Revolution #486, April 10, 2017 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/why-the-democrats-cheer-trump-when-he-wages-war-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

Why the Democrats Cheer Trump When He Wages War…and Why We Must Not Join Them

April 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

All it took was Trump firing off 59 cruise missiles against Syria for most leading Democrats, who had been posing as staunch Trump opponents, to start singing his praises.

Senator Chuck Schumer said it was “the right thing to do.” The “militant” Senator Elizabeth Warren said the “Syrian regime must be held accountable.” The “radical” Bernie Sanders condemned Assad as a “war criminal” while mildly criticizing the war criminal Trump for not consulting Congress first.

Right before the Syria attack, Democratic Party standard-bearer Hillary Clinton called for going further than Trump did and “taking out Syria’s airfields”—something which would require hundreds of major strikes, with the potential for unpredictable escalation.

Liberal commentators applauded Trump for acting and sounding “presidential.” MSNBC anchor Brian Williams called the strikes “beautiful”—three times in one sentence. The liberal New York Times: “It was hard not to feel some sense of emotional satisfaction, and justice done.” The Times also tried to normalize Trump via the notion he gives a fuck about children: “Anguish Sways the Isolationist.” Their subhead went: “In truth, it was an emotional act by a man suddenly aware that the world’s problems were now his—and that turning away, to him, was not an option.”

Life is a horror in Syria, because of the murderous Assad regime and its allies—and Assad’s reactionary opponents and their backers, including the United States and its allies.

But was Trump emotionally moved to strike by pictures of dying children? If so, why hasn’t he been moved to stop the U.S. bombing strikes he’s ordered, which killed 70 Syrian children last month alone? And what about pictures of the 1,500 children in Yemen, most of whom have been killed by American bombs dropped by U.S.-backed Saudi Arabia? Or the 462,000 in Yemen suffering from severe, acute malnutrition—starving to death—right now? Trump and his regime have reportedly been moved to action in Yemen—to increase their support for the child-killing Saudi bombing campaign and its child-starving air and naval blockade!

In attacking Syria, Trump saw the need and opportunity to act the “strong man” and show the world and the Middle East region that there’s a new, more ruthless “sheriff in town”—and he may have possibly wanted to shift America’s domestic political terrain in his favor. This was fascism flexing its muscles...and attempting to rapidly consolidate its power!

The Democrats: Spinning Imperialist War as a Humanitarian Exercise

The Democrats are spinning Trump’s illegal, immoral, imperialist air assault as an act of humanitarian concern for children. And they aim to rope the oppressed and the more enlightened, progressive-minded segments of U.S. society into supporting U.S. aggression. (Generally speaking, the Republicans’ hard-core “America right or wrong” social base doesn’t require such justifications for murdering people around the world.) America may not be perfect, the Democrat leaders say—we make mistakes, but “our” intentions are noble, and America and its military are overall a force for good in the world. 

In reality, America and its military has never been a force for good in the world—anywhere. For facts on this, see the revcom.us piece “Think the U.S. Military and CIA Can ‘Do Some Good’? Read About 15 Times That People Went Along with That—and Then Think Again.” That’s true in Syria as well, where the U.S. has been deeply involved in fanning the flames of a reactionary war, which has killed some 480,000 and forced over 5 million to flee for their lives.

The Democrats May Oppose Trump…But NOT For Humanity

Many people—grassroots Democrats, activists, and people who have generally looked to the top Democrats to stop Trump—were shocked and angry that these same leading Democrats are now cheering Trump’s military action. Some denounce top Democrats as “cowards” and demand they unalterably oppose Trump. Many others are repulsed, confused or demoralized by leading Democrats’ salute to the fascist-in-chief.

But the reason the leading Democrats act as they do doesn’t have to do with their spines or lack thereof. It flows from the reality that the Democratic Party isn’t the “people’s party” and never has been. They’re a ruling class party that represents American capitalist-imperialism, the same system the Republicans represent.

That’s why the day after the election, Obama said of himself and Trump, “We’re all on the same team… We’re not Democrats first, we’re not Republicans first. We’re Americans first, patriots first.” He’s right; they are on the same team—the imperialist ruling class team!  

Bombing Syria? Turns out these top Democrats can mostly all get behind that! Why? Because Republicans and Democrats understand—and agree—that the survival of their capitalist system rests on and demands global dominance, including over regions like the Middle East, and the Democrats thought Trump’s action was in line with that.

At the same time, right now there’s a fierce battle between the different wings of the ruling class. It’s not over whether to maintain their white-supremacist, patriarchal system of global exploitation and oppression. They’re fighting over how to maintain it in the face of profound challenges, problems and discontent in today’s rapidly changing world. The Trump/Pence regime has seized control and is embarking pell-mell on the fascist restructuring of government and society.

The Democrats feel that maintaining the traditional bourgeois democratic form of the rule—dictatorship—of their class is their system’s best hope. For the masses of people, fascism is a matter of life and death. For these rulers, it’s a matter of how to best preserve their rule.

The Democrats may be genuinely alarmed by the Trump/Pence regime, but they are even more fearful that the millions and millions of Trump-haters will lose their faith in the Democratic Party—and the whole system—and start acting politically outside its confines and channels. So the Democrats have been fighting hard to keep people’s angst and anger within the system’s channels (pressuring Congress, etc.). And they’ve been framing the issue as whether or not Trump is a fit “commander-in-chief” who’s able to keep America “strong” and “safe” and protect U.S. “allies” and “interests.” In other words, they’ve been battling Trump in some ways, and at the same time working to channel anti-Trump anger and opposition into the framework of “what’s best for America”—that is, this imperialist system.

       

A Crucial Month to Stop Trump

Trump and this system aren’t all powerful—they don’t have it all wrapped up. The U.S. faces crises, difficulties and contradictions all across the world. This is what propelled a faction of the ruling class to take the radical and risky step of empowering someone like Trump and moving toward a fascist remaking of the U.S.

Millions and millions hate the leader of this effort—Donald Trump—and they represent a force with the potential to drive out the Trump/Pence regime.

But for that potential power to be fully unleashed, people need to confront what the Democratic Party and its leadership are really about, and break with the mindset of putting America and American lives above other people’s lives. Otherwise, people will be constantly led back into supporting this system’s crimes, and accommodating to fascism—in the name of “protecting America” or “saving American lives.” We must instead put the world first, not America, and squarely confront the monumental danger to all of humanity and the planet of having a nuclear-armed, climate-crisis-denying fascist running this most deadly country on earth. And rise to our responsibility to move heaven and earth to oust this criminal regime.

In short, it’s on us—the millions—to drive out the Trump/Pence fascist regime. As the Democrats’ response to Trump’s Syria bombing shows, waiting and counting on them to stop the danger posed by this fascist regime would be delusional, and devastating to the lives of billions and possibly the fate of the planet.  

In Basta Ya! Enough! 10 Days of Resistance, Refuse Fascism writes,

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 three 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. Join a National Organizers Task Force to help build for these events with the message of Drive Out Trump/Pence and their Fascist Regime….

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.

These are meaningful ways you can act. Where will you be? What will you do?  

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/awtwns-us-airstrikes-on-syria-hypocrisy-and-murder-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

From A World to Win News Service:

U.S. Airstrikes on Syria: Hypocrisy and Murder

April 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

April 27, 2017. A World to Win News Service. U.S. President Trump’s cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase can only ratchet up the horrors being inflicted on the Syrian people by multiple rival enemies. It is part of a stepped-up U.S.-led intervention in Syria and Iraq that has already killed about 3,000 civilians, according to Airwars.org. Further, it threatens wider wars in the region and the whole world.

Although Trump claimed to be motivated by the sight of pictures of children choking and dying due to chemical weapons allegedly used by Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime, his attack came in the wake of U.S. airstrikes that killed many hundreds of adults and children in Iraq and Syria, not with chemical weapons but high explosive Hellfire missiles and huge bombs. In March the U.S.-led coalition bombed a mosque, school and bakery in Syria and then levelled apartment buildings in western Mosul in Iraq, killing as many as 230 people in that attack alone. It is very clear that Washington wants to defeat Daesh (ISIS) not to do anything good for the people of Iraq and Syria, who have been Islamic fundamentalism’s main victims, but to impose its own domination and beat back other rivals. The same applies to the U.S. strike on Syria’s Shayrat airbase. It had nothing to do with protecting people in Syria and everything to do with the U.S.’s strategic interests in the region and globally.

Mosul, Iraq, March 24, the area that was hit with a U.S. airstrike on March 17 that killed 230 people. Mosul, Iraq, March 24, the area that was hit with a U.S. airstrike on March 17 that killed 230 people. Photo: AP

One of the many children killed in the U.S. air strikes on Mosul, Iraq.

 

 

 

One of the many children killed in the U.S. air strikes on Mosul, Iraq.

If you want to know what kind of regime the U.S. would welcome in Syria, look at Egypt. Nothing better illustrates what U.S. domination means in this region than Trump’s meeting with Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi a few days before this attack. Trump told Sisi he was doing a “fantastic job in a very difficult situation” and publicly declared, “You have a great friend and ally in the United States and me.” Sisi’s rule began with a military coup in 2013. Its opening act was the massacre of more than 800 Islamic Brotherhood supporters demonstrating against the toppling of its elected government. After attacking a protest camp, troops moved through a hospital systematically exterminating patients and staff. Since then, Egypt’s prisons have been engorged with as many as 60,000 political prisoners, including not only Islamists but members of the secular youth organizations that spearheaded the 2011 Tahrir Square uprising and dissenters of all stripes. Sisi now presides over a country where young people are called “the jail generation”. The main difference between Sisi and Assad is that Sisi is in the U.S.’s pocket and Assad is not.

It is hard to imagine anything more hypocritical than Trump’s claim to have undergone a “change of heart” about the Assad regime because of the suffering of Syrian children. The “heart” of Trump and the imperialist power he heads beats with the blood of hundreds of millions of its victims. From the nuclear bombs that murdered hundreds of thousands of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the close of World War 2 to the carpet bombing of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the extensive spraying of poisonous Agent Orange during the U.S. war to dominate Southeast Asia and the use of depleted uranium shells in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the deployment of weapons of mass destruction against civilians has been a hallmark of American warfighting.

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

The U.S. had no objection when the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, back when it considered Saddam an ally, used poison gas to inflict some 100,000 casualties during the Iran-Iraq war. The U.S. enabled both sides and, along with Germany, the UK and France, knowingly supplied the chemicals. The U.S. even blocked UN action against Saddam after his forces gassed the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja, killing 5-8,000 people, including a very high proportion of women, children and elderly.

Further, as many people have pointed out, a man and a regime that ordered that not a single refugee be accepted from the war the U.S. has been fuelling in Syria, even keeping out children scheduled to undergo life-saving medical procedures, cannot claim to act in the name of Syrian children and other victims. The same can be said of UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who claimed to be “appalled” by the “barbarism of the Syrian regime”, when she herself has long been at the forefront of European Union policies that amount to deliberately letting Syrian and other refugees drown while fleeing crossing the Mediterranean. May shut down the British government programme to accept child refugees from the Mideast, which was originally slated to take in 3,500 children—itself a paltry number—after accepting only 350, on the grounds that there was “no more room”.

This demonstration of the U.S.’s murderous power was meant to signal that it does not intend to let Arabs, Iranians, Kurds or anyone else but the U.S. run the region. It was also a threat to North Korea and elsewhere. Right now it is hard to predict Trump’s next act, or how the consequences of this one will unfold, internationally and within the U.S. But some of those who are already sure that this will be a “one-off” U.S. action were—until today—arguing that Trump is all bluster. He has repeatedly said about nuclear weapons, “I don’t want to rule out anything.” The gravity of this situation should not be underestimated.

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.

 

       

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/think-us-military-and-cia-can-do-some-good-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

Think the U.S. Military and CIA Can “Do Some Good”?

Read About 15 Times That People Went Along with That—and Then Think Again

April 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Over the past 60 years, the U.S. military and the CIA have been used over and over again supposedly as a “force for good” around the world. Here’s just some of what they actually did:

Korea, 1950-1953  U.S. invasion and war killed  five million people—American war crimes included massive carpet bombing that destroyed every building more than one-story high in North Korea, use of chemical weapons against civilians, and wholesale rape of women.

Vietnam, early 1960s to mid-’70s  More than two million Vietnamese civilians were killed in the war, in which the U.S. dropped twice the amount of bombs used in all of World War 2 on a country the size of New Mexico, used chemical weapons like napalm and Agent Orange, and massacred whole villages of children, women, and elders.

Indonesia, 1965  In a CIA-engineered coup, General Suharto’s military regime massacred at least 500,000, perhaps more than a million people, mainly communists and those accused of being communists, clogging the rivers in some areas with the bodies of victims.

Guatemala, early 1980s  The CIA trained and advised the forces under General Ríos Mott that systematically destroyed more than 600 indigenous Mayan villages, slaughtering 75,000 people.

Lebanon, 1982  President Reagan sent more than 1,200 Marines into Beirut in the name of “peacekeeping” but in reality to protect U.S. interests, including backing Israel’s brutal invasion of Lebanon, which was aimed at crushing Palestinian forces and killed more than 20,000 Palestinians and Lebanese.

El Salvador, 1980s  U.S. military “advisers” trained and led the Salvadoran military, whose death squads carried out massacres and “disappearances” of opponents—at least 75,000 people were killed and one-fifth of the country’s population was forced to flee their homes.

Panama, 1989  More than 29,000 U.S. troops invaded to oust Manuel Noriega, who used to be a CIA “asset” but then came to be seen by his masters as a liability; the poor neighborhood of El Chorillo was so heavily destroyed by the invaders, with thousands of residents killed, that it came to be known as “Little Hiroshima.”

Iraq, 1991  The U.S. and allied military forces waged a 42-day bombing campaign, followed by a ground invasion—100,000 to 200,000 Iraqis were killed in the war, and the systematic destruction of the country’s power, water, and sanitation systems had a devastating effect on the lives of the people in the following years.

Haiti, 1991  The CIA collaborated with local military forces to overthrow the elected president Aristide and unleash a wave of vicious repression; thousands of Aristide supporters were killed, and 60,000 Haitians were forced to flee the island in makeshift boats.

Somalia, 1992  U.S. Marines engaged in fierce gun battles in the capital, Mogadishu, in an attempt to oust a warlord from power; while several Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and some U.S. soldiers killed, the American attack killed between 500 and 1,000 Somalis, including civilians.

Afghanistan, 2001  The U.S. military invasion right after 9/11 began a war that continues today—in which U.S. forces have bombed wedding parties and hospitals, locked people up in dungeons of torture, and committed other crimes; some five million people have been driven from their homes.

Iraq, 2003  Based on the deliberate lie that they were going after “weapons of mass destruction,” the U.S. military and allies bombed and invaded the country, killing and wounding thousands of civilians; this began a nine-year occupation that set off even greater horrors for the people of Iraq and the whole region.

American Crime

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

Read the American Crime series here

Libya, 2011  The U.S. military and NATO allied forces launched thousands of airstrikes in order to shape the upsurge against the Qaddafi regime for their own ends—hundreds of civilians were killed in the bombings, and the country became enmeshed in hellish war among various warlords and Islamic fundamentalists.

Yemen, ongoing  The U.S. military is carrying out a campaign of bombings, drone attacks, targeted assassinations, and Special Forces raids, in the name of going after Islamic fundamentalist forces but involving many civilian casualties—the latest atrocity: a January 2017 Navy SEALs raid on a village that killed 23 unarmed civilians, including nine children under age 13.

Syria, ongoing  The U.S. is escalating troop deployment and air attacks that started under Obama—several weeks before Trump’s April 7 Tomahawk cruise missile attack, missiles and a 500-pound bomb fired from drones hit a mosque in the town of Al-Jinah, where hundreds were gathered for prayer, killing 46 people.

~~~~~~~~~~

In every one of these instances, there were liberals in the ruling class who claimed that the U.S. military was a force for “good”—and got all too many people to go along with that. NO! This army fights for the interests of U.S. capitalist-imperialists here and around the globe and enforces their domination of large parts of the world. And that is why it is NEVER a force for good and ALWAYS a force for terrible repression and reactionary violence against the people.

 

       

 

 


 

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Revolution #486 April 10, 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 #486 April 10, 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 #486 April 10, 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 #486 April 10, 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/485/communique-1-revolution-club-chicago-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 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
1857 E. 71st Street
Chicago, Illinois 60649
(312) 804-9121
Revclub.chi@gmail.com
facebook.com/revcomchi
www.revcom.us

 

 


 

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

Revolution #486 April 10, 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/486/chicago-they-are-destroying-public-schools-and-preparing-to-turn-our-youth-into-mindless-robots-and-killing-machines-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

Chicago: They Are Destroying Public Schools, and Preparing to Turn Our Youth Into Mindless Robots & Killing Machines

Updated July 5, 2017, first posted April 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Update July 5, 2017: Since we first posted this article, the city of Chicago at the end of May officially approved the outrageous proposal by Mayor Emanuel—requiring that high school students have proof of acceptance into college or vocational school, have a job, or enlist in the military before they can graduate. This is on top of a situation in this city where more than 1,000 teachers and school staff were laid off last year and the chance of male Black high school freshman eventually getting a college degree is only six percent, while the unemployment rate among 20- to 24-year-old Black men is at 43 percent.

~~~~~~~~~~

Editors’ note: From Day One in this country, when enslaved Black people were killed for learning how to read, up to today, when students in predominantly Black and Latino schools are treated as if they are in prison and subjected to terrible mis-education, and young Black people are discriminated against every step of the way if they pursue an education—this system has worked to keep the people it most oppresses in the deepest ignorance.

Now, in Chicago in particular, this is poised to take a whole leap. The Trump regime plans to funnel Black and Latino youth into Christian fundamentalist charter schools. They intend to mold these students into mindless, religiously fanatic robots. This article shows how the Democratic mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is greasing the skids for this.

In Chicago, one big way youths are told they’re worth nothing over and over is through their experience in the schools. In the cruelest of jokes, young people are told that getting an education is the only path out of grinding poverty, yet the educational system is a bitter insult in spite of the best efforts of many teachers.

After closing down 50 schools just three years ago—it is now very possible that Chicago public schools will also end the current school year almost three whole weeks early due to “lack of funds” to keep schools open.

For students, this is devastating in terms of their education. In Chicago, it literally means more likelihood of getting shot, or sitting indoors while the sun is shining to keep safe. For teachers, it means a 10 percent cut in pay as well. For everyone―parents, teachers, students—it means scrambling, since closures may be decided just days ahead of time.

As if all this weren’t happening, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a proposal that in order to graduate from high school, students will have to meet a huge new requirement—a plan for what they are doing after high school. If the Chicago Board of Education approves Emanuel’s proposal, starting with next year’s sophomores, in order to graduate, students will need proof of a college or vocational school acceptance letter, a job offer, or enlistment papers for the military! So, it’s not enough to just complete school—now you have to have proof of where you’re gonna be, or else—and if you can’t get a job offer, in a city where unemployment for Black teenagers remains sky-high, and you can’t afford to go to college, then you don’t even get the diploma that you earned. Unless, that is, you agree to go fight and kill for the country and system that put you in this situation in the first place!!

The U.S. military already preys like vultures on inner city students. Branches of the U.S. military literally run entire public schools in Chicago, as well as major ROTC programs and surprise recruitment assemblies. The recruiters lie like pimps... listening to them, you would think the military was the biggest college assistance program in the country. You would have no idea that you are being enlisted to be part of the U.S. killing machine, massacring other oppressed people in countries across the globe.

Now Rahm Emanuel wants to shovel students into the military; that is the option that many students will be forced to choose in order to graduate from high school under his new plan! Trump should thank him for his service.

Currently, fewer than one in four CPS students will graduate from a four-year college. Among young Black men, a little over half will graduate from high school at all. This is a school system where 200-plus students had a sit in at their high school to demand that the one librarian not be laid off and to demand that their school’s library be kept open in 2016. And it was one of the few schools with a library! What kind of educational system is it where students have to fight just to have a library? At a single high school in the wealthy North Shore suburbs, there are 10 librarians.

A system which offers millions and millions of youths no future—that alone is reason enough to sweep this system from the face of the earth!

After the revolution, the educational system will be one where students actually want to go to school!!! It will really enable students to learn about the world and to pursue the truth wherever it leads, with a spirit of critical thinking and scientific curiosity. It will play a critical role in breaking down the oppressive relations in society in the world as a whole.

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/469/sparks-of-outrage-and-protest-potential-for-mass-resistance-to-stop-the-fascists-from-consolidating-power-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

Sparks of Outrage and Protest Against the Fascist Trump-Pence Regime

Updated December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A fascist regime that represents an unprecedented danger to humanity has assumed the reins of power in the U.S. Starting right from the inaugural speech and every day since then, the Trump-Pence regime has carried through new outrages—and they surely have more to come. Right now, the different forces in the ruling class are either supporting this enthusiastically or going along with at most a few petty amendments.

As Carl Dix, Sunsara Taylor, and Andy Zee—three people who kicked off refusefascism.org—said in their January 25 letter: “That does NOT mean that the possibility of ousting this regime through truly massive action is over, and that all people can do is work on local projects or hope for some pendulum swing somewhere down the road—while Trump-Pence carry out truly monstrous things and put the whole planet in jeopardy. Far from it. Precisely because this regime is fascist and a qualitative change from the ‘normal workings’ of this system, and because millions of people—correctly—view this regime as utterly illegitimate, the possibility of crisis erupting at any time is great....”

And they also noted: “So we stand at a new juncture. The regime is in power, and moving quickly. At the same time, millions have registered their opposition and many are looking for a way to fight. Over these next few weeks, revcom.us will be covering the regime and the resistance to it with the same intensity and level of analysis that we have since the election.”

There are millions who hate what is represented by this fascist regime, and some of this outrage continues to surface in different kinds of resistance, as seen here on this page. There are also many in different spheres—academia, sciences, arts and entertainment, journalism, and others—who are raising their voices against Trump-Pence and their fascist outrages. See these voices here. It’s crucial to grasp that these sparks and voices represent a much bigger and broader anger and opposition to the fascist regime.

We encourage Revolution/revcom.us readers to send us news and reports, pictures, and videos of the ways people are resisting (send to: revolution.reports@yahoo.com).

 


"This Is Not Normal"

 

Some recent protests...



Flagburner Gregory "Joey" Johnson speaking in San Francisco, December 10, 2016.

Protest of Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, December 10, Los Angeles.Protest of Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, December 10, Los Angeles. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Boston student walkout, December 5
Student walkout in Boston, December 5. Photo: Twitter/campuslately

 

Texas students join thousands to protest neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, December 6Hundreds of A&M students with homemade placards and banners joined thousands of people to protest neo-Nazi (aka "alt-right") Richard Spencer, December 6. (AP photo)

December 7--Japanese American community groups led a protest in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Los Angeles to oppose Trump's threats against Muslims and immigrants.
December 7—Japanese American community groups led a protest in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Los Angeles to oppose Trump's threats against Muslims and immigrants. Photo: Twitter/@josie_huang

Earlier Sparks of Outrage and Protest

~~~~~~~~~~

On Saturday, December 10, in San Francisco, 500 people marched in the rain to deliver the message “This Is Not Normal!” The action was initiated by people who had never organized a protest before. The march involved a broad range: people from the LGBT community, tech workers, students, artists, feminists, and others. The Revolution Club led many chants taken up by the march, like “We will not conciliate! We will not accommodate! We will not collaborate!” and read the statement “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America” from the rally stage. Joey Johnson, revolutionary communist and notorious flag burner, spoke to the huge stakes for humanity in stopping the fascists, and pointed to Trump’s threat to jail and strip citizenship from people burning the American flag as one concentration of the fascist program.

On the same day, in Los Angeles, thousands of people from many walks of life converged downtown to demand the complete stop of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The DAPL threatens the water source for the Standing Rock Sioux people and sites that are important to their culture, and if completed will add significantly to the the global climate change endangering the planet. More than 600 copies of Revolution newspaper were distributed along the march, and hundreds of people carried posters declaring “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.”

On Monday, December 5, hundreds of Boston high school and college students walked out of classes and rallied at Boston Commons. According to the Boston Globe, the students delivered a list of demands to the Massachusetts governor and the Boston mayor, “to protect minorities and immigrants, support public education, and denounce white nationalists who have been energized by a Trump victory.”

Trump has threatened to immediately deport millions of immigrants and cancel Obama’s temporary deferrals of deportations of young undocumented people. In response, students across the country are organizing and acting—through walkouts, rallies, and petition campaigns—to demand that their schools become “sanctuary campuses” that protect undocumented immigrants, as well as LGBT people and other who may come under attack from the government as well as fascist mobs. (See “Students Across the County Demand Sanctuary Campuses: Schools Should Be Safe Zones from Fascist Attacks—No Matter What”)

On December 6, at Texas A&M University, neo-Nazi leader Richard Spencer’s appearance on the campus was met with righteous protest by hundreds of students and hundreds of others from Houston, Austin, and other cities and towns in Texas. This school is known as one of the most conservative state universities in the country—so this raucous protest of thousands was very significant. (See “Thousands Protest Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer at Texas A&M”)

On December 7, on the anniversary of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that began the war between U.S. and Japan, a number of Japanese American community organizations in Los Angeles led a protest in the Little Tokyo neighborhood against Trump’s attack on immigrants and Muslims. They compared what Trump is saying and threatening to the U.S. government’s vilification, mass round-ups, and imprisonment in concentration camps of people of Japanese ancestry during World War 2. There were calls for Little Tokyo to become a sanctuary for those singled out by Trump, and for people to “put their bodies” between those targeted and the authorities. 

The Jewish group IfNotNow, which came together in 2014 to opposes the horrific U.S.-backed Israeli war on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, has been protesting Richard Bannon, the white-supremacist, anti-Semitic neo-Nazi who is Trump’s “chief strategist.” On December 8, IfNotNow in New York City posted on their Facebook page: “This morning, we delivered white roses to the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, and demanded that they join our call to #FireBannon. The white rose was used by students from The University of Munich as a symbol of nonviolent resistance to the Nazi regime, and now we claim it as our own—to demonstrate our resistance to state-sponsored hate as the #JewishResistance.”

On December 10, 200 people marched around the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore to protest Trump who was attending the Army-Navy football game. The Baltimore Sun said that the protesters chanted “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here” and “We reject the president-elect” and held up signs like “Resist” and “Make fascists hide again.”

On Friday, December 9, at the annual awards ceremony of the International Documentary Association (IDA) held at the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles, TV writer and producer Norman Lear said from the stage that the country is entering “a very dangerous time” with the election of Trump, which poses “serious obligations”: “If, for example, he or his administration in any way threatens the free speech rights of our documentary filmmakers, the IDA and every supporter in this room must—will, I am sure—hunker down together and fight our asses off.” According to Hollywood Reporter, “Feelings on this topic were clearly running high all around, as an audience member yelled, ‘He’s a fascist!’ during Lear’s speech.”

Spurred by the rise of Trump, a website called “Professors Watchlist” has been posting names professors they accuse of “leftist propaganda”—more than 200 names so far. This kind of fascist witch-hunt on campuses will only become more extreme if the Trump regime is allowed to firm up its grip on power. When two professors at Notre Dame university appeared on the list, more than 100 faculty members at the campus took a stand against the witch-hunt with an open letter saying the watch list should add their names in order to reaffirm “our values and recommitting ourselves to the work of teaching students to think clearly, independently and fearlessly.” See the “Other Voices Against Trump” page at www.revcom.us for this statement and other voices of resistance, including MIT professors, Cornel West, New York Times columnist Charles Blow, and others.

There are various calls for protests in Washington, DC, as the date for Trump inauguration approaches. On December 10, Shaun King—New York Daily News writer and widely followed social media commentator—sent out a tweet saying: “Many people asking me if people should clog the streets of DC to prevent the inauguration ceremony. On general principle alone, YES.” A few days earlier, filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted: “Disrupt the Inauguration. The Majority have spoken—by nearly 2.7 million votes &counting! Silence is not an option.”

Update: On December 12, there were protests in a number of cities around the country in response to a "Women and Allies" call to "deliver the message in a unified voice that we are ready to stand against any government action that would serve to erode the rights of women and other vulnerable groups." See "'Women and Allies' Actions Oppose Trump-Pence Attacks."

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/thousands-march-in-dallas-against-trumps-attacks-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

Thousands March in Dallas Against Trump’s Attacks on Undocumented, Muslim, and All Immigrants

April 9, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

No ban,no wall

Thousands of people marched through Dallas, Texas, to City Hall on Sunday, April 9, to show their support for immigrants under attack by the Trump/Pence regime.

According to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth, the organizers said they were calling for “real immigration reform and an end to aggressive deportation efforts that have separated families, targeted DACA students and left our communities in fear.” They also said: “We are calling for an end to executive orders that have discriminated against our Muslim brothers and sisters based on their faith. We are calling for an end to hate crimes and hate speech that have increased since the election, and we want to join together and send a message that hate has no place in our nation.”

A number of elected officials, celebrities, and activists were expected to speak at the rally, including Martin Luther King III, actors Jamie Foxx and Danny Glover, Joaquin Castro and other Texas Congressional Representatives, and activists from the African-American, Jewish, Latino, and Muslim communities.

On Monday, May 1, a diverse array of immigrants’ rights groups, students, unions, and more across the country 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. Go to RefuseFascism.org to join in these protests.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/nypd-documents-reveal-ny-cops-infiltrated-spied-on-protesters-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

NYPD Documents Reveal:
New York Cops Infiltrated, Spied on Peaceful Protesters "As if they were al-Qaida"

Updated April 10, 2017, 9 pm | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Protesting NYPD spying on Muslims, 2013
As a result of a lawsuit, the NYPD has been forced to release documents revealing that their spying on protesters included infiltrating groups, taking photographs surreptitiously, and seeking out those that they thought were playing a leading role. Above: In 2013, people protested NYPD surveillance tactics that included labeling entire mosques terrorist without any specific evidence of wrongdoing. (AP photo)

In July 2014, video of a squad of New York cops choking Eric Garner to death on a Staten Island sidewalk went viral. Garner, unarmed and unthreatening, suspected of selling cigarettes without a license, called out “I can’t breathe” 11 times as his unrelenting murderers applied a banned chokehold until he lost consciousness. Then the cops stood around and joked as Eric lay dying on the sidewalk.

Coming on the heels of countless police murders of Black and Brown people, and along with the shooting of young Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Garner’s death sparked and spurred the movement against police brutality, with tens of thousands taking to the streets in cities around the U.S., and nightly marches, die-ins, and other protests in New York City for weeks. This movement included significant radical and revolutionary currents that called out the system as a whole for these murders.

The NYPD responded immediately—not by firing and arresting the killers (who to this day have gone completely unpunished) or examining the brutality and murder for which New York cops are notorious. No, they went to work punishing and spying on those who dared to speak up against all this. For starters, they arrested (on trumped-up charges) the man who took the video. They sent undercover cops into the protests that the cops themselves described as “peaceful” and “orderly.” They regularly filmed demonstrators and saved the film, in violation of an existing court order (the Handschu Agreement) meant to prohibit the NYPD from building up “dossiers” on activists.

Now as a result of a lawsuit, the NYPD has been forced to release documents revealing that their spying went even further. According to a recent article in the Guardian, undercover cops not only attended protests, they also photographed protesters surreptitiously, pretended to be activists themselves, and infiltrated smaller groups at protests, seeking out those they thought were playing a leading role. These undercover cops worked their way into those circles and got on private text message loops concerning plans. Besides the information about protests stolen in this manner, a key part of this is that the NYPD would be able to access the cell phone numbers of all the people on these text message loops, identify leaders by number if not by name, and develop an “organization chart” showing what role different people played and how they related to each other.

As one of the attorneys in the lawsuit said, “The documents uniformly show no crime occurring, but NYPD had undercovers inside the protests for months on end as if they were al-Qaida”—a dangerous threat to be surveilled and repressed.

Joseph Giacalone, a former cop and now a professor but still maintaining his piggish outlook, revealed one aspect of the strategy behind this. He told the Guardian that leadership identification was standard police practice at protests. “If you take out the biggest mouth, everybody just withers away, so you concentrate on the ones you believe are your organizers. Once you identify that person, you can run computer checks on them to see if they have a warrant out or any summons failures, then you can drag them in before they go out to speak or rile up the crowd....”

But even beyond suppressing legal protest, this is the kind of information that political police historically have used to target key activists, as they did with Malcolm X, the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement, and many others in the 1960s. Every city had its “red squad” (targeting communists and other radicals), and the FBI nationally had files on hundreds of thousands of people, which were used to guide extensive repression—dozens of revolutionaries were murdered, and thousands of activists were framed up on bogus charges in an attempt to crush the most radical organizations involved in the upheavals of the time.

Much of this police state activity was supposedly banned in the 1970s, but has been coming back strong since 9/11 (in 2001). These latest revelations are a chilling sign not just of what’s happening but also of what is to come.

That all of this went down in the Obama years, and on the watch of New York’s “progressive” mayor, Bill de Blasio, reveals that beneath the shimmer of U.S. democracy—even at its “best”—is a powerful apparatus of repression that views any significant protest as a threat, and any rules constraining their ability to spy and infiltrate as just something to “get around.”

But these measures are all the more dangerous now that the fascist Trump/Pence regime is in power, with its open antagonism towards Black and Brown people and protesters in general, and its known disregard for people’s constitutional rights. A regime that thinks it is right and necessary to lock down society and silence dissent can use this information for mass arrests, or worse. This gives us all the more reason to not only expose and oppose this spying, but to do that as part of driving out the Trump/Pence regime, and taking on the whole oppressive system that has built up, requires, and protects this machinery to repress people’s most basic rights.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/raymond-lotta-responds-to-nytimes-article-linking-trump-and-mao-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 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/486/awtwns-spanish-lifeguards-when-saving-lives-becomes-illegal-political-act-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

From A World to Win News Service

Spanish Lifeguards: When Saving Lives Becomes an Illegal Political Act

April 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

April 7, 2017. A World to Win News Service. Some Spanish lifeguards once patrolled a pristine Mediterranean beach not far from Barcelona. But simply sitting and watching the television news of people drowning a mere 15 metres from the shores of Greece seemed outrageous and unacceptable to them when these deaths were preventable. So in September 2015 they decided to act and set off for the Greek island of Lesbos. Initially swim fins and wet suits were their only tools to save lives.

Helping migrants and refugees on a dingy as they arrive at the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea, March 2016. Some of the many volunteers who helped migrants and refugees at the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea, one year ago in March 2016. (AP photo)

They were joined by other lifeguards from various countries in Europe and worked alongside Greek fishermen to provide medical care and basic necessities to those they were able to save. But then Europe’s governments began to take new steps to create a fortress Europe to keep out refugees fleeing the misery and war that they themselves helped to create. A clampdown began in Greece.

In January 2016, two lifeguards from Denmark and three firefighters from Spain were arrested in a harassment campaign launched by the Greek authorities against the many volunteers in Lesbos. “A preliminary investigation has been opened,” a coastguard spokeswoman said, adding that the suspects were likely to be charged with “attempting to facilitate the entry of illegal migrants.” The charge of people-smuggling can lead to ten years in prison.

Released after a few days in jail, the accused lifeguards said they had been treated like “terrorists” and held in a small, filthy cell. Other lifeguards were arrested and briefly held on bogus charges of stealing life jackets left behind by refugees. They had intended to use the life jackets as bedding. The police regularly issued parking tickets for the lifeguards’ vehicles, which they’d parked while out trying to save people.

As Europe closed off the Turkey/Greece route and shut down search and rescue operations, exacerbating what was already a human catastrophe for migrants fleeing war and terror in their homelands, the Spanish lifeguards realized they needed to expand their rescue abilities. They shifted their focus to the coastline off Libya, where nightmarish conditions have created a surge in the flow of migrants. They set up a non-profit organization called Proactiva Open Arms and received generous contributions from individual donors. An Italian entrepreneur even donated his 30-metre luxury sailing yacht, the Astral, which was quickly refitted for life-saving.

On one occasion, working frantically from dawn to dusk, the Astral crew pulled overcrowded rubber dinghies and a leaky wooden boat crammed with hundreds of people to a port in Italy, saving 1,000 people fleeing oppression, including children and their parents. Four pregnant women gave birth while being towed to the port. The crew recounted poignant moments as those who survived tiptoed delicately over the lifeless bodies of those who did not. (October 5, 2016, Dailymail.co.uk)

According to UN spokesperson William Spindler, the number of people fleeing across the Mediterranean decreased significantly last year (1,015,078 in 2015, and 327,800 from January to October 2016). However, the death rate spiralled from 1 in 269 refugees in 2015 to 1 in 88 in 2016. On the sea journey trek between Libya and Italy, the rate climbed to one death for every 47 survivors. The Libya/Italy route is particularly perilous. There is a deliberate lack of robust search and rescue mechanisms from European governments, and people smugglers are using cheap inflatable rafts that sometimes don’t last the length of the journey, or wooden boats crammed with people and susceptible to capsizing in the waves.

Despite the small size of the Astral rescue ship and the handful of full-time organizers and occasional volunteers, these heroic lifeguards are contributing to some of the most important humanitarian work in the Mediterranean alongside other NGOs like SeaWatch, Médecins Sans Frontières, and SOS Méditerranée. They have saved more than 140,000 people and continue their crucial work on one of the most dangerous paths to Europe. Their mission: “We do not want to lose one more life to the sea, neither do we want to allow the sea to silence the injustices that happen there.”

But the drowning of thousands of people at sea is exactly what the European governments are counting on to prevent the arrival of these victims of the rapacious, unjust workings of the capitalist-imperialist system. Fabrice Leggeri, head of Frontex (the agency in charge of the European Union’s external borders), blasted NGO rescue operations, claiming that saving lives is a “pull factor” attracting more people to Europe. He accused the NGOs of giving priority to rescue operations instead of cooperating with police against migrants. Coming from a police agency, this was a threat. Médecins Sans Frontières labelled the charges “extremely serious and damaging”, stating that following this directive would mean letting people drown. (February 21 and April 5, 2017, TheGuardian.com) Saving lives means going up against these governments and, more, putting an end to the system that has produced and thrives on the conditions so many people all over the world find intolerable.

 

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.

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #486 April 10, 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/tour-first-leg-one-month-on-road-to-drive-out-fascist-regime-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 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/trump-dept-of-justice-says-how-can-police-do-their-job-if-theyre-criticized-for-brutalizing-and-murdering-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 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.

 

 


 

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

Revolution #486 April 10, 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/484/on-the-controversy-over-a-painting-of-emmett-till-open-casket-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

On the Controversy Over a Painting of Emmett Till: "Open Casket"

Should Oppression Be Owned, Or Abolished? OR
Did a White Person Have the "Right" To Write Strange Fruit?

March 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

by Toby O’Ryan

Emmett Till, 1941-1955

Emmett Till

This past week a protest against a painting evoking the lynching of Emmett Till has been going on, making the front page of the arts section in the New York Times and other liberal publications, and featured in a different way in the reactionary tabloid New York Post.

As background: Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black child, was beaten and lynched, and disfigured almost beyond recognition, in Mississippi in 1954. His killers were set free by an all-white jury after a trial lasting less than two hours. When Emmett Till’s body was brought back to Chicago, his mother—Mamie Till-Mobley—courageously insisted on an open-casket funeral so the world could see the level of brutality and horror that had been inflicted on her son. The lynching, the open-casket funeral, and the display of the photographs of Emmett Till’s body in the Chicago Defender and Jet magazine became a seminal moment in U.S.—and indeed, world—history, seared on the consciousness of Black people in particular and on anyone and everyone who had any feeling for justice and humanity in particular.

A white artist, Dana Schutz, recently made a painting of this, and entered it into the Whitney Biennial, a major art show in New York. Schutz and her painting have come under attack by two Black artists. Parker Bright, sometimes along with others, has stood in front of the painting, partially blocking its view. Hannah Black has written to the biennial’s curators urging that the painting be removed and has said it should be destroyed. While there is a question of how institutions continue to marginalize and suppress art from oppressed peoples (as well as art that in other ways goes against the status quo), this is not at the heart of what is being protested here.

Both artists object that Schutz herself has no right to paint this subject and, in Bright’s words, that she perpetuates “the same kind of violence that was enacted” on Emmett Till. “I feel like she does not have the privilege to speak for Black people as a whole or for Emmett Till’s family,” Parker Bright said. Hannah Black wrote that “The subject matter is not Schutz’s. White free speech and white creative freedom have been founded on the constraint of others and are not natural rights.” She accuses Schutz of “transmuting Black pain into fun and profit.” Schutz herself, in an interview in ARTnews, said that she did the painting in response to the police shootings, protests, and reaction in the summer of 2016, feeling that she had to speak, and that she was struck by how Mamie Till-Mobley had made what was hidden visible.

I haven’t seen the painting. I don’t know if it does justice to the deep subject matter that it’s tackling. But the objection of the protesters goes beyond the merits of the particular work of art and implies, if not insists, that the artist herself, by virtue of her social position, should not even attempt to take up the subject.

I will say this: whatever the intentions of Bright, Black, and others, the rationale for and the outlook behind this protest will keep us in the world as it is. And that we cannot afford.

First, on the criterion for who can do what art. The criterion of any work of art on a subject like the horrific murder of Emmett Till is not the lived experience of the artist, but whether the work does justice to the subject matter. Does it reach into the viewer, reader, or listener in a way that gets them closer to the truth of the matter being portrayed? Does it raise important questions in people’s minds? In the broadest sense, does the work provoke the audience to look at and think about the people and/or the issues it portrays in ways that correspond more to the essential truth of its subject matter? Does it lead people to see more deeply, to feel more deeply, the horror of injustice? Does it condemn what must be condemned and extol what should be extolled? Does it overall serve to propel the struggle against that oppression forward or not? What in the broadest terms is its social effect?

       

The question of the artist’s intent also enters into the equation. Were they trying to do something to contribute, broadly speaking, to a world without such horrors, to a world where humanity can flourish, and in making that attempt fell short, or even went badly off track? Then they should be criticized, but that should be tempered with some sense of what they were trying to do, even if they went off. But the main thing is the effect: how does the art “work on” the people who see it?

You want to criticize the work? Fine, go ahead. But do it on the basis of its content and social effect, not whether the artist has “the privilege” to speak for a community. While thinking about this letter today, I was listening to Rhiannon Giddens’ new album Freedom Highway. I thought about her powerful version of Richard Fariña’s song about the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 in which four young girls were murdered. Listen to this on YouTube right now and tell me if Fariña should have held back from writing this song because he was not Black. He, along with millions around the world, was shaken to his core by the bombing and he created art that can still today move people and shake them, that can peel away the callouses and put them in touch with the humanity of the victims and the inhumanity of their murderers, and that can compel them to look around in new ways at what still goes on. Should Abel Meeropol, a white person from New York City, not have written “Strange Fruit”—the classic song about lynching that has been so compellingly interpreted by Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and so many other artists? Should not others still sing this?

Or what about Picasso? He was living comfortably in Paris when he painted Guernica, which portrayed the unutterably vicious bombing carried out by the Nazis against a Basque peasant village on the antifascist side in the Spanish Civil War. He didn’t personally know what it was like to have your family slaughtered in front of your eyes by bombs falling from the sky. Does that matter in the least to the enduring power of that painting?

Bob Avakian: Observations on Art and Culture, Science and PhilosophyBob Avakian: Observations on Art and Culture, Science and Philosophy

"If you don’t have a poetic spirit – or at least a poetic side – it is very dangerous for you to lead a Marxist movement or be the leader of a socialist state." – Bob Avakian

This provocative collection of reflections and observations by Bob Avakian on art, culture, science and philosophy offers a rare treat. Excerpted from formal talks as well as more informal discussions and conversations, many of the texts in this collection allow the reader to experience firsthand the freewheeling Bob Avakian—in the process of developing his thinking and reenvisioning the communist project on a wide range of controversies, from the dictatorship of the proletariat to discussions of truth, beauty, science and imagination.

$14.95
Order online at insight-press.com

The critics of Dana Schutz’s painting seem to assume that only artists of a particular nationality or gender or sexual identity or condition have the right (or the “privilege,” to use their word) to take up subject matter pertaining to that nationality, gender, sexual identity, or condition. The logic of this outlook treats oppression as property and ultimately (and sometimes not so ultimately) reduces things to the cash nexus of who gets to “monetize” that oppression into art. Haven’t we had enough, more than enough, of this frankly rank thinking? Don’t the commodity relations of capitalism already do enough to mar and twist everything they touch? Do you really want to stay in this world where everything is commodified—the world that among other things led to and produced the excruciating nightmare that went down in August 1954 in Money, Mississippi—or do you want to get out of it, get free of it, forever? How about fighting to get beyond that world (and as we do, fighting to break down the barriers that keep some artists “on the margins,” and in some cases suppressed outright). One outlook, or the other. The world we have, or the world we could have, beyond the narrow horizon of capitalism and the reduction of everything to commodity exchange.

Second, if you think for just one second about what humanity faces right now... really? Mr. Bright and Ms. Black, have you noticed that there is a fascist in the White House who is determined to “make America white again” and who is putting the future of the entire planet in severe jeopardy? And if you have noticed that, and are revulsed by it—and from reading Hannah Black’s statement, I’ll assume that you are—then why in the world are you aiming your wrath at someone who seems to be trying to go against that direction, for daring to create a painting whose intent seems to be to get people to stop and think about and reflect on and feel the horror visited upon Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley? And you’re accusing her of the “same kind of violence enacted” by the lynch mob who murdered Emmett Till? Again, really? This is what you think needs to be protested right now? Even destroyed? Are you even thinking about the effect of your actions? Or wondering why the press is suddenly so eager to hear and publicize your thoughts? This would be pitiful if it weren’t so damaging to what is really needed right now.

Come on, now. It’s way too late for this stuff. It does damage, it needs to stop, and the people who know better need to stop putting up with it and start calling it out for what it is.

 

 


 

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

Revolution #486 April 10, 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/486/nyc-plan-to-close-rikers-lets-torture-brutality-continue-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

New York City Plan to "Close" Rikers Jail Means Letting Torture and Brutality Continue There at Least 10 More Years

April 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On April 3, a commission convened by the New York City Council speaker issued a report on the city’s huge jail complex on Rikers Island. Like various other reports in recent years, this one found that guards at Rikers use brutal force against prisoners at an “alarming rate”—inmates are punched in the head, slammed into walls, kicked while handcuffed, doused with pepper spray, and so on—and then lie about it.

Just a few days before this report was made public, Mayor Bill de Blasio (who last year said closing down Rikers was “unrealistic”) announced his agreement with a plan to shut Rikers down. The plan is to move inmates to jails built throughout the city, and it will take at least 10 years to implement, if the city actually goes ahead with it.

About 77,000 people go through Rikers a year. On average about 10,000 are locked up every day—about 93 percent men; the majority African-Americans and Latinos from low-income neighborhoods; some 40 percent diagnosed with a mental health issue. About 85 percent of the people have NOT been convicted of a crime but are behind bars at Rikers—for weeks, months, or even years—awaiting trial, usually because they cannot get bail. A New York Times investigation reported that just in an 11-month span in 2013, 129 inmates were seriously injured by guards and required hospitalization.

The Struggle to Close Down Rikers

For many years, different groups have exposed the horror at Rikers and organized protests to demand it be shut down. On October 23, 2015, as part of Rise Up October, protesters shut down Rikers for about an hour—with 17 people arrested for carrying out civil disobedience that blocked the entry gate. In September 2016, 500 people—including celebrities, politicians, and former inmates—demonstrated in Queens to demand Rikers be shut down. There have been many other protests.

Rikers Island Prison Shutdown October 23, 2015
Protest to shut down Rikers, October 23, 2015. Photo: Special to revcom.us


Videos: James from the Internet

Horror stories of brutality and murder by guards have been coming out of Rikers for decades. Many now know the story of Kalief Browder, a 17-year-old, jailed at Rikers to await trial after being accused of stealing a backpack. Browder was put in solitary confinement for long periods and repeatedly brutalized by guards; and when he attempted suicide he was put in solitary again. Finally released from Rikers after three years, Browder committed suicide in June 2015, a year after being released.

TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, a six-part docu-series on Spike produced by Jay Z, was seen by three million people in its first week. Rikers, a documentary by Bill Moyers featuring interviews with inmates, is scheduled to premiere on PBS in May.

Rikers has become infamous across the U.S. and internationally. The New York Times recently described Rikers as “synonymous with brutality, incompetence, corruption and neglect,” adding that, “If there is one place that exemplifies the national disgrace of mass incarceration, of inmates languishing without trial, of the warehousing of those with mental illnesses, it’s Rikers.” The British Guardian noted in a photo caption that “Rikers has its own place in the history of racism in America”; and it noted, “Rikers has been nicknamed Gladiator School, Torture Island, the Guantánamo of New York and, in summertime, the Oven...” and is “one of the largest, most stubborn sores on America’s blighted criminal justice landscape.”

All this has put a spotlight on the horrors going on at Rikers—exposing the USA with this glaring example of mass incarceration and the racist IN-justice system in America. This is one big reason behind the plan of the powers that be to shut Rikers down. But their plan really amounts to dividing Rikers up into smaller centers of mass incarceration.

If New York City did actually follow through with this plan, what will it mean? Ten more years of Rikers means thousands more brutalized and tortured at this hellhole. This is BULLSHIT. Rikers needs to be shut down NOW. The torture must stop, RIGHT NOW.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/white-supremacist-fascist-shut-down-at-claremont-mckenna-college-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

Cheers to Claremont Colleges Students:

White Supremacist Fascist Shut Down at Claremont McKenna College

April 11, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

On Thursday, April 6, students at the Claremont Colleges (in eastern Los Angeles County) blocked the entrances to the building on the campus of Claremont McKenna College (CMC) where white supremacist, fascist Heather Mac Donald was scheduled to speak. People attempting to enter the building were blocked and could not enter.

Mac Donald writes for the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank. She authored the book The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe, where she criticized Black Lives Matter and said that criminals have been emboldened by the scrutiny of police shootings. She says that police deserve more support and less scrutiny.

Over 250 students from the six Claremont campuses took part in the protest, shouting “Shut it down,” “Black lives matter,” “From Oakland to Greece, fuck the police,” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

The protest was organized on Facebook by a group called “Shut Down Anti-Black Fascists.” They stated that it was wrong to permit Claremont McKenna’s Institute of State and Local Government to “host the notorious white supremacist fascist Heather Mac Donald. As a community, we cannot and will not allow fascism to have a platform... Mac Donald openly advocates and encourages mass incarceration of black and brown folks in the U.S. by explicitly stating racist constructions of ‘black crime.’ As the Amerikkkan state monopolizes violence, the judicial system is a branch of many institutions that protect the interests of rich white supremacists... The way fascism is masked as ‘free speech’ is not any ‘normal’ exercise of constitutional power. White supremacists such as Heather Mac Donald claim protection from free speech as an exercise of constitutional rights forgetting that the Constitution was created by slave owners.”

Students were being organized to “show CMC that having this speaker is an attack on marginalized communities both on campus and off. Together, we can hold CMC accountable and prevent Mac Donald from spewing her racist, anti-Black, capitalist, imperialist, fascist agenda.”

It was reported that the cops had to smuggle Mac Donald out a back door and take her to a room with no audience where her presentation was live-streamed to another part of the campus.

The CMC administration said they were disappointed that they had to shut down the event and that this was an affront to free speech. Students have been threatened with action against them for taking part in the protest. However, no arrests were made at that time.

Right on to the Claremont students.

       

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/films-how-to-survive-a-plague-and-larry-kramer-in-love-and-anger-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

Check It Out:

Films: How to Survive a Plague and Larry Kramer in Love & Anger

April 12, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

I want to strongly recommend to all readers of revcom.us, and especially all people building for the 10 Days of Resistance in late April and early May, the films How to Survive a Plague and Larry Kramer in Love & Anger. Both films can be seen on YouTube, and the Larry Kramer film can be seen on HBO on Demand as well.

Both films give you a feel for what ACT UP— the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power— was like in the 1980s and 1990s. (ACT UP continues to exist and remains a militant organization.). Both films give a feel for the kind of urgency and relentlessness, audacity, determination, and irreverence that Larry Kramer and ACT UP brought into the AIDS crisis. How to Survive a Plague also shows how, on the basis of this uncompromising foundation and urgent edge, ACT UP combined this with reaching very broadly to many different people and undertaking many different activities.

Also available on HBO is a film of Larry Kramer’s great play, The Normal Heart, which shows how Kramer had to go outside the bounds of what was deemed respectable and acceptable. How he had to fight against people's deadly illusions and force people out of their comfort zone to confront the actual dangers they were facing.

There are things here to learn and apply to the struggles of today—not THE ANSWER in toto, but certainly a big part of the answer.

I won’t say more here: watch the films.

A Reader

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/hundreds-of-immigrants-in-detention-on-hunger-strike-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

Hundreds of Immigrants on Hunger Strike at Northwest Detention Center

April 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

As of Wednesday night, 750 immigrant detainees being held in the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington have joined in a hunger strike that began Monday, April 10. Among the detainees’ demands are expedited hearings; an end to “inedible” food; better medical care; and an increase in the amount they are paid for working inside the prison from the $1 a day they receive now. This is not the first strike by detainees at NWDC. In 2014 1,200 immigrants went on a hunger strike, some who continued their strike for weeks, in order to draw attention to the same conditions.

NWDC is the largest detention center on the West Coast, with a capacity of 1,575 detainees. It is run by a private prison corporation—GEO Group Inc., which operates prisons and detention centers around the country. Last year Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) held more than 350,000 immigrants in civil detention facilities.

NWDC Resistance, a support group that was formed out of the hunger strikes of 2014, has rallied supporters outside the detention center from the start, camping out each night to draw attention to and build support for the prisoners’ strike and to their demands. According to their press release, “Detention conditions were already terrible under Obama, and from what we’re hearing, they’ve gotten even worse since Trump’s election. We know from past hunger strikes that ICE and GEO are quick to retaliate, and we want the hunger strikers to know that they are not alone.”

They’ve called for a rally at noon on Thursday, which will mark 72 hours since the start of the hunger strike—the point at which ICE and GEO have to acknowledge that there is a hunger strike taking place. They are expecting to receive a call from the prisoners at that point, telling their supporters whether they plan to continue the strike.

Maru Mora-Villalpando, spokesperson for the support group told the Seattle Weekly she is doubtful that appealing to the Trump administration will yield very much. She recently returned from an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing in Washington, D.C., and for the first time in two decades of such meetings, she said, the United States did not show up. “For us, it was just another sign that we’re dealing with a fascist regime that doesn’t care about human rights.” But that makes what the prisoners are doing even more important.

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/no-to-trumps-war-moves-and-aggression-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

NO! To Trump’s War Moves and Aggression—Drive Out This Fascist Regime!

April 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Wednesday, Trump ordered the dropping of the biggest bomb short of a nuclear weapon on Afghanistan. In March, the number of civilians killed by U.S.-led air strikes in Iraq and Syria rose sharply from the already-high previous total to as many as more than 3,400 people, four times the number from the previous month. Trump has flipped from flattering into threatening Russia and is now playing nuclear roulette with North Korea. 

On a very basic level, this is U.S. imperialism at work: using military aggression, and the threat of aggression, in its drive to ever more deeply exploit and plunder the planet and to dominate its chief rivals in that horrific endeavor. These imperialists kill people, wholesale, all the time. Some crow about it, some express regret, and some do both out of either side of their mouth. But they all do it. That is not new and whoever sits in the White House—be it Obama or Clinton, Trump or Bush—bathes in the blood that flows in Syria, Yemen, Somalia or dozens of other places every night.

On another level, the current burst of aggression takes place in the context of a fascist regime attempting to consolidate power—one that is both fighting with other sections of the power structure and fighting within its ranks. The Trump/Pence regime came to power as one answer to the stubborn and difficult problems the U.S. confronts in enforcing that dominance. The logic of fascist regimes—regimes whose legitimacy rest on a hyper-nationalistic chauvinism and the presence of an invincible “strong-man” who virtually never admits defeat but always doubles down—drives very powerfully toward aggression and war. When you have a fascist strongman who has repeatedly raised the question of using nuclear weapons and of heightening the nuclear arms race... whose military budget is a war-fighting budget... who speaks only of American dominance and openly glories in and unleashes his followers around “America First”... this is extraordinarily ominous. Anyone who is telling you that we should aim at anything short of driving out this fascist regime is simply not coming to grips with how directly and dangerously the fate of the planet now hangs in the balance.

Such aggression also mutes the opposition within the country—as this has been doing. It would be truly disastrous should Trump/Pence succeed in that. It is urgent that people take up the call from Refuse Fascism to make the ten days from the April 22 March for Science through May 1 days in which the demonstrations that have already been called are as strong as possible... and that this is marked by large and growing contingents coming together around the slogan: “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!”

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/chicago-revolutionaries-arrested-at-good-friday-peace-march-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

From Revolution Club, Chicago:

Revolutionaries Arrested at Good Friday Peace March

April 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Update, Friday night: The two Revolution Club members were released as of 8:30 pm. They are charged with violating several city ordinances. People should continue to protest the outrageous arrests of the Revolution Club members and demand that all charges be dropped.

 

We received this press release:

April 14, 2017
Immediate Release
From: Revolution Club Chicago
Press Contact: 773-329-5014

Two women who are members of the Revolution Club, Chicago, were arrested this morning as they brought a revolutionary solution to Cardinal Cupich's Good Friday March for Peace on the South Side of Chicago.

The Revolution Club was carrying a banner that read: “Oppressed people who are unable, or unwilling, to confront reality as it actually is are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed.” The Revolution Club's signs and message: “If praying could have stopped our youth from killing each other, it would have stopped a long time ago” and “If you are going to pray—pray that our youth get into the revolution—and support them when they do.”

The cops arresting them said they didn't have a permit and couldn't be in the street—at a procession that was marching in the streets. It is not known what exactly they have been charged with at this time.

This is outrageous. What? You are only allowed to pray for an end to violence among the people but not to call for an end to the system that is responsible for the situation our youth are caught up in in the first place?

It amounts to suppression of speech because the politics are revolutionary.

These two revolutionaries must be released and any charges against them must be dropped.

And we are calling on everybody to call Chicago Police Department's 7th district in Englewood, 312 747-8220 (this is where we think they are being held). 

Press—for more information: call 773 329-5014.

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/chicago-to-the-youth-who-are-caught-up-in-the-violence-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

The Revolution Club says

To the Youth Who Are Caught Up in the Violence—
You Are NOT “Too Far Gone,” But You Need to Get into This Revolution or You Will Be.

April 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

People are saying there's no way out of the gang shit. They say it’s too far gone because too many people have been killed and “we want them to hurt how we hurt.” It’s too far gone because “I’ve already done too much fucked up shit.” It’s too far gone because the young ones have no hopes and dreams, no structure, and are quick to kill.

Bullshit. It’s not too far gone. It’s just fucked up as hell. And it’s a system that has put you and millions like you in this situation, trapped you in it, and is using you to keep it going. The ONLY solution is revolution. You need to change what you are living and fighting for and willing to die for.

This system has set everything up against you and called you a criminal before you could even walk. Its police lock you up, beat you down, and kill you off. And it has trained you to think in its dog-eat-dog logic: that the only meaning your life can have is killing other people in the exact same conditions. Now Trump has plans to bring the hammer down on Black people and speed up what is already a slow genocide. Don’t do what they want you to do! GET OUT OF THIS CRAZY SHIT, AND GET INTO THE REVOLUTION!

You think you’re Tough Tony for doing what this system lets you do? Or are you really afraid of change? Afraid to hope we could get to a radically different situation and afraid to take the step of putting yourself out there to fight for something radically different?

This situation is not too far gone. And you are not too far gone. Whatever heartless fucked up shit you have done in the past is past. And we will stand with you if you step forward to do something different now. Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution, sees something else. 

One of the things that I see, something that I haven’t lost sight of, is this: I see all the strength of the ruling class, but I also see all the way through all this shit, all the contradictions in society—I actually see a force in this society that, if it were developed into a revolutionary people, actually could have a go at it, could have a real chance of making a revolution, or being the backbone force of a revolution, when the conditions were ripe. I see a force of millions and millions and millions—youth and others—for whom this system is a horror: It isn’t going to take some cataclysmic crisis for this system to be fucking over them. The ruling class, ironically, sees them too. It is those who once had but have lost—or those who never had—a revolutionary perspective... it is they who can’t see this. (from the essay “The Revolutionary Potential of the Masses and the Responsibility of the Vanguard,” in BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian)

Get with Bob Avakian and join the Revolution Club. We have the strategy, discipline, organization, and science to have a real chance to win—and the heart for humanity to make it a revolution worth fighting and dying for. Come to the Revolution Club office to learn how we can win a real revolution, what we need to do now to prepare for revolution, and how to start living by and fighting for the Points of Attention for the Revolution.

For the people who are not the ones shooting and dying, but are shaking your heads and throwing up your hands: the youth are there, what are YOU going to do? Wash your hands of it? Preach to them? Or be part of or support the only road that can lead out of this madness, revolution?

Get with the Revolution! Get with the Revolution Club!
1857 E 71st Street (in South Shore, Chicago)
Hours: 3–7 pm every day except Monday
312-804-9121  revclub.chi@gmail.com
www.Facebook.com/RevComChi

 

       

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/call-for-millions-to-wear-no-on-holocaust-remembrance-day-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

The following was issued by Refuse Fascism, at RefuseFascism.org

1933 to 2017 Never Again! Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime!

This is a Call for millions of people to wear NO! on Monday, April 24, 2017, the United States Holocaust Remembrance Day

April 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To all Holocaust survivors; their families, relatives and friends; and those who deplore the thought of any future Holocausts or genocide against any peoples anywhere;

To people everywhere who stand with the Muslims, the Mexicans, the refugees, the immigrants from everywhere who have been vilified and targeted by the Trump/Pence regime in ways that echo the demonization of Jews and other groups in Nazi Germany;

To all those people who deplore the fact that Trump left out any mention of the 6 million Jews, Gypsies, Eastern Europeans… slaughtered by the fascist Nazi regime on International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January, 2017;

To all Jews and other peoples who have experienced genocide;

To all those people who refuse to accommodate, refuse to conciliate, refuse to collaborate with the Trump regime;

To all those people who detest white supremacy, misogyny, or xenophobia and do not want to see a repeat of “make Germany whole again”;

To all those people who despise and fear the Trump regime and want to see it driven out;

We say Never Again! Never again will we allow another Holocaust to happen to any people.

Join us in wearing the NO! Everywhere! … on T-shirts, jackets, uniforms, hats… In Germany, Jews were forced to wear the Yellow Star of David, political prisoners the red triangle, homosexuals the pink triangle, and all the other triangles. We proudly choose to wear the NO! to symbolize opposition to the Trump/Pence regime’s efforts to brand any new group of people as ‘undesirable.’

Join us in posting the symbol of NO! Everywhere… on storefronts, school bags, synagogues, mosques, churches, lunch pails, billboards, newspaper stands, house windows, online… and link up with millions of people to express the need to DRIVE OUT the FASCIST TRUMP REGIME before it is able to fully consolidate its fascist plan and normalize the attacks and wars on Muslims, immigrants, women, LGBTQ, people of color, and destruction of our planet.

NO!  In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America!



       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/refuse-fascism-in-mix-at-angry-tax-day-protests-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

Originally posted at RefuseFascism.org

Refuse Fascism in the Mix at Angry Tax Day Protests

From a correspondent in NYC

April 15, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Many thousands of people marched in “Tax Day” protests in over a hundred cities Saturday. Organizers called these actions to protest Trump’s refusal to release his tax reports, and this was a focus of their speeches and the signs they handed out as well as many homemade signs. Thousands rallied and marched in New York alone. A Refuse Fascism contingent was in the mix.

Large numbers of people were drawn into the streets behind the “release your taxes” demand. Among the crowd there were many who felt that the problem is “Putin is really pulling the strings,” and this is what Trump is hiding  by not releasing his tax forms. At the same time, there were people in the crowd, which was mainly middle class and middle aged, for whom this was not their starting point. They expressed a lot of contempt for and anger at Trump and everything he represents. One woman said “It’s not about what he’s hiding. Not for me anyway. It’s about what he’s doing that we know. Like the way he hates everyone who’s not like he is. I’m a woman, I’m a Mexican, so I got two strikes against me right there. It’s about not wanting to see who can build the biggest bomb.”

Another man said, “I really don’t give a shit about his taxes. I mean, I do, when it pays for things like that bomb he just dropped. But I’m here to say, New York City hates you, Mr. Trump. I’m here to say, fuck you, Mr. Trump, and everything you stand for. Everyone is focused on taxes, but this problem goes way beyond that. Here’s what I think. This guy has got to go.” And with that, he started chanting “hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go”, and was joined by pretty much everyone around him.

A youth who hooked up and marched with Refuse Fascism said “when we talk about Donald Trump’s tax returns, it gets at things that are a problem, like corruption, wealth and poverty. But why I want him out of power, him releasing his tax returns are not at the top of my list. It’s about the things, the substantive things that are affecting the whole planet, and people everywhere. It’s like the people who organized this protest organized it around New York Times headlines. It’s a bit surreal to see people addressing his taxes, but not things that really matter. I mean, if he released his taxes tomorrow, I’d still want him out of power”.

People with Refuse Fascism struggled with people to understand the urgency of acting NOW to drive out the regime. That what makes the Trump/Pence Regime illegitimate is its FASCIST character! There is an opening, and what masses of people do or don’t do in the next two weeks will contribute greatly, one way or the other, to what the future looks like.

 



       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/486/two-revolution-club-members-arrested-at-good-friday-peace-march-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

Drop All The Charges

Two Revolution Club Members Arrested at Good Friday Peace March

April 15, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Catholic Church’s Cardinal Cupich organized a Good Friday procession through Englewood on Chicago’s south side to pray for an end to the violence among the people.

At the end of the procession, two women from the Revolution Club, Chicago were arrested while Chicago police menaced other members. We demand to know why they were arrested. Did the Catholic Church or sponsors urge the authorities to drag away the revolutionaries on Good Friday? If not, then where is the outrage and the demand that the charges be dropped immediately?

We challenge anyone to tell us what is wrong with what is said in the quote from Bob Avakian (BA) that we carried? Or our other signs challenging people?

Oppressed people who are unable or unwilling, to confront reality as it actually is, are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed. (BA, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party-RCP)

If praying could stop our youth from killing each other, it would have stopped a long time ago. If you are going to pray—pray for people to get into the revolution—and then support them when they do!

Get out of this insanity of killing each other. Get into the Revolution!

Authorities Say: Praying—OK, Revolution—NO!

In making these highly visible arrests on Good Friday, the state was enforcing the message that you can pray for an end to the violence among the people but you can not call for an end to the system that creates the conditions and the values that is responsible and gives rise to youth killing each other by denying them any future. What does this tell you?

Get With/Join
the Revolution Club

Revolution Club in Baltimore
Photo: Special to revcom.us

These arrests were BS and an outrage. Here is how it went down. Before the start of the Good Friday procession, the revolutionaries marched up to a gathering of a couple of hundred people, holding up their signs and banners for all to see and passing out flyers through the crowd with the message: “From the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party to ALL People: What The Trump/Pence Regime Will Mean For Black People—and What Must Be Done About It, NOW!” and a message from the Revolution Club: “To the Youth Who Are Caught Up in the Violence—You Are NOT ‘Too Far Gone,’ But You Need to Get into This Revolution or You Will Be.” People came over to talk and to find out who these revolutionaries were and one came to help hold the signs. Some other people stood in front of them and prayed as if their message was evil. Police gave them a citation for using amplified sound (even though the Revolution Club members were careful to not be disruptive of the event) but told them that they were welcome to be part of the procession if they didn’t use the sound.

As the procession was ending, the Revolution Club marched up to meet it (without a sound system), and the police immediately vamped on them. The police said that they could not be in the street, even as hundreds filled the blocked off street. One Revolution Club member was grabbed and arrested while others were backed onto the sidewalk. Some people began to chant, “Let her go,” and police grabbed and arrested another club member. Other club members were followed and menaced by police as they tried to leave the area. A priest and a videographer trailed along to protect them. The fact that this was being filmed made the police back off. The two Revolution Club members arrested were held for hours while the police went back and forth about what to charge them with since they had no cause to arrest them in the first place.

Everyone who wants to see our youth get into radically changing the world and becoming emancipators of humanity in the process needs to condemn these arrests and demand that the charges be dropped immediately. Call Edward Siskel, Corporation Counsel at the City of Chicago Law Department 312-744-0220 and tell him to drop the charges.

Come Learn about the Revolution Club

Come to the Revolution Club office in South Shore at 1857 E. 71st Street on Thursday, April 20 at 7pm to meet the Revolution Club and to find out why they were arrested and what the Revolution Club is really all about.

A lot of people ask us if everyone in the Revolution Club doesn’t believe in god. The answer is that people who have religious beliefs can join the Revolution Club as long as they uphold Point #5 of the Club’s Six Points of Attention: “We search for and fight for the truth no matter how unpopular, even as we listen to and learn from the observations, insights and criticisms of others.” The Revolution Club is led by the RCP, which is thoroughly scientific and does not believe in any kind of gods or supernatural beings. The Club and the Party work with many religious people and clergy on the basis of the following principle:

While many people will do positive things in opposing the crimes of this system, we need to approach everything—evaluate every political program and every organized force in society, every kind of culture, values and ways of treating people—according to how it relates to the revolution we need, to end all oppression. We should unite with people whenever we can, and struggle with them whenever we need to, to advance the revolution.

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, May 6th–Come to a Showing of REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight For Emancipation and The Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN

The Revolution Club Office in South Shore is located at: 1857 E. 71st Street

Its Hours are: 3pm-7pm Every Day but Monday

Contact Information: 312-804-9121, RevClub.chi@gmail.com

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/487/hinton-book-how-war-on-poverty-was-war-in-poor-en.html

Revolution #486 April 10, 2017

Think We Should Go Back to the "War on Poverty"?

This Book Shows How It Was A War All Right—On the Poor

April 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

One of the things that I really wanted to show in the book is that, essentially, policymakers even in the 1960s in the midst of civil rights revolution decided that a generation of African American youth were criminals, that they were potential delinquents, that they were social dynamite. They were pre-criminals. They labeled them criminals before they’ve actually committed a crime… It’s another kind of blame-the-victim approach to domestic policy that we’ve seen again and again over the past half-century.

Elizabeth Hinton, The Tavis Smiley Show, September 12, 2016


If you want some deep truths about how the “war on drugs” began and how the U.S. became  the world leader in mass incarceration, read Elizabeth Hinton’s book, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America. Hinton takes us through the 1970s and 1980s, showing how the government’s “War on Poverty” became a war on the poor. She reveals the racist thinking used to justify this. And we see how Democrats and Republicans united to carry this out.

In 1964, Democratic President Lyndon Johnson launched the federal War on Poverty—which included things like food stamps, Head Start, Medicare, and Medicaid. Johnson touted this as part of a “Great Society” that was going to solve poverty and other problems. But at the very same time he began to launch some very repressive measures. In 1965, after a summer of uprisings in a number of cities, Johnson introduced the Law Enforcement Assistance Act, which signaled a new “War on Crime.” Hinton writes, “The punitive legislation offered a response to the threat of future disorder by establishing a direct role for the federal government in local police operations, court systems, and state prisons for the first time in American history.”

Soon, any thinking among policymakers that crime stemmed from racism, discrimination, and poverty was basically replaced with the view that what was needed was not social programs but more “law and order.”

Racists argued that no amount of economic and social changes would work because crime and violence were “hereditary” in Black people. There was a “progressive” version of this that said Black families had to “break the pathologies” perpetuated by poverty, which only led to further poverty and crime. 

Hinton writes, “The notion that a self-perpetuating ‘tangle of pathology’ characterized black families nevertheless emerged as a powerful, and malleable, explanation of persisting racial inequality after the passage of the Civil Rights Act [1964] and other egalitarian measures.” So even those who had said that poverty contributed to crime ended up putting the blame on the people. Some argued that a “culture of poverty” made it impossible for poor Black people to even benefit from social programs.

What evolved was a War on Crime that targeted Black people as a people—not the economic and social institutions (real estate, government, hiring, education, etc.) that kept the oppression of Black people going.

We saw the police occupation of Black neighborhoods, racial profiling and arrests—sometimes for minor drug crimes, loitering or curfew violations. Hinton describes, for example, the work of the Los Angeles Police Department’s CRASH (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) unit beginning in the 1970s: “The series of police sweeps the force conducted reached their height in the spring of 1988, when 1,000 officers swept through South Central in a caravan of patrol cars on a Friday night and made another round of sweeps the next day. More than 1,400 predominantly black residents faced arrest for traffic citations, parking fines, curfew violations, outstanding warrants, ‘gang-related behaviors,’ and drunk driving in the largest mass arrest in the city since the Watts uprising of 1965.”

Higher Black crime rates were then used as supposed “proof” that Black people were “inherently” criminal. Research and policy shifted from tying crime to discrimination, unemployment, and poverty to putting forward things like divorce rates, single parent households, and teenage pregnancy as the cause of crime.

Policymakers developed repressive measures based on the anticipation of FUTURE crime and criminals. In their view, Black youth were in a “pre-crime stage” so they needed to be targeted and criminalized—to be removed from society before they became criminals.

Hinton shows how through all this, the police were increasingly inserted into the lives of people—in schools, neighborhoods, housing projects. Teachers, social workers, and community activists were drawn into cooperating and participating in repressive measures—like identifying “troublemakers” to be monitored and arrested. And “anti-poverty” programs themselves increasingly cooperated with and became entangled with policing—which facilitated the normalization of police occupation in the community.

One lesson to draw from Hinton’s book is that those who try to draw a distinction between “good” War on Poverty programs and the straight-out fascistic repression of the Republicans are missing and covering over a very important point: WHOEVER is in power will enforce the oppression of Black people, in one way or another. The problem is the SYSTEM which must be gotten rid of and replaced with a whole new economic, political, and social system.