Revolution #485, April 3, 2017 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

A number of important demonstrations have been scheduled beginning the second part of April, going up against some of the most hateful policies of the Trump/Pence regime. These include the April 22 March for Science, the April 29 People’s Climate March, and the May 1st protests against the attacks on immigrants. In a statement released on April 2, Refuse Fascism endorsed these demonstrations and called for mass contingents of many thousands of people under the banner of “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!”

The statement follows:

Basta Ya!/Enough! 10 Days of Resistance:

In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!
Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!

 

No! In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a FAscist America - refusefascism.org

10 DAYS, April 22-May 1, the end of the first 100 Days of the Trump/Pence Regime,
can—and must—become a big leap in a movement to drive this fascist regime from office. The stakes are nothing less than the future of humanity and the planet.

Over the course of 10 DAYS, hundreds of thousands of people will pour into the streets in important and righteous protests in Washington DC and cities across the country aimed at 3 key fronts of the Trump/Pence Regime’s reactionary program. RefuseFascism.org endorses these protests and calls on people to attend and build for them.

April 22   March for Science
April 29   People’s Climate March
May 1st     Protests against the attacks on Immigrants

These 10 DAYS must involve people from every section of society here and internationally ACTING together, standing up and getting into the streets infused with the spirit of Basta Ya!/Enough!, doing so with the moral conviction and the fire to stand with the diversity of people here and around the world.

April 22: Stand with scientists against the Trump/Pence Regime denying and attacking Science—which is the method by which humanity can understand reality and which is essential to progress. April 29: Stand against the Trump/Pence Regime’s Devastation of the Climate and Environment which, without exaggeration, imperils life on earth; and on May 1st people of all nationalities must join in protests to Stop the Demonization, Attacks and Deportations of Immigrants that is at the reactionary hateful heart of Nazi-like fascism that Trump/Pence and their whole regime is perpetrating.

RefuseFascism.org is calling for people to organize and join mass contingents of many thousands of people under the banner of: NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!

Make no mistake. The Trump/Pence Regime—the whole thing—every cabinet post, every executive order, every tweet is a link in the chain of a fascist government and worldview under the signboard of a vengeful “America First” being rammed into place. Every immigrant family ripped apart...every refugee turned back to war-torn countries...every pipeline approved...every river despoiled...every denial of proven science, of established facts, of truth itself is killing people now and will cost millions more lives. This is poison to air, water, the earth, and to the conscience of the world.

Millions of people abhor this, and there is righteous resistance. But, whether or not we can stop the dire threat that the Trump/Pence Regime poses to humanity means recognizing and acting on the understanding that history has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.

Fascism is not just a gross combination of horrific reactionary policies. It is a qualitative change in how society is governed. It is crucial to understand that fascism, once consolidated, essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights. Even if we push back this or that measure, this regime will repeatedly launch new and highly repressive measures, eventually clamping down on all resistance and remaking the law... IF THEY ARE NOT DRIVEN FROM POWER.

Thousands of people must be organized, their creativity and determination unleashed so that this April marks a decisive advance in the struggle to put a stop to this fascist regime by driving it out. People need to see the NO! everywhere and learn that there is an organization working for the time when millions act together, filling 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.

This must be a moment in history when millions stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to resist and say NO! We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, not just for ourselves, but in the name of humanity.

 

How to Get Involved:

No! In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a FAscist America - refusefascism.org

• Go to the website to sign up to join a contingent in your area, or to organize your own.

• Hold a sign-making party.

• Spread the word on social media. Use #NoFascistUSA

• Give us a call if you need help.

Donate funds on the website.

• Volunteer in other ways.

To contact the National Office:
917-407-1286
info@refusefascism.org
@RefuseFascism
Facebook.com/RefuseFascism
www.RefuseFascism.org

 


 

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Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

We received this from RefuseFascism.org:

ANNOUNCING LEG TWO: Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime National Tour – Northeast Campuses

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

NO! In the Name of Humanity—We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America
Setting Out April 5th through the month of April

“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 is not just a gross combination of horrific reactionary policies. It is a qualitative change in how society is governed. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive re-institution of oppressive ‘traditional values.’ In Trump’s election campaign he encouraged and fed on the threat and use of violence to build a movement and come to power. In his inaugural address he pledged allegiance only to this movement. What is crucial to understand is that once in power fascism essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights.”

The Trump/Pence regime is moving quickly to consolidate its hold on the reins of power while viciously reordering society. In the month of April there are major events being organized by a broad array of forces that promise to bring many hundreds of thousands into the streets and in protest in a concentrated 10-day period, between Saturday, April 22, and Monday, May 1. What happens in the month of April could well be pivotal to driving from office the fascist Trump/Pence regime, before it is too late.

Organizers will set out from NYC in a van to go to campuses in the Northeast, where a whole new generation has been thrust into political life. This tour will be on a mission to organize and work with different student organizations and individuals to manifest student contingents at these different gatherings:

*April 22 March for Science, Scientists and those who support science all over the country have called for a major march in Washington DC on April 22, with satellite protests being held in 427 places all over the world, 315 of them in the U.S.

*April 29 People’s Climate March, Climate, Jobs and Justice with a focus against the policies & actions of Trump/Pence that endanger the environment of the whole planet. Washington DC

*May 1 Many organizations, including immigrants rights organizations, unions, and student groups have called for protest marches and strikes in cities across the country, on the general theme of opposition to the attacks against immigrants.

The Tour will pull up to college campuses and rally students in the quad. The Tour will connect up with individuals and student groups who have been in the midst of resistance since the election results—as well as those who haven’t yet—and collaborate on programs and meetings.

We have just completed the first leg of the Tour, which traveled from New York all the way down the East Coast and west toward Austin for South by Southwest, making our last stop in El Paso, Texas. (Read our reports here.)

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. The Tour will not just inspire people nationwide, but will be a seeding machine to build organization and movement among students to take responsibility and make history by driving out this regime.

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

 

 


 

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Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

"Our System Works"?
Three Ways the New York Times Seriously Misleads Its Readers in a Single Sentence!

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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“So at a time when many were beginning to question the vitality of American democracy, Mr. Ryan’s failure showed Americans that our system works.”

This is how the editors of the New York Times (“Paul Ryan, Brought Down to Size,” March 27) summed up the Trump/Pence regime’s March 24 failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). The first part of their sentence is true, even if badly understated—many people are not just questioning “the vitality of American democracy,” they are in deep agony over it. Every day brings a new Trump/Pence assault on the people and the planet, a new move in the fascist remaking of American government and society. But the second part (and actual point of the sentence, as well as the editorial)—the part where they reassure their readers that this system, with its checks and balances and supposed sensitivity to public opinion, is working to stop Trump—is nothing but a lie.

Actually, the failure to repeal the ACA shows nothing of the kind. But your summary—this one sentence—does show us three different ways that you, dear New York Times editors, are dangerously lulling people to sleep at a moment the Trump regime is not only continuing its murderous march to consolidate fascism, but gearing up for new offensives. So let’s break this down.

First way: The only reason the Trump/Ryan/Republican move to repeal Obamacare failed was that 28 members of the extreme right-wing Republican “Freedom Caucus” voted against it. This bill would have stripped some 24 million people of health care coverage and jacked up rates for many more, and these fascists thought it was too liberal! They thought it didn’t go far enough in slashing Medicaid and other health care benefits. (Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows has suggested cutting $34 billion from Medicare and Medicaid to, among other things, pay for Trump’s Mexico wall.) The fascist white supremacists in this caucus oppose government spending on health care or other social safety net programs because it infringes on the “freedom” of big capital to prey on people, and because many Black people and other oppressed nationality people actually get some health care from Medicaid, and to them that means it must be cut altogether.

In other words, Trump failed this time around to overturn Obamacare because these 28 Republicans insisted on a position even crueler, further to the right, and more fascistic than the Trump/Pence/Bannon fascists in the White House. So the system’s “checks and balances” against fascism are the ultra-fascists? In fact, it is typical of fascist regimes that, at least in the early stages, different sections of those trying to impose fascism jockey for position and advantage, even as they mainly unite in their attempts to crush opposition, both from the masses and from other sections of the ruling class.

Second way: You would have thought, from the triumphal tone of the editorial, that “our system” had stopped Trump overall. In fact, the juggernaut has continued to roll, and with a vengeance. The day of their defeat on health care, the Trump regime gave the go-ahead to build the environment-killing Keystone XL Oil Pipeline. The next week began with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents busting into a home in Chicago, guns blazing, and shooting a Latino man. Later that day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to take “all lawful steps to claw back” federal funds from sanctuary cities, where police and sheriffs do not fully collaborate with immigration agents in hounding, imprisoning, and deporting immigrants.

Meanwhile, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency’s refused to ban a dangerous pesticide, and the nomination of Neil Gorsuch—a certified Christian fascist—to the Supreme Court moved ahead with support from some Democrats and is likely to succeed, with devastating implications for the people.

Then on March 30, a new attack on Planned Parenthood and women’s basic rights passed the Senate in the form of a Trump-backed bill that now allows states to block funding for family planning clinics which provide abortions. That same day, Trump declared Somalia an “area of active hostilities,” which means that U.S. forces can basically strike at will, whether or not their targets pose any direct threat to the U.S., even if civilian casualties are likely. This comes after the Trump regime already massacred some 200 civilians in Iraq on March 16, hundreds more in Syria on March 17, and has escalated tensions and threatened military escalation—with potentially catastrophic consequences—against North Korea.

       

In fact, on March 28, the very day the New York Times published its “system is working” editorial, Trump/Pence gutted Internet privacy and opened the door to more massive government surveillance. They overturned Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) restrictions on coal-burning, methane gas emissions, and power plants, while opening up more public lands for environmentally devastating coal mining. Trump and Attorney General Sessions hosted national representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), assuring these murdering oppressors they’d have “100 percent” backing from the White House and made more threats against Black people in Chicago. And Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, met with Republicans to regroup in their battle to slash health care spending and overturn or gut Obamacare.

Third way: the Times essentially treats Trump as just another president subject to the same considerations as other presidents. Trump, this implies, is “normal” after all. Wrong—seriously wrong—again. This is fascism, not bourgeois democracy as usual, and it does not consolidate power smoothly, according to some master plan. It does so through lurches and jolts, setbacks and counteroffensives.

An example from Nazi Germany illustrates this. Adolph Hitler first came to power in early 1933. Soon after, Germany’s parliament building—the Reichstag—burned down. Hitler seized on this to take emergency powers, greatly limiting people’s rights. Nonetheless, nearly a year later, in December 1933, German courts acquitted Georgi Dimitrov and three other communists who had been accused by Hitler of starting the Reichstag fire. This was a real setback for Hitler, but it would have been suicidal to conclude that he’d been put on the defensive and would soon be irrelevant! In fact, six months later Hitler launched major bloody offensives against centers of opposition located both in the conservative German parties in Hitler’s coalition and elements of the Nazi party itself.

The New York Times IS Unintentionally Revealing Some Truth About One Thing...

But the New York Times is unintentionally revealing some truth about one thing: in dealing with Donald Trump, the system of bourgeois democracy—the dictatorship of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class—is working normally. At this moment, the ruling class is more concerned with channeling the millions who are shocked, outraged, and in agony over Trump and, yes, “questioning” the nature of the U.S. political system, into activity within the confines of their system. In other words, the New York Times and other liberal or Democratic representatives of the ruling class are more fearful of the masses of people getting out of their control than they are of Trump’s fascism. They don’t want anything that could possibly call into question the legitimacy of this system or give people a sense of their own potential strength when they step outside the well-worn ruts of normal channels. And this is despite the unprecedented, even existential threats it poses to humanity and the planet.

It IS possible to stop this fascist threat and drive Trump/Pence from office, but only if millions reject the kinds of false assurances and illusions offered by the New York Times and other representatives of the system, and instead take to the streets, acting outside normal channels and demanding “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!” There is a window before the Trump/Pence regime is consolidated in which to act, and an urgency to doing that NOW. Refuse Fascism has called on people to unite with both the major anti-Trump marches on April 22, April 29, and May 1, and build these as part of driving out this fascist regime. There’s a place in this effort for everyone who wants to oppose Trump.

History and humanity are counting on us.

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

What Are You Fighting For?

fascist hydra meme

April 1, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The conflict over Russia between different blocs within the U.S. power structure could be part of what leads to serious crisis. They are fighting, yes—but over how best to enforce domination and plunder the people and the planet. Do you really want to fight on those terms? Where your slogan might as well be “In the Name of American Domination, Impeach the Russian Puppet President”? If you do, you will end up delivering this beginning but growing movement back to the very social forces, system, and America-first outlook that this whole mess grew out of.

Only the slogan “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America—Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!” captures the most fundamental interests and aspirations of the people of the world and, yes, of hundreds of millions within the U.S.

Those two slogans would have very different results and lead to very different worlds. One or the other will set the terms in our movement. The question is, which one?

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Fascist Attack on the Rule of Law

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The rule of law is under serious attack—and this is part and parcel of a fascist restructuring of society.

Trump and his cabal are packing high-level courts with fascists and fascist-enablers, all the way up to the Supreme Court. And they are discrediting, bullying, and whipping up their base against, and threatening to simply ignore, court orders that get in the way of their aims.

Attacking the Courts... and Packing Them with Fascist Enablers

Trump’s assault on the rule of law is overt. After courts issued temporary injunctions against his ban on Muslim immigrants and refugees, his henchmen issued threats like “[O]ur opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.” This is Hitler talk.

Or, this tweet from Trump’s close ally, Christian fascist and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee: “Hoping @POTUS tells Hawaii judge what Andrew Jackson told overreaching court - I’ll ignore it and let the court enforce their order.” Huckabee was invoking the infamous stand of Andrew Jackson who, as a genocidal, Indian-killing, slave-holding president, defied a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would have interfered with the government violently seizing Native lands to expand slavery.

Less obvious, perhaps, is how this frontal assault on the courts meshes with packing the courts. Trump and the Republicans have declared they will pull out all stops to push through the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch was on a list of potential Supreme Court candidates Donald Trump released during the campaign. That list was prepared by, and cemented his alliance with, traditional Christian fascists who have made overturning the right to abortion a sine qua non (a deal breaker). And Trump and the Republicans who control both houses of Congress are in position to fill hundreds of top-level federal court positions with judges on the same wavelength as Gorsuch.

Demeaning and threatening to defy the courts, and packing them with fascist enablers, is a one-two punch. If Gorsuch, as reported, told a Democratic senator that Trump’s attacks on judges were “disheartening and demoralizing,” this could be in part a public relations move, but also an expression of a division of labor between implementing Trump’s agenda through defying the judiciary and using the judiciary to put a stamp of “legitimacy” on it.

Attacking Rule of Law

Trump’s attacks on the judiciary are of a piece with a multifaceted attack on rule of law—that is, an attack on the concept that nobody is above the law. He has called for protesters at his events to be “carried out on stretchers.” His attorney general Jeff Sessions is a lifelong enemy of civil liberties. In a country where police terror and murder in oppressed communities is virtually unchecked as it is, Trump told leaders of the Fraternal Order of Police, “We will always support ... the incredible men and women of law enforcement. I will always have your back—100 percent.” (emphasis added)

       

All this is aimed at both shredding rights supposedly guaranteed to people at large by the U.S. Constitution, and to steamroll over opposition within the ruling class, in part through concentrating absolute and unchallenged power in the executive branch (the presidency, agencies of violent repression like the FBI and CIA, and the federal administrative agencies), and bulldozing the ability of the courts to get in the way of Trump’s agenda.

The essence of the matter is not Trump’s personality. Trump has been brought forward as a product of profound crises facing this system. He is backed by powerful forces in the ruling class whose political objectives are expressed by the Republican Party. And he is implementing a fascist agenda.

What Is “Rule of Law” and Why Is Trump Out to Shred It?

Basic democratic rights in this system exist within a framework of ongoing domination and plunder. And they are defined by the interests of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class. As Bob Avakian has repeatedly pointed out, there will never be and could never be a right to eat under capitalism. Why? Because what rights exist in this society are constrained by the defining reality that this is a dictatorship of the capitalist-imperialist class. This class alone controls the right to use the instruments of force and coercion (the armies and police, prisons, courts, etc.) and the executive branch against any section of people, group or country that impinges on their interests; it is within that framework that some rights are extended to other sections of the people.

Even more essentially, the kinds of rights defined in the U.S. Constitution serve to resolve conflict between different factions of the capitalist class, and to maintain control over people, through forms like the courts, elections, and so on. “Freedom of the press” in this society, for example, first and foremost means the freedom for powerful factions of the ruling class to contend in the “mass media” to influence public opinion. Over time, and with the growth of U.S. imperialist domination of the world and its ability to use that plunder to provide privilege to different sections of the masses, such rights have been extended at times to provide a certain level of formal civil liberties.

At the same time, most people in this country, most of the time, are used to living with certain rights. Protests are permitted under certain conditions. Some of these legal rights, like formal equality for Black people, were only granted in the context of heroic struggle that went well beyond protest considered legal by this system. Remember: even for a Black person to refuse to sit in the back of a bus in the Jim Crow South meant breaking the law. So, limited as they are, there has always been extreme inequality in how these rights are respected and whether they are even granted.

The rights that are granted to the people, including voting rights, do not mean that the people exercise power or are “the masters of the government.” These rights—such as they are—serve both as a “safety valve” through which discontent and outrage can be channeled into forms that don’t threaten the existing order, and to draw masses of people into thinking that they have a stake in things, everybody has the same rights as everybody else, etc.1

The Profound Crisis of the System and the Fascist Response

Capitalism-imperialism—whether in a fascist or “democratic” form—is always a form of the dictatorship of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class which, under all circumstances, maintains a monopoly on the allowable use of violence. But fascism is a drastically and radically worse form of that rule. Fascism has gained strength through a succession of Republican regimes, from Reagan, through the Bushes, and now, on a qualitatively higher level with Trump. The impetus behind moving to a fascist form of rule lies in profound crises this system confronts, and for which—in the eyes of what are now dominant sections of the ruling class—there are no solutions within the “normal” (bourgeois democratic) form of rule.

Today, the ability of the U.S. empire to plunder people and resources all over the planet is constrained and seriously hampered by the rise of global rivals like Russia and China, regional adversaries like Iran, “wild cards” like North Korea, and pernicious reactionary fundamentalist Islamic Jihad. Intense global competition has undercut decades where more privileged strata came to expect a comfortable lifestyle as “their share” (of the plunder of the U.S. empire—but that of course is never stated). What large sections of white America have taken to be “social norms,” like the subjugation of women, the oppression of nationalities, and traditional gender roles, have been under fire from mass struggles or eroded by changes in demographics, economics and culture. And for some time, different factions within the ruling class have not been able to successfully struggle their differences out through the system’s institutions and normal channels—expressed in governmental paralysis.

Under these conditions, to break the “stalemate,” and decisively deal with these contradictions, a section of the ruling class headed by Trump has consolidated around a need to impose fascism and destroy much and perhaps all of what have come to be considered democratic rights, protections and procedures. Instead, they aim to deploy the instruments of violence of the state, and fascist mobs, to openly repress both their rivals within the ruling class, as well as any who would oppose them among the masses, and whole populations of those they have deemed to be outside the “protection” of law (for example, Muslims, immigrants, etc.).

What Do We Do Now?

For the ruling class, respecting supposed democratic rights is a matter of expediency. But for humanity, and particularly for those aiming to get beyond a world of exploitation and oppression, it matters whether such rights are preserved. It will be immeasurably harder to mount any kind of struggle for a better world if people are violently smashed the minute they raise their heads, and if the oppressed themselves are kept in qualitatively worse conditions and barely allowed to breathe (with the threat of literal “final-solution-style” genocide hovering in the background and—depending on how things develop—looked at by the rulers as a real option). And for revolutionaries—and, yes, for all of humanity—the objective must go beyond the defeat of this attempt to impose fascism and toward revolution.

It is critically important to defend the rule of law and to defend all who are violently repressed or railroaded by the fascists, including even members and institutions of the ruling classes themselves. At the same time, there is a way to go beyond the system that got us here in the first place—a system which in its normal workings has “given” us mass incarceration and genocidal persecution of Black and other oppressed peoples... the subjugation of women... the plundering of the environment... the super-exploitation and persecution of immigrants... and not least of it terrible wars that in just the last few decades have taken millions of innocent lives. There is a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America that provides the guideline to overcome and supersede that society, and where the very concept of freedom is far richer, even as individual rights are protected in a way that has never been and can never be seen in this current society.


1. See, for instance, Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy by Bob Avakian, the section “‘Competing Elites’—and Moving Beyond ‘Elites’” and in particular the sub-section “What does—and does not—happen through elections... what is—and is not—meaningful political activity.”

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

April 22 March FOR Science vs. Trump/Pence Regime Attacks AGAINST Science

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Trump/Pence regime is carrying out attacks on science as a key part of their fascist agenda. In an important response, many thousands of scientists and others are marching on April 22 to defend science and scientists, and the integrity of the scientific process itself. Along with a major march in Washington, DC, more than 400 satellite marches will take place across the U.S. and around the world.


Marches planned across the U.S. as of March 27. Map: March for Science

The Trump/Pence regime’s attacks are widespread and targeted, driven by and in service of an ideological and political agenda. Here are just some of these attacks:

» Trump signed an executive order that calls for eliminating what small measures the U.S. had in place to limit the emission of greenhouse gases, the main cause of the global climate change that is driving the planet toward environmental catastrophe.

» Soon after the inauguration, the Trump transition staff asked for lists of employees and contractors of the Energy Department who had attended meetings on climate change. This had all the signs of gathering names for a witch hunt.

» The regime—headed by and stuffed with those who deny the scientific reality of climate change—has initiated official muzzling of government scientists. Even while the disproportionate share of the impact of a warming planet will be felt by the masses of humanity in the Third World, a significant part of the research on this has been funded by and performed in the U.S.

» The regime reissued permits for the Dakota Access and the Keystone XL oil pipelines—both of which had shaped up to be major battle lines around the protection of the environment and the planet.

» However limited the 2015 Paris accord on global warming was in restricting and reducing the contributing factors to global warming, this regime is threatening to back out of it, leading to uncertainty and a possible collapse of the whole climate treaty and framework.

» Trump/Pence also aim to drastically cut budgets for other major scientific and public health institutions, like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other scientific research agencies not directly involved in weapons production.

» This regime’s profoundly anti-scientific bent points to further censorship of findings, suppression of funding, and restricting the role of science in public policy where it conflicts with their agenda or corporate interests.

» The Muslim ban and attacks on immigrants have also affected the scientific community, which in the U.S. is made up disproportionately of people who are foreign-born.

Along with attacks on science in realms such as public health and the environment, the dominance of the extremely anti-scientific Christian fascist ideological agenda is profoundly dangerous. One of the main lines of their attack on science is on the fact of evolution—which shows all life on planet Earth evolved from common ancestors over at least 3.5 billion years—because it runs directly up against the Christian fascists’ literalist reading of the Bible. They have waged well-funded and deceptive campaigns to undermine and even ban the teaching of evolution in schools—even though evolution is one of the most well-established and proven facts in the history of science—and to rally political forces to introduce biblical creationism as science. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s secretary of education, is a Christian fascist, and has been deeply committed to imposing this worldview on society. Now, with their hands on the levers of education, these forces can do great harm, denying generations of children the science of evolution and the scientific method.

Why is this significant and important, not only for scientific education but for the emancipation of humanity? Everyone needs to understand the basic facts of evolution as well as the essentials of the scientific method. Ardea Skybreak captures this in her book The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters:

When people are deprived of a scientific approach to reality as a whole, they are robbed of both a full appreciation of the beauty and richness of the natural world and the means to understand the dynamics of change not only in nature but in human society as well.

This regime’s attacks on science are occurring in the larger context of a wholesale assault on the very notion of truth. Trump has become infamous for just making up shit, alleging things that serve his interests and agenda when it suits him. He has branded as “fake news” any reality or facts opposed to his agenda or critical of him, and his minions, like Kellyanne Conway, have branded their fiction and narratives as “alternative facts.” NO! This is, by definition, an oxymoron. This wholesale assault on reality and truth has precedents in the fascist trajectory and social base represented by the Republicans, with media like Fox News or the previous Republican administration of George W. Bush. But Trump represents a qualitative leap beyond anything before.

       

All of this forms the backdrop, context, target, and compelling factor for the March for Science on April 22. The mission of the march says April 22 is a “celebration of science” and promotes breaking down barriers for people to do science and access science. And it has a definite call to act:

In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, we might ask instead: can we afford not to speak out in its defense?

People who value science have remained silent for far too long in the face of policies that ignore scientific evidence and endanger both human life and the future of our world. New policies threaten to further restrict scientists’ ability to research and communicate their findings. We face a possible future where people not only ignore scientific evidence, but seek to eliminate it entirely. Staying silent is a luxury that we can no longer afford. We must stand together and support science.

This is very positive—and although the mission statement does not explicitly mention the Trump/Pence regime, everybody knows what this march is about. This is similar to the Women’s March the day after the Trump inauguration. The mission of the march also has an overall sharp focus on scientific epistemology (how people acquire knowledge and how they know whether something is true, and the scientific method needed to do so). And it proceeds in basic terms from the standpoint of the world and the public domain of human knowledge, rather than narrow national U.S. interest of “making America great.” The mission of this march, now global, ends with, “We must take science out of the labs and journals and share it with the world.” (emphasis added)

The interview with 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, demystifies and brings alive the import of science, showing why science applies to all of reality, natural and social. In the interview, Skybreak states that science is “...a very powerful tool. It’s a method and approach for being able to tell what’s true, what corresponds to reality as it really is.... Science is an evidence-based process.... Science allows you to confront and identify problems, to recognize problems and figure out how to solve them, rather than run away from them.... Without science you are at the mercy of being manipulated, of having your thinking manipulated and not being able to tell what’s right from what’s wrong, what’s true from what’s false.

In short, science matters! On April 22, we must defend it.

Go here for a more extensive discussion of the March for Science—including on how it started and the lessons to take from it; how the march relates to the crucial battle to oust the fascist regime and bring about a better world; and the real need, relevance, and opportunity to introduce the work and leadership of Bob Avakian (BA) to a section of people being thrust into political life.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/april-29-peoples-climate-march-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

April 29 People's Climate March: "We will resist attacks on our people, our communities and our planet"

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Dozens of environmental and environmental justice groups have been joined by faith groups, unions, and others in calling for a march for climate, jobs, and justice on April 29 in Washington, DC. Satellite marches will be held across the country. The march is a continuation of the “People’s Climate Movement” that brought 400,000 people into the streets of New York City in September 2014 in response to the climate crisis. And it is taking place a week after the March for Science that is to take place in DC and other cities around the country and the world on April 22.

The call for the march states:

On the 100th Day of the Trump Administration, we will be in the streets of Washington D.C. to show the world and our leaders that we will resist attacks on our people, our communities and our planet.

We will come together from across the United States to strengthen our movement. We will demonstrate our power and resistance at the gates of the White House. We will bring our solutions to the climate crisis and the problems that affect our communities to our leaders in Congress to demand action.

The march demands action and solutions to the climate crisis rooted in racial and social justice, protecting clean air, water and land, and a world at peace. Very importantly, the demands to protect the environment are joined with demanding an immediate stop to attacks on immigrants, communities of color, and indigenous peoples, and for protecting basic rights of freedom of the press, speech, and protest.

At the People's Climate March, September 21, 2014. Photo special to revcom.us/Revolution

This call happens as the Trump/Pence regime has launched a savage all-out war on the environment at a moment of planetary environmental peril. Trump’s budget calls for a massive 31 percent evisceration of the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency that will deeply set back climate protections and research, greatly damage efforts to safeguard air, water and land, and hamstring environmental science. The same day this was announced, coral reef scientists reported that vast sections of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia—perhaps the richest ocean ecosystem on earth—are already dead, killed off by ocean warming and carbon dioxide pollution.

The fascist Trump/Pence regime and its supporters in Congress have already killed a rule that restricted coal companies from dumping waste in streams, rolled back clean water stream rules, ended monitoring of methane emissions by the oil and gas industry, and promised to get rid of new vehicle fuel efficiency standards. They’re moving to allow killing of bear cubs and wolf pups in wildlife refuges, and to undermine the Endangered Species Act that has helped stop extinction of likely hundreds of threatened species in the U.S. They have silenced officials, and scrubbed information from government agencies charged with protecting the environment and public lands. They’re on a mission to eliminate any regulations limiting the ability of capitalist businesses to plunder the natural world. And all this is joined with an overall fascist consolidation of society that threatens oppressed people and all of humanity.

The April 29 march is a welcome call to bring people into the streets to stop this dagger aimed at the heart of our planet and its people—and needs to be linked with and be part of strengthening the very urgent fight to drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/monday-may-1st-into-the-streets-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Monday, May 1, Into the Streets:
Stop the Demonization, Attacks and Deportations of Immigrants
Drive Out the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We dond't have an immigration problem, we have an imperialism problem

The Trump/Pence regime has launched a war on immigrants. Documented and undocumented are being demonized, painted as “criminal aliens,” smeared by the big lie they’re “rapists, gang members, and criminals.” Immigrants are being treated as suspects, often denied basic rights—and their basic humanity. Mob violence and hate crimes are being whipped up and unleashed. ICE immigration agents are being unleashed to carry out storm-trooper raids and roundups, snatching people up any time, any place, just because they’re immigrants. Families are being torn apart, children ripped from their parents.

Anyone with a shred of humanity should be outraged by these savage, inhuman assaults.

On Monday, May 1, a diverse array of immigrants’ rights groups, students, unions, and more are calling for a general strike and mass protests against the attacks on immigrants.

Refuse Fascism is calling on people to join these protests as a major statement against the Trump/Pence regime and a key part of the battle to drive it from power:

May 1st people of all nationalities must join in protests to Stop the Demonization, Attacks and Deportations of Immigrants that is at the reactionary hateful heart of Nazi-like fascism that Trump/Pence and their whole regime is perpetrating.

Click HERE to get involved.

Into the streets on May 1!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/484/dont-let-the-joneses-get-you-down-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Don't Let the Joneses Get You Down

April 1, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Don't let the Joneses get you down
Alex Jones - fascist radio host

The fascist radio host Alex Jones is both an “adviser” and a flunky of Trump and, not so incidentally, the ringleader of the attack on the “America Was NEVER Great” flag-burners at the Republican National Convention. Alex Jones, through his paranoid demagogy, whips up Trump’s reactionary social following and gets them on the offensive.

Van Jones

Van Jones is the CNN-designated ultra-safe “movement representative.” This Jones slobbered over Trump’s “salute” to that widow of a war criminal in his address to Congress and seeks common ground on TV with unrepentant Trumpists. Van Jones, through his normalizing of Trump and Trumpism, politically and ideologically puts to sleep those who oppose the regime.

These Joneses may seem as different as night and day; in actual fact, both contribute to the same end: the consolidation of a fascist America.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/high-stakes-for-humanity-in-escalating-us-north-korea-tensions-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

High Stakes for Humanity in the Escalating U.S.-North Korea Tensions

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Map with focus on Korea

There is growing tension between the Trump/Pence regime and the rulers of North Korea—and a “logic” driving this that could break out in a horrific war. Should this situation explode, it could also set off sudden leaps in repression within the U.S. by the Trump/Pence regime.

During his March 16-19 trip to Asia, Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said, “[D]iplomatic and other efforts of the past 20 years, to bring North Korea to a point of denuclearization, have failed.” And he made it clear that “no options were off the table”—including a pre-emptive military strike.

In response, North Korea released a propaganda video showing U.S. aircraft being blown up and said, “The nuclear force of the DPRK [North Korea] is the treasured sword of justice and the most reliable war deterrence.” A week before Tillerson’s trip, on March 6, North Korea test-launched four ballistic missiles, three coming within 200 miles of Japan.

The threat of nuclear war seems in the hands of two madmen—Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. On one level, this is true. But there’s a method to the madness and a logic to the logic of these “madmen.”

When Donald Trump talks about “Making America Great Again,” he’s talking about dramatically reinforcing and strengthening U.S. domination over other imperialists and the world as a whole. This requires profound, violent recasting of the way things have been for decades, including rewriting the rules—not of whether, but how overtly, to threaten humanity with war, including nuclear war.

No nukes for Trump

America was NEVER great!

And it requires a hyper-aggressive and militaristic foreign policy, which can be seen in the Trump/Pence stance towards North Korea. The regime can allow no perception of U.S. “weakness” or “lack of resolve.” So, North Korean defiance and refusal to heel to U.S. demands must be met with escalating warnings—including the threat of a nuclear attack. And in all this, the madman “lunacy” and “unpredictability” of Trump serves a strategic calculus.

It actually is not irrational for Kim Jong-un to think the U.S. would launch a war against North Korea that would kill millions of people. In 1950 the U.S. invaded Korea and waged a war of mass murder, killing three million people and razing to the ground almost every building. Ever since, the U.S. has worked to politically isolate, economically strangle, and militarily threaten North Korea. It has worked to enlist countries throughout the region in these efforts. And the U.S. has openly talked about wanting a “regime change” in North Korea.

During his campaign, Trump said, “I would get China to make that guy [Kim Jong-un] disappear in one form or another very quickly.” And when asked if this meant assassinating Kim Jong-un, Trump said, “Well, you know, I’ve heard of worse things, frankly. I mean this guy’s a bad dude—and don’t underestimate him.”

In fact, joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea during Tillerson’s trip included “regime change” scenarios and reportedly included the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 (which killed Osama bin Laden) and other Special Forces—in order to simulate the removal of Kim Jong-un.

The North Korea regime is essentially a dynastic feudal aristocracy that calls itself socialist. From the point of view of this reactionary, oppressive regime trying to survive, there is a “logic” to its nuclear weapons program.

The U.S. has a nuclear arsenal thousands of times more destructive than North Korea’s. And there is a fascist in the White House, who—before he was elected—asked a national security expert, “If we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them?”

This is a very dangerous situation, which emphasizes the high stakes of whether or not mass resistance, in the name of humanity, will drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime before they fully lock down the reins of power.

For a longer version of this article go here.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/awtwns-stop-the-us-led-massive-terrorist-attacks-in-iran-and-syria-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

From A World To Win News Service

Stop the U.S.-Led Massive Terrorist Attacks in Iraq and Syria!

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On March 17, 2017, A World to Win News Service (AWTWNS) announced its transformation into a more thorough-going tool for revolution based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. Read its “Editorial: Introducing a transformed AWTWNS” here.

 

March 27, 2017. A World to Win News Service. [Revolution editors’ note: This article has been shortened for length. For full version go here.] The U.S. and its coalition have been carrying out stepped-up terror attacks in Iraq and Syria, killing almost 1,000 civilians since the beginning of March, according to the United Kingdom-based monitoring group Airwars.org.

Airstrike of a mosque in Syria
March 16, as hundreds of residents in the town of Al-Jineh, Syria, gathered in a newly built mosque for evening prayers, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) flattened the building with an air strike, killing 46 people and trapping more in the rubble.

These children and adults are real individuals whose lives were cut short by murderers acting for political purposes—just like the four people killed in the attack in London’s Westminster district that British authorities are maliciously using to justify more terrorism by the UK as part of the U.S-.led coalition.

The American authorities justify these killings of Arab civilians on the grounds of the necessities of war. But they are the direct result of the coalition’s reactionary aims in this war, which are not to liberate the people but to thwart a reactionary threat to Western domination, including by punishing and slaughtering masses of people.

This most recent wave of mass murders first came to light in the Western media with a U.S. air attack on the village of al-Jina in Syria’s western Aleppo province on March 16. At least 46 people were killed when airstrikes hit a crowded mosque during religious classes. According to the Washington Post, two U.S. drones fired six Hellfire missiles and then dropped a 226-kilo [498-pound] bomb. Photos showed the clearly identifiable fragments of the U.S. missiles and the destroyed building. On March 22, airstrikes hit a bakery and an adjacent market in al-Thani in Raqqa province, killing dozens of bakery workers and other civilians.

Then in what has been described as the worst airstrike on civilians since the U.S. pounded Iraq during its 2003 invasion, U.S.-led coalition planes hit the Mosul neighbourhood of al-Jadida in Iraq, where U.S.-led forces had recently driven out the Islamic fundamentalist Daesh (ISIL). As of a week after the March 17 attack, more than 200 bodies have been pulled out from under the rubble, and the toll is expected to be much higher.

The unspoken and sometimes explicit rationalization for this loss of life on such a large scale is that Daesh cannot be defeated without it. On an immediate level, this is a sick argument whose implicit assumption is that Arab lives are worth less than those of people who look like “us”—people in the Western countries who are told that they must support their imperialist rulers who “keep them safe.” What this argument also conceals is that wars are defined and conducted according to their political aims—and the unacceptable massive civilian deaths in this war flow from the reactionary aims on both sides.

Daesh’s project for a religious dictatorship in the service of old and new exploiters who feel thwarted by the present Western-dominated status quo requires treating not only people in the Western countries but also in the Middle Eastern countries they seek to rule as nothing more than cattle to be slaughtered. Its project runs counter to the basic interests of the masses of people, and it cannot ultimately rely on their conscious, voluntary support for their cause.

This is no less true of the U.S.-led coalition fighting against Daesh. The U.S., above all, seeks to maintain its intolerable political and economic domination of the region, which created the conditions for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the first place. The lives of the people of Iraq and Syria mean nothing to the U.S. because the goals of the American project do not include the safety of these or any other peoples, let alone their well-being and emancipation from national humiliation and enforced backwardness.

Whatever the immediate military results achieved by the U.S. and its allies in Mosul and Raqqa, it is very likely that this situation will lead to more and not less jihadi Islamism.  In addition to the political consequences of the actions of the U.S. and its allies in Iraq and Syria, including the targeting of the West’s more secular opponents, these latest atrocities have also exposed the hypocrisy and real content of the Western values in whose name they were committed. Reactionary Islamists then seize on this to falsely claim that their ideology and social goals are the only alternative.

Under the Obama regime, the U.S. stepped up its war crimes from the air in Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan. What is happening now, under Trump, is what was to be expected from a man whose campaign promises included removing any restrictions on airstrikes and “killing their [‘terrorists’] families.”

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Foward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters, in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

Download PDF

What’s involved here is more than a single campaign or even one war. This is the dynamic Bob Avakian has called “the two outmodeds”: on “the one hand, imperialism, and on the other hand, reactionary Islamic fundamentalist Jihadism—and the way these two forces actually do reinforce each other, even while opposing each other, with the very negative effect this exerts in the world. This is a situation where the more the imperialists do what they do, the more they create fertile ground for Islamic fundamentalism.” (For more on this, see Bringing Forward Another Way by Bob Avakian.)

People in every country must oppose the terror campaign the U.S. is leading in Iraq and Syria to counter and defeat its rival exploiters and oppressors, and the crimes of all sides against the people. This needs to be linked to building struggle for revolution in both the imperialist countries and the countries they oppress, which is the only way this dynamic can be broken and humanity freed from this awful situation.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/major-new-attack-on-planned-parenthood-and-womens-right-to-abortion-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Major New Attack on Planned Parenthood and Women's Right to Abortion

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Unbelievable as it may seem, in the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children, regardless of the situation, the feelings, and the better judgment of those women themselves. That is a way of enslaving women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system; and that is what the cruel fanatics who are determined to deny women the right to abortion are really all about.

Bob Avakian published this statement a year before the Trump/Pence regime was elected, and the truth of it is borne out on a daily basis.

Women are full human beings

The Trump/Pence regime wants to block all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. A large and dangerous step toward that goal was taken this week with the Senate vote to undo a rule that prevented states from blocking funding for family clinics that also provide abortions. What this actually means is not the blocking of some general funding the government provides to Planned Parenthood, but blocking the reimbursement of costs for medical services by Medicaid and Title X funds. That is, it would prevent Planned Parenthood from being reimbursed for services provided to patients in the way any insurance company would reimburse a health care provider. The regime also floated a so-called compromise that if Planned Parenthood would stop providing abortion services, the funds would not be blocked, the clear message being that the defunding is directly related to providing abortion.

You probably know that Planned Parenthood performs abortions for women, and you likely know that existing laws already prevent government funding from being used to pay for that service.

Some things you may NOT know are:

How this could turn out:

Texas is a base area of the extreme-right wing, Christian fascist forces and became Ground Zero in the war on women about six years ago. In 2011, the state slashed its reproductive health budget by two-thirds and blocked all Planned Parenthood clinics from receiving state funds to provide health care. Many clinics closed, and—at least partly due to this, though there were other factors as well—the number of women who died due to pregnancy related causes doubled from 2011-2014 over the period of 2007-2010.

Patriarchy, the nuclear family, and the oppression of women have been woven into the foundation of American capitalism and society from their beginning. And the Trump/Pence regime today not just continues but is taking to new extreme levels the fight to keep women “in their place” and maintain this kind of patriarchal order.

What kind of system relegates women and families, especially the poorest, to fend for themselves by cutting off the last rungs of available health care?

What kind of system forecloses women’s lives by outlawing abortion and birth control, relentlessly slamming women further and further into the dark ages?

And more...what kind of system would install as its commander in chief someone who unapologetically models rape culture, revenge, degradation, and violence against women, who brags about his sexual assaults on women? And has a second in command who hails from the most extreme wing of the Christian fascists that could accurately be called the American Taliban? A regime that reduces women to objects to be owned, used, and controlled by men.

And there is more...because all this rests on global networks of plunder and exploitation.

The attacks on Planned Parenthood must be opposed, and more than that the whole regime that is bringing them on, and so much more, must be driven out. This is a regime that is representing for a system that should not be preserved—and that can be done away with, through an actual revolution.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/484/carl-dix-says-get-out-of-this-insanity-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Black People Killing Each Other in Chicago

Carl Dix says:
Get Out of This Insanity and Get Into the Revolution

March 31, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In South Shore in 12 hours, seven people shot to death within four blocks of each other. Chicago goddamn! This is fucking crazy. Stop doing what the enemy wants you to do! This system that has created the conditions and the values that have our people destroying each other. Trump is planning to bring down the hammer on Black people in a way far worse than you can imagine. You are helping that happen.

You need to get out of this and start living and dying for something really worth fighting for. There’s something far better your life needs to be about—making revolution and getting rid of the REAL enemy.

We have a leadership like no other for this revolution in Bob Avakian. You need to get into the vision and plan he has charted for how the revolution could win and bring into being a world without all this nightmare of oppression here and around the world.

What’s your life going to be about? Getting respect in a fucked up situation, or ending that fucked up situation, not only for yourself but for all of humanity, in the only way possible—thru revolution? This is what is really worth living and fighting and yes even dying for.

Get with the Revolution Club office in South Shore:

1857 E. 71st St., Chicago. Hours:  3 pm-7 pm everyday (closed Monday)
312-804-9121 Revclub.chi@gmail.com

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/why-the-shaquille-oneal-kyrie-irving-flat-earth-routine-is-not-funny.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Why the Shaquille O'Neal, Kyrie Irving "Flat Earth" Routine Is NOT Fucking Funny

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Over the past month and a half, first Kyrie Irving (a basketball player with the Cleveland Cavaliers) and then Shaquille O’Neal have stated that the Earth is flat. In both cases, these players caused a minor controversy and then backed off, claiming they were joking—though in Irving’s case, continuing to play as if he may really believe it.

Even if this was a “joke,” it was an extremely irresponsible joke. There are all too many people who, through no fault of their own, have been kept ignorant. It is in fact a great crime that this system continues to shroud people in ignorance, as Bob Avakian has put it. Just think of the huge percentage of people who, having gone through the U.S. school system, still do not believe the theory of evolution—a theory which has been proven to be true with the same degree of certitude as the roundness of the Earth! (For instance, according to a 2014 Gallup poll, 42 percent believe in creationism, another 31 percent believe that humans evolved but “God” directed the process, and only one percent said humans evolved with no imaginary being playing a part.) Note the fact that every Republican candidate for president must at the very least claim that the “jury is still out” on this proven fact—and that no Democrat has ever even pointed this out as disqualifying. This ignorance serves a purpose for the powers that be—it prevents people from understanding and changing the world. Why do you think that slaves were killed for learning how to read? And quite frankly, a “joke” like this (again, if indeed it was a joke)—especially at a time when fundamentalist preachers within the Black and Latino communities are being backed up by the ruling class and when a Christian fascist fanatic has been made secretary of education and is hell-bent (if you’ll excuse the expression) on gutting those schools and funneling children into private Christian schools that are no more than ignorance mills—is about as funny as “joking” during slavery times that “slaves will hurt themselves if they learn to read.” And be clear: literal belief in the word of the Bible actually does require a belief that the sun goes around the Earth, rather than the fact that the Earth goes around the sun (and the Catholic Church indeed killed the 16th-century astronomer Giordano Bruno, burning him at the stake, for saying the opposite, among other “heretical” notions). In fact, the slaves needed that knowledge; and the slaves of today need the knowledge of the scientific method in general, including the theory of evolution.

With Shaquille O’Neal, we are talking about someone who is not only a reactionary but a former part-time pig—someone who actually has worked as a deputy pig and “reserve police officer” in the off-season while he was playing in the NBA, and who was part of a botched raid which ended up terrorizing a totally innocent family (and which O’Neal at first lied about being on).

With Kyrie Irving, who is NOT a reactionary, it is actually worse. O’Neal is a pig straight-up, and the fact that he would use his platform to spread ignorance and confusion shouldn’t surprise anyone. But Kyrie Irving has taken stands against murders of Black people by police and (other) white supremacists. To say something like this, in addition to the damage it does in spreading ignorance and wrong methods to the oppressed, has the effect of discrediting him with those who do know that the Earth is not flat. Worse still, Irving at first likened taking this stand to refusing to accept anything from authorities because he was lied to about police murder. If Kyrie was putting people on when he said the Earth is flat, then he is actually discrediting the notion that people should not accept the “official story” at face value. It is in fact TRUE that the authorities in this country lie about virtually everything about Black people, from the horror of slavery to police murder, mass incarceration, and the all-round genocidal attacks on Black and other oppressed nationality peoples. But the response should NOT be to then accept anything that purports to go against “the official story”—and the fact that people among the oppressed today get so caught up in bullshit explanations for oppression like “the Illuminati control the world” ends up serving to keep things the same.

If you are lied to, you get the evidence, you get the FACTS, you apply the scientific method. Again, and this is pointed out very powerfully in Ardea Skybreak’s books on evolution 1 and on science and revolution,2 a) it is a huge crime that the oppressed have been deprived of this understanding, b) they CAN master this, even beginning with a very poor education, and c) such knowledge is absolutely necessary to change the world for the better and emancipate humanity.

Again: if these guys really believe this ignorant stuff, then it is an indictment of this entire system and the way it both maintains the oppressed in ignorance and, as a particular form of that, isolates talented athletes from the oppressed in “basketball factories” that give them just enough knowledge to get through college. If they don’t believe this nonsense, if they were indeed “joking,” then shame on them for this kind of “joke.” And to Kyrie Irving in particular, who has taken good stands in the past: you could do a world of good right now by actually taking up the scientific method and fighting for that... and if you really want to be controversial and cause a storm, then step out there and fight for the importance of people getting into and learning the theory of evolution!

 


1  The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters [back]

2 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 [back]

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/484/chicago-activists-condemn-meeting-between-fraternal-order-of-police-and-trump-administration-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Meeting with FOP Leaders:
Trump Pledges "100% Support" for Murdering Pigs

March 31, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From readers:

Chicago, March 29 press conference condemns FOP meeting with Trump
From left: Tio Hardiman of Violence Interrupters, International; Nataki Rhodes, of Civilian Police Accountability Council; Eric Russell, President of the Tree of Life Justice League of Illinois; Carl Dix, representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party. (Photo: special to revcom.us)

On March 28, Trump and the head of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Jeff Sessions, hosted national representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), including the head of the Chicago FOP. The FOP is the largest police group in the country.

At the meeting Trump made it crystal clear he will back murdering pigs 100 percent. “I made a crucial pledge: We will always support ... the incredible men and women of law enforcement. I will always have your back—100 percent. ... Sadly, our police are often prevented from doing their jobs. ... In too many of our communities, violent crime is on the rise. ... These are the painful realities many in Washington don’t want to talk about.”

In response, a press conference was called on March 29 outside the FOP’s Chicago offices by Eric Russell, President of the Tree of Life Justice League of Illinois. He was joined by Nataki Rhodes, an activist with Civilian Police Accountability Council; Tio Hardiman of Violence Interrupters, International; Carl Dix; and the Revolution Club, Chicago. Together they condemned Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ meeting with the Fraternal Order of Police, including the President of the Chicago FOP.

Eric Russell stated, “We are here to express our absolute outrage that the Chicago Police Department, a historically corrupt and systemically racist institution would have the backing of the Federal Government in a climate when they are murdering Black and Brown people with impunity.”

At the press conference Carl Dix said:

Trump said he’s gonna send the feds into Chicago to fix the carnage. He can’t fix the carnage like that because the system causes the carnage. What has our youth in the situation they are shooting and killing each other and also killing people caught up in the crossfire? Because they have been locked up in these inner city communities—no jobs, an educational system that’s geared to fail them.

They have plans to send in the feds. Chicago Tribune articles talk about mobilizing the National Guard, putting concrete barriers around a neighborhood on the South Side. Having the Guard staff those barriers. Anyone going in or out has to show their ID. South African apartheid on the South Side of Chicago. ... This could make it impossible for Black people to stand up and do anything.

This is part of an overall fascist onslaught. They also talked about [at the meeting] collaboration between the police and the deportation squads. This has already led to ICE breaking into a house on the West Side of Chicago recently, shooting a man and arresting his son, both of them legal. ...

This is what they want us to knuckle under to and take. We’re here to say NO. We’re sounding the alarm. Our youth play a critical role here. You have to get out of fighting and killing each other. You gotta get out of that and get into the revolution. Because we gotta get rid of this system. A system that has committed horrors it has already perpetrated against Black people, against Brown people, against Muslims, against women. That is a system that is no damn good and Donald Trump has greater horrors on the horizon they are bringing down. We gotta get rid of Trump, drive him out of there but do it in order to get rid of this system, to get ready for revolution.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/steve-harvey-breaks-previous-record-for-bootlicking-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Steve Harvey Breaks Previous Record for Bootlicking and Belly Crawling

by Carl Dix

March 25, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Steve Harvey is a clown, and not in a good way. It wasn’t enough for him to make his personal trek to Trump Tower to kiss the ring of Donald Trump. Now he’s advising others that they should take up his bootlicking approach toward Trump. In response to a video by Snoop Dogg that satirized, in Snoop’s words, “That fucking clown in the White House,” Harvey’s advice to Snoop and others was: “You gotta respect the president.”

Given the money-grubbing, woman-using outlook in the putrid “advice books” Steve Harvey has put out, Harvey probably actually DOES look up to and respect Trump. But no one who cares about humanity should respect that fascist.

What reason is there to respect a man who bragged about grabbing women by the pussy; who has called for a Muslim ban; who has vowed to build a wall on the border with Mexico and to deport even more than the 2.5 million immigrants deported under Obama; who has promised to take the gloves off the police—police who have been caught on video murdering Black people again and again—and called Black Lives Matter a terrorist organization?

Maybe Harvey meant people should respect the office of the president, not the man? To that I say U.S. presidents have from the very founding of this country presided over horror after horror perpetrated on humanity—theft of the land and genocide of the native inhabitants, the enslavement of Black people and continually subjecting them to savage exploitation and oppression, wars of conquest beginning in Central America and the Caribbean and expanding throughout the world, and now devastating the environment of the very planet we live on and sending drone strikes that slaughter men, women, and children in countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Harvey went on to say that Snoop and others had to be careful how they spoke of Trump because Trump’s people can use the government to come after their money or they could get targeted for having caused someone to attack Trump. Harvey is blaming Snoop in advance. And he’s saying that Snoop and others should keep their mouths shut, their heads down, and their asses covered while Trump’s fascist regime targets Muslims and Latinos; while he threatens to send the feds to “fix” the carnage in Chicago; while he calls media that won’t report his lies as the truth “enemies of the people;” and more.

I got one question for Steve Harvey: How did that work out in Nazi Germany?

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/carl-dix-farrakhan-says-you-can-make-a-deal-with-trump-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Farrakhan Says You Can Make a Deal With Trump; We Say Drive That Fascist Out of Office and Overthrow This Goddamn System!

by Carl Dix

March 25, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam ended his keynote speech at the NOI’s annual Saviours’ Day event this year by saying: “Why you [Black people] are afraid is you don’t see God’s hand in Donald Trump becoming president. ... God put him there to dismantle this house.” The house Trump is supposed to dismantle is the domination of the world by white people!

Earlier in his speech, Farrakhan said: “Be careful how you [referring to Black people] talk about the president—I talk, but I’m respectful. ... because if anything happens to Mr. Trump, these people [his white supporters] are gonna cut loose, and who you think they gonna cut loose on first—us [Black people].” Farrakhan also said it was time for Black people to separate from white people. “They [white people] are not gonna give you enough jobs, and they’ll never grant you justice. But with President Trump, you might be able to make a deal when the chastisement of God gets so severe.” Farrakhan even said Jim Brown was right to go meet with Trump because Trump is a powerful man and Brown is smart enough to make a deal with him.

This is bullshit. Farrakhan saying god put Trump in the White House to dismantle white world supremacy is like a Zionist leader of the Jewish community back in the day saying god put Adolf Hitler in charge of Germany in order to drive the Jews to Palestine!1 God didn’t put Hitler in office—the imperialists in Germany did—and the Jews ended up being murdered. Trump WAS put in the White House—by the U.S. ruling class. He is on a mission, and it’s not one from god—it couldn’t be, since god doesn’t exist in the first place. It’s a mission to impose a fascist form of rule on this country.

The Trump/Pence regime has already begun to demonize and target group after group. Trump has asserted that the truth is whatever he says it is. He has attacked the media and threatened those who criticize him. Where Trump is headed is clear. He is aiming to reinstate open white supremacy; have the U.S. run amok all over the world; slam women “back into their place”; persecute Muslims, immigrants, and gay and trans people; and take away legal and political rights altogether. The Trump/Pence regime is fascist, and it must be driven out before it’s too late.

Farrakhan’s “advice” calls for Black people to betray other oppressed people who are feeling the lash of Trump’s program by leaving them out there on their own. And it disarms Black people in the face of the hammer the Trump/Pence regime will bring down on them and sets them up for the slaughter.

That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn or be forced to accept.

What kind of a deal can you make with a man on this kind of mission? What Farrakhan is saying is that Black people should aim for their piece of the pie in America, by looking to make a deal with Trump to get control of their own communities. And that to get to make that deal means staying on Trump’s good side. Standing aside and keeping quiet while other oppressed people are targeted in Trump’s fascist onslaught because if you speak out, you’ll come under attack too. And besides, it might mess up whatever deal you could work out with this powerful man.

And Farrakhan is putting this shit forward at a time when many, many people are being impelled into political life, resisting in ways they haven’t before and asking big questions about why things are the way they are, and what can be done about them. There is potential to build the kind of movement that is needed to end all the horror America enforces on the world, and Farrakhan advises Black people to stand aside from it and look for an opportunity to cut a deal to get their piece of the rock.

I know some supporters of Farrakhan will say I’m not being fair to the minister because there’s more that he has in mind than what he put out in his speech; that he didn’t lay everything out “because you can’t let the enemy know your full plan.” To them I say, a leader who has a “hidden plan” is out to use that plan to ride the backs of the masses of people. The Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) has a plan—making revolution and getting rid of this system and the exploitation and oppression it enforces on humanity. It puts its plan out to the masses so they can take it up, wield it and change history.

As Bob Avakian, the leader of the RCP, says:

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.

There are two diametrically opposed outlooks here. Looking for a chance to get yours by grabbing a share of the exploitation and plunder of this system versus becoming part of the emancipators of humanity and acting to end all exploitation and oppression.

The Trump/Pence regime has a program for Black people: unleashing the police to kill and brutalize even more people, filling the jails even fuller, doling out a few jobs to bribe people into becoming enforcers of his clampdown, using its lackeys to spy on, confuse, divide, and crush anybody who says NO to all this. They aim to crush the struggle of Black people against their oppression, once and for all. There will be no deal with this regime that achieves anything good for Black people. Talk about maybe dealing with Trump “when the chastisement of God gets severe” amounts to looking to sign onto the Trump program when you think you can get the most out of it. This would be a program of getting in on the oppression of the Black masses.

Black people need to join in with all different kinds of people to drive this regime from power. And in driving out the regime, the aim is not to get things back to the way they were before, because the way things were before was no damn good. Billions of people throughout the world and millions of people in the U.S. suffered unnecessarily. The fight to drive out the regime that has even greater horrors in store for humanity needs to be taken up as part of bringing about an actual revolution that ends the suffering this system brings down on humanity, once and for all.


1. By the way, this analogy is also apt because Farrakhan plays a role today similar to that of the Zionists back then: they told their people not to fight against all oppression, but to sell themselves to imperialism as oppressors of others. And now the state of Israel brutally serves the U.S. in the dirty work of its oppression of not only the Middle East, but whole world. [back]

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/484/guns-blazing-ice-raids-chicago-home-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Guns Blazing, ICE Raids Chicago Home Filled with Sleeping Kids
Agents "Pointed Pistols in Our Faces... Shot My Dad"

March 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From readers:

Press conference about Chicago ICE raid
Press conference, Chicago, March 28. Photo: Twitter/@4danlopez

On March 27 at 6:30 a.m., the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) busted into a home in the northwest side of Chicago. With guns drawn they opened fire on Felix Torres, a 30-year resident of Chicago. His daughter, Carmen Torres, was sleeping in the basement of the house with her husband and one-year-old daughter when agents burst through the front door. Carmen said they “pointed pistols in our faces ... shot my dad.”

According to the family’s attorney, Thomas Hallock, Felix Torres “was shot immediately, or almost immediately, upon opening his door to see what the commotion was outside of his residence.” Torres was taken to the hospital in serious condition. ICE said Torres was not the person they came to arrest. The ICE agents claim Torres had a gun. Torres’ attorney said, “The man’s family insists he was unarmed and did nothing wrong.”

“It’s a lie when they say he was holding a gun,” Carmen Torres said. “They shot my dad. They shot him, and I don’t know why. We didn’t even have time to dress or grab milk for the baby.” At least eight family members were in the house during the raid, including her two nephews, ages nine years and five months. All of Felix Torres' children were born in the U.S., and Felix himself, originally from Mexico, has had a green card (legal permanent residency status) for many years. This raid is essentially extending the ICE terror to anybody who is Brown, whether they are an immigrant or not.

A press conference was called by Chicago activist and local alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, who said in a statement, “ICE’s guns blazing raid on a northwest side home filled with sleeping kids is exactly why the City of Chicago should refuse to collaborate with ICE. ICE routinely violates the American people’s constitutional rights. This guns blazing ICE raid deepens my resolve to organize my community so we can keep each other safe from the threat posed by ICE.”

Another Chicago alderman, Gilbert Villegas, said, “We’re going to have to talk to CPD [Chicago Police Department] to find out if this was a coordinated effort, because if it was in any way, that raises concerns about us as a sanctuary city. Is this our future in Chicago with Donald Trump as president?” The short answer is, YES!

Trump and Pence’s fascist offensive against immigrants and refugees, with stormtrooper attacks by ICE, steam-rolls on with ever-growing force, terror and viciousness, including in sanctuary cities. ICE and other security agencies have been unleashed and will be beefed up. Undocumented immigrants now live in a state of terror, and immigrants more generally are being continually made to justify their presence.

These ICE raids MUST BE STOPPED! Every person with a conscience must stand up and say NO! to these fascist Gestapo raids on homes of immigrants. Any attempt to harass, lock up and intimidate immigrants must be met with determined resistance NOW!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/skybreak-a-scientific-assessment-world-today-is-a-horror-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 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 Scientific Assessment: The World Today Is a Horror for the Majority of Humanity—And That Can Be Radically Changed

April 3, 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.

Question: Well, let’s keep going on this point about applying science to understand why the world is the way it is and how it could be different, and what could be done about that. Looking at the state of the world right now, in two senses—one, in a more overall sense, in terms of what are the conditions that the vast majority of humanity find themselves in right now, what is the state of the world in a more overall sense, but then, kind of zeroing in on one particular dimension of that, obviously it’s been very heartening these last few months that there have been things that we haven’t seen in this society in the U.S. in quite a while, in terms of massive resistance to this epidemic of police murder and police brutality, concentrated in the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the grand jury decisions letting their killers go, with tens and tens of thousands of people directly in the streets around this, disrupting business as usual, and then millions of people here and around the world confronting all this—what I’m getting at is how would we apply science, both to the particularity of this moment and understanding that, but also looking in a more big picture sense at, as you were saying, why is the world this way and how it could be different?

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: Well, I would start off by saying, OK, let’s apply science to talking, first of all, about where humanity’s at, what’s the state of the world, what’s the state of this society that we live in. And it’s been said many times, including by BA, that the world, as it is, is a horror. Right? Now, this is being said by people, including BA, who are overall very appreciative of a lot of beauty in the world. Speaking for myself, trained as a biologist, as a natural scientist, I see beauty everywhere in the natural world, and among people, in the great diversity and richness of human experience and all the many different cultural expressions and the great variety of life, including social life. There is great beauty. But at the same time, it’s undeniable: The world is a horror for the majority of humanity at this point in history.

Now, let’s take the question of human suffering. It would be unscientific to think that you could ever completely eliminate human suffering. There will always be loss, there will always be death, there will always be grief, there will always be some forms of disease or some forms of catastrophes that negatively impact human beings. I don’t think you could ever say you would get to the point where there would never be any human suffering; that would be a completely idealized false world and illusion. But what you can say, is that it is possible to get to a world that is not characterized by so much unnecessary suffering.

And the reality of the world today—I mean, look at this society, what you were just talking about, all these police murders. You know, I can’t take it any more—and I won’t take it any more! Practically every single day, you hear about another person, usually Black or Latino, male, unarmed, who is gunned down in the streets by the police, and nothing is done about it! The authorities basically sanction it over and over again, because it’s built right into their system to need to have these kinds of things happen, to keep their kind of order, it’s that kind of repression that they require for their system to keep functioning relatively smoothly. What a system!

And there are so many things that are wrong in the world. The whole status of women in this country and all over the world—that women are still not treated like full human beings, that they’re constantly degraded and dehumanized, treated as play things, as sexual objects, as something short of full human beings, constantly raped and battered. And I’ve said this before: it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t happen to you as an individual—any time any woman anywhere in the world is raped, battered, pornified, or in other ways dehumanized and degraded, it degrades and dehumanizes all women everywhere.

And again I want to say that I really feel that...like BA in the recent Dialogue with Cornel West at Riverside Church talked about...the youth that are being gunned down by the police—these are our youth! I feel that, very strongly. And it’s just intolerable to have this loss of human life, this loss of human potential, that is just squandered away because of the workings of this system.

It is also intolerable to have a situation where there are endless wars. You can never get beyond this under this system: these wars of imperialism, these armies of occupation, people being put through horrible suffering for the interests of a capitalist class, a tiny sliver of humanity that benefits from this.

And what about on the planetary scale? The environmental crisis is real, people! It should be understood as an all-out global emergency. You know, the Earth itself is one thing, it can go on without us, but human beings’ ability to live on this planet is going to be severely restricted, very soon, if we don’t stop completely despoiling this planet and constantly degrading it. And the main reason we can’t deal with any of this, fast enough or on a large enough scale, is because of the dominant system that’s in place, the dominant form of social organization that’s in place. We need an actual revolution to completely dismantle the organization of society as it currently is configured and to replace it with a completely new form of organization that would go a long way towards getting rid of these problems.

Look, also, at the so-called problem of immigration. Why do we even have different countries? Think about it. Why do we have flags and national anthems, and why do we have borders? Why do we have whole populations of people that are pushed around and kept from having a decent life, when all they want to do is work and be productive members of society? Think of all the immigrants to this country who get pushed around, get brutalized, whose families are brutally torn apart, and who get incarcerated, forcibly deported or even gunned down on the border. Do you find that acceptable? I sure don’t! What makes Americans better than anybody else, by the way? Personally, I can’t stand the American flag, or the national anthem, or the Pledge of Allegiance, or any of these kinds of symbols that proclaim that one country or one population of one part of the world is somehow better than everybody else. That’s what’s called “jingoism,” or “national chauvinism”—that way of thinking is downright nasty and we should call it what it is and refuse to go along with it! We should all be thinking more like citizens of the world and not like Americans. But then you see people stand up in schools and at sporting events—they’re standing up for the flag and the anthem, and they’re putting their hands over their hearts and maybe even singing along, and often this is being done by people who are themselves being oppressed and degraded on a daily basis by the very system that they are saluting!

It’s time to put an end to this kind of stuff. Think about what you’re doing, what you’re saluting! People need to think more about this, and educate themselves about the true nature of this system. These police murders, for instance: they’re not an accident. They’ve been happening for a long time. They happen on a horrific scale. And they keep on happening, because the root of this problem can be found in the very foundations of this system.

The only good thing in this recent period, what you’re calling this “moment,” is that there’s a beautiful new thing that’s emerged, which is that people are standing up and resisting in ways we haven’t seen in this country in a long time. That’s a beautiful thing—the youth and others who stood up in Ferguson, very bravely, and said: NO! we’re not gonna take this any more. And the people who came out around the police murder of Eric Garner. And this did involve broader numbers of people, besides the most oppressed people who are most directly under the boot of the police. There were also people from the middle strata, including some white people, who came out and said: We don’t want to live in a society where this kind of stuff keeps happening. So that’s a good thing, although there needs to be a lot more of that kind of resistance. That kind of resistance is very, very important, and it needs to get bigger and it needs to spread. One of the things a scientific understanding and analysis can tell you is that protests are very good and very important. What’s been called “fighting the power” is very important. It builds the strength of the people. It serves notice on the people running society that their crimes are just not going to get over, and are not going to be tolerated any more. And that’s a very important part of what needs to happen. But it also has to go further. Why? Because a scientific analysis will also show you clear evidence that the whole way this system is structured, the whole way it’s built up at its core, at its very foundation, will keep regenerating these kinds of problems, these kinds of abuses, these kinds of outrages and injustices, over and over again, as long as this capitalist system itself is allowed to remain in place.

Sometimes we talk about the unresolvable contradictions of capitalism. If you use science to analyze this stuff, you will increasingly understand that this system cannot fix itself, and that it is not fundamentally capable of correcting these types of abuses. It cannot do away, ultimately, with the police murders of Black and Latino people in this society. It cannot do away with the rule of their enforcers, the brutality of their enforcers, that keeps a whole section of the people down. All this has a lot to do with why BA stresses all the time that you have to understand that this country, this system, was built on slavery. It’s not just what’s happening now, it goes back to the very beginning of this country. The United States got started, got built up, at its very founding, on the basis of slavery (and genocide of indigenous peoples), and everything that came out of that brutal beginning has carried over until today, and is a direct root cause of why today you have police enforcers, defenders of this capitalist system, who are routinely gunning down unarmed youth in the streets. There is a direct connection there. Science will show you that this connection is real and objective, and not just someone’s subjective opinion or empty speculation. To make such a claim you need concrete evidence—and the evidence is there.

It’s the same thing with the question of the oppression of women. It’s another one of those profoundly unresolvable contradictions of the existing system. This system cannot ultimately resolve that problem, which science can show has been deeply built into the root foundational structures of this capitalist system as well as those of previous oppressive and exploitative systems going way, way back in time. Yes, there are some women, a few—there are a few sections of women that can be allowed to move up the ladder, so to speak, under capitalism. The same can be said about Black people—a few can be allowed to move on up, to enter the professional middle strata or even become totally bourgeois, and you can elect some Black officials to high places and even have a Black president these days. But none of this changes anything fundamentally about the profound and relentless oppression faced by the vast majority of Black people in this country, and of other people of color as well. The same goes for women. Literally half of humanity—in other words, women—continues to be kept down, in all sorts of ways, in the U.S. and all around the world, and none of that changes just because you can now have a few female corporate CEOs or government representatives or a few very wealthy bourgeois women. None of that changes the ongoing fundamentally degraded and dehumanized status and experience of the vast majority of women here and throughout the world.

Wars of empire—there’s another one of those unresolvable contradictions of this system. It doesn’t ultimately matter whether, every now and then, even a few individual politicians or other representatives of the ruling class are willing to speak out—even sincerely—against one or another war of imperialist aggression. This ruling class is going to continue to wage wars of empire to extend and defend and consolidate their imperialist system. And they will do so over and over again. Why? Because the underlying dynamics of their system drive that process, whether any individual politician or other ruling class figure would like it to be that way or not. Do you see? The very machinery of this ghoulish system repeatedly requires such wars—for its ongoing maintenance, expansion, and consolidation.

So we have to confront the fact that what we call national oppression, the oppression of minority peoples, and the oppression of women, the wars of empire and the armies of occupation—none of this can ultimately be solved under this system. Science can analyze why none of this can fundamentally be solved under the structures of capitalism-imperialism. And this is something that BA has done a lot of work analyzing over decades, really deeply bringing to light why this system cannot be reformed, why it cannot just be fixed with a few quick fixes, why you have to have an actual revolution, rather than just work for a few little tweaks here or there.

And the same thing is very much the case with the question of the environment, the global environment. Even if you had a bunch of capitalists and other ruling class figures—you know, their government representatives in this country or in other countries—who personally became really convinced that there is an environmental emergency for the planet, and that steps really have to be taken to try to save the planetary environment and prevent all this degradation which is causing critical problems throughout the world—even if some (or even many) individuals in the ruling class became personally convinced of that, and even if they tried to institute a few reforms here or there, they would quickly run up against the limitations and obstacles of their own system! The capitalist-imperialist system is simply not set up and structured in such a way as to allow the kind of radical transformations that are actually needed to resolve the global environmental crisis. Because of the underlying structures and “rules of functioning” of their aggressively competitive and profit-driven system, capitalists are simply not capable, they do not have the material basis, to actually resolve this planetary environmental problem, with sufficient scope and scale, under the current system.

This is all very important to understand, and once again it takes science to deeply understand that you can’t just “convince” rulers to change, because they are themselves completely caught up in the rules and machinery of their own system, whether they like it or not. The machinery of the capitalist-imperialist system has basic rules of functioning, “rules” which ultimately cannot be changed without changing the type of system we live under. If you don’t understand this...if you think the way to change the world...if you think, for instance, that the way to keep the police from killing unarmed Black youth is to just to do a few “reforms,” like putting body cameras on the cops, or just do better education and training for the cops, you’re going to have a rude awakening, because their system will keep regenerating this form of terror and oppression. It can’t not do it.

Same thing with all those other situations. If you think that just empowering a few women or girls, in a few instances here or there, is going to get rid of the burden of the systemic oppression of women in this country and around the world, you’re deluding yourself. If you think that just expressing the people’s will not to go to war is actually going to be enough to ultimately put an end to all these imperial wars, you are also deluding yourself. And if you think that convincing the capitalists that it’s better for their bottom line to not degrade the environment so much, or that their children and grandchildren will suffer if we don’t actually save this planet...if you think that’s going to be enough to solve the global environmental crisis, you’re also deluding yourself.

Protest? Yes. Definitely. Protests are very important. It’s very important for masses of people, here and all over the world, to make clear that they won’t tolerate and be complicit in and accept any more these egregious abuses and injustices. It is important to say: NO, we won’t take this any more. As I’ve said before, it is part of building the strength of the people. But you have to go further and understand that there are built-in contradictions within the way economies and politics are set up under certain systems and that those underlying contradictions—there are clusters of them that lead to horrible injustices and abuses—are simply not resolvable by the capitalists, under a capitalist system. You need a different economy, you need a different ideology, you need a different worldview, you need different social objectives. You need different forces coming to the fore to implement that. You need state power. The people have to organize themselves for an actual revolution. And, you know, in the course of just this interview, I can’t really go into all the patterns that prove that those underlying contradictions of this system cannot be resolved by the system, but there is accumulated evidence, including very much spoken to in the extensive body of work of BA, that has been developed over decades, over more than 40 years. The work has been done, the work is deep and profound, it is scientific, it is methodical and systematic. And people should critically examine it, they should engage it, they should study it. It should not be dismissed by anyone superficially. It is getting at the underlying deeper problems and corresponding solutions.

I’ll just say this, and then I’ll stop for a minute on this point [laughs], but one of the most encouraging things about science, too, is that it shows you the potential for positive change, how we could change things in some really good ways. If you don’t have science, you’re kind of bopping around in life, running into problems, maybe solving a small problem here or there, but more problems keep coming up, and you don’t know what you’re doing, basically. But with science you can systematically figure out not only the source of the problems, but also what the basis is for positive change. One of the things that people don’t understand very often is that the basis for the revolutionary transformation of a society, of a social system, where that basis is located—it actually resides right within the contradictions of the system. In fact, right within those contradictions I was just talking about—the really big ones that this system cannot fix itself, that it cannot ultimately resolve. The fact that they can’t resolve these big things and that they keep driving people into the ground in different ways, actually creates the conditions which move in the direction...actually creates the basis for people to be able to work on those contradictions, to bring the people forward, in the thousands, in the millions, to move towards the ability to organize for an actual revolution, and build a new society on a whole different basis. That won’t resolve every problem overnight, obviously. But many, many of the big problems can be resolved to a great degree, thanks to science, and thanks to the conscious initiative of people organizing themselves collectively for an actual revolution.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/skybreak-the-new-synthesis-of-communism-solid-core-and-elasticity-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 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

The New Synthesis of Communism, Solid Core and Elasticity

April 3, 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.

Question: Well, we’re definitely gonna get more directly into the new synthesis of communism that BA has brought forward that you mentioned, pretty soon. But in terms of the method that BA models in all of his work, including at this Dialogue, one thing that was called to mind for me by what you were just saying is the relationship between the point you’re making about constantly going for the truth and another key dimension of this new synthesis of communism, which is the approach of solid core with a lot of elasticity. So, I wondered if you wanted to also talk about how this Dialogue was an example of applying solid core with a lot of elasticity.

AS: Well, I think this relationship between solid core, and lots of elasticity on the basis of that solid core, is a real hallmark of Bob Avakian’s entire body of work, of the whole new synthesis. It is in evidence in everything he does and writes and talks about, and it was in evidence at the Dialogue. I mean, one of the things you can count on with Bob Avakian is that he will tell you what his most developed and advanced analysis and synthesis has brought him to understand. He will share that with the world without hesitation, regardless of how popular or unpopular it is, and he will back it up with evidence. And anybody who wants the proof can look into his works and how he got to certain things, certain conclusions about the nature of the system and the way forward, and so on. But one of the things that he’s understood, in the course of studying deeply the experience of the first wave of socialist revolutions, and the positive and negative experiences of the past, is that he’s come to appreciate even more deeply the need for a scientific method that you might think of as neither too rigid nor too loose. [laughs]

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

Good science, you know, does not just go out into the world with a big question mark without any kind of developed theory. In order to advance science, you go out into the world with a framework of certain analyses that have accumulated over time. You make your best possible analysis and synthesis at any given time. And then you go out and test it further against reality. That’s what scientists do. And, in the course of that, you discover that some things that you thought were true are in fact very much true—you see some patterns that maybe you expected—and you often also get some surprises, you learn some things you didn’t expect, you find out you were wrong in some instances, and you learn from that as well. That enables you to make an even more advanced analysis and synthesis. And you go on from there. That’s how good scientific knowledge advances. And Bob Avakian models that in everything he does, in my opinion. That’s why I think there’s really no one like him in terms of taking a really consistently good scientific approach to societal issues and the positive transformation of society.

And what you saw at the time of the Dialogue—you’re looking at a guy who’s really a statesman. People say sometimes, “Well, we need to change things, but there’s no leadership.” Well, you want leadership?—there’s leadership. There is leadership that is not hesitating. There is leadership that has the confidence that has been built up on analyses and syntheses of world experience, and the experience of this country, and the experience of the communist movement and revolutionary movements, on the whole human history of experience, which has been studied and analyzed for decades. He’s got a lot under his belt that way, and he has no hesitation at sharing with the people what he has learned, in a very coherent way. That is leadership, and that is the solid core of his leadership.

At the same time, it’s very much part of his scientific understanding of things that communism and the transformation of society—this is not a religion, this is not a dogma, this is not catechism, it is not a set of precepts or rules, it’s not the Ten Commandments. It’s a living science that must always be open to learning from some new directions and new experience and new information, new data coming in, which can both reinforce and further substantiate what you already understand, and also call some parts of it into question and allow you to develop it even further. It’s not a static process. Science is a very dynamic process, correctly understood. So, one of the things that you see is...why is he even bothering to do something like this Dialogue? Why is he speaking to such a diverse audience? It’s not like most people there were communists. Most people there were not won over to everything—he’s not preaching to the converted. Again, it’s not a religion. He’s bringing science to the people, and he’s calling on people to engage it and to bring some of their own experiences to bear and bring new insights into further deepening the truth and further deepening analyses.

But what he’s also not doing is making the opposite mistake that people can make. On the one hand, there’s the mistake of dogmatism and a religious approach—acting like, instead of a science, communism is just a bunch of precepts or a catechism that you should recite and that has that kind of rigidity. No. Real life, real nature, and real human society is much too dynamic to be forced into these dry little precepts and cubicles! But the opposite mistake people can make epistemologically is to act as if nothing can ever really be known, nothing is ever certain. Acting like, just because it’s right to question everything you can never be sure of anything, that there’s never anything you can ever base yourself on to go forward, to learn more—basically arguing for all elasticity all the time, so that there’s no longer any solid core to anything at all. It’s like what prevails a lot in university circles these days: a tremendous amount of philosophical relativism, where people will literally say to you things like: “Well, there’s your truth and then there’s my truth, we can all have our truths, and you can have your narrative and I can have my narrative, and who’s to say what’s right or wrong.” In my view, such extreme relativism is not just idiotic, it’s unconscionable.

If you never have any scientific certitude about anything, you’re going to have a lot of disasters and you’re not going to move forward. For instance, in the natural sciences, if you’re trying to solve a huge environmental problem, or cure a serious disease, or send a probe into space to explore Mars, or whatever, you’d better be starting off with a certain solid core of scientific certitude, to the best of your ability, even while recognizing that some parts of your understanding and approach may not be perfect. In fact, you can almost always predict that you will be learning some new things that will call some parts of your understanding and approach into question. But you’d better start off with an initial scaffolding or template which involves a certain core of certitude, of scientific certitude, that has been built up over time through the accumulation of historical experience and the subsequent scientific sifting through and “triaging” of that historical experience. This allows you to say, OK, we’re going out into the world applying these scientific hypotheses and theories, and we’re going to further test them and develop them and no doubt learn many new things along the way. But if you don’t set out with some scientific certitude, with some solid core to put out in the world, you won’t be able to accomplish anything. If you don’t think there’s anything you can reliably base yourself on...you might as well be floating in a vacuum! If you’re trying to figure out how to cure cancer or some other terrible disease, you can assume that there will likely be some flaws and shortcomings in your understanding at any given time, but you’d better be willing to apply the best accumulated understanding to date and use this as a basis to further experiment and try to transform reality, and then to further sum up and analyze in order to enable even further advances in solving the problems.

Bob Avakian models that kind of scientific approach. He doesn’t tell you everything in the past was perfect. Or that everything in his own understanding was perfect. Or there won’t be any mistakes made in the future. He never tells you that. He tells you that we have to learn to apply a scientific method and approach in order to systematically analyze and sort out what is true from what is not true to the best of our ability at any given point in history and in an ongoing way.

And, of course, if you’re talking about social transformation, you have to attach your scientific method to a moral conscience. You have to actually be proceeding back from certain objectives. If you’re a natural scientist, maybe your objective is to figure out the effects of deforestation of a rain forest, or something like that. If you’re a social scientist and you’re a revolutionary communist, your objective is to actually move towards a better world, a world that transcends class divisions and accomplishes what’s been called the “4 Alls.” The “4 Alls” refers to a formulation by Marx where he said that reaching the goal of communism requires the abolition of all class divisions, of all the production relations on which those class divisions rest, of all the social relations that correspond to those production relations, and the revolutionizing of all the ideas that correspond to those social relations. You’re moving in that direction of a communist society, and you’re understanding some of the contradictions involved today in the process of seizing power, in the process of building a new socialist society on a completely different economic footing and with different objectives and different social relations being fostered and fought for. You’re moving in a certain direction.

So, today a revolutionary communist should be proceeding back from that longer term goal of bringing into being the kind of society that would be truly emancipatory for the majority of humanity. And that should be what you’re continually double-checking: Is the work going in the right direction? Is it moving towards, rather than away from, those stated objectives? The work may go down some wrong paths, and you can hopefully recognize that soon enough and correct course and learn from those mistakes. Any good scientist will tell you that you can even learn a lot from your mistakes and your wrong directions, as long as you consistently apply scientific methods to their analysis and summation. But if you don’t apply consistent scientific methods, you are much more likely to get devastated by mistakes and misdirections.

Bob Avakian has said that all truths are good for the proletariat, that everything that is actually true can help us go in the direction of communism. And that’s really true. You can learn. And in the Dialogue you can see him actually struggling with the audience to understand that. He knows he’s talking to an audience that harbors a lot of misconceptions, a lot of prejudices—it’s an audience that is full of intelligent people but people who do not know much of anything about how society is structured and organized, or what it would take to actually remake society on a much more positive basis. There’s very little science, there’s very little materialism in society today. I don’t care how educated people are, most people don’t know anything, frankly, when it comes to understanding society and how to transform it. I don’t hesitate to say that. And Bob Avakian is modeling the solid core, in that he’s saying, Look, I’ve been at this for decades, I’ve been applying scientific methods. There’s a lot that I’ve learned, there’s a lot I can share with you about how this system is constructed, about these outrages like police murders and all these other outrages. Why do they happen? Why do they keep happening? Why will they continue to happen until we get rid of this system?

He has a lot of solid core material, a lot of scientific certitude that he can bring to bear. And, at the same time, he has these very wide arms, that are open to bringing together people who have a lot of different perspectives and to drawing from broad insights and experience, including, in this case, his very warm and productive rapport with Cornel West, who proceeds from a different philosophical epistemology, but who shares many of the same concerns.

There is much we can learn from these diverse frameworks, but they have to be sorted out and they have to be harnessed and directed. The elasticity shouldn’t just be a random mush. It should constantly be brought back together with the solid core to direct it and channel it. A good scientist does try to direct and channel things in positive directions in order to resolve problems. And that is part of what you’re seeing—you’re seeing it in the course of the Dialogue. There’s a great deal of confidence and certitude of the scientist who’s done a lot of work, and who knows that his work is very advanced, and who knows that many of his critics have never really engaged the material with any real substance. And, at the same time, he’s opening his arms out very widely, both in encouraging critical thinking and in learning from a lot of different experiences in the past and in the present, all for the purpose of leading in a direction that would actually be good for the majority of humanity.

Another thing you could get from the Dialogue, in terms of what Bob Avakian was modeling, was something of a feel for the kind of society he’s arguing should be brought into being. I think people are often surprised when they read or in other ways encounter Bob Avakian. People often come with all sorts of societal prejudices, misconceptions and stereotypes, about communists being some kind of dry and humorless dogmatists, but then they encounter Bob Avakian and discover that he is completely different from what they expected. And this is precisely because of the kind of scientific method and approach he takes to the transformation of society and working towards the goal of emancipating all of humanity. He’s very lively, and he has a tremendous generosity of spirit. And he’s very funny. That’s always something you hear people say—I never knew he was so funny! At the same time, he’s dead serious, he’s absolutely dead serious about what he’s about. And his rage, his anger, his outrage at the injustices of society, the depth with which he feels every one of those police murders of Black youth, for instance, he’s not putting on a show, this is something that is profoundly felt. Everybody comments on that—that his sense of outrage is very real, his seriousness and determination to do away with all this is very real. And, at the same time, he can combine that hard core seriousness and science with an approach that is lively and generous and full of humor and that embraces life in all its many dimensions. And that, I think, says something about the kind of world that he’s arguing to bring into being, and the methods for doing so.

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

U.S. Airstrike Kills 230 People in Mosul, Iraq

April 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We were all huddled in one room at the back of the house, 18 of us, three families. But when the house next door was bombed, it collapsed on us, precisely over the room we were sheltering in. My son Yusef, nine, and my daughter Shahad, three, were killed, together with my brother Mahmoud, his wife Manaya and their nine-year-old son Aws, and my niece Hanan. She was cradling her five-month-old daughter, who survived, thank God.

Amnesty International Report on the U.S./Coalition airstrike on Mosul,
March 17, 2017

Outrage is growing around the world as more details are coming out about the horrific—and criminal—slaughter of more than 200 innocent civilians, most of them women and children, by massive U.S. and coalition airstrikes inside the city of Mosul on March 17. Iraqi news puts the number of Iraqis killed that day at 230. This is the greatest number of civilian deaths from a U.S. military strike in decades.

As usual, the U.S. command overseeing the U.S. and coalition forces denied responsibility for the carnage. First, they claimed the deaths were not a result of the bombing, but from booby traps set by fundamentalist Islamic State (ISIS) forces. They also blamed ISIS troops for using civilians as “human shields.” But as rescue workers, reporters, and human rights groups like Amnesty International (AI) went into the area to examine the neighborhoods destroyed, the accounts by Iraqis who survived the horror painted a different picture. According to witnesses and survivors, there was no doubt that bombs dropped from jets caused the devastation, the massive numbers killed, and destruction of as many as 50 houses—and not explosives left in homes.

Not until 11 days after the massacre did the commanding U.S. general admit that “there was at least a fair chance” the U.S. was responsible for the civilian deaths.

According to the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), more than 286,000 civilians living in Mosul have been forced to flee their homes since the start in October of the U.S. coalition assault aimed at driving ISIS forces out of Mosul. But hundreds of thousands more have followed the Iraqi government’s repeated instructions to stay put until they are reached by troops.

Imagine the human consequences of what this U.S. imperialist monster is doing in Iraq, Syria, and many other countries in the region; and the fact that “collateral damage”—the killing of innocent Iraqi people—means nothing to these ghouls.

A New York Times reporter described “a panorama of destruction in the neighborhood of Mosul Jidideh so vast one resident compared the destruction to that of Hiroshima, Japan, where the United States dropped an atomic bomb in World War 2.” The reporter continued: “There was a charred arm, wrapped in a piece of red fabric, poking from the rubble; rescue workers in red jump suits who wore face masks to avoid the stench, some with rifles slung over their shoulders, searched the wreckage for bodies.”

On January 28, Trump signed a national security memorandum giving the military 30 days to bring him a plan to defeat the Islamic State. He said he wanted the plan to include “relaxing the rules of engagement”—in line with his fascist regime’s hyper-aggressive military foreign policy. And this is taking place at the same time the U.S. military is intensifying its operations in both Iraq and Syria. The Trump/Pence regime has added hundreds of additional forces to the assault on Mosul, and 500 more ground troops have been sent into Syria—both locations where ISIS fighters are concentrated. And the U.S. military reports that an incredible 500 so-called “precision-guided” munitions a week were dropped on Mosul in March.

Amnesty International in its report said the fact that residents were being told to remain at home meant the coalition had to know that airstrikes were likely to result in civilian casualties. And AI expressly made the point that any failure to take precautions to prevent civilian casualties would be “in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law” and constitute war crimes.

“International humanitarian law (also called the laws of war),” said AI, “demands that all feasible precautions must be taken by warring parties to a conflict to minimize harm to civilians, and that attacks must not cause disproportionate harm to civilians—that is, damage which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.”

The U.S.-led, record-breaking, one-day civilian massacre inside Mosul is yet more evidence that the global agenda of the fascist Trump/Pence regime is truly a threat to humanity and MUST BE DRIVEN OUT.

       

 

 


 

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Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Alabama's St. Clair Prison: A Sentence to Hell and the Need for a Whole New Future

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

An Appeal to Those the System has Cast Off

The U.S. has by far the largest prison system in the world, with over two million people behind bars. It also has one of the most brutal.

Case in point, Alabama’s St. Clair prison, the subject of a recent article in the New York Times (“An Alabama Prison’s Unrelenting Descent Into Violence,” March 28, 2017). There, over 1,000 men face severe overcrowding, lack of educational or medical facilities, and most of all, the constant threat of violence, 24-7.

First, there’s the brutality from the authorities, who have complete contempt for the lives of the inmates. A former St. Clair warden admitted that many guards had a “cut-off ax handle mentality” about how to treat prisoners. And violence against inmates is almost a condition for promotion. One supervisor was repeatedly disciplined, including for punching an inmate in the face while he was restrained; he was later promoted to deputy warden. And in 2014, the St. Clair warden punched a handcuffed inmate twice in the head for swearing. Nothing happened to him. A lawsuit filed by Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), describes numerous beatings at the hands of guards, including of shackled inmates, resulting in broken bones or stitches.

Meanwhile, the same suit reveals that suicidal inmates have been given razor blades by guards, and others have been told, “If you die, you die.” Denied medical care, many inmates have lost use of arms or legs, or died unnecessarily. Ill inmates have been placed under “do not resuscitate” orders without their consent.

But on top of the damage prison authorities wreak directly, they also create a situation where inmates and gangs caught up in the predatory outlook of this system have free rein and power in the prison. Inmates receive almost nothing from the institution and have almost nothing to do, but guards funnel drugs and other contraband into the hands of some prisoners who then are in a position of power, creating a situation where people have to bargain, steal, or fight for whatever they need. Failure to make a payment on contraband means a beat-down or worse. A prison expert cited in the Times said that “The frequency of assaults resulting in life-threatening injuries is quite simply among the highest I have [ever] observed.”

The prison authorities claim that “Our priority is on inmate and staff safety.” But this lie is exposed by the fact that locks on cells have not worked effectively for over 30 years, meaning that inmates may wake up in the middle of the night with an armed intruder in the cell to rape, beat or rob him. And when inmates complain to the authorities about violent threats, they are often told “get a knife”! Many inmates have been murdered in their cells. All this would be vastly reduced just by effectively locking the cells!

This system of capitalism-imperialism treats people in the oppressed communities like garbage with no chance at a decent future. It pumps the people (and the whole society) full of the dog-eat-dog, look-out-for-number-one ideology that is the real religion of the capitalist system. Then the rulers of this system lock people up in even more brutal and violent conditions. And now, they are using the inevitable violence among the prisoners to justify even more repression.

EJI and other groups are fighting for better health care, more educational programs and to prevent the most vicious brutality, and that’s good as far as it goes. But the actual solution is a whole new society fit for and nurturing of all human beings.

If you want to learn more about how the communists see the problem of crime, the role and transformation of prisoners today in the revolutionary struggle, and how prisons themselves will be radically transformed after the revolution, check out the following:

Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, in particular the section on “Legal and Civil Rights and Liberties” (p. 64)

Bob Avakian’s On Choices...And Radical Changes and More on Choices...And Radical Changes

BA’s An Appeal to Those This System Has Cast Off

 

 


 

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Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Trump's Dept. of Justice Says:
How Can Police "Do Their Job" If They're Criticized for Brutalizing and Murdering Black and Brown People?

April 5, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This is what America does
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Trump and Pence will mean hell for Black people
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The nightmare of police brutality and murder—with hundreds of unarmed people, disproportionately Black and Brown, killed by pigs every year—triggered an eruption of mass protests in recent years. Trump ran his campaign on an openly racist “law and order” platform, with wide support from police organizations. Now the Trump/Pence regime is making clear the days are over when there were even limited official restraints imposed on police.

On April 2, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a Department of Justice (DOJ) memo announcing a “review” of all policies and practices overseeing U.S. police. Since 2009, the DOJ has issued 23 reports on “patterns and practices” of brutality and racism in local police departments. These have led to 14 court-supervised “consent decrees” between local authorities and the DOJ that aim to restrict or reduce the most egregious police practices. These decrees did not change the nature of the police as brutal, armed enforcers for this system, but they did impose some changes and constraints—actually designed to maintain the legitimacy of the police and make them more effective enforcers.

The DOJ memo points to (nonexistent) “rising crime rates” as justification for focusing on helping “promote officer safety, officer morale and public respect for their work.” And it warns, “The misdeeds of individual bad actors should not impugn or undermine the legitimate and honorable work that law enforcement officers perform.”

So the DOJ is now saying that the police as a whole are doing great and that the past reports exaggerated a few “bad apples,” which undercut and hindered their ability to “do their job.” Trump’s DOJ is sending a clear signal to the pigs around the country: “If you were ‘wearing gloves,’ take them off—we won’t get in your way, we’ve got your back.”

This talk about “individual bad actors” is complete bullshit. As limited as they were, the DOJ reports didn’t reveal just a few extreme cases but gave glimpses of the day-in, day-out brutality and racism that governs millions of interactions between the pigs and Black and Brown people, and that hold whole peoples in an oppressed condition.

In Cleveland, Ohio, the DOJ examined 600 use of force incidents and found systematic brutality. The Cleveland consent decree bans pistol-whipping, using force against people who “talk back,” tasing people who are handcuffed, and brutalizing people who are mentally ill!

In Ferguson, Missouri, the DOJ said that violations of people’s constitutional rights permeate “nearly every aspect of Ferguson police and court operations.” Black people were targeted for petty traffic or jaywalking violations, bleeding them with fines to finance the city budget; thousands were branded with misdemeanors when they couldn’t pay—charges that keep people from getting jobs or housing, making “chains” of “paper” just as surely as the slaveholders of old used iron. Cops and city officials routinely circulated disgusting racist jokes.

In Baltimore, a city of 620,000, the DOJ found that cops made hundreds of thousands of stops a year, overwhelmingly of Black people and without cause. In one of the incidents cited in the DOJ report, cops pulled over a Black woman for a missing headlight, forced her to strip naked in the street, and subjected her to a cavity search.

It’s the same thing in city after city. And now, Sessions’ “review” heralds unprecedented levels of police brutality and murder to come. This escalation of force against the oppressed is a core and driving element of the Trump/Pence fascist program: the violent reassertion of naked white supremacy. This savagery carries with it the potential for genocidal leaps, as Trump’s threats to send the National Guard to Chicago portend.

This CANNOT be tolerated—not by the people who are directly under attack, and not by anyone with a shred of conscience. The fight against police terror and murder urgently needs to become much more powerful, and a key front in the battle to drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime.

 

 


 

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Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Trump Doesn't Give a Damn About Children and Babies

NO U.S. BOMBING OF SYRIA!

April 6, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Donald Trump now cares about “innocent children, innocent babies”? The same Donald Trump who’s ripped innocent children and babies from their immigrant parents’ arms when ICE agents snatch and deport them? The same Donald Trump who’s condemned innocent refugee children and babies to a living hell by trying to block them from entering the U.S.? He says the horrific pictures of the children in Syria killed by gas moved him, but where was his concern when a photo showed the body of a young refugee boy washed up on the beaches of the Mediterranean? The same Donald Trump who is creating a climate of terror and violence against Muslims, parents as well as innocent children and babies? What a sick, putrid lie!

But that’s what this fascist liar came up with to justify seizing the moment and acting the “strong man” to launch a massive cruise missile assault on a Syrian military base: the U.S. government was supposedly outraged by the Syrian government’s alleged attack on April 4 against a town controlled by anti-Assad forces, reportedly with chemical weapons including the nerve gas sarin. More than 80 people were killed.

It could well be true that the reactionary Assad regime attacked people with chemical weapons. This would be a monstrous crime—as is any use of weapons of mass destruction and killing of civilians. But the U.S. imperialists make Assad look like a petty street thug. The U.S. is the only country which has ever dropped nukes—instantly incinerating more than150,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U.S. massively burned Vietnamese people to death with napalm. And Trump’s own secretary of defense James Mattis ordered the use of white phosphorous—a chemical weapon which gets so hot it melts people’s skin and eyes—during the 2004 U.S. assault on Fallujah, in Iraq.

Just in the last month the U.S. imperialists have murdered hundreds of innocent civilians—including children and babies—in Iraq and Syria. And while the Trump/Pence regime is crying crocodile tears about babies in Syria, they are preparing to escalate their support for Saudi Arabia’s barbaric air war and blockade of Yemen, which has pushed some 14 million people to the brink of starvation.

So the U.S. rulers have no goddamn right to even open their mouths—let alone launch military attacks. They need to shut the fuck up about mass murder and weapons of mass destruction!

These imperialists don’t give a damn about women, children, babies—any human being. They’re fighting for reactionary imperialist interests: namely to maintain their domination of the Middle East, which has been a seven-decade horror for the hundreds of millions who live there. This is why on the same day Trump launched the missiles, the bloodthirsty Hillary Clinton—the system’s so-called “alternative” to Trump—called for military attacks against Syria.

We don’t know all the facts of what Assad may or may not have done, or what the Trump/Pence regime’s next moves are. What we do know is that absolutely nothing good for the people anywhere will come from U.S. aggression. Just look at the last 15 years—U.S. wars, invasions, occupations, and attacks in the region have resulted in unimaginable suffering for millions. The U.S. rulers do not have one iota of genuine concern for people’s lives—or about the use of barbaric weapons!

The U.S. actions are not in the interests of the people, around the world and in the U.S. itself. People need to condemn and actively oppose this aggression!

Trump and the U.S. Don't Give a Damn About Children
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Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Raymond Lotta Responds to Ridiculous and Harmful New York Times Article Linking Donald Trump and Mao Zedong

April 6, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


On April 4, the New York Times featured an article by Chris Buckley entitled “Maoists for Trump? In China, Fans Admire His Nationalist Views.” The article details the views of some self-described “Maoists” in China, apparently in and outside the Communist Party of China, who see in the fascist Donald Trump a voice of neglected working people and the poor—and whose ultra-chauvinism is a model for an aggressive “China first” nationalism. Who exactly these “Maoists” are, and how accurate the article’s characterizations, I cannot say—but some basic truths need to be set forth! On April 5, I sent the letter below to the New York Times.

For deeper analysis of Mao and the historical experience and lessons of the Chinese revolution, see Bob Avakian, The Cultural Revolution in China...Art and Culture... Dissent and Ferment...and Carrying Forward the Revolution Toward Communism, and the e-book/interview with me on the history of communist revolution in the 20th century—available at thisiscommunism.org.

~~~~~~~~~~

TO THE EDITOR OF THE NEW YORK TIMES

The “Maoists for Trump” profiled in Chris Buckley’s April 4 article have as much in common with what Mao actually stood for as China today has with socialism and communism—which is to say, nothing. The principal point of Mao’s life was to free humanity from the yoke of capitalism-imperialism, the system Trump embodies.

Mao launched the Cultural Revolution precisely to prevent a neo-capitalist elite within the Chinese Communist Party from seizing power and dragging China down the road of capitalism. These “capitalist roaders” won after Mao died in 1976—turning China into a society of savage exploitation, social inequality, and environmental pillage.

Mao may have had a secondary aspect of nationalism. But overall he fought to carry socialist revolution forward and advance world revolution—not to make China an equally oppressive, prideful plunderer of the planet. Mao and Trump are polar opposites. To try to link the two by showcasing some in China who falsely claim Mao’s mantle for their nationalist chauvinism would be a cruel joke were it not for the long-standing distortion by the mainstream media, the New York Times included, of Mao and the history of the Chinese revolution.

RAYMOND LOTTA

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/tour-first-leg-one-month-on-road-to-drive-out-fascist-regime-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

A Report on Leg One of the RefuseFascism.org National Organizing Tour

From New York City to El Paso, Texas: a Month on the Road Organizing to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime

From the RefuseFascism.org National Tour Volunteers

April 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Introduction

The National Organizing Tour to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime traveled for a month, venturing out from New York City and driving our van all the way to El Paso, Texas—a total of 6,000 miles round trip! We stopped in Washington, DC; Greensboro, Durham, and Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Montgomery, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Houston, Austin, as well as El Paso. We hosted organizing meetings, participated in informal gatherings and discussions, led rallies and marches, spent time on several university campuses, and made a powerful impact at the South by Southwest festival in Austin.

We passed out tens of thousands of Calls to Action, tens of thousands of stickers, hundreds of posters, and raised thousands of dollars. We visited preexisting Refuse Fascism chapters and many places without them. People opened their homes to us, cooked us meals, and spent time talking with us about the movement to drive out this fascist regime, and how they can contribute. Beyond these wonderful, welcoming hosts, we encountered widespread and often fierce anti-Trump/Pence sentiments.

We began as a group of six and grew to 10 at our peak. We embarked on this busy, important, exciting, and enlightening Tour with a series of goals: to educate people about fascism, how it is manifested in this regime, why we must drive them out, and how we can accomplish this; to bring the message “NO! In the name of humanity we REFUSE  to accept a fascist America” to every corner of society and to distribute posters, stickers, and the Call to Action to help others carry out this essential task; to travel to hotspots of struggle, building resistance and connecting up with people who are fighting back; and to organize anyone who wants to protect humanity to become leaders of this movement to bring millions into the streets until the Trump/Pence Regime is driven from power.

Below we’ve provided a collectively created summary to share some highlights of our experiences and a few of the most common patterns of responses and questions among the many people we encountered. Although we can’t fully capture all of the elucidating conversations and important moments, we have tried to synthesize and draw out some key conclusions that will be most useful for continuing and strengthening our vital, urgent, and undeniably necessary movement to drive out the Trump/Pence fascist regime for the sake of all of humanity and the planet.

Charlotte, NC

One of the richest and productive meetings we had was in Charlotte. The fact that this wasn’t a main stop on our Tour underscores the potential this revealed. Two Tour volunteers were arrested during Jeff Sessions’ Senate attorney general confirmation hearing, and when they were in court they met protesters who had disrupted the secretary of state hearing of Rex Tillerson. One of those arrested lives in Charlotte. She invited a few people for breakfast as the Tour made its way from Greensboro down to Atlanta. Twenty-five people showed up.

We were joined by activists from Indivisible and MoveOn.org, Resist Trump Tuesdays organizers, college and high school students, youths from a communist collective, and the Greenpeace activist who had been arrested at the Rex Tillerson hearing. The meeting began in “a very Southern way,” as one Charlotte activist put it. A reverend and professor, who is affiliated with the NAACP, led a prayer about the importance of equality and rights for all people. We were blown away by the enthusiasm of the crowd, their powerful sense of urgency, and consistent participation throughout the meeting and afterwards.

We presented about the Call to Action. After a volunteer gave a compelling fundraising pitch, a community activist did her own fund pitch for the Tour. 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 as well as issues in North Carolina, specifically the anti-transgender House Bill 2. We grappled together with this relationship between local activism and the national need to drive out this regime at many stops along the tour (HB2 in North Carolina, a resolution in El Paso against granting city contracts to companies that work on the Border Wall, the fight over Austin’s “sanctuary city” status that is under attack by the federal and state authorities). We worked to unite with, amplify the voices, and strengthen the resistance of people on the front lines of these battles. At the same time, we struggled for this crucial understanding from The Call: “This resistance is righteous and necessary, but it is not sufficient. We must recognize that the character of fascism is that it can absorb separate acts of resistance while continually throwing the opposition off balance by rapidly moving its agenda forward. The Trump/Pence regime will repeatedly launch new highly repressive measures, eventually clamping down on all resistance and remaking the law... IF THEY ARE NOT DRIVEN FROM POWER.” We encouraged people to take the Call to Action and the NO! stickers and posters into the local protests and across the city, which most of the people at the meeting enthusiastically pledged to do.

The reverend asked whether the message of NO!, while powerful, may be too negative. He asked, what exactly are we saying “yes” to? One Tour volunteer gave our audience a 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. One volunteer asked people who would be interested in joining the new Refuse Fascism chapter to raise their hands. Then she asked who would host the first meeting. A new chapter was set up and planned a conference call with the Refuse Fascism National Office. We received donations and distributed more materials than we had at any previous meeting. Afterward, all of the volunteers had more intimate conversations with attendees. 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.

Austin, TX

The Tour spent a week in Austin for the South by Southwest festival, which draws hundreds of thousands of people from across the United States and around the world to celebrate music, film, art, and educational programs. We worked together with innovation and the determination to create a disruptive and striking visual presence. We spent most of our time at the busiest intersections of the festival with our “NO! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime!” banner and our giant Trump puppet, with his recognizable orange face, in a white KKK hood, which was created from thrifted materials by one amazingly artistic Tour volunteer.

We worked to involve people immediately—holding the banner, speaking on the megaphone, chanting, drumming, or passing out fliers and stickers—as well as throughout the week, by attending our meetings and protest and coming out with us in the streets each day, and finally by becoming organizers for Refuse Fascism chapters back where they live.

We frequently drew crowds of people who took photos and posted on their social media with #NoFascistUSA. We struck up conversations with passersby They were generally very intrigued by us, the majority of them held strong anti-Trump sentiments.

We signed people up from all around the world—Tokyo, Germany, UK, Chile, Peru, Mexico, India, California, New York, DC, Colorado, locals from Austin, as well as people from big cities and small towns throughout Texas—and passed out tons of stickers for people to wear around the festival. We used our megaphone to cause even more of a commotion, starting chants like “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” and asking people to shout out why they want to drive out this fascist regime. The involvement was great and we collected donations and gave out NO! posters.

We encountered more Trump supporters than we had previously—many of them were white military men, some even showed Confederate symbols (on flag phone cases or wallets). Far more frequently, people asked, “What makes them fascists?” or, “How can we drive them out?” The mood was one of widespread curiosity, provoking countless interactions that made it difficult to keep up! It was indispensably helpful to have assistance from those we had met at our meetings and our Teach-In.

Our group also headed to a few shows, including two ¡Outernational! concerts. The band’s drummer wore a NO! Refuse Fascism T-shirt while performing. They passed out NO! stickers with their show times handwritten on the back, and gave a shout-out to the Tour during their performance. It was great to hear awesome live music with fierce and unapologetic lyrics opposing Trump and calling for the fall of this fascist regime.

Another outspokenly anti-Trump artist, Residente from Calle 13, performed at a massive outdoor show called “All Latinos Resist,” where the Tour set up as well. As Residente was performing, he picked up our poster and read both sides, “¡NO! ¡A expulsar al régimen de Trump y Pence!” and “¡NO! ¡ ¡En nombre de la humanidad, nos NEGAMOS a aceptar a un Estados Unidos fascista!,” and “RefuseFascism.org.” This was an exciting moment in bringing our message to a huge audience, especially when factoring the extensive social media coverage of the concert, as well as a photograph of our sign in an article on NPR! After Residente’s show almost every single person eagerly took the materials and cheered us on. We circulated hundreds of NO! materials in just a few minutes!

Another amazing concert was called ContraBanned, featuring artists from countries attacked by Trump’s Muslim ban. Some wore stickers on stage or took pictures for social media holding posters. One Refuse Fascism volunteer interviewed a Libyan-American musician who articulated one of the primary goals of the concert as trying to “humanize all of these places” in response to Trump’s hateful rhetoric and recurring Muslim ban proposals. When asked about the Trump/Pence Regime, he replied, “This is straight fascism. It’s open xenophobia. It’s open bigotry. It’s open oppression. They’re not even trying to hide it... We’re not gonna stand for this anymore.”

       

College Campuses

The National Organizing Tour traveled to four college campuses: Howard University in DC; Duke University in Durham, NC; Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA; and University of Texas El Paso. All had widespread anti-Trump sentiment. At Howard, we connected with students from the Howard NAACP and a group called Howard Resist that has protested Jeff Sessions and secretary of education Betsy DeVos and condemned the photo-op of Trump with HBCU presidents. They also were demanding that Howard be a sanctuary campus and that Trump be banned from all HU buildings.

At Duke, a student told us she got over her denial about this political situation after her Ancient Greek Democracy professor changed the class to speak to what is happening in the U.S. now, without directly mentioning Trump. Many professors are adjusting their syllabi to grapple with the times. One professor at El Paso Community College put her class on hold for a week because students were eager to understand how Trump could have been elected.

Everywhere, we met students with a desire to get involved: from taking materials—stickers, posters, the Call to Action, hats, and T-shirts—to sitting down in one-on-one engagement on the content of the Call to Action. People appreciated the Tour coming to their campus, particularly because the message “Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime” was often new to what they had been thinking about or discussing in life or in their classrooms.

At UT El Paso, students, professors, and administrators donated and took stacks of posters, stickers, and Calls to their next classes, for friends, and more. They also encouraged others to stop by our table and talk with us. Several students and professors hovered around our table and joined the discussions with others. All of this reveals the potential of campuses to become hotbeds of intellectual ferment about fascism and sites of resistance. We need to encourage and further develop this through the second part of the Tour, which will focus on the Northeast campuses, and in every corner of society.

In El Paso, we met a student military veteran who had served 13 years, was deployed four times in Iraq, and then worked as a recruiter. He regrets all of this, but it did reveal to him how appalling and inexcusable many actions taken by the U.S. are. He had taken a Call to Action while walking past, but after skimming it quickly, he came back to talk with us and never made it to his class. His excitement was tangible, as he exclaimed that he had been saying all along that this is fascism and that more people need to wake up and listen.

Memorable moments like this occurred many times with students, academics, scholars, and professionals who were looking critically at this administration’s policies and rhetoric while attempting to connect the dots. Many of them were extremely receptive to this Call to Action, which stresses the understanding that this regime is fascist and must to be driven out.

Patterns and Trends We Encountered on the Tour

Throughout the Tour we reached all kinds of people, from all different social strata. Everywhere, we encountered a broad sentiment against Trump/Pence. This is important! This is the broad reservoir of tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people that Refuse Fascism has been working to tap into, transform, and organize into a powerful force to drive this regime out. The millions we need are out there—even in the “red” states—who hate this regime and don’t want to live in a Trump world. At the same time, there is a process of normalization and accommodation happening. Of course, we also encountered Trump supporters, who would usually just walk by and shout, “Trump! Trump!” They were often ignorant of basic history and facts about this country, and puffed up on misogyny and white American chauvinism. Convincing them was not the focus of this Tour. Here we want to focus on the three main trends/categories we identified regarding how the masses of people who are opposed to Trump responded to our message.

Widespread and Deep Anti-Trump Sentiment, but Not Yet Diving In

The predominant response can be summed up as, “Fuck Trump, keep up the good work! But I’m gonna keep on walking”—a sentiment against Trump but (at least on the surface and at the moment) resigned to having to accept four years of this regime. Often these people would have a visceral response to our banner or the Trump as KKK puppet. When asked about it, they would say things like, “I hate everything about him,” or, “I’m Mexican, of course I hate Trump.” This was deep and real, however often these same people had stopped paying attention to politics, more focused on living their lives. The understanding of fascism and the idea of driving them from power had not crossed their minds. When presented with the analysis and plan in the Call to Action, some gravitated to it, while others would resist—because they were “afraid to hope,” because they didn’t want to deal with the implications of what we are called on to do, because they didn’t really get how serious it is, because they didn’t get that the masses can change history through mass independent resistance. Some said, “Fuck Trump, I hope he gets impeached,” or, “He’s gonna get impeached,” with the hope and/or false confidence that someone “up there” will take care of the problem. Related to that, some people wrong-headedly thought Trump was on the verge of self-destructing and that the regime would implode on its own.

Finally, a Group That Is Saying What I’ve Been Feeling

A smaller but highly significant group of people responded more along the lines of, “Finally someone is saying what I’ve been thinking and feeling.” We met many dozens of these people. Some joined us on the spot to help hold the banner or distribute materials, some volunteered to join or help start Refuse Fascism chapters, some ran with the Tour while we were in their town or even joined the Tour to go to the next stop.

These tended to be people who had been paying closer attention to the different actions of the Trump regime and had been agonizing about it. Sometimes these were people from groups like Latino immigrants who are directly targeted by the regime. Many deeply believe in democratic principles they think the U.S. is supposed to stand for. Some know about the history of Nazi Germany and are alarmed at the parallels. What all of these people had in common is a real sense that this is an emergency and a feeling that we have to act now, as well as an excitement to find an organization (and Tour) that is bringing forward the truth that this is fascism and that no action short of driving them out of power will be sufficient.

At the meeting in Charlotte, a middle-aged Christian woman spoke very powerfully about how we don’t have much time because Trump will use any kind of alleged “terrorist” incident to justify a much more severe fascist clampdown. At University of Texas El Paso (UTEP), a young woman whose family is from Mexico and undocumented stayed with us all afternoon. She had gone to the Women’s March in El Paso and had been wondering what to do since then, and meeting us gave her direction. Another Latino student at UTEP was initially just filled with rage at Trump’s demonization of Mexicans and wanted to confront a pro-Trump student, but he really had a “light bulb moment” when we walked him through the analysis of Trump as a fascist and the comparison to Nazi Germany. He spent the afternoon with us passing out fliers, and he then came out the next day to our rally and march (in a dust storm!). As noted earlier, a Black student at UTEP (a military veteran in his 30s) took a Call to Action as he was walking, and ended up coming back to our table and staying all afternoon, completely missing his class. There were a number of people we met on the Tour who had this kind of reaction upon reading the Call to Action.

In Austin we stayed at the home of an elementary school teacher who teaches bilingual education and can see the effect of the Trump regime on his students. He recently started studying literature about fascism, and when he encountered Refuse Fascism at a No Ban, No Wall protest a few weeks ago, he felt like he had to get involved and is now committed to helping organize the chapter there. He also played an important role in the Teach-In we held in a library in Austin, bringing his understanding of the step-by-step process of the Nazis’ rise to power and ultimate “final solution.” One woman in Austin cooked dinner for the entire Tour, and she led a welcoming meeting for us by reading a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye called “Messenger,” about someone who had painted the message “Nothing is impossible” around her city. She then said, “Thank you to the Tour for coming here and showing us that nothing is impossible.” She later told us she would never have gotten so involved in organizing if the Tour had not come to Austin. Her decision to jump in headfirst, working with us every day we spent there and taking responsibility in starting a chapter after we leave, is described in this report.

Various Forms of Disagreement

We also ran into various kinds of disagreement, from generally progressive and seemingly radical people, with the analysis in the Call to Action that the Trump/Pence Regime is fascist and must be driven out. We encountered this both on the street and in some of the meetings we held.

Several people argued that the problem is not Trump and Pence. This took two forms. One person said the problem is the people who voted for Trump/Pence. We acknowledged how jarring it is that so many people voted for them (although not the majority) and what that says about how deep white supremacy, patriarchy, and “America first” chauvinism is in this society, and how unleashing this social base is actually part of how fascism functions: through reliance on fanatical thugs. But, we also struggled for people to see that this is part of a fascist reordering of society as a whole being led by the executive, where a fascist regime has seized the reins of power—including the power to sign executive orders, wage war and unleash nuclear destruction, and more—and that is the essential thing that must be DRIVEN OUT. A few others said that the problem is not Trump/Pence, it’s capitalism, which they said has always been fascist. They cited some important truths about the ugly history of the U.S. and elements of continuity between Trump/Pence and previous administrations which had also ramped up repression (the Patriot Act, the NSA, Obama’s deportations, etc.). But these were truths in the service of a larger illusion that what is happening with Trump really isn’t anything new and that they should just continue to do the same local organizing that they have been doing. The failure or refusal to grasp the qualitative change represented by fascism—versus the normal workings of capitalist democracy—on the part of some leftists, came up at many of the public meetings.

Another question that came up repeatedly was, “What comes after you drive them out?” This question tended to be posed against the need to drive them out. Some were motivated by their desire not to end up with a mainstream Democrat like Hillary. Others were motivated by fear of the upheaval involved in driving out a fascist regime. A couple of people cautioned that mass independent action of the people could lead to “violence,” arguing that change can only be made by voting and in particular by getting ready for the 2018 mid-term elections. We fought for the understanding that the Trump regime is fascist (which is not the same as the Democrats), and that is why they have to be driven out now, not in 2018. Our argument included the following: A) millions of lives and the environment (and future of the planet!) will be greatly damaged in irreversible ways in the next two years; B) every day under this regime, fascism is being normalized, “alternative facts” are poisoning minds, opposition forces are being purged, and dissent is being criminalized; C) this regime could use any “incident” to justify a fascist clampdown; D) this whole approach of relying on the Democrats and “politics as usual” while these Republi-fascists push things further to the right and the Dems keep reaching across the aisle to “work with” them and “give them a chance,” is part of what got us in this situation. We need to stop “looking up” to those in official positions of power to save us and start looking out at the millions of people who hate what is happening and start organizing ourselves into a powerful force to rise up and drive them out!

Conclusion

We learned through this Tour that the task of driving the Trump/Pence Regime from power is a mission that can empower millions throughout the U.S. and the world. The Tour brought people hope, along with a clear plan of action to end the oppression that this fascist regime is enacting and to stop their genocidal plans. People shared their stories and their fears for what the Trump/Pence Regime could mean for the future of themselves, the people they love, this country, and the planet. The Call to Action brought answers to the many questions people on the streets carried with them.

For many, the Tour and the message of Refuse Fascism signified a new opportunity to make a real difference for humanity, and a chance to take leadership to mobilize the millions to drive this fascist regime out of office. The Call to Action explains in depth exactly what needs to be done and why we must act fast, getting organized and mobilizing millions to flood the streets. The first Refuse Fascism National Tour is part of a broader national movement. Although we have arrived back in New York, we are not finished! We will continue moving forward, using all of our strength, energy, and abilities brought together until we drive the fascist Trump/Pence Regime from power, because it is necessary and urgent for all of humanity.

 

To join the movement to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime and/or to assist in the next leg of this Organizing Tour focused on the campuses of the Northeast, go to: www.RefuseFascism.org or write to: info@refusefascism.org.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/reader--we-have-no-common-cause-with-trump-to-attack-syria-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

From a Reader:

We Have NO Common Cause with Trump to Attack Syria—We’re on the Side of Humanity!

April 6, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Revcom.us received this letter from an outraged reader—we urge other revcom.us followers to correspond also.

I woke up this morning feeling the horrendous mess this world is in, seeing the images of people, children, murdered in Syria. The reports say it was a poison gas attack. Whether it was or not, it infuriated me to see this.

But then the day got even worse. Hillary Clinton called on America’s own Hitler to... can you guess?... bomb Syria some more! And the media like the New York Times and CNN were discussing the possibility of Trump launching an attack as if he were a “normal” president. Syria is one of those parts of the world caught in the cross-hairs of mind-numbing conflict between global imperialist gangsters and dark-ages theocrats—and now the liberal press and Democrats tell us all that we have common cause with the fascist America of Trump. They tell us that our interests are, after all, “American interests.” The same America that is the main reason this world is the disaster it is.

It is most infuriating that humanity is in such extreme peril, right now, because reptilian thugs and gangsters have the reins of power, and the other thugs and gangsters of the ruling class of this country are not capable, or willing, to stop this. And instead they today want to have us think of fascism as normal, supposedly because “Assad is worse.”

Really? Just weeks ago, on March16, a Trump-ordered U.S. airstrike obliterated a newly built mosque in Al-Jineh, Syria, during evening prayers, killing at least 46 people. The next day, March 17, more than 200 civilians were killed in a series of U.S. bombings of Mosul, Iraq. As I write this, CNN is reporting U.S. missiles launched against Syria tonight. Trump said during his campaign that he would “bomb the hell out of” people in the Middle East.

The Islamic jihadists who oppose the U.S. are an absolute nightmare. Assad and brutal rulers like him are a nightmare, as are Russia and other powers that back him. But to argue that siding with the U.S., and especially the fascist Trump/Pence regime, to deal with this is, to put it politely, absolutely disgusting. To argue that there is any common ground with fascism is to “normalize” and help with the roundups and assaults on immigrants, women, “other” religions and sexualities, the ghettoizing and clampdown on Black people, the devastation of the environment, and the clampdown and complete overturning of “rule of law” and any ability to fight for positive change in the face of all this.

The problems this system has in its plunder of the world are not our problems. Let’s get the world free of this.

And right now, let’s drive this fascist Trump/Pence regime from power before it is too late!

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/no-to-us-war-on-syria-protests-across-the-us-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

No to U.S. War on Syria! Protests Across the U.S.

Updated April 9, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Friday, April 7, the day after the Trump/Pence regime carried out a cruise missile attack on Syria, protests were called in cities across the U.S. As revcom.us said, “The U.S. actions are not in the interests of the people, around the world and in the U.S. itself. People need to condemn and actively oppose this aggression!”

On this page are reports we received from the action in New York City and other places, as well as photos from some other cities. While these protests were much smaller than they should have been, it was very important that people stood up in many cities in the face of the disgusting barrage of “bi-partisan support” for Trump coming from politicians and the news media.

We will continue to update as we hear more about the protests on Friday and in the following days—and urge revcom.us readers to send us photos, videos and reports (send to: revolution.reports@yahoo.com).

New York City

From a reader:

“We’re here! We’re serious! No fascist war on Syria!” People rallied across the street from Trump Tower in Manhattan Friday night to condemn the Thursday night air-strikes against Syria by the Trump/Pence regime—“to call out these murderers, and bring down this fascist regime,” as Travis Morales put it for Refuse Fascism in introducing the rally. The protest was brought together by Refuse Fascism and the Answer Coalition.

There was a speaker from the Answer Coalition, followed by Sunsara Taylor, one of the initiators of Refuse Fascism and a writer for Revolution/revcom.us. Sunsara spoke about the need for a revolution to get rid of this system and that “America was never great.” And she said, “If you’re with me on that, or not... if you’re with the communists... if you’re with the democrats... if you’re a religious person... if you’re an atheist...,” that everyone must come together now to drive out the Trump/Pence fascist regime. She concluded by emphasizing the major demonstrations taking place the last 10 days of April—the March for Science, People’s Climate March, and the May 1 protests against attacks on immigrants.

There was also a guest speaker from South Korea, who put this latest attack on Syria in the context of the U.S. wars for conquest that killed 5 million people in the Korean War; the millions slaughtered by the U.S. in Vietnam; and the ongoing slaughter in Iraq, the result of a war that the U.S. had kicked off under the pretext of going after “weapons of mass destruction.” The rally was followed by a march down Fifth Avenue.

One young protester had come from Long Island. It was the first demonstration he had ever been to, and he was surprised to see himself holding up a sign—“The U.S. is still waging an unjust war on Yemen”—that someone had handed him. He was very upset with the “chaos” of the past months, and was trying to make sense of it. Referring to the innocent people in a poor village in Yemen who Trump had killed in the Navy SEALs raid that was his first military operation as president, the young protester talked about “women and children gunned down by Apache helicopters.” The media had said this was the first time that Trump had “acted like a President.” And then, last night after the air strikes on Syria, the media and the Democrats said this was Trump’s “second moment.” The protester from Long Island was outraged by all this—he didn’t know what fascism was, but he hated Trump, and wanted to understand more.

When the march went through Times Square, three French tourists, all students, took up posters for a moment themselves. They were against Trump’s attack on Syria, and also upset about the Syrian children who had been killed by the poison gas, which Trump had seized on as justification for the aggression. One of them said, “I think Trump is a coward. A coward and a murderer.” And another said, “He can’t stay the president. It’s a crisis for humanity.”

Chicago

From a reader:

150 people protested in Chicago at Trump Tower as part of an emergency national day of action against the U.S. missile attack on Syria. The rally and march was called by ANSWER Coalition.

Signs included “Resist Trump’s War on Syria!” and “Rockets for NASA Not Syria!” and a homemade dripping blood sign with the words, “What is it good for?” There were Revcom signs, “In the Name of Humanity! NO US Attacks on Syria! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!” One protester had a Palestinian flag painted on her cheek. There were Refuse Fascism signs, “In the Name of Humanity: We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America” in different languages, including Arabic.

A speaker from the Middle East said, “America is a great country but now it’s going insane!” The Revolution Cub led a chant during the march taken up by many: “1-2-3-4, Slavery, Genocide, and War; 5-6-7-8, America was never great!” A pedestrian walking by said that the U.S. attack on Syria was justified because of the victims of the chemical attack—but changed his mind when challenged to look at what the U.S. has done to people in the Middle East. A couple from Colombia who were visiting took a picture of themselves holding the Refuse Fascism “NO!” picket signs and then sent to all their friends in Colombia.

Los Angeles

From a reader:

An emergency protest was held in Los Angeles Thursday night to say NO! to the U.S. bombing of Syria. The ANSWER Coalition called for the protest and led an energetic crowd in chants condemning U.S. imperialism and its role in the Middle East and this latest bombing of Syria. Refuse Fascism in Los Angeles endorsed the action, organized a contingent, and spoke at the rally. The Revolution Club LA was there too. Refuse Fascism spoke, and distributed its Call to Action, and identified the Trump/Pence regime as fascist and called for this fascist regime to be driven from power by the actions of millions—the URGENCY of driving this fascist regime from power is underscored by this latest U.S. attack and bombing in the Middle East! The National Lawyers Guild, California for Progress, and other groups participated. There were a number of Syrians at the protest, which began at Pershing Square in downtown LA and then marched through downtown streets to LA City Hall―a couple of hundred people strong.

Houston

From a reader:

There were three rallies in Houston protesting the bombing of Syria by the Trump/Pence regime. Local Refuse Fascism activists also got out flyers and organized among students at the University of Houston campus. On Saturday, April 8, dozens of people rallied in Moody Park in Houston demanding “No Ban, No War,” and for affordable healthcare. Later, a team with Refuse Fascism took the Call to Action out to people at the annual Art Car parade, as debates and discussions broke out about why the Trump/Pence regime is fascist and how they can be driven out. A man from Europe talked about how scared he is with what the U.S. government is doing, and said that it makes him think about the horrors of Nazi Germany.

Eugene, Oregon

A dozen people showed up to a "Hands Off Syria" rally in Eugene Friday evening to stand in solidarity with other groups protesting that night, and to denounce the U.S.'s first direct attack on Syria, and demand that there be NO endless wars and NO U.S. intervention in Syria.

San Francisco

Over 100 people gathered downtown in the rain to condemn the U.S. strike on Syria. The protest was called by the ANSWER organization. Speakers included Vets for Peace, Refuse Fascism, and others.

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/communique-1-revolution-club-chicago-en.html

Revolution #485 April 3, 2017

Message!
From the Revolution Club, Chicago

Two Paths: Mopping Up Our Own Blood and Cooperating with the Pigs, or Making Revolution

April 8, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In response to the powerful statement from Carl Dix about the recent horrific killings in South Shore, “Get out of This Insanity and Get Into the Revolution,” one so-called community activist said, “We don’t need no damn revolution, we need people that genuinely care about the Black people in the Black community to get these people organized the right way!” Then this activist went out and mopped up the blood of the people killed. First off, the masses of Black people have needed revolution for a long, long time—400 years, as a matter of fact. But leave that aside for now.

What does this activist mean by “organizing the right way”? This so-called anti-police-brutality activist who “cares about Black people” said police should “find them killers and lock them up for life.” How has that worked for Black people when the police are given a green light to go hunting our youth and then lock people up for life? We KNOW what that means—people getting shot down, railroaded, and all that. You think THIS system is gonna give anyone some justice?? Calling for the police to “find them killers” means giving them a free hand to do all that and means you are automatically disqualified from having any credibility to talk about caring about Black people!

This community activist’s advice comes down to saying: don’t fight to get free, don’t fight to get humanity free, don’t figure out how to end oppression, don’t get with the leadership that can lead you out of this mess. Let this system keep spilling people’s blood and having our people spill each other’s blood. The best we can do is mop it up.

Look people, we need an ACTUAL revolution. And we have the leadership we need to make and win that revolution, Bob Avakian. What is needed, is like Carl Dix said, “to get into the vision and plan he has charted for how the revolution could win and bring into being a world without all this nightmare of oppression here and around the world.”

Two roads are being posed. One keeps you inside the killing confines of this system. The other is the road to bring down this fucking system.

Revolution Club Chicago
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