Revolution #496, June 19, 2017 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Please note: this page is intended for quick printing of the entire issue. Some of the links may not work when clicked, and some images may be missing. Please go to the article's permalink if you require working links and images.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/495/refuse-fascism-july-15-2017-demonstrate-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Updated June 26, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From RefuseFascism.org:

On July 15, 2017:

To all who agonize and rage at what’s being done to the people, protest and demand:

THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!

In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

 

Immigrants are full human beings, not “illegals” or criminals, to be demonized, terrorized, hunted down, locked up and thrown out.  NO! We will not accept the cruel and brutal future of the Trump/Pence Regime ... they must GO!

Muslims and refugees are full human beings, not people to be shunned, banned, and cast out to be swallowed up by oceans and wars.  NO!  We will not accept the cruel and brutal future of the Trump/Pence Regime . . . they must GO!

Women and LGBTQ people are full human beings, not objects to be grabbed, demeaned, victimized and denied their fundamental right to control their reproduction, and how they choose to live.  NO!  We will not accept the cruel and brutal future of the Trump/Pence Regime . . . they must GO!

Black and Latino people are full human beings, not people to be denied the right even to live, gunned down by the police with impunity, incarcerated in genocidal numbers, and denied basic rights. NO!  We will not accept the cruel and brutal future of the Trump/Pence Regime . . . they must GO!

The people of every country are full human beings, and not collateral damage to be subjected to massive bombing, invasions, occupations, the danger of nuclear war, and a program of “America First” that would bludgeon them into submission. NO! We will not accept the cruel and brutal future of the Trump/Pence Regime . . . they must GO!

The children, elderly and poor of this country, as in every country, should have food for sustenance, health care to live, homes to live in, and not be denied with cruel calculation for the benefit of the few.  NO!  We will not accept the cruel and brutal future of the Trump/Pence Regime . . . they must GO!

The earth and the species who inhabit it – including humanity – should sustain life and not be despoiled by ignorance, greed, and the disregard of science.  NO!  We will not accept the cruel and brutal future of the Trump/Pence Regime . . . they must GO!

IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY: THE TRUMP AND PENCE REGIME MUST GO!  Only the people acting together in the streets and public square can force this demand before the world.  Should we fail to do so, the future and values we aspire to could be brutally cut short by the actions of the Trump/Pence Regime.

The Trump/Pence government has been step by step criminalizing dissent and bludgeoning the truth with worse to come.  Stripping away basic rights and the rule of law is at the core of fascism.  Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory leading to real horrors.  We must not let this be normalized. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.

The demand: “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go,” can unify people and our resistance. There are different programs of struggle against the multiple attacks of the Trump/Pence regime, people have diverse views for how to achieve a better future, and all of this should be aired, shared, and debated. But, if we don’t stop the consolidation of fascism by organizing together to demand that the Trump/Pence regime must go, people’s lives here and around the world, and the earth itself will face greater catastrophe.

Now is the time to act. The scandal and turmoil the regime faces is an opening through which the mass action of the people could burst through and make our demand resound throughout the country, in the halls of power, and around the world.

On July 15th “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go,” must be spoken, shouted, and acted on with fiercely creative determination. We have righteously marched for women, for science, for the climate, for immigrants, for Black Lives, for LGBTQ Pride.  Now the resistance must pull together to drive this regime from power.

July 15th must be a day when every person, every group – religious, community, service, political organization – all who feel the tremendous threat to humanity posed by the Trump/Pence regime – stand together showing the world that people here are determined that this regime must go ... not in two years or four, but now.

July 15th must mark a leap to more sustained struggle, inspiring people to see the possibility of ousting this regime through unleashing the tremendous power of the people – aiming for the time when millions can be moved to fill the streets of cities and towns day after day and night after night, declaring this whole regime illegitimate – Demanding, and Not Stopping, Until The Trump/Pence Regime Is Driven from Power.

On July 15, with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, we will act together to resist and say NO!... Not for ourselves alone, but in the name of humanity.

Endorse the Call for July 15 Protests HERE

Contact Refuse Fascism to volunteer, or to make
your organization a partner or co-sponsor of July 15
917-407-1286; info@refusefascism.org

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/critical-juncture-july-15-nationwide-protest-demand-trump-pence-regime-must-go-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

A critical juncture... July 15, 2017 nationwide protests to demand:

The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America

by Andy Zee

June 19, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.” Millions of people feel this, bone deep. Yet, for all the sound and fury in the media, for all the righteous protest, for all the real legal obstacles and jeopardy that Trump and his cohorts are in, the regime treacherously careens on—instituting one draconian measure after another—as belligerent as day one. And yet, even as people feel besieged by the breathless and dizzying spin of “Breaking News,” the Democratic Party and their “independent” supporters tell people that it is going to be a long haul—until at least the 2018 congressional election—even for impeachment because not one Republican has seriously broken from Trump. And, some say, people should just work for the 2020 election because impeachment will bring in Pence, who is as bad as Trump.

This is not acceptable. This regime must go, and soon. We must break out of the terms of thinking and acting through the normal “way things work” of the system. Too much is at stake. The damage that the Trump/Pence regime has already done to destroy lives and the environment is far worse than people know. Should the regime be able to fully consolidate their fascist vision and program, this will have dire impact on the whole world, potentially nothing short of catastrophe. This must be a summer of struggle, with July 15 a crucial focal point that brings together the resistance in powerful protest in cities across the country to forcefully demand: “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go. In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.”

A Crucial Juncture... A Time to Act

The country is at a crucial juncture. The following four factors argue that this summer, going into the early fall, is the time when we can and must act on this demand. First, are the deadly measures the regime has already taken against immigrants, Muslims, women, Black and Latino youth in the inner cities, and the environment—each of which they have said are just first steps. Second, the regime has already subverted, and plans to further subvert, the rule of law, the separation of church and state, the right to dissent, and traditional “checks and balances”—all measures that break with and discard the form of bourgeois democracy. And, even as they have not succeeded in fully tearing up all democratic rights, that is their agenda. Third, the serious investigations and legal cases mounting against the regime increasingly compel them to act like cornered rats—lashing out in dangerous ways and most importantly to ram ahead with implementing their full fascist program, even as they have not yet succeeded in doing so, providing a window now for determined action. And, fourth, taking the first three factors fully into account, this summer is the time when the movements of opposition can still, and urgently need to, take a leap and demand that the whole regime must go... or else, the initiative that the people gained in the first five months of the regime could be lost and the opportunity to stop the consolidation of fascism squandered.

For these basic reasons, RefuseFascism.org has called for mass protests in cities and towns across the country on Saturday, July 15, 2017. The demand that “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go” can unify the people and the diverse streams of resistance that have acted against the regime. This demand gives expression to people’s outrage simmering beneath the surface—anger that is now suppressed as people are reduced to being spectators: watching hearings and reading blogs or working for the “long haul” while the meat grinder of the Trump/Pence fascist regime tears through immigrant communities, rips away health care and basic food support, destroys the planet and threatens and wages even more war. There are many organizations with different programs for fighting against the many-pronged attacks of the Trump/Pence regime, and there are different visions and programs for how to achieve a better future. All of this should be aired, debated, and struggled over, but if we don’t stop the consolidation of fascism by organizing together to demand that the Trump/Pence regime must go, all of our struggles could be crushed. Already, massive fines and long prison terms for even basic protest are being put into place across the country... fascist thugs are mobilizing... with fascism, it can become too late.

Do not make a potentially fatal mistake; this regime is fascist. Argue if you must that this is authoritarianism, or “proto” or “neo” fascism, but does that give you solace and a reason to not drive it out? If so, that is unacceptable. All the more so because this regime is hell-bent on imposing fascism: with all the arrogance and ignorance, the Bible taken literally and the flag, the racist genocide and misogyny that is the true face of Make America Great Again. Yes, there are differences from German fascism in the 1930s, but two important points: one, there are striking parallels to the rise of fascism in the ’30s. And, second, and at the heart of the matter, the essential character of fascism is present: a qualitative change in how society is governed—through essentially open terror and the elimination of basic democratic rights. Only in the U.S. today, Donald Trump has nuclear weapons and the most powerful military in world history under his command.

Immigrant communities are already living under a new frightening terror. Some immigrants’ rights leaders who have been fighting against deportations for years have said that everything that they have done in the past is not workable now under the Trump/Pence regime. The Trump/Pence regime has put forward and is implementing a program of the most vicious imposition of poverty, punishment, patriarchy, racism—unleashing the police against Black and Brown communities and all who dissent, and imposing and re-imposing reactionary “traditional values” against women and LGBTQ persons. We won’t go back. To go forward, we must drive these fascists out.

July 15—A Leap and a Gathering Wave of Struggle

To all who are confronting members of Congress over their vicious cutting of essential health care for millions, keep on them, but now is the time to also be raising the demand that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! And, now is the time for you to be part of organizing for July 15.

July 15, in cities across the country, “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go” must be spoken, shouted, and acted on with fiercely creative determination. People have marched for women, for science, for the climate, for immigrants, for Black lives, for LGBTQ pride. Now the resistance must pull together to drive this regime from power.

July 15 must be a day when every person, every groupreligious, community, service, political organizationall who feel the tremendous threat to humanity posed by the Trump/Pence regimestand together showing the whole world that people here are determined that this regime must go... not in two years or four, but now.

July 15 can and needs to be a leap to more sustained struggle through the rest of the summer, aiming for the time, early this fall, when “millions of people can be moved to fill the streets of cities and towns day after day and night after night, declaring this whole regime illegitimate—Demanding, and Not Stopping, Until the Trump/Pence Regime Is Driven from Power.

July 15 must not be just “one-off” demonstrations, but mark a new and gathering wave of struggle, taking as its model through the summer how ACT UP in the 1990s, through determined, creative action, changed the thinking of millions of people about AIDS and forced the powers that be to meet their demands.

Demanding that a regime be removed from power is bigger than that, but as a result of the struggle in the 1960s, combined with sharp contradictions that the U.S. ruling class faced internationally and domestically, Vice President Agnew was removed from office, followed by President Nixon being prevailed upon to resign. Removing Trump and Pence will not go down in the exact same way. But it is possible. The only way for this to happen in a way favorable to the people is through resolute struggle that puts forward a firm demand from below—recalling the struggle that ousted the president of South Korea this past winter, or the struggles of the Arab Spring that ousted regimes. Are there differences here? Yes, but if we act with courage and conviction, overcoming fear and uncertainty, waging unrelenting struggle in cities and towns across the country, not only will the eyes of the world be on our actions, but then, too, every faction of the powers that be will have to respond to us—to our demand, that Trump and Pence must go!



 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/trump-pence-regime-not-self-destructing-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Letter from a Reader:

The Trump/Pence Regime Is Not “Self‑Destructing”

June 19, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Many people say “Trump is self-destructing” and self-sabotaging his presidency with his tweets and ill-considered statements, getting into deeper trouble as investigations continue and he does not heed wise counsel. “He’s a lawyer’s worst nightmare,” voices blare from MSNBC and other media. In the context of continuing investigations in Congress and at the Department of Justice, with talk and hopes of impeachment being raised, with opposition not only from the Democrats but from the intelligence agencies and the judiciary, there is perception and opinion that the Trump presidency is “imploding,” even if it takes a while, and he will be removed due to a combination of all this.

In this context, and as a response, consider the following points:

* First, fascism has deeper roots and is a result of larger dynamics. There is a cohered fascist social base, and they are not going without a fight, quietly into the night. They see this as their last chance to “take their country back.”

Trump has labeled the Robert Mueller special counsel investigations “a witch hunt” and reacted with anger, disdain, and a resolve to fight. While he does—at times—seem to step on his toes, fundamentally Trump is lashing out, remaking rules, and rallying his fascist social base to the fight.

“Entrenched interests” are doing “everything in their power to try to stop us,” Trump told a gathering of evangelicals the day James Comey, former FBI head who was fired by Trump, testified before Congress. “Nothing worth doing ever came easy, but we know how to fight better than anybody. And we never, ever would give up, and we don’t give up. We are winners, and we are going to fight, and win, and have an unbelievable future.”

What is contending between the “entrenched interests” and Trump’s “unbelievable future” are two different worldviews and forms of rule, both rooted in and presiding over the capitalist-imperialist system. Fascism, as represented by Trump/Pence and the Republican-fascists, is, however, more monstrous and grotesque than liberal bourgeois democracy, as represented by Clinton/Obama and the Democrats. As revcom.us points out:

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

As Bob Avakian (BA) has analyzed extensively in The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer and other works, fascism in America is a result of larger dynamics at this moment in history. He has scientifically analyzed the rise of this fascism, its underlying causes and drivers, and peculiarly American expressions such as Christian fascism—and what is to be done for the emancipation of humanity. (See sidebar.)

The fascist Trump/Pence regime, with the Christian theocratic fascists and the Republican leadership that supports them, represents an extremely reactionary section of the bourgeoisie. They have forged and cohered a social base around this program, decades in the making, a phenomenon in evidence at Trump’s rallies. “With the leading edge of ‘America First,’ white supremacy, patriarchy, and absolutist ‘traditional values’ and Biblical morality, this constitutes and further reinforces underlying oppressive and exploitative relations of this system―and coheres its base around an uncritical exaltation of American might and a violently oppressive and repressive stance toward all who do not fit, or will not subordinate themselves to, the white Christian-fundamentalist mode.” (From “Some Points on Strategic Orientation for the Next Period“ from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party)

This is what Trump means when he talks about “an unbelievable future” or what Vice President Mike Pence meant when he declared “Now is our time” when the new fascist cabinet was fully formed.

This differs from the “multiculturalism” and liberal secularism of Clinton/Obama which, while different, does not fundamentally break with this system’s Christian, white supremacist or patriarchal norms—or the dominant oppressive position of U.S. imperialism in the world order. Fascism and liberal bourgeois democracy are differing responses to major contradictions—globally and in the U.S.—faced by the bourgeoisie, the capitalist-imperialist ruling class. See box on this page for more.

This Trump/Pence regime is a fascist cabal that is not going to be unseated easily, that is not going to go without a fight. Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and a close supporter of Trump, expressed this during the campaign as, “There is no next election. This is our last chance to save this great country.

All of the different factions of fascism in America that have come together under the Trump/Pence regime want to see their program and vision realized, and are not going to go without a fight. Trump’s mistakes and ongoing investigations can contribute to their being removed from office, but relying on them to “self-destruct,” and measures short of driving out this whole fascist regime, will leave intact a program with horrendous consequences for humanity.

* Second, as a fascist regime, they are not bound to or going to respect bourgeois democratic norms, and the “checks and balances” that result from those norms. In fact, Trump’s whole record starting with his election campaign is one of breaking norms and imposing his will.

The reality is that Donald Trump now holds the reins of state power—including its key institutions of repressive power—the military and the Department of Justice (which oversees the FBI and local police forces). He and his cohorts have made clear from day one that they fundamentally are not bound by the traditional separation of powers and what has characterized the “checks and balances” and the bourgeois democratic norms they rest on—asserting, instead, the unchecked power of the executive.

As the Call to Action for Refuse Fascism states, “Donald Trump and Mike Pence have assembled a vicious cabal that has put forth positions and begun initiatives which demonstrate that they fully intend to shred political and social norms with catastrophic consequence.”

Newt Gingrich, one of Trump’s supporters, went so far as to say, in effect, that the president by definition cannot obstruct justice. The regime will try to suppress and silence any group—even within the ruling class—that poses obstacles to the implementation of their program.

As the Call to Action for Refuse Fascism states, “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.”

       

* Third, while the Democrats sharply oppose Trump/Pence and their program, they are not—and will not—do what is needed to STOP this.

The Democrats have sharp differences with the Trump/Pence regime, highlighted almost daily by the regime’s reversals of Obama-era legislation and policies. They pose real obstacles to the imposition of the fascist program, along with other sections of the ruling strata like the judiciary and the intelligence agencies. But while the Democrats and those they closely influence are mobilizing certain kinds of opposition, they don’t want to risk this spinning out of control where it puts the whole system and its legitimacy in question. They haven’t even called out this regime’s fascism and its illegitimacy on this basis.

They have not and do not want to openly call their electoral base of support—of liberals, progressives, Black people, immigrants, women, and others—out into the streets, to drive out the fascist regime, for the sake of humanity. Doing so can potentially destabilize society, and risk the legitimacy and unraveling of this system as they, the Democrats, have NO answer to the fundamental concerns of these sections of society, the deep fault-line contradictions of this system that cannot be resolved within the confines of this system—wars of empire, the oppression of Black people and oppressed nationalities, of women, of immigrants, and the destruction of the environment. They cannot risk these becoming the terms of struggle, so they confine and channel the struggle instead to terms such as Russian interference in this “great American democracy.”

As the Call to Action for Refuse Fascism states, “After the election, Obama said of Trump: ‘We are now all rooting for his success.’” Obama further underscored this, saying they “are all on the same team.” Maintaining the capitalist-imperialist system for the Democrats takes precedence over their opposition to fascism—and the lives of millions of oppressed people, here and around the world. (See “The Pyramid of Power and the Struggle to Turn This Whole Thing Upside Down” by Bob Avakian.)

Having said all this, it is possible to conceive the impeachment or removal of President Trump from office due to the investigations, opposition, and machinations in the ruling class, at the “top.” This brings us to the next point.

* Fourth, if they do somehow “implode” without the mass independent action of the masses of people fundamentally repudiating this fascist program, then the terms will be really bad for humanity. Mike Pence may remain in power, as would others from the fascist cabal.

As revcom.us has said before, “Who is worse, Trump or Pence? Both are worse!” As a leading representative of Christian fascists, Pence instituted vicious and unprecedented attacks on women and the LGBTQ communities during his time as governor of Indiana. He has stood by and defended Trump on virtually every single act. He is known for being much more “efficient” and “disciplined,” which should send chills down the spine of everyone with a conscience, and who has some sense of what this regime represents as a whole.

There’s the openly white supremacist attorney general, Jeff Sessions, aiming to escalate the legal-police-penal onslaught against Black and Latino people and immigrants. There are others—Betsy DeVos, John Kelly, “Mad Dog” Mattis, and others. Fascism has backing at the highest echelons of society, connected to a broad, mass social base for fascism and tied in with fascist networks within the military. (For more on this, see The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era by Bob Avakian.)

If this regime and this program are not fundamentally repudiated with mass action of the millions of people who hate this regime and everything they represent, then humanity and the oppressed of this country will suffer greatly. Just see what has happened already, chart out the trajectory, and imagine this fascist program intact. Every single day of this regime causes greater horrors, putting humanity at greater risk, including from nuclear weapons—and we cannot afford to simply wait or rely on Trump to “self-destruct” or the long process of impeachment to take its course. Humanity cannot afford this a single day longer!

This fascist program needs to be fundamentally repudiated, as part of driving this fascist regime from power, as soon as possible—by the mass independent historical action of millions—like in the 1960s, with society wide protest, upheaval and mass resistance.

In this context, obstacles from and sharp struggles among ruling factions are part of the mix, and can contribute to driving out the regime. Whether or not these are in the interests of the masses of people—and where this all goes—depends on what we do. So, how should these struggles be approached? In this context, the two paragraphs that the revcom site recently published are critical:

The Democrats, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, etc., are seeking to resolve the crisis with the Trump presidency on the terms of this system, and in the interests of the ruling class of this system, which they represent. We, the masses of people, must go all out, and mobilize ourselves in the millions, to resolve this in our interests, in the interests of humanity, which are fundamentally different from and opposed to those of the ruling class.

This, of course, does not mean that the struggle among the powers-that-be is irrelevant or unimportant; rather, the way to understand and approach this (and this is a point that must also be repeatedly driven home to people, including through necessary struggle, waged well) is in terms of how it relates to, and what openings it can provide for, “the struggle from below”—for the mobilization of masses of people around the demand that the whole regime must go, because of its fascist nature and actions and what the stakes are for humanity.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/495/comey-trump-the-struggle-at-the-top-and-the-interests-of-humanity-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

From a reader:

Comey, Trump, the Struggle at the Top, and the Interests of Humanity

June 12, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This week much of the nation, and the world, was riveted by what was in many ways an unprecedented spectacle: the former, and recently fired, FBI head James Comey testifying in Congress and calling the president of the U.S. a liar—with Trump returning the accusation in a press conference the next day. How to understand this? And how to sort through the contending analyses to figure out what to do? In this light, I’ve been thinking about the two paragraphs that the revcom site recently began running:

The Democrats, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, etc., are seeking to resolve the crisis with the Trump presidency on the terms of this system, and in the interests of the ruling class of this system, which they represent. We, the masses of people, must go all out, and mobilize ourselves in the millions, to resolve this in our interests, in the interests of humanity, which are fundamentally different from and opposed to those of the ruling class.

This, of course, does not mean that the struggle among the powers that be is irrelevant or unimportant; rather, the way to understand and approach this (and this is a point that must also be repeatedly driven home to people, including through necessary struggle, waged well) is in terms of how it relates to, and what openings it can provide for, “the struggle from below”—for the mobilization of masses of people around the demand that the whole regime must go, because of its fascist nature and actions and what the stakes are for humanity.

Let me offer a few thoughts on the past week in that light.

Sharp Conflict at the Top

First, the hearings both revealed and covered up deep contradictions. Real questions of legitimacy—that is, the right of the government to use force in wars and domestic suppression (a right that in normal times is largely taken for granted)—lurked just beneath the surface. As has been pointed out of late, if people do not believe the president is telling the truth, they are much less likely to fight and die in a war he declares. Playing the “liar” card could have unpredictable consequences. Real things are being risked.

Two sides were clashing, and there is no “great and mighty Wizard of Oz” behind the scenes pulling levers and creating effects; this is real. One side—the “Republi-fascists” grouped around Trump and Pence—has gone all-in with the top-to-bottom fascist remaking of society. To the extent they have disagreements they have chosen to resolve those from within the camp of Trump; this is the most salient fact of political life in the U.S., and nothing in the past week changed that. The other side—the Democratic Party, the New York Times and other liberal media—opposes this, but within very strict limits. Neither side represents any fundamental break with white supremacy, patriarchy, imperialist domination—the argument is over what forms that should take and how it should be justified, or legitimized. The very fact that the terms of the debate are over whether one side may be sacrificing core imperialist interests in attempting to move closer to Russia, whether the “sanctity” of U.S. elections has been interfered with by a foreign power (while the U.S. has a history of not only interfering but canceling elections all over the world: Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Congo in 1961, Chile in 1973, Honduras in 2009, and more) and whether the president is too uncooperative with the (highly repressive and murderous) “intelligence community” says a lot about the constraints within which these senators and commentators are trying to keep things: again, constraints about how BEST to dominate the world.

Where the People’s Interests Lie

Underneath, however, simmer a whole host of issues on which the fascists actually are moving with speed and determination to remake the “social compact,” or the norms that make people feel the government is legitimate. This fascist agenda includes the enforcement of reactionary traditionalist Christian fundamentalist values in the public and legal spheres, violating separation of church and state, as well as what society has come to accept (through much struggle!) about the role and autonomy of women as human beings, and the rights of LGBTQ people to equal rights and basic dignity; the reinforcement of the most vicious and openly violent forms of racism as once again common in American life, now enhanced by the internet, along with policies in education, health care, and housing that are genocidal in their effect on “minorities”; the demonization and persecution of immigrants; a much more openly predatory and chauvinist policy around the world; the stripping away of those environmental protections that do exist; the denial of the existence of objective reality against which statements can be tested as either true or false; and many others. All this would be enforced by the “exercise of blatant dictatorship by the bourgeois (capitalist-imperialist) class, ruling through reliance on open terror and violence, trampling on what are supposed to be civil and legal rights, wielding the power of the state, and mobilizing organized groups of fanatical thugs, to commit atrocities against masses of people, particularly groups of people identified as ‘enemies,’ ‘undesirables,’ or ‘dangers to society.’” (From “What IS Fascism?”)

This is why the most fundamental interests of the masses of people—of humanity—demand that this regime be driven from power.

Those ruling class figures opposing this believe such a move to be extremely risky and aim to at least slow it down, mitigate it or even prevent it because they think the Trump/Pence regime, as currently constituted, risks strategic disaster—for their empire. But they don’t want to oppose Trump in ways that risk further destabilization and mass upheaval from below, which in their eyes could put the empire at even greater risk. For this reason, they are trying to confine things to a narrow range of questions.

At the same time, the Trump-Pence clique has in response heightened its attacks, focusing on its ruling class rivals—firing Comey, continuing to threaten to jail Hillary Clinton, etc. Trump’s defiant speech at the same time of the Comey testimony to an audience of Christian fascist clergy made this clear. Speaking of the administration’s attempt to more aggressively assert Christian fascist power in the “public square,” he said: “The entrenched interests and failed bitter voices in Washington will do everything in their power to try and stop us from this righteous cause, to try to stop all of you. They will lie. They will obstruct. They will spread their hatred and their prejudice, but we will not back down from doing what is right. Because as the Bible tells us, we know the truth will prevail.”

In sum: the conflict is sharp, the stakes are extremely high, and it is not under anyone’s control. But within the ruling class the battle is ultimately over how best to maintain and expand exploitation and domination, not how to end it... while for the masses of people it is over how to drive this regime from power and go forward to fight for and create a whole better world.

On What Terms Will This Get Fought Out?

Second, the terms in which the Democrats are fighting this out are aimed at more deeply reinforcing the legitimacy of the system as a whole, especially among those sections of people who are most inclined to justice and liberation. Heads of the FBI and CIA, as well as the institutions themselves, are being offered up as heroes, when in fact their history and current-day roles have been nothing but cold-eyed blood-soaked butchery. See (“Sordid History and Great Crimes of the FBI” and the American Crime series.) The refrains of the “greatness of American democracy” and the “shining city on the hill” are being played like a pipe organ—while the brute fact that this country’s hallowed institutions were never great and were built on genocide and slavery and kept going through imperialist war and plunder gets covered over.

Going along with this, they have sought to channel people’s outrage against the Trump/Pence agenda overall into the elections, lobbying, etc. Significantly, even as the Trump-Pence mobs become increasingly emboldened in the streets, ruling class liberals are spending a great deal of energy “policing” the opposition (blackballing people, like Kathy Griffin or Reza Aslan, who step out of what they deem to be acceptable expressions of opposition, denouncing students and others who righteously resist fascists for supposedly “violating free speech,” etc.). They do this not only to placate the fascists but to keep “the resistance” within certain strict bounds.

Yes, the Democrats do want to at least slow down the fascist machine; but they do not want to do so in a way that runs the risk of millions getting beyond their control, even though that is the only way to actually STOP the machine. This is because, as Obama said after the election, in the final analysis they “are all on the same team”—and their “team’s” opponents are not just their rivals worldwide but even more essentially the masses of people whom they exploit, suppress, delude, and when necessary violently and viciously repress.

Deadly Wishful Thinking

Right now, it is being “patiently explained” to the millions who hate Trump that “this will be a long process... requiring both patience and hard work within the system to make it work.” Yet, we are reassured, “if only we put our faith in this, the regime will be turned out of office or at least prevented from doing harm of the magnitude that requires serious social upheaval.” Meanwhile, the fascist juggernaut steamrolls ahead; incalculable damage is done every day to oppressed peoples within the U.S. and worldwide; and the real threat of nuclear war continues to loom. (A few examples from the last few weeks: Trump’s Middle East trip and escalation of U.S.-backed terror in Yemen, U.S. pullout from Paris Climate Accord, the reign of terror against immigrants, the demonization of LGBTQ people, pushing the escalation of police terror.)

The notions now being promoted that Trump/Pence are essentially being thwarted, or that the regime will somehow “implode,” or that the side of the people is winning—none of which is anywhere close to being true—are extremely harmful. This is like wishing many happy returns of the day to someone with Stage 4 cancer, when the situation demands a desperate search for a cure.

The Need to Fight for Humanity’s Interests

Yet even with all the constraints the Democrats try to put on this, they still walk a tightrope; things could spin out of their control. And that leads to the third, and most essential, point: a crisis like this is not a time to wait or let things run their course, but a rare opportunity that must be seized. It is a time for actions—actions that are not hemmed in by the calculus of one or another supporter of empire, but actions that sharply call out the FASCIST nature of this regime, that demand it MUST GO NOW, and that aim to resolve this “in the interests of humanity, which are fundamentally different from and opposed to those of the ruling class.” When the normal “workday routine” is disrupted and people crowd around in offices or even go to bars to watch congressional hearings—that is not a time to leave the field, but to find the ways to flood into the opening provided and change the terms, either on the spot or in the aftermath.

When there are sharp differences among the rulers, there are potential openings for the ruled. A force that through its actions and words draws out the real stakes of things—what this fascist regime will mean for people worldwide, and what it is already meaning, in all its dimensions—a force that insists on fighting this coming from the interests of all humanity (and follows the implications of that) and not “the preservation of American security interests”—can have a great effect in changing the whole political equation.

Here a historical analogy can be drawn: in the slave empires of the “new world” (including, of course, the U.S.), those times in which differences among the rulers over how best to preserve slavery (or their rule more generally) came to the fore and sharpened up were times in which the enslaved people and their allies could both sense weakness in their enemies and the chance that a different—a better—world was possible. Closer to our times, in the U.S. in the 1960s, the clash at the top over how best to preserve the oppression of Black people (even if in new forms) and how best to defend U.S. imperialist interests around the world, as well as how to “manage” other social upheaval, was part of what served to heighten the struggle of the people. People, for a few short years, broke free of the bounds and real gains were made and battles won, at least for a period before the system itself—which remained intact—was able to regroup and reassert itself.

The kinds of conflicts going on right now could provide similar openings. But the converse is true as well: if these openings are not seized... if people remain in a passive position while fascism is in no way backing off but in fact is intensifying and doubling down... then the consequences for humanity will be dire.



       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/495/system-puts-its-stamp-of-approval-on-police-murder-of-philando-castile-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

We Must Take Our Rage at this Outrageous Verdict to the Streets!

System Puts Its Stamp of Approval on Police Murder of Philando Castile!

by Carl Dix

June 17, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Minnesota goddamn! No, Amerikkka goddamn! This system just let another killer cop walk out of a courtroom scot free, putting its stamp of approval on another official murder of a Black man. This time it was the murderer of Philando Castile, and the courtroom was in Minnesota. Last month the pig who murdered Terence Crutcher walked free out of a courtroom in Oklahoma. Before that it was the cops in Baltimore who murdered Freddie Gray; the cop in Chicago who murdered Rekia Boyd; the cop in Detroit who murdered seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones; and I could go on and on. And most of the time cops who murder Black and Brown people don't even get put on trial.

It didn't matter in this case that Diamond Reynolds, Philando Castile's girlfriend, had bravely recorded a Facebook post of the murdering pig right after he had shot Castile. Or that we saw that murdering pig pointing his gun at Reynolds, threatening to shoot her too. Or that we heard Reynolds' four-year-old daughter telling her mother “It's all right. I'm here with you,” even though we knew it wasn't all right because this little girl had just watched this pig blow Philando Castile away.

None of this mattered because all the murdering pig had to do was get on the witness stand and oink that he was afraid for his life to get a not guilty verdict. That's all the murdering pigs who patrol Black and Latino neighborhoods like occupying armies ever have to say to walk free when they murder someone.

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

Police getting away with murder is unacceptable. And now the fascist Trump-Pence regime is vowing to “take the gloves off the police,” which will mean that police terrorizing and murdering Black and Brown people would intensify. We must act to STOP this horror now! Not try to get the capitalist rulers to ease off on unleashing their front line enforcers to terrorize and murder people, but to STOP this from going down. We must take our righteous rage and refusal to sit by while this goes down into the streets. And we must do this as part of getting ready and in position for an actual revolution, one that overthrows this system because that's the only way to end this horror, and all the other horrors this system enforces on people around the world and in this country.

Justice for Philando Castile!

Stop Police Terror & Murder!

Revolution—Nothing Less!

 

 

       

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/495/pig-who-murdered-philando-castile-walks-free-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Amerikkka, Goddam!  Pig Who Murdered Philando Castile Walks Free!

June 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

June 16, 2017, we got to watch this goddam system once again put the stamp of approval on yet another police murder – this time of Philando Castile.  The pig who murdered him walked free.

Last July 4, Philando was driving in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, his hometown, with his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds, and her four-year-old child.   Philando was pulled over by cop Jeronimo Yanez – why?  Because Philando was Black, had a broken tail-light, and supposedly reminded Yanez of someone suspected of a crime.  In other words Philando was racially profiled – it was his 46th time!

Philando broke no laws, and he did everything he was supposed to do after being stopped.  He told Yanez he had a legal firearm in the car.  He attempted to comply with Yanez' demand that he show him his ID.  But Yanez immediately opened fire, shooting Philando seven times.  Thousands and thousands saw Philando dying because Diamond Reynolds had the courage to livestream the aftermath of the shooting, even as she had every reason to fear for her own and for her child's life.  Within seconds, Philando was dead – murdered for being alive while Black.

None of this mattered in Amerikkka’s white supremacist injustice system.  Yanez walked free on manslaughter charges because he claimed he feared for his life, and because this system’s laws are set up to go along with this lying excuse – set up to justify outright murder by the police.

The people's rage was immediate.  Philando’s mother Valerie Castile stormed out of the court as soon as the “not guilty” verdict was announced, and condemned it:  

“My son was murdered, and I will continue to say murdered, because where in this planet do you tell the truth, and you be honest, and you still be murdered by the police of Minnesota, while you have your seat belt on and you’re in the company with a woman and a child? My son would never jeopardize anyone else’s life.”

His sister Allysza declared:  “The system really is wrong, and they really failed us. They really failed us, once again, because my brother was a good man. You never even heard him raise his voice. You never even heard him yell. And for that man to get on the stand and lie, he got caught in three, four, five different lies.”

The night of the verdict, 2,000 people righteously took to the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and shut down I-94 on both sides. There were protests in Minneapolis and in New York, Chicago, Oakland, and Los Angeles the next day. (Go here for reports and photos/videos of the protests.) It was good and very necessary that people went out into the streets to immediately protest—and this must spark even broader and more determined protests across the country against the deeply unjust verdict letting the pig who murdered Philando Castile free and against other murder and terror by the police.

~~~~~~~~~~

ENOUGH! Enough of a system that can't function without its enforcers wantonly murdering hundreds of people, mainly Black and Brown, each year and rewards the pigs who do this! Enough of a system that can’t get justice for Oscar Grant, even after his murder was captured on videotape.  Enough of a system which can’t convict a pig videotaped murdering Philando Castile.  Enough of a system which can't prosecute police who are videotaped shooting Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black child, for playing in a park; which can't prosecute police who are videotaped choking Eric Garner, a Black man, for refusing to be degraded on the street; and on, and on, and on...

And enough of this system with its new all-out fascist regime which aims to put this nightmare on steroids, a regime that says it will fully unleash its enforcers to carry out even greater crimes against Black people, and against humanity, while aiming to wipe out any ability to protest and resist.

Enough!

As Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party said in his statement after the Philando Castile verdict:

Police getting away with murder is unacceptable. And now the fascist Trump-Pence regime is vowing to "take the gloves off the police," which will mean that police terrorizing and murdering Black and Brown people would intensify. We must act to STOP this horror now! Not try to get the capitalist rulers to ease off on unleashing their front line enforcers to terrorize and murder people, but to STOP this from going down. We must take our righteous rage and refusal to sit by while this goes down into the streets. And we must do this as part of getting ready and in position for an actual revolution, one that overthrows this system because that's the only way to end this horror, and all the other horrors this system enforces on people around the world and in this country.

Stay in the streets!  Justice for Philando!

Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime!

Revolution, Nothing Less!

 

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/495/justice-for-philando-castile-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

In the Streets Against the Outrageous Verdict on Police Murder of Philando Castile:
"On Trial: The System. Verdict: Guilty!"

Updated June 18, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Friday, June 16, soon after the outrageous “not guilty” verdict was announced for the pig who murdered Philando Castile, 2,000 angry people gathered on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol. The crowd, including people of different nationalities and many with children, took off for a march through the streets. People carried signs like “Justice is dead” and “On Trial: The System. Verdict: Guilty!” People chanted, “If we don't get no justice, they don't get no peace.” And protesters yelled at the police, “Who do you serve? Black lives, they matter here! Black lives, they matter here!" About 500 people poured onto Interstate 94 in St. Paul, blocking traffic on both sides, and 18 people, including two journalists, were arrested.

On Saturday, protests continued for a second day in Minneapolis. About 200 people were in a Solidarity March Against Police Violence and White Silence through the downtown streets to the police department, stopping light rail trains and sitting in at intersections.

In New York City, up to 300 people rallied in Harlem and then marched 60 blocks to Trump Tower. The rally and march came at the end of the annual Juneteenth parade and celebration. The action was called by Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, Revolution Club NYC, Refuse Fascism NYC, NYC Democratic Socialists of America and others. Speaker after speaker denounced another cop walking free that had murdered a Black man. Noche Diaz spoke for the Revolution Club. Speakers from Black Lives Matter of Greater New York made a point of welcoming white people to the protest and said the murder by police of Black people is not just an issue for Black people but is an issue for all people. One of the organizers announced that Philando Castile’s mother was watching the rally via livestream. Several times people poured into the streets on the march and then pushed by police who threatened arrests.

More than 200 people held a rally and speak-out in front of City Hall in Oakland, California. Chanting "Black Lives Matter" and "No Justice, No Peace," those gathered held fists in the air and pledged that they will act and not become complacent to the ongoing police murders and that they would not be silent as these murdering cops are exonerated. The protest was organized by a 16-year-old high school student who constructed her own Facebook page after she heard about the verdict. A woman whose son was murdered by the California Highway Patrol recounted the police lies and cover-up, saying that the epidemic of police murder has to be stopped. A friend of Brownie Polk, a carpenter shot and killed by Oakland police, related the facts of his killing. A Black woman, a nurse, told how her husband, a manager at a large hospital, was repeatedly targeted by the police. She said that every day she fears for the lives of her two sons. 

In Chicago, the Revolution Club rallied in the downtown Loop, with Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party speaking. Then the Revolution Club marched to the entrance of Millennium Park, where American flags were burned as people gathered around. A Chicago Sun-Times article on the protest, including a photo of the flag burning, said, “The group claimed the flag stands as a symbol of oppression and white supremacy.”

In Los Angeles, the Revolution Club protested in the South Central neighborhood with a dozen others who joined their call, including animal rights activists who had just heard about the action on social media.

Stay tuned to Revcom.us for ongoing coverage.

ENOUGH!

Enough of a system that can't function without its enforcers wantonly murdering hundreds of people, mainly Black and Brown, each year and rewards the pigs who do this! Enough of a system which can’t convict a pig videotaped murdering Philando Castile. Enough of a system that can’t get justice for Oscar Grant, even after his murder was captured on videotape. Enough of a system which can't prosecute police who are videotaped shooting Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black child, for playing in a park; which can't prosecute police who are videotaped choking Eric Garner, a Black man, for refusing to be degraded on the street; and on, and on, and on...

And enough of this system with its new all-out fascist regime which aims to put this nightmare on steroids, a regime that says it will fully unleash its enforcers to carry out even greater crimes against Black people, and against humanity, while aiming to wipe out any ability to protest and resist.

Enough!

Stay in the streets! Justice for Philando!

Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime!

Revolution, Nothing Less!

After the verdict hundreds marched through the streets of St. Paul and onto the I-94 freeway, shutting it down for several hours in both directions.

 

June 17, 2017. Minneapolis. Credit: Twitter/@ADLavinsky

 

NYC, June 17

 

 

June 17, 2017. Oakland. Photo: Special to revcom.us

 

June 17, 2017. Chicago. Photo: Special to revcom.us

 

 

June 17, 2017. Los Angeles. Photo: Special to revcom.us

 

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/495/check-it-out-pass-it-over-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Check It Out:

Pass Over, by Antoinette Nwandu

June 17, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

Pass Over, by Antoinette Nwandu, is a pathbreaking play focusing on two young Black men, Moses and Kitch, trapped in the bleak and blasted-out city landscape that could be located either off Fury Road near Thunderdome or a few miles south or west of the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, where the play is being put on. 

Nwandu mashes up Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett,* and the Exodus myth in the Bible—and comments on both in doing so—to give you the humor, aching dreams, humanity and essential predicament of two characters you don't see on the stage very often. Nwandu gives you two characters who will make you laugh (in an interview, she wishes for a world in which they could be seen in the “same family tree as Laurel and Hardy, and Abbott and Costello”) and make you cry. She combines surreal symbolism—which in this case doesn't come off as just “wow, that's weird” but a twisting and exaggeration that lets you see into the inner core of reality—to get you to ask who and what confines these youth. Where is Egypt today? Who is Pharaoh and who are his soldiers? Who really is that strange and seemingly naive white man in the ice-cream suit on his way to “mother's house,” offering a picnic basket full of goodies to Moses and Kitch? Can we rely on the old myths to get free—or is the case, as the play's character Moses says at one point, that that river Jordan ain't for us? Can people transform...and how? And how entrenched are the forces that stand against that? Decades ago a French dramatist, Antonin Artaud, called for theater that would have the urgency of someone burning at the stake who was trying to signal through the flames—Pass Over is in that tradition. 

I hate it when reviewers give away too much of the content of whatever it is they're reviewing, so normally I'd say no more about the play other than to recommend people go see it. But Hedy Weiss, the theater critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, created a controversy by attacking the play for its allegedly one-sided treatment of white cops and, according to her, its failure to speak to the horror of Black youth gunning down each other. So—spoiler alert—some of the actual content must be discussed. But let's just say this: the play cuts right to the essence of how the police treat Black and Brown youth—and in the part of the play Weiss objects to, there is no need for surreal exaggeration, and Nwandu gives you what could pass for a dash-cam documentary, to great effect. As for the argument that the play does not deal with Black youth killing each other: on one level, this is idiotic. Since when do you criticize what an artistic work does deal with by saying it should have dealt with something else? Further, Weiss apparently missed a crucial scene in the play in which that phenomenon IS in fact directly dealt with and another in which it is clearly being touched on. But beyond that—objectively, the play does approach this problem in a deep way by implication and provides a context in which a theater-goer (and Weiss somewhat sneeringly refers to Steppenwolf's “white liberal” audience) could begin to understand that. 

The heart of the matter is this: the core truth of Bob Avakian's quote from BAsics—that the police “enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in”—comes to life here. And this is what Weiss does not like.

To their credit, Anna Shapiro, Steppenwolf's artistic director, and David Schmitz, the executive director, fired back at Weiss, and other critics, who “revealed at best the ignorance of the critic and at worst, a racial bias that, when captured in print, wounded many people of color in this community and their allies, and served as a horrendous reminder of how far we still have to come in terms of racial equity in this community.”

This is the kind of theater that is needed right now. If you are at all close to Chicago, see this play.

 

* Waiting for Godot is a play by Samuel Beckett, written in the mid-20th century. Two tramps—Vladimir and Estragon—wait in a bleak landscape for someone (a person? A god? Something else? It is not made clear) named Godot who never shows up. The play—which was both very bleak and very funny, very poetic and very philosophical—was hugely influential artistically, and could be understood as putting forward a certain view of “the human condition” which tended to negate the quest for a significance or value to existence larger than the humanity with which people dealt with each other in their personal relationships. [back]

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/outrage-from-well-known-voices-on-philando-castile-verdict-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Outrage from Well-Known Voices on Philando Castile Verdict

June 19, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Friday, June 16, people spoke out immediately after hearing that the killer cop who murdered Philando Castile had been acquitted. Within minutes, angry responses from people flooded into various social media outlets. Thousands of people tweeted their outrage, including many well-known people in entertainment, the arts, sports, journalism, and other spheres. Here are some of those tweets:

Shaun King, columnist for New York Daily News and widely followed Twitter commentator

Fuck this system.

I say that as a man with a rich vocabulary.

This system is NOT broken. It is functioning as it was designed to function

Colin Kaepernick, NFL football player

Audra McDonald, actor

Horrified, angry and heartbroken over this but not at all surprised.

Wendell Pierce, actor

How long will they kill our brothers while we stand around and look?

The World Watched as Philando Castile was murdered in front of a child, live online. The Cop Found Not Guilty!

Kerry Washington, actor

Horrifying. HORRIFYING.

Jesse Williams, actor

Retweeted Black Lives Matter activist Samuel Sinyangwe:

1,155 people killed by police in 2016

13 cases where officer was charged

ZERO convicted to date.”

Jeffrey Wright, actor

Caesar killed in a play & you protest! Cop kills #PhilandoCastile w/ impunity in front of a 4-yr-old girl & dead silence.

Samira Wiley, actor

I cannot stop crying for you, Philando.

Uzo Aduba, actor

Truth lies somewhere here: until we value & speak for the lives of all people, we remain hinged to this chapter of history.

Lena Waithe, actor

Philando Castile's family deserves more than a trending hashtag. They deserve justice. No justice. But we peaceful.

Rosario Dawson, actor

Horrifying. In tears. I can’t even say be safe & “smart” because #PhilandoCastile was & so many are & still this.

DL Hughley, actor

Jeronimo Yanez the Minn Police officer who killed Philando Castile was found not guilty! The more things change the more they stay the same!

Gabrielle Union, actor

Gutted, angry... again #PhilandoCastile

Olivia Wilde, actor

I keep trying to put my outrage about the #PhilandoCastile verdict into words but I just feel sick. This has to stop.

Kumail Nanjiani, actor

This would be unthinkable if it wasn't so expected.

Angela Rye, attorney and political commentator on CNN and NPR

What is the meaning of freedom denied? Injustice.

Zendaya, actor, singer, dancer

The system continues to fail black people and will continue to fail you all...

Anika Noni Rose, actor

This country, my home, is breaking my fucking heart.

Evan Greer, musical artist

Traie Thoms, actor

No charges for the cop who killed a man who had a license to carry & told him so. He did everything right and still died.

Yvette Nichole Brown, actor and comedian

I. Still. Can't. Breathe. because #BlackLivesDONTMatter

His murder was FILMED. You SEE that Philando was NOT a threat to the officer, who shot into a car with a CHILD inside.

Matthew A. Cherry, film director

They shot Philando Castile on Facebook Live in front of his fiancé and her daughter & even that's not enough for a guilty verdict. I can't.

Charlie Carver, actor

No justice, no peace. Absolutely despicable.

Will Swenson, actor

Because why would a video proving the officer murdered Philando be enough evidence? AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGG!!!

Megan Mullally, actor

I'M SO FUCKING SICK OF THIS. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE? REALLY. FUCK ANYONE INVOLVED IN THE ACQUITTAL OF THIS MURDERER

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/494/summer-in-chicago-new-police-unit-of-mobile-terror-and-murder-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Pigs Kill Two Teenagers in Two Weeks

Chicago Police Answer To Youth Killing Each Other: "Out Of The Way, Let US Do It!"

June 9, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The violence carried out by the Black and Latino youth of Chicago against each other is a terrible scourge. In response, the mayor has expanded the police force, and these pigs are doing what they were set up to do: repress and murder the very youth whom they claim to be protecting.

On Friday evening, June 2, Chicago police murdered Corsean Lewis, a 17-year-old boy, in the Washington Park neighborhood on the South Side. According to news accounts, Corsean was standing with a group of people in an alley a few blocks from his house, and when an unmarked squad car turned into the alley, police allege that Corsean “fired a round,” striking the front bumper of the car. Police then opened fire on the group in the alley, and Corsean was shot multiple times.

Police said a weapon was recovered from the scene, but Corsean’s uncle said Corsean did not have a gun on him. Google the phrase “A handgun was found at the scene” or “gun recovered at the scene.” You get pages of hits. Many show a pattern: the common nationwide police practice of planting weapons to justify their murders of people.

After Corsean’s murder, dozens of squad cars descended on the area and rifle-toting police pushed bystanders away, taping off the area and terrorizing the neighbors.

The police were working as part of the Chicago Police Department’s new summer mobile patrol unit that was rolled out in late May. It is one of the first murders since CPD unveiled its new use of force policy in May. Supposedly, deadly force can be used when there is a threat of great bodily harm or death. By early June, the summer mobile unit, which is supposed to patrol the beaches and parks, has been unleashed on oppressed communities and has already been responsible for at least three shootings of people across the city.

About 24 hours after shooting Corsean, officers working a similar summer mobile unit farther south in the 8100 block of South Maryland Avenue were involved in another shooting. A man had run from officers who had seen him drinking outside. He went into a nearby apartment building, where police claim there was a struggle over a gun. A pig was shot in the hand, and his partner shot at the man, critically wounding him. The man was trying to get away from the pigs who were harassing him for supposedly drinking and running away!

Other Recent Murders by Police in Chicago

May 17: Rashad Wells Jr., 17 years old

On May 17, an off-duty Cook County sheriff fatally shot 17-year-old Rashad Wells Jr. inside a hair salon in the Englewood neighborhood in the South Side Chicago. The justification for murder: the police claimed they caught the youth in the act of robbing the salon.

The Wells family lives in the neighborhood and relatives and friends gathered outside the salon and yelled at police and reporters—for telling lies, for leaving the body on the ground, for having shot the boy in the first place, for locking up Black men but not white men.

“He's very familiar with the neighborhood, and just the idea of him robbing his neighbor when he's, when everyone knows him, is cause for speculation, for pause,” said Eric Russell, Tree of Life Justice League of Illinois.

The police made no claim that Wells was armed.

May 13: Tywon Salters, 21 years old

A SWAT team killed Salters inside an area hospital. At the time Salters was in the custody of the Cook County Jail on a charge of vehicle theft and was under guard and being treated at the hospital. Witnesses said that at one point he was seen running through the hospital naked. The police at the time claimed he had somehow managed to disarm the corrections officer assigned to guard him, and then taken one and then another nurse hostage. The SWAT team went into a room where he had gone with one of the nurses and killed him and injured the nurse, claiming that negotiations had “broke down.”

It later came out that Salters was on suicide watch and earlier had been treated for ingesting a cleaning fluid. The day the SWAT team killed him, he was in the hospital because doctors had to surgically remove a piece of a plastic jail-issued sandal that he apparently ate. It also later came to light that the guard had removed Salters' shackles and fled after Salters managed to get his weapon and took the two nurses hostage.

Salters might be alive today if he could have gotten appropriate mental health treatment, and if the police had acted in any kind of human way, including if the SWAT team’s job included real training in handling this kind of situation. But under the normal workings of this system that is not going to happen.

April 3: Jack Burris, 66 years old

Burris was killed, not by a police bullet, but by a police vehicle. On the late evening of April 3, a Chicago police SUV slammed into his Honda coupe in an intersection in the Roseland neighborhood on the far South Side of Chicago. A witness said the police SUV blew a stop sign and was going 80 mph and the siren came on only just as they blew the light. Police claimed that the officers were responding to a call of shots fired. As if that justified ramming into Burris’s vehicle and killing him!

This was no “tragic accident.” Clamping down on the Black community is what these pigs do, even if it means killing a man on the way to doing that.

Earlier Murders by Police in Chicago

February 15: Chad Robertson, 25 years old

Have we heard this before? Unarmed Black man shot in the back and killed for the crime of running away from the cops. Chad Robertson was on a stopover in Union Station, waiting for a bus to Minneapolis when he was approached by Amtrak officer LaRoyce Tankson. Even according to official statements, Robertson took off running and was no threat. No witnesses saw Robertson with a weapon that night. By some accounts Robertson was at least 70 feet away when the officer took a crouching stance and cold-bloodedly shot him in the back. Robertson was taken to the hospital and later died of his wounds.

This was so outrageous that the authorities were forced to charge Tankson with first degree murder. Tankson’s lawyer told a judge that the officer feared for his life after Robertson turned toward him and pulled something from his pocket.

Robertson’s sister Nina Robertson responded with this: “How many times are they going to keep being able to do this to us? How many times are they going to keep saying that that was why they're killing us? It's wrong.”

Robertson's family said they plan to be at all of Tankson's court appearances until they get justice. They are still waiting.

February 10: Michele Robey, 55 years old

This system murders the mentally ill. This reality got played out again when 55-year-old Michele Robey was gunned down by Chicago police on February 10 of this year. They found her in the street with a knife in her hand. They tased her twice. That didn’t work. So they shot her.

Afterwards, as she lay on the ground dying, one of the cops cold-heartedly told her, “You should have dropped the knife. An ambulance is coming now.”

Did they give her space and talk her down? NO.

Did they bring in trained mental health people? NO.

Did they try to disarm her by putting themselves in harm’s way and doing everything possible not to harm her? NO.

Michele was a mother, with a master’s degree in psychology. She had worked in medical research. Her family says she first showed signs of mental illness in 2009 and was diagnosed with bipolar schizoaffective disorder. She had lost her job, her home, and been forced to file for bankruptcy.

This system has no real answer for the plight of the mentally ill like Michele Robey. And having psychiatric problems can be a death sentence.

* * *

This list of those killed by the police in Chicago in recent months brought home two things:

The truth of what Bob Avakian says about the role of the police:

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness. (BAsics 1:24)

And the second, that things don’t have to be this way.

This summer the Revolution Club of Chicago is working in these very neighborhoods where the pigs carried out these murders to call on the youth to get out of the violence against each other the only way possible: by directing their anger, creativity and courage against the system responsible for keeping oppressed people down and divided against each other. As part of that, the Club leads people to righteously stand up against the police terror that enforces that system.

Get with the Revolution now.

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/495/iraqi-immigrants-and-supporters-in-Detroit-block-buses-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

 

Iraqi Immigrants and Supporters in Detroit Block Buses, Take to the Streets to Stop Vicious ICE Roundups

June 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

The horror and outrage from the Detroit Iraqi community was immediate.  Over the June 10th weekend, at least 114 Iraqi immigrants—nearly all Chaldean Christians, members of a branch of the Catholic Church with ancient roots in Iraq and Syria—were rounded up in SWAT-team type raids by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents.  About 100 family members and supporters responded quickly, rallying outside the downtown Detroit ICE center Sunday afternoon, terrified that their husbands or wives, fathers or mothers, grandparents, or other loved ones were facing deportation—and a likely death sentence—if sent back to Iraq.  When a bus tried to pull out in the middle of the night headed to the Youngstown, Ohio detention center, protesters blocked it.  Only after the police repeatedly shoved the protesters out of the way was the bus able to get through. 

Protests have continued daily since then, with people going into the street on Michigan Avenue crying, “Stop deportations—Bring our families home,” and holding press conferences.  And two U.S. Representatives are expected to attend a huge demonstration called for Friday afternoon, June 16, at the Immigration Center in downtown Detroit. 

At least two hundred Iraqi immigrants have so far been reported arrested and facing deportation in a major series of targeted raids carried out by Trump’s rabid ICE agents. The focus of their attack was on Detroit, which is home to around 150,000 Chaldeans—the largest population outside of the Middle East.  A great majority have come here as refugees in the past few decades, fleeing war, despotism, and deprivation.  And in the aftermath of the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, Iraqi Chaldeans have also been fleeing persecution as minority Christians who are being systematically targeted and killed by ISIS and other jihadist groups.  Thirty arrests of Iraqi Kurds took place in Nashville, which has the largest U.S. population of Iraqi Kurds.

None of those arrested were undocumented, and none were in violation of the law.  They were rounded up for deportation because at some time in their past—in most cases decades ago—they had been convicted of and punished for a crime.  They had received removal orders at that time, but they were not deported and only required to check in regularly, because of the wars and the on-going persecution of Christians.  A large number of these Iraqis were children when they came here as refugees.  Then, having gotten in trouble with the law when they were much younger, they did their time and then went on to work, marry and raise families.

Nevertheless, in a disgusting and life-threatening lie, ICE officials are justifying their massive assault by saying they are “address(ing) the very real public safety threat represented by the criminal aliens arrested.”  Think about this: from the viewpoint of this bourgeois legal system—now taken to a whole new level by the Trump/Pence fascist regime and their ICE and Border Patrol goons—one of the most fundamental tenets of the law does not apply to immigrants:  According to them, immigrants who are convicted of a crime and serve their sentence are criminals for the rest of their lives.  And in this racist society, Black and other oppressed people are treated the same way. 

One man convicted of marijuana use as a teenager decades ago has been arrested.  And a 55-year-old man arrested Sunday morning immigrated with his family in 1977—40 years ago.  He has a wife and children here, but no relatives in Iraq.  He doesn’t speak Iraqi Arabic, and doesn’t know the culture.  How is he going to survive?  “Donald Trump has essentially given these Christians a death sentence,” said the founder of the Minority Humanitarian Foundation, which helps Iraqi minorities. They are among a number of groups, including the ACLU, who are planning to file or have already filed lawsuits to stop these deportations, including raising the fact that it is a violation of international law to deport people back to a war zone.

According to ICE officials, these raids were a result of a deal struck between the Trump/Pence regime and the Iraqi government.  The U.S. agreed to remove Iraq from Trump’s travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries, and Iraq will now accept the return of Iraqi nationals facing orders of removal.  But more than that, it appears the Trump/Pence regime has now unleashed its immigration enforcers to single out immigrants from the seven countries of the Middle East listed in their original Muslim travel ban.  In April ICE agents terrified people in the Somali immigrant community in Atlanta, GA, using the same method of rounding up anyone from Somalia who in the past had ever become “deportable.”

And ICE has only begun these criminal roundups.  They have announced that they have a list of 1,444 “deportable” Iraqis that they fully intend to arrest and deport; and they have 4,801 Somalis on a similar list as well.  

An activist and founder of a local charter school for hundreds of refugee children in Detroit opened up the school immediately for families to get legal representation, and has put out a call to action.  “I really can’t put into words what I saw today,” he said.  “Today, I’m ashamed to be an American.”  With real courage these immigrants and their supporters are daring to stand up against the escalating crimes the Trump/Pence regime and their thug enforcers are carrying out.  People everywhere have got to join them.  These roundups cannot become the “new normal.” They must be resisted—and stopped!    

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/students-and-supporters-at-evergreen-state-college-stand-up-to-death-threats-and-pro-trump-goons-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Students and Supporters at Evergreen State College Stand Up to Death Threats and pro-Trump Goons

June 18, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Thursday, June 15, about 200 people—students, professors, parents, progressives, anarchists, and anti-fascist activists—stood their ground on “Red Square” at the campus of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, against several dozen pro-Trump goons. These white supremacist fascists were trying to carry out what they called “March Against Evergreen State College.” Led by the fascist group “Patriot Prayer” and their Nazi followers, the goons were confronted by protesters with large banners reading “Free speech does not equal hate speech” and other slogans. They formed a line in the main college plaza, forcing the reactionaries to hold their rally on the edge of the plaza.

Each spring, Evergreen—a small, progressive, innovative liberal arts college—traditionally holds a “Day of Absence,” where Black people leave the campus to show what it would be like without them. (It was inspired by a Douglas Turner Ward play of the same title, in which all the Black people of a town disappear to force other residents to recognize their contributions.) This year, following the election of the Trump/Pence regime, organizers suggested the reverse: that white people voluntarily leave campus for a day and take part in discussions on issues of race and equality.

This idea “offended” one white professor, who sent a public email to colleagues calling it an “act of oppression” against white people. A large group of students confronted and argued with the professor about his position, as part of a week of protests against racism. A video of the incident went viral, and became fodder for pro-Trump white supremacists everywhere. The professor went on Fox News and other reactionary media, was promoted by the alt-right Breitbart, and wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal in which he distorted what had actually happened and attacked the students, the administration, and the school.

What this turned loose on the students and the entire Evergreen community was horrific. Rants by the likes of Fox’s Tucker Carlson emboldened the Trump/Pence regime’s hard-core white supremacist base and fueled a barrage of threatening social media attacks by organized fascist trolls, who issued warnings and death threats targeting individual students, faculty, and administrators. The school was forced to shut down for three days in response to threats, including one by someone who said they were coming on campus to shoot people. The graduation ceremonies had to be relocated 30 miles from campus.

One Evergreen student wrote in the New York Times:

The fallout from that coverage hit our campus like a hailstorm. It … became a call to arms for internet trolls and the alt-right. Online vigilantes from 4chan, Reddit and other forums swarmed to unearth Evergreen students’ contact information. They have harassed us with hundreds of phone calls, anonymous texts and terrifyingly specific threats of violence that show they know where we live and work.

After an essay that this student wrote about what was happening on Evergreen was published, her name, phone number and home address were posted online by the reactionaries, and she was bombarded with attacks. Her name and personal information appeared on fascist message boards, along with rape threats and discussions about which racial slur fit her best.

On the day before the pro-Trump racists showed up at the campus, 50 protesters took part in an “Olympia Stands With Evergreen” action. It was organized by a 2011 Evergreen alumnus to show support for the students and condemn the white supremacist posters and graffiti widely posted on campus, and challenge the attempt by Republicans in the state legislature to take all state funds away from Evergreen.

The rallying cry for the Patriot Prayer storm troopers’ march was “It’s time we go in there and show them what respect is.” These defenders of white privilege were answering the call from Fox News mouthpieces to step in and put a stop to “campus craziness”—in other words, time for the Trump/Pence regime’s fascist program to be enforced on campuses around the country. This is another step in the overall assault on academia by the Trump/Pence regime.

Those who stood up to the neo-Nazi pro-Trump thugs at Evergreen State College and against all the attacks on the students and faculty must be saluted and supported. The fight to stop these fascist assaults on the campuses and to confront every effort to legitimize and “normalize” sending in or organizing on-campus fascist squads, is a crucial part of the overall battle to drive the Trump/Pence regime out of power.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/495/why-knowing-what-is-true-has-everything-to-do-with-getting-beyond-a-world-of-horrors-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

A presentation by Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books, NY on behalf of The Bob Avakian Institute

Why Knowing What’s True Has Everything to Do With  Getting Beyond a World of Horrors: 
The Breakthrough of the New Communism Developed by Bob Avakian

June 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

I want to thank the co-sponsors of this event: the Bunche Center, AAP, The American Indian Studies Center, Prof. Macías and discussants Professors Andrew Apter and Juan Gómez-Quiñones; I thank all of you in the audience for joining us this afternoon.

And, a special appreciation to The Bob Avakian Institute for hosting this event. I want to begin by drawing your attention to why this Institute matters.

As we meet this afternoon, masses of people—billions in actual fact—suffer horribly, the planet is in extreme peril, and the potential for humanity to move beyond a world of mass starvation, disease, wars without end, degradation, oppression and exploitation is thwarted and stifled by the workings of the system of capitalism-imperialism that prevails everywhere throughout the world.

There is the basis in the productive capacity, the technology, and the creativity and knowledge of people to transform the world to move beyond the economic, political and social formations that today so brutally destroy lives and crush spirits. Unlocking that potential requires understanding it—comprehending the complex reality of the world as it actually is so as to discover the pathways to fundamental change through a strategic approach to an actual revolution and for a radically new society on the road to human emancipation. This is the breakthrough and ongoing work and leadership of Bob Avakian. 

For over 40 years Bob Avakian has been digging into the reality humanity faces, grappling with the theory and the practice to break out of the long dark night of millennia of oppression. He critically examined the liberatory first communist revolutions of the 20th Century, first in the Soviet Union and then the People’s Republic of China—how they began blazing a path to a world where slaves would be slaves no more; and he critically delved into their defeats, fearlessly excavating and interrogating their shortcomings in method and approach and how they went at the problems encountered in forging a world where exploitation is not the engine that drives the world, undergirding all the other forms of oppression that people suffer.

Drawing from this experience and ranging widely from scholars, scientists, and artists and as well as from sports and music, Avakian has made a qualitative breakthrough in putting revolution and communism on a thoroughly and consistently scientific footing—stripping away those previous aspects of communist theory that were not scientific. With this as the foundational method and approach of the new synthesis of communism, Bob Avakian has made breakthroughs in the strategy for actual revolution. He has developed a radically new conception of socialism, authoring the Constitution for the future socialist state as both a far more liberatory society and one that is on the road to communism. And he has made a breakthrough in internationalism—in the understanding of why in order to free humanity from the chains of imperialism the whole world must come first.

Bob Avakian developed the New Communism while leading the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA to be a vanguard force for an actual revolution in a period where revolution was regarded by most as a thing of the past. Yet, today we face a moment in history where more than ever the world cries out for an emancipatory revolution and there is a new framework for revolution in the new synthesis, yet this breakthrough in revolutionary theory, so necessary for an emancipatory revolution, is not known, and the forces for that revolution need to be brought forward.

I encourage you to find out more about and to support the work of the BA Institute whose mission is the preserving, projecting, and promoting of the works and vision of Bob Avakian with the aim of reaching the broadest possible audience. Today’s program furthers that mission and my talk is rooted in Bob Avakian’s leadership and the new synthesis of communism. I look forward to an exchange of views based on this. And I hope each of you will be provoked and inspired to get more deeply into BA’s work and support and join in the work of the Institute. So let’s get into our topic, Why Knowing What’s True Has Everything to Do With Getting Beyond a World of Horrors.

Bob Avakian has written:

The struggle in the realm of epistemology—the theory of knowledge and how it is acquired by people, the theory of what is true and how people come to know the truth—is a crucial arena in the overall battle for the emancipation of the oppressed and exploited majority of humanity, and ultimately of humanity as a whole. Grasping the defining characteristics and the importance of the scientific method—and, most of all, the most consistent, systematic and comprehensive scientific approach to reality, the communist world outlook and method, which can embrace without replacing or suffocating the many fields of human knowledge and endeavor and can give expression to the richest process of learning about reality and transforming it in the interests of humanity—is of vital importance for this emancipatory struggle.1

Humanity is locked into a world of deprivation, wars, environmental devastation, brutal oppression of minority nationalities in different countries around the world. Black people in the U.S. are subjected to unending discrimination and a slow genocide with 2.3 million locked away in hellhole prisons while police brutality and murder continue unabated and unpunished. Women here and around the world are degraded and oppressed in ways that are unspeakable for those with eyes willing to confront the brutal reality that half of humanity faces. Bob Avakian has sharply pointed out that today people can say, depict, and do to women what you could not do to any other group of people. That’s true, and that’s one reason why the liberation of women is a cornerstone of the New Communism and the revolution to achieve it.

The goal of the New Communism is a total revolution—the most radical revolution in human history that aims at nothing less than overcoming all forms of oppression and exploitation all over the world, a society where humanity could truly flourish. To make such a revolution requires understanding reality as it actually is, a method and approach to discover what’s true and then to transform the world on the basis of the actual underlying material conditions and the contradictions in those conditions.

We meet today as a full out fascist regime is in power here in the world’s most powerful nation. Matters of epistemology are thrown into sharp relief as is everything else in society. “Fake News,” “alternative facts,” conspiracy theories— to say these false narratives are mobilizing people in harmful ways is understatement. Going deeper, they obscure and divert people from understanding the essence of what is happening and acting in ways commensurate.

The Trump/Pence regime is furiously battling to consolidate fascism here. Their enraged social base is moving on campuses and holding KKK/Nazi style rallies around the country. Their rabid followers attack immigrants as the enemy. Two courageous heroes in Portland were murdered and one seriously wounded for standing up to this. These men are models of acting on your moral conviction based on what is right and true. The Trump/Pence regime has not yet succeeded in consolidating fascism in law and society, but they are moving rapidly. And even with the significant opposition expressed in several mass demonstrations and many smaller protests over the last five months, there is not, as yet, the level of unrelenting political struggle from below, from the people, aimed at driving this regime out of power, which is the only way to stop them.

This cabal of fascists headed by Trump and Pence came to power under the signboard of a mythology of Make America Great Again, a narrative that, if you will excuse the pun, trumped and encompassed two other reactionary narrative myths: [1] that this country is the biblical shining city on a hill whose future requires defeating the elite demons running the world, banishing all “others” who are not white men (and “their” submissive wives), ostracizing all who are not fundamentalist Christians, thereby returning America to, as they would have it in their myth, a theocratic Christian state; and the second myth: that the greatness of America rests on the ingenuity of the self-made man, that the greatest good, and even virtue, comes from a society where naked self interest is unfettered, in short, Gordon Gekko ideology—“greed is good.” The Trump/Pence regime, as with all fascist regimes, is built on promoting and enforcing a worldview of lies, of alternative facts—a narrative—of the victimized, that tells of an aggrieved class of the “entitled,” anointed by God or by virtue of what they believe is their innate superiority and entitlement that is being kept down by alien forces—foreigners, non-Christians, elites, people of color, “losers” in the lexicon favored by Trump; all of whom are peoples to be vanquished in order to return the country and the aggrieved white men to their rightful place.

This fascist mythology, the America First and Make American Great Again narratives clash with what has been the more dominant narrative promoted by the Democrats, liberals and progressives, media talking heads and mainstream press of America as the land of liberty and equality, of freedom for all, of “give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free”; a country always progressing towards a more perfect union; where what’s good for business is good for all, and if there is still inequality, there can be some regulation of capitalism to placate the middle class; and as for the poor, the benevolence of the rich can offer some alms through NGO charity, while poverty and punishment is the real deal, with mass deportations and incarceration, yes under Democrats Bill Clinton and Obama, because this system has no future for millions locked on society’s bottom. If the more “awake” followers of this liberal myth point out the actual misery that is everywhere in this the richest country in history, the pathetic bottom line answer is: “Well, this may not be the perfect system, but it’s better than any other.”

None of these narratives are true. All reflect the interests of different sections of the ruling classes. They overlap and obscure the reality of America founded on slavery and the genocide of the native peoples; the theft of 1/3 of the land of Mexico; the bloody history of the U.S. becoming the world’s dominant imperialist power, where for every year of its existence it has waged a war of conquest, meddled in the elections of other countries when not outright fomenting or directing coups d’état. They conceal that the U.S. is ruled by a dictatorship of a ruling class that enforces a system of exploitation; and that what we are experiencing now is an acute struggle at the top that is drawing in every other class and social force over what will be the cohering form of this bourgeois dictatorship: whether it will be fascism, which relies on open terror and violence in which civil and legal rights are effectively nil, or the normal oppressive workings of bourgeois-democracy.

This is not some other narrative, a radical communist narrative; this is historical fact and current reality. History that tells of enormous cost to humanity when people believe and act on stories that aren’t true. This underscores the tremendous stakes and the import of a scientific approach to reality. 

What is science? And, can it and should it be applied to society?

Ardea Skybreak in the book 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 paraphrases Neil deGrasse Tyson and says “Science allows you to confront and identify problems, to recognize problems and figure out how to solve them, rather than run away from them.” She says, “It’s a tool–science–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...” And, “Science is an evidence-based process.” She goes on to make a very important point:

Without science, you can only say what you as an individual think reality is, or maybe you can say what a whole bunch of people think reality is, or maybe you can say what a government, or religious authority, or some other authority might tell you reality is like, but that doesn’t make any of it true. 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.

Take a moment and think about the implications of that.

To know and change the world requires understanding the world as it actually is—looking beneath the surface to discover the social processes through which people provide for the needs of life and to rear new generations of people. Just as a microscope and a theoretical understanding of cells, of DNA, provide tools to discover the mechanisms of life and the pathways to curing disease, so too does the scientific theory of communism—dialectical materialism—reveal the roots of society and how it can be “cured.” What is the economic foundation of society? What is the character of the institutions that arise on this foundation? How are all the social relations—the forms of oppression that we are all too familiar with today shaped and constrained by this economic system? How do traditional ideas reinforce these economic, political, and social relations? And, decisive to changing all of this, what are the contradictions developing within all of this that we can go to work on to lead a total revolution? 

We really can struggle to get to a “world where people work and struggle together for the common good… Where everyone contributes whatever they can to society and gets back what they need to live a life worthy of human beings… Where there are no more divisions among people in which some rule over and oppress others, robbing them not only of the means to a decent life but also of knowledge and a means for really understanding, and acting to change, the world.” This, a total revolution, is brought to life in Bob Avakian’s THE NEW COMMUNISM, The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation.

Making revolution to emancipate humanity throughout the world is complex. It is also real, and rooted in the real world contradictions we face.

Despite his surreal appearance Donald Trump is also real, “Make America Great” mobilizes a fascist base with a false narrative, but the Trump/Pence regime holds power and is backed by power, and thus their ideas and policies are being realized, and should the regime fully succeed, more and more people will come to see that they are “right.” Watch cable news and you see this normalization unfold. And, on the other side, despite its mythology, this land does not belong to you and me, America and capitalism-imperialism are not the land of opportunity and forces for good and the best that humanity can do. But, based on its power and control of all the institutions of society, this is what many if not most people in this country believe to be true.

Perhaps as a little kid a parent tried to teach you that “might doesn’t make right?” But, then life teaches you otherwise. Unless you take up a scientific approach to knowing and changing the world, you won’t understand why it is that what is wrong so often prevails, or, get the science that lies behind the insight of Karl Marx that: “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas” and how that can be worked on and transformed through revolution.

If you don’t understand the underlying dynamics of society, you will be played. We run into this all the time: the politicians and pundits declare, and people follow suit and say: the problem is corruption, or money in politics, or greed, or human nature.... The list goes on. Without understanding how a society functions, getting under the hood of how it works, you can’t really know or solve the problem. Police brutality and murder disproportionally target Black and Latino youth, with pigs never held to account. No justice, only payouts to keep quiet. What you think needs to be done about this unconscionable outrage depends on whether you understand what the root of the problem is. Give the police “sensitivity” training? Have a community review board? Wear body cams? Not even close. The problem is that the job of the police is to serve and protect the capitalist system—their function is to protect the right of the ruling class to exploit and oppress the masses and if there is no way for the masses to survive, then they must be terrorized into submission, locked up or killed. The deep foundational structure of white supremacy in this country has and will continue to result in the most brutal repression and targeting of Black and Latino youth. You can’t reform that away. It’s too woven into the fabric of the system and its functioning. We must fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution. But to understand that, you need science.

If you go to the doctor because you have symptoms that could either indicate a sore back or cancer of the spine, or perhaps a chest discomfort that could be acid reflux or a heart condition, for sure you know that you want a doctor grounded in the latest scientific medical understanding to determine what is the specific disease causing your symptoms, followed by what are the tested treatments for the correctly diagnosed disease. You don’t want to take a TUMS for a heart attack... or, rub on some Ben Gay for cancer... nor should you want to be told the “cure” is for you to atone for your sins and pray.

The same is true for diagnosing and setting a course of treatment for the ills of society. But when it comes to human society, even many scientists say that you can’t apply scientific methodology. That it’s too complex, too subjective. This is nonsense. Ardea Skybreak makes the point that it is exactly the opposite—because of the complexity of human society, a scientific approach is all the more needed. 

Materialism vs. Idealism

At the heart of the matter, is, well, matter. All of reality, even the processes of our consciousness take place through matter in motion. Our ideas are reflections of objective material reality and they can impact objective reality. And, that is one reason we can know that reality objectively exists.

Philosophically, this is reflected in two modes of thinking: Materialism vs. Idealism. Materialism—dialectical materialism—means your conception of the world flows from a fundamental understanding that everything exists as matter—matter that is constantly changing, that is always in motion, moving through contradiction. And, this stands in opposition to philosophical Idealism—the view that, as Avakian writes in The New Communism,

[R]eality is an extension of ideas—ideas in the mind of individuals. For example: “Maybe this doesn’t exist for you, but it exists for me.” We hear this kind of thing all the time, this relativism: “Well, that may be your truth, but my truth says something different. God may not exist for you, but God definitely exists for me.” No! If god exists at all, then god exists for everybody.

Avakian stresses that it matters not just “what people think, but, even more fundamentally, how they think—and how they ‘approach the world.’” And, that this is not only sharply contended in society and the world, but “also among many who claim to be seeking some kind of ‘progressive’ or radical change, and even among many who proclaim to be communists.” Unfortunately, such idealist approaches to social change, and revolution, result in a kind of religious approach that views the arc of history always bending towards progress, or what has too often prevailed among communists, that communism is inevitable. Such views disarm people from being able to confront, act on, and transform the reality they actually face.

Relativism vs. A Scientific Approach to Reality

Alternative facts, being guided by narratives, and not what is actually true, reaches both the absurd and the deadly dangerous with Trump and his whole regime: “I had the biggest inaugural crowd... Mexicans are criminals and rapists... Muslims all potential terrorists... climate change a hoax”—dangerous lies, but backed up by Fox Media and the power of the state.

How different is this methodologically from Obama saying that the problem Black youth face is that they don’t take personal responsibility and they should pull their pants up? Really? Is this the cause of the oppression of Black people? No, and believing it because Obama as the first Black president said it doesn’t make it true, it makes it all the more dangerous.

And, on the campuses this relativism is rampant in identity politics: a mode of thinking where who is speaking, and whether they are, or are not, the most oppressed person in the room, determines the validity of their ideas. Communists have also had a variant of this: that the workers or the most oppressed have a special purchase on the truth. Ok, it is sometimes the case that those who have lived a life under the most vicious boot of this system may more readily gravitate towards revolution, but their position in society does not in itself provide an understanding of how society works, or of the theory, strategy and programs to transform it. Another example, all too common on the campuses, is if an uncomfortable truth is spoken and this upsets someone, then a safe space must be created where this intrusion of the true brutality of the real world is prohibited. 

Or, in the social movements of resistance this slogan is chanted in demonstrations: “The people united will never be defeated.” Is this true? No. Bob Avakian has pointed out that people have been united and been defeated—many times. Both for reasons that their adversaries were stronger, and sometimes because of shortcomings or mistakes in how the struggle was led. Yes, it is good and necessary to unite people around a correct understanding of reality and a strategy and plan that flows from that. But it is just a seemingly “useful” political truth that “the people united will never be defeated.” And, it misleads.

This is a reflection of what Avakian has critiqued as populist epistemology—that whatever most people think at any given time defines what’s true. Facebook reality, thumbs down.

The mode of thinking that denies that there is objective reality, that there is only subjective experience: “I have my truth and you have yours,” leaves people unequipped to deal with the momentous problems humanity faces; it leaves you blind to discover where there are sharp and profound contradictions brewing beneath the surface that could hold the potential for revolutionary struggle. You can’t act with conviction about anything other than yourself.

It is prevalent in academia that to even claim there is objective reality is totalizing —totalitarian—because it doesn’t leave room for my ideas. Some who are influenced by postmodernism claim that the insistence that there is objective reality and a scientific way to understand and transform that reality is what led to the problems of the 20th century revolutions.

This relativism—that there is no objective truth, that we can’t act with any certitude about what has been determined through scientific verification is true, is nonsense, but not just that. The relativist construct of competing narratives that must all be brought together is wrong and harmful. Does the history and present lived reality of oppressed and marginalized peoples need to be uncovered, told, paid attention to, and redressed? Yes. But, what is true about that history is true not just for that group, it is part of the history of humanity and its causes and solutions sought in the larger reality, with unity forged on that foundation. Relativism keeps everyone and the struggle “in their lane,” confined to thinking about and only acting on what concerns them; it cuts off the kind of process necessary to know and change the whole world.

Avakian makes the point in The New Communism that “everybody who’s a relativist is relativist until it really matters to them.” You wouldn’t let your kid run out in the street in front of a car because who’s to say if the traffic is real for him or her? 

The relativism of Trump and his world of “useful” alternative facts, on the one hand, and the relativism that pervades and poisons the movements of opposition, on the other, are completely diametrically opposed in morality—one stands on the side of gloatingly enforcing oppression, and the other in fighting against oppression and wanting a more just world. But, methodologically the parallels of proceeding from “your truth,” or your group’s “reality,” from what’s useful to you and your cause, people, gender—in the immediate moment—will and can only lead away from understanding the root of the problem humanity faces, and to leaving the world the horror that it is. 

Before concluding, since I just brought this question of epistemology back to Trump, I want to commend your attention to two works by BA: “The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy… And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer,” and The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era, which not only deeply reveal the roots of fascism in America, but are a stunning example of the scientific approach of Bob Avakian.

When you get into The New Communism, when you dig into the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, and other works, you will see that he not only advocates for a scientific approach to reality and to making revolution, but in what is a real game changer, Bob Avakian breaks ground in creating a new framework for how masses of people can wield and apply science to society, creating a movement today and a future society to unleash the maximum creativity, ferment, experimentation and dissent, on the basis of a solid core of understanding, as integral to carrying forward the aims and objectives of the revolution to emancipate humanity.

I am going to conclude with this quotation from the handbook for revolution, BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian that was reprinted on the promotional flyer. This both serves as a certain concentration of the qualitative breakthrough in the scientific epistemology of the new synthesis and brings home why it is so integral to humanity getting free. With all that the people of the world face, we are fortunate to have this work, leadership, and Institute at this moment. Hopefully this quotation will also serve as a provocation for our discussion.

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

 

1. “A Leap of Faith” and a Leap to Rational Knowledge: Two Very Different Kinds of Leaps, Two Radically Different Worldviews and Methods“ [back]



       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/495/unity-and-struggle-the-ba-institute-forum-at-ucla-june-5-2017-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Unity and Struggle: The BA Institute Forum at UCLA, June 5, 2017

'Science and Revolution, Why Knowing What's True Has Everything to Do with Getting Beyond This World of Horrors:
A Presentation and Exchange on the New Communism Developed by Bob Avakian'

June 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This was received from The BA Institute.

The Bob Avakian Institute sponsored a timely engagement on the epistemological heart of Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism on June 5 at UCLA titled: “Science and Revolution, Why Knowing What’s True Has Everything to Do with Getting Beyond This World of Horrors: A Presentation and Exchange on the New Communism Developed by Bob Avakian.” The other co-sponsors were The Ralph J. Bunche Center of African American Studies, The American Indian Studies Center, The Academic Advancement Program, and Prof. Reynaldo Macías of Chicana/o Studies. 

The event included a presentation from Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books, NY on behalf of The BA Institute, with responses from Andrew Apter, Professor of Anthropology and History and Juan Gómez-Quiñones, Professor of History, both from UCLA. This was followed by discussion among the participants and some questions from the audience.

The organizing of the event and its thematic came together through discussion with a number of the participants and co-sponsors about the work and mission of The Bob Avakian Institute. There was a strong sentiment that we had to speak to the dangers of the moment we’re facing with the Trump/Pence regime while focusing on and engaging the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian. Our prepatory discussions focused on whether science—which all agreed was under attack in dangerous ways—could and should be applied consistently to human society and the struggle for human emancipation, the breakthrough which is at the heart of Avakian’s work. 

The event itself held a sharp, deep and lively exchange taking off from these questions, and The Bob Avakian Institute will be posting video soon. About 50 people were in attendance including a number of Directors of several UCLA Centers, faculty, both graduate and undergraduate students as well as anti-fascist activists and members of the LA Revolution Club. After the event, a UCLA professor commented that this was a rare coming together of serious significant university centers to sponsor an exchange on revolutionary communist theory connected to the current political moment. 

The three participants came together with a lot of unity and heart for the conditions of the oppressed around the world, and real concern about the dangers for humanity represented by the Trump/Pence regime. At the same time there were sharp differences about whether, on the one hand, a scientific approach is biased, too limiting or even dangerous and thus not desirable, or on the other hand, as concentrated in the breakthrough of the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian, science is essential as the most consistent, systematic, and liberatory means to understand the source of all the forms of oppression and exploitation, and on that basis, to ground and carry forward the vision and road to the revolutionary transformation of society towards human emancipation.

Andy Zee talked about the world historic importance of Avakian’s work, and the role that Avakian is playing today as the architect of a new stage of communist revolution and leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. His talk led people to confront the extreme dangers bound up with the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime and the roots of this fascist program and ideology in America, with a focus on the unleashing and cohering of their fascist social base with the narrative of “Make America Great Again," based on lies, “alternative facts,” and a false narrative of an aggrieved white male America kept down by elites, immigrants, Muslims, people of color and women. He then went into the myths of the narrative mythology of America that the Democrats tell and its variants in the progressive social movements. While acknowledging the sharply posed moral and political differences between those who advocate and enforce oppression and those who oppose it, he dug more deeply into the anti-scientific relativism and instrumentalism that underlie the method and approach that these polar opposites share. He contrasted this to what’s needed: the scientific heart of the new synthesis of communism, speaking to what science is and, in a living way, why any approach less or opposed to this, will not lead to the emancipation of all humanity. He ended his talk by going back to BAsics 4:10 which helped frame the event as a whole. 

Professor Juan Gómez-Quiñones began by going back to Karl Marx, contrasting Marx’s approach to the pessimism of other thinkers of the 19th century, including Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and others. He upheld Marx’s economic and political analysis in several concrete ways and how this laid the basis for people to see the potential for how a better world was possible. He upheld the universality of this theory in pointing to how we are all sisters and brothers under the skin. But he also raised a number of criticisms of what he argued was a Eurocentrism from Marx, including a wrong approach to the cultures of the oppressed around the world. Later, in the discussion, Professor Juan Gómez-Quiñones talked about the uniqueness and importance of the work Avakian is doing. He made the point that we need living analysis that could bring us out of this situation the world is in. In the context of what was a brief Q&A and discussion, Professor Juan Gómez-Quiñones did not go into an assessment of BA’s new synthesis, but highlighted that there are not others who are doing work like BA, and that the work needs to be engaged on that basis.

Professor Andrew Apter began his comments with a personal appreciation for Avakian’s foundational political experience in the struggle of Black people, and told a personal anecdote about going to the same middle school in Berkeley. He argued that Marx is incredibly relevant to understanding the situation in the world today. While Prof. Apter agreed on the need for philosophy to be rooted in reality, he raised a number of concerns and differences in particular over whether science could be applied to human society in the way science can be applied to nature. He also criticized what he felt were confining, and even repressive, dangers in applying a scientific approach to human society. He argued, in contrast to the scientific method that Avakian is arguing for, which Prof. Apter critiqued as “scientism,” that critical theory provides the best framework we have today for understanding the world. 

All this was joined and struggled over in the discussion.

Annie Day, the Director of The BA Institute, spoke briefly about the Institute, the importance of its mission and ways people can contribute—by becoming a Friend of the Institute, assigning BA’s work in their classes, and being a part of future events and salons.

The discussion and Q&A got into a number of different topics ranging from the significance of the breakthroughs that Marx made and how; whether Avakian has taken those further; how to understand the role BA is playing in the world today; the need for an actual revolution and what is required for that; struggle over the approach one should take evaluating the first stage of communist revolution; struggle over what science is and isn’t; questions concentrated in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, including what it will take to emancipate oppressed nationalities within the U.S., how that’s handled in that Constitution; and, underlying these differences was the philosophical, methodological difference between materialism vs. idealism.

What energized the participants, the sponsors, and the audience was how through this discussion, including the at times sharp struggle about the basis, goals and methods for change, there was shared deep unity about the horrors facing humanity and the need for people to act. In addition, there was a collective sense—coming from different and even divergent perspectives—that Avakian is making important contributions that all need to learn from and whose work needs to be known and engaged throughout society.

As this was just a beginning to the kind of discussion Avakian’s work can open up, The BA Institute looks forward to further discussions and exchanges throughout the summer, and will be aiming to set up more panels and presentations in the fall.



       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/495/free-speech-in-socialism-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Why We Argue for Shutting Down Fascists Like Ann Coulter—And Why We Will Protect Free Speech in Socialist Society

June 12, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

For the past few months, and with increasing intensity, outright fascists have attempted to command the public stage and then, when they are met with opposition, have screamed “free speech.” We’ve exposed elsewhere the vicious hypocrisy of this on the part of the fascists and the great danger in the way all too many liberals have not only bowed down to this argument, but vociferously taken it up. (See video of a May 4 talk by Sunsara Taylor at the University of California Berkeley campus: “Battle for Berkeley: Why It’s Right and Righteous to Drive Fascists Off Campus, Out of Berkeley… and Out of Power!”) And we’ve spoken to the need to mobilize people to stand up to these fascists, to unapologetically shut them down and to drive them out of power altogether—and been in the middle of that mobilization ourselves.

At the same time, people raise the question: in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, and in many of Bob Avakian’s other writings, as well as other publications of the Party, the importance of dissent, and the contestation of opposing ideas, is emphasized; but in the recent (and ongoing) “Battle of Berkeley” you argue for not letting people like Ann Coulter speak but instead mobilizing opposition to drive such people off campus, out of Berkeley...and out of power. How do you explain this contradiction?

As a basic principle, it is ideas that are in opposition to the powers that be, and the prevailing norms, and which therefore have a hard time finding means and vehicles for expression, and are often the object of direct suppression—it is precisely those ideas whose expression needs to be protected, not those which have the force of governing powers and institutions behind them. 

This general principle should be applied differently in different concrete situations. In today’s circumstances, the purveyors of fascism and proponents of reactionary views and programs (Ann Coulter, for example) are given disproportionate means to spread their ideas. They get all sorts of official backing, media platforms and funds especially with this fascist regime now in power. However, proponents of countervailing, oppositional ideas—including views “outside the mainstream” that run counter to those of people in power, and especially the views of advocates for fundamental societal change—are often suppressed and in any case have to wage an uphill battle to be heard and to secure venues and means to spread their message. It is not a level playing field!!—and there is absolutely no need to provide reactionaries, and especially outright fascists, with additional platforms to spread their poison. Indeed, providing such platforms does great harm—it legitimizes and normalizes these views.

So, again, the question is: How would WE handle the contestation of ideas and dissent and unpopular ideas in socialist society, as embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. First, this situation is completely different. Why? Because at that point we would hold state power!! Under those circumstances, not only tolerating but even encouraging dissent, and the widespread contestation of even unpopular ideas, would be an integral part of our responsibilities, in line with our strategic objectives and the necessary direction of society towards the full emancipation of all of humanity. That is NOT the situation today, when we all live in societies characterized by oppressive class and social relations which are daily enshrined and reinforced by oppressive power relations (a reality that liberals like Frank Bruni or Van Jones always seem to conveniently ignore and leave out of their assessments when they defend the “right” of fascists to spew their poison).

So let’s look at what the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America does say on how this principle will be applied in socialist society. 

 

Article III. Rights of the People and the Struggle to Uproot All Exploitation and Oppression.

Section 2. Legal and Civil Rights and Liberties.

1. In keeping with what is set forth in this Constitution as a whole, and specifically in the above Section of this Article, the orientation of the government, and that promoted in society overall, must be to not only allow but to value dissent, as well as political, philosophical and in general intellectual and cultural ferment and diversity, and to promote and foster an atmosphere in which all this can flourish. This shall find expression and be embodied in government policy and action, as well as in the law, including that part of law and policy specifically intended to protect the legal and civil rights and liberties of the people in this Republic....

2. No person in the New Socialist Republic in North America shall be deprived of the rights set forth in this Constitution, except through due process of law....

3. The following shall apply with regard to the New Socialist Republic in North America and those residing within its territory:

A. Freedom of speech, of assembly and association, and of dissent and protest shall not be restricted, except in cases of violation of the law and through due process of law.

Expression of opposition to this Republic and its Constitution and government–including advocacy in favor of abolishing this Republic and replacing it with another kind of society and form of government–shall not be prohibited, and on the contrary shall be permitted and protected, except as this shall involve the commission, or an active conspiracy to commit, or the direct and immediate advocacy of, violent acts, which are not in self-defense, against the government or members of the government, or others residing in this Republic, or other actions which violate the law (but, once again, expression of opposition to this Republic and its government, or mere advocacy in favor of replacing this with another form of society and government, may not be declared and treated as a violation of the law).

 

This Constitution provides a concrete and visionary “blueprint” and perspective for a truly liberatory society, and is something that people really need to get into.

In sum, what is consistent here throughout is the principle that the proponents of unpopular ideas need to have the expression of those ideas protected. What is different is the application in a society in which a ruling class is enforcing the rule of capitalism, and dominating the media, educational system, etc. in such a way so as to ensure the domination of ideas reflecting and reinforcing its relations and values, especially right now when the outright fascist form of rule is moving to consolidate its domination (including in the sphere of ideas); and a revolutionary socialist state, in which the society is oriented toward human emancipation.

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/493/the-revolution-club-declares-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

May 29, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

THE REVOLUTION CLUB DECLARES

This Summer in Chicago Will NOT Be a Bloodbath of Killing Each Other

This Summer Will NOT Be Free Rein for Police to Murder and Terrorize Black and Brown People

This Summer We Get Organized for Revolution to Emancipate All of Humanity

Every summer, people young and old in Chicago dread it—will their friends or children or parents or they themselves be killed in gang shootings, or shot down by some murdering cop for being young and Black or Latino?

NO!

The Revolution Club declares:

This summer Chicago will become known for revolution, not for people killing each other while Trump the Amerikkkan Hitler moves ahead with a genocidal program targeting Black and Brown people. This summer Chicago will become known for people changing what they are living, fighting, and dying for, taking up the cause of human emancipation and getting organized now to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time.

This summer people will find out about, and get with, the leadership they have in Bob Avakian (BA) and the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). This summer people will learn about and take up the science and strategy for revolution that has been developed by BA that shows us that this revolution is the only way out. This summer people will learn how to get organized to carry out and win the all-out struggle for power. This summer people will take up and fight for the vision and program embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by BA, for a new society where people actually count for something and are given the backing they need to uproot all the different forms of oppression and get beyond a world divided into rich and poor, masters and slaves.

This summer people will change what they’re about and take up the Points of Attention for the Revolution. This summer people will get out of the “me and mine first” bullshit that has us trapped on the bottom scrambling for the crumbs that fall off the imperialist table. This summer, people will come to deeply know that women are not bitches, ho’s, punching bags, incubators, sex objects, or breeders—women are full human beings. People will learn to recognize and value the humanity of each other, of gay and differently gendered people, of Muslims, of immigrants, of people all across the world, and yes, of people right down the block that they’ve looked at as enemies. This summer, people will become critical scientific thinkers and not mindless religious robots.

This summer, people will stop being played into thinking that the enemy is someone just like us living right down the street and instead they will get ready and organized to fight to overthrow the real enemy that has created, and has us locked in, the conditions, the misery, and the poverty that has us at each others’ throats. This summer, people will get out of the madness of killing other people in the exact same conditions. This summer, people will give REAL MEANING to the lives of their murdered loved ones by going after the system that is really responsible. People will stop thirsting for retaliation and revenge. Instead, people will lift their sights and come together to fight for the interests of the masses of people all over the world because that is what people really need and that is what humanity is counting on us to do.

Right now all over the world people are looking at Chicago because of the violence among the people and because of Trump’s fascist threats to move in. This summer, let Chicago become known in a radically different way: Let it become known for people stepping out as an organized force for revolution, changing what people are getting into, what people are fighting for, and what people all over the world see as possible. People will see that there is a way out of the mess this system has people trapped in, here and all over the world.

YOU Are Needed

You are needed to step up to this challenge. You are needed by the masses of people who are going through hell. You are needed by the people of the world who cry out for a different future. You are needed by the people around you, people who don’t think things can be different or who fear change. You are needed to throw in everything you can to be part of preparing the ground, preparing the people, and preparing the vanguard leadership, hastening a situation where millions can go all out for revolution, with a real chance to win.

BA says, “We, the masses of people, are capable of much greater things than this. We are capable of completely and radically changing our circumstances, changing all of society to get rid of circumstances like these. What happens in the world affects us and we can affect the world, and when all is said and done, we can change the whole world, together with people like us all over the world.”

This summer: Decide to live by and fight for the six Points of Attention for the Revolution. Put on the T-shirt representing the revolution, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION―NOTHING LESS! Join the Revolution Club and become an emancipator of humanity.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/battle-for-berkeley-intensifies-fascists-work-with-police-to-target-protesters-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

The Battle for Berkeley Intensifies: Fascists Work With Police to Target Protesters

June 19, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The fascists are not rallying in the streets of Berkeley right now as they were in April, but they have not backed off their attacks against Berkeley and all it represents. Since February of this year, a series of alt-right mouthpieces—Milo Yiannopoulos, David Horowitz, Ann Coulter—tried to come to the University of California, Berkeley to rally pro-Trump forces and intimidate those who resist the fascist regime. All three of these fascists were prevented from appearing by resistance on the part of thousands. In response to shutting down these fascists, the thugs who support them rallied several times in Berkeley, resulting in physical battles in the park and streets between pro-Trump forces and anti-fascists. Now, in a dangerous development, these same thugs are actively working with the police to identify, arrest, and charge people who they claim opposed them at those rallies.

Eric Clanton, a former Diablo Valley College professor, was arrested on May 24 by Berkeley police and given four serious charges of assault with a deadly weapon flowing out of the protest against the April 15 pro-Trump rally in Berkeley when people confronted the fascists. He is reportedly being held on $100,000 bail. The original bail was $200,000—but the “reduced” bail is still a complete outrage.

These are the only charges brought against anyone for the April 15 rally so far. The Berkeley police say they based the arrest of Clanton on “video evidence” and phone records that they say put him in the area at the time of the rally. While the BPD (Berkeley Police Department) won’t say it, his arrest is very likely the direct and immediate result of, and mainly on the basis of, the efforts of online fascist trolls to target Clanton and escalating demands from other fascists that he be arrested and charged. Not only are these thugs “doxxing” people—digging into their personal information online—they are turning over their “evidence” to the police and demanding arrests and charges.

After the April 15 rally, Clanton was supposedly “identified” through online postings of video of the incident in question, posted pictures of Clanton, supposed (and easily photoshopped) “facial recognition techniques” (even though the fascists claim that whoever was the subject in their pictures was wearing a mask), and posting of personal information, including addresses, etc. The fascist trolls, using 4chan (an online message board used by these vigilantes), then began an online campaign to finger Clanton and demand that the authorities arrest him. This culminated in the Berkeley police searching his home and another address, and then arresting and charging him.

The BPD broadly put out a number for people to call with any further information about Clanton and others who opposed the fascists on April 15. (It is routine practice for the BPD to post pictures online of those they are going after and ask people to identify them, and the fascist trolls are very eager to collaborate with them.)

The fascist media have been quick to trumpet the arrest of Clanton and the work of trolls on 4chan/pol (a political board on 4chan used by white supremacists/fascists). The Breitbart and Oath Keepers websites are among those that have posted articles or videos about the arrest, congratulating the 4chan fascists and calling for more attacks. The fascist vigilante group Oath Keepers' article even included a photo of the BPD inmate custody form for Clanton after his arrest and congratulated 4chan/pol.

According to the website It’s Going Down, which describes itself as “a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements,” two banners were dropped the night of May 28 at UC Berkeley. The banners said, “Stop Online Vigilantes” and “Drop Charges Against Eric Clanton.” The website said, “Eric Clanton is a victim of a new era of kangaroo courts and government repression fueled by Alt-Right trolls. It is time, now more than ever, to dig in our heels and refuse any small appeasement.” Further, it said, “We plead for comrades and allies to do what they can, as often and as many times as they can to fight the fascist creep and show solidarity with Eric Clanton. Drop a banner. Decorate empty walls with messages of love and support. Let the Alt-Right trolls know that in real life there is no safe space for racism and hate speech.”

Clanton’s lawyer, Dan Siegel, a progressive attorney who is a veteran of the 1960s Stop the Draft Week and People’s Park battles in Berkeley, is himself being targeted by the fascist trolls. They have confronted him outside court, taped everything he said, and say they are digging into his past. Siegel says they are following him and making threats against his life.

“Safe Streets Project”

In a related and dangerous development, the Oath Keepers are unleashing their followers to take up this same kind of attack on those who resist the fascist regime. Under the headline “How to Safely Catch Violent Antifa Terrorists on Your Streets,” the Oath Keepers website displays large promotional photos and links to something called the “Safe Streets Project,” which the Oath Keepers are promoting. The size and extent of this “project” are not clear at this time. Saying they’re “Taking Back Free Speech,” this organization is trying to set up a nationwide network and apparatus to gather information on protesters and turn them in to the police, just as happened to Eric Clanton. The website calls on followers across the country to use their smartphones to provide “critical intelligence to the teams working to unmask, identify, and ensure the rendition of Antifa and Black Bloc terrorists to law enforcement. Simply take photos, record videos and capture audio discussions.” The site claims it has a “technology engine that allows individuals to quickly, securely, and privately identify and flag violent street rioters for prosecution.”

Part of the announced plans of this Safe Streets Project is to get their forces and followers to replace anti-fascist posters with a declaration of theirs. Their aim is to try to infuriate and intimidate anti-fascist forces, and to dare them to take down the posted declarations. Their idea is to then film people doing this in order to get pictures of them and possibly other information that can be used against them.

The Safe Streets Project claims that it is in touch with other fascist organizations such as Proud Boys and the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights. It aims to silence anyone opposing the fascist regime—and turn them in to police if they do. It is part of the moves to consolidate fascism. They will not stop until they have destroyed all opposition—or until they are driven out of power. All such efforts by the fascists must be exposed and opposed as part of defeating them.



 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/fascists-put-shakespeare-in-the-park-in-their-crosshairs-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

From RefuseFascism.org:

Fascists Put Shakespeare in the Park in their Crosshairs

June 18, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Since 1954, the Public Theater has been staging free productions of Shakespeare’s plays in the urban oasis of Central Park. Shakespeare in the Park is a beloved cultural tradition in New York, where words written four centuries ago interact with the modern intrusions of Manhattan, creating an unforgettable experience. Shakespeare himself is one of the pillars of the Western Canon, long considered essential to a strong liberal arts education. Unfortunately, none of these things, not longevity or esteem or tradition or canonization, protects us from the repressive machinery of fascism.

The same fascists who claim the mantle of free speech for Anne Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, and other hate-spewing, genocide-advocating mouthpieces of the Trump/Pence regime have viciously attacked the Public Theater and Shakespeare in the Park for its current production of Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar is a play that tackles questions of power and morality, and has a long tradition of interpretations that respond to contemporary politics. In this version, Caesar is a Trump-like modern leader with a Slavic wife and a cell phone addiction.

Even before the play’s opening night, the fascists swooped down. A Breitbart headline read, “Company Behind Trump Assassination ‘Julius Caesar’ Play Received $30M from Taxpayers.” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, “I wonder how much of this ‘art’ is funded by taxpayers? Serious question, when does ‘art’ become political speech and does that change things?” Other outlets have called this a “death threat” against Donald Trump, once again whipping up a frenzy among a base of violent vigilantes who routinely issue actual death threats, whose rabid members have already taken the lives of innocent people.

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, BAsics 6:5

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

Under pressure, Delta Airlines and Bank of America withdrew their sponsorship, and in a disgusting, cowardly capitulation to these illegitimate terms, the National Endowment for the Arts issued a statement denying any financial connection to the production. The NEA is supposed to be an “independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens” the arts. Instead, the NEA threw the Public Theater under the bus and normalized these threats to artistic freedom. In contrast, the director of the Public Theater has been unapologetic and resolute, urging the audience to record and share his opening night defense of the arts. Theater critics have praised the production and Alec Baldwin called on supporters to make up the lost corporate funding with individual donations.

This is yet another illustration of how fascists only advocate for freedom of speech when it is on their terms, giving them a platform for their ideology that has terrifying consequences for millions of people. Free-flowing artistic expression, especially artistic expression that threatens the ruling norms, cannot be tolerated under fascism. This pressure from the highest levels of power and influence is an insidious form of government censorship. It submerges the art world in a climate of fear and timidity. It suppresses and eventually eliminates debate and dissent. It extinguishes the power of art.

Theater companies all over the country have staged interpretations of Julius Caesar through the lens of the Trump presidency. This is what good art should be doing—reflecting and responding to the big questions of our time. A wide variety of artists, from the avant garde to interpreters of older forms, have been finding creative and provocative ways of dealing with our current reality. Recently the Dresden Symphony Orchestra played a “Tear Down this Wall!” concert at the U.S.-Mexico border. This concert was supposed to be played on both sides of the border, but even this was deemed too threatening. In the end, the concert was held entirely in Mexico.

Art is supposed to be provocative. It should cause us to think deeply about the world as it is and envision, even briefly, a different possibility. This is the reason artists are threatened under fascism. We must fiercely defend them, with all of our determination, and we must, in our millions, get into the streets to drive out this fascist regime.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/the-criminals-behind-the-grenfell-tower-fire-in-london-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

The Criminals Behind the Grenfell Tower Fire in London

June 19, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, June 14, a horrific fire ripped through Grenfell Tower, a 24-story public housing building in North Kensington, London. Scenes of the inferno engulfing the entire building reached TV screens around the world. Some of the trapped residents threw their children from the buildings, hoping to save them, and some jumped out themselves. Anyone watching this could not help but feel utter horror and pain, knowing that so many people were trapped inside, facing a terrifying death.

Some of the poorest families in London lived in overcrowded conditions in this tower—which stood adjacent to streets lined with townhouses worth tens of millions. Many of the tenants were immigrants, including many from Syria, Somalia and Sudan.

The latest reports are that about 70 people died in the fire. But many people remain in the hospital, and it is not yet clear what the final death toll will be. What IS clear is that this was a mass murder that was almost inevitable, given the condition of the building and the wanton neglect of the owners of the building, despite the fact that many, many tenants in the building had repeatedly complained and sounded the alarm.

People have taken to the streets to protest. People are calling for the resignation of British Prime Minister Theresa May because of her callous and inadequate response to the fire. On June 16, demonstrators heckled May and stormed the local council of the owners of Grenfell Tower, accusing officials of not giving survivors any financial assistance, lodging, or an accounting of the missing loved ones. On Saturday, June 17, hundreds of people gathered outside May’s office, demanding to know why the long-standing safety concerns of the tenants group had been ignored. People are also mad that she didn’t even bother to meet with survivors when she initially visited the neighborhood after the fire.

Investigators are trying to understand why the fire spread with such incredible speed to the top floors. The apartment complex underwent a $13 million refurbishment last year that included new thermal cladding to the exterior, and reports have now surfaced that a banned exterior paneling was used in the renovation and that there had been other cost-cutting measures. Experts think the banned insulation may have been why the fire spread so quickly.

The tenants organization, the Grenfell Action Group, had raised concerns for years about the building’s firefighting equipment and blocked emergency access. Last year, the group warned of “dangerous living conditions” in the tower and said, “It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO.” The KCTMO (Kensington and Chelsea Management Organization) managed the building for public authorities that owned it, and the huge company oversees some 10,000 other properties. Some tenants say that KCTMO was purposely neglecting the building in order to let it decay so that it could be demolished—and replaced with profitable market-rate housing.

According to The Mirror, two women who are now feared dead from the fire, Mariem Elgwahry, 27, and Nadia Choucair, 33, had received letters threatening them with legal action and ordering them to stop their campaign to improve the safety of the building.

There are about 2,500 apartments like the Grenfell Towers throughout Britain. One news report said, “The fire at the Grenfell Tower housing project—its scorched shell looming above one of London’s most upscale neighborhoods—has become a grim symbol of class inequality in a city that has long been a magnet for global wealth.”

There are criminals responsible for the horrific Grenfell Towers fire: the for-profit companies managing the building, working together with government officials. And they are part of a criminal capitalist system. A system under which profit comes before everything. A system that denies people decent and safe housing and instead creates and maintains murderous deathtraps.

 

       

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/awtwns-burned-to-death-for-crime-of-being-poor-or-minority-in-capitalist-britain-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

From A World to Win News Service:

Burned to Death for the Crime of Being Poor or Minority in Capitalist Britain

June 19, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

19 June 2017. A World to Win News Service. Their names read like a roll call from some United Nations register—Mohammed, Khadija, Sheila, Felix, Marco, Antonio.... They were of all ages and came from dozens of countries and spoke as many languages. But at least 79 of them, and perhaps more—outcasts, poor, refugees from other countries or in their own land—all suffered the same fate, burned alive or plunging to their death in an inferno with a single source: a murderous capitalist system based on profit and not human needs.

When the fire started in a small flat in the 24-story Grenfell Tower, a public housing complex in North Kensington and Chelsea, one of the richest boroughs in the United Kingdom, the residents initially thought it would be easily contained. What they didn’t reckon on was the systematic undermining of almost every safety standard that could have been taken to protect them.

  1. The cladding that had been used in the year-old refurbishment had no fire retardant—a practice outlawed in dozens of countries, including much poorer Serbia and Slovakia. The building was literally wrapped in flammable polyethylene. The supplier estimates that the fire-retardant version would have cost an extra 5,000 pounds [about $6,300]—less than 100 pounds a life.
  2. There were no sprinkler systems in the tower block—even though a coroner’s report six years earlier on a fire in another London social housing tower block, Lakanal House, had recommended retrofitting sprinklers. The government had concluded that this would cost too much. Only 18 of Britain’s 4,000 social housing tower blocks have sprinkler systems. Virtually all luxury high rises and office buildings do. Fire safety experts all say that sprinklers would either have stopped the fire or at least slowed it enough to prevent the significant loss of life.
  3. Not a single resident reported hearing a fire alarm—again, a simple cheap preventive measure that is routinely implemented in Britain—except in the homes of the poor.
  4. Not only was there only a single fire exit stairway, but there was no pressurised air system for the stairway—a measure that AWTW News Service was told by a university building manager is simple, cheap and generally applied in office and luxury buildings. The input of pressurised air from atop the stairway minimizes smoke in the stairs as firemen rush in and residents rush out.

Measure after measure—simple, cheap and any one of which would have saved dozens of lives and the homes of as many as 600 people—was omitted. Why? 

It must be said clearly: the deaths of the Grenfell Tower residents are on the hands of the Tory-dominated elite who run Kensington Council, responsible for managing the housing complex, callous and indifferent to the lives of these, “the least” of their residents—a council that pinched pennies on life-saving measures for the poor, while their government lavishes 400 million pounds on refurbishing the palace of the Queen! A council more concerned with making “eyesores” like these tower blocks look more “presentable” and thus protecting property values in the surrounding wealthy areas than with protecting the lives of those who dwell within.

The deaths are on the hands of government regulators who chose to ignore expert advice and retain rules that sooner or later were bound to lead to exactly the kind of terrible loss of life that occurred. 

The deaths are on the hands of big business that turns a blind eye to the way its products are used, their eyes focused instead grimly on the bottom line.

The deaths are on the hands of the politicians who oversaw this entire process. The Tories of course, whose austerity measures have closed down 10 London fire stations, who slash regulations in order to “let the market do its work,” and who are pursuing Brexit avowedly, among other reasons, to escape the “regulatory red-tape” of the European Union—to evade exactly this kind of regulation! But it also includes Labour, who did nothing in the wake of the Lakanal House fire disaster on their watch in 2009 in South London and who in their 13 years in power up to 2010 presided over the benign neglect of Britain’s social housing, building almost no new units. 

The result of all this was that dozens of residents were trapped in their flats by the rapidly rising flames. One desperate mother on the ninth floor threw down her bundled infant, caught by a man. Others driven by the flames jumped to certain death. Many texted heart-rending good-byes to loved ones. Onlookers spoke of the churning in their guts as they watched faces pressed against the upper floor windows, tortured by a feeling of helplessness as they could do nothing but look on.

The response to the disaster was just as revealing of the murderous workings of this barbaric system as was its inception. Hundreds of people immediately poured into the area, taking off work, driving for hours, providing support to the hundreds who’d lost everything, even as the firefighters still battled the blaze. Within mere hours the outpouring of support had provided enough of most supplies. In stark contrast, those who were supposed to be leading the support did very little.

The local council was, day after day after day, largely out of sight. Foreign journalists reported in disbelief how as late as Saturday, over 72 hours after the fire, there was not a unified command centre as is routine even in remote areas struck by natural disaster, like the hurricane in Haiti.

But most damning of all was the response of Theresa May, the Prime Minister. Finally, on Thursday, she showed up at the scene, but talked only with the chiefs of the emergency services, with photos showing her looking up at the still smouldering tomb, not speaking with a single survivor. Prominent news sites place her photo side by side with the infamous photo of U.S. President George Bush as he gazed down from his airplane at the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina—and that was just the pro-Tory news sites! Her defenders said that she didn’t dare meet with survivors for fear that they would boo her and more, bringing her even more trouble politically when it ended up on the TV news—and endangering her ability to push through her Brexit programme. If that was her calculation, that’s even more damning than her apparent indifference.

The Kensington Council simultaneously announced that it might not be able to re-house the survivors in the borough itself. For years now the vertiginous rise of housing costs, driven in part by rampant speculation in the housing market, has combined with government policy to steadily drive the poor out of central London. Rather than help those who’d lost their homes and even loved ones, the politicians were coldly seizing their chance to engage in further “social cleansing” of their neighbourhood. The anger that was mounting as the facts behind the criminal responsibility for the death and destruction emerged spilled over into a mass outpouring of rage on Friday. A march to Kensington Council started by only a 100 or so immediate family and friends was quickly joined by many more. Chanting “Murderers, murderers” and “Shame on you,” hundreds of protesters overran the entrance to the Council building before police arrived and forced them out. In an effort to calm the troubled waters, the Queen herself visited the next day and spoke with the families of survivors. 

Wall posters have sprung up, with many thousands of inscriptions by neighbours and others touched by the events. Many speak of how friends and loved ones will be missed, but the anger seethes too. Typical is one that speaks of the writer’s helplessness while watching the flames spread and concludes: “Your memories will be forever with me. RIP. Go to hell all those responsible!”

The fire opened up deep wounds festering in British society. Every major organised political force is seeking to turn this tragedy into an opportunity: powerful opponents in the Tory Party who want to displace May are circling, and Labour activists are seeking to narrow the target of anger to the Tories, to drive out May and perhaps even force new national elections—even though most tower blocks are in Labour-run councils. One of the larger ones, Camden Council, recently used the same firm to refurbish tower blocks that house 700 families, quite possibly with the same cheap fire-hazard cladding. Across the country, many of the approximately two million people living in similar tower blocks are tossing and turning as they wonder whether they too could become victims to the same murderous logic that killed so many at Grenfell. 

Coming on the heels of the election setback suffered by Theresa May and the Tories, this political crisis has weakened the government at a critical time, with Brexit negotiations with the European Union beginning Monday 19 June. It ripped the cover off the way the routine functioning of capitalist society deals with the provision of something as basic as housing for the population—the fact that despite whatever any of the parliamentary parties may say or do, for everyone under the capitalist system people’s residences are not their rightful homes, but commodities, structured by the class and other divisions that grow deeper, more oppressive and more deadly as the capital produced by global exploitation accumulates. Even in the most immediate sense, the drive to secure the great wealth to be harvested from London’s housing market—wealth ultimately produced by the global exploitation of labour—can be said to have been the main factor in the situation that led to the Grenfell massacre. Only through socialism and ultimately a global society of freely cooperating human beings—a communist world—can all the facets of human potential be freed to overcome these harmful divisions and meet human needs in the broadest and most emancipatory sense as well as providing the basic requirements of life. 

When basic contradictions in the way society is organized burst into view, with the intense anger and widespread revulsion produced by crimes like the Grenfell massacre, this needs to be connected to an understanding and plan for a revolution to put an end to a situation that is intolerable for millions in the wealthy imperialist homelands as well as for the vast majority of human beings in the world whose lives are blocked, stunted and often prematurely and brutally ended by the capitalist-imperialist system. 


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/496/awtwns_british-elections-leave-an-unsteady-ship-lurching-rightwards-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

From A World To Win News Service:

The British Elections Leave an Unsteady Ship Lurching Rightwards in Turbulent Waters

June 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the editors of revcom.us: The surprisingly strong showing by the Labour Party's Jeremy Corbyn in Britain's June 8 elections has prompted some liberals and leftist reformers in the U.S. to hail him as a real and realistic alternative to the extreme rightwing and a model for progressives. As Robert Borba analyzes below, Corbyn is neither. Borba situates his rise instead in the profound challenges facing British imperialism. (Subheads and footnotes added by Revcom.us)

June 16, 2017. A World to Win News Service. By Robert Borba.

The national elections held in the United Kingdom on June 8 came at a critical time in the world and the country, with little consensus among the ruling class about how to handle the increasingly acute contradictions that are shaking up the existing world order—from Brexit1, with Britain to leave the European Union2, to the establishment of the fascist Trump regime in the U.S., the sweeping away of the traditional governing parties in France3 in the recent Presidential elections there, and more.

Rather than settling the matter, the Brexit vote left the British ruling class deeply divided on how to handle its relations with the European imperialist powers (especially Germany, now bidding to lead the EU), and the U.S., with which the UK's "special relationship" is not so much a matter of language and culture as interwoven investment and close partnership in global exploitation. Powerful global currents are hammering at the long-standing political order in Britain: surging migration, driven by war and imperialist plunder of the countries of the third world; ripping social and economic inequality in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis (with food banks and homelessness proliferating in the inner cities); strident attempts to reassert traditional values, and in particular a war on women to put them "back in their place"; intensifying contradictions among the major powers; and not least, the ongoing contradiction between outmoded and reactionary Western imperialism and forces associated with it, and outmoded and reactionary Islamic jihadism—which both fuel and fight each other. This last conflict erupted in blood in the streets of London and Manchester during the election itself.

PM Theresa "Let Them Drown" May—
the Right Wing's "Strong and Stable" Hand

In the face of this global turbulence, Theresa May, Prime Minister [PM] and head of the Conservative (Tory) Party, adopted the mantra that what the UK needs is a "strong and stable" hand—a strong woman for hard times. As Europe's loudest voice in opposing rescue operations for migrants in the Mediterranean Sea when she was Home Minister, May began demonstrating what that means even before becoming the head of her party and prime minister. Her unapologetic opposition to letting in people from other countries underlies both her current immigration policies and plans for negotiating Brexit. In contrast to the phony "compassionate conservatism" previously espoused by the Tories, a proud cruelty marks her approach to other social issues. This was once again spotlighted a week after the elections by her initial refusal to talk to survivors of the Grenfell Tower block inferno,4 where the deaths of as yet uncounted public housing residents due to a lack of elementary fire precautions is itself emblematic of official indifference to the lives of vast sections of the population.

When Trump surprisingly won the U.S. presidency, and in the face of his fascist moves and particularly his trumpeting "America First," uncertainty mounted among the British ruling class. May took decisive action and was the first head of state to visit Trump. She invited him with unprecedented haste for a state visit. She touted what she called "patriotic conservatism." She pledged what was called a "hard Brexit"5—"Brexit means Brexit!", she proclaimed—and promised to "take back control of our borders", echoing Trump's "build that wall!" She said she called these snap elections three years early because she needed a mandate as Britain entered into negotiations with the other 27 EU countries over Brexit. But instead, the Tories' slim majority in Parliament evaporated in a humiliating setback for her personally. May is now struggling to weld together some form of governing majority. Uncertainty and volatility are more than ever the order of the day.

May and the Tories lost their parliamentary majority, but still being the largest party, are currently attempting to form a governing majority by allying with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. The DUP, a creation of the notorious Ian Paisley,6 is a set of misogynist Bible-beating reactionaries who have fought for decades to keep Northern Ireland7 in the United Kingdom. They have historic connections with the Orange Order and Protestant militias who carried out vicious terror attacks against Catholic civilians in the interests of British domination of the province. Their MPs [Members of Parliament] are infamous for their diehard opposition to evolution, to manmade climate change, to same sex marriage and to abortion under almost all circumstances. Making the DUP the main strut for a parliamentary coalition introduces a whiff of fascism into the political atmosphere and would surely encourage and build up forces quite ready to help install a regime that abandons hypocritical discourse about tolerance and inclusiveness and instead sanctifies and relies on violent repression. Even before the election May responded to jihadi terror attacks by declaring, gangster-like, that protection from such violence would require the country's people to surrender basic democratic rights.

June 8 Elections: Jeremy Corbyn—New Face for British Imperialism
in a Time of Turmoil

The setback suffered by the Tories is being attributed in part to an outpouring of youth on behalf of Corbyn's Labour. After seven years of Tory governance, Corbyn undoubtedly offered a fresh look. He openly proclaimed his "socialism" and lashed out at the banks and the rich—Labour's main campaign slogan was "For the Many, Not the Few." The Labour election manifesto called for re-nationalizing the railways and utilities, eliminating the university tuition fees that have saddled a generation of students with huge debts (originally implemented by Blair's New Labour), extra funding for social services, in particular the National Health Service, and guaranteeing pensions. All of this was to be funded by raising corporate and income tax on the wealthy. Internationally, Corbyn promised to rein in British military intervention abroad. He has a long record of voting against the various British military adventures alongside the U.S. in the last 30 years, including the invasion of Iraq in both 1991 and 2003.

Most of the mainstream media denounced Corbyn as "unelectable." The Murdoch8-owned Sun said his election would "make Britain a global laughing stock" and screamed about his "jihadi comrades", while the right-wing tabloid Daily Mail called his team "Apologists for Terrorism." But for many of Corbyn's volunteers, this was proof they were hitting a nerve. As with Sanders in the U.S. and Mélenchon9 in France, virtually the entirety of the organized "Left" supported his campaign to one degree or another.

One reason Corbyn's program might appear radical these days is that this kind of social-democracy has been ruled off the agenda in the Western countries for years now. Intensifying global competition in recent decades has seen social welfare programs slashed throughout the Western countries. Subject to the compulsion of expand or die, capital everywhere is cutting costs to compete. In this environment, and especially as this global competition intensifies and self-proclaimed "my country first" policies are stepped up, dreams of reviving the glory days of Western social democracy have gone up in smoke, one after another—or worse. The dire fate of Greece's Syriza10 speaks volumes in this respect. It's one thing to tell the British people that their fate depends on the success of British capital when they can feel that capital is keeping its part of the social bargain. It's another when "austerity"—which is not a question of anyone's will but of the requirements for profit and capital accumulation that the workings of capitalism itself imposes on capitalists and blocs of capital—leads many people to feel that the social compact is being broken.

May clearly felt that it was essential to deal a sharp blow at the kind of opposition Corbyn represented to ensure it does not further undermine the political stability she rightly believes is so vital and so endangered. The potential for this infighting within the ruling forces to erupt into something much more difficult to control could be felt in the justified, explosive and widely supported anger of the Grenfell Tower survivors May dared not meet with, and which in fact seems to be aimed at all the authorities, including London's Labour mayor Sadiq Khan. Given the constraints of the situation, there is, in fact, no good option for the British ruling class.

Corbyn: Make British Imperialism "Stronger in the World" Again

Despite this, Corbyn's campaign has played a powerful enabling role in keeping the increasingly sharp question of how to resolve these contradictions within the confines of what is good for British imperialism. Britain is the leading financial power in Europe, one of the first colonial nations and a major imperialist predator today whose wealth has been accumulated on the backs of hundreds of millions of people worldwide for generations—from the days when the "sun never set on the British empire" down to today. It is in this context that, despite his opposition to some British military intervention, we must situate Corbyn's declaration that he "wants to make Britain stronger in the world".

Seeking to redistribute the wealth within the country while maintaining its position at the top of the global imperialist food chain can only mean advocating a slightly revamped redistribution of this historically accumulated plunder within the framework of the existing world system. Despite Corbyn's self-proclaimed "socialism," Labour's program ultimately amounts to a reactionary and impossible effort to make society in the capitalist-imperialist UK more "fair" rather than working for the overthrow of a system of exploitation that thrives on the destruction of bodies and souls, and moving toward the elimination of all the antagonistic social divisions and inequalities that hold back humanity's potential throughout the world—a project that would link the fundamental interests of the vast majority of people in the UK with those of the vast majority of the world's people.

This is why Corbyn has been so wishy-washy on the issue of Brexit—having opposed the EU for many years as a parliamentary backbencher, he now promised to "respect the referendum" and carry out a "softer" form of Brexit than the Tories, preserving some form of UK's inclusion in the European Common Market. What Labour could not do was to oppose both the European Union—an alliance of imperialist states whose history is one of domination and plunder of most of the world's peoples—while simultaneously denouncing the nostalgia for the British Empire and the dreams of recovering lost imperial glory that fuelled the vote for Brexit.

This too is why, although Corbyn has opposed the more blatant cases of British intervention alongside U.S. imperialism in recent decades, the Labour Party election manifesto makes a firm commitment to NATO—the main military alliance enforcing Western imperialist interests in the world, including through the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Corbyn also pledges to continue British participation in United Nations military "peacekeeping" efforts, likewise a key part of the overall way the U.S.-led imperialist powers have enforced their global domination at gunpoint. And although Corbyn spent years as a backbencher MP denouncing Britain's nuclear arsenal and in particular the nuke-armed Trident submarine force, now to ensure his own "electability" he has agreed to go along with the Labour Party as a whole in maintaining Trident if elected.

Many Corbynistas want to avoid all this and limit discussion of Labour to its support for public services like the National Health Service, pointing out proudly how it was Labour that founded the NHS back under the Clement Atlee government in the late 1940s. What this argument ignores is that it was also Atlee's Labour government that initiated Britain's nuclear weapons program and was a key architect of NATO. In a major capitalist-imperialist country like Britain, one does not come without the other.

Maintaining Britain's "Special Relationship" with U.S. under
Trump-Pence Fascism

And what of the dire threat to humanity posed by the rise of the fascist Trump/Pence regime in the U.S.? While criticizing Trump here and there, Labour has made it abundantly clear that in power it would continue the "special relationship" with the U.S.—anything else would of course make the party "unelectable" in the eyes of the British rulers. While opposing the upcoming state visit scheduled in early autumn, with its extraordinary pomp and circumstances involving the Queen, Labour will not oppose an "official visit." How does this help the struggle to drive out this fascist Trump/Pence regime, the greatest danger to humanity in history? How does this stand up to May's right-wing course, since it legitimates the claim that the basic interests of the masses of people in the UK lie in an alliance between British and U.S. imperialism?

Corbyn: More Police, Putting British Lives First

All this should be of great concern to those who support Corbyn but are seriously trying to figure out how to transform the world in a liberating way. But there's more. The election campaign was twice put on hold following murderous jihadist attacks, first in Manchester and then in London, with over 30 people killed and dozens seriously wounded. The Labour election manifesto had already promised to put an extra 10,000 police on the street, but in the wake of the attacks Corbyn dramatically stepped up the campaign to show that Labour would be tougher than the Tories on terrorism. What ensued was a fiery public fight between Corbyn and May over who supports the police more, with Labour blasting Tory austerity policies that had led to cuts of 10,000 police, which Corbyn said "left the British people unsafe". In the last week of campaigning, the main banner on Labour's election "battle bus" proclaimed "More police for safer communities". May and the Tories seized on these jihadist attacks to demand the stripping away of democratic rights, including the restoration of the kind of internment that was used against the Irish nationalist struggle 20 and 30 years ago, with people jailed without trial simply for their beliefs. While Labour has opposed this, if the terms of debate are framed narrowly over how best to protect "us Brits," then Labour is already on a slippery slope to accommodation—yet again.

What a lesson this should be in the poisonous character of bourgeois parliamentary politics! Only a year or two ago, Labour politicians, including Corbyn himself, featured prominently at protests against brutal attacks by the police on especially Black youth in Britain's inner cities, and in solidarity with the movement in the U.S. following the Ferguson rebellion there. Corbyn and Labour were now corralling many of these same anti-police protesters and convincing them to take to the streets, this time urging people not to protest against the police but to beef up their ranks at the polls! Worse, some organisers in Momentum, Socialist Workers Party and other "Left" groups were doing all this in the name of "opening political space" and even advancing the cause of "revolution"—when all this actually helping to strengthen the armed enforcers of the capitalist system and its oppressive state.

Acting on the Life-Or-Death Contradictions Facing British Imperialism—
In the Interests of Humanity

However different Labour may look from the Tories, and however different their social bases, ultimately both parties function as two pillars of an ongoing parliamentary democracy that has concealed and legitimated the dictatorship of capital in the UK for over a century now. At the same time, these elections, if analysed scientifically, reveal the degree to which the British ruling class is facing and fighting over how to deal with potentially life-or-death challenges thrown up by the workings of the capitalist-imperialist system itself. Both parties offer solutions for solving these contradictions in the interests of the preservation of the system. The rapidly intensifying contradictions churning up the ground beneath the political arrangements that have ensured several generations of relative stability in the Western imperialist powers since World War 2 will lead to further polarization and sharper clashes within Britain's ruling order. This should be taken as an urgent moment to start talking about, analysing and acting on how these openings can be seized on to resolve these contradictions in the interests of humanity through a genuine revolution, in opposition to those of the ruling class, and not be pulled into serving one wing or the other of the ruling class.

 

1. “Brexit” is short for the British exit from the European Union, which was approved by British voters in a referendum in June 2016. [back]

2. The European Union is a political and economic union of (currently) 28 European nations; within the EU many barriers to the passage of goods, investment and people between the different countries have been removed, so as to create a more powerful and unified single economic and political block. [back]

3. In national elections this past May, the number one and two spots were won by En Marche, a new centrist party founded a year ago, and the National Front, a right-wing fascist party. The two traditional ruling parties—more or less the equivalent of the U.S.’s Democrats and Republicans—were badly defeated. [back]

4. A major fire at Grenfell Tower—a public housing high-rise in London—on June 14 killed at least 79 people. [back]

5. “Hard Brexit” means a complete break with the EU, as opposed to a “Soft Brexit” in which Britain would try to maintain those parts of the relationship that are favorable to it, such as unfettered access of British goods to the EU unified market, while refusing to accept the free travel of people across borders. [back]

6. A fundamentalist Protestant preacher and politician in Northern Ireland. Paisley emerged in the late 1960s as leader of violent mob attacks on the oppressed Catholic minority there, and also organized an anti-Catholic paramilitary group. [back]

7. England conquered the island of Ireland in the 12th century, and subjected it to severe oppression and exploitation, including causing the Potato Famine of 1845 that killed one million people. England, which is a Protestant country, relied on the Protestant minority in Ireland to help them rule over the Catholic majority. In 1916 Irish revolutionaries launched the Easter Rebellion, which led to the Irish War of Independence in 1919. In 1921 a settlement was reached under which the predominantly Catholic southern part of the island gained independence, while the majority Protestant north remained part of the United Kingdom under English control. Within Northern Ireland, the Catholic minority was and is bitterly oppressed by the state as well as by reactionary Protestant forces like Paisley’s DUP and the Orange Order. [back]

8. Rupert Murdoch owns an international right-wing media empire, including Fox News. [back]

9. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the Unbowed France party, is presented in the media as “far-left” and “socialist,” but in reality stands for a more equal distribution of the spoils of the French empire among French people. He finished unexpectedly well, in fourth place, in the May elections. [back]

10. Syriza is a “leftist” political party that rose to power in Greece on the basis of its opposition to the way Greece was being squeezed and plundered by the EU, but still committed to working through the existing capitalist political-economic order.  Once in power Syriza became the enforcers of this same plunder. [back]

 

 

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/465/other-voices-on-trump-resistance-en.html#raslan

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017


Warning: file_get_contents(../a/465/other-voices-on-trump-resistance-en.html#raslan): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/revweb/public_html/quick/496en.php on line 156

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/taking-bob-avakian-and-the-revolution-to-chicago-printers-row-lit-fest-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Taking Bob Avakian and the Revolution to the Chicago Printers Row Lit Fest

June 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On June 10-11, revolutionaries were out at the Chicago Printers Row Lit Fest, the largest book fair in the Midwest, with a booth featuring big, colorful banners for Bob Avakian’s The New Communism, Ardea Skybreak’s Science and Revolution, and Revolution newspaper. Other key works by BA were displayed, and flyers forThe New Communism were distributed to people as they passed the booth. At one end of the booth was a beautiful display for Revolution Summer, calling on people to support the Revolution Club and volunteers from around the country in their project to bring actual revolution to the youth in the coming months. At the other end of the booth was a Refuse Fascism table with a giant NO! sign and posters in many languages. The booth was a good thing to do, with the bold and unique displays reaching many people of different ages and nationalities, including from all over the world.



       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/Carl-Dix-statement-Carl Dix-justice-for-sylville-smith-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Statement by Carl Dix:

Download PDF for printing

Justice for Sylville Smith!
ANOTHER MURDERING PIG WALKS FREE!

June 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

On June 21, a jury just exonerated the cop who gunned down 23-year-old Sylville Smith in Milwaukee last year, putting the system’s stamp of approval on another police murder of a Black person. This murdering pig chased Smith and shot him as he ran. Then the cop came to within inches of Smith and finished him off with a shot to his chest as he lay on the ground with his hands extended. The pig’s defense was that this was following police procedure: to continue shooting until the threat was ended! This is pig-speak for saying cops get to kill Black people they suspect of crimes, including finishing them off after they wound them. And the jury bought their justification for murder.

This is the most recent in a wave of outrageous exonerations of murdering pigs. Days earlier a jury in Minnesota exonerated the cop who murdered Philando Castile. In May, a Tulsa jury cut loose the pig who murdered Terence Crutcher after he walked back to his car with his hands in the air and placed them on the car. Also in May, the Department of “Justice” announced there would be no charges filed against the cops who murdered Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Last fall the charges were dropped against two cops who gunned down James Boyd, a homeless man in Albuquerque, NM, after a jury deadlocked on murder charges. And last summer charges were dropped against the last three cops involved in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore following the exonerations of the first three cops in that case.

This amounts to a statement from this system that no matter how outrageous the murders the police commit, no matter how many people have seen the videos of these murders; all the murdering pigs have to say is: “I feared for my life,” and they get a do not go to jail card.

Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), says: “The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in.” I challenge anybody to deny the truth of this statement.

If the brutality, terror and murder carried out by the police was the only thing wrong with this capitalist-imperialist system, that would be reason enough to get rid of it once and for all thru revolution. And this is far from the only horror this system enforces on humanity. The RCP is organizing people into a revolution to overthrow this system at the soonest possible moment. If you want to see police terror and all the other horrors humanity is subjected to ended, you need to get with this revolution.

And if you find it unacceptable that police get away with murder again and again, you need to take to the streets and act in other ways to say NO MORE to this horror. Being young and Black or Brown should not be justification for state-sponsored murder. Like the mothers of Philando Castile and Sylville Smith, everybody should be outraged when these killer cops walk free. And we must take our righteous rage to the streets!

 

Justice for Sylville Smith, Philando Castile and for all the victims of murdering cops!
Stop Police Terror!
The System is the problem—Revolution is the Solution!

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/murderer-in-blue-of-sylville-smith-walks-free-in-milwaukee-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Once Again, Murderer In Blue Walks Free—This Time In Milwaukee: HOW LONG?!?!?

June 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Once again a murderer in blue has walked free.  Yesterday the uniformed killer who murdered Sylville Smith in cold blood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin—as Smith lay helpless on the ground—walked free, acquitted of reckless homicide charges! 

Last month, the police murderer of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed Black man, walked free in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Last week the pig who murdered Philando Castile walked free in St. Paul, Minnesota.  As Valerie Castile, Philando's mother, said last week: “The system in this country continues to fail Black people and will continue to fail us.”

Sylville Smith was a 23-year-old Black man.  Last August 13, 2016, he was simply hanging out when two cops came at him.  Sylville ran from them.  Authorities released a photo appearing to show him then throwing a handgun he’d been carrying over a fence.  Pig Dominique Heaggan-Brown shot him in the arm.  Sylville fell down.  Seconds later, Heaggan-Brown stood over him, and from inches away shot Sylville point blank in the chest, murdering him.  Smith was unarmed and on the ground — “hands up, with no place to go,” the prosecutor said.

Later that night, after he murdered Sylville Smith, Heaggan-Brown went to a bar and “bragged about being able to do whatever” he wanted “without repercussions,” then sexually assaulted a man, the New York Times reports.  

But still this foul, murdering pig, who happened to be Black and wearing a body camera walked!!  Why?  Because police are the armed enforcers of this system and this whole system is set up to justify and exonerate their murders!  In Milwaukee those police procedures demand that police expect anyone who has a gun to have another, and to “use  deadly force until a suspect was no longer a threat,” the cop’s lawyer said.  In other words dead.   

After the verdict, Sylville Smith’s stepsister courageously spoke truth:  “I feel like no matter what it is, these police officers all over the world, they can just literally murder you… I feel he blatantly shot Sylville. I feel it was intentional.”

Now the Trump/Pence regime and its Attorney General Jeff “KKK” Sessions are declaring that there should be even fewer of the already-minimal investigations or restraints on these murderers in blue!  

Last year, righteous rebellions broke out after Sylville’s murder.  Right now it’s urgent that people protest this outrageous police murder and acquittal.

As Carl Dix said after Sylville’s murder last year:  

A system that gives its stamp of approval to wanton police terror is absolutely illegitimate. It's been around too long and needs to be gotten rid of through revolution. In a revolutionary society, as Bob Avakian, the leader of the RCP, has said, “…[W]e would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses.”

We in the RCP are organizing right now for an actual revolution to get rid of this system and bring into being the kind of society where the kind of state sponsored brutality being inflicted today would be no more.  

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/seattle-hundreds-march-to-demand-justice-for-charleena-lyles-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Seattle: Hundreds Rally and March to Demand Justice for Charleena Lyles, Murdered by Police

June 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

On June 20, two days after the Seattle police murdered Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old Black woman with four kids, hundreds of people rallied and marched in outrage. The protesters gathered at the scene of the murder and marched for miles, chanting to demand justice and doing a call and response: “Say her name—Charleena.”

Lyles had called police on Sunday, June 18, to report an attempted burglary at her apartment at the Brettler Family Place housing project. Two white cops arrived at her door—and they both fired their weapons, hitting Charleena Lyles multiple times and killing her.

Family members said Charleena Lyles was several months pregnant and that one of her children has Down syndrome and requires constant care and vigilance. A police spokesman said the cops fired because she had a knife. She had reported a burglary—so, if she did have a knife as the cops claim, wouldn’t it make sense that she was trying to defend herself? Charleena’s family said she had some mental health issues—but as in so many other such cases, the police acted as executioners instead of helpers. Whatever the case, there is no justification whatsoever for the pigs to have gunned down Charleena Lyles in cold blood!

Her relatives said that she was small in size and was no threat to anyone. One of her sisters, Monika Williams, said, “Why couldn’t they have Tased her? They could have taken her down. I could have taken her down.” Another sister, Tiffany Rogers, said, "I'll never see my sister again. Her kids will never see her again... I just want to grieve right now. I can’t even do that because I’m so angry. I'm scared of our so-called protectors. I was before, but I definitely am now."

The Seattle mayor made a pitiful statement that the killing of Charleena Lyles was “a tragedy for all involved.” No, goddamn it! This was an intolerable crime—committed by the armed enforcers of a criminal capitalist-imperialist system that rules over the people.

Charleena Lyles was murdered after calling the police for help. Two days after her murder, a cop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who had gunned down Sylville Smith, a 23-year-old Black man, last year was acquitted of all charges. And two days before Lyles was killed, a court in Minneapolis delivered a not guilty verdict on the pig who murdered Philando Castile, who was doing everything they say you’re supposed to do when stopped by the police. The month before that it was the pig who murdered Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma who walked free... and on and on.

It’s righteous for people to be out in the streets against these intolerable outrages. And, as Carl Dix said in his statement about the system’s stamp of approval on the police murder of Philando Castile, “We must do this as part of getting ready and in position for an actual revolution, one that overthrows this system because that's the only way to end this horror, and all the other horrors this system enforces on people around the world and in this country.”

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/Yes-This-IS-Something-Positive-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

From the Revolution Club, Chicago:

Yes This IS "Something Positive..."
But Maybe NOT How You're Thinking.

June 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Download PDF for printing

We are about the most positive thing there is: all-the-way communist revolution. Revolution to bring down this whole system of exploitation and oppression they have billions of people locked in. Revolution to bring in a whole new system, where humanity could be free.

To do that, we need a revolution, involving millions of people – going all-out against and defeating the machinery of violence of the REAL enemy when the time is right for that.

We have the strategy that could really win. We have the plan for what to replace this system with. We have Bob Avakian, who has developed a new communism and who leads the revolution, and we have a vanguard organized to make that revolution. We have revcom.us where you can find out about all this. We have the Revolution Club, where you can learn about this and fight the power.

And we have our office at 1857 E. 71st St. in South Shore where you can meet up with this.

So, yes, people do need to get out of fighting and killing each other. And they need to get into making revolution against the system that has us doing that. Get with us to do that.

 

Revolution Club Organizing Center

1857 E 71st St (71st & Bennett, 2 blks west of Jeffery)
Open 3 pm to 7 pm every day except Monday

(312) 804-9121   facebook.com/revclubchi   Revclub.chi@gmail.com

www.revcom.us

 

       

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/senate-republi-fascists-hell-care-bill-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Senate Republi-fascists’ Hell-Care Bill—
A Prescription for Suffering and Death

June 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

After weeks of secrecy, the Trump/Pence regime’s Republi-fascists in the U.S. Senate revealed a health care bill that will—just like the House version, and the Trump/Pence budget overall—over the next ten years cut over 20 million of the poorest, sickest and most vulnerable people in this country off of Medicaid, their only protection from disease, illness, and death.  Whatever revisions are made before it’s passed, the basic framework of this hell-care bill is set.  

Medicaid covers 20% of all “Americans” in this country (11 million or more undocumented immigrants are excluded); 39% of all children; 49% of all births; and 64% of all nursing home residents.  These cuts are going to threaten the lives of broad sections of the poor of all nationalities:  those sick with pre-existing conditions, women, and the growing population of older adults.  And they are going to disproportionately impact Black, Latino, Native American and other oppressed people.  Add to this the cutting of any payments to Planned Parenthood for the next year at least, and the 1¼ million women who rely on Medicaid to pay for the life-saving cancer tests, maternity care, and birth control they get through Planned Parenthood. 

The die has been cast.  Unless they are stopped, what remains to be seen now is only how soon this Trump/Pence regime hell-care will become law; and how many young people, disabled children and adults, elderly, and poor men and women are going to be sickened and killed as a direct result of this fascist regime in power and their cronies in the U.S. and state legislatures.

There is a fundamental shift toward a fascist state concentrated in this attack on health care.  They are out to put an end to the idea that the millions of people forced to live on the edge in this country should have the “right” to even the most basic kind of medical care.  As we wrote when the House passed its version of “health care,” 

“If they can’t afford it, they shouldn’t have it.”  What better way to capture the ugly, reactionary logic at the core of capitalism – that something so basic to humanity as health care is a commodity, which those who can afford it “deserve” to have and those who can’t, don’t.  What kind of system and what kind of society breeds this kind of mentality!

“Making America white again” means restoring white supremacy, the legitimacy of dog-eat-dog, look-out-for-#1-individualism, and the railing against any kind of government “handouts” to those (the Black, Latino, and poor people in their millions forced to the bottom) who “haven’t earned them.”

The method in which the Senate hell-care bill is being rammed through is itself a significant step toward “normalizing” fascist rule.  There has not even been a pretense of involvement of the “other party” in discussion and debate over the content of a bill so threatening to people’s lives.  And Trump himself, in a speech in Iowa, made clear that there is no reason for the Democrats to be involved in any of the measures he plans to ram through Congress—because they are just "obstructionists."

All this makes Andy Zee’s call from Refuse Fascism even more timely and urgent:

To all who are confronting members of Congress over their vicious cutting of essential health care for millions, keep on them, but now is the time to also be raising the demand that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! And, now is the time for you to be part of organizing for July 15.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/southern-baptists-wont-renounce-so-called-curse-of-ham-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Southern Baptists Won’t Renounce the so‑called “Curse of Ham”:
Sanctifying Slavery Then…
White Supremacy Now

June 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Going into the national convention of the Southern Baptists (SBC) last week, Dwight McKissic, a prominent Black pastor in Texas, drafted a resolution condemning “White Nationalism” and the “Alt-Right” as “totalitarian impulses, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that infect the minds and actions of its violent disciples…”

Significantly, McKissic’s resolution also stated: “[T]he roots of White Supremacy within a ‘Christian context’ is based on the so-called ‘curse of Ham’ theory once prominently taught by the SBC in the early years—echoing the belief that God through Noah ordained descendants of Africa to be subservient to Anglos—which provided the theological justification for slavery and segregation. The SBC officially renounces the ‘curse of Ham’ theory in this Resolution.”

The Southern Baptist Convention was explicitly formed in 1845 to uphold slavery. In recent decades, the Southern Baptists have moved to change their image, take formal positions against racism, and distance themselves from their slave-upholding roots. Today, a fifth of the membership of the SBC is African-American, and non-whites are the fastest growing section of their membership. In the midst of the national uproar over the Confederate Flag—after the massacre by a white supremacist of Black people in Bible study in a South Carolina church in 2015—the SBC urged Christians not to fly the Confederate flag. At the same time, Southern Baptists are home to a big chunk of Donald Trump’s white supremacist, fascist hardcore base. Statements by some SBC officials that were taken as critical of Trump aroused the ire of powerful forces in the SBC.

When word got out that the SBC leadership planned to squash McKissic’s resolution—never bring it to a vote—“all hell broke loose” in the words of one commentator. Thabiti Anyabwile, a Black Southern Baptist pastor, tweeted: “We must be clear: We live in a time when equivocating on these matters furthers the sin of racism even to violence and death. Any ‘church’ that cannot denounce white supremacy without hesitancy and equivocation is a dead, Jesus denying assembly. No 2 ways about it. … I’m done. With this Twitter spiel. With ‘evangelicalism.’ With all the racist and indifferent nonsense that passes as ‘Christian.’” Other pastors, including at least one white pastor from an integrated church, posted statements of outrage.

Further exposing the stakes, neo-Nazi white supremacist Richard Spencer tweeted: “So apparently the Southern Baptists Convention *didn't* denounce the Alt-Right after all. Interesting development!”

The controversy spiraled within the ranks of the SBC, threatening to get out of control. At the last moment, SBC officials felt compelled to come up with their own resolution. Their resolution adopted some of McKissic’s wording opposing white supremacy and the alt-right. But it gutted the sharper edges of the indictment that explicitly called out “totalitarian impulses, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies...” Most significantly, it stripped out the denunciation of the “curse of Ham.”

The SBC leadership’s resolution passed unanimously. But the fissures the whole controversy exposed reflect profound divides that are coming to a head, sharply, in every corner of society as the Trump/Pence regime moves to impose—in the words of the Call from Refuse Fascism— “their vision and plan for a nation cohered around white supremacy and a political form of Christian fundamentalism, that should rightly be called Christian Fascism.”

The racist “Curse of Ham” madness “sanctified” slavery then, and remains an ideological pillar of white supremacy now. With a fascist president of the United States, when the stakes are indeed “violence and death,” the Southern Baptist leadership refused to renounce it.



 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/cincinnati-another-murderer-in-blue-walks-free-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

This Time In Cincinnati:

ANOTHER Murderer In Blue Walks Free

June 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Samuel DuBoseSamuel DuBose (Courtesy of DuBose family via AP)

June 23, ANOTHER MURDERING PIG is free after a jury deadlocked in the trial of Raymond Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati cop who fatally shot Samuel DuBose. This was the second trial of Tensing—last November the first trial also ended with the murdering pig going free, after the judge declared a mistrial. Samuel DuBose's family immediately demanded a third trial, but at this writing, prosecutors have not announced whether that will happen.

In July 2015 Tensing stopped Sam Dubose in a routine traffic stop. This was not the first time Samuel DuBose had been stopped for Driving While Black. In the past 20 years he had been charged more than 75 times in Hamilton County (which includes Cincinnati), mostly for minor traffic and other violations. This time, for the "crime" of failure to display a front license plate, DuBose ended up dead at the hands of the murdering police.

Tensing initially claimed DuBose tried to run him over and other cops signed on to this lie. Then the DuBose family fought for Tensing's bodycam video to be released, and the video showed Tensing's story to be bullshit: DuBose never threatened Tensing in any way. After the video, and large protests, Tensing was indicted on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges.

But despite the fact that this was a RARE case of a cop being indicted for murder—and despite the fact that Tensing was tried two times—this system has failed to convict and put this murdering pig in jail.

And this was the third time in a week that the system could not, would not, convict a pig who murdered a Black man. On Friday, June 16, a jury in Minnesota let the pig who murdered Philando Castile go free. On June 21, a jury exonerated the cop who gunned down 23-year-old Sylville Smith in Milwaukee last year.

As Carl Dix said after a jury let the pig who murdered Sylville Smith walk free:

This amounts to a statement from this system that no matter how outrageous the murders the police commit, no matter how many people have seen the videos of these murders; all the murdering pigs have to say is: "I feared for my life," and they get a do not go to jail card.

Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), says: "The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in." I challenge anybody to deny the truth of this statement.

If the brutality, terror and murder carried out by the police was the only thing wrong with this capitalist-imperialist system, that would be reason enough to get rid of it once and for all thru revolution. And this is far from the only horror this system enforces on humanity. The RCP is organizing people into a revolution to overthrow this system at the soonest possible moment. If you want to see police terror and all the other horrors humanity is subjected to ended, you need to get with this revolution.



 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/why-is-us-killing-so-many-civilians-in-syria-and-iraq-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

“Why Is the U.S. Killing So Many Civilians in Syria and Iraq?”

June 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“Why Is the U.S. Killing So Many Civilians in Syria and Iraq?” That was the question posed in a June 19 New York Times opinion piece.

The article, written by a supporter of the U.S. empire and its military, nonetheless painted a damning picture of some of the escalating civilian slaughter being carried out by the U.S. in Iraq and Syria, and of America’s murderous, chauvinist ethos. Since the U.S. air war against ISIS began in August 2014 under Obama, the U.S.-dominated coalition has carried out 22,666 air attacks, dropped 84,296 bombs and missiles and killed—at minimum—between 4,118 and 6,360 civilians according to Airwars.org. And many thousands more have been wounded, tens of thousands more driven from their homes, their lives shattered, and untold devastation visited on Iraq and Syria. (The U.S. admits to 484 civilians being killed by its coalition since August 2014.)

And it’s getting much worse under the fascist Trump/Pence regime, which is escalating the war as it tries to retake the densely populated cities of Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria; the number of bombs being dropped has risen 20 percent.

Yet, at the same time, the Trump/Pence regime has “relaxed oversight, investigation and accountability” for civilian killings, according to the author. What does that mean? That the U.S. imperialists are no longer even taking the pitiful and wholly inadequate steps to avoid civilian causalities they had previously, and really aren’t even pretending to give a fuck about Iraqi and Syrian lives.

The U.S. military has never truthfully counted its millions of victims. On the rare occasions the U.S. military speaks about the civilian deaths they’ve caused, they insist they “do everything possible” to protect civilians. But here’s the reality today:

All this has created a “staggering increase” in the number of civilians being slaughtered by the U.S. under Trump—46 in Al Jineh, Syria, on March 16; at least 105 and probably as many as 230 in one March 17 strike in Mosul; over 100 civilians, including 42 children, in the town of Al Mayadeen in Eastern Syria on May 25-26—to name a few incidents. Since Trump took over, Airwars.org figures indicate the U.S. has killed at least 2,300 and perhaps more than 3,000 civilians—more than 1,000 in March alone.

“Why Is the U.S. Killing So Many Civilians in Syria and Iraq?”

The answer (which the author is unable or unwilling to see): the U.S. is fighting reactionary, unjust wars of empire to dominate the Middle East (and the world)—not to liberate anyone.

Trump is now bringing his fascist “America First” gangsterism to the Middle East and the world. According to him, nothing will stand in America’s way of dominating and plundering the region and the world—not ISIS, not Iran, not global rivals, and certainly not “human rights,” civilian casualties, or Syrian, Iraqi or Middle Eastern lives.

Face it. This is what “America First” looks like!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/june-24-communique-from-the-revolution-club-in-chicago-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

June 24, 2017
Communiqué from the Revolution Club in Chicago

WE CANNOT STAND ASIDE WITH ARMS FOLDED, WHILE THE PIGS CARRY OUT MURDER AND ARE NEVER PUNISHED!!!

Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma. Philando Castile in Minnesota. Samuel DuBose in Cincinnati. And now, Sylville Smith in Milwaukee. Each of these human beings was murdered by police. Each of their killers walked free, three in the past week alone.

This is how capitalist, white supremacist dictatorship comes down on Black people. Murdered for simply existing. Then the blue-suited killer goes free. Then the pigs blanket the area where Black people live and threaten, hem in, harass and arrest those who protest. The rights this system claims to guarantee—to protest, to bear arms, to be free from police contact without probable cause that you committed a crime, to be respected in your human dignity—are meaningless mockery. And now, with Trump, this will get—and is already getting—even worse!

No! No more! The Revolutionary Communist Party Central Committee says this:

We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.
(from HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution)

Right now, as part of this, the Revolution Club in Chicago is spreading whistles throughout the communities under attack. When the police roll into the community, do not run away. Stay outside and blow your whistle. Take out your phones and start filming. Post up around their cars. Call the Revolution Club right away. THESE PIGS MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO ILLEGALLY AND IMMORALLY CARRY OUT MURDER AND COVER IT UP! The people have a right to resist and prevent such murder.

Then, yes, be part of protest. The Revolution Club organizes, and joins with protest—protest that does not respect their rules... protest that should be built as part of getting ready for REVOLUTION.

This revolution means something specific. It is not just a phrase. This revolution overturns and dismantles the system’s illegitimate instruments of violent repression. This revolution brings in a whole new power, backing up a different economic system and different relations between people. This revolution will make police murder and repression no more, for as BA has said, “if we had state power ... we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses.” (BAsics 2:16) This revolution—the communist revolution—aims to GET RID OF EXPLOITATION AND OPPRESSION, all over the world, not just smooth it out... or get in on it.

We have the leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian, BA, who has shown the way and charted the path to make this revolution. We have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by BA, that shows the solution to the madness of this system. We have a strategy to make this revolution, and we are organized into the Revolutionary Communist Party and the Revolution Club to carry this all the way through.

The Revolution Club is clear and straight-up: yes, the young people of Chicago must get out of the madness of killing and retaliating against each other. But the pigs are part of the problem—they are the enforcers of the problem—they are NOT part of the solution, in any way, shape or form. Get with the Revolution Club and be part of ending this madness as soon as possible.

Go to revcom.us every day.

And get in touch with the Revolution Club in Chicago at (312) 804-9121 or come to the organizing center at 1857 E. 71st Street, Chicago, Illinois 60649.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/digging-into-the-constitution-of-the-revolutionary-communist-party-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

From readers:

Digging into the Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party

On a Mission to Make Revolution!

June 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

As supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party, we have continued to return to the guidance from the Central Committee of the RCP, “Some Points on Strategic Orientation for the Next Period” from this March.

Part V of that document is titled “Further Points on Advancing Strategic Objectives—Re-Polarization for Revolution, Bringing Forward New Forces for Revolution.” In that section, it talks about the kind of ideological struggle that needs to be waged with people stepping into the revolution. And it makes a particular point that “Anyone in and around the club should be struggled with to prepare themselves to be in the Party, after they’ve been there for a little while—as opposed to ‘a permanent resting place.’” This is in the context of arguing that anyone in and around the Revolution Club needs to be “on a mission to make revolution!”

We’ve been getting together with people and waging ideological struggle along the lines of what’s discussed there and as part of this, we invited several members of the Revolution Club to carve out a day to get into the basic line of the RCP as concentrated in the Party’s Constitution.

To frame the discussion, a Revolution Club member began by talking about the importance of people getting clear on the need and role of the Party in making revolution. She told people that if they want revolution very badly, they have to be willing to be scientific. That means asking lots of questions and taking responsibility to understand what it means to be scientific, and to apply that science to the struggle of making revolution. Theory can be hard, and it’s very foreign to most people. She encouraged people to work out their thinking out loud and to not be shy to speak on a certain point, that’s part of people’s process to transform their thinking and to understand reality more deeply.

We opened with a discussion of the intro to the Appendix of the Constitution, “Communism as a Science.” This was important in framing the rest of our discussion, rooting us in the core breakthrough of the new synthesis of communism that BA has developed—putting communism on a more thoroughly scientific foundation. We went back to the definition of science in 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. There was a lot of emphasis given to the importance of understanding that science is a process and a mode of thinking, and not a set of precepts or conclusions that you have to memorize. We also talked about materialism vs. idealism, returning to the discussion of this in THE NEW COMMUNISM by Bob Avakian.

After that, we got into the whole of the Preamble of the Party’s Constitution, reading out loud together the 15 pages. We took our time in doing so, to really understand and engage what it is saying, why we need a revolution and why we need a Party.

We’re not going to be able to do justice to the whole of our discussion here as we got pretty deeply into different parts of this, but will highlight a few particularly important parts of the discussion.

People spoke powerfully to the first part where it talks about private appropriation of socially produced wealth and why it does not have to be this way. We talked about all the lopsidedness in the world and the unnecessary suffering that flows from this. One Revolution Club member talked about being in the supermarket, grocery shopping and looking at the meat section and rows and rows and piles of meat that the supermarket has for sale. He said he stood there—in a nearly empty supermarket with all this meat—and thought about the tens of thousands of supermarkets across the country with full aisles just like this. He said he just thought about how much of that meat goes to waste, but also just how much excess there is here as compared to people all around the world who are starving. We know how to solve all this—to deal with this kind of lopsidedness, but this system is in the way. A system where all this production, all this excess, has to go where a profit can be made—not where people’s needs are.

Some Points on Strategic Orientation for the Next Period

There was a lot of heartfelt exposure and outrage around this, rooted in the understanding that this suffering is so completely needless. At the same time, a lot of what people were speaking out around was the contradiction of the uneven distribution of all this material wealth—which is a real and howling contradiction. But even there, we need to go deeper into the question of the exploitative production that this fucked up distribution is bound up with. This led to some discussion of political economy and the underlying workings of capitalism-imperialism.

We got into a discussion of the need for the dictatorship of the proletariat—how to understand what is meant by dictatorship and democracy. Why, under socialism, you need a state—but the need for it to be a radically different kind of state. This then led into a whole discussion of different contradictions that will be faced under socialism. We talked about how wages would be worked out, the struggle to break out of commodity production and exchange—and yet the fact that you can’t do this overnight. Someone else brought up questions of art in a socialist society. One person in the Revolution Club talked about the struggle for art to break beyond the bounds of “what will sell.” He’s been struggling with an artist he knows to get active around driving out the regime and he described being frustrated because his friend said he doesn’t want to offend anyone with his art, and he wants to build his artist name up and make money. We separated out the fact that not all art needs to be “political,” but he has been struggling with his friend to make his art radical and make a statement—and definitely not be constrained by the calculations of profit. We talked more about how, on the basis of the solid core of the Party’s Constitution and the struggle to get to communism, so much more debate and ferment could get uncorked in opposition to the stultifying commodification bound up with everything in our society.

       

In the context of discussing the need for a Party—but also the struggle within the Party, whether it’s in power or before it’s seized power—we got into a question that BA poses in THE NEW COMMUNISM. He asks, why is it important to join the Party even as it’s had to have, and is continuing to wage a Cultural Revolution within the Party? We’d been having discussion of the material basis for this—as it’s spoken to in the Constitution, “the pull to settle in.” But we also got into this in some specifics: that because of the work he’d been doing for decades on the most urgent questions of making revolution and emancipating humanity—developing the new synthesis of communism—BA had come to concentrate whether this was going to be a revolutionary party or a “residue of the past.”

One Revolution Club member spoke to this question in very moving ways. She talked about the masses of people who are constantly told in a million different ways that they ain’t shit and don’t have shit! And the only way out for people is through this revolution. To make this revolution, we need this Party. She talked about the need to be scientific and applying that to making revolution to keep this Party on the road it needs to be on and then she read from THE NEW COMMUNISM, from the section on “The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP.” And then quoted BA where he speaks to whether the Party will be a vanguard of the future or a residue of the past. She spoke passionately about this, saying when she first read this it broke her heart because it made her think of the masses and the fact that the most precious thing they have is this Party, and if this Party goes on a different road the masses of people really won’t have shit, they will be stabbed in the back once again! We can’t allow that and it is our responsibility—the responsibility of the masses, whether you’re in this Party or not—to struggle to keep this Party on the revolutionary road it needs to be on to really emancipate all of humanity.

This was a heavy thing for everyone in the room—really appreciating what the stakes are, and what everyone’s responsibility is in this, if you hate the way the world is and see the basis to change it through revolution.

This led into some lively discussion of what it means to be a strategic commander and what gets in the way of people playing that role. We talked about the importance of political and ideological struggle—with each other and the masses. And how that is a necessary part of being scientific. One person talked about how the first time someone in the Club struggled with them, they took it personally. But then they had to really think about—was this person right or wrong? And if they were right, why aren’t I happy to have that pointed out? We talked about ego and the material basis for ego in the system of commodity production and exchange, where your ideas become a form of property that find their place on the market. We talked about how much this gets in the way of the scientific method and the need to get rid of all that in our thinking. While this wasn’t in the Constitution per se, it was really important to get into—this individualism really is a big ideological block in the world today and it’s something we have to wage a big ideological struggle against. It comes back to what BA begins THE NEW COMMUNISM with: “for whom and for what” are we going to base ourselves on and fight for?

Some Points on Strategic Orientation for the Next Period

After this, we continued to get into the rest of the Constitution—where we talked some about the strategy for revolution, speaking briefly to a question someone asked about what is a revolutionary crisis. We also had a whole discussion of the United Front Under the Leadership of the Proletariat, which was a newer phrase for some people. We talked about the need and material basis to bring forward all these people—from all different strata—in this united front. One person compared and contrasted this to the nationalism and revengism that a lot of people, in particular from the more oppressed sections of society, have towards people in the middle strata. One person talked about how, at first, they didn’t want to go out to students but then talked about how wrong that is. We also read from the section of “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution“ on who this revolution is for, and talked about why that is—having to do both with the need to make an actual revolution, and what is required for that, but also because of where this revolution is aiming to go—breaking ALL the chains.

This was an important and really rich discussion. We left with a plan to get into Part 2 of the Party’s Constitution, “Principles of Organization,” in several weeks. But we also told people we wanted to hear from them individually about how they are thinking about the question—and urgent need—posed by the Central Committee.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/road-trip-w-mom-to-join-anti-trump-protests-in-iowa-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

If you read this you would want to join this movement...

Road Trip with Mom to Join the Anti-Trump Protests in Iowa

From a member of Refuse Fascism and Degenerate Artists Against Fascism

June 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Tuesday night I was at my parents’ house when I read the message from the National Office about Trump appearing soon in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I mentioned it to my Mom and right away she said “Oooh, I want to go!” I didn’t have to work, so on Thursday I picked her up and we headed to Iowa. This was her first “road trip” since being released from the hospital last fall. She was near death and in a coma for a month and Trump was elected a week after her 3 month hospital ordeal. She has been yelling at the TV for months.

When we got there, my hands were full so I just shouted out, "Who here already thinks that Trump and Pence are fascists and need to be driven from power as soon as possible and would be willing to help me out?" Right away at least 3 people stepped up. A young masked antifa woman there by herself I believe, another young woman and a young guy. I told them to read the Refuse Fascism Call to Action and if they agreed, just start getting them out to everybody. “Take a bunch of stickers. Get them to people who would want them and put them up around." I had really tried to hook up more people to go with us or meet us there, but it just didn't work out, so I was forced to rely on the people....

For the most part my mom sat on her walker behind the front line of protest, chanting loud and helping to get out buttons and stickers and signs. Her life was definitely transformed by the trip. It was so important for her to be out in public surrounded by people with similar values and outrage. She finally felt connected and part of a community. Many people came up to her and started conversations. She met another woman who also went through the struggle of intubation and sedation, coma, and then trach tube and rehab. She said she wants to go to every protest now! Anyway, my mom is very creative and smart and probably could be put to work at home. She’s dying to be involved, so if there’s anything she can help with let me know. She’s not very computer savvy, but is on FB and can do basic things on social media. (In the car, she also told me a story of one of my grandpa’s cousins who was a screenwriter in Hollywood and was forced to flee to England as a result of the anti-communist House Un-American Activities Committee.)

As far as the protest. It was scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. We pulled up around 5:15 as people on one side of the street were lining up to get into the fascist rally, and the protesters were “contained” to two sections across from the arena.

I was pretty shocked by the lack of police presence. There were basically 2 or 3 cops standing on the arena side. It looked like snipers or undercover agents were in the parking garage above, but compared to a city like Chicago or New York City, the law enforcement in Cedar Rapids seems to rely predominantly on the “good-naturedness” of Iowans.

Most of the people attending the Trump rally, with their MAGA hats on, had to walk directly through the protest to get to the arena. There were instances of fascist Trump supporters parading through the protest crowds trying to provoke, but there were no incidents that I saw. At one point, one of the most grotesque fascists came over and started standing right in my face, and others, while we were chanting. Eventually a cop crossed the street and handled him like he was a good friend who he needed to calm down a little. All in all, the cops acted like cops, siding with, and protecting about a half dozen fascists with a pickup truck demonstrating in front of the arena. But I did not see them vamp on, or treat any protesters roughly.

There were no fences or protest pens. The potential to carry out any sort of civil disobedience was great. The protesters were self-policing for the most part. It would have been really easy to shut down the street, for example. It seemed a lot like what we experienced in Kenosha (from what I’m told). People who were out there had grown up together, friends, relatives, debating and arguing on the sidewalk. I get the sense that people still see this as political discourse, and don’t see their friends and neighbors as fascist supporters or sympathizers. They see them as foolish, dumb, misguided, etc.

The most popular chants were—“Love Trumps Hate,” “Hey Hey Ho Ho Donald Trump has Got to Go,” “Lock Him Up,” “No Trump No KKK No Fascist USA,” “Climate Change Is Real,” “Black Lives Matter,” “No Hate, No Fear, Immigrants Are Welcome Here,” “My Body, My Choice,” “Show Us Your Taxes.” And the young women from Planned Parenthood were chanting “We Are Unstoppable, Another World is Possible.”

There were also chants of “USA, USA, USA” from our side directed to the people lined up to get into the arena. (We are more “patriotic” than you!) Also, at one point some young women started chanting “join us, join us” to the rabid fascist trolls across the street. I started saying “no no no no!” and some people laughed and agreed. I got the sense that people there expect things to stay “civil” and don’t fear the type of violent confrontations happening elsewhere.

I agitated (spoke to the crowd) during breaks in chanting and tried to get some other chants going. I pointed across the street to the trolls and said, “These are the type of people that they are whipping up to become their Brown Shirts [these were violent Nazi street fighters in Hitler Germany]—their shock troops to carry out their dirty work. These are the types of people that will commit crimes and murders like were carried out against the heroes in Portland.” People started exclaiming, “That’s right!” and really responding strongly to almost everything I put out there. But then a car would drive by honking its horn in support and everyone would cheer, and then another chant would start and I would get drowned out.

Overall, our side outnumbered the number of people counter-protesting us (those who stayed outside to support Trump, not counting those who mostly filed quietly into the arena to hear Trump) by at least 10 to 1. There were all types of races of people driving by laying on their horns and raising their fists in support of our side.

Despite the civility, there was a feeling of fearlessness and defiance for sure. There were a lot of righteously angry young women that have a determination in their eyes and their voices that gives me hope. One guy grabbed a NO! sign and stood right in front of the fascists on the other side of the street for about 2 hours without moving. Another woman was dancing right in front of them with a RESIST sign for the same length of time. Just maybe a foot or two in front of these fascist, racist, goons—who seemed to get most worked up over the “Black Lives Matter” chants. That really sent them into a rage. The police never pushed her away, or got in between. Small town shit I guess.

I got an overall sense of “Iowans are not fucking stupid. We know there is objective truth. We see what you are trying to do, and we do not want to go along with it.” I saw some of the most clever and creative signs there—Pence Likes Nickelback, The Only Reason You’re Still in Power Is Because We Are All Scared of Pence, and a Bullwinkle sign that said Moosylvania Is More Legitimate Than This Regime…. At one point the chant “Trump is a horrible speaker” got going full steam, directed at the rally goers.

It was raining, I had my mom with the walker, and no one else went with us, so I was just completely overwhelmed and outmanned from the start. I did all I could considering the circumstances. The signs went out right away. People snatched them up immediately. I believe we had 30. We could have used 60 as all the signs were distributed in only one protest area, although people were carrying them back and forth eventually. I got out all of the statement flyers, and the #J15 flyers. Sold a bunch of buttons and got out a ton of stickers as well. Literally, there were only 2 people who looked at the flyer and said, “No thanks.” Every single person otherwise looked at the flyer like “I’m interested to see what this says!” It was like a gold mine for recruiting there. There was really no leadership there, although Indivisible and ADA and some other groups sponsored it. There were times when everybody was just standing there in silence, staring across the street, and I would try to start another chant, or agitate. I tried to get “In the Name of Humanity, Stop the Insanity, No Trump, No Pence, NO Fascist USA” going, but it was too complex for the moment. One guy told me keep it short and sweet. The protest, like I said earlier, was divided up into two sections, so I had to keep going back and forth to work both sides.

I did get volunteers to help get out flyers, stickers, and to hold the banner. One young guy (early 20s?) with a red & black antifa type shirt held a post on the banner like his life depended on it for 3 hours. People had a sense of determination and duty. One woman, maybe in her 50s, was standing there with a picture of Kathy Griffin with the severed head. I asked her why she felt it was important to display this. She and her woman friend went into a tirade of outrages and said, “She didn’t do anything wrong! She’s an artist. This is her First Amendment right!” They were kind of like, “Really? Why would you even have to ask!” I told her I agreed with her and I commended her for taking this stance. Told her that even in NYC artists everywhere cowered to the fascists on this incident.

There was another young guy, maybe early 20s, that I asked to help distribute flyers. He said he wanted to read it first. I ran into him on the other side of the street about an hour later and asked him what he thought. He said that he thinks Trump is bad, but it’s a stretch to be comparing him to Germany and Hitler. He said, first of all, the Weimar Republic [the government which preceded Hitler] was in its infancy. They didn’t have the long history of an established democracy like the U.S. He also said the things that Hitler did are WAY beyond anything the Trump has done. I suggested he compare Germany in 1933 [the year Hitler came to power] to the U.S. in 2017, and not Germany in 1944 [after the Nazis had fully consolidated and exterminated millions of Jews and others] to the U.S. in 2017. There was an older woman who joined in the conversation and was agreeing with me. I also pointed out that in many ways, the Weimar Republic was a flourishing example of democracy to many, despite its immaturity, and besides, we are comparing/contrasting the methods and ideology of Trump to Hitler, not the system that preceded them, though that is a very important point. At another point, another guy pointed out to me that the comparisons to Mussolini are more direct than those to Hitler and that Trump has praised Mussolini publicly. There were definitely a good number of people there who either agreed that these are fascists, or at least that they are on that trajectory.

There was a group of women that went into the rally and disrupted his speech during the dedication to Scalise. They were roughed up and ejected after unfurling a banner. One young woman/organizer came out of the arena and got on the bullhorn recounting what had just happened and was like, “RESIST EVERY FUCKING DAY. RESIST WITH EVERY OUNCE OF YOUR BEING,” etc. I was speaking with her and then a reporter came and interrupted. I gave her my contact info and told her about Refuse Fascism and Degenerate Artists Against Fascism. She said, “Oh, I met you guys in DC at the Supreme Court….” I believe she was talking about the Monday night before the inauguration.

Anyway, things that I am HORRIBLE with and HATE doing—getting people to sign forms, collecting donations—I’m even worse in the rain, livestreaming with a rapidly dying cell phone battery, papers getting soaking wet, and wishing I had 8 hands, etc, etc. In short, 5 people from Refuse Fascism could have done a thorough job there, but a group of 10 wouldn’t have been too many. This is RIPE TERRAIN. And I’m sure a number of people came up from Iowa City (from University of Iowa).

I asked the lead organizer about the speakers list and if I could get on it. It was preset, but I could have gotten on if I pushed it. I just got too scattered and had to keep checking on my mom across the street.

Another woman came up and invited me to the “after party” at a nearby bar and invited me to speak. I would have like to have gone, and could have made more solid contacts, but it was getting late and we had a 4-hour drive back home, and my main goal was to get there and back with my mom with no incidents—no flat tires, arrests, falls, etc. In that sense it was a huge success!

I’ve been following up on the event page with pictures & video. I should be able to retroactively make some contacts by going back through the event page and the organizers page.

I wore the NO! shirt over my Degenerate Artists Against Fascism shirt, and when I met an artist or someone that made their own really cool sign, I lifted up my NO! shirt to reveal the Degenerate Artists Against Fascism shirt. Each time I showed the shirt, the person’s eyes lit up and they got a huge smile on their face. Everybody loves the logo and design. I tell them that an artist in Colombia made it. That we are making lasting, organized connections of resistance all over the world, and they need to link up with us. I also stressed that we need a Refuse Fascism chapter there, and found some people who I think would be great, but just couldn’t tie up those connections on the spot. Like I said tho, I will try to track people down via social media.



 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/outrage-on-top-of-outrage-on-top-of-outrage-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

From a reader:

Outrage on Top of Outrage on Top of Outrage: Police Crack Down in Milwaukee After Pig That Killed Sylville Smith Walks Free

June 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Right after a jury acquitted the Milwaukee pig who murdered Sylville Smith last year, a couple of us revcoms went up to Milwaukee to get out Carl Dix’s statement (“Justice for Sylville Smith! ANOTHER MURDERING COP WALKS FREE!“) and the Declaration from the Revolution Club Chicago. Revcoms were in Milwaukee last August when youths rose up in a righteous two-day rebellion against the murder of Sylville Smith in the face of the Wisconsin governor calling out the National Guard.

We drove by Sherman Park where the protest had occurred last year. Still standing is a burnt-out BP gas station on one corner. We saw cop cars sitting three deep, with the pigs looking straight out into the park and the nearby corner where people had gathered when Sylville Smith was murdered. Throughout the area, the pigs were stopping one car after another, lights flashing—without even the pretense of a “busted tail-light” or “failing to signal a lane change,” or even “fitting the description.” Several cop cars were just parked near “ground zero” of the rebellion, within a block of the BP station, with their lights flashing. Cop and sheriff cars and vans roamed the area for blocks around. Before the verdict in the trial of the cop who killed Smith came out, there was an article in the local paper announcing that the police would be taking over Sherman Park in advance, in preparation for the people’s reaction.

It was a total police clampdown—an outrage on top of the initial outrage of the murder of Sylville Smith and the added outrage of the acquittal of the killer pig! Where is the “right to assemble” and the “freedom of expression” that’s supposedly guaranteed under this system’s Constitution? The scene at Sherman Park showed the real class nature of American democracy—a dictatorship of the capitalist-imperialist class that monopolizes political power. As Bob Avakian sharply lays out:

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

The blatant suppression of protest at Sherman Park was courtesy of the same police force that killed Sylville, and of the sheriffs led by David Clark, that fascist Trump suck-up and upholder of brutalization of Black people and immigrants. It’s been in the news recently that these sheriffs had killed a prisoner in their county jail last year—Terrill Thomas, a 38-year-old Black man with bipolar disorder, who was being held in solitary confinement and who died of dehydration after the pigs withheld water from him for seven days. We also learned that the Milwaukee cops had just recently shot into a car of a “suspect,” hitting two people in the vehicle and killing one.

The statement from Carl Dix that we were taking out says in part, “If the brutality, terror and murder carried out by the police was the only thing wrong with this capitalist-imperialist system, that would be reason enough to get rid of it once and for all thru revolution. And this is far from the only horror this system enforces on humanity. The RCP is organizing people into a revolution to overthrow this system at the soonest possible moment. If you want to see police terror and all the other horrors humanity is subjected to ended, you need to get with this revolution.” Most people we met had positive responses to Carl’s statement, and some wanted to get in touch with the Revolution Club. We went around to various gas stations, stores, and intersections in the neighborhood to find people. A young brother took a stack of flyers to his friends and family. Many of the store owners, who were from the Middle East, took flyers. At one food mart, a Black security guard put the statement in the window and a pile of leaflets out for the customers, and took a bundle of Revolution newspapers to get out to others.

A Black woman expressed that there is fear in the community, with the police carrying heavy weapons and terrorizing people—but she felt determined that this would not stop her from going up against the murderers in blue. We got the feeling that this just scratched the surface and that there is a lot simmering among the people.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/496/immigrant-prisoners-on-new-hunger-strike-at-the-northwest-detention-center-en.html

Revolution #496 June 19, 2017

Immigrant Prisoners on New Hunger Strike at Northwest Detention Center

June 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On June 15, at least a dozen women at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington, began a hunger strike against the inhumane conditions they and nearly 1,600 other prisoners face at the immigration prison. Four days later, on June 19, immigrant rights activists launched a solidarity hunger strike and a 24-7 encampment in support of the women inside NWDC. They are also acting in solidarity with nine immigrants at the Adelanto Detention Center (#Adelanto9) in southern California who have been on a hunger strike to demand political asylum and better conditions.

As of June 21, the ranks of hunger strikers inside NWDC had grown to 31, and there were four solidarity hunger strikers in the encampment outside. The solidarity hunger strikers are getting broader support, including students from Puget Sound University, Bellingham, and elsewhere. At the same time, they are being threatened and harassed by goons from GEO—the private corporation that runs NWDC, Adelanto, and other prisons for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

There have been repeated hunger strikes by immigrants at NWDC to demand basic rights such as expedited court hearings, adequate and decent food, and improved mental and physical medical care. In April of this year, 750 immigrants at NWDC went on a hunger strike. As in other immigrant detention centers—in reality, internment camps—it often takes months and even years for NWDC prisoners to even get to a court hearing. A letter from detainees in April said prolonged detention “is harming us physically, mentally, morally, and emotionally...and to our families....We don’t want to be encaged for so long, we believe this is unjust.”

The NWDC hunger strikers are adopting many of the demands of the #Adelanto9: for political asylum, affordable bonds, clean underwear, time in the yard and for religious services, paperwork in the language of the detainees, edible/nutritious food and clean drinkable water. They are also demanding that GEO and ICE stop transferring them to a county jail in Oregon as retaliation and punishment, including for the April strike. A Willamette Week article described the jail, North Oregon Regional Correction Facility: “Eighty-five miles east of Portland, an unknown number of immigrants are being jailed in a windowless, single-story beige box surrounded by barbed wire in an industrial district at the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge.”

One of the solidarity hunger strikers from NWDC Resistance/Resistencia, Maru Mora Villalpando, said: “Am very clear Trump is a fascist regime that has declared a war on immigrants, of hatred for anyone not born here, for Mexicans. In his campaign, executive orders and guidance to ICE, he made clear they can grab anyone they want. General Kelly [head of Department of Homeland Security] is making statements that ‘every immigrant should worry’ and see all immigrants as potential criminals. The level of fascism—hate, bigotry, racism—are at an all-time high, it is out there and permitted. The detainees face direct attacks in the worst conditions of jail that are really cages, and in the face of these horrible attacks, they still go on hunger strike. They are brave! It was bad even under Obama, but there was pressure and we got some people released. Now we won’t even have that but people still want to fight, wage real resistance. Immigrants been target for a long time but want to be an example to other communities—Native Americans, Blacks, Muslims—to stand up and fight back, to resist and stand together and protect each other.”

The struggle also continues to intensify at the Adelanto Detention Center. On World Refugee Day, June 20, an inter-faith group went to Adelanto to hold a prayer vigil and to meet with the hunger strikers and other detainees. However, ICE and GEO put the detention center on lockdown, preventing any contact.

The courageous struggles of the prisoners at NWDC and Adelanto, standing up for the basic rights and humanity of immigrants, are important and must be widely supported. At the same time, the reality is that the Trump/Pence Regime has already done huge damage—and if they are not stopped soon from consolidating their fascist rule, the result would be catastrophic for the people of the world. The fight against attacks on immigrants, police terror and murder, assaults on the environment, gutting of health care, and other streams of resistance need to join together in powerful struggle this summer, with the nationwide protests called by Refuse Fascism for July 15 a crucial focal point, to demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go. In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.