going into the inauguration), and what is to be done now, looking forward. This necessity is based on the illegitimacy of this regime, stemming primarily from its fascist character and content posing an existential threat to humanity and the planet (Hitler did not have nukes, which Trump/Pence do!), and causing tremendous harm and needless suffering, beyond what this system does already on a daily, ongoing basis. Living, compelling agitation on this is critical, in person and even more on social media and online. Secondarily, this regime was only able to come to power as a result of the Electoral College—which is a legacy and manifestation of slavery and its continuing effects—further contributing to its utter illegitimacy.

By now, there is EVERY basis to know the horrific consequences for humanity and the planet if this regime is not ousted—and we should lead and struggle with others, with this orientation. We have to be ON A MISSION flowing from the fact that this is completely UNACCEPTABLE, with an urgency and impatience of WHY SHOULD WE PUT UP WITH THIS, “In the Name of Humanity!” This sense of mission should be no less than that of parents whose child has gone missing—not stopping till the child is found, searching for every opening and every clue, and rallying people in this cause and mission.

At the same time, the necessity/possibility relationship is dialectical, a dynamic interrelation—and we have to make a case in its own right for the viability and possibility of ousting this regime, outlining the means for doing so, and concrete ways people can act on this understanding. The more this case is made and becomes a reality, the more people will grasp the necessity and feel compelled to act to do so.

All of this informs the approach to the righteous and defiant eruptions of protest against particular outrages such as the regime’s executive orders around immigration. We have to both welcome and uphold, making the case that these are just and righteous, and need to spread and become more defiant, and at the same time, win people to the fact that this is NOT enough, what’s needed is to oust, to “Drive Out” this regime. With the right orientation of unity-struggle-unity, we need to make the case to drive out this regime because fighting rearguard actions against the fascist juggernaut are incommensurate with its dynamics, not only because (a) the horrors qualitatively accentuate and accelerate but (b) there is a weakening basis to fight.

To fundamentally win this on a societal basis, there is a need for, and openings for, ideological struggle. One of the key tasks is to break away the social base from the Democrats, from Obama to Sanders to Schumer, to win people to consciously repudiate and reject their normalization edicts whether it is Obama’s repeated public declarations of the common goals he shared with Trump, or Sanders’ repeated pledges to work with Trump on jobs. OUR TEAM IS NOT THEIR TEAM! They have TOLD you, especially concentrated in Obama’s bald (and baldly true) statement that elections between Democrats and Republicans are “intramural” contests, that they are all on the same team... and we—the masses of people—need to understand, and act on the understanding, that we are on a different team, one that is in fundamental opposition to their “team.” We need to widely use and propagate the revcom.us articles, related memes, etc. that expose all this. (See "Obama on Trump: 'We're All on THE Same Team' (!)," "Bernie Sanders Covers Himself with Collaborationist Shame," and "Obama says that 'if Trump succeeds, we succeed.' Two questions, Obama...")

There is a role and real importance for revolutionary communists to come from outside the bourgeois democratic framework and norms, going up against and hammering against deep-set assumptions about the history of this country, the nature of this system and what is ultimately needed. The more this is out there, the more it sets favorable terms for the struggle that is needed. For example, this should include the reality that “America Was Never Great,” or that “Job Creation” under this system merely being a way to organize people into exploitative relations when things could be done radically differently. A particularly illustrative example is that of responding to those who say the “ballot box” is a sacrosanct American tradition with “what about the Seven Billion of Humanity”—should their future be put up to the ballot?

V. Further Points on Advancing Strategic Objectives—Re-Polarization for Revolution, Bringing Forward New Forces for Revolution

While revolution is not yet a mass question, there ARE big questions on people’s minds, objectively posed. There is a “moment” here, where provoked by the fascism of Trump/Pence, big questions are up—on epistemology, how did we get here with this monstrous and grotesque regime, what will it take to get beyond all this for a world free of exploitation and oppression, etc.

Most of all what characterizes this moment is millions of “new” people thrust into political life, acting in ways they would not have a few months ago.

This is strategically very, very favorable ground, including provoking big questions on, in short, the 5 Stops and the 3 Things5, to which we have thoroughly scientific answers. In this context, especially on campuses, among the intelligentsia and artists, and in the middle strata overall, grappling with and even sharply struggling around the questions of epistemology to make a breakthrough is critical. For example, Trump has taken relativism to the extreme, forcing an opportunity for us to make the case on objective reality, truth, scientific method and approach, etc., and more fundamentally what is concentrated in Chapter 4 of BAsics, including 4:106 and 4:11.7

Overarching in its import in this context and overall is the interview with Ardea Skybreak—further highlighted by its title/subtitle―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. In particular, the last section of the interview needs to be highlighted and called attention to as a model of a “Follower of BA”—not only in opposition to all the ridiculous slander of “cult,” but, positively, as an embodiment and concentration of the radically different and far better world, of what it means to be communist in the vein of The New Communism―with the particularity of a scientist who is “An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA: Understanding the World, and Changing It for the Better, in the Interests of Humanity.”

We have to be ON A MISSION—on everything we are tasked with, but with particular focus on accumulating forces for revolution (and especially communist forces). The orientation, based on the two guidelines of “for whom and for what” and materialism8―should be nothing less than that, as the example above, of parents whose child has gone missing, and do NOT give up or bow down to obstacles till the situation is resolved. We need a moving “Ohio”9, where the Revolution Club sees their main task as accumulating forces for revolution, and in this context, a couple of points:

- The key link is: “are people in the club on a mission to make revolution?” Obstacles are approached differently in this context, bullshit included. For example, if someone objects, saying “I like the idea of revolution, but can I keep my car?” it is decidedly not an occasion for a loooong answer, but pointing out rather sharply, “we’re talking about the future of seven billion of humanity—and you’re worried about whether you can keep your car?” This has to be the orientation, setting and re-setting terms, not letting the terms get set by answering every question posed, questions that objectively represent a bourgeois or petite bourgeois outlook.

- Anyone in and around the club should be struggled with to prepare themselves to be in the Party, after they’ve been there for a little while—as opposed to “a permanent resting place.” The best of what is done is far from enough. In this, there is a correct relation of passion to science—the dialectics of the head and heart, which can get separated either way... and it is crucial to correctly approach and lead this dialectic... as in the WHAT HUMANITY NEEDS: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism, an interview of BA by A. Brooks. We need an impatience grounded in science... We have to pay attention to the “Ohio” in and through everything we do and in its own right.

- Training people to be strategic commanders of the revolution. The key question here is: Do you want to WIN—and WHAT do you want to WIN? It is like playing a game of chess—with the bourgeoisie, various other social forces, etc.—as opposed to just proceeding linearly and singularly from “what we’re doing” and the masses of people, absent of larger societal dynamics and changes, both objective and in response to “what we’re doing.” The section of the Skybreak Interview on Strategic Commanders (pages 62-66) is a “must-read-and-review” for all those concerned with making revolution and bringing into being a radically different and far better world! The quality, the content, the correctness and the sharpness of revolutionary agitation is very linked to being strategic commanders, and approaching things from the mountaintop, the “godlike” position of the proletariat.10


1. “The 5 Stops” refers to the following demands that reflect key concentrations of social contradictions (and 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]

2. From The Coming Civil War, Bob Avakian, “There Is No ‘They’... But There is a Definite Direction to Things: THE DYNAMICS WITHIN THE RULING CLASS, AND THE CHALLENGES FOR REVOLUTIONARIES” [back]

3. The “3 Prepares” are: Prepare the ground, prepare the people, and prepare the vanguard—get ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win. [back]

4. The fundamental contradiction of this capitalist-imperialist system is between privatized appropriation and socialized production―resulting in and setting the context for the oppression, exploitation, and antagonistic social divides in the world. This can only be resolved by communist revolution. As we state above, this is a revolution to get rid of this system, and establish socialist society—a radically different economic and political system that is a transition to communism, as part of a protracted worldwide process, which resolves this fundamental contradiction through a process whereby humanity―as a whole―takes conscious control of the productive forces, and eliminates oppression and antagonistic social conflicts.

The principal contradiction is the leading edge of how the fundamental contradiction finds expression during a certain historical moment or specific realm. In this country, the fundamental contradiction is now finding expression in this fascist regime, a particular form of the rule of the capitalist-imperialist class, determining of and shaping the principal contradiction, and the task for those fighting for revolution―the immediate political battle against this regime. [back]

5. 3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better:

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.

2) People have to dig seriously and scientifically into how this system of capitalism-imperialism actually works, and what this actually causes in the world.

3) People have to look deeply into the solution to all this.

Bob Avakian
May 1st, 2016 [back]

6. For humanity to advance beyond a state in which “might makes right”—and where things ultimately come down to raw power relations—will require, as a fundamental element in this advance, an approach to understanding things (an epistemology) which recognizes that reality and truth are objective and do not vary in accordance with, nor depend on, different “narratives” and how much “authority” an idea (or “narrative”) may have behind it, or how much power and force can be wielded on behalf of any particular idea or “narrative,” at any given point.
BAsics 4:10 [back]

7. What people think is part of objective reality, but objective reality is not determined by what people think.
BAsics 4:11 [back]

8. These two guidelines are gone into during the opening chapter of THE NEW COMMUNISM by Bob Avakian and refer to the need for communists to root themselves both in the objective need of the seven billion people on the planet for a whole new world, coming from those interests in everything, and to proceed from and apply the scientific method, and nothing less, in making revolution. [back]

9. The “Ohio” refers to the Ohio State marching band’s practice of marching in such a way as to spell out “OHIO” when viewed from above; in this process, band members who begin the first O, then move through the other letters of the word until they are at the last “O”—the point is that there is an analogous process involved in building any kind of progressive or revolutionary movement, in which people “move through” various levels of understanding and commitment, though this is not (“in the real world”) quite so linear and lockstep as the Ohio State marching band! [back]

10. For more on “the mountaintop” as the vantage point to view the whole sweep of human history, and the “godlike position of the proletariat,” we strongly encourage readers to get into and engage with “Bob Avakian in a Discussion with Comrades on Epistemology―On Knowing and Changing the World.”

In this discussion, he says, “What is the ‘godlike position of the proletariat,’ as I referred to it in ‘Strategic Questions’? On one level, you’re sort of sitting on a hill watching this procession go by of the development of humanity. Some of it you can see more dimly and some more clearly—you look at this whole sweep and then at a certain point this group called the proletariat emerges from within this set of social relations that can take it to a particular place, to a whole different world. But you shouldn’t reify the proletariat: Yes, it’s made up of real people, but it’s not a matter of individual proletarians but of the proletariat as a class, of its position in society and of where its interests lie, in the most fundamental sense, as a class.” [back]

 

 


 

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Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

On this crucial International Women's Day, when women face a heightened worldwide assault...

If You Want to Break ALL the Chains, You Need to Get Into BA

March 6, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

As you are celebrating International Women’s Day, and especially if you are someone who is marking it by standing up against the oppression of women, the most important thing you can know is this: there is an answer to WHY the horrendous, millennia-old oppression of women is not only still going on but now taking a leap... and there is an answer to HOW this oppression can be eliminated from the face of the Earth. There is someone who has done the work to grasp that, to make that understanding available, and on that basis to lead people to carry forward that struggle to actually eliminating the oppression of women. That person is Bob Avakian, and you need to know about his work.

Look at this world we’re in. All around the world, women are degraded, brutalized, assaulted, owned... treated as less than human. In the U.S., the Trump/Pence regime is promising this—and moving to enforce this in ways that are already costing women’s lives—on a whole other level. Trump celebrates rape and sexual assault, pornified viciousness, and violent degradation. He treats women as objects to be owned, ogled, and grabbed at his will while also insisting that women are there to serve men with a model of the traditional family... and he has a program aiming to enforce this. Pence is a theocrat, a Christian fascist who believes women’s role is to be breeders and nurturers, full stop. He thinks abortion should be outlawed under every circumstance—which is nothing more than female enslavement. These dangerous programs have a deep unity: women as objects, the virgin or the whore until they’re a mother with fixed and forcibly maintained gender roles. Women being denied their humanity.

In the past four decades, this oppression has been taken up and intensified as a key part of the political and ideological “glue” of worldwide reactionary movements rooted in religious fundamentalism. On the one hand, religious fundamentalism hammers women into the grip of tradition’s chains. On the other is the equally oppressive and co-existing rape culture, featuring the mainstreaming of ever more violent pornography and widespread sexual assault. Both reinforce the patriarchy and heighten the oppression and degradation of women to new levels. And this has assumed an even more direct and dire urgency with the ascension of the Trump/Pence fascist regime to the height of power in the top imperialist empire in the world, which embodies both those trends. Should they succeed in consolidating their rule, all this will be enforced by the rule of law in a way that will actually slam women into an even worse—a qualitatively worse—situation. Every outrage against women must be opposed and, more than that, it must be linked up to the whole of the fascist program and the resistance needs to become part of a larger movement to drive out this whole regime.

The installation of this fascist regime has been met with significant resistance, with millions filling the streets in countries around the world on January 21, 2017. Millions of men and women from the U.S., to Europe, to India and more came out in the Women’s March. And this resistance has continued since then in important ways. It is righteous and it is beautiful and it must spread. Every outrage against women must be opposed and, more than that, must be linked up to the whole of the fascist program and needs to become part of a larger movement to drive out this whole regime.

People are raising their heads and asking why? Why, in 2017, is THIS what women are facing? And what the hell can be done about it?

If you are seriously asking these questions, then you need to get seriously into Bob Avakian’s work. In fact, if you care at all about this, it is unconscionable NOT to check this out. Bob Avakian (BA) is the architect of a new stage of communist revolution and he leads the Revolutionary Communist Party in the U.S.

If you want to understand what the fight for abortion is really about and why these fascists have so much initiative on this... if you want to know what unites the pornified guy culture and the Christian fascist view of women... if you want to know where the oppression of women came from and how it’s related to the system of capitalism, and why you can’t get rid of it under this system... if you want to know how the stultifying patriarchal gender roles help keep all this locked into place and how the struggle for a different morality contributes to bringing into being a whole new world... if you want to know why we now face the consolidation of a fascist regime and what must be done to fight against it... if you want to understand how the first stage of communist revolution made great strides in the direction of women’s liberation but also how they fell short in important ways... if you want to understand how the struggle for the liberation of women is essential for revolution, and for ensuring it’s an all-the-way revolution that breaks ALL traditions chains and casts off ALL outmoded thinking... then you need to get deeply into BA’s work, the new synthesis of communism overall, including as one essential aspect, his work on the relationship between breaking ALL the chains of oppression and emancipating humanity.

The fact that there are answers to these profound questions is an incredibly precious thing for the people of the world. And it is something that needs to be deeply engaged and spread, with the urgency that these questions merit. BA has developed a scientific analysis, with fury and heart, that makes sense of all this madness and charts a path forward to emancipation, for the women of the world, and for all of humanity.

Find out about Bob Avakian here...

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/482/skybreak-a-communist-statesman-modeling-communist-leadership-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Excerpt from SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism, and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, An Interview with Ardea Skybreak

A Communist Statesman, Modeling Communist Leadership

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the early part of 2015, over a number of days, Revolution conducted a wide-ranging interview with Ardea Skybreak. A scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, and an advocate of the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian, Skybreak is the author of, among other works, The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters, and Of Primeval Steps and Future Leaps: An Essay on the Emergence of Human Beings, the Source of Women's Oppression, and the Road to Emancipation. This interview was first published online at www.revcom.us.

This excerpt from the interview, “A Communist Statesman, Modeling Communist Leadership,” is a ‘must-read-and-review’ for all those concerned with making revolution and bringing into being a radically different and far better world.

Q: I think that that’s a really important point, and it relates to something you said a minute ago, that you felt BA really came across as a statesman in this Dialogue1. And maybe you could explain that a little bit more, because I think that’s a really important point and I know you were saying earlier that you felt like you really got a sense being at this Dialogue, experiencing it, that this is the leader of the revolution, this is somebody who could lead the future society. So I don’t know if you wanted to speak a little more to that.

Ardea Skybreak Science and Revolution excerpts A New Theoretical Framework for a New Stage of Communist Revolution What Is New in the New Synthesis? The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic--A Visionary and Concrete Application of the New Synthesis Serious Engagement with the New Synthesis--The Difference It Could Make An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA Some Thank Yous That Need To Be Said Aloud Order the book here Download the full interview in PDF format here

AS: Yes, the reason I felt the statesman aspect, too, is that I think we live in a complicated period, that there are a lot of challenges in this period to actually advance the revolutionary struggle, to deal with the actual fight–the “fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution” aspect of things is going on right now in a way it hasn’t for some time, in particular around the police murders. And, look, BA leads the work of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and there’s not a single initiative, I’m sure, of the Revolutionary Communist Party, that doesn’t have the stamp of leadership of BA and of the top leadership of the Party on it, in terms of how it’s unfolded. As you can see from the diversity of things that are taken up by this Party, and as reflected in the website revcom.us, there are a lot of very challenging contradictions to deal with. And that gives only a hint of what this leadership involves.

I don’t think most people have any idea what revolutionary leadership is about. A lot of people think that a leader of revolution is kind of like an “activist” leader, sort of like a leader of a demonstration, what I think of as tactical leadership. But overall revolutionary leadership is not just tactical. Of course there does need to be tactical leadership in various dimensions, and I’m not trying to devalue that. There is very much a need for the kind of person who might be agitating in a demonstration, for instance, helping to put forward a better understanding of what people are fighting about, and leading people, even tactically, in the streets, for instance in a demonstration. But there’s an important point to be made about how the leader of a revolution and the leader of a new society has to be an all-round statesman and has to be more like a strategic commander of the revolution as a whole. And there’s a formulation that’s been put forward recently that a communist leader–and not just the top leadership, but every single revolutionary communist–has to think of themselves and strive to be a strategic leader of the revolution, “a strategic commander of the revolution, not just a tactical leader, and not just a strategic philosopher.” This is very important. In other words, if you’re going to lead a revolution, lead the seizure of state power and become a leader of a new society–and that’s what I mean by statesman–you have to fully recognize and grapple with the complexity of what you’re doing and the many different levels and layers of it, and the many different contradictions among the people. You have to deal with the fact that you don’t have absolute freedom at any given time, and yet you’re trying to move things in a certain direction. You’re trying to be true to your principles, and you’re promoting that openly, but at the same time you’re dealing with the people you’re leading, who often don’t understand, at least not with any depth, what you’re putting forward in leading them, or who tend to distort what you’re putting forward, because they don’t understand things well enough or because they’re being shaped and influenced by other programs, other outlooks and methods.

So strategic leadership is a very, very complex task, and that’s also involved in why, as I mentioned earlier, so many natural scientists are at a complete loss when they try to address social transformations and they suddenly seem to forget everything they ever knew about basic scientific methods! Part of that is also because so many people have a completely wrong view of what actually constitutes overall leadership in the social arena, especially as pertains to revolutionary change. Much of the time they seem to think a political leader is just somebody with a bullhorn in a demonstration. But that’s tactical leadership, that’s not the overall strategic commander type of leadership that can guide an actual overall radical transformation of a whole society through revolution and the building of a whole new kind of society on a fundamentally different economic basis, with everything that flows from that. That kind of multi-faceted leadership is a much more complex task, and most people today frankly have little or no conception of all that it involves.

And there’s the question of dealing with the audiences–if you wanna put it that way, there are many different audiences. You’re not trying to be all things to all people. You are actually trying to meet the objective interests of the international proletariat, by which I mean–it’s not any individual proletarian that’s the question–there’s an international, world-wide class of people who don’t own the means of production, who have no ability to run society under this system, who can really only sell themselves basically, under this capitalist-imperialist system. They have the greatest interest–whether they know it or not as individual proletarians–as a class, they have the greatest interest of any class in actually going in the direction of communism and getting beyond all these class divisions and relations of exploitation and oppression. But is that the only class that’s going to be part of the process? No. The capitalist-imperialist ruling class is a very small segment of world society, or of any given society, but you do have all these other forces that kind of have one foot in one system, while one foot may be aspiring to something better. And those more “intermediate” strata, they tend to not be very constant, they tend to flip from one side to the other on any given day! Add to that the fact that hardly anybody has been given any scientific training, so hardly anybody tries to approach problems with any kind of consistently systematic and rigorous method. So you’ve got people going all over the place, you know, both in their thinking and in their actions. Bob Avakian’s talked about the challenge of “going to the brink of being drawn and quartered,” both in terms of getting to the revolutionary seizure of state power, and in terms of building a new society–that there are so many different kinds of people pulling in different directions, with different and opposing ideas, and so on.

And here’s another reason you need science. How can you know what’s best for society? How can you know what’s best for the majority of humanity? The capitalist-imperialists, they are proceeding on the basis of what’s best for their system. It’s not just a question of corporate greed, it’s not just that. It’s much more than that. They have a system that they need to maintain, a system that is based on profit, and we can talk about the fundamental contradiction of capitalism-imperialism, it might be worth touching on that a little bit. But the point is that they’re trying to keep their system going, but they don’t understand–even the people running this society often don’t even understand the deeper laws of their own system. But if you’re trying to bring into being a whole new kind of society, one that actually more fully meets the objective interests and needs of the vast majority of humanity, you’ve gotta do a lot of work, and you’ve gotta go up against a lot of misconceptions and prejudice and anti-scientific views. You have to deal with that diversity of views and opinions and with people pulling in all sorts of different directions, while at the same time not losing the reins of the process itself. That’s where the strategic commander role comes in. If you are confident in your scientific approach, then you can say with a quite a bit of certitude that you think it is possible to determine what is in fact in the objective interests of the majority of humanity, and what it would take to move in that direction. It’s like if you’re riding a horse. You’ve got your hands on the reins, so you’re not just going to let the horse run to any old place–the horse here being the process, not the people, but the process, right, the revolutionary process. But if you ride a horse and you pull the reins in too tightly, and you pull the horse’s head too hard, and the bit cuts into the horse’s mouth, and you’re not allowing it any kind of free rein, then that horse is going to stop dead in its tracks, or it’s going to buck, and in any case it’s not going to be able to be part of freely moving forward and advancing the process.

So there’s always a tension–the reason there’s a need, as BA has stressed, for “lots of elasticity, on the basis of the solid core” is not, as some people have incorrectly argued, just because the middle strata of people are going to “buck” and cause problems for you, are going be resentful, and so you’ll have to give ’em a bone here or there, to keep ’em from fighting you, or something. No! That would be disgusting. The real reason that you need to build in and allow for some genuine elasticity, on the basis of the solid core, is because society needs it, the process needs it. The revolutionary process itself needs to breathe, the revolutionary society needs to breathe, or it won’t be any good. Both the process of getting to the revolutionary seizure of power, and then the process of building the new society needs to breathe. And if you try to control it all too tightly and too rigidly–even if you happen to be right in what you’re doing at any given time, if you’re too tight and controlling, it’s just going to be discouraging and demoralizing to people, and people are not going to be given the scientific tools to figure it out enough themselves, and you’re going to end up with a repressive society, a rigid society and a rigid process.

And Bob Avakian really understands that, because he’s a good enough scientist to understand the material tension that exists, objectively, between what’s called the solid core, the certitude, the elements that you can actually be confident of, in terms of what’s wrong with the current society and what’s needed in a future society to benefit humanity, while at the same time understanding the need to sort of shepherd the process in such a way that it can encompass and incorporate the widest possible diversity of views and approaches from among the different strata of the masses in society.

I don’t know if I’m expressing this well enough, but he has certainly expressed this very well in many of his writings and talks, and I would encourage people to dig into this whole aspect of solid core with lots of elasticity on the basis of the solid core. And that last part–on the basis of the solid core–is very important to understand. You couldn’t have the right kind of elasticity without the solid core. You don’t wanna end up like you’re trying to herd cats, with everything and everybody going all over the place. There does need to be a solid core. In fact, the more you’ve got a firm handle, a rigorous scientific handle, on that solid core, on that core scientific theory, on that core accumulated knowledge and experience and on that core certitude, the more it should actually be possible to unleash and encourage broad elasticity and initiative among the people, both in the current revolutionary process as well as in the future socialist society, including in relation to the kind of dissent and broad societal ferment which can actively contribute to further advancing society in a good direction.

Q: As you were talking, one thing that is posed is that there is a unity, there is a connection between what you’re saying about the approach of solid core with a lot of elasticity, both in the process of making revolution to get to a future society on the road to communism, and then in that future society itself–there’s a connection between that approach all the way through the process of making revolution and getting to communism and your point about how you could really get a sense in this Dialogue of BA as the leader of that future society. And then there’s the point that you were making earlier, about why would BA do this Dialogue with Cornel West, if he weren’t actually applying and modeling that approach of solid core with a lot of elasticity? And so something I wanted to probe a little further is this point about how BA, in this Dialogue and in his whole body of work, he’s very much pulling no punches, he’s very much putting forward his understanding of the science of communism and of reality, and he’s not trying to finesse or smooth over differences, including with Cornel West, while at the same time he’s also very much recognizing the unity that they have, and the unity that needs to be forged broadly. And he’s taking the approach that there’s a lot that somebody like Cornel West–he has a lot of insights, there’s a lot that he can contribute to this whole revolutionary process, even while they’re very much getting into their differences. So, is there more you wanted to say about the application of solid core with a lot of elasticity even in terms of how BA was relating to Cornel West in this Dialogue?

AS: Well, I think you can see the application and modeling of “solid core with lots of elasticity on the basis of the solid core” in what BA does, both in relation to Cornel West on the one hand, and also what I was trying to say before in relation to the audience–or audiences, plural, because there are many different strata and different viewpoints represented in the audience–and what you see is, you see the certitude based on experience and knowledge. Look, think about in the natural sciences: If somebody happens to emerge who is the most advanced in their field of science, or in a particular development of the natural sciences, at a given time–somebody who is really advanced and really visionary and really is playing a leading role that way–it would be ridiculous for them to come out and just kind of act as if they don’t know what they know, or not struggle with people and not provide the evidence that they’ve accumulated and analyzed over, literally in this case, decades. Right? So even as he’s working with Cornel, he’s also not pulling any punches because, first of all, he respects people enough not to pander or condescend or pretend he doesn’t know what he actually knows. The only people he doesn’t respect are the exploiters and oppressors at the top of society. But he has enough respect for people, even people who might disagree with him in some important ways, to be honest and to explore differences with principle and integrity instead of condescending or pandering to people or pretending to have more agreement than he does.

He’s gonna call it like it is. He’s gonna tell people, including the audience...he knows this audience is holding on to a lot of different views and misconceptions that he thinks are very harmful. Like a lot of these religious views that are holding people back from understanding reality the way it actually is, and from seeing how it could be changed. His position is definitely not neutral–with religion, he’s not just saying look, that’s not where I’m at, but it’s all good, go ahead and believe whatever you’re gonna believe. He’s definitely not saying that. Instead, he’s really struggling with the audience, right down on the ground–he’s saying, you gotta give up some of this religion stuff, because it is actually harmful; it is clouding your understanding of the way reality really is; and, because it’s doing that, it’s actually making it harder for you to see the way forward, and to see how to transform society in a good direction. So you gotta get off this stuff! And he’s saying that to an audience of people, most of whom are religious, especially among the most oppressed–the very people who are most important for, and who most need to step forward to take up, the revolutionary process. He’s got enough respect, enough strategic confidence in people, to tell it like it is.

Now, in the situation where he’s working with Cornel, he’s working with a developed intellectual who’s also got a lot of experience in life, and who has studied many different things himself and analyzed many different philosophies. And BA’s got respect for that process, too. But he’s still going to call it like it is, and he’s going to bring out the evidence. What does it actually say in the Bible? What is the role of religion? Let’s get into it!

Some people might say, Well, I don’t need to hear all this, because I already don’t believe in God. Well, yes, you do need to hear all this, and do you know why? Because billions of people around the planet are deeply influenced by one or another religion, and they approach all of reality through the prism, through the lens, of their particular religion. This is the framework, this is the theoretical framework, if you want to call it that, that most people on this planet apply to try to make sense of the world, and of what’s wrong with it, and what could or couldn’t be done about it. Religion is a very major question, in the United States and all over the world. So Bob Avakian, on the one hand, in the Dialogue, you see him struggling with Cornel, but with a good method, a good warm method, because these are two people who do respect each other and who do like each other but who are just going to honestly tell each other and the audiences where they have some significant differences. And because they have principle and integrity, they’re able to put forward and clarify those important differences, so that the audiences will be better able to grapple with these questions themselves, when they go home and in an ongoing way.

At the same time, what I think Bob Avakian is modeling, with the elasticity part, is: Listen, this revolutionary process, it’s a very rich and complex and diverse process, which does have to involve a wide variety of people. In fact one of the points Bob Avakian has made repeatedly is that, at the time of the revolution and the actual seizure of state power, most of the people involved in the revolution are still going to be religious! In a country like the U.S., there’s no question that this is true. Most people won’t have given up their religion–even if they’ve decided to join in to be part of fighting for revolution and for socialism in different ways, most still won’t have completely broken with all that. And that’s just one example of having a materialist scientific understanding of reality, understanding just how complex it is, how complex the process is. But you’re not going to try to trick people who disagree with you into walking alongside you in the revolutionary process by concealing your views. No, that’s not what you should do. Instead, as a revolutionary communist, you’re going to be honest about those differences. But, if you’re serious about wanting to transform society in the interest of humanity, you’re also going to recognize that the process that you are arguing for, and that you are helping to give strategic leadership to, has to be able to encompass quite a diversity of people, who are not all going to see eye-to-eye with you on a number of different and important questions. And that this will be the case all along the way, even as people increasingly unite together to fight the common enemy, to seize power, and to build the new institutions and organs of a new society.

It’s because he really understands all this that Bob Avakian can, at one and the same time, genuinely and sincerely embrace and feel very warm towards someone like Cornel West (and I believe those feelings are very much reciprocated), and at the same time remain very clear about the importance of speaking to the differences, and speaking to why you need to take up a consistently scientific method and approach if you really want to change society for the better. And so yes, he’ll tell people bluntly why they should give up religion–all religions–because they get in the way of moving forward. It is a fact that all religions all around the world were invented long ago by human beings, to try to explain what they didn’t yet understand and to try to meet needs that can be transcended now. All around the world people invented different sets of supernatural beliefs to try to fill gaps in their understanding of things, in both the natural and social world, and as a mechanism for dealing with such things as death and loss. If you don’t yet have the scientific knowledge to understand how all life evolves, and how there is clear evidence that human beings themselves simply evolved from a long series of pre-existing species, you’re probably going to want to involve some kind of higher supernatural power to explain how we got here! [laughs] Every religion in the world has some of those commonalities. At the same time, they all have their different particular creation myths, and so on. And they have their different holy books, and prophets and stuff like that. And Bob Avakian is saying, Come on now, let’s get serious, let’s actually open up the Bible and see what it says. See, a dogmatic revolutionary might have said, Well, I don’t believe in god, and I think religion’s bad for the people, so I’m not even gonna pay any attention to it. But instead BA’s saying, religion’s a very important problem in the world, it’s a very important question, billions of people believe in some kind of god or some kind of religion, so we have to address this. And he did some homework, too. He did the work. He read the Bible, in its entirety. He knows the Bible. Unlike many people, he can tell you what’s in it. And he can tell you what these religious forces have argued. He can tell you something about the history of how human beings invented a lot of these religions. He can also speak to why people might be motivated to have a moral conscience on the basis of some of the things they learned in church or mosque or temple or whatever. At the same time, he can also show you, scientifically, the harm that it does to cling to this. And that it is not necessary. You can leave that stuff alone. You can just let it go. You can leave those old ways of thinking behind, and you can take up a philosophy and scientific method about transforming the world in the interests of all humanity, which is full of life, full of joy, full of spirit, full of art and culture, and not dead and cold in any way, but that doesn’t have to have these religious and supernatural trappings and all the old stuff that goes along with it.

 


The "Dialogue" referred to here is an event that took place in November 2014 at New York City's historic Riverside Church and was attended by 1900 people: REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion--A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST and BOB AVAKIAN.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/avakian/science/42ba-science...revolution-methods-of-leadership-pt-2-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

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. An updated pre-publication PDF of this major work—now including the appendices—is available here.

This excerpt comes from the section titled "IV. The Leadership We Need."

Excerpt 2 from the section:
Methods of Leadership, the Science and the "Art" of Leadership

Now, just one more or two more examples, on the “art” of leadership and it’s relation to the science of leadership. Back in the 1970s, when the RU was working to unite forces to form the Party, we were in a kind of liaison relationship, a working relationship, with some other organizations, including the Black Workers Congress (the BWC). And some people from the BWC did become part of this Party, which is a very good thing. But, at that time, very sharp struggle developed which was basically over nationalism versus communism—or communism versus an eclectic combination of nationalism and communism. One of the forms this took was that the BWC leadership was arguing that, as the Communist International (the Comintern) had analyzed, more than 40 years earlier (I believe this was in a Comintern Resolution of 1928), the Black national question in the U.S. was essentially a question of the Black peasantry (small farmers, sharecroppers and others) in the South. Therefore, the BWC argued, invoking this Comintern Resolution, the key to ending this oppression was the right to form a separate Black republic in the South.

Now, you’ll notice that in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic, it upholds the right of self-determination, the right to form a separate republic, for the Black nation within what has been the U.S.—within the New Socialist Republic when it’s formed. But the question back then was, not is there a right to do this, but is that right the heart of the struggle to end the oppression of Black people? And a lot depended on this. We were arguing that, yes, Black people are an oppressed nation, and, yes, there is a right to self-determination of that oppressed nation, but that nation is no longer primarily a peasant nation anchored to the land and spread, more or less evenly, throughout the rural areas of the South. Instead, we analyzed, this Black nation has become much more proletarianized, concentrated in the urban areas of the South as well as the North, and much more closely and directly linked to the proletarian revolution itself, even while there definitely remains a question of national oppression, which has to be taken up in its own right. (This has to do with what I was talking about at the beginning of this presentation, in terms of changes that were brought about in the forces of production and the relations of production in the rural South, coming out of World War 2 and continuing since then.) So, a very sharp struggle developed: Was the heart of the oppression, and the fight for the emancipation, of Black people the right to form a separate Black republic in the South—or was that a right, but it wasn’t at the heart of what the struggle for the emancipation of Black people, and the revolution overall, should be about?

I remember very well that, particularly because this was being raised by the BWC, I spent a considerable period of time, weeks and weeks, in a local library where I was living at that time (in Maywood, Illinois, just outside Chicago), looking into the census reports from every state in the South—looking at where Black people were concentrated in the South. First of all, I looked into the question: how many Black people lived in the North, and how many were still in the South at that time? More than 40 years earlier, when this resolution was written by the Comintern, overwhelmingly Black people lived in the South, and mainly they lived in the rural South, as sharecroppers and tenant farmers, and so on. Then World War 2 came along, and there were a lot of changes. So at this time, when I was doing this research, it was about 50–50: a lot of Black people had gone on the “Great Migration” to the North, millions of people; it was about 50 percent in the South and 50 percent in other parts of the country—the North, and the West.

I went further, digging into these census reports. Black people in the South—the 50 percent of Black people overall who were in the South—where did they live? And it was striking—the degree to which Black people in the South had become concentrated in the urban areas. For example, I remember that, in looking at the Black population in different states, county by county, it turned out that there were more Black people in Fulton County, which is where Atlanta is, than in the rest of Georgia. And the same kind of thing was true in Texas: there were many, many times the number of Black people in Harris County (which is where Houston is) as there were in any rural county in Texas. And it went on and on, as you looked into the statistics: South Carolina, North Carolina, and so on—you went through each of these states and you could see the pattern developing that there had been a major change, a major transformation not only in the sense that Black people had migrated, in their millions, to the North, but that the ones who remained in the South were, overwhelmingly, no longer peasants living and working in the rural areas, spread out more or less evenly on the rural farmlands. They had come into the urban areas and were then proletarians in much greater numbers than those who remained in the rural areas as farmers and sharecroppers.

The BWC was dogmatically invoking this statement from Stalin: the national question is in essence a peasant question. And, they claimed, if you say it’s not a peasant question, then you’re negating the national question, you’re not recognizing national oppression. Our position was: Look, you can’t approach this dogmatically. You have to proceed on the basis of what are the actual conditions of people: Are they peasants spread out over and working on the land, or are they people who’ve mainly migrated to the North—to the cities of the North, and the West—and to cities in the South itself? And what is their social position?

It wasn’t just a question of where they were located. In moving into the cities, they related to the economy in a different way. They became, in large numbers, wage workers, where they could get employment—working in large groups in factories and other work sites—rather than being peasants, spread out on small plots of land and fitting into the economy in that way. So there was a major change in terms of their relation to the economic system, to the mode of production, and you had to look not just at where were they living, but what went along with that in terms of their social position, and what implications that had for the revolutionary struggle. In approaching this with that kind of scientific method, it became clear that the masses of Black people were much more proletarians than they were peasants. I remember one of the people writing polemics against us, on behalf of the BWC, quoted that Comintern resolution and went on to argue: The resolution of the peasant question cannot come about under the rule of imperialism. So said the Comintern, in 1928; therefore, it could not have happened. But we said, Wait! We wrote back and demanded: Where in your dusty books, oh dogmatists, does it say that this change could not possibly come about?—because, in fact, it has. And just because, at a certain point, the Comintern analyzed things a certain way—you can’t superimpose that on reality. You have to look, you have to investigate, to see what actually has happened. Has this done away with the oppression of Black people as a people, as a nation? No! Has this changed substantially the conditions and the forms in which that oppression is taking place and, consequently, how it relates to the overall revolutionary struggle? Definitely yes!

So, we didn’t just say, “Oh, we have a new theory here about the national question.” We did a lot of work. I remember, it wasn’t like today, when you can go on the internet to do research. I had to pick up these big, heavy census tracts: I would go to a library in Maywood and put these heavy books down on a table and go through each county, in state after state, writing down the statistics for each county very systematically, because you have to be systematic and scientific. Look, if the BWC was right, they were right. And that would have had significant implications. If they were wrong, they were wrong. And there were serious implications that way, too.

But to cap this story off—and illustrate again the point about the relation between the science and “art” of leadership—a little bit later than this, after the split between us and the BWC, as well as the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization (formerly the Young Lords Party) had become complete—I was on a party-building speaking tour going around the country. Well, in Cincinnati, I was in the middle of my speech—and the security was not very good, to say the least, because all of a sudden, I hear this ruckus at the entrance to the place, and in marched these members of the BWC. They proceeded to go right up to the front of the room, where I was—you can evaluate how good the security was! They unfurled this map that was shaded to show how many Black people were in the South. This was done by state, but not by county. Their map just showed, by state, where Black people were. Well, they came in and defiantly held up this map. So, I decided: since the security is shot to shit, I might as well just go ahead and make the best of this situation. I said, OK, I’m glad you brought that map, because there are a lot of important things we can learn by looking more deeply at what the situation is. And then I proceeded to talk about how, if you shaded the map differently—not focusing on how many Black people there were in different states, but if you looked at it in terms of where they were within the states—it would present a completely different picture of what the situation of Black people actually was. And then I proceeded to go through this: for example, if you look at Fulton County or you look at Harris County, and so on. And at one point, in the middle of this—you can imagine this very tense situation, where they are defiantly holding this map, and I’m illustrating points, using their map—I said, “Would you mind raising the map up a little bit?” And they did! So, I continued, using their map to help illustrate what were the significant facts about the Black population in the South (and the North and West) and what that said about their actual relation to the system—to the mode of production, and to the system overall.

What was involved here was a combination of the science and the “art” of leadership. It wasn’t just a matter of not being cowed in some abstract sense, or dealing with a difficult situation with a certain amount of finesse. It was a matter of having a scientific method and approach, and proceeding on that basis to do the work to actually see if reality conformed to what the BWC was arguing, or if it was very different. That was the basis for being able to deal with situations like the one that arose with that event in Cincinnati. It was necessary to have a dialectical materialist approach, because if you went at it superficially, you might not understand the significance of this transformation—from being more or less evenly spread out, through all these rural counties, to being concentrated overwhelmingly in the urban areas. But if you’re approaching it as a materialist, a dialectical materialist, you see that this represents a very significant change in the situation of Black people. It certainly doesn’t do away with their oppression as a people, it doesn’t do away with their status as an oppressed nation which, yes, has the right to self-determination; but it radically changes the concrete conditions of this, and there are real implications to that, strategically and in terms of how you go about fighting this oppression, how the right to self-determination fits into that, and how this relates, in turn, to the overall revolution aiming for communism. This is the difference between lazybones dogmatists—who say, “Well, 40 years ago, the Comintern said this couldn’t happen, so it can’t happen, so it didn’t happen”—and actually having a scientific method and approach. That scientific method and approach was the foundation for being able to quickly adjust to a very difficult situation, and even, in a certain way, enlisting those BWC people to help in illustrating an important point that they didn’t want illustrated—that the actual picture was vastly different than what they were presenting.

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/482/forty-guatemalan-girls-burned-to-death-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

40 Guatemalan Girls Burned to Death in Government-Run Shelter

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Thousands of Guatemalans protest in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City March 12, demanding justice for the 40 girls who burned to death in a government-run shelter.
Thousands of Guatemalans protest in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City March 12, demanding justice for the 40 girls who burned to death in a government-run shelter. (AP photo)

Funeral procession for one of the girls who perished in the fire at the children's shelter near Guatemala City. Funeral procession for one of the girls who perished in the fire at the children's shelter near Guatemala City. (AP photo)

At least 40 teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 17 burned to death on March 8—International Women’s Day―trapped inside an overcrowded government-run shelter in Guatemala. The shelter housed poor, abused, including sexually abused, and orphaned children, together with youths released from custody with no place to go. Boys and girls were housed in the shelter, which some reports say had a capacity of 500, but held close to 800 youths. Al Jazeera reported that UNICEF and the prosecutor for human rights had called for the home’s closure last year after complaints of overcrowding along with physical and sexual abuse.

There had been a rebellion the day before the fire by a group of young women against the intolerable conditions—and 40 or so had attempted to escape. One of the survivors told her father the girls said they had been raped, and in protest, they escaped. (Washington Post) Riot police were sent in, and eventually all of the young women were caught. They were brought back, and 52 of the protesters were locked inside a small room.

There are some reports that mattresses were set on fire in the dormitory the next morning to continue their protest. But the 52 young women remained locked inside the small room; and the authorities did not unlock the doors until well after the fire started. The mother of one of the victims said that the authorities didn’t do anything to get the girls out, even though they were screaming. Nineteen of the young women perished inside the room, and at least 21 more have died since arriving at hospitals with catastrophic burns.

“Guatemala is full of violence. They are raping and killing the poor’s girls.”

The tremendous poverty and systemic violence that grips Guatemala is a direct result of the monstrous crimes committed by U.S. imperialism and its lackeys in the 1980s, and its continued military, political, and economic domination down to today. (See “American Crime Case #95: Reagan’s Butcher Carries Out Genocide in Guatemala.”) Guatemala has the worst rate of malnutrition in all of Latin America; 70 percent of the children under age 10 are living in poverty.

Another direct consequence is that the crimes against women in Guatemalan society are horrific. Guatemala has the third highest rate of femicide in the world. And only four percent of murders of women result in a conviction. The mother of one of the young women who survived the fire was quoted by the Post: “Guatemala is full of violence. They are raping and killing the poor’s girls.” These conditions, together with the intertwining of state violence and widespread gang violence, have made it impossible for a vast number of the people to survive there.

And so, since 2014, 10s of thousands of refugees from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras have come to the Mexican border seeking asylum from the conditions wrought by this system. And now the Trump/Pence regime’s “America First” war on immigrants is targeting the refugees from Central America they are required by law to accept. This includes new plans in the works to tear apart refugee mothers from their children, in order to “send a message” as they put it—that yes, this imperialist monster has set fire to your countries—but we have locked the doors, and there is no escape.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/470/collaborators-walk-of-shame-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Collaborators' Walk of Shame

Updated March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Jamiel Shaw Sr.

Jamiel Shaw Sr.
Jamiel Shaw Sr.

From a reader:

Anyone with a heart aches at the 2008 murder of Jamiel Shaw Jr.—a Black youth who was a high school football star in Los Angeles and who had his eyes set on college ball and perhaps a professional career.

But as happens all too often in the inner cities, it seems another young man walked up on him and asked: “Where you from?” What followed next was the sound of two bullets fired from a .45 caliber gun, one to the torso... another to the head... and Jamiel Shaw Jr.’s blood covered the pavement a few feet from his parents’ home.

Pedro Espinoza, an undocumented 19-year-old immigrant, was convicted of this crime. He now sits on death row at San Quentin prison awaiting execution.

Now, Jamiel Shaw’s father, the senior Shaw, is supporting an incomparably greater crime than what happened to his son. He sat in the gallery at Donald Trump’s February 28 speech to Congress. At one point, Trump introduced Jamiel Shaw Sr. while promoting a new Homeland Security program that is part of the intensification of suppression of undocumented immigrants. Trump said:

“We must support the victims of crime. I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims. The office is called VOICE―Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media and silenced by special interests. Joining us in the audience tonight are four very brave Americans whose government failed them. Their names are Jamiel Shaw, Susan Oliver, Jenna Oliver, and Jessica Davis.... His father [the father of Jamiel Shaw Jr.], who is in the audience tonight, has become a good friend of mine.”

It is both shameful and criminal what Jamiel Shaw Sr. is doing. He is allowing his loss, his pain, to be used to demonize, ostracize, criminalize, and terrorize—to unleash the brutal arm of a fascist state and its street thugs—against the entire group of Mexican people and immigrants who are not white.

Fascism is a living process. It grows... rapidly. It takes leaps. It comes after this group then this group. First they come for Mexicans. Then they come for immigrants. Then they come for Muslims. Then they come for the youth in the inner cities. Then they come for...

Jamiel Shaw Sr. is aiding and abetting the fascist Trump/Pence regime.

Collaborating with them. Singling out and making it easy for them to come after Mexicans and immigrants, especially (for now) those without papers as: “lawbreakers,” “murderers, rapists and drug dealers.”

Demonizing a whole people. Justifying and legalizing immensely greater crimes against people from Mexico, Central and South America—unleashing a greater crime against HUMANITY in the name of making “right” a wrong that was done to you. Give us a fucking break!

Jamiel Shaw Sr. is being played big time.

Played like a Black overseer on the slave plantation—to keep the whip cracking and the slaves working, keeping them in the dark about what is really going on, keeping the plantation secure and safe—ironically keeping safe and secure its foundation and authority of white supremacy.

Today, keeping safe and secure the agenda of Trump/Pence is to put “America First.” This is what U.S. troops do around the world, killing the innocent, killing hundreds of thousands of people, uprooting millions more, bombing the hell out of the country based on that lie about weapons of mass destruction.

That is what “America First” means in the world.

Shaw Sr. calls people who cross the border “lawbreakers.” He says they should be punished.

This is shameful. Disgraceful! How many laws, Mr. Shaw, do you think Black people broke in an effort to live as full human beings? What about during slavery? What about the abolitionists, Black and white? What about the fight for civil rights? What about Jim Crow?

What should people be willing to do to prevent the police murder of people like Mike Brown? Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice? Antonio Zambrano-Montes? Thirteen-year-old Andy Lopez?

What are people willing to do—in the name of humanity, to oust fascism?

Being a collaborator for the Trump/Pence fascist regime is inexcusable! It is the outlook of a narrow slavish seeker of revenge.

Think about it: Any crime against other people is justified to set “right” what was done to me. This is unacceptable! It is a mental (ideological) chain that contributes to sapping our strength and holding the people down.

Humanity can do better than that!

Martin Luther King III

Steve Harvey meets with Donald Trump
Martin Luther King III meets Trump.

On MLK Day, January 16, 2017, Martin King III made the Walk of Shame into and out of Trump Tower, to meet with Trump. He then came out talking about the “constructive” meeting he had. King III said he talked with Trump about voting rights and that Trump likes the idea of registering everyone with photo voting ID. Registering everyone? Wonder what a Trump regime would do with that?

This meeting was two days after Trump's vehemently racist attack on Congressman John Lewis. About that, MLK III said, “In the heat of emotion a lot of things get said on both sides”(!) and it's time to move forward and come together as a country.

MLK III is lending not just his own reputation but his father's in the service of leading Black and progressive-minded people into the deadly embrace of a fascist Trump-Pence regime.

Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey meets with Donald Trump
Steve Harvey meets Trump, January 13. (AP photo)

On Friday, January 13, TV personality Steve Harvey joined the parade of shameful collaborators consorting with Donald Trump by meeting with him at his plantation—known as the Trump Tower. Harvey said after the meeting, “We had a great conversation. We’re gonna get some things started. They have a plan for the inner cities, but they need help. And so that’s why they called me. So, we’ll see what I can do.”

It’s a fascist, white-supremacist, anti-immigrant “plan” for the inner cities. And this clown, Steve Harvey, says he’s going to collaborate with these horrible outrages.

As criminal as that is, Harvey wasn’t acting on his own. Harvey told reporters, “It’s just me following orders from my friend President Obama who said ‘Steve, you’ve got to’—as he told everybody—‘get out from behind your computers, stop tweeting and texting and get out there and sit down and talk. So I stepped from behind my microphone and I came and talked to the guy that’s going to be the 45th president of the United States. I did what I was supposed to do.”

Obama is lending the power and prestige of his office to legitimize a fascist and his regime, and pave the way for a “smooth transition.” And Steve Harvey is acting as a despicable emissary in this low and shameful crime.

Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner

A number of news sources have reported that Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner) will be attending Trump’s inauguration. Caitlyn Jenner is probably the most well known transgender person in the world, and millions had supported her sex change as popularizing transgender rights. But as Eliza Thompson, an associate editor for Cosmopolitan.com, said in the headline for her January 11 article: “Caitlyn Jenner's Attendance at the Inauguration Would Be Unforgivable: She cannot simultaneously advocate for transgender rights and support Trump.” Thompson wrote, “Caitlyn’s decision to come out will likely remain a landmark in the march toward trans acceptance and equality, but supporting Donald Trump would be an unconscionable step in the wrong direction.”

In 2016, during the presidential campaign, Jenner made the totally idiotic statement about Trump that “I think he would be very good for women’s issues.” Jenner’s embrace of the Trump-Pence fascist regime is not just a betrayal of LGBTQ and women’s rights. It is a betrayal of humanity for her to act as a high-profile cheerleader legitimizing the American Hitler and his Nazi minions.

Billy C. Hawkins

Billy C. Hawkins
Billy C. Hawkins

The president of Alabama’s Talladega College, Billy C. Hawkins, just announced (Jan. 5) that this oldest Black liberal arts college in the U.S., set up just after the Civil War by freed slaves in 1867, will send its marching band to be part of the Trump-Pence Inauguration. This is in the face of many students, alumni, and others who called on the college to not participate in the inauguration. Nikky Finney—poet, literature professor, and an alumnus of Talladega—said that the school had “sold out the history of Talladega College for chicken change” and “maybe a tin star on a hatemonger’s parade route” (quoted in New York Times, January 5, 2017). Hawkins’s justification is that the inauguration is “not a political event but a civil ceremony celebrating the transfer of power.” Yes—transfer of power to the fascist Trump-Pence regime! It is akin to leading your college band to march for Hitler, or march for the KKK moving into the White (Supremacist) House. How is that not political? How is that not ugly betrayal wrapped in sugar-coated words?

Trump and Don King
Don King with Trump. (AP photo)

Don King

The award for December 29 goes to boxing promoter Don King, who appeared before TV cameras with Donald Trump and mouthed Trump’s slogan, “Make America great again.” “Only in America” is it possible to fetch a Black man in minstrel black face to the estate of the fascist, white supremacist, sexual-assaulting misogynist pig—to skin and grin while holding American and Israeli flags—as he dances down the walk of shame for collaborators for the incoming Trump-Pence regime.

Leonardo DiCaprio


The award for December 21 goes to Leonardo DiCaprio.

Leonardo DiCaprio met with Trump to discuss "green jobs." That is, all the jobs people could be put to work doing (like making solar panels) to "save" the environment. Leonardo, you may think you can “change his mind,” but what you are really doing is normalizing Trump and his fascist program. And be careful what you wish for...remember what the Nazis put at the entrance of Auschwitz and other concentration camps where they gassed and murdered Jews: "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free). 

Jim Brown and Ray Lewis at Trump Tower
Jim Brown and Ray Lewis at Trump Tower, December 13. (AP photo)

Jim Brown and Ray Lewis

Brown, a retired NFL star, claims a reputation for speaking out against how Black people are treated in this country. On December 13, after meeting with Trump at Trump Tower in NYC, he told the press, "...I fell in love with him [Trump] because he really talks about helping African-American, Black people, and that's why I'm here."

Ray Lewis joined Jim Brown in the collaborator walk of shame—being fetched to the Trump Tower and stepping in line to legitimize the fascist Trump/Pence regime. Ray Lewis, like Brown, is a former NFL great. He is also a gibberish-speaking Christian theocrat and blames especially poor Black people for the madness the system forces them to get caught up in. For some time this asshole has been a physical fitness trainer for the brutalizing murdering police in the city of Baltimore.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/482/san-francisco-march-rally-against-trumps-muslim-ban-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

San Francisco March and Rally Against Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From NorCal Refuse Fascism organizers

San Francisco City Hall, March 10City Hall rally
Photos: Special to revcom.us
San Francisco, Yemenis protest Muslim ban, March 10
San Francisco, Yemenis protest Muslim ban, March 10.
Front of the march, San Francisco, March 10.

San Francisco: A Friday protest against Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0, led by #YemenisAGAINSTMuslimBan, marshaled a powerful presence from the local Yemeni community. Over 200 people met at City Hall for a press conference, including San Francisco elected officials, and an open-air Friday sermon (khutbah) and prayer service. Then a lively march took off chanting into the streets and marched to the Federal Building for a rally.

We were excited and moved to see so many young and old Yemenis and Yemeni-Americans marching to denounce the new Muslim ban. Some have come from Yemen recently, others emigrated decades ago, but almost all have ties to family and friends still there. Long before Trump’s first bombing in January, which slaughtered dozens (mostly civilians), Yemen has been under the murderous U.S. military campaign launched during Bush’s “War on Terror” and continued under Obama. Since 2002 U.S. drone strikes and covert operations have killed over 1,000 people, and it is U.S. backing that has enabled Saudi Arabia’s savage bombing campaign that’s produced most of Yemen’s 10,000 war-related civilian casualties. The U.S. also fully supports the Saudi blockade that has over 12 million Yemenis at the brink of mass starvation. For Yemen to now be among those targeted by Trump’s “travel ban” (in reality a Muslim ban) is part of further heightening oppression on top of the already towering crimes of the U.S. against the Yemeni people and the region as a whole.

The protest on Friday was not about the war in Yemen; it united diverse forces in the Yemeni community to oppose the refugee ban. This was important because many people and groups did not respond to the Muslim Ban 2.0 with immediate protest and resistance, often reasoning that this second ban will only go into effect on March 16. To their credit, #YemenisAGAINSTMuslimBan thought it was wrong to wait for March 16. People are alarmed at the prospects of where things will go under Trump for not only themselves but for other communities.

Our NO! picket signs in English and Arabic all got grabbed up to be carried on the march. And while loudly chanting “No Ban, No Wall—Justice For ALL!” and “Muslim Rights Are HUMAN RIGHTS!” most marchers were also glad to take up boisterous anti-Trump chants hollered out by the youth (“MOVE, Trump! Get out the way, get out the way Trump, get out the way!” and “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Donald Trump Has Got to Go!”). Our Refuse Fascism contingent was welcomed, and we marched and chanted with the people, spreading the Call as we marched—and we learned how to chant “No Fascist America” in Arabic along the way!

No ban! No wall!
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The march filled a lane of Market Street. A lot of drivers and onlookers waved and cheered as it passed. A young woman bicycling past was moved to tears, seeing a group of the very people we’re being told to fear and hate, marching against that fear and hate—she turned her bike around and joined the march all the rest of the way.

At the prayer service, organizers invited Refuse Fascism’s main banner to post up in front and many were snapping photos which hopefully will travel far and wide. We heard the Imam eloquently putting today’s TrumpWorld anti-Muslim xenophobia in the historical context of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, and Executive Order 9066 which locked up 120,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans in concentration camps. And he sharply called on Yemenis and all Muslims to fight injustice not just to defend their own lives and rights, but to stand together for all others too.

At the Federal Building rally, speakers included Yemeni community leaders, a former local mayor,  representatives from Refuse Fascism and  World Can’t Wait.

One striking not good fact about this demonstration was the almost total absence of marchers who were not Yemeni themselves. The only non-Yemenis were the Refuse Fascism contingent and a sprinkling of other activists. Many more people who aren’t themselves Middle Eastern should have been there too.

The refugee ban is part of a whole fascist program that will not go away until the Trump/Pence regime is ousted from power. It was very significant that Yemenis and others had the determination and courage to march to oppose it, and much more of this is needed.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/482/protests-in-wake-of-trumps-new-ban-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

One hundred people rallied in Lackawanna, a town in western New York that is one-third first, second and third generation Yemeni-Americans, March 6.
One hundred people rallied in Lackawanna, a town in western New York that is one-third first, second and third generation Yemeni-Americans, March 6.

In Chicago, people protested the ban on Muslims outside the ICE headquarters on March 6.
In Chicago, people protested the ban on Muslims outside the ICE headquarters on March 6.

The Harvard Islamic Society, the Society of Arab Students and other student groups marched through Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA on March 7 to protest Trump's new travel ban.
The Harvard Islamic Society, the Society of Arab Students and other student groups marched through Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA on March 7 to protest Trump’s new travel ban. (Photo: AP)

On March 11, several dozen protesters with signs in English and Arabic rallied outside an immigration court in Atlanta.
On March 11, several dozen protesters with signs in English and Arabic rallied outside an immigration court in Atlanta.

San Francisco City Hall
San Francisco City Hall rally, March 10. (Photo: Special to revcom.us)

Protests in the Wake of Trump's New Ban

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Last week there were important protests around the country against Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban 2.0. Below are scenes from some of them.

On March 10, Yemeni immigrant organizations in the U.S. called for protests against Trump’s Muslim ban. One hundred people rallied in Lackawanna, a town in Western New York State that is one-third first, second and third generation Yemeni-Americans. The rally was hosted by St. Anthony Church and included Jewish, Catholic, Baptist, and Episcopal faith leaders. Speakers called out the cruelty of prohibiting people coming to the U.S. from a country in an extreme crisis. Millions of people in Yemen face the prospect of severe famine and death due to the U.S.-Saudi-Arabian murderous air attacks, and war between reactionary forces. And speakers denounced the atmosphere of racism, and Islamophobic and anti-Semitic hate and violence that they connected to attitudes coming from the Trump administration.

In Chicago, people protested outside the ICE headquarters on March 6. “It’s still a ban on Muslims. You can dress it up however you want, but we’re very clear that singling out these Muslim countries is still a ban,” said Lawrence Benito, CEO of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights said at a protest at the downtown headquarters of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director of the National Immigrant Justice Center, called the new ban “a continuation of the Trump administration’s smear campaign against refugees and asylum seekers.” A Mexican-American speaker condemned the ban and emphasized that this will not end with Muslims: “the message that was sent last week in terms of the new guidelines... [is also] that all Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry should be suspect, and by the way all Central Americans too.” Hatem Abudayyeh, director of the Arab American Action Network, called for more protests: “It was the people in the streets, it was the people in the airports across the country that defeated (the initial ban).”

And in Chicago, the Council on American-Islamic Relations announced the Travelers Assistance Project, which will connect people traveling to the U.S. with more than 1,400 volunteer lawyers who will be in position to provide immediate pro bono legal assistance when people arrive in Chicago.

On March 7, hundreds rallied on the campus of Harvard University against the revised travel ban targeting visitors from majority Muslim countries. The Harvard Islamic Society, the Harvard Arab Students Association, and other student groups organized the Tuesday night rally at Harvard Square after Trump issued the new executive order.

On March 11, several dozen protesters rallied outside an immigration court in Atlanta. One was quoted on TV saying “I don’t want to live in a white Christian nation.” Another said, “this is part of a larger agenda that we’re working to stop.” Signs said, “Will trade racists for immigrants,” “No Hate, No Fear,” and Arabic and English signs with the message: “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!"

San Francisco: A March 10 protest against Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0, led by #YemenisAGAINSTMuslimBan, marshaled a powerful presence from the local Yemeni community. Over 200 people met at City Hall for a press conference, including San Francisco elected officials, and an open-air Friday sermon (khutbah) and prayer service. Then a lively march took off chanting into the streets and marched to the Federal Building for a rally. Read more here

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/481/womens-history-month-at-revolution-books-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Women's History Month at Revolution Books

The Emancipation of Women and the Fight for the Future... And the Need to Drive Out the Trump-Pence Fascist Regime Now

Special Events for Women's History Month and Other Programs

Updated March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Revolution Books / Libros Revolución

437 Malcolm X Blvd @ 132nd Street, #2/3 to 135th
212.691.3345    www.revolutionbooksnyc.org
New York, NY 10037

 

Friday, March 10    6:00pm - on

Future People Open-Mic
"They're Fuckin' Fascists... Drive Them Out"

Hosted by NYC Revolution Club at Revolution Books
437 Malcolm X Blvd @ 132nd Street

 

Sunday, March 12
3 - 6pm

Special Program at Revolution Books to mark International Women's Day

Bob Avakian:

"The whole question of the position and role of women in society is more and more acutely posing itself in today's extreme circumstances... It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms... The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution, will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement?"

 

Thursday, March 16
7:00pm

"Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice"

Film showing and discussion

This film documents the dramatic life and turbulent times of Ida B. Wells (1863-1931), the pioneering African American journalist, women's rights activist, and anti-lynching crusader. Toni Morrison reads selections from Wells' memoirs and other writings in this film which has won 20 festival awards. "One had better die fighting against injustice than die like a dog or a rat in a trap." -Ida B. Wells

Saturday morning, March 18
11AM-12:30PM

Children's event

Great Women Singers of African-American Cultural Music

LeeOlive Tucker, jazz singer who describes herself as "The Harlem Diva," will present songs and history of Nina Simone, Odetta and more. Recommended for ages 5 and up, all genders, ages (and adults) welcome. 

Saturday evening, March 18,
7:00pm

Film showing and discussion

from Bob Avakian's talk, "REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!" "The Oppression of Women: Bound Up With the System... A Driving Force For Revolution"

Wednesday, March 22,
7:00pm

Author event with David Cohen
Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism

David S. Cohen is a  professor at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, where he teaches constitutional law, and gender and the law. He is on the board of the Women's Law Project and theAbortion Care Network . He has written recently on Trump and the war on women in Rolling Stone.

Saturday, March 25,
7:00 - 9:00pm

Also at RB as part of our collaboration with CCNY MFA writers

"The Notorious V.A.G."

Featuring Laura Hinton, CCNY professor, poet, scholar of feminist theory With readings by CCNY MFA graduate students and open-mic

 

Tuesday, March 28,
7:00pm

An evening with

Hope Jahren

Author of Lab Girl, memoir about a young girl in love with nature, who becomes a major plant scientist, and struggles with bipolar disorder. A New York Times "Editors' Choice."

Thursday, March 30,
7:00pm

An evening with

Dorothy Roberts

Author of the influential Killing the Black Body, Dorothy Roberts teaches law at the University of Pennsylvania. Her focus is on race, gender, and bioethics—and abortion rights and reproductive justice.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/470/andrew-jackson-racist-demagogue-genocidal-indian-killer-champion-of-slavery-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Andrew Jackson: A Racist Demagogue, Genocidal Indian Killer, Champion of Slavery

December 19, 2016, updated March 15, 2017| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Tonight Trump will pay homage and lay a wreath on Andrew Jackson’s grave before delivering what is billed as a campaign speech in Nashville, Tennessee. In that light, we are reposting this article.

When Trump was elected Rudy “Adolph” Giuliani said: “This is like Andrew Jackson’s victory. This is the people beating the establishment.” And Trump himself weighed in on the legacy of Andrew Jackson while running for president. He opposed replacing Jackson’s face on the $20 bill with that of abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Trump claimed, “Andrew Jackson had a great history.”

What was that history?

The Engine Behind Andrew Jackson: A Voracious Appetite to Expand Slavery

Slavery played an essential role in the rise of the United States as a global power. As Bob Avakian says:

There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.
BAsics 1:1

Andrew Jackson was president of the United States from 1829-1837. He was a populist hero to large sections of whites, especially in the South, promising them prosperity on the basis of the expansion of slavery, and he promised them land stolen from Native peoples. He appealed to the most backward, narrow, racist sentiments of whites. Jackson railed against “elites” in the North—sections of the established banking and political structure that he saw standing in the way of the rapid expansion of slavery. His presidency was a vehicle through which slavery expanded dramatically into lands from which Native peoples were expelled by the U.S. military, and subjected to genocidal “relocation” from the South to Oklahoma.

 Under Jackson's presidency, native peoples were expelled by the U.S. military, and subjected to genocidal
Under Jackson's presidency, native peoples were expelled by the U.S. military, and subjected to genocidal “relocation” from the South to Oklahoma as illustrated on this map.

 In the winter of 1831, the Choctaw were force-marched from Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana to reservations in Oklahoma, some bound in chains and marched double file.  Thousands died along the way on this "trail of tears." In the winter of 1831, the Choctaw were force-marched from Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana to reservations in Oklahoma, some bound in chains and marched double file.  Thousands died along the way on this "trail of tears."

Genocide...

Once in office, Jackson championed and carried out brutal crimes against Native peoples. White settlers, some of whom were already settling illegally on Native lands, pressured the federal government to remove Indians from the Southeast to make their lands available.

Some 125,000 Native peoples lived on those lands that had been guaranteed to them through treaties. Jackson was able to gain Congressional passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which authorized the government to extinguish Indian title to lands in the Southeast.

In 1831, the Choctaw became the first Nation to be removed. In the winter of 1831, under threat of invasion by the U.S. Army, the Choctaw were force-marched from Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana to reservations in Oklahoma on foot. Some were bound in chains and marched double file. They were marched without food, supplies or other help from the government. Thousands died along the way. It was, one Choctaw leader told an Alabama newspaper, a “trail of tears and death.”

This genocidal crime was the model for additional ethnic cleansing to open up new territory for slave production of cotton. The Creeks were driven from Georgia, Alabama, and Florida in 1834. The Chickasaw were driven out of Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, and Tennessee in 1836. And lastly, in the infamous “Trail of Tears,” the Cherokee were force-marched from Georgia to Oklahoma in 1838. 4,000 Cherokee people died of cold, hunger, and disease on the way.

       

Jackson famously tried to justify this with philosophical babble proclaiming, “But true philanthropy reconciles the mind to these vicissitudes as it does to the extinction of one generation to make room for another.” In other words, even though it might seem immoral to kill off the Native peoples, these supposedly “lesser” people must die so others could prosper.

...And a Dramatic Expansion of Slavery

 The removal of Native peoples from their southeastern lands served a dramatic expansion and intensification of slavery.

the
The "whipping machine" was both a literal machine that whipped Black slaves to force them to pick more and more cotton, and also a metaphor for the unceasing and inhuman torture inflicted every hour, every day, under slavery.

Picking cotton in Florida
Andrew Jackson’s presidency marked a massive expansion of slavery, accomplished along with and through the most extreme racist populism. Photo: Florida archives

In The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, Edward Baptist writes that in the eight years following Jackson's election, “U.S. government, the states, banks, private citizens, and foreign entities had collectively invested about $400 million, or one-third of the value of all U.S. economic activity in 1830 into expanding production on slavery’s frontier. This includes the price of 250,000 slaves moved, 48 million new acres of public land sold, the costs of Indian removals and wars, and the massive expansion of southwestern financial infrastructure. The number of hands on cotton plantations expanded dramatically, and the need to repay loans only accelerated the whipping-machine, collectively forcing the total picking that hands could accomplish just a little higher each day."

As Baptist recounts in his book, the “whipping machine” was both a literal machine that whipped Black slaves to force them to pick more and more cotton, and also a metaphor for the unceasing and inhuman torture inflicted every hour, every day, under slavery.

And speaking of the transformations that took place under Andrew Jackson, Baptist writes: "In 1830, the United States made 732,000 bales. As the harvest kicked into high gear in the fall of 1836, men who made a living by gambling on cotton were predicting a deluge of 1.5 million bales, each one a 400 pound snowy semi-cube wrapped in canvas. This was 600 million pounds of clean cotton—or, expressed in a different way more than six million person days of picking under the hot sun.”

* * *

Andrew Jackson’s presidency marked a massive expansion of slavery, made possible through massive violent ethnic cleansing of Native peoples. And this was accomplished along with and through the most extreme racist populism—appealing to and mobilizing large numbers of dispossessed white men by appealing to their basest and most narrow interests.

The fact that people like Rudolph Giuliani, from their own fascist perch, and Trump himself celebrate the legacy of Andrew Jackson foreshadows the kinds of hellish transformations a Trump-Pence regime would mean in the nature of U.S. society. That cannot be allowed to happen.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/482/muslim-ban-2.0-halted-trump-lashes-back-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Muslim Ban 2.0 Is Halted, Trump Lashes Back...
INTO THE STREETS ON MARCH 16: NO WALL! NO MUSLIM BAN!

March 15, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

New York City, January 29, Tens of thousands march after Trump's first Muslim ban.

New York City, January 29: Tens of thousands march after Trump's first Muslim ban. Photo: Twitter / Daniel Altschuler

Hours before Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0 was to go into effect, it was halted by a temporary restraining order (TRO) by a federal court judge in Hawai’i. The ban is based on utterly baseless claims that immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries threaten the safety of people in this country. As we have written, this ban signals a major change in the posture toward the world’s many majority-Muslim countries. And in this country, the ban aims to create an atmosphere where large sections of the population view all Muslims as suspected terrorists to hate and fear. It throws red meat to Trump’s fascist minions and incites them to attack Muslims. And it demonizes, pariah-izes Muslims and terrorizes other sections of people. (see “No Ban! No Wall! Resist Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0”)

The federal court ruling in Hawai’i follows an earlier ruling by a federal court in the state of Washington around the first Trump executive order attempting to ban Muslims. In this case, the courts found the ban violated constitutional protection against persecuting people simply because of their religion—which a Muslim ban (as Trump repeatedly described it on the campaign trail) obviously would do. The first court restraining order came in the midst of a powerful, inspiring outbreak of mass protests at airports large and small, in every part of the country. People, including many who are not Muslims, poured into the airports demanding that those who were being detained under the ban be set free. There were other factors resulting in the court ruling, including real differences within the U.S. ruling class over how to maintain their global empire and the stability of their homeland. But the critical and dynamic factor was that people went into the streets (and airports) and didn’t back down until the ban was halted.

Only moments after the Hawai’i federal court judge’s TRO, Trump unleashed a feral, Hitler-like attack on the courts, on Muslims, and on the rule of law at a “campaign” rally in Tennessee. He railed, “People are screaming break up the Ninth Circuit. I tell you what? That Ninth Circuit. You have to see. Take a look at how many times they have been overturned with their terrible decisions. Take a look. And this is what we have to live with.” (Both temporary restraining orders against his Muslim ban were issued by Ninth Circuit Court judges.) Trump claimed the ruling threatened the “safety” of Americans. And he ranted, “This ruling makes us look weak, which by the way we no longer are, believe me. Just look at our borders. We are going to fight this ruling and take it as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court. We are going to win ... and regardless we are going to keep our citizens safe.” Trump not only declared his intent to take the court ruling to the Supreme Court, he made ominous threats that favorable court ruling or not, “We’re going to win....regardless.” And he is using this ruling to incite his minions to even more virulent levels of hatred towards not just Muslims, but anyone who doesn’t fit into “Make America White Again.”

It is important that this Muslim ban has been temporarily blocked. But there is no cause for anyone to breathe a sigh of relief. Trump’s ominous threats highlight the need to resist the ban and to drive out the Trump/Pence regime before they can fully lock down the reins of power.

Trump just told you what he intends to do. What is needed are mass outpourings in the streets now. Protests called for March 16, when the ban was to have gone into effect, must be big and powerful, and be marked by participation of not just those directly impacted, but by everyone who refuses to stand by while their Muslim sisters and brothers (and others) are demonized and terrorized. Find protests at RefuseFascism.org, or call one yourself. Bring the “NO!” message of Refuse Fascism, and connect people with Revolution newspaper and revcom.us.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/482/revolution-interviews-attorneys-fighting-muslim-ban-2.0-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Revolution Speaks with Two Attorneys Fighting Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0:

“Rhetoric Coming from the Administration... Is Really Making It Difficult To Be Muslim Right Now in This Country”

March 15, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/381/doj-report-coverup-for-police-murder-of-michael-brown-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

DOJ Report:

Coverup for the Police Murder of Michael Brown

April 6, 2015, new introduction March 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note (March 16, 2017): Two and a half years ago, Michael Brown, an 18-year-old Black youth, was shot dead in cold blood as he had his hands raised, by a white cop in Ferguson, Missouri. People in Ferguson and around the country rose up and delivered their verdict on this wanton police murder of an unarmed Black man. In the face of this, the St. Louis County prosecutor and then the U.S. Department of Justice refused to bring any charges against the pig, Darren Wilson, who carried out this heinous crime. Recently, a new documentary about Mike Brown and his murder, titled Stranger Fruit, was released. We have not seen the film, but it reportedly indicates that events leading up the murder of Mike Brown are more complicated than was previously known—including a previously unreleased surveillance camera video showing Mike Brown at a convenience store some hours before he was killed. This video clip has been widely shown in recent media reports. A different video from the same store was released and used after the murder as part of efforts to demonize Mike Brown and justify letting the cop off. The St. Louis County prosecutor arrogantly dismissed the newly revealed video as “not relevant” and continued to demonize Michael Brown. In light of these events, we are re-posting the following article which appeared at revcom.us after the Department of Justice released their report outrageously declaring there was no basis to bring charges against the killer cop Wilson.

 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) released a report recently that came to the outrageous conclusion that there is no basis to file federal charges against Darren Wilson, the cop who murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Another report on Ferguson by the DOJ, released at more or less the same time as the one on Michael Brown’s murder, acknowledged long-standing brutality and abuse of Black people by the Ferguson Police Department, deeply embedded racist hatred on the part of Ferguson cops and city officials generally, and a system of legalized theft and extortion that kept much of the Black population of Ferguson and surrounding cities impoverished, and in and out of jail.

But we are told that this pervasive racist hate had nothing to do with the murder of Michael Brown. The report on Michael Brown says the unarmed Brown tried to grab Wilson’s gun, then charged at Wilson and put him “in fear of his life.” Now all kinds of racists, reactionaries, fools, and cowards have jumped on this to spread confusion and demoralization about what happened in Ferguson, and to demobilize the powerful movement against murder by police that rose up last summer and fall. A recent headline in the Washington Post screamed “Hands up, don’t shoot, was built on a lie.”

This is bullshit! Wilson shot Michael Brown and chased him down the street. Michael had his hands in the air and pleaded with Wilson not to shoot. Wilson poured several volleys into Michael and put a bullet into his brain.

People at the scene saw this, and they told the world about it! No amount of confusion “legitimized” in a government report or a grand jury hearing, no amount of lies repeated in an endless loop on Fox News or CNN can change that!

Dorian Johnson, Michael’s friend, who was with him at the time Wilson stopped them, said he saw Michael Brown stop and turn around with his hands in the air. He said he heard Brown say either “I don’t have a gun” or “I’m unarmed” before Wilson unloaded his gun on Michael. At the time of Brown’s murder, two white construction workers raised their arms in the air to show what Brown was doing and were recorded saying, “He wasn’t no threat at all” and “He had his fucking hands in the air.”

The Department of INjustice, just like the grand jury in Ferguson, decided to ignore all that in the name of what they said was “plausible” in the string of lies and justifications of the murder that Darren Wilson told them. Their report says Michael Brown was somehow the “aggressor” towards the gun-wielding cop stalking him, and that Wilson acted “reasonably” when he shot at Michael 12 times, hitting him either six or eight times.


A woman who saw the police shooting of Michael Brown tells what happened

They dismissed all the testimony of people who saw Michael with his hands in the air. They dismissed the testimony of a woman who said she heard Michael Brown say, over and over, “I didn’t do anything.” They said a woman who said Michael “looked scared” could not be “credible.” The people who saw Michael Brown with his arms up, and his hands out, and who said Michael was “walking” or “staggering” towards Wilson, not charging him as Wilson claimed—their testimony too was dismissed.

Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off

A clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian, given in 2003. Bob Avakian is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. Watch the entire film online at http://revolutiontalk.net. And get into Bob Avakian.

Dorian Johnson, who has been grilled endlessly and who has been threatened with perjury, put this DOJ decision in good perspective: “No indictment means no justice. It’s hurtful to think that someone can be murdered and, you know, their killer walks away free. The fight doesn’t stop here. I don’t condone violence on no type of level, but like I said, I do understand the anger. I feel the same anger they are feeling.”

Here’s the truth of what happened. Wilson shot Michael Brown in the hand when Michael came to his car. With gun drawn, he then came at Michael and Dorian. When Michael Brown turned and faced Wilson, with his arms and hands up, Wilson fired several rounds of high caliber bullets into him. Michael’s right lung was hit twice, his jaw was shattered. Then Wilson coldly put a bullet into Michael’s brain and murdered him.

The killing of Michael Brown was straight up murder by police, and people were righteously justified in their fierce protests. “HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT!” is indeed one very fitting and powerful slogan and symbol for the mass resistance that needs to be built against the outrage of police brutality and murder, and everything bound up with it.

Wilson’s Story, or the Pig’s Tale

The story Darren Wilson told the grand jury was full of obvious holes, inconsistencies, and outright lies. But not only was Wilson never challenged, his story was taken as the truth that everyone else’s story was measured against.

These are just some of the most glaring inconsistencies for which Wilson never had to answer. But these aren’t even the worst of it. Wilson left the scene of the murder as other cops arrived moments after the shooting, against the advice of his sergeant. He went to the Ferguson Police Department, where he knew Barbara Spradling, his fiancée, was on duty. He washed his hands, and packaged his own gun in an evidence bag.

David Klinger of the University of Missouri at St. Louis told the Washington Post, “An officer driving himself back? Wrong. An officer booking his own gun into evidence? Wrong. The appropriate investigative procedures were not followed.” A 2013 manual of the Justice Department states that when crime scenes are processed, investigators “Do not allow suspect to use bathroom facilities, or to alter his/her appearance, including brushing hair or washing hands.” The reality is that from the beginning Wilson never was considered to be a suspect.

Elementary rules of police investigation were not followed either by Wilson, his superior officer, or his fiancée, but the Department of Justice, in its official report, says Wilson’s explanations are “credible.”

Wilson told his story to Spradling before any other cops got there. Whatever they worked out between themselves at that time was the story Wilson told in subsequent questioning. As the old saying goes, “That’s his story, and he’s sticking to it.” The DOJ admits that Spradling has “potential bias” in this case—an understatement if ever there was one—but that her testimony, completely based on what Wilson told her when they had some time together right after he shot and killed Michael Brown, and despite her negligence in allowing Wilson to wash away evidence, is “credible.”

All this is what’s known as “getting away with murder.” And it was condoned by the U.S. government’s “Department of Justice.” Why should anyone believe this crap? No one should accept the decision of this report!

The Kill Shot

The DOJ report says that evidence has to prove that Darren Wilson acted “willfully” and “unreasonably” when he shot and killed Michael Brown. It says every shot fired by Wilson must be justified.

The shot that killed Michael Brown entered the vertex (peak) of his skull. Michael Brown was about the same height as Wilson, 6’4.” This means that Brown was either bent over double from the pain of multiple gunshot wounds and extensive bleeding, or on his hands and knees—there is testimony to both—when Brown put the “kill shot” into Michael Brown’s brain.

If putting a bullet into the top of the head of a heavily wounded man bent over double or on all fours is not “willful” and “unreasonable,” what the hell is? This DOJ ruling not only gives Wilson a free pass for his murder of Michael Brown, it is a license to kill for every other pig in the country.

“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” is true and a righteous slogan. And we should proudly uphold and continue to shout it. It concentrates what happened to Michael Brown and what has happened in every city and town in this country. And those who fall for or are influenced by the line of reasoning in the DOJ report should ask themselves: in the highly unlikely event that every word Darren Wilson told “investigators” is true—would that justify him gunning down Michael Brown?

If someone supposedly steals a package of cigars as Wilson and the DOJ claim Mike Brown did, does that mean he should be shot to death in the street? If a cop doesn’t like the look on someone’s face—especially if it’s, say, a Black face—is it all right, is it reasonable, for the cop to be in fear for his life, and able to use that supposed fear as justification for killing the Black person? If a youth is bent over double or on all fours bleeding profusely from multiple gunshot wounds, would the person who shot him be justified to put a bullet through the youth’s head and claim the youth was “charging” him? Do Wilson’s hateful, racist, and obviously self-serving statements, which the DOJ report accepts without question or comment, about Michael Brown’s supposed state of mind and appearance—that Brown “looked like a demon,” that he made “the most intense aggressive face” Wilson had seen, and others—does that justify a cop shooting a youth with his hands up in the air?

A basic question of morality is involved here. It is immoral and unjust that police continue to shoot down young Black and Latino men. It is immoral and unjust that any sorry “justification” the murdering pigs come up with—“he reached for his waistband”; “he had a shiny object in his hand”; “he made a sudden move”; “he tried to grab my gun”—is enough to keep them from being charged with anything at all. It is immoral and shameful for anyone to be influenced or accept in any way these worn out excuses.

A legal system that justifies these murders and allows them to continue unpunished is illegitimate and deserves no respect whatsoever.

There Is No Justice from the Department of Justice

As we wrote when the DOJ report was first issued:

The Justice Department essentially found Michael Brown guilty of causing his own death. NO!!! Again, no trial to actually find and test the truth. Again, trying to excuse the basic fact that Michael Brown had no weapon. Again, ignoring killer cop Darren Wilson’s racist grand jury testimony equating Michael Brown to a “demon.” Again, taking as true the highly dubious scenario that Michael Brown, already shot by the cop Wilson several times, somehow rushed the cop who killed him.

Why would they cover it up? Well, think about this: if the Justice Department had actually said that depriving a young Black man of his life without due process is a crime and that Darren Wilson should stand trial for this, don’t you think that would have caused an even more major shit storm among the powers-that-be—who are already at each other’s throats? And what would that do to their whole agenda of repressing Black and Latino communities, an agenda that relies on violence by the police? This was a “compromise deal”—to make people think something will be done, but to keep full support for the police... and to put the people themselves on the defensive.

Now is emphatically not the time to be “cooling out” the struggle that erupted so brilliantly last year. Now is the time for this resistance to become more powerful. Now is the time to say “No More to the System Giving a Green Light to Killer Cops!”

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/482/march-16-no-ban-no-wall-resisting-trumps-muslim-ban-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

March 15-16: No Ban! No Wall! Resisting Trump's Muslim 2.0 Ban

Updated March 17, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

These are initial reports from the March 16 protests of Trump's Muslim ban, and the page will be updated as more reports come in. Check back for more.


2,500 in Nashville, Tennessee, Say: No Trump, No Pence, No Wall, No Fence

Nashville, March 15
Nashville, March 15. Photo: @deniseMdeniseM/Twitter

Video: @indivisibletn3

On March 15, as Trump was speaking at another Nazi rally in Nashville, Tennessee, a protest crowd estimated to be 2,500 people was outside the Municipal Auditorium to declare a loud “NO” to him and his regime. People converged on the auditorium from different locations. Among them were a group of students from Fisk University, a historically Black university that dates back to shortly after the Civil War, who walked out of classes earlier in the afternoon. Fisk students have a long and proud history of fighting injustice, including playing an important role in the Freedom Rides against segregation in the Jim Crow South. According to one local news report, the Fisk students “were met with hundreds of fellow demonstrators who marched from Public Square Park and swarmed near the Municipal Auditorium just before 6 p.m. The lively crowd chanted, sang, and held signs.” The students sat down in the street at one point, and the police moved in to threaten arrest if they did not move.

A big focus of the protest was opposing Trump’s attacks on immigrants and his Muslim ban. The new version of the Muslim ban was set to go into effect the next day, and a federal judge issued a restraining order temporarily blocking it as the Nashville protest was going on. Among the people’s chants at the protest were “No Trump, No Pence, No Wall, No Fence” and “No Hate, No Fear, Immigrants Are Welcome Here.” Many people also carried signs denouncing Trump’s moves to destroy the health insurance program set up under Obama. The Tennessean described a protester, a retired teacher, who was “worried about the state of public education, health care, and freedom of the press under the Republican agenda.”


New York: Rally and March from Union Square to Times Square

New York City, March 16, march from Union Square to Times Square
New York City, March 16. Photo: revcom.us

Refuse Fascism, joined by the New York Revolution Club, brought people together on Thursday evening, March 16, to condemn Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0 and challenge people to become a part of the movement to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. Dozens of protesters and people joining on the spot rallied at Union Square, making a compelling statement to passers-by to recognize that this is a fascist regime; to grasp the urgency of taking action at this historical moment; to condemn the Trump/Pence regime’s new version of the same Muslim ban and step forward to become a part of the movement to drive this regime out. Following the rally, a small but powerful candlelight procession went all the way up Broadway to Times Square.

Thousands of people throughout the evening got flyers about the protest, and an invitation to the teach-in the next night at New York Revolution Books. There was a sense of seriousness about what is taking place in this country conveyed by the NO! posters and two banners, by the speakers and protesters, that repeatedly stopped people in their tracks to check out the rally. One banner read: “NO WALL! NO BAN! NO MASS DEPORTATIONS! NO FASCIST USA!” and the other: “NO! LET IN THE REFUGEES! DRIVE OUT THE FASCIST TRUMP/PENCE REGIME!” Along the bottom of the banners were the original “NO!” posters translated into numerous languages—English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and more—“NO! IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY, WE REFUSE TO ACCEIPT A FASCIST AMERICA!”

Many came over to the rally to listen and to learn, and to convey their own thoughts. An older Black man said he’d gotten a flyer the day before, at a senior center. He said, “A 96-year-old lady told me ‘I’ve been around since Hitler, and Mussolini, and I’m seeing Hitler out here. He’s a very dangerous man.’” The man went on: “I’m seeing Hitler too... he has the ability to start a third world war; I don’t want to see it. If we don’t drive them out, he’s going to bring this country down. My friends feel the same way.” He went over and picked up a NO! sign and joined in.

A college student stopped to listen when she saw what was going on. She’d been a part of protests on her campus, and was “in the process” of trying to figure out what was happening in the country. Another young man emphasized that it won’t do to get rid of Trump, because he saw Pence as even more of a fascist. And a former student who’d been to the protests in DC around the inauguration, and talking with his friends about what is happening, said he had been trying to understand himself why this was happening now. He marched with the procession. And in the end he was anxious to learn more, and was urged to go to refusefascism.org, and to revcom.us to learn more about BA and the revolution. He spoke with a Revolution Club member and exchanged phone numbers.

A member of Refuse Fascism spoke at the rally, followed by Noche Diaz, speaking for the Revolution Club. Noche explained systematically why this is a fascist regime; and that there are millions of people who do not want to live in a fascist America; and who can be the ones who can drive this regime from power. He gave a picture of how this can be done—“But more importantly, this MUST be done. This is not just for ourselves or just one group of people. We are speaking in the name of humanity. Because unlike Hitler and other fascists who came before Donald Trump, this regime has their hands on an arsenal of nuclear weapons that can obliterate the whole future of humanity.” He ended by leading the rally in taking the pledge. No! NO! NO! In the name of humanity we refuse to accept a fascist America. Drive Out the Trump/Pence fascist regime.”

A group from Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR) took part and gave a statement. The speaker had been at the protests in Tahrir Square in Cairo that led to the downfall of Mubarak. He considers himself someone who believes in the ideals of this country, and from that perspective he condemned the Trump regime, asking what message Trump’s wall sends to people of Mexican descent, what message the Muslim ban sends to Muslim-Americans, what message Trump’s anti-women message sends to “our daughters.” He said, “We will not stand by while this administration promotes fear instead of unity.”

At the conclusion of the rally the processional went up Broadway slowly, drawing attention the whole way with its rhythmic drum beat and single, song-like chant: “Drive Them Out, There Are Fascists in the White House.”


March 16, San Francisco—300 Plus Say “No Ban! No Wall! Sanctuary for All!”

“It’s still a Muslim ban.” Over 300 people turned out for a protest rally against Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0 outside the Federal Building in downtown San Francisco called by the Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC) and joined by many other groups including Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, the National Lawyers Guild-Francisco Bay Area (NLG SF), the ACLU of Northern California, the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA), Jewish Voices for Peace, Refuse Fascism and others.

San Francisco, March 16
San Francisco, March 16. Photo: @daniel_pace/Twitter

The crowd was energetic, youthful and very diverse, including people whose families came from Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Iran, South Korea, the Philippines, Mexico and Central America. There were documented and undocumented. A definite majority were people not directly impacted by Trump’s Muslim ban, but were there to stand with those who were targeted. Why did people turn out? One white woman wearing a “feminist with a to-do list” button said she was there because she was so angry—and sympathetic. Her friend said “I was at the first protest I was sure going to make this one.” A military vet who had done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan said he’s so sickened by the racist, hateful ethos and values Trump promotes, which don’t in his view represent America and the Constitution, that he quit his job to form a non-profit to give legal aid to those being impacted by the Trump administration. A young Palestinian-American woman said she was there to support everybody, that many populations, especially Muslims, were being targeted by Trump and we all need to come together and resist.

Introducing Refuse Fascism’s analysis triggered questions and discussion—including with those who initially said they agreed Trump’s a fascist (more from a sense of outrage and foreboding than a real understanding of what that meant). How can we be having this rally if there’s fascism? Wouldn’t things have been the same with Hillary Clinton? Haven’t oppressed communities and immigrants been under the gun forever? The idea of driving the Trump/Pence regime out through massive protest and struggle, akin to Tahrir Square or what has recently taken place in South Korea was a whole new concept for most.

The spirit at the rally was to stand with people from around the world—“Freedom to Stay, Freedom to Move, Freedom to Return” was one of the organizer’s slogans. Sentiments were expressed about wanting to continue resisting to stop Trump’s racist anti-Muslim ban—we can’t just win in the courts one of the organizers concluded—he said the only way to defeat this is in the streets.


Washington DC

Washington DC, March 16
Washington DC. Photo: @tfkatcher/Twitter


Seattle: “Embrace Our Neighbors”

Seattle, March 16
Seattle, March 16. Photo: @eyes2future/Twitter

From a reader:

In Seattle Thursday evening, an event called “Embrace Our Neighbors: Pray In and Speak Out Against Islamophobia” was hosted at Westlake Park by the Seattle Neighborhood Action Coalition. The event description included this statement: “Regardless of the outcome in the courts, we will gather on Thursday, March 16, to oppose the travel ban and call for action against Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, etc. We will make clear that ALL are welcome ... in our state and we are united as Americans and Washingtonians and neighbors!”

There were about 100 people there. Speakers included local Muslim, Christian, and Jewish religious leaders, the ACLU, and others. They were standing against the ban and against Islamophobia and generally for justice and fairness for all persons.

A Muslim woman spoke about being assaulted and injured at a bus stop in Everett, Washington, by a man yelling anti-Muslim slurs.

A person supporting Refuse Fascism (RF) spoke, bringing a message that it’s very good Trump’s Muslim ban has been blocked again, at least for now, but this ban is part of his entire fascist program, and he won’t back off. This regime will continue to target Muslims and express contempt for courts and judges. People must resist to ensure that this ban is permanently ended as part of driving out the Trump/Pence Fascist regime! She then led the crowd in taking a pledge to refuse fascism.

Other people supporting Refuse Fascism were there, bringing the message of “NO! We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America” with palm cards, fliers of the RF Call, and “NO” signs in English, Farsi, and Arabic.

After the speakers finished, about two dozen Muslims engaged in group prayer on prayer rugs while the other people stood in an outward facing ring around them as symbolic protection.

The mood was spirited and defiant, and the crowd, overwhelmingly non-Muslim, showed strong support. The event also had strong patriotic elements displayed as part of all this, with the stage including five American flags, and one speaker noting how Muslims had served and died in the U.S. military.


Los Angeles: “No Muslim Ban! No Border Wall!” at Offices of Homeland Security and ICE

From a reader:

No Muslim Ban! No Border Wall! In The Name of Humanity, We Refuse To Accept A Fascist America! Drive the Trump/Pence Regime from Power! On March 16, a group of people in Los Angeles protested Muslim Ban 2.0 at the downtown Federal Building, which houses Homeland Security and ICE. The day before, a federal judge in Hawai’i issued a temporary restraining order and blocked for now Trump’s fascist Executive Order. But to ensure this ban is permanently blocked will require mass political protest and driving this regime from power.

It was a righteous, loud, small but important group of people who came to protest—from Refuse Fascism activists and members of the Revolution Club to people from interfaith religious organizations, Methodist ministers, Catholic Workers, progressive Jewish activists, and others. People from non-profit homeless support networks also participated and young people from Antelope Valley happened on the protest and eagerly joined the event and were anxious to get involved in driving the Trump/Pence regime from power. The event featured NO! banners in English, Spanish, Farsi and Arabic, The group interacted with rush hour traffic, passing out Refuse Fascism’s Call to Action. Some other groups had unfortunately decided to cancel their events at the Federal Building and airport once the federal judge ruled in Hawai’i so it was smaller than it should have been.

City News Service wrote an article on the March 16 action, which was picked up by Patch.com There was radio coverage of the event on the local Pacifica station in Los Angeles, KPFK. A local ABC affiliate and Spanish language channel 62 were at the protest. An ugly, racist group of pro-Trump/Pence xenophobic fascists felt compelled to organize a counter protest across the street from the Federal Building.


Houston: A Wall of Solidarity

Houston, March 16
Houston. Photo: Special to revcom.us

From readers:

RefuseFascism in Houston called for the NoBanNoWall protest on March 16th at a busy corner in Houston’s upscale Galleria shopping area. This is a corner that has been a gathering place for protests for many years, and we got a lot of support from cars going by, as well as shouts from some cars, of “Build the Wall.” We built our own kind of wall of solidarity with NO! signs in half a dozen languages, and chanted, “No Hate, No Fear, Immigrants Are Welcome Here!”; “No Ban/No Wall, The Trump Regime Must Fall”; and “No Trump, No Pence, No Fascist USA!”


Cleveland

From readers:

Cleveland, March 16
Cleveland. Photo: Special to revcom.us

About 20 people gathered in front of the Federal Building in response to the call from Refuse Fascism to say NO Muslim Ban! NO Border Wall! We had a big banner, NO! In the Name of Humanity We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America! Among those who came were young high school women, a young Sikh woman we met at the counter-protest to Trump’s “Spirit of America” rally, and a woman we met at one of the recent town hall meeting protests. A few activists who had been at the Federal Building all day to protest Trump’s attacks on health care joined in. There were many NO signs and some had brought hand-made signs like “Sikh and Tired of Islamophobia No Muslim Ban” and “Is the U.S. only for white Christians?”

Everyone took up the chant “IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY...We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America” with enthusiasm. When someone challenged everybody there with the urgent need for each of us to do things we’ve never done before to bring forward the millions to drive out the Trump/Pence regime, and called on people to become organizers, to organize others, to organize others....at first everyone was quiet. Then a white man about 50 years old stepped to the bullhorn and spoke about how he was in the military for years and saw the horrible conditions that people in different parts of the world live in, and how they are not our “enemies” but just want to live their lives and raise their families safely like people here. He said he is totally against the Muslim ban and everything Trump stands for. An older Jewish woman said that she sees lots of different groups protesting, but Refuse Fascism is the only one she has found that calls out Trump/Pence as fascist. With the experience of living through the Hitler era, she knows it’s important that Refuse Fascism is “calling a spade a spade,” so she felt she had to come to the protest. A young Sikh woman exposed and denounced the violent attacks on Muslim people and on those who “look Muslim” by thugs being unleashed by Trump.

People continued to talk as the protest wound down. Many spoke bitterness at the Democrats for not standing up to the regime. High school women took bundles of NO! posters in English and Spanish to distribute in their school.


Car caravan in Atlanta, March 16
Atlanta. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Atlanta Car Caravan

From a reader:

Today Refuse Fascism Atlanta drove a caravan through downtown Atlanta and to the airport. As we drove through the domestic and international terminals, we chanted "No Muslim Ban! No Border Wall! No fascist USA!" Definitely had an impact and was covered by several local news outlets.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/482/protesters-converge-at-california-state-capitol-en.html

Revolution #482 March 13, 2017

Protesters From Across California Converge at State Capitol to Call for a Sanctuary State and Oppose Muslim Registry

"A fascist was elected president, and we have to fight"

March 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

March 15, Sacramento, California: A gathering of 1,000-1,500 people mobilized by Faith In Action came together at the state capitol to support the proposed laws SB 54 (the California Values Act) and SB 31. SB 54 would declare California a Sanctuary State and prohibit any state or local California law enforcement body from cooperating with ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement). SB 31 would prohibit any kind of registry or data-based collection for the use of registering any section of the population, in other words, no Muslim registry in California.

People came from many places around California: Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Fresno, Modesto, Stockton and SF Bay area cities. They came from different religious groups—Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Unitarian and various organizations, and there were many immigrants present. Upon arriving, people met at a church several blocks from the capitol building, where they filled to capacity the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. A number of ministers and others spoke there, including a Muslim activist from UCLA. Of the ministers that spoke, a number were African-American. One of the main leaders of the day, Rev. Ben McBride from Oakland, told a story at the beginning of his talk of someone who questioned his activism in defense of immigrants. According to McBride, someone from his community said to him, “What are you doing around that [immigrant rights] issue? That has nothing to do with you.” And McBride answered, “It has everything to do with me and us.” He went on to talk about social justice as a broad, embracing vision and how the struggle for justice for Black people was inseparable from the struggle for immigrant rights, and among other oppressed people.

This was the main theme of the day, spoken to by a number of people from different angles, and was encapsulated in one of the main slogans of the day: “One people, one fight,” “Un pueblo, una lucha.” It was interesting to see these African-American ministers, rabbis, Muslim activists, and priests all “preaching” in a major Catholic church on the same theme.

Later in the afternoon in front of Governor Jerry Brown’s office, a very raucous scene unfolded with chants such as “no justice, no peace” and “you can’t stop the revolution,” and speeches that threatened that people would return to “shut it down” if Brown backed away from SB 54. At one point Rev. McBride said, “A fascist was elected president, and we have to fight.” After a spokesperson from Brown’s office emerged to hear the demand that the governor support SB 54 “with no carve-outs” (no amendments to weaken it) and that he agree to talk to a delegation around this issue, the crowd marched out of the capitol building chanting, “You can’t stop the revolution.” As we emerged from the building a line of Black ministers was high-fiving people coming out. I saw a group of rabbis and Black ministers doing high-fives while everyone was loudly chanting, “You can’t stop the revolution!”

On the bus coming up to Sacramento, I sat across from a young woman graduate from Berkeley Theological Seminary who was working at St. Agnes, one of the sanctuary churches in San Francisco. St. Agnes became a sanctuary church shortly after Trump’s inauguration and this young woman was working with a social justice group in the church that helped push that through. The priest at St. Agnes was very much in support of the declaration to become a sanctuary, as was a large majority of the congregation.

It was at St. Agnes that the first rapid response training took place to form groups to defend immigrants, on the streets, from ICE raids. At that first training at the church where organizers were hoping for 40 people, 360 showed up. The young woman reflected on the irony that if Hillary Clinton had been elected, deportation raids would have gone on as usual, as they did under eight years of Obama, and “no one would have done a thing.” She went on to say that she, and everyone else in the church, did nothing all the years under Obama, and now people have woken up, and we should never allow that kind of complacency again. She also said that she is often frustrated in the church because of so many reactionary influences that, among other things, keep women from having a leadership role. But she is hopeful that the grip of the old guard is being loosened and will one day be overthrown. She is staying in the church with that expectation.