Revolution #504, August 14, 2017 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Join the movement that is protesting
day after day and night after night and not stopping,
until our DEMAND is met:

This Nightmare Must End:
The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

November 5, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

ENDORSE THIS CALL

 

A Nightmare:

Immigrants living in terror—their next step could mean detention, deportation, being torn from children and loved ones.

A Nightmare:

Muslims and refugees demonized, banned and cast out.

A Nightmare:

Millions—children, the elderly, the sick, the disabled, the poor—denied healthcare, food assistance, the very right to live. 

A Nightmare:

Women objectified, degraded, and denied the basic right to control their own reproduction with fundamentalist Christian fascism increasingly being made law.

A Nightmare:

LGBTQ people stigmatized, ostracized, and denied civil rights recently won.

A Nightmare:

Black and Latino people openly threatened by the President, with maximum sentencing, stop-and-frisk going national, intensified police brutality and murder of our youth with no holds barred. 

A Nightmare:

People all over the world facing bombings, occupations, war and the threat of nuclear war with Donald Trump’s “America First” finger on the nuclear trigger.

A Nightmare:

The truth bludgeoned—lies and more lies—critical thinking being destroyed in education and public discourse.

A Nightmare:

The whole planet in peril from a regime that denies global warming and shreds all environmental protections.

A Nightmare:

A regime step-by-step discarding basic democratic rights, targeting group after group, and suppressing dissent and resistance. A regime unleashing the violence of white supremacists, anti-Semites and fascist thugs. This is fascism—a qualitative change in how society is governed. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.
 

 

THIS NIGHTMARE MUST END.  Millions feel this and ache with the question of how to stop this unrelenting horror.  The stakes are nothing less than the future of humanity and the planet itself.

Who will end this nightmare?  We will. Only the determined struggle of millions of people acting together with courage and conviction can drive this regime from power.

JOIN US—Take to the streets and public squares across the country, beginning a movement of protests that continue day after day and night after night. A movement working to grow from thousands to hundreds of thousands and eventually millions.  A movement determined to not stop until our demand is met:

THIS NIGHTMARE MUST END: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!

Our actions will reflect the values of respect for all of humanity and the world we want—in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. 

Our determination to persist and not back down will compel the whole world to take note. Every force and faction in the power structure would be forced to respond to our demand. The cracks and divisions among the powers evident today will sharpen and widen. As we draw more and more people forward to stand up, all of this could lead to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.

Spread the word and organize. Be a part of making history. Don’t let it be said that you stood aside when there was still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity and the earth itself. Join us in taking to the streets and the public squares day after day and night after night. Let’s stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, demonstrating that:

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

This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!

RefuseFascism.org

RefuseFascism.org is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives united in our recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protest. 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

On November 4, 2017, We Begin:

This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!

by Andy Zee

August 5, 2017 Refuse Fascism National Meeting

August 6, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Refuse Fascism is publishing the written notes for a presentation that Andy Zee, a member of the Advisory Board of Refuse Fascism, made to a national meeting of leaders of Refuse Fascism. After discussion, the meeting affirmed the decision to issue the Call for November 4 and developed plans for Regional Conferences on August 19 to build and organize for November 4. Andy Zee began by reading the Call for November 4, which we are reprinting below. His speech follows.

 

 

On November 4, 2017, We Begin,
This Nightmare Must End:
The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!

 “This Nightmare Must End” captures how millions of people feel right now. This feeling is at times inchoate and, at others, it enrages. It disturbs sleep, dominates conversation. For immigrants and Muslims it is terror that is lived—a foreboding pervading every aspect of life. Where you never know if this is the day you will be snatched from family and the life you have made—perhaps to be returned to a place you don’t know where you may face persecution or even death.

 Millions of people agonize over every move of the regime and they worry about the specter of worse to come. They feel trapped in the kind of nightmare from which you desperately need an escape—desperately hoping to wake up so as to put the terror behind you. Adding “This Nightmare Must End” to our demand speaks very broadly to how people feel.

 People feel that somehow this must end and yearn for a way out. Refuse Fascism is the hope and the way to drive the Trump/Pence Regime from power.

 What people don’t know, and need to know, is that THEY ARE THE WAY OUT OF THE NIGHTMARE, if they join together and act outside all the normal avenues that they expect society and government to provide for redress of their concerns—outside the ways that they would normally think of to act themselves for remedy. Waiting for investigations, waiting for the Democrats to act, thinking that Trump will implode, hoping for 2018 Congressional elections, even protesting each abuse—as righteous and part of people raising their heads as such protest is, these are all acting within the normal frameworks that people have grown accustomed to thinking and acting within for change in policy and direction. But change, even under “normal” times, rarely comes without ferocious struggle if it is not change in the interests of at least some of those in power. BUT EVEN MORE, THERE IS NOTHING NORMAL ABOUT THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME. FASCISM IS NOT NORMAL.

 Refuse Fascism is up against what society is up against. Fascism is not the normal way that this country has been ruled. While more and more people are coming to see the qualitative change that the Trump/Pence Regime is bringing, we have a society-wide struggle to wage with people to recognize and come to grips with the reality that with the election of Trump there is a fascist qualitative change in the social, political, and cultural norms of how this society is governed and ruled. The abnormality of Trump consistently gets focused on his narcissistic psychology and/or his financial and other misdeeds, and what is not confronted is the radical tearing up of the norms of society and in its place new fascist norms being cemented into place.

 Again, there is a break with what have been the norms we confront, and to deal with this there must be a break with the “normal” ways people seek change from government. The normal forms of petition and protest DO NOT APPLY with Trump—even as they have been difficult enough under the normal functioning of this system.

 So we constantly hear the talking heads on cable news, or commentators on social media critiquing and mocking Trump’s outrageous tweets and utterances, his disregard for the truth, his overall buffoonery and his flaunting of the norms of society. And they not only gloss over the full scale and scope of his program and almost never mention its fascist character, but they also consistently “advise” the regime on how to govern “normally.” THE PROBLEM is Trump glories in breaking the norms—and that is why he was elected by a social base that has been riled up for decades behind a racist, misogynist, anti-immigrant program. They believe Trump’s outsider outrageousness and his flaunting of the norms shows that he can and will deliver. The program of the Democrats and their media mouthpieces is restoring the norms. So people who hate and oppose the regime are being led to look to all the ways I mentioned before: elections, hearings, investigations, and protest as usual to “make their voices heard,” as if we are dealing with a normal regime. We are not.

 We need to learn from those times in the history of this country, and from around the world, when people stepped outside the normal channels to struggle for their demand. Just this past winter tens, and then hundreds, of thousands of people took to the streets in the capital of South Korea—eventually every day and night—to demand the ouster of the president. After almost four months, they succeeded.

 We should recognize, and hold firmly to, our demand that the whole REGIME must go. This is a tremendous strength of Refuse Fascism. No one else, no other organization, has raised this demand. Yet, many are paralyzed at the thought of Trump being removed and ending up with Mike Pence. Their repulsion at Pence is warranted.

Pence is now the political leader of a theocratic Christian fundamentalism—that we should more accurately call Christian fascism. Decades in the making, the roots of this are gone into extensively in The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer and The Coming Civil War, both by Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party and architect of the new synthesis of communism.

 This past week, two Catholic Vatican scholars close to Pope Francis warned U.S. Catholics that the Christian evangelicalism of the Trump/Pence Regime is “not too far apart” from the kind of Islamic fundamentalism that is tearing up the Mideast. The Trump/Pence Regime is saturated with and dependent on this Christian fascist social base, and already they have made huge strides in implementing their agenda, with catastrophic impact on the lives of women and LGBTQ people as well as on medicine, healthcare, and public education. Impact that will disproportionately hurt communities of oppressed nationalities.

 Christian fascism runs through this regime, from Steve Bannon’s world apocalyptic view of a war for Western (read white) Judeo-Christian civilization on through the Trump cabinet with Rick Perry, Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson, and that vicious nut job now on the Supreme Court—Neil Gorsuch. This is a REGIME—that word matters—it is an amalgam of all the strains of fascism that have run through America’s history which have become forged over the last decades and now, in the context of the huge problems this country and system faces, has come to power. It may have shocked all or some of these fascists movements that Donald Trump is the vehicle that they are riding, but they have recognized it, and now it is so. Bannon and the Nazi Rudy Giuliani have said: THIS is our last chance (even as they have left unsaid, but made clear) to consolidate fascism.

 In our July 15 message, we posed: “Could it happen here? The Answer: Yes... It is an American Fascism—Manifest Destiny and American exceptionalism—a fascism wrapped in the Bible taken literally and the American flag, saturated with racism, misogyny, and xenophobia.” And, in answering yes, we said: “It is happening and the responsibility falls to all of us to stop it before it chokes off air in society.” The point is: this is not just another normal swing of the pendulum—it is a REGIME bringing about a Fascist America.

 ONLY REFUSE FASCISM has a PLAN for DRIVING OUT THE WHOLE REGIME, and THIS MATTERS AND IS OUR STRONG SUIT.

 That REFUSE FASCISM identifies and demands that the whole regime must go is a great strength and should be a magnet for people to get with the vision for November 4. Our two slogans, “This Nightmare Must End, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” and “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!” concentrate a lot of understanding of the situation that we face and the road forward—they need to be everywhere and everywhere struggled over.

 Our plan requires thinking and acting, as they say, outside the box. We are calling on people to put a lot on the line—taking to the streets and the public squares day after day and night after night and not stopping. For this to happen more and more people need to understand in a basic way the situation—again, the necessity—that humanity faces with fascism coming to power in the most powerful country in the world. We need to deeply get this too, because if we want others to be strong, we must be no less.

 The seven panels of indictments we have developed are a tremendous tool—that bring people the brutal reality of what this regime has actually done; what they have said they are going to do; and what their regime has unleashed in the states and in their vigilante fascist groups. We have not fully appreciated the role that these panels can play in mobilizing the people. After reading the panels, people have told us: “I didn’t really know.” The SCALE AND THE SCOPE of what the TRUMP/PENCE FASCIST REGIME HAS DONE IN SIX MONTHS IS BREATHTAKING.

 The panels have three key dimensions: [1] Education—getting people the facts, the reality (the scale and scope of fascist remaking of society); [2] They are a tool for politically provocative actions—wielding the panels and the research concentrated in them to hound the enemy: the regime, Congress, administrators from agencies such as ICE, the Border Patrol, and more; or, to go out and shake up and wake up those who normalize fascism and distract the people from the real deal going down and steer people away from the fact that there is an organization and a way to fight this—this includes media like CNN and MSNBC, as well as Democrats and social democrats among others; and [3] These panels are a tremendous organizing tool. People can download the panels in different sizes and get them out in their city or neighborhood. We can’t be everywhere, but the panels can be. People want to form a group for November 4? Hold a discussion on each of the panels in light of the Refuse Fascism Call to Action and the November 4th Call, and take the display out to the people.

 I will come back to plans at the end of this presentation, but what overall will be decisive in bringing forward masses of people is using this sharp agitation—the exposure of what this fascist regime has done—in politically provocative actions: like the protest outside and inside Trump's recent rally in Youngstown, Ohio; the disruption and protest during the Ann Coulter Politicon panel; or the 100 hours of around-the-clock protest exposing Fox News. In the 1980s and ’90s ACT-UP did a lot of research on AIDS, and they had the goods on the government and what it was not doing to deal with AIDS. But they didn’t just sit on this information—they took creative, disruptive, even shocking actions, and that became a critical form of ACTIVE education that was, at the same time, a form of struggle. What the Trump/Pence Regime has done and is about should shock the conscience, but for all the reasons of “normalization” that I have been talking about, part of what we must do is act in ways that put the “shock the conscience” quality of this fascism in front of people where it can’t be ignored.

 November 4, 2017, we begin. Why have we set this date? Because without the kind of mass determined opposition of millions of people being in the streets day after day night after night, there is little chance of the whole regime being removed before they are able to cement into place a fascist re-ordering of society. By setting the date, we focus our attention and that of the whole society on the form of political protest that is required.

 We have recognized that there are two windows that are still open that make it possible to do what we are calling for. First is that the Trump/Pence Regime has not, as yet, been able to fully institute fascism. They have made significant progress, they have plans in the works, but there is still an opening. As we and others have pointed out, it would only take one serious international or domestic incident for that window to suddenly slam shut with the regime taking “emergency” measures. And even without such an incident, things can reach a point through executive measures and laws that the regime pushes through, where the window closes in that way—with the result that fascism is consolidated.

 This morning Jeff Greenfield, a long-time political commentator, was on CNN, and he argued against the prevailing discourse that Trump is “off track, not able to accomplish anything.” Greenfield said that while we, speaking of the news media and people following the media, have been caught up in the daily onslaught of outrageousness from the Trump White House, the regime has been making significant real progress in advancing their program. He pointed especially to outsourcing the appointment of federal judges to the Federalist Society, which is resulting in appointments to the federal courts of judges in the mold of Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch, who will radically reshape law in a reactionary direction for decades.

 There is a second window that we have pointed to in that there are still millions and millions of people who are not adjusted to or resigned to the Trump/Pence Regime. There is still willingness of masses of people to protest. While protests have not reached the numbers of the Women’s March, and there is a lot of normalization that has taken place, there remain millions of people who are alert. And if they saw and understood that there is a program to really remove this regime, and people acting on it, they could be moved to act.

 With the actions on July 15, we put on the political map that there is a national movement dedicated to fighting for the demand that the whole Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!—and that organization is Refuse Fascism. The demonstrations were relatively small, hundreds in key cities, yet people came forward in the face of threats and the presence of organized fascists. In LA, when the fascists began chanting “USA! USA!” they were answered with chants of “Humanity First! Humanity First!” We should grasp the potential and the significance of that. We should not fail to appreciate and build on the embryo of July 15.

 Yet we do not have the numbers or enough leaders right now for what is needed to begin on November 4. We can get them in the next two and half months. This proposal is made in full recognition of the huge leap in our work, and for the millions of people who want the nightmare to end.

 First, we must understand that the kind of struggle that we are calling for on November 4th is absolutely essential. Waiting till next year could well be too late. There is freedom in really understanding this. To just keep on keeping on with what we and other forces have been doing will very likely lead to real catastrophe. Understanding that hard truth opens up and compels us, together with many other people, to find and fight for the ways and means to meet that necessity that is objectively posed and underscored by setting a date to begin. The principle here is that really understanding the necessity we face opens up the potential to find and act on new freedom to transform that necessity.

 We should clearly understand that we are not organizing for November 4 in a situation where nothing else is happening but us and the Trump/Pence Regime. Quite the opposite. Every social force in society is in the mix in one way or another. The process of organizing and leading towards November 4 will be the back and forth, the interrelationship between what the Trump/Pence Regime does, what other fascist forces do, how the Democrats and even some Republicans conciliate with and also object to and oppose the regime, what other social forces do—the analyses they put forth and the struggles they initiate, as well as actions and events in the world from other governments, and even natural disasters (recall Katrina1); AND, all of this in relation to what Refuse Fascism puts forth and does. We will have to lead through a contentious mix of forces and events consistently putting forth our position as concentrated in the two Calls (the Call for November 4 and Refuse Fascism’s founding statement) and leading struggle as part of organizing to make a real beginning on November 4. By calling for November 4, we will actually be in a far stronger position, should masses of people come out in response to a breaking event in large numbers, to advance the date to earlier, if conditions emerge that make that possible.

 There is another important dimension to comprehend about why only the people through mass struggle in the ways that Refuse Fascism is calling for could lead to removing the whole regime and a positive outcome.

 I want to read two paragraphs that appear on the website of the Revolutionary Communist Party, REVCOM.US:

 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.

 From my point of view, what is concentrated in these two paragraphs is extremely important and helpful to understanding the dynamics at play in the situation we face and the plan we have put forward—even as it is not necessary for people in Refuse Fascism to share this analysis of the system and its ruling class that is concentrated in these paragraphs.

 There are two points I want to underscore here. The first paragraph concentrates the reason why the people must take independent action outside the normal confines of two-party politics. The Democrats will not and cannot provide an answer that is in the interests of humanity to this fascism because they are part of the same system which has created the conditions that gave rise to and foster this fascism. As we saw when Trump launched missiles at Syria, the Democrats applauded, showing that when it comes to fundamental interests of their empire, they share with the fascist section of the ruling class a belligerent grotesque American chauvinism. Listen to the praises of the Democrats for the Generals John Kelly and Mad Dog Mattis. When Trump in his State of the Union address sang the praises of one of the Navy SEALs from the January raid in Yemen, CNN commentator Van Jones gushed that in that moment, Donald Trump "became President."

 Second, as the new Refuse Fascism Call for November 4 says: “The cracks and divisions among the powers already evident today will sharpen and widen. As we draw more and more people forward to stand up, all of this could lead to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.” In other words, the infighting among the rulers—between the Democrats and the Republicans, and things like the Mueller investigation—all provide openings for the struggle from below. Without that struggle from below, these cracks at the top will either amount to nothing, or will resolve in ways that could be bad for the people—such as with Pence put in power with all factions of the ruling class firmly uniting behind him and the fascist program intact.

 Before moving to our immediate plans, I want to underscore again that a key obstacle that we must overcome is people today having little experience with truly mass struggle that steps outside the bounds of the normal political processes, including protest as usual. Our actions and our organizing between now and then must make this different way of doing things come alive for masses of people.

 In the July 15th Refuse Fascism speech, after putting forth the vision of the kind of struggle that we are calling for on November 4, we said:

 This is both unprecedented, and at the same time, there are models and experience to learn from. Nixon and his Vice President, Spiro Agnew were both driven from power.

 More recently in South Korea millions filled the streets night after night, at first starting just on the weekends, and they eventually drove their President from power. The Ukraine, Tahrir Square in Egypt—people in their millions protested day after day night after night creating a political crisis for those in power to remove despised leaders. There were shortcomings for sure, and there are differences, but never, NEVER, underestimate the power of the people when we struggle righteously in the interests of humanity.

 WE CAN DO THIS. The people are there. The anger is there. If we act creatively with determination, confronting the regime and their representatives and institutions and always doing so in ways that puts the truth to the lies of what they represent. Making people feel through what we do that immigrants, Muslims, women, Blacks, Latinos, LGBTQ, people all over the world are full human beings, showing through word and deed that we will not accept the cruel and brutal future of the Trump/Pence Regime ... that they must GO! And that they, and we, are the ones to make it happen.

 Before moving to briefly putting out the plans, I want to reiterate that while we should aim for mobilizing millions and put that before people, and if they all came out on November 4 that would be great, but the process is more likely to be, and what we must concretely achieve through our organizing, is that at least several thousand people in each of several key cities begin on November 4, and that through a process, this quickly becomes a platform from which to rapidly call forward and draw forward more and more people. There will be a back-and-forth struggle in the media, among the people, and with the authorities. Through this there will be a dynamic where through ebbs and flows as well as attempts to slander and suppress what we are doing, more and more people can be drawn forward. Where thousands become tens and then hundreds of thousands, and potentially millions.

 After discussion of the proposal and Call for November 4, 2017, we will discuss the upcoming Regional Conferences on August 19 and develop plans to organize and build for November 4.

 I will close with the last lines of the Call for November 4, which echoes the mission statement of Refuse Fascism, the Call to Action:

 On November 4, 2017, we will stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to demand: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!


1. Hurricane Katrina was a major hurricane in 2005. In addition to being a devastating natural disaster, Katrina became a significant political and social crisis due to the criminal response of George W. Bush and his administration that dramatically magnified the death, the suffering, the vicious and racist repression and the widespread displacement of those hardest hit, especially larger numbers of Black people. [back]

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

From Refuse Fascism:

THIS NIGHTMARE MUST END: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The living nightmare of the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime took a leap this week.

Organized fascists in the streets murdering and maiming. Then, given backing by Trump.

If this doesn’t tell you that this is a fascist regime with all the horror that means for humanity, what will?

Trump threatens to unleash “fire and fury and ... power the likes of which this world has never seen before” against North Korea, endangering the lives of millions of people.

If this doesn’t tell you that this is a fascist regime with all the horror that means for humanity, what will?

IT’S TIME TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT DRIVING THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME FROM POWER

Saturday, August 19, 2017

REGIONAL ORGANIZING CONFERENCES FOR NOVEMBER 4, 2017

 

What’s November 4?

The Day It Begins:

November 4, we will gather in the streets and public squares of cities and towns across this country, at first many thousands declaring that this whole regime is illegitimate and that we will not stop until our single demand is met: This Nightmare Must End: the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

Our protest must grow day after day and night after night – thousands becoming hundreds of thousands, and then millions – determined to act to put a stop to the grave danger that the Trump/Pence Regime poses to the world by demanding that this whole regime be removed from power.

Our actions will reflect the values of respect for all of humanity and the world we want – in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

Our determination to persist and not back down will compel the whole world to take note. Every force and faction in the power structure would be forced to respond to our demand. The cracks and divisions among the powers already evident today will sharpen and widen. As we draw more and more people forward to stand up, all of this could lead to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power. (Read the full November 4 Call.)

If you are ready to be done with the living nightmare of the last week, of the last seven months, of the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime... get to a Refuse Fascism Regional Conference this coming Saturday, August 19. Be a part of planning to make history: November 4, 2017.

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

This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!

 

Sign up for regional conferences here

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Protests Erupt Nationwide After White Supremacist Rally and Murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Immediately after news emerged that Heather Heyer had been murdered on Saturday, August 12, by a white supremacist while part of counter-protests against white supremacists in Charlottesville, people across the country poured into the streets in outrage. The next day, Sunday, even larger protests broke out.

Thousands in the Streets in Major Cities...

San Francisco Bay Area

About 800 people joined a demonstration Saturday night in Oakland, under slogans including “Charlottesville We Got Your Back, Bay Area United Against White Supremacy.” Marchers carried signs that read “White Silence Equals Violence” and “This Shit Is Not Okay.” Protesters climbed up onto the 580 freeway and shut it down for 15 minutes. One woman told the news, “We have to bring attention to what’s happening in Charlottesville and to show that we will resist Trump and this fascist regime... We will not tolerate white supremacy. So we have to get in the way of people’s normal days, we have to cause a little bit of disruption ... peaceful disruption.” Another protester held a sign, “America First = Fascism.” Earlier, hundreds attended a silent vigil called by Indivisible in downtown San Francisco.

On Sunday, 300 people joined in a march called by Refuse Fascism in San Francisco, going 5 to 6 miles from the Mission District, down Market Street to the Civic Center, with die-ins blocking intersections along the way. There were two other protests in the East Bay, an action against police terror and a demo by Hip Hop for Change. Vigils for Heather Heyer were called for San Francisco Civic Center and downtown Oakland.

Seattle

Sunday evening, over 1,000 people took to the streets responding to Charlottesville and tried to shut down a white supremacist rally that was being protected by militarized police.

Los Angeles

On Sunday, 1,000 people took to the streets in downtown LA in response to what happened in Charlottesville on Saturday. The impromptu event was called for by RefuseFascism.org.

The mood of the crowd was defiant and angry over what happened in Charlottesville on Saturday, particularly the murder of Heather Heyer by a fascist white supremacist.

The crowd was very diverse—Black people, white people, Latinos, Asians, LGBTQ people and others. There were young people, old people, families with children, people pushing baby carriages. Many people brought their homemade signs.

The rally started at City Hall. Speakers included Reverend Frank Alton, Pastor of the St. Athanasius Episcopal Church in Echo Park, Lindsey Horvath, a West Hollywood City Council person, and Keith James and Michelle from Refuse Fascism. The Call for November 4 was read and there was a big response to the Nightmares, particularly the one on women. The Call says that November 4 will be the beginning, but Keith James said that this beginning may be starting today.

The march went to La Plaza at Olivera Street; then to the ICE Detention Center, where people shouted to the people inside, “We hear you.” It continued to the Japanese American Museum where people spoke about the threat of nuclear war from the Trump/Pence regime and the anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Nagasaki. Several Japanese American women from the community spoke in opposing the fascists in the White House and in saying that they have the backs of Muslims, Black people, and immigrants, and that they will fight to stop what happened to the Japanese Americans in World War 2 with internment, from happening to those who are being threatened with the same today.

Then the march went back to City Hall for a final rally.

Chicago

Refuse Fascism put out a call for people to take to the streets to condemn the racist, murdering fascist thugs in Charlottesville. More than 500 rallied on Sunday. The march swelled to around 1,000 people as it wove through the heart of tourist area downtown. As it neared the Trump Tower they took the street for several blocks.

Protesters were of all ages and nationalities. Their sentiment was captured by a woman who told local TV news that she had read about things like this in books and here it was happening and she had to take a stand. Another woman said that she felt the water is rising all around us. The ugly fascist outpouring and murder in Charlottesville really touched a nerve and galvanized people to come out. They came from Indivisible, the Women’s March, the LGBTQ community, in Black Lives Matter t-shirts, children in strollers with anti-racist t-shirts and children with their homemade signs against hate. Car horns blared in support. The people were serious and determined. One person drove by himself all the way from Iowa to be there. People came in from the exurbs on the train, bringing their own signs. High school students who last protested on Inauguration Day, one in her Kaepernick jersey. Veterans from around the country came to Trump Tower after their own march. There was a real sense that we are the ones who have to do this, we can’t stand aside—and the deep desire for this nightmare to end and the reality that Trump/Pence must go was palpable and heartfelt.

At the opening rally, Congressperson Jan Schakowsky spoke. Refuse Fascism speakers condemned the fascists in Charlottesville who were summoned and backed by the Trump regime and the other horrors it means for the world. People from the crowd stepped forward to speak, some saying they were doing so for the first time. Their testimony was moving: the child of immigrants about the fear that her undocumented parents could be deported. A trans man who spoke of the people who committed suicide on the day Trump was elected and his determination not to be shoved back in the closet. The white woman who couldn’t stand the white supremacy and asserted over and over that Black Lives Matter, a chant taken up by the crowd. The lawyer who said people must come out in the street if we are to stop this. A member of the disability community who said their very existence and humanity are on the line. Noche Diaz spoke from the Revolution Club and powerfully called on everyone there to come to the Refuse Fascism regional conferences on August 19 to get ready for November 4, the launch of day after day and night after night protests to demand the Trump/Pence regime must go. Then to much applause, he said that the Revolution Club as followers of Bob Avakian are fighting, not to go back to the time before Trump, but toward revolution and real emancipation of people, and he urged people to get into this.

Huge pictures of Heather Heyer with the word “HEROINE” were brought to the rally and photographed dozens and dozens of times. Many people got Refuse Fascism’s call for November 4 and the August 19 conferences, the invitation to hear Carl Dix on August 20 (returning from Charlottesville), and distributors of Revolution newspaper found a lot of interest.

New York City

Hundreds of people marched from Union Square to Columbus Square to Trump Tower on Sunday, picking up people and shutting down 6th Avenue. Chants of “No Trump, No KKK, No fascist USA” rang out as marchers approached Trump Tower. Police blocked marchers as they neared the Tower, and there are reports of arrests and of all businesses at Trump Tower being shut down.

Elsewhere Around the Country...

Houston: A dozen people joined with Refuse Fascism to challenge people on a busy street corner.

Philadelphia: Marchers blocked the Vine Expressway after holding a vigil in solidarity with Charlottesville at City Hall on Saturday.

Syracuse: As many as a thousand rallied in Syracuse on Sunday.

Plymouth, MA: On Sunday, about 100 people attended the rally that was held on the main street right in Plymouth center. A supporter of Refuse Fascism joined the action, and the Refuse Fascism posters, banner, and the Call for November 4 were well received.

Oakland, CA, August 13. Photo: Facebook

Seattle, WA, August 13. Photo: Twitter/@amurphous

Los Angeles, CA, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Los Angeles, CA, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Marching to Trump Tower, Chicago, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Revolution Club, Chicago, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

At Trump Tower, Chicago, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

New York City, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Taking over 6th Avenue in Manhattan, August 13. Photo: Twitter/@KeeganNYC

Houston, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Philadelphia, August 13. Photo: Twitter/@NewsWorksWHYY

Syracuse, NY, August 13. Photo: Twitter/@careoftheearth

Plymouth, MA, August 13. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Springfield, IL, August 13. Photo: Twitter/‏@bluegal

New Haven, CT, August 13. Photo: Twitter/@TATMnews

Atlanta, GA, August 13. Photo: Twitter/@DaveonMarjan

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/503/genocidal-monsters-promise-to-protect-the-people-of-the-world-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Genocidal Monsters Promise to "Protect" the People of the World

August 11, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On August 9, Donald Trump threatened to bring down "fire and fury" on North Korea. Defense Secretary Mattis spelled out what this meant, threatening North Korea with "the end of its regime and the destruction of its people" (emphasis added)—in other words, genocide.

In response to criticism of these threats, Trump said, "Frankly, the people who were questioning that statement, was it too tough? Maybe it wasn't tough enough. They've been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it's about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries. So if anything, maybe that statement wasn't tough enough." (Emphasis added.) And he said, "Things will happen to them like they never thought possible, OK? He's been pushing the world around for a long time."

WTF?!?!

Let's look at who actually HAS been "pushing the world around for a long time"—and is doing so today and now threatening nuclear war.

Let's look at the real history—not the mythology of "American Exceptionalism" (a view that holds the U.S. is a special "force for good" in the world) that is the mantra of all U.S. ruling class politicians, and which is being taken to extreme levels by Trump. Let's look at just some of what the U.S. has done in the world for the past 65 years.1

In 1950 the U.S. invaded North Korea and, according to U.S. general Curtis LeMay, "burned down every town in North Korea" by 1952. About 30 percent of the total population was killed!

It invaded Vietnam with half a million troops, carried out mass rape and horrific massacres, dropped seven million tons of bombs (twice the amount dropped on Europe and Asia in all of World War 2), drenched the land in napalm (which burns people alive) and Agent Orange (which destroys crops and forests). Three million people died.

It orchestrated coups in Indonesia, Iran, Chile, Guatemala, and many other countries. In Indonesia alone, one million were murdered.

It invaded the Dominican Republic to suppress a popular uprising, killing thousands. It backed the military junta in El Salvador's civil war, killing 75,000.

The U.S. invaded Iraq in 1991, destroyed much of its crucial infrastructure (like water purification systems and pharmaceutical plants) and then imposed sanctions for a decade, which by the admission of then-UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright caused the deaths of 500,000 children (which she said in a TV interview was "worth it").

In 2003 the U.S. invaded Iraq again—on the pretext that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and was a menace to the world—killed tens of thousands more and kicked off a civil war that has virtually destroyed that nation. Other Middle Eastern countries have been swept into the maelstrom, and the toll in dead, wounded and people driven from their homes in the region is now over six million.

Through this whole period, the U.S. has continued to develop and brandish its vast arsenal of thousands of nukes and has refused to renounce the "first use" of those weapons of mass destruction—and brought the world to the brink of nuclear war during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

As horrific as all this is, it is truly just scratching the surface of U.S. crimes around the world, even as the imperialist rulers have continued brutal oppression at home. From the enslavement, torture and savage exploitation of millions of African slaves, to the genocidal slaughter of Native Americans, to the violent seizure of almost half of Mexico, and on up to today with the vast inequalities crushing the lives of tens of millions of working people; the mass incarceration of millions; the persecution of immigrants, Muslims, and LGBTQ people; the deepening degradation and dehumanization of women; and always, day in and day out, the steady BAM... BAM... BAM... of pigs murdering civilians, over one thousand every year, disproportionally Black and Brown.

Yes, the people of North Korea suffer under an oppressive regime, and like people everywhere, desperately need an actual revolution and a genuine socialist state. But it is the U.S. that has for centuries been a scourge plaguing and tormenting people here and around the world—and now endangers the whole planet.


1. Most of the incidents listed here—and many more through U.S. history—are described and documented in the revcom.us series American Crime. [back]



 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/korea-pop-quiz-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Take the Korea Pop Quiz: What do you REALLY know about Korea?

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

  1. How many Koreans, and how many American troops, were killed in the Korean War, 1950-1953?
    1. About 100,000 U.S. troops, and about 1 million Koreans
    2. About 1 million U.S. troops and about 1 million Koreans
    3. About 450,000 U.S. troops and about 1 million Koreans
    4. About 650,000 U.S. troops and about 2 million Koreans
    5. About 60,000 U.S. troops, and over 3 million Koreans
  2.  

  3. True or false: U.S. warplanes dropped more bomb and napalm tonnage during the Korean War than they had during the entire Pacific campaign of World War 2.
  4.  

  5. If the number of Americans killed in the Korean War was proportional to the number of Koreans, how many Americans would have died?
    1. 1,000,000
    2. 5,000,000
    3. 25,000,000
    4. 45,000,000
  6.  

  7. What percentage of buildings in North Korea, over one story high, were destroyed by U.S. bombing by the end of the war?
    1. 20%
    2. 40%
    3. 60%
    4. 80%
    5. 99%
  8.  

  9. Which country used chemical and biological weapons on Koreans during the Korean War?
    1. North Korea
    2. South Korea
    3. The United States
    4. China
    5. The Soviet Union
  10.  

  11. After the surrender of Japan in World War 2, in response to overwhelming demands by nearly every political force in Korea for an independent and unified country, which of the following represented U.S. policy?
    1. President Truman admonished U.S. military commanders to stop sending him “messages from representatives of self-styled governments which are not recognized by the Government of the United States” who were appealing for U.S. support for Korean independence and reunification.
    2. The U.S. National Security Agency assessed that Koreans were not ready to choose their own government due to the “political immaturity of the Korean people.”
    3. U.S. intelligence documents reported that if open elections were held, “Almost all Koreans are leftists by current US standards, and not even the conservative parties can be considered defenders of traditional capitalism… Soviet policies might therefore be expected to have great popular appeal in Korea.”
    4. The 1948 elections in South Korea staged by the U.S. should be branded as having “strong popular support” even though, according to U.S. intelligence agencies, “they were boycotted by almost all organized parties except two of the large extreme rightist groups,” and the fact that “moderate factions ... joined with the Communists in boycotting the election on the ostensible grounds that the election would tend to perpetuate the artificial division of Korea....”
    5. All of the above.
  12.  

  13. True or false: In 1958, the United States installed hundreds of nuclear weapons, battlefield tactical weapons, and short-range warheads on missiles in South Korea, and kept them there until 1991 when they were replaced with missiles the Pentagon thought presented less threat of contaminating South Korea in the event of a war.
  14.  

  15. The Bodo League Massacre was the greatest massacre of civilians in the Korean War. Which of the following describes the nature of that massacre?
    1. The Chinese brutally murdered between 100,000 and 200,000 captured U.S. and South Korean POWs.
    2. The North Koreans rounded up and killed between 100,000 and 200,000 pro-Democracy dissidents.
    3. The U.S.-backed government in South Korea massacred between 100,000 and 200,000 civilians it suspected of being communists or communist sympathizers.
    4. Between 100,000 and 200,000 ethnic minorities were forced march to their death in the Soviet Union because their loyalty to the North Korean regime was suspect.
  16.  

  17. True or false: The United States has pledged to never be the first country to launch a nuclear attack.
  18.  

  19. Any decision by President Trump to launch a nuclear attack on North Korea would require which of the following:
    1. Authorization by Congress
    2. The agreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
    3. A review by the Defense Intelligence Agency
    4. All of the above
    5. None of the above

 

Answers and Sources

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/korea-pop-quiz-answers-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Take the Korea Pop Quiz: What do you REALLY know about Korea?
Answers and Sources

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

1. How many Koreans, and how many American troops, were killed in the Korean War, 1950-1953?

e) About 60,000 U.S. troops, and over 3 million Koreans

2. True. U.S. warplanes dropped more bomb and napalm tonnage during the Korean War than they had during the entire Pacific campaign of World War 2. (source: “Thomas Walkom: North Korea’s unending war rages on

3. If the number of Americans killed in the Korean War was proportional to the number of Koreans, how many Americans would have died?

d) 45,000,000

4. What percentage of buildings in North Korea, over one story high, were destroyed by U.S. bombing by the end of the war?

e) Over 99%

5. Which country used chemical and biological weapons on Koreans during the Korean War?

c) The United States [40+ tons of napalm]

6. After the surrender of Japan in World War 2, in response to overwhelming demands by nearly every political force in Korea for an independent and unified country, which of the following represented U.S. policy?

e) All of the above. (sources: The Korean War and Its Origins Research File)

7. True. In 1958, the United States installed hundreds of nuclear weapons, battlefield tactical weapons, and short-range warheads on missiles in South Korea, and kept them there until 1991 when they were replaced with missiles the Pentagon thought presented less threat of contaminating South Korea in the event of a war.

8. The Bodo League Massacre was the greatest massacre of civilians in the Korean War. Which of the following describes the nature of that massacre?

c) The U.S.-backed government in South Korea massacred between 100,000 and 200,000 civilians it suspected of being communists or communist sympathizers.

9. False. The United States has NOT pledged to never be the first country to launch a nuclear attack.

10. Any decision by President Trump to launch a nuclear attack on North Korea would require which of the following.

e) None of the above. The U.S. president requires no authorization to launch a nuclear attack.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/503/trump-threats-vs-north-korea-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

U.S. War Threats vs. North Korea:
Trump Puts World in Crosshairs of Nuclear War
This Must Be Opposed Everywhere!

Updated October 1, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

The Facts: Who Has Escalated the U.S.-North Korea Confrontation, Time and Time Again?

September 25, 2017

Read more

Trump Threatens GENOCIDE at the UN:
When Is Enough ENOUGH?!?

September 20, 2017

Read more

Escalating War Dangers in Korea: Who’s the Biggest Warmonger and Threat to Humanity?

September 6, 2017

Read more

What We Aren't Being Told, but Need to Know About New Dangers of War in Korea

Updated September 3, 2017

Read more

No, Fareed Zakaria, We Should NOT Hope That Trump's Nuclear Blackmail Works!

August 16, 2017

Read more

Genocidal Monsters Promise to "Protect" the People of the World

August 11, 2017

Read more

 

Behind the Madness of Trump's Threats of "Fire and Fury" in Korea

August 10, 2017

Read more

 

 

At Fox News Plaza in New York City on August 9, speaking out against Trump's threats of Armageddon. Photo: special to revcom.us.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/avakian/science/46ba-the-new-communism-forms-of-revolutionary-organization-and-the-ohio-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

Download PDF of entire work

Editors' note: The following is an excerpt from the new work by Bob Avakian, THE NEW COMMUNISM. In addition to excerpts already posted on revcom.us, we will be running further excerpts from time to time on both revcom.us and in Revolution newspaper. These excerpts should serve as encouragement and inspiration for people to get into the work as a whole, which is available as a book from Insight Press. An updated pre-publication PDF of this major work—now including the appendices—is available here.

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

Forms of Revolutionary Organization, and the "Ohio"

Besides the Party, which is the most important form of organization of the masses, in relation to their fundamental need for a revolution whose ultimate aim is a communist world, there are other important forms of revolutionary organization. There are the Revolution Clubs, which is an important form of basic revolutionary organization of masses, particularly when they are new to the revolution. Now, again, if people come into this and stay in the same place, and kind of find a niche, a little resting place, for years and years, that’s a problem—that means we’re not doing what we need to do. Not everybody is going to advance forward. Some people are going to learn more about this and decide they don’t want to be part of it, because they don’t want to give their lives to this, even if they’re sympathetic. At the same time, many people should be moving forward. But, particularly for people who are newer, the Revolution Clubs embody a means for them to take part in the revolution in an organized way, while they are learning more about this.

There is an important role for this kind of organization in terms of “representing” for the revolution: boldly putting forward this revolution, being a “pole of attraction,” drawing growing numbers of people around and into the ranks of the revolution, and popularizing the leadership for this revolution (the Party and BA). And there is a role for the Revolution Clubs as what we might call a “conveyor belt” to the Party. Now, that may be sort of a crude metaphor, but what it speaks to is that the Revolution Clubs should provide a way for people to work through the contradictions they are confronting, as they are taking part, in an organized way, in the revolution, with many of them moving toward the Party and getting to the point where they want to, and should, become part of the Party and contribute to the revolution in that way, and on that level, which is yet a higher level than something like the Revolution Clubs.

So, here is a question about the Revolution Clubs: How does “solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core” apply to building the Revolution Clubs, with their two main slogans: “Humanity Needs Revolution and Communism” and “Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution”?

Now, in addition to the Revolution Clubs, we need to have a living and creative orientation toward the emergence or development of other forms of revolutionary organization among the masses. It’s not that the Revolution Clubs are unimportant—they are very important. But we shouldn’t have a stereotyped approach to things. In the course of the upheavals that are going to go on, and people rising up, and in the course of our working and struggling with people, they may suggest other forms of organization, or themselves work to bring into being other forms of organization, which are expressions of the same basic revolutionary line; and, as opposed to having a rigid approach to this—as if everything has to be just one way, and the development of new forms of revolutionary organization is somehow a problem—we should have an open and creative approach toward the development of different forms of revolutionary organization as things unfold, while continuing to recognize, and to give expression to, the importance of the Revolution Clubs. Here’s the important point: All this needs to be guided, in a fundamental sense, by the same overall line and the same strategic goal—in other words, the same solid core.

This brings me to what we call the “Ohio.” This is a metaphor that was developed by some of us who are football fans. Way back in the day, we watched the Ohio State marching band performing at halftime of football games. They had this script “Ohio” that they spelled out (and I see that they still do this): They start with the “O,” and individual members of the band are marching through as they form the “O”; then the ones who have been part of the “O” go on and start forming the “H”; and then they move on to form the “I”; and then the last “O.” Meanwhile, other people come in and take over the first “O”—and so on it goes. If you look at the script “Ohio” being spelled out, there are people at every point, in each of the letters, but it’s not all the same people in the same place. They’re moving through it. So we adopted this as a metaphor for the process that needs to go on, where things have, at any given time, an actual identity, while people are moving through them. In other words, a revolutionary movement at any given time has an identity, in the way this “Ohio” does, as people are moving through it, but it’s not always the same people remaining in the same place. People are supposed to be moving through it. (Otherwise, if the band did this script “Ohio,” and the first group of people didn’t move, you wouldn’t have the word “Ohio”—you’d just have one big mess.)

Now, it might seem somewhat silly to draw from things like a band performance at football games, but that just illustrates the principle that we can and should draw from all different parts of life. And this is actually a helpful metaphor: It gets at both the fact that there’s a need for, and an identity to, organized forms through which people can be part of and contribute to the revolution, while they are continuing to learn and are in motion, but also that this will turn into its opposite if, in an overall sense, people only go so far and then get stuck in the same place. The point is for many of them to be moving through this and advancing more and more along the path toward joining the Party; and work and struggle should be carried out with them, with that orientation and that objective in mind—helping them to advance to the point where they meet the criteria and standards for being in the Party, and on that basis join the Party and continue to develop, and to contribute, in the context of being in the Party.

Now, again, some people may come to more clearly understand what this is all about and say, “Well, I don’t wanna devote my life to that, I wanna fall back and do something else, or be supportive in a less involved and committed way.” OK, we should find the ways to work with people like that, to the degree that we can. But many people should be moving forward, even while this movement, and organized forms like the Revolution Clubs, have their identity.

The same basic principles apply to people who are in the Party. I referred earlier to the point that is emphasized in the Interview with Ardea Skybreak—that it’s no good if people are in the Party for years and decades and they stay on the same level. If you’ve been in the Party for a long time, and you’re still just on the same basic level as when you joined—doing the same thing you did years ago—something’s very wrong! Where’s the “Ohio” as applied to that? This is another principle and another contradiction that we have to grapple with.

 

Contents

Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

Materialism vs. Idealism
Dialectical Materialism
Through Which Mode of Production
The Basic Contradictions and Dynamics of Capitalism
The New Synthesis of Communism
The Basis for Revolution
Epistemology and Morality, Objective Truth and Relativist Nonsense
Self and a “Consumerist” Approach to Ideas
What Is Your Life Going to Be About?—Raising People’s Sights

Part II. Socialism and the Advance to Communism:
            A Radically Different Way the World Could Be, A Road to Real Emancipation

The “4 Alls”
Beyond the Narrow Horizon of Bourgeois Right
Socialism as an Economic System and a Political System—And a Transition to Communism
Internationalism
Abundance, Revolution, and the Advance to Communism—A Dialectical Materialist Understanding
The Importance of the “Parachute Point”—Even Now, and Even More With An Actual Revolution
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America
   Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core
Emancipators of Humanity

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

One Overall Strategic Approach
Hastening While Awaiting
Forces For Revolution
Separation of the Communist Movement from the Labor Movement, Driving Forces for Revolution
National Liberation and Proletarian Revolution
The Strategic Importance of the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women
The United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat
Youth, Students and the Intelligentsia
Struggling Against Petit Bourgeois Modes of Thinking, While Maintaining the Correct Strategic Orientation
The “Two Maximizings”
The “5 Stops”
The Two Mainstays
Returning to "On the Possibility of Revolution"
Internationalism—Revolutionary Defeatism
Internationalism and an International Dimension
Internationalism—Bringing Forward Another Way
Popularizing the Strategy
Fundamental Orientation

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

The Decisive Role of Leadership
A Leading Core of Intellectuals—and the Contradictions Bound Up with This
Another Kind of “Pyramid”
The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP
The Need for Communists to Be Communists
A Fundamentally Antagonistic Relation—and the Crucial Implications of That
Strengthening the Party—Qualitatively as well as Quantitatively
Forms of Revolutionary Organization, and the “Ohio”
Statesmen, and Strategic Commanders
Methods of Leadership, the Science and the “Art” of Leadership
Working Back from “On the Possibility”—
   Another Application of “Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core”

Appendix 1:
The New Synthesis of Communism:
Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach,
and Core Elements—An Outline
by Bob Avakian

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion

Notes

Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/502/what-this-world-needs-right-now-genuine-communists-followers-of-ba-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

“What does this world right now need more than anything? COMMUNISTS! Genuine communists that are followers of Bob Avakian!”

August 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Reading the excerpt, it made me think back to a discussion I had with some comrades, members of the Revolution Club. We were talking about how big the world is, and how people’s outlooks make them feel like just everything in front of them is all that matters. One person from the Revolution Club, talked about this video, Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. She pulled it up on her phone and played it for us. THAT BLEW MY MIND!

In the video it makes the point that one person is very small compared to the world, and even more so, the universe. When I was younger I was scared to think of the planet being so big, and I refused to think of the universe, because it was so big and scary. Back then, to me, the definition of what was beyond the sky, was god and heaven. But now thinking about all of this is actually very liberating, and thinking back to the video, it paints a picture and makes the point that people tend to see the problems that are right in front of them and thinking so narrowly. That’s exactly how I used to think. It was hard to even picture anything beyond my neighborhood anything that was right in front of me. I have a really small family, so I only thought of them and of my closest friends. When I would watch the news, I remember feeling helpless, seeing all these horrible things happening in my own neighborhood and not being able to do anything about it. I cared, but I always acted as if I didn’t.

I think back to that period in my life and can’t help but think about the millions, who are told over and over, that they can’t do shit! That feel the exact helplessness I felt when I watched the pigs stopping people in the neighborhood. When I heard about women being abused and beaten by their partners! I felt outraged and helpless! I HATE THAT FEELING! Up to this day I still hate that feeling. In a way it was very liberating to know THERE IS SOMETHING THAT WE CAN AND MUST DO! But by itself, it’s useless! What I mean by that is the feeling itself isn’t going to solve anything, it required me to get scientific about understanding the world and how to work to change it and getting to work on that. I never want to feel that helplessness again! Not that I wanna feel “saved” or like some “savior” but there is a fucking answer to this shit—understanding where it comes from and how to stop it! Knowing and understanding that there is a whole different way the world can be! Seeing the potential of others, the same way that the revolutionaries saw the potential in me and fought for me to dedicate myself to this! Not by shaming me but by actually helping me through the process of understanding some very difficult shit.

I am a high school dropout. When I first came around, I didn’t understand half of what the revolutionaries talked about. I always thought: “I will just do the street work and the protests and let other people tell me what to do.” There was a lot of struggle around that, which now I see very clearly. I would think, “Just let it go and let me continue to help on the side.” When we would get into theory, I would get frustrated. I got to the point of calling myself stupid and actually thought I was unable to learn this very complex work. Today, I know that’s a bunch of crap! I was giving up without trying my hardest, because my whole life I was told I was stupid and wasn’t gonna make it to shit! And I believed it so much, I ended up telling myself that.

Once I understood why it mattered to get into the science, I did. All bullshit aside, I asked all the questions that were coming through my mind, I put myself to get into Bob Avakian’s work, and not in a “personal responsibility” type of way, but I actually thought about this question: What does this world right now need more than anything? COMMUNISTS! Genuine communists that are followers of Bob Avakian! Because I knew it mattered, we don’t need more social workers, telling us that everything will be okay and they will help us. What is needed is people who are taking up this New Synthesis of Communism, applying the method, understanding the world, and leading people to themselves break out of these fucked up ways the system got us in, to become communists. How are we going to make revolution if just a few people do the work in the realm of theory while others blindly follow? Because that’s what it would have come down to. And objectively, how are we going to deal with contradictions we face in making revolution, if only a few are dealing with it? It’s impossible! We are never going to make revolution that way, or run a different society that way!

I always think about this point: What is it going to take for people to really appreciate and “form a wall” around BA, really able to protect and defend his ability to keep leading in the face of repression and attacks? It’s going to take people digging into and engaging with the New Synthesis of Communism. I’m saying that to say we don’t want blind followers, we want and need conscious emancipators of humanity. And that’s what I am and have dedicated my life to.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/502/response-to-prisoners-letter-in-chicago-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Response on the Streets of Chicago to Prisoner's Letter

“Damn, that touched my heart”

August 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Revolution Club in Chicago has been using a prisoner’s letter that was posted on revcom.us recently. (From a prisoner to the Brothers and Sisters of the Street Organizations of America: “I read The BAsics… It’s time for us to focus that fearlessness towards a BETTER WORLD”) We’ve been struggling with people to get out of fighting and killing each other and get with the movement for revolution and into BA. This letter is coming from someone who was caught up in that same madness and speaks directly to people who are still caught all up in it.

We decided that we had to make good use of this letter so we made posters and very deliberately put them up on poles right where some of these youth hang out. We’ve also gone right up to these youth and some older cats to challenge them with what’s in this letter. Just about everybody we’ve used it on in one-on-one discussions has been locked up themselves and are, or have been, part of “the life.”  There have been different responses worth recounting but rather than go on and on doing that, I’d like people to know about one young guy’s reaction.

We walked up to a group of youth who like others in this neighborhood are semi-friendly because they know the police don’t like us and we don’t like the police but at the same time don’t want to seriously engage us when we tell them to get out of the shit they’re caught up in and into the Revolution Club. They all scattered when we tried getting them to engage some BAsics quotes but one of them stayed to tell us how he sees things and how we can’t actually change nothing. We kept trying to get him to be serious but he was all over the place. At one point we took one of the posters of the prisoner’s letter that we had in our hands and told him, “Man, check this out. This is from a prisoner doing life who was caught up in all the same shit.” One of us just started reading the letter and even had to stop him from interrupting at one point where he wanted to talk about how the prison conditions in Illinois are worse than Texas: “Look, man, the point of this letter isn’t to talk about prison conditions or where the worst dungeons are. Just listen to the rest of it, it’s important.” We read the whole thing and by the end of it his whole attitude had changed; he said, “Damn, that touched my heart” and he started calling out to his friends, “Ay, y’all gotta see this, this is from a prisoner doing life.” He asked if he could have one and if we could give him some tape. He walked up to a wall on a corridor leading into some apartment building where many of these youth hang out while continuing to call on his friends to come check this letter out. He said, “Y’all gotta see this, he just pours his heart out here. On my brother, he speaking some real shit. Y’all gotta come over and read this.” He seemed a little dejected by the fact that he wasn’t getting any response from the friends he was calling over and just kept putting more and more tape on the letter to make sure it wouldn’t fall off the wall. We asked him, what had touched him about the letter and he said, “What he saying about us doing what they want us to do, we destroying each other and being our own worst enemy… how they just killing us off and we’re helping them do it… We might as well put the gun in our own mouths.” We told him that this prisoner is also telling him to fight for something different and he’s telling him to get with the revolution and get into BA. We held up BAsics and told him, “This is the book he’s talking about, this is what you got to get into. This system is what has us all fucked up but it don’t have to be this way, we could make a revolution that will get rid of all this shit but you got to get out of that and you gotta get into this.” He nodded his head and when before we couldn’t get him to stop talking and listen, now we couldn’t get him speak. He walked away without answering and we just called out to him telling him that he was going to have to decide what his life was going to be about, he just looked back and nodded but kept walking.

We didn’t recruit this youth into the Revolution Club on this day but this letter clearly had an impact on him and we want to highlight the importance of prisoners who are getting into BA writing to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) and addressing their letters directly to these youth. You are making an important contribution and so are the people who are donating to the PRLF and helping sustain Revolution newspaper. This isn’t just about hoping that the Revolution Club does a good job in Chicago; everybody who sees the urgent need to get these youth to stop killing each other and become gravediggers of this system and emancipators of humanity has a role to play.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/501/letter-from-prisoner-to-the-brothers-and-sisters-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

From a prisoner to the Brothers and Sisters of the Street Organizations of America

“I read The BAsics...It's time for us to focus that fearlessness towards a BETTER WORLD”

July 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

It has been awhile on my part, but The Struggle hasn’t stopped! I am a “Lifer” with 16½ years done on the rest of my life. It seems since Trump manipulated his way into the highest political position of the United States government, my time (life) has got harder! Now (supposedly) I reside on the worst prison in the State of Texas (XXX) and currently we are on Lockdown. Due to an African-American prisoner killing a Hispanic prisoner, so tensions are very high. So, The Administration decided to lockdown and shakedown at the same time. Well, the Captain supervising the guards that were searching my property decided that I had too much property, even though all my property could fit in my locker box. Well, they took all the reading material that you all (Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund, PRLF) had sent over the years.

Now I been working as a Janitor in the Kitchen for 17 months, but the Admin. took my job, because I am a Confirmed Gang Member. Am I a Confirmed Gang Member? Yes, I am and been on file since 2001. Now, I haven’t had a disciplinary write-up in 3 years, and I am at the highest level (S3-G2) that I can go.

I would like to speak to my Brothers and Sisters of the numerous Street Organizations of America. VIOLENCE IS A FERRIS WHEEL OF HORROR! Violence begets (causes) violence. It never stops! We must stop it! I’ve been a member of the YY since I was 11 years old; I am now 44 years old. For most of my life, revenge and retaliation has been my meat and potatoes. Has been my sole reason for opening my eyes daily. Then one day I woke up tired (emotionally) sitting in Administration Segregation, looking at the rest of my life incarcerated. I knew the system (America) was broken, but didn’t have one clue on how to fix it, or change my mindset for the better. Then my next door neighbor introduced me to BA, and as I read BAsics, a whole new world—a world different than the one I was taught/brainwashed by my school teachers—became known to me.

Brothers & Sisters, WE ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKON WITH, and right now we are doing exactly what the powers that be want us to do. Destroying each other, they’ve been on this “divide and conquer shit” for centuries! Right now, we are their allies, and our own worst enemy! I was borne into this broken ass system, just as we all was. And we was, also, programmed to believe that this is the way it is suppose to be. But, Mr Bob Avakian has shown me that I’ve been lied to my entire life. Like Bob Avakian said in his book—BAsics: “If you want to know about, and work toward, a different world—and if you want to stand up and fight back against what’s being done to people—this is where you go. You go to this Party, you take up this Party’s newspaper, you get into this Party’s leader and what he’s bringing forward.” (BAsics 3:34). What more needs to be said?!?

Brothers and Sisters, I know you all are frustrated, tired, and mad as a muthafucker! Trust me when I say, BA is the answer to our problems with this country! Believe me or not, the powers that be wants us killing each other off. And the ones that survives, they will send their cops to lock the rest up, or finish y’all off! They are slowly, but surely, “MOWING” us down, and we are helping them do it! We might as well put the gun in our own mouths!!!

Brothers and Sisters, we have shed blood, sweat, and tears, plus put in so much “work” for Our Nations, Families, Hoods, and Sets. It’s time for us to focus that energy, that fearlessness towards a BETTER WORLD! All of us have proven over and over, we are willing to STAND TALL for what we believe in! Isn’t a better world for us and our children worth believing in?

DEFINITELY IN THE STRUGGLE,

P.S. Regardless of my daily struggles, I shall always strive in The Struggle.

 

We greatly appreciate receiving these letters from prisoners and encourage prisoners to keep sending us correspondence. The views expressed by the writers of these letters are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere in our paper.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/503/james-damores-anti-diversity-memo-at-google-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Setting Some Shit Straight About James Damore's Anti-Diversity Memo At Google

by Sunsara Taylor

August 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Recently, software engineer James Damore was fired by Google after he circulated a ten-page memo assailing attempts to promote greater gender and racial diversity within the company. Damore argues in his memo that women are biologically more likely to be "neurotic" and less capable of handling stress, that Google's diversity programs discriminate against men, and that "conservatives" are subject to a "psychologically unsafe environment" because they can't openly express these bogus and harmful ideas about women. Outrage at Damore's firing immediately spread across the many platforms of fascist "alt-right" and "men's rights" groups. They are screeching that Damore is being discriminated against by a "politically correct tyranny." This is not only wrong, it is dangerous. It dovetails with a larger fascist assault that is being spearheaded from the very top, by the Trump/Pence regime, to Make America White Again and put women "back in their place." For this reason, it is necessary to set the record straight on a number of things.

1. Oppression—NOT Biology—Accounts for the Lack of Women in Tech and Other Male-Dominated Spheres.

Google—like most of the tech industry—is overwhelmingly dominated by men. As of 2016, only 19 percent of Google's technical roles were held by women, only two percent of its employees as a whole were Black, and only three percent were Hispanic. Damore argues that "biological causes ... may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership" and insists that, "on average, men and women biologically differ in many ways."

This is WRONG. There is no meaningful biological difference between the brains of women and men. In her book, The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism, Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters, Ardea Skybreak details how one of the most defining things about human beings is the profound elasticity of our brains. Human infants are born in a much more undeveloped, dependent, and immature state than other hominids1 and our brains develop much more slowly over a more extended period of our lives. This means that we are even more shaped by our environment and learning than by "hardwiring," including any alleged differences stemming from our sex. Many other scientists, including Cordelia Fine, author of Delusions of Gender, have exposed the biases and faulty methods of those who claim to have "proven" that men and women "think differently."

There are, however, very real and very pervasive social factors which explain the lack of women in tech and other male-dominated industries. Report after report has revealed the tremendous discrimination against women and the widespread culture of sexual harassment of women within Silicon Valley. This comes on top of a whole society and culture that burdens women disproportionately with caring for children, shames women if they do not devote themselves to their children before all else, reduces women to sex objects, promotes a culture of rape and unpunished sexual assault, and systematically discourages women and girls from pursuing education and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

2. Conservatives Are NOT "Victims" and They Do NOT Need to Be "Empowered."

Damore argues that "conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility," and argues that, "We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves." In other words, Damore is whining because it has become socially unacceptable in some circles to openly argue for anti-scientific and highly oppressive views towards women, Black people, and other minority nationalities.

  

First, to the degree that there is any truth to this, it is a very good thing. There is NOTHING defensible about promoting junk "science" that justifies brutal oppression. This toxic garbage is provably untrue, profoundly harmful, and absolutely should be shut up and shut down!

Second, it is hardly the case that "conservatives" are being silenced and marginalized. In fact, the opposite is true. An openly misogynistic, white nationalist, bellicose America-First FASCIST is now in the White House and white supremacists, woman-haters, Christian fascists, and bigots of every stripe have been let out of the basement. At every point, the Trump/Pence fascist regime portrays itself as the "victim" and whips up and unleashes the pent-up resentment among white people and men at ever having had to tolerate any advances of women and people of color. All while unleashing the violence of the state and of the mob against these very groups. This is the context in which fascists—including major outlets with close links to the president, like Breitbart—have latched onto and taken up the cause of Damore and his memo.

3. Damore Bashes Communism, You Should Look into It Anew.

Throughout his memo, Damore plays on the classic anti-communist trope of tyrannical leftists whose utopian vision of equality denies human nature and so can only be imposed by bludgeoning innocents. He makes the connection explicit in a footnote: "Communism promised to be both morally and economically superior to capitalism, but every attempt became morally corrupt and an economic failure. As it became clear that the working class of the liberal democracies wasn't going to overthrow their 'capitalist oppressors,' the Marxist intellectuals transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politics. The core oppressor-oppressed dynamics remained, but now the oppressor is the 'white, straight, cis-gendered patriarchy.'"

First, communism has "promised" to be "morally and economically superior to capitalism" for very good reason! The world dominated by capitalism-imperialism is a world in which MILLIONS of children around the world die each year from preventable disease! Capitalism-imperialism has produced Donald Trump and the Christian fascist Mike Pence with their threats of nuclear annihilation and toxic cocktail of bigotry of every kind. In contrast, communism, where it has been genuinely applied—in the Soviet Union from 1917 to the mid-1950s and then in China under Mao from 1949 until 1976 when capitalism was restored—made unprecedented strides in overcoming hunger and exploitation, in liberating women and oppressed nationalities, in freeing the spirit from its cell. Today, the "core oppressor-oppressed dynamics" remain NOT because Marxists intellectuals got frustrated but because capitalism remains in power and is ravaging the people worldwide.

All this underscores the need for an actual revolution, for genuine communism. And it is a very good thing that today there is a new communism—a further synthesis and development of the science, the strategy, and the leadership for an actual revolution and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation. The architect of this new communism is Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party. His new communism builds on the strengths of—and ruptures with unscientific aspects of—communism as it previously existed, and draws from broader human experience. Everyone who doesn't want to live in a world that, decades after people fought and died for the liberation of women, Black people, Latinos, LGBTQ, and others is still marked by deep oppression, and now by a fascist regime violently slamming people even further back, needs to look into this new communism with an open mind. Two great places to start are BA's latest book, THE NEW COMMUNISM, and SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, an Interview with Ardea Skybreak.

~~~~~~~~~~

As you get into that, take very seriously the revengist fascist movement being given voice in Damore's memo and in the fascists who see in him a champion and see in Trump/Pence the future they want. They are on the march and there is no one but us, the people, who can stop them. RefuseFascism.org has outlined a plan to bring forward the millions who do not want to live in the Trump/Pence fascist future to take to the streets and drive them from power. It begins November 4th. Start organizing now


1. Hominids refers to the line of species which diverged from our ape ancestors roughly five million years ago and which includes all the species that are more closely related to humans than to chimpanzees. [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/500/skybreak-why-is-it-so-important-and-what-does-it-mean-to-get-into-ba-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

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

Why Is It So Important, and What Does It Mean, to Get Into BA?

July 17, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

Q: OK, picking up on your point that there’s a role and a need for everybody who finds the state of the world intolerable, to get with this movement for revolution—with that point in mind, and picking up on the point that you just made, I wanted to ask you to speak directly to people with different levels of familiarity with BA, whether they’re just finding out about him or whether they’ve been familiar with his work for a while. And the question I wanted you to speak to is, basically what it means on different levels for people to get into BA and get with his leadership? Why is this so important?

AS: Look, in a lot of ways, it’s pretty straightforward. Whatever kind of background you come from, whatever your position in society today, if you’re the kind of person who feels that there are a lot of things that are really messed up about the way the world is, the way society is; if you’re completely outraged and unwilling to tolerate for a minute longer a lot of the more outrageous abuses and injustices of the society—and there’s no shortage of these that different people become aware of—then follow your conscience, first of all. Follow your conscience and follow your convictions, and follow the trail to see what does BA say, given that we’re saying, look, this guy’s been doing decades of work, analyzing why these problems keep happening, what they are rooted in, what’s the fundamental reason these terrible things keep happening in this society, what could be done about it.

So, “get into BA” means, first of all, don’t stand aloof when you see these great injustices and this great suffering of the people from various directions. Get involved. Get involved in fighting and exposing these abuses, in joining with others, get organized to fight these abuses, to expose these outrages, to make it clear you’re not tolerating them. And, as you become part of this movement, this movement for revolution, this movement to fight the power, to transform your own thinking and the thinking of your friends and family, and others, on some of the key questions of the day, as you get more involved in that, at the same time as you’re doing that, go deeper. Go deeper. Be like a good scientist. Get into BA, because by getting into BA you are going to learn a lot about the deeper source of the problems and what the actual solutions are, or are not, and what can be done about these problems.

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

A good place to start, if you’re new to things, besides something like the Dialogue, I would highly recommend that people watch, and watch with their friends and families, and so on, the film Revolution—Nothing Less! It’s six hours of BA talking, analyzing the deeper sources of the problem in society and the solution. There’s also an earlier film, Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About, that is also full of very helpful material which gets very clearly into why a revolution is necessary and why it is possible, even in a country like the U.S., and what kind of revolution should we have, what kind of society should we bring into being. And you can get a copy of BAsics and just start reading it anywhere you want, read some of the quotes and the short essays that are in there that give a feel for some of the range and the depth of analysis on some of these questions, and why this system cannot just be fixed with a few tweaks, why it can’t just be reformed.

One of the most important things that it means to get into BA is to get into the deeper analysis and exposition of precisely why you cannot reform this system, and why capitalist imperialism as a system needs to be completely dismantled through a revolution, an actual revolution, and replaced with a new society built on a completely different economic and political foundation and, correspondingly, very different social values and ways people can relate to each other and function in society.

So, getting into BA—well, there’s not just one way to get into BA. There are many different ways. If you’re new to things, I would recommend the Dialogue, BAsics, Revolution—Nothing Less! I would recommend going regularly, at least once a week, to the revcom.us website and exploring not only Revolution newspaper on a regular basis, but also going to the other portals on the website: the portal that has BA’s works, and talks about the new synthesis; the portal that talks about the Party he leads, why there’s a need for a revolutionary party and what that involves and why people should be talking about joining this revolutionary party; and the portal that talks about what’s going on in the movement for revolution and these different initiatives to fight mass incarceration and police murders and brutality, and to combat the restrictions on abortion and combat the degradation of women through pornography and rape culture and in other ways, and the fights around the environmental degradation and against these imperialist wars, and so on. There are a lot of practical things, practical initiatives, that people can get into, and people can get involved in one, or more than one, of these initiatives. But getting into BA means, at whatever level and wherever you start, trying to really get into what is he saying about why you can’t fix things just one thing at a time, and why you can’t fix things by trying to reform this system. And it means getting into what is the relationship between fighting particular abuses and outrages today, and being able to get to the point where you’re in a position to have an actual full-out revolution to dismantle the existing system and reconfigure the society on a completely different foundation.

There is something that has been on the revcom.us website recently which gives a short definition. It’s called “What IS An Actual Revolution?” I’m just going to read it here:

An actual revolution is a lot more than a protest. An actual revolution requires that millions of people get involved, in an organized way, in a determined fight to dismantle this state apparatus and system and replace it with a completely different state apparatus and system, a whole different way of organizing society, with completely different objectives and ways of life for the people.

“With completely different objectives and ways of life for the people.” I just want to stay on that for a second. That’s a very important thing, how a society is organized. What does the system that governs the society—what is it aiming to do? Under capitalism-imperialism, it seeks to meet the needs of the capitalist-imperialists, in terms of being able to develop and sustain their empire, increase their profits, compete successfully with other capitalist-imperialists. It has very little to do with meeting the needs of the people, either the basic requirements of life or these more intangible things like art and culture and science. It is geared to meeting the needs of the capitalists, the imperialists. The whole state apparatus, the police and the armed forces, and so on, these are state institutions that are geared to buttressing, supporting and strengthening this system and its objectives, its goals.

And a real revolution is a process which actually involves getting to the point where you can fight—where millions of people can be involved in fighting—to dismantle, to break down and completely break apart the existing institutions of the system, and replace them with completely new institutions and new organs of power, and new ways of setting up the economy, and all the things that flow from that, including all sorts of ways that the people relate to each other, and all the ideas that flow from that. It’s a radical transformation in everything, from the way people live, to the way people relate to each other, to the way people dream and aspire to things—all of this undergoes a real sea change when you have an actual revolution.

And if you get into BA, this is what you should be looking for—you should be looking for his method and approach, his analysis of why things are the way they are. Why do police keep murdering unarmed Black and Brown people in this society? Why is this continuing what has been in existence since the days of slavery and Jim Crow? The “lynching culture” is now the “police murder of people culture”—it is an extension of the same thing. BA does a very deep and insightful analysis of the whole history of this and of how this is so woven into the fabric of this system that you can’t just wish it away, and you can’t even protest it away. You should protest, you should have strong fights against this, organize with other people, like the movement that’s been developing since Ferguson, a movement which started around Trayvon Martin and then built up around Mike Brown and Eric Garner, with people coming forward all over the country in different cities, and in cities around the world, to denounce this kind of thing. It is extremely important not only to continue this, but to actually expand it and have it grow and be stronger. It is part of organizing the people and strengthening the people.

And the same can be said around a number of other key concentrations of social contradictions, these key outrages in society, these contradictions that this system cannot fix. They cannot fix the oppression of Black people, of Brown people. They cannot fix the way immigrants get blocked from borders or turned away or tormented or denounced as “illegals,” as if any human being were ever an “illegal” human being. It cannot fix the way women are degraded and treated as less than full human beings in this country and all around the world. It cannot fix the environment in any sustained fundamental way—not as long as we live under a system that is driven by a constant search, and a fierce competition, for profits, not as long as those are the rules of the system running things. The rules of the game for capitalism-imperialism are that capitalists are constantly competing with other capitalist-imperialists around the world to divide the world, and for plunder and pillage, and to increase their profits; and if you don’t play that game, and beat out others, you go under. So even if an individual capitalist wanted to have a more enlightened position, they can’t really do anything about it. The system is set up to meet the needs of that system, not the needs of the people.

So when you get into BA, you should be reading and listening and checking out all the different things that intrigue you and interest you, and talking to other people about it. You don’t have to agree with everything, just check it out, do some work. Get together with people, read things, listen to things, watch films, discuss things, and develop your own understanding, at the same time that you’re out there fighting and denouncing and exposing the injustices of everyday life as they’re going on right now, which BA is definitely encouraging people to do. At the same time that you’re doing that, keep going deeper, so that you really start to understand why these terrible outrageous abuses are built into the fabric of this system, and you can push back for a while, but ultimately you cannot totally get rid of these abuses until you get rid of the system itself and replace it with a completely new system. BA makes very, very deep and insightful analyses of all of that: why you need a revolution; what is the possibility for a revolution; what is the basis—on what basis, even in a powerful imperialist country like the United States, with all its military and stuff, is it actually possible; and, if you succeed in seizing power, then how do you build a society that was worth fighting for, that you’d want to live in, as opposed to yet another bad system. All of that is in BA’s works.

In that statement I was reading about “What IS an Actual Revolution?” it gets into the link between fighting the power today and building for an actual revolution. It says, “Fighting the power today has to help build and develop and organize the fight for the whole thing.” “The fight for the whole thing”—if you don’t get into BA, you’re going to be missing a lot about how to link all these different things together and understand their root causes, which are deeply built into the fabric of the system, and you won’t know how to fight for the whole thing. And you have to fight for the whole thing in order to have an actual revolution. And this statement ends, “Otherwise we’ll be protesting the same abuses generations from now!” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that, three generations hence...people have made that point about Emmett Till, that people protested what happened to Emmett Till, the lynching of Emmett Till way back in the 1950s, and here we are protesting what happened to Eric Garner, to Mike Brown, to Oscar Grant, to Ramarley Graham, to Amadou Diallo, to Trayvon Martin, to Tamir Rice...the list goes on and on and on... Right? How long are we going to be doing the same thing?

So, yes, first of all, we should definitely be protesting, but we also need to go deeper and be more scientific and more organized and more unified, and we need to get smarter, frankly, about how we take on these things. Bob Avakian has developed a whole strategy for the whole revolutionary process—not just for one corner of it, but for all the different components of it—in this country, in a country like the U.S., as well as having some very important insights for the development of revolution in other countries, including other types of countries, like Third World countries that are under the domination of imperialism, where it is necessary to work in somewhat different ways for an actual revolution.

So all that is some of what it means to get into BA. You know, just do the work. Go to the revcom.us website. Get BAsics. Get Revolution—Nothing Less! Watch the Dialogue. Read BA’s memoir, From Ike to Mao and Beyond. Listen to some of the cultural things. Listen to “All Played Out.” Play the “Borderline” song on the Outernational album. Watch and listen to these things with other people. There are many, many different angles and many different ways to get into this. Look, BA has spent a lifetime, he’s spent decades developing all of this work. You’re not going to be able to catch up, you’re not going to be able to “get it all,” in a few weeks or a few months or even a few years. But make a start, and then follow it up. Ask questions if things aren’t clear enough. Struggle with other people about their misconceptions. Go to your friends and family and talk to them about what you’re learning. And, by the way, expect to be mocked, ridiculed, criticized, to be told you don’t know what you’re talking about! Expect push back, OK? But don’t give up when that happens. Do the best you can in answering things, on the basis of what you’ve been learning, but when you run into things that you don’t understand well enough, go back to BA, go back to his materials, dig in a little deeper, talk to other people who know more about this, ask them for help, so that you can keep spreading this among the people.

The idea is that, if you had hundreds more, thousands more, tens of thousands more, discussing, debating what BA has been bringing forward, what he’s arguing for, his analysis, what he says the nature of the problem is, and what the nature of the solution is, then it’s not that everybody would immediately agree, but we’d all be so much better off—if everybody were having that kind of discussion, instead of just sort of turning their backs on the problems of society and the problems of the people and just cultivating their own little “self,” or maybe actually trying to fight some of these abuses but in a way that is sort of like being stuck in a narrow little cubicle, where you’re just taking on one issue, or one corner of one issue, but you’re not seeing the bigger patterns, and you’re not linking them up to the other egregious outrages in society, and you’re not understanding that there is actually a strategy to get out of this mess once and for all. There is a strategy. This is why you should get into BA, and this is how to make a start.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/away-with-pence-the-trump-pence-regime-must-be-stopped-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

This statement was received from the Grupo Comunista Revolucionario de Colombia. The translation is the responsibility of Revolution/revcom.us.

AWAY WITH PENCE! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Be Stopped!

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will be in Colombia this August 13 and 14 as part of a tour that includes Argentina, Chile and Panama.

Officially, Pence will hold meetings with government leaders and businessmen to “deepen bilateral ties of trade and investment in the region” and “continue support ... for cooperation in security, business involvement, agriculture, and infrastructure development.”

What Pence really comes to do is to get his lackeys lined up, in what they contemptuously have considered their “backyard,” in the service of their imperialist interests (what they call “ties” and “support”), but especially around the “regime change” plans in Venezuela.

In advance, a few weeks ago the presidents of Mexico and Colombia were visited by the director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, “helping them to understand things” in the “transition” in Venezuela, as he himself pointed out at a recent forum in Aspen, Colorado.

This is not insignificant. The Christian fundamentalist Mike Pence and rabid fascist Donald Trump command the most powerful machinery of domination in the world along with a whole team of white supremacists, xenophobes, fundamentalists, and women-haters.

The Trump/Pence regime, in addition to being a grave danger to immigrants, Latinos and Muslims, to Black people and to women in the United States and beyond, also represents a grave danger to the entire planet and a grave danger to the truth and critical and scientific thinking everywhere.

While Trump functions as the leader and frontman of a whole regime, Pence has been the mainstay and main agent behind the scenes. A Catholic converted to evangelism, he is “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” in his own words. He makes no effort to hide his adherence to what he considers to be traditional family values nor his hostility towards abortion and marriage between same-sex couples. He believes that homosexuality is a disease that can be “cured.”

A total reactionary in everything. To put it bluntly, Pence is the Christian version of the Taliban in Afghanistan, imposing a fundamentalist religious order. They picked him to get the party’s elite, the evangelicals and the ultraconservatives, to swallow what the toad Trump represents, because they distrust him because in the past he supported Democrats, he was open on issues like abortion and he’s weighed down with too many scandals. Pence brings to Trump his conservative credentials and a key political experience to rely on in the Congress.

But what do the Yankee imperialists want to build up around here [in Colombia]? In a large swath of the world, Yankee imperialism is tied down in wars for empire, locked in clashes with the historically antiquated forces of Islamic jihadism, while mutually reinforcing one another in a deadly and oppressive dynamic for hundreds of millions of people.

The United States also confronts challenges from China as a rising economic and military power, and an inter-imperialist rivalry with Russia and Europe.

Although in Latin America the “pink wave” of the so-called “socialism of the twenty-first century” has been going backwards with the return of the old patriarchs in Brazil and Argentina and the destorcida [rudderlessness] begun in Ecuador, it is crucial for the Yankees to have completely under their control their so-called “backyard.” Hence the United States and the traditional ruling classes of the region avidly want to give the coup de grace to the Venezuelan Chavista regime.

Today Venezuela is in a deep economic crisis. And the government is carrying out harsh repression. Among progressive people there is a lot of confusion about how to evaluate these events. Some are inclined to support the Venezuelan government.

But the “Bolivarian revolution” was NOT a real revolution. In spite of the improvements during good times in the situation of sections of the people, this current regime is not socialist nor does it represent a model for liberation, it represents some bourgeois nationalist forces.

However, neither the United States nor Colombia has any right to interfere in the affairs of Venezuela.

The Yankee imperialists must be stopped from getting their way in Venezuela as well as in the rest of the world, including in the United States. The future of the world is at stake. We must support the forces in the United States who are organizing to stop the Trump/Pence fascist regime, especially the revolutionary communists there.

It is true that the possibility of driving Trump/Pence out of power is very difficult, but there also exists a real material basis for stopping this fascist regime. There is no guarantee that this will happen, but there is a guarantee that without struggle, this will not be achieved.

This is not something that only matters to the people in the United States. There needs to be global resistance to a global threat.

We are faced with a vital question: Which side do we take? Let’s take sides for humanity and act accordingly!

The Trump/Pence FASCIST regime is a grave danger to humanity and must be stopped! GET OUT OF HERE, YANKEES! YANKEE GO HOME!

Grupo Comunista Revolucionario de Colombia | August 2017

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/ms-interview-with-film-director-civia-tamarkin-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Michael Slate Interview with Film Director Civia Tamarkin

The Attacks on Abortion and a Real-Life “Handmaid’s Tale”

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following are excerpts from a July 28, 2017 interview on The Michael Slate Show on KPFK radio, with film director Civia Tamarkin, whose new film, Birthright: A War Story, has just been released. The website for the film (birthrightfilm.com) describes it as “A feature length documentary that examines how women are being jailed, physically violated and even put at risk of dying as a radical movement tightens its grip across America. The film tells the story of women who have become collateral damage in the aggressive campaign to take control of reproductive health care and to allow states, courts and religious doctrine to govern whether, when and how women will bear children....”

The Michael Slate Show airs every week at 10 am Pacific Time on KPFK, 90.7 FM, a Pacifica Network station in Los Angeles. The show can also be streamed live and people can listen to or download archived shows.

Revolution/revcom.us features interviews from The Michael Slate Show to acquaint our readers with the views of significant figures in art, theater, music and literature, science, sports, and politics. The views expressed by those interviewed are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere by Revolution/revcom.us.

*****

Michael Slate: What compelled you to make this film?

Civia Tamarkin: Well, I’ve always been interested in criminal justice issues, social justice issues. I covered wrongful convictions. I covered child abuse cases, child trafficking cases, so, in terms of individual rights and abuses it is not that different from the types of things I have covered. But what compelled me to do this was the Hobby Lobby decision in June of 2014, when the Supreme Court ruled that an individual employer could deny access to contraceptive coverage on employee health care insurance because of the owner’s personal religious beliefs. That decision shocked me. I’m a ’60s person. I was one of the hundreds of thousands of women who took to the streets in the late ’60s, early ’70s, to make sure that we had our privacy rights protected and was elated with the passage of Roe v. Wade. So, like so many other people, I had assumed that this was a given right and that it was no longer really an issue that had to be of primary concern. When I saw that contraception had suddenly become a type of “abortifacient,” as the opponents call it, that contraception was being aligned with abortion, I was just dumbfounded. I could not understand how this happened. I could not understand this encroachment on women’s privacy, bodily autonomy. So, I set out to understand how we had reached the point of such erosion of individual rights; that became the catalyst.

Michael Slate: It’s like, you’re watching all of these women and all of their horrible experiences and what they’re talking about, and it has you enraged and it has you teared up. You come out of it with a fairly deep and pressing understanding that there’s something really wrong there. Talk about the title of the film, especially the second part, A War Story.

Civia Tamarkin: I think that from the moment the Roe v. Wade decision came down there was a declaration of war on the part of the opposition and there has been for the past 40-plus years an insidious erosion of all these rights and it has been a battle strategy, on both sides. We’ll call it a “war.” The decision has been embattled from the outset, and very cleverly, very strategically, the opposition began to map out a plan. They infiltrated the Republican Party. They formed alliances. They formed agreements in many cases, strange bedfellow pacts, if you will. I mean, it is quite unusual to see the religious right courting Donald Trump. But, nevertheless, they strategized toward their objective. They groomed a youth corps of foot soldiers. From the outset there was a plan of erosion, of invasion. There’s no question that it is a war. It has been a declaration of war and they are convinced that they are certainly winning.

Michael Slate: One thing that really grabbed me was how even the process of making the film illustrated the point that this is a war story. What did it take to make this film?

Civia Tamarkin: It was very difficult to get people to go on camera because there has been such fear. On the part of women there has been such stigmatization of abortion, even in many cases of contraception, depending on their religious community. But, what is very clear is, starting in the late ’70s going to the ’80s, this has been a domestic terrorist attack. We’ve had physician providers murdered. We’ve had clinic bombings. We have had death threats. They’re continuing. In fact, I had read a recent report that since Donald Trump took office seven months ago, the attacks and threats have increased exponentially. So, it was very difficult to get women who have been victimized on camera because they’re embarrassed and afraid of repercussions within their community, but more significantly, it was difficult to get providers and clinicians to go on camera because they were afraid of being ostracized. They were afraid that it might harm their professional affiliations with hospitals, professional affiliations within their community. So, that was very, very much a challenge because so many people feel beleaguered.

Michael Slate: There’s a couple places in the film and in some of the things you’ve written about it, that compare the battle for abortion rights to the Civil War. And there are also references to the TV show and book, The Handmaid’s Tale. There’s really something that jumps out at people if you’re at all sentient and at all understand what the hell’s going on—that women having no control over their body equals slavery. This is a very heavy thing to understand because it is actually telling women, “The hell with it. You are not even a second-rate citizen. You are not human.” To me, it’s just unacceptable.

Civia Tamarkin: Well, the goal here was to present the issue as a human rights violation. I think that over the past four decades or so, everyone has been so fixated on the singular medical procedure of abortion. It has obscured the larger issue that what we are talking about is a woman’s right to bodily integrity, bodily autonomy and human rights. If these kinds of violations were being headlined as occurring in other countries there would be outrage. We talk about female genital mutilation, we talk about Sharia law, we talk about all the strictures on women and yet, American women have to realize that they are in dangerous territory here; that it is happening here. It’s interesting; the comparison to Handmaid’s Tale is coincidental.

       

Of course, the timing of the series came out right before our film release, but I always knew about The Handmaid’s Tale. I read the book back in the ’80s when it first came out. In fact, we had considered putting a clip from the 1990 movie with Natasha Richardson in the film, but the cost was prohibitive. So, I had always seen this. The bottom line, of course, is that you have a radical religious movement that is attempting to blur the line between church and state and govern as a theocracy and impose religious doctrine. You have a government that would like to ban contraception and ban abortion. So de facto, the government is forcing women to become breeders just as the premise in this dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale.

Michael Slate: Outrageously, the fetus has full standing as a human being while the woman is denigrated down to less than human. One thing important for people to understand in the film is when you show a series of women who have gone through horrendous things that actually illustrate what happens when you have no control over your own body in relation to health, the kind of health care you need and all this. You have women who have been sent to jail, who have been put up on charges, just horrendous things happening to these women. And it’s all being done to a certain extent under a blanket that keeps it silent and unseen.

Civia Tamarkin: Yes, and this is part of a strategy to create a body of jurisprudence, enough laws to establish the personhood of the fetus, because there are some factions within the anti-abortion movement that say, “We don’t have to worry about overturning Roe v. Wade. If we can establish the personhood of the fetus then any harm that comes to that fetus can be prosecuted under criminal statutes, like homicide.” So, it certainly does put the autonomy and bodily integrity of a woman in second place. It’s a very simple premise. You cannot have two constitutionally protected beings within one body. Therefore, according to the ideology of the opposition movement here, women are the ones who are going to suffer. What’s so interesting is there’s no other instance in the law, certainly, in which an individual can be forced to undergo medical procedures, can be forced to have any external influence on their bodily organs. There’s case law where you cannot be forced to become a donor. You cannot be forced to have an arm or leg or any part of your body surgically removed. But yet, all of the case law seems to disappear when we’re talking about a woman’s reproductive organs.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/394/sociologist-alice-goffman-under-attack-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Sociologist Alice Goffman Pilloried for Her Pioneering Research

High-Stakes Battle to Tell The Truth of Black Lives and Police Terror

by Raymond Lotta | Editor's Note added August 8, 2017, first published July 6, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Editor’s Note
In 2014, Alice Goffman, a sociologist at the University of Wisconsin, published On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. The book chronicles the life experiences of young Black men terrorized by the police and legal system. They are “on the run” from criminal charges stemming from unpaid fines and missed court appearances linked to petty offenses. This is valuable research that sheds important light on and powerfully indicts a little-known aspect of the New Jim Crow. But no sooner had the book been published than Goffman was subjected to vicious character assassination—for supposedly sloppy research, abetting gang activity, and having the “arrogance” to think that she as a white woman could substantively address conditions of Black people.

Now there is another round of vicious attacks on Goffman. She was recently appointed a visiting professor at Pomona College in California. This was met by protests by some students, faculty, and others. The same baseless charges about the integrity of her research methods have been leveled—much of this in a letter from “anonymous” critics. And, once again, Goffman is being accused of “voyeurism” and “profiting” as a white woman from the lived experiences of Black people. This is toxic nonsense. Goffman’s work is marked by rigor and empathy. She has stood with the struggles against racist police murder and brutality. And at a time when the fascist Trump/Pence Regime is dead-set on “making America white again” and when progressive and radical professors are under mounting attack—it is unconscionable and borders on the insane to target someone like Alice Goffman.

In response to this new wave of attacks, we are reposting a review by Raymond Lotta of the book and the controversy surrounding it.

~~~~~~~~~

Alice Goffman is a young white sociologist who teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her 2014 book On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City is a vivid study of a Black neighborhood in Philadelphia where “police helicopters circle overhead, police cameras monitor passers-by, and police routinely stop, search, and arrest people in the streets.” Goffman shows how police profiling, beatings, harassment, and tracking of residents have created “communities of suspects and fugitives”—where huge numbers of young Black men are, literally, “on the run” from police and legal authority.

On the Run by Alice Goffman

The New York Times chose On the Run as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2014. Cornel West described it as “the best treatment I know of the wretched underside of neo-liberal capitalist America.” Goffman has spoken at universities, and a prominently featured online talk has attracted over 940,000 views. An interview with Goffman can be read here.

Let it be said clearly: Alice Goffman has done a great service in bringing to light and to broader public attention the misery, horror, and heartbreak of African-American community life in an era of mass incarceration and police terror. Her reporting has humanized, and expressed deep empathy for, young Black men whom the system has demonized as “thugs”—while presenting a damning portrait of the police and the courts.

But there is a battle over this book. In the last few months, a series of vindictive critiques has attempted to discredit Goffman. Her professional ethics and research methods have been impugned on the Internet. Accusations of academic fraud hang in the air, and Goffman’s academic reputation and career are threatened. Things took a disturbing and ominous turn with the publication of an article in the May 27 issue of the New Republic titled “Did This Acclaimed Sociologist Drive the Getaway Car in a Murder Plot?”

This is more than an academic debate. Certain forces in and outside of academia are making allegations of professional misconduct to take down a scholar who has revealed uncomfortable truths about American society.

We have seen attempts in recent years to hound, discredit, and quash scholars who have written radical critiques of U.S. history... who have spoken out against the U.S. role in the world and U.S. war crimes... who have condemned Zionism. There is an ongoing fight to defend dissent and critical thinking in the university—and in society.

The attacks on Alice Goffman and her work are coming not just at any time but in the wake of Ferguson and Baltimore... when the cry “Black lives matter!” reverberates with political and moral urgency... and as society is being split open over the question of whether police terror must be stopped.

Let it be said clearly: The efforts to discredit Alice Goffman represent a serious assault on critical thinking at a critical time in U.S. society. She must be defended.

What It Means to Be “On the Run”

On the Run is based on a doctoral dissertation Goffman wrote at Princeton University. Earlier, from 2002 until 2007, she had conducted fieldwork in a poor, mostly Black neighborhood in West Philadelphia to which she gave the fictional name “6th Street.” It is a neighborhood that has, as is so typical of the inner-city over the last 40 years, seen jobs vanish with de-industrialization and the global outsourcing of production. 6th Street is a place where young Black men have few opportunities for legal employment, and where many can only survive through the underground and illegal drug economy.

Goffman had originally set out to focus on ghetto residents charged with felonies, hauled off to jail, and then released—who become second-class citizens, as described in Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. She wanted to trace the effects on the social fabric of the entire community.

But as Goffman carried out her research, she came in contact with a population of non-felons—people with low-level warrants for unpaid court fees, failure to make child support, traffic fines, etc.—who are terrorized by, and terrified of, the police. They are routinely stopped and searched. Minor offenses that might go unpunished in white and middle-class neighborhoods lead to arrests—and nearly half of those taken into custody in “6th Street” are for technical violations like drinking while on probation. Arrests for possession of drugs result in criminal records that bar people from jobs.

Goffman saw a situation in which young Black men in particular spend an inordinate amount of time at court or probation hearings that grind away at their lives. Meanwhile, court fees and fines snowball. But without jobs, it is impossible to clear this debt. So people skip court dates, and often turn to criminal activity (!) to pay off fees and fines.

Alice Goffman: How we're priming some kids for college — and others for prison

Goffman began to put together a picture and synthesized an understanding of a growing “fugitive” sub-class that, in her words, is “arrestable on sight.” The police hunt these “fugitives” down. They go after friends and loved ones of those whom they suspect of shielding fugitives: raiding homes, pressuring women to inform on male partners or family members—or to cooperate in some fashion—and often charging the uncooperative with minor or contrived offenses.

Goffman conveys the personal and emotional toll of being “on the run.” She tells, movingly, of young men with legal problems who cannot attend the births of their children at hospitals, or who avoid the funerals of their friends (or go at great risk), because the police are watching. She tells, shockingly, of hospital janitors who commandeer medical supplies to fix the broken arms of those fearing arrest in hospitals.

This is vital research.

Fieldwork Among the Oppressed

Goffman’s approach was to immerse herself in the lives of her subjects. Among social scientists, her methods of research and inquiry are called “participation observation.” The researcher gets to know a social world qualitatively from within.

What made Goffman’s fieldwork difficult and risky was that she was studying an area of social life—the Black community—that the system views and treats as criminal through and through. (In one police raid that Goffman documents, she herself was handcuffed.)

To carry out her study, Goffman had to win the trust of individuals in a community under constant police surveillance. And exactly because young Black men have been criminalized and because illegal activity is so much a part of the oppressed and impoverished state of the Black community, she had to take certain measures to protect the identities of her subjects, who could be incriminated by her descriptions. So she changed and scrambled various details of what she was chronicling.

Intellectual Work in Charged Times

There are times when important intellectual work interacts with the larger political, social, and ideological terrain in an impactful way. The New Jim Crow is one such book. And On the Run has contributed further understanding of the ways that the system criminalizes young Black people—and the kinds of conditions that underlie the outrage and outpourings against police murder and terror of the last year. Goffman has observed, “The stuff I’m saying—it looks a lot like what people have been reporting from Ferguson, from New York, from Baltimore.” And she has spoken out against the police acting like an occupying force in the Black community.

Goffman’s work has been welcomed in many quarters. It has also been targeted for attack. There are forces that view Goffman’s work, and the significant public hearing it has gotten, as toxic. Various “critiques” have set out to discredit Goffman and, by implication, the mounting social indictment of police murder and terror. These attacks have focused on the veracity of her scholarship and her professional ethics.

A secondary line of attack—by way of "identity politics"—has been to rule Goffman's work out of order simply because she is white: "how dare a white person go into the Black community and conduct such research and analysis." This is as petty as it is poisonous. Here a crucial story needs to be told, and Goffman has done major work. Are her findings right or wrong? They are right. Does her truth telling about a savage injustice need to be heard? Yes, yes, yes.

Attacks Based on Bogus Accusations

The takedown efforts against On the Run began with an unsigned and highly vitriolic critique that was emailed to hundreds of sociologists—including to members of the sociology departments at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton, where Goffman had earned her degrees, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she now teaches. Goffman was accused of lying about where she resided in Philadelphia, of botching up the ages of some of her subjects, of inconsistencies in the number of funerals she said she attended, and so forth. The author of the critique called for an investigation of professional misconduct.

Now, there is a standard of transparency in research requiring that experimental or research data be made available for inspection. But given the sensitivity of the subject Goffman was studying, that standard is not applicable as would normally be the case. Further, the allegations against Goffman, and the demand that she provide all her data, have put her in a difficult position. As she explained, “I don’t want to call attention to a document [the critique] that possibly identifies people in the book in a way that I had worked hard not to do.”

Indeed, to protect her research subjects (including against potential criminal prosecution), she destroyed pertinent files on her hard drive. This disclosure was pounced upon by detractors as evidence of irresponsible scholarship. Utter nonsense. As we will see, Goffman conducted scrupulous research that had oversight and review.

One factual claim in particular that has been sharply contested by Goffman’s critics is her account of police monitoring of a Philadelphia hospital. The detractors say there is no evidence of police officers checking on visitors to hospitals and running names through criminal databases in order to make arrests. The implication is a) the police do not mistreat people in the way that Goffman says she is documenting; and b) she is guilty of fabrication.

Goffman’s academic advisor at Penn, the noted sociologist Elijah Anderson, saw Goffman’s actual field notes. He also conducted interviews with two of her subjects. He has vouched for what she observed in hospitals. Goffman’s dissertation advisor at Princeton, Michael Duneier, met her on a weekly basis about some of her findings and also examined field notes. He too conducted independent interviews with some of the people Goffman interviewed and profiled, including a warrant officer of the Philadelphia Police Department. Duneier stands by Goffman’s research.

Philly Magazine researched the matter and concluded, “It is verifiable [that] people in the U.S. have been arrested at hospitals, even ones for children.” Of course, the bigger question is, what kind of society turns hospitals, which are supposed to be safe spaces, into zones of fear?

In the face of the various charges leveled against On the Run, the University of Wisconsin at Madison convened a panel to review the claims of misconduct. It found them “to be without merit.”

Outrageous Allegation with Potentially Chilling Consequences... for Research and Dissent

But no sooner had this inquiry been closed than another and highly dangerous accusation was hurled at Goffman. Steven Lubet, a law professor at Northwestern University, published an article that was subsequently excerpted in the New Republic and recklessly headlined, “Did This Acclaimed Sociologist Drive the Getaway Car in a Murder Plot?” Goffman was now declared to be a criminal accomplice!

Here is the back-story. Goffman’s research focused on two young men, Chuck and Mike (fictional names). She became close to and hung with them, and got to know others in their circles and in the neighborhood. Chuck had been trying to maintain a truce of sorts between his friends and a rival gang. Sadly, he was shot and killed. Chuck’s friends and others in the neighborhood began calling for payback. But Goffman has explained that this talk of retribution was just that: talk.

In the weeks following Chuck’s death, as Goffman further explained, his friends would drive around, “ostensibly looking for Chuck’s killer. But these drives, like the talk of the residents, also came to nothing. This was so because it was common knowledge that Chuck’s killer had fled right after the shooting...the drives seemed to satisfy the feelings of anger and pain...”

One night when no one else would join Mike, Goffman drove with him. Steven Lubet has seized on this incident. In his New Republic takedown piece against Goffman, he alleges with prosecutorial zeal that under Pennsylvania law, Goffman “agreed to aid another person ‘in the planning or commission’ of a crime—in this case murder.” Say what?

Goffman has answered this incredibly unethical and sensationalistic accusation (and, to be clear, no charges have been filed against her). She has explained that while she felt ambivalent about going on the ride—she knew that these rides were not about carrying out acts of violence. They were cathartic. People were working out their anger and grief. The rides were a form of mourning.

Jack Katz, a sociologist at UCLA, has written in defense of Goffman. He has also spoken to some of the high stakes, for social science and for society, bound up with this kind of fieldwork, and with Goffman’s study in particular:

The line between bravado and committed intent is handled as a binary in the law; but the messiness of that distinction is the very crux of a “badass” way of life.... As a citizen, as well as in my career as a sociologist, I’m concerned about interventions in this discussion [of Goffman’s work] that might embrace the flexibility of “conspiracy” and aiding and abetting laws to shut down descriptions of social life that many readers will take as resources for criticizing the government. (Washington Post, emphasis added)

****

The ferocity of the attack on On the Run must be understood in the context of the growing awareness of and resistance to the epidemic of police brutality and murder against Black and Latino people. A new generation is rising up with a new spirit of defiance. Alice Goffman’s study provides important and timely insights into some of the conditions underlying the just anger, the fury, and the rebellion. And it is indeed a “resource for criticizing the government.”

The attempts to discredit Goffman come at a time when the question of stopping police terror is growing in urgency, and as a line is being drawn in society: which side are you on?

Alice Goffman has righteously stood by her work. Anyone who wants the truth of police terror to be told, and anyone who values dissent and critical thinking, should stand with her.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/rise-in-immigrant-border-deaths-under-trump-pence-regime-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Letter from a reader:

Alarming Rise in Immigrant Deaths on the Border Under the Trump/Pence Regime

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the first seven months of this year, 239 people died attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the U.S., according to a report by the International Organization for Migration. This is a 17 percent increase over the same period in 2016. The IOM says the number of deaths is likely an underestimation because people are dying in such remote areas—like the Arizona desert—that their bodies have not yet been found. What makes these figures even more alarming is that the U.S. Border Patrol arrested 50 percent fewer people during that same period this year compared to last year—indicating that fewer immigrants are trying to cross the border. In other words, the proportion of immigrants who lose their lives trying to get into the U.S. has risen significantly.

The biggest increase in deaths has been along the southeast border between Mexico and Texas along the Rio Grande. In less than a week at the end of July, five bodies were recovered of people who had drowned attempting to cross the Rio Grande. The IOM report states, “The most recent incident recorded on the border region was the death of a five-year-old child migrant drowned in the Río Grande near Tamaulipas, Mexico [far-eastern border area] on Wednesday [August 2]. Reports indicate that the child’s father also went missing during the river crossing.”

There has also been an increase in deaths in the Sonoran Desert—the border area between Arizona and Mexico.

The Trump/Pence regime has been going all-out to further militarize the border. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agency under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been given more power to lock down the border and to viciously go after anyone attempting to cross—people Trump has labeled as “rapists” and “drug criminals.” The Trump/Pence regime has also broadened the definition of “criminal aliens” to cover people whose only “crime” is to have crossed the border without documents, fleeing from extreme poverty and reactionary violence.

The border deaths include outright murder at the hands of Border Patrol pigs. But the bulk of the deaths is the result of immigrants being stranded in the scorching hot desert along the border or drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande.

Trump’s DHS has locked down all of the normally used paths across the border, forcing those who want to cross to attempt their crossings in the most dangerous and desolate places along the border—the Rio Grande, which has been raging with the torrential rains this year, and the Sonoran Desert with summer temperatures averaging between 110 and 120 degrees. This is murder! Immigrant rights groups say that the Border Patrol uses the desert as a “weapon” to kill immigrants.

People are so desperate to escape the poverty and violence in their countries south of the U.S. that they will risk everything to cross the border into a country that will demonize them, ban them, detain them, deport them, and tear them away from their children and loved ones. The reason? Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, spoke powerfully to this:

Now I can just hear these reactionary fools saying, “Well, Bob, answer me this. If this country is so terrible, why do people come here from all over the world? Why are so many people trying to get in, not get out?”...Why? I’ll tell you why. Because you have fucked up the rest of the world even worse than what you have done in this country. You have made it impossible for many people to live in their own countries as part of gaining your riches and power. –BAsics 1:14

In order to make it more difficult for the migrants to survive their treacherous trip, the Border Patrol has started attacking aid stations in the desert set up by people to provide shelter and water to immigrants. In mid-June, 30 Border Patrol pigs in 15 vehicles and a helicopter descended on a humanitarian aid camp located in Arizona 15 miles from the border and arrested four migrants.

No More Deaths, a migrant support group that mans some of these aid camps, said this raid put lives at risk because it will lead immigrants, fearing capture, to avoid the aid stations. One activist said, “It turns a humanitarian aid station into a trap.... Our camp is 100% compromised right now.”

No More Deaths attributed the raid to “the hardline immigration stance adopted by the Trump administration” and that it “broke a longstanding agreement that border agents would respect the camp as a medical facility under international Red Cross standards and not interfere with its work.” They said, “The targeting of this critical medical aid is a shameful reflection of the current administration’s disregard for the lives of migrants and refugees, making an already dangerous journey even more deadly...”

This nightmare on the border is one of many nightmares under the Trump/Pence regime that call for people to take up the call from Refuse Fascism for people around the country, on November 4, to take to the streets and public squares day after day and night after night until the demand is met: “NO! This Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!”

All out for the August 19 regional conferences to organize for November 4.

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

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/503/prosecution-backs-off-on-outrageous-stonewall-4-charges-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Prosecution Backs Off on Outrageous Stonewall 4 Charges!

Come out for August 15th Court appearance of one of the SW4
from a previous NYPD attack on Refuse Fascism

August 11, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Received by revcom.us:

We want to thank everyone who fought so hard with us over these past 6 months. Our arrest was outrageous! We were out on February 4th at the LGBTQ Solidarity with Muslims Rally at the Stonewall Inn to stand with everyone there who wanted to protest Donald Trump’s first Muslim ban putting Muslim people in the crosshairs. We were getting out a very specific message: “NO! In the Name of Humanity We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!” This message enraged some Trump supporters who had come there that day, and they began harassing those of us putting out this message, looking to provoke an incident. When they didn’t get it from us, one of them went to the NYPD and we were then surrounded and arrested.

On August 7th, the prosecution was forced to back off—all the charges against all Stonewall 4 defendants were Adjourned in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD), meaning after 6 months all charges will be dismissed and sealed.

This came after 6 months of a prosecution in which, after the initial made-up story and set of charges began to fall apart, the District Attorney (DA) filed a different set of charges and a different complaint with an alternative made-up story of why we were arrested!

Our lawyers filed many motions against the original set of charges and the new ones, fighting to get “discovery” material turned over, to have charges dropped, and they even won a dismissal by the judge of one of the newly fabricated charges.

Our supporters, you and others like you, spread an online petition which was signed by over 700 people demanding the DA and Mayor de Blasio drop the charges. People, including clergy and prominent voices, did call-ins to the DA and Mayor’s offices, as well as some city council members. One caller called in to a WNYC radio show to make this demand to the Mayor.

All this served to expose that the prosecution’s case was based on lies and was a thinly veiled attempt to lock people up for daring to call for the end of the Trump/Pence regime and to stand up in the face of harassment and provocations by Trump’s supporters. Then just before trial, the prosecution made a decision to back down from pressing ahead with these outrageous charges. So we should welcome this as an important battle won, in an overall fight, which is very much not yet decided.

We still have to fight the charges resulting from a serious attack that took place on one of us even before the February 4th protest at the Stonewall Inn. On January 12th, one of us was stalked by the NYPD and brutally arrested on her way to a publicly announced Refuse Fascism event. She was illegally searched, and not only was she arrested but she was also sent to Bellevue Hospital—for the explicit reason put on the official NYPD report that she had called someone a fascist and expressed opposition to President-elect Donald Trump! This is a clear case of political suppression and must be fought! You are needed in court to stand with her on August 15th.

And there has been, since February 4th, the heightening of organized thuggery of fanatical Trump supporters becoming more aggressive, more cohered, and more violent, including armed thugs coming out to intimidate and threaten people participating in various rallies called for by Refuse Fascism on July 15th to say “Trump and Pence Must Go!” All while the regime moves ahead (even in the face of difficulty and obstacles, with scandal and controversy, with in-fighting and opposition) and is making strides in knocking down the rule of law, re-ordering the governance of society in a fascist way, demonizing and scapegoating Muslims, immigrants, trans people and LGBTQ people generally, going after women’s right to control their own bodies, and further letting loose terror on Black people and Latinos, while promising still more.

So, this battle is far from over. In addition to being there in court on August 15th for the member of the SW4 who has charges from the previous arrest, Refuse Fascism has called for November 4th “This Nightmare Must End—The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!” and is organizing regional conferences on August 19th to plan out how to make November 4th the beginning of the end of this nightmare.

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

Thank you and struggle on,

Stonewall 4

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/hundreds-protest-trumps-plan-for-border-wall-in-texas-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Hundreds Protest Trump’s Plan for Border Wall in Texas

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Saturday, August 12, 2017. Hundreds of protesters, wearing white and chanting in English and Spanish, marched to protest plans for a new border wall. They crossed the levee on the Rio Grande, the winding river that separates the United States and Mexico in Texas. Here is where Trump has proposed putting up 60 miles of wall as part of a $1.6 billion proposal. About 40 groups took part in the protest, from environmentalists to landowners’ rights groups to immigrant rights activists. The protesters said they hoped to draw national attention to their opposition.

The wall would go through a federally protected wildlife refuge and split apart several border towns. The Statesman reported, “Under the current proposal, the wall would seal La Lomita on the southern side of the levee. It would also cut through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, a verdant sanctuary for 400 species of birds and nearly half of the butterfly species found in North America. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security can waive environmental reviews to build more quickly, and has already issued a waiver for proposed construction in San Diego.”

There are reports that government contractors are already working on the wall―taking soil samples along the Rio Grande levees and beginning to examine property ownership records.

Scott Nicol, co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Borderlands campaign and an organizer of Saturday’s rally, told the Austin Statesman, “Because people have seen the walls go up and see what they do, it’s not sort of an abstract, imagined concept.” “There’s a lot more opposition to it now than there was 10 years ago.”

Marie Montalvo, who lives in San Benito, said, “I want my nieces and nephews, and the children of the Rio Grande Valley, to know that I was completely against this.”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/vets-protest-war-moves-on-north-korea-in-chicago-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

“No Fire and Fury”: Vets Protest War Moves on North Korea at Trump Tower in Chicago

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

August 13—About 50 participants in the Veterans for Peace national convention in Chicago marched out of the hotel where the event was held to Trump Tower, blocks away, for a protest against the Trump regime’s nuclear threats and war moves on North Korea. Some carried Refuse Fascism “NO!” signs in English, Spanish, and Korean. A Refuse Fascism member started a chant, “No nukes, no KKK, no fascist USA!” that was enthusiastically taken up and led by vets.

A family staying at the hotel joined the march because “we felt we had to.” One of them is a student in a city where she said “everything you hear about [what’s] being done to immigrants is going on.” She said that the frequency of people being stopped in their cars, because they are thought to be immigrants, and forced to show papers, and of raids, has created an atmosphere of fear where few immigrants go out at night.

At one point the march passed through the busy theater district in the Chicago Loop where hundreds of people were getting out of plays. Many theatergoers joined the “no nukes” chant or clapped and cheered. At the “Real Fake” art installation across from Trump Tower, protesters held candles and signs that included “No Fire and Fury,” “No Racism, No Hate,” and “Trump, Stop Inciting Violence.” The vets did a mic-check style apology to the North Korean people for U.S. aggression against them, repeatedly chanting “We Are Sorry.” It was very moving, reminiscent of when vets who went to Standing Rock to join the struggle against the Dakota Access oil pipeline apologized for U.S. genocide of Native American people.

Speaking at the protest were Ann Wright, a retired U.S. colonel and retired State Department official; Kathy Kelly, an author and longtime antiwar activist; John Kim, head of the Veterans for Peace’s Korea project, who did a powerful workshop at the convention on the history of U.S. military aggression in Korea; and Will Griffin, a young vet who praised the South Korean people for impeaching their president, and called for Trump to be driven from office. A member of Refuse Fascism made an announcement about the protest the same day at Michigan and Randolph at 1 pm against the rally of white supremacists (unleashed by Trump) in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the killing of one counter-protester and injuring of other by one of the fascist thugs. She reminded the crowd that the South Korean people had driven out their president when millions went into the streets every night till she was gone. And she urged vets to join sustained protests beginning November 4, with thousands becoming millions until the fascist Trump regime is driven from power.

On the way back to the hotel, marchers took the streets, as the whole march chanted “No Nukes, No KKK, No Fascist USA,” and their shouts echoed through the Chicago Loop.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/465/other-voices-on-trump-resistance-en.html#jguay

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017


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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/heather-heyer-a-hero-at-a-time-when-humanity-needs-heroes-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Heather Heyer: A Hero at a Time When Humanity Needs Heroes

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“I want her death to be a rallying cry for justice.”
—Susan Bro (mother of Heather Heyer, who was murdered by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, August 12)

Heather Heyer was a 32-year-old paralegal in Charlottesville, Virginia. When armed, violent Nazis, KKKers, and other white supremacists mobilized in Charlottesville Saturday to protest the planned removal of a statue commemorating Robert E. Lee, she took to the streets with hundreds of other counter-protesters to confront and oppose them. A cowardly white supremacist drove his car into an intersection full of counter-protesters, killing Heather and injuring 19 people.

Heather’s mother, Susan Bro, told the Huffington Post there was no question that Heather would protest the neo-Nazis and others: “She always had a very strong sense of right and wrong, she always, even as a child, was very caught up in what she believed to be fair. Somehow I almost feel that this is what she was born to be, is a focal point for change. I’m proud that what she was doing was peaceful, she wasn’t there fighting with people.”

A neighbor in Charlottesville told HuffPost, “She lived her life like her path—and it was for justice.”

Heather Heyer’s last Facebook post before joining the counter-protests was, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” The white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville declared, like the lynch mobs of not so long ago, that they were bringing weapons and they threatened to use them. Heather Heyer, and hundreds of others, defied the threats and dangers, and Heather heroically gave her life doing that.

Bob Avakian has written:

There is a place where epistemology and morality meet. There is a place where you have to stand and say: It is not acceptable to refuse to look at something—or to refuse to believe something—because it makes you uncomfortable. And: It is not acceptable to believe something just because it makes you feel comfortable. (BAsics 5:11)

That is a critical principle under any circumstances, but it takes on extreme urgency at this moment. Fascism has direction and momentum. The time to stop it is now. And that will take physical, and intellectual, courage.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/news-flash-from-charlottesville-interviews-with-revolution-club-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

News flash from Charlottesville
Interviews with the Revolution Club

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

In the wake of the clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, revcom.us interviewed two members of the Revolution Club, one from New York, one from Chicago. Through these interviews, our readers will learn more about how events unfolded in Charlottesville, how different strands and streams of people were responding to the murdering white supremacists, what the Revolution Club did in the midst of this showdown to lead people in struggle, win them to take up the revolution, and connect them to the leadership of this revolution, Bob Avakian, and the Party that he leads.

The following are edited comments from the Revolution Club members. (Questions not included.)

A MEMBER OF THE REVOLUTION CLUB, NEW YORK:

The fascists were ready for war. They came out with shields, doing formations, marching. On Saturday early, we were trying to rally people to go to Robert E Lee, or now named Emancipation Park to confront the fascists who were going to be there at noon.

While this was happening, a group of militant fascists—they were doing “blood and soil” chants—marched by. The Club called them out: “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.” The fascists start moving forward, so the Club moved its line—and the fascists rammed through with their shields. They hit two Revolution Club members who were trying to protect the others. And there was another woman who stepped in and got punched in the face. The fascists kept going. One Revolution Club member was bleeding bad and street medics came out, and this other woman was also bleeding bad above her eye. I went to the hospital with them.

The pigs came out in gear AFTER it happened. As the day went on, people talked about the fact that the police were doing nothing. People were shaken up by the police not protecting them against the KKK, and that the police almost created a ring to let it happen. When they did move in to “protect,” they pointed a tank at the people. That shook a lot of people.

We were driven to the ER by local Black Lives Matter activists. This was very important, and while we were there some of the clergy from another part of Virginia came to show solidarity and help in caring for people.

When we got back out on the streets there were Black youths we talked to about revolution. They were saying “we’ll be there.” Then they actually went up to the line of pigs and were saying shoot me—so defiant—but they knew everyone in the crowd had their backs. The Club agitated around this role of the police, and more, getting into BA. This agitation really sharpened things up for people—this is going to take a lot more. This is serious.

One queer woman from France was so happy to hear there was an organization and that we had a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. She said "I know so many people who would love and need to hear this."

There were other youths around and we talked to them about what was happening in Chicago—we can’t duke it out now [make revolution], we need to get serious and be organized. It made people think and the whole scene made them take it more seriously.

A lot of people were angry and asking, where do we go next to confront the fascists? The Revolution Club member who had been attacked told people what happened in the clash with the fascists. She said the fascists are not going away, and called on people to go to a park to get into How We Can Win—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW). A half-dozen young Black people came—we got Revolution newspaper to them and we read all of HWCW and discussed it in relation to what’s going on around us, especially the parts about what we can do now and how we can defeat them. We had the Chicago banner— it was very powerful, seeing that, and so many people had written notes to send to the people in Charlottesville.

Many people from the South Side of Chicago wrote statements on this banner to send to people in Charlottesville. Photo: Revolution Club-Chicago.

 

One thing to underscore is that a lot of the agitation by the Club was really sharp and powerful and a lot of people were moved by it and—we were getting out the newspaper while it was going on. We were seeing people emboldened and lifted up (after the car rammed through and people were shook)—the agitation had a real impact on people.

 

A MEMBER OF THE REVOLUTION CLUB, CHICAGO—FRESH OUT OF THE HOSPITAL AFTER THE WHITE SUPREMACISTS ATTACKED:

Saturday. I was out of the picture from early on until the big melee was over. When I got back out there, there were standoffs between the police and people from the neighborhoods, Black masses and youths and some others from a nearby neighborhood—the defiant ones—and there were a couple dozen people facing off with and ridiculing and calling the pigs out, not backing down. We agitated and were standing with the people. At a certain point the pigs backed off.

In the mix of that, we were doing agitation about now is the time to get organized for revolution, calling on people to get into BA and the plan to win, urging people to come to speak out in the evening and a number did that, but it didn’t go far enough.

       

But today—Sunday—that changed. We were in these housing projects for a few minutes—people are really up on what has been going on, and we heard—oh yeah, the white supremacists are having a press conference in five minutes. So we went down to City Hall, which is near where the car hit and killed Heather Heyer. We get to the press conference and the pigs have the streets blocked off because the Nazis are there and masses want to go get them.

People were very pissed off at the pigs: some of the youth from the city and people from Charlottesville, white and Black, of different strata, but also mixed in were people who come from other cities—nearby cities. People were really outraged, and there was a mix of people from different strata standing there shouting anger at the pigs because people didn’t feel the pigs stopped the Nazis, but protected them and were more lined up against the people.

At the press conference we started to do some agitation, which was really appreciated.

The connection was being made between Trump and all this stuff going on in Charlottesville. The broader masses and the youth see a connection, but I’m not sure how deep it goes. But people including the Black youth are making the connection between the fascists and Trump and there’s the visceral reaction to these Nazis. And that’s mixed in with, among more of the basic youth, a thing about this is our town, we don’t want this here—so it gets a little narrow: this is happening to us and we want it to stop.

But people, including all these people from the neighborhood, are really angry and upset about the woman being killed— it’s like she is one of ours who’s been taken from us. People were upset, angry, and furious.

We ended up leading a speak-out for 90 minutes, a rotating crowd with hundreds going through at different points. There were dozens of people who spoke—some repeatedly— a lot of different kinds of people: some middle class white people and Black people spoke, but the main character of it was the basic people from the neighborhoods. One thing that stood out to me was that there was a very dynamic thing that happened during the speak-out: a process of struggle and debate that was being worked through, interrupted every now and then when some white supremacist would come through and start yelling or something and people would confront them. At one point the pigs lined up and then they backed off. One white supremacist moved away to stand in front of the police station—like it was his safe space.

There was a lot of speaking bitterness, including by white people. A lot of people talked about all the protests starting with Trayvon Martin and look where we are today.

One important thing: in the speak-out we did a lot of work, agitation, leading people—we were stressing that these were the outlines of a civil war and people needed to get organized for revolution and there being a leadership and a strategy and a plan—and people were hearing this. This whole system gave rise to [these horrors] and that system has to be overthrown. And we also talked about the need to drive out this regime that was unleashing all these Nazis. We did a round of agitation on how we can win and told people now they need to get their Revolution newspapers and all these people came around grabbing for their papers. So there were lines and ideologies being struggled and debated out in the speak-out.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/revolution-club-checks-out-romeo-and-juliet-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Two letters:

Revolution Club Checks Out
Romeo and Juliet

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

 

September 4, 2017:

“My first Shakespearean play—I loved it!”

The Romeo and Juliet play was amazing; I couldn’t stop smiling and thinking about it afterwards! I absolutely loved it!

When I heard about the plans to watch a Shakespearean play, I shrugged. I never understood Shakespeare’s writings. I was always glad to have dodged this class in high school because I perceived it as boring and hard. I saw this subject as being only for “smart” people—not for me! There was always a feeling of shame when people spoke about Shakespeare because I never read anything of him. I also had a negative perception of musicals, plays, and museums as being tedious. Growing up, I was not introduced to arts and culture—not even a trip to the public library! The only culture I was bombarded with was television and radio.

However, after recognizing that human beings cannot live simply on “bread” alone, and because we are fighting for a different world with a different approach to art and culture, there was a need to attend this play. But as soon as the play began, I was captivated! I was glued to the characters from beginning to end. I was left wanting more and had a huge smile for the rest of the day. I still think of the play and wish to see it again. I didn’t understand some of the terminology used but was able to follow the story. It was a wonderful experience! This was definitely much better than the Romeo and Juliet Hollywood movie.

This experience made me think of the world we are fighting for. “The sphere of art and culture responds to a profound need of human beings, who indeed cannot live simply by ‘bread’ (the basic material requirements of life) alone,” as written in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America by Bob Avakian. There are many people among the oppressed who have never left their community and hung out at cafes, visited a museum, or seen a play.

The Constitution continues, “In the sphere of art and culture as a whole, the objective of the government ... is to meet the intellectual and cultural needs and serve the largest interests of the masses of people, to foster and support the all-around development of people throughout society, and to contribute to the development of people throughout the world, whose imagination, creativity, initiative, talents and abilities, are inspired and unleashed to bring into being new relations among people, and a new world in which human beings can flourish in ways and in dimensions never before imagined, in a spirit and in bonds of cooperation....” This is the world we fight for. This is the world Bob Avakian, leader of the revolution, leads to bring into being. This is the world we all should strive for.


August 14, 2017:

“It Was Crazy Watching Some Similar Beefs and Banter...”

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is playing in parks all across Chicago. A tale most attributed and alluded to love is in fact one of his great tragedies, with a heavy view on the cycle of retaliation and revenge and how it permeates into every aspect of people’s lives. The Revolution Club went to a performance on the South Side to watch and experience the play, and to meet and talk with people coming to see it. A warning before the play started told the audience that it was going to be in its original language of old English, but encouraged people to not get perplexed but fight through in context. Afterwards in talking to some of the actors and people running the event, they reflected on some initial hesitance to doing a tragedy, but found it powerful to do this play in the parks across the city and, yes, right in the middle of communities torn by similar revenge that kills people not too different than the characters in the play.

About a hundred people watched the play, with a mix of people you don’t always see in this segregated city, white and Black people, university students, families, people from the neighborhood and from the suburbs. Some were being introduced to the play for the first time and some were die-hard Shakespeare enthusiasts. It was crazy watching some similar beefs and banter as well as longing of characters within the play and being in the neighborhoods with people caught up in the same bullshit in another outmoded system. It was a great performance and we all were into it, as was the audience in general.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/angry-and-defiant-protest-greets-trumps-return-to-nyc-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

From RefuseFascism.org

Angry and Defiant Protest Greets Trump's Return to NYC

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 Credit: Twitter/@keeganNYC

Donald Trump returned to New York Monday night. There to greet him – thousands of angry people who rallied, chanted, and marched in mid-town Manhattan and the vicinity of Trump Tower. Two popular chants – "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA"; "Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!". People made their feelings clear in another chant directed at Trump – "New York hates you". Many people joined in when Refuse Fascism changed that and took it to another level: "The whole world hates you".

The protest went on for hours. People were angry. Sunsara Taylor put the blame for the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville squarely on Trump, and said people need to live like her. Sunsara said people are going to have to do more than they think they can do, and that this is a time for courage. Travis Morales said that "we have to make the nightmare of the Trump/Pence regime go, and you need to be part of it. Refuse Fascism has a plan, and November 4 is when we take to the streets until this regime is driven from power". Sunsara was quoted in the newspaper AM New York saying "We're going to mobilize masses and masses and masses of people. In this city, there are millions of people who detest what he stands for.'"

Several times New York police moved aggressively to pen and push back the protesters. But, as one Refuse Fascism member said to us, "We said, let's march. We were blocked off. We rallied across the street from Trump Tower. There were about 200 of us. At a certain point police told us we had to leave. We wouldn't leave. We pushed the barricades to the curb. But the cops split us, pushed aggressively to get us back. We literally couldn't move. Then we got pushed out, but we marched to another street."

Many people were recruited to the Refuse Fascism crew on the spot – to carry its banner, to leaflet, to sign up others to be part of Refuse Fascism. People in Refuse Fascism said there was a notable change in the mood of people since Charlottesville. Many people brought homemade signs denouncing Trump as a fascist. One Refuse Fascism organizer summed up how he saw the mood of many people: "It was angry and defiant. People want this regime to go".



"March to the tower. Drive them out of power" pic.twitter.com/KHKp4WKjqy

— #TrumpPenceMustGo (@RefuseFascism) August 15, 2017

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/climate-scientists-fear-new-report-will-be-suppressed-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

As Evidence Mounts of Catastrophic Global Warming...

Climate Scientists Fear New Report Will Be Suppressed by Anti-Science Trump/Pence Regime

August 15, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A near-complete draft of a major new scientific report presents further evidence and sounds the alarm about the dangerous effects of climate change already being felt—and that will be made much worse if drastic measures are not taken, threatening human and other life on earth. The report—“U.S. Global Change Research Program: Climate Science Special Report,” part of the National Climate Assessment—is the work of scientists from 13 different U.S. government agencies. The report deals with issues that have to do with the very future of humanity and the planet we live on. But the scientists who put huge efforts into this report are afraid that it will be distorted or suppressed by top-level officials of the government. If that happens, it will be a monumentally criminal act!

Just a few among the many points made in the report:

* The rise in global temperatures is “unambiguous”: “2014 became the warmest year on record globally; 2015 surpassed 2014 by a wide margin; and 2016 surpassed 2015. Sixteen of the last 17 years are the warmest years on record.”

* “Many lines of evidence demonstrate that it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” (The major human influence is the emission of carbon dioxide [CO2] and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels.)

* More than a quarter of the CO2 emissions are absorbed by the world’s oceans, “making them more acidic” and leading to “potential detrimental impacts to marine ecosystems.” (Already, large stretches of coral reefs around the world have been destroyed, and other enormous and even irreversible destruction of ocean life is taking place.)

* Significant advances are being made in scientifically linking global climate change to specific extreme weather events, like devastating droughts, heat waves and storms.

All this flies in the face of the rantings of climate deniers leading the regime in power—from Trump, who claims climate change is a “hoax”... to Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, who denies CO2 is the main cause of global warming... to others in key positions. The draft report must be approved by Pruitt and other agency heads before it is made official. So there is very good reason for the scientists involved to be “concerned that it would be suppressed,” according to a New York Times report.

We will be writing more on this report and developments around it in coming weeks. But consider the utter outrageousness of the fact that scientists coming forward with crucial evidence on an issue having to do with the future of human and other life on the planet must fear being silenced by the government they work for!

Many people across the world, especially in the poorest areas, are already suffering due to climate change—tens of millions forced to become “climate refugees” because they can no longer survive where they are, and two billion people potentially displaced by the end of the century. As the new report makes clear, if greenhouse gas emissions are not immediately and significantly reduced, climate change and its dangerous effects will accelerate and intensify to horrendous levels. Faced with such a situation, leaders of a society organized in the interests of humanity would approach this as a real emergency, bend every effort to work closely with scientists, bring in whatever resources that are needed, and mobilize the masses of people to grasp the problem scientifically and on that basis act on the urgent situation confronting the world.

In contrast, those heading up the U.S. today are not only deniers of the reality of climate change but, more overall, deadly enemies of science and truth. This is a fascist regime of “alternative truths,” of sidestepping and undermining the role of science and scientists in critical areas like global warming and public health. The Christian fascists in the regime, led by Mike Pence, are gearing up assaults on evolution and other sciences in schools and other areas. This is a nightmare, and it must end: the Trump/Pence regime must go.

But as monstrous and grotesque as the Trump/Pence fascist regime is, it is an extreme form of the capitalist-imperialist system that in its “normal” workings has brought horrors for humanity: imperialist wars... oppression of Black and other oppressed people... degradation of and violence against women... extreme exploitation and hounding of immigrants... and more. And destruction of the environment is also a part of the “normal” course of this system.

It’s going to take a radically new system—a socialist society organized and led on a whole different basis than the capitalist-imperialist system—to fundamentally tackle the danger of climate catastrophe facing humanity. Get into the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by revolutionary leader Bob Avakian—a concrete and visionary plan for the new society, which must and can be brought about through actual revolution.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/on-the-latest-racist-statement-from-donald-trump-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

On The Latest Racist Statement From Donald Trump

August 15, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

The “REAL” Donald Trump would not be constrained from his racist support of the NAZIs in Charlottesville. He jumped out with full-out fascist anger—DEFENDING HIS KKK AND NAZI SUPPORTERS AND ATTACKING THOSE WHO CAME TO STAND AGAINST RACISM AND FASCISM.

This was the raving of a fascist. His rant has ominous and dangerous implications: both in terms of what this means for masses of Black people in this country, for Jews, for LGBTQ people, as well as the many other groups he has attacked during his presidency, and for those who stand against the racists and Nazis.

For all that some politicians now denounce Trump, no major political figure has called for the removal of Trump and his regime (and everyone in his regime has supported him).

It is up to us—it is only us—who can force his removal by mass political action, in the streets, in the millions. Get with RefuseFascism.org today. 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/charlottesville-virginia-confronting-racist-murdering-nazi-thugs-en.html#susanbro

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017


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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/trump-on-a-rampage-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Trump on a rampage

Time to Put an End to This Nightmare!
Organize This Weekend!

August 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

In the wake of the Klan-Nazi rally in Charlottesville where the fascists murdered Heather Heyer and injured many, many more, including in racist gang assaults... where they trooped through the streets carrying torches and armed to the teeth, chanting slogans against Black people, gay people, and Jews... and where some people bravely stood up against the lynch-mob... Donald Trump has made totally clear where he stands. With the fascists. Period.

Trump is not blundering. Nor is he on an out-of-control, self-destructive ego trip. Trump is calculating. Trump is moving. He is tearing up the legitimating norms of this country—the principles that politicians are supposed to pay lip service to and the procedures through which government is supposed to proceed—and he is doing this consciously. He is setting the new norms that he believes to be necessary for “American greatness”—a USA up against tremendous challenges and contradictions. Trump, and the regime he leads, stands for unapologetic, violent, lynch-mob-style white supremacy... to replace the systemic and systematic but hypocritically denied white supremacy enforced by the police, the courts, and a thousand other institutions. Trump and Pence and the regime they lead—including the many generals now holding civilian posts—stand for and implement open, unapologetic, vicious American bullying with nuclear weapons... to replace diplomatic, covert, “multilateral” American bullying with nuclear weapons. Trump, and Pence, and their legions of Christian fascist minions, stand for open, unapologetic, virulent hatred and degradation of women and LGBTQ people, including outright denial of fundamental rights, to replace the hypocritical and disavowed (but widely practiced) misogyny and anti-gay discrimination and oppression. Not to mention the open vicious attacks on Muslims, immigrants, etc.

In doing so, Trump is calling the bluff of all the established politicians and commentators. He is defending, energizing, and emboldening the core of his base. He is setting his norms, the norms of fascism, in place at a breakneck pace. Yet none of the politicians criticizing Trump and or tut-tutting against racism will dare call Trump the FASCIST that he is. None of them will say that the Trump/Pence regime must go NOW. Let alone concretely proposing how to do that. And meanwhile, the juggernaut rolls on. Waiting and hoping for them, for someone “up there,” for someone beside yourself to take action... to stand up...  to organize...  is worse than wishful thinking; it is irresponsible at a time that demands moral responsibility and political accountability.

The situation is dire. This nightmare must urgently be ended—and it is up to you. But not you alone. There is a force that in fact has been calling out the regime as fascist; that has in fact been posing the urgency to act, NOW, around the demand that THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO. There is a force that has a plan on how to do that. That force, that group, is RefuseFascism.org.

And this weekend that group, RefuseFascism.org, is meeting in five cities around the country. They will lay plans to mount massive demonstrations, South Korea-style, on November 4, refusing to leave the streets until the regime is over. Until it is history.

This is your chance, and this is your duty, to reverse the tide. Seize it.

 

SIgn up for regional conferences here

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/j20-in-the-crosshairs-fascists-get-green-light-to-terrorize-and-murder-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

J20 in the Crosshairs... Fascists Get the Green Light to Terrorize and Murder

August 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

For months, the U.S. Department of "Justice" has been demanding information about all visitors to the disruptj20.org website. Disruptj20 organized direct action protests on the day of Trump's inauguration. They blocked checkpoints onto the Washington Mall, held parades of resistance, festivals, fairs, speak-outs, and concerts. And they staged an anti-capitalist, anti-fascist march that was attacked by hundreds of cops in full riot gear who indiscriminately sprayed pepper spray and used weapons similar to concussion grenades with rubber cluster munitions in them. Over 200 of the protesters are still facing draconian felony charges including conspiracy to riot, destruction of property, and assaulting a police officer. (See background here).

It's outrageous enough that the Department of IN-Justice is going after the J20 protesters with a vengeance. But now it has come to light that the government is demanding massive and detailed information on visitors to a website used to organize those protests. According to Dreamhost, the site's web hosting provider, complying with the request from the Justice Department would amount to handing over roughly 1.3 million visitor IP addresses to the government. An attorney for Dreamhost said, "In essence, the Search Warrant not only aims to identify the political dissidents of the current administration, but attempts to identify and understand what content each of these dissidents viewed on the website."

Dreamhost had already complied with DOJ subpoena demands for information identifying the registrant of the website, including the registrant's physical addresses and e-mail addresses. But they refused to turn over information that would identify visitors, saying that "information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution's First Amendment." 

This logic and direction of this massive, ominous fishing expedition is to intimidate, suppress, and collect data to round up people resisting Trump.

Compare that to the fact that the DOJ is NOT going after...  THE NETWORKS OF THE MONSTERS WHO MARCHED, TERRORIZED, BRUTALIZED, AND MURDERED HEATHER HEYER IN CHARLOTTESVILLE ARE WIDE OPEN TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO SEE THEM. The point is NOT the government should spy "equally on" the fascists. The point here is that the tools of repression—which should not be used against anyone—are being deployed overwhelmingly against people whose only intent was to protest government policy, while those intent on genocidal race war not only enjoy a totally free hand, but support from the highest office in the land.

While the Department of IN-Justice demands the identities of 1.3 million people who visited a website of resistance to Trump... they can't see a terrorist white-supremacist conspiracy that is in plain sight. Over and over these Nazis, KKKers, white supremacists, and Alt-Reich fascists openly declare their intention to carry out a genocidal race war. Nobody needs to be spying on people's web browsing history to see that. Or, to trace the networks behind them. They are deeply embedded in the military. They openly declare they have active duty police in them, in organizations like the "Oath Keepers."

And it doesn't take detective skills to trace the forces behind, and at the top of these networks. Steve Bannon, Trump's Chief Strategist, ran Breitbart News, where he openly took credit for creating "the platform for the alt-right."  At the top of the pyramid of all this is the President of the United States. In his repeated declarations defending the Nazis and KKKers who attacked and murdered people in Charlottesville, and his blaming "the violence" on those who stood up to these thugs, Trump is putting the resistance in the crosshairs of the repressive apparatus of the government, and giving a green light to fascist thugs to attack Black people, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, Jews, and anyone who values diversity and the humanity of the most vulnerable.

This is the reality we face. This is a regime that must be driven out by mass political action, in the streets, in the millions. Get with RefuseFascism.org today. 



 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/rally-for-colin-kaepernick-planned-for-nyc-on-august-23-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Blackballed from the NFL for Refusing to Stand for the National Anthem

Rally for Colin Kaepernick planned for NYC on August 23

August 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Letter from a Reader:

Last football season, San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick (Kap) refused to stand for the national anthem to protest police murder and brutality against people of color. (See “Cheers to Colin Kaepernick—For Not Standing for National Anthem,” http://revcom.us/a/454/cheers-to-colin-kaepernick-en.html.) Kap started a movement of football players (professional, college and high school) and athletes in other sports in not standing or raising their fists during the national anthem. At one point, 30 players on 14 teams in the National Football League (NFL) took part in this protest.

After the season, Kap opted out of his contract and became a free agent where he could be signed by any team. Months have passed, the NFL is now into its preseason, but Kaepernick remains unsigned, despite the fact that many quarterbacks with less talent than Kap have been signed. It is clear that he is being blackballed from his profession due to his political stand and the fact that he righteously protested out of the bounds of “normal acceptability.”

A national movement has started to boycott and protest the NFL until Kaepernick is signed. On August 23 a rally for Kaepernick will be held at NFL headquarters in New York City. The rally has been endorsed by a broad range of people and organizations. Some of those are: AME Church, Color of Change; DeRay McKesson; IBW; Justice League NYC; LIVEFREE; NAACP; Opal Tometi, the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement; Pastor Michael McBride; Rainbow Push Coalition; Rev. Jamal Bryant; Rev. Jesse Jackson; The Empowerment Movement; The People’s Consortium; and Women’s March. Spike Lee retweeted an ad for the event and said he supports Kaepernick and “His Stance On The Injustices In The USA.”

One of the endorsers, Pastor Jamal Bryant, wore Kap’s jersey to church services and told his congregation to sit during the national anthem, too.

Tamika Mallory, co-president of the Women’s March, said of her support for the protest: “Colin Kaepernick used his constitutional right to free speech and took a knee on behalf of black lives. When the NFL has a history of excusing players for egregious behaviors (including violence against women), it is clear team owners are making a statement when it comes to Kaepernick. We as consumers, viewers and people of good moral conscience must make one as well.”

Despite being vilified and receiving death threats, Kap never backed down from his protest and he continued to speak on political and social issues.

In response to Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America great again,” Kaepernick said, “Well America has never been great for people of color...” About the debate between Clinton and Trump, Kap said, “Both are proven liars and it almost seems like they’re trying to debate who’s less racist...You have Hillary, who’s called black teens or black kids ‘superpredators.’ You have Donald Trump, who’s openly racist.” On the 4th of July he tweeted out, “How can we truly celebrate independence on a day that intentionally robbed our ancestors of theirs?”

The anti-Kap forces are clearly led from the highest level of the government. Donald Trump, who is close friends with several NFL owners, said that the reason Kaepernick is being shunned by teams is because “NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump.” The right-wing American Family Association called Kap’s actions as being “against the law.” Ted Cruz said, “To all the athletes who have made millions in America’s freedom: stop insulting our flag, our nation, our heroes.”

None of this has deterred Kap from spending the off-season supporting social justice organizations, where he donated $750,000 to several organizations in and outside the U.S.

Support for Kap has been growing with a protest movement to boycott the NFL. This past week, several dozen people protested outside the Los Angeles Rams’ preseason game demanding that Kap be hired. A group, #StandingforKaepernick, has called for protests at the first regular season game played at every NFL stadium and a boycott of anything related to week one of the NFL unless Colin Kaepernick is added to an official NFL roster.

At the first preseason game this past week, Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks and Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland Raiders sat during the national anthem, while Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles raised a clenched fist, continuing the protest that Kaepernick started.

Kevin Livingston, who Kaepernick helped in getting suits for job interviews to those who were formerly incarcerated, said , “Everyday folk just wanna protest for him.... He’s our modern day Muhammad Ali.”

 

Editors note: Stay tuned to revcom.us for coverage of the August 23 rally and other developments around Colin Kaepernick.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/no-we-should-not-hope-that-trumps-nuclear-blackmail-works-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

No, Fareed Zakaria, We Should NOT Hope That Trump's Nuclear Blackmail Works!

August 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

Donald Trump and his regime have let loose an unprecedented stream of genocidal threats of a nuclear holocaust against North Korea—"fire and fury like the world has never seen," Trump warned.  "The end of its regime and the destruction of its people, [emphasis added]" Defense Secretary General "Mad Dog" Mattis declared.  And all this, Trump bellowed, wasn't "tough enough"!

In response, a host of government officials, ex-officials, and media talking heads criticized this blood-curdling nuclear blackmail.  Why?  Because they didn't think it would work to force North Korea to give up its nukes and could end up weakening the U.S.    

In interviews and on his CNN show GPS, Fareed Zakaria argued that the U.S. "appeared to be on the brink of war" because the situation "has been exaggerated and mishandled by the Trump administration."  According to Zakaria, Trump's threats of preemptive war, possibly nuclear war, in response not to a North Korean attack but its rhetoric, was not "credible" and this was damaging the U.S.  "Empty threats and loose rhetoric only cheapen American prestige and power, boxing in the administration," he said, criticizing Trump's bellicose language as "the art of the bluff."

Zakaria Sounds "Sensible"... But What's the Logic of His Logic?

To many, this may sound like a sensible, even anti-war position.  Leaving aside whether Trump is just bluffing, let's examine Zakaria's underlying framework and assumptions, and where they lead.  What we'll find is something extremely reactionary and dangerous. 

Zakaria does not question America's "legitimate right" to force North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons—and more generally to try and dictate who has, and who doesn't have these genocidal weapons around the world.  Why?  The underlying presumption, constantly reinforced in the system's media, is that the U.S. may have its problems, but it's still a force for good in the world, and isn't a reckless power with no scruples about wholesale human destruction—as North Korea and other U.S. adversaries are portrayed.  Zakaria's problem is just that Trump is going about it the wrong way.

How Many People Has the "Peace-Loving U.S." Already Killed in North Korea?

North Korea's is an oppressive regime.  But just taking the Korean Peninsula, who has been the reckless power with no regard for human life or the staggering horror of nuclear conflict?  America!  It mass murdered over three million North Koreans—one third of its population—during the 1950-53 Korean War literally leveling North Korea through massive bombing. 

During the war, according to historian, Bruce Cumings, the U.S. "dropped dummy atomic bombs on North Korea to see whether they might be useful against troop concentrations and cities," and tested a massive atomic bomb as a threat.  It was the U.S. that first introduced nuclear weapons to Korea in 1958 (only removing them in 1991 when the military developed what they believed would be more useful, accurate non-nuclear weapons). 

Why did the U.S. rulers inflict such terrible violence on Korea (and so many other places around the world)?  They did so to attack the Chinese revolution led by Mao ZeDong and the socialist camp (of China and the Soviet Union) and the powerful national liberation struggles that emerged in the aftermath of World War 2, in order to establish American imperialist dominance over a world locked in the chains of capitalist exploitation and age-old forms of oppression.

Cumings notes that North Korea is a "small country, and the largest power in the world is constantly threatening it with nuclear annihilation. President Obama did this too. He routinely sent nuclear-capable B-1 and B-2 bombers over South Korea for exercises."  All this is the main reason North Korea has even developed nuclear weapons—for deterrence.

If the U.S. Has Thousands of Nukes, Routinely Uses Them for Threats, and Actually Has Used Them in the Past... Then Why, Exactly, Does It Want to Eliminate North Korean Nukes?

The U.S. is not demanding North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program as a step toward eliminating all nuclear weapons in the world (or even mainly to protect the U.S. from attack).  It's doing so to rob North Korea of any serious defense to strengthen America's ability to bully North Korea—and China—including by maximizing its freedom to use its own nuclear arsenal if need bean arsenal which remains at the core of U.S. military and global power!  (See, "Behind the Madness of Trump's Threats of "Fire and Fury" in Korea," Revolution/revcom.us, August 10, 2017)

       

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

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.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:3

Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

If the U.S. successfully nuclear blackmailed North Korea it would normalize and encourage more threats of nuclear obliteration leveled against other U.S. rivals and opponents, escalate tensions and the danger of war across Asia and the world, give wind to Trump's whole "America First... Make America Great Again" approach, and strengthen, embolden and in some ways legitimize this fascist regime and this imperialist system.  How is any of that any good? 

And who does Zakaria's underlying logic lead him to choose as a model when it comes to "credible" threats?  Harry Truman!  Trump drew from Truman's apocalyptic threats against Japan in August 1945 after dropping the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima: "If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth." 

Zakaria: I Prefer Reasonable Genocidal Maniacs to Clearly Demonic Ones Like Donald Trump

"But of course," Zakaria claimed, repeating the lie that Japan was hell-bent on continuing the war, "that was at the end of a carefully thought-through strategy designed to force Japan to surrender at the end of World War 2.  And when they didn't, when Japan in a sense called his bluff, he dropped two atomic bombs on Japan."  In reality, Japan had been suing for peace, not calling American bluffs.1

So there you have it!  According to Zakaria and the rest of the "reasonable" imperialists, using nuclear weapons, instantly incinerating tens of thousands and mass murdering over 200,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (when Truman knew the Japanese were preparing to surrender) is OK—as long as you do it "credibly," as part of a "careful strategy!!" 

The "Sensible" Lindsay Graham's Logic: Who Cares If a Lot of People Die, So Long as They're Not Americans

And speaking of wanton, barbaric disregard for human life and "off-the-cuff" threats, neither Zakaria nor any of the rest of Trump's establishment critics have framed their objections to his reckless brinksmanship in what it would mean for North Korea's 25 million people (and the millions more in the region whose lives would be snuffed out or devastated in the event of war). 

Why?  Because threats, whether "reckless" like Trump's or "careful" like Truman's, are part of preparing the ground for towering crimes should the rulers decide to carry them out, and training people to accept these crimes as normal or just.  And they're training people in this country that American lives are more important than others—in fact they're the only ones that count. And if this wasn't already clear, Senator Lindsay Graham spelled it out explicitly recently:  "If there's going to be a war to stop [Kim Jong-un], it will be over there. If thousands die, they're going to die over there. They're not going to die here. And [Trump] has told me that to my face."

What kind of system promotes, and what kind of a country, promotes that kind of putrid, barbaric outlook—really no different than Hitler and the Nazis?  A capitalist-imperialist system based on the ruthless exploitation of billions all over the world, carried out through savage oppression and environmental devastation, and enforced by violence on a scale unimagined in past history. 

The Logic of Empire

All of this country's bullying, disarming, and wars—whether carefully thought out or not —are unjust wars of empire, aimed at maintaining and strengthening a system of global exploitation, oppression and endless misery.  They bring nothing good for humanity. 

What makes them even more intolerable is that they're unnecessary.  A core assumption promoted by Zakaria and other defenders of this system is that in a world of horrible regimes and forces—from ISIS to North Korea's Kim Jong-un—America is the "good guy," or at least better than the rest.  And these are the only choices humanity has.

That is not true.  There's a real basis today in the way the world has developed for a radically different and far better, emancipating way humanity can not just survive but flourish—socialist societies based on the new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian, here and elsewhere, moving towards a world where exploitation, oppression, and war will be a thing of the past. As the accompanying excerpt makes clear, there will be no nuclear weapons in the Socialist Republic in North America. (See side panel.) But getting there will take an actual revolution to overthrow the power most responsible for the unending horrors crushing billions and threatening humanity's future—U.S. capitalism-imperialism!  And that revolution must be the first great step toward a communist world free of any form of exploitation, oppression, or environmental despoliation. 

A crucial strategic component of working toward such a communist revolution is internationalism and revolutionary defeatism: putting humanity and the world first—not America! —and welcoming the defeats and difficulties our rulers suffer to hasten and prepare for the moment when this monster and greatest nuclear threat to the entire planet can be overthrown through revolution. 

 


1. The claim that Japan was "called Truman's bluff" is a lie.  The U.S. knew Japan wasn't "calling" any bluffs—they were suing for peace weeks before Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On July 12, 1945, Truman admitted in his private diary that the U.S. had received a "telegram from [the] Jap Emperor asking for peace."  Two weeks later, on July 26, 1945, the U.S. and its allies called for Japan's unconditional surrender—but gave no hint they'd developed a devastating new weapon.  Proposals by a number of scientists for a demonstration test of the atomic bomb to shock Japan into immediate surrender were rejected.  Then Truman issued his "rain of ruin" threat after atomic bombing Hiroshima.  He then quickly dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki 3 days later—probably before Japan understood what had hit them according to researchers.  America's real motive in nuking Japan was not simply ending the war or "saving lives"—it was to threaten the then-socialist Soviet Union and dominate the post-World War 2 global order, including Japan—by forcing its immediate, unconditional surrender on U.S. terms.  (See "American Crime Case #97: August 6 and 9, 1945—The Nuclear Incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," revcom.us, May 23, 2016.) ; [back]



 

 


 

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Revolution #504 August 14, 2017


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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/washington-lee-and-trump-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Washington, Lee and Trump:
5 Points That Must Be Clear

August 17, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

  1. To stand up against Nazis, KKKers, and fascists is righteous and just.  Those who refuse to knuckle under to armed lynch mobs and forcibly or otherwise defend themselves and the masses against these fascists are heroes and must be unapologetically upheld.
  2. This is a country that was born in genocide, mass kidnapping and slavery, and that literally invented racism.  Washington, Jefferson, and most of the rest of the “founders” not only individually owned slaves, with every bit of ugliness that entailed including rape and the destruction of families, but continually fought to defend and expand slavery.  As Bob Avakian has said, starting off his book BAsics, 1:1: “There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.”
  3. There is at the same time a special ugliness to the Confederate statues, all of which were erected to legitimize the oppression and humiliation of legal segregation and the outright terror of lynch mob rule.  These statues were built to, and still do, strike a chill in the bones and souls of those who suffered under this rule, or who hated it for simple human reasons; these monuments must all come down NOW, beginning with the many monuments in the official buildings of Washington D.C., and nobody must be tried or in any way punished for the public service of removing these monstrosities from public life.  Those who now defend these monuments to the terrorization of an entire people must be driven from public life—beginning with Trump, Pence and the whole rest of this fascist regime.
  4. Trump inherits and defends the mantle of both the George Washingtons and the Robert E. Lees.  When Trump says, in a rare moment of truth-telling, that tearing down the symbols of the Confederacy will logically lead to tearing down the monuments to all the slave-owning founders, and this is a threat to American values, he reveals a great deal of the ugly hypocrisy at the core of mainstream American politics.
  5. Trump is indeed a contemptible monster.  But to claim that Trump is somehow different in essence or in any kind of fundamental way from earlier presidents distorts reality. Presidents from Woodrow Wilson, the Democrat who purged Black people from federal employment and promoted the Klan-loving film The Birth of a Nation... to Franklin Roosevelt, whose reforms actually strengthened white supremacy... from Richard Nixon, whose “Southern strategy” blatantly appealed to those backward whites who hated school desegregation and the Voting Rights Act which enabled Black people to vote and whose Justice Department connived in the assassination of leaders of the Black Panther Party even, in the infamous case of Fred Hampton, as they lay sleeping... to Ronald Reagan, who opened his presidential campaign with a visit to the city famous for the lynching of three civil rights workers in 1964, and not only refused to mention the lynching but went on to uphold “states' rights”... from Bill Clinton who made a point of posing for campaign pictures showing him lording it over a group of Black prisoners on a chain gang and who put mass incarceration and police terror on steroids with legislation and money... on down to, yes, Barack Obama, with his relentless attacks on Black men for being “irresponsible” and his fatuous, and extremely damaging, claims that in America “you can make it if you try” and who assailed people who bravely rebelled against police terror in Baltimore as thugs... all of them upheld the institutions and logic of white supremacy.  
  6. What DOES make Trump different from other presidents is not his recognition that white supremacy is essential to the history and present-day preservation of capitalist-imperialist USA as it is... but his insistence that in order to survive the U.S. political system and its representatives must now OPENLY and UNABASHEDLY dispense with the coded messages of the past and full-throatedly come out and defend open, blatant racism and, with it, must impose laws and measures that are genocidal in direction and intent. This is the particularly pressing danger of what Trump and the whole Trump/Pence regime represents: the move to fascism, to open dictatorship.  As we have said:  “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.’”
  7. Trump continually demonizes Black people, immigrants, Muslims and other “minorities.”  But the Trump/Pence regime has a vicious and, yes, fascist political program as well.  This fascist regime has already set in motion plans to deprive millions of Black and Latino and other people of color of the right to vote, Trump himself has called for nationwide stop-and-frisk (another name for pervasive and often murderous racial profiling), he has moved to deprive further millions of basic health care, he has ordered the expansion of mass incarceration through his Attorney General Sessions—this is already a truly genocidal program. Now those who openly call for a white America, for ethnic cleansing, for an outright full genocide have this week publicly drawn heart from how Trump essentially supported them in the Charlottesville outrage.  Where is this going?
  8. The fascism that is now moving so aggressively to set terms and consolidate power, embodied in this Trump/Pence regime, is extremely and extraordinarily dangerous to humanity worldwide and must be defeated and driven out—NOW.  Those who deplore Trump but neither recognize the fascist character of the Trump/Pence regime as a whole nor call for its removal and who instead counsel nothing more than waiting for elections well more than a year away do a grave disservice.  A powerful movement of millions, in the streets, reaching into every sector of society, demanding the removal of the Trump/Pence regime could in fact set off a crisis that could prevent this regime from carrying out plans that are indeed fascist and put humanity as a whole in direct danger.  Such a movement is not only urgently necessary but possible, but only if extremely diverse sections of society and political points of view come together to do it.
  9. Finally, people must come to grips with the true character of a society and system that not only spawned Trump but elected him to the highest office of the land and continues to tolerate him in that office.  This means coming to grips with the true history of this country, rooted in slavery and the genocide of 90 percent of the Native peoples living here; the nature of the system of capitalism-imperialism that generated that history; and the fact that there actually is a solution to this madness, a society able to, on the road to and making it a core mission to uproot the poisonous soil of oppression and heal the scars of the horrors committed by this system.  That solution can only come about through revolution—a revolution for which there is the strategy, the vision and “blueprint” for a new society (concretized in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America) and the leadership, in Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party which he leads.

 

       

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/the-total-solar-eclipse-of-2017-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

The Total Solar Eclipse of 2017
A Cool Darkness that Shines Light on How Reality Works

August 17, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This coming Monday, August 21, the shadow of the moon will cross North America in about three hours, in a line from Oregon to South Carolina—a total solar eclipse. The complete shadow will be about a 70-mile-wide circle. Anyone in the path of that complete shadow will be able to watch as the moon's shape moves completely in front of the sun, blocking out all the sun's direct light. For someone standing still and looking up, this "totality" (when the sun is completely blocked out) will last less than three minutes. Outside this complete shadow you would still see the moon passing in front of part of the sun. Along with the parts of North America that are not in the path of the total eclipse, parts of South America, Africa, and Europe will be able to view a partial eclipse. Watch the video on the right to see how this works. Click here to view a map of Monday’s eclipse, and the times it will pass over your location. A search online can easily give more information.

A "total solar eclipse" is when the sun is completely blocked, "eclipsed," by the moon. A "partial solar eclipse" is when only part of the sun is blocked by the moon. This is different from a lunar eclipse, when the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun and passes through the Earth's shadow. A total solar eclipse happens somewhere on Earth about every 18 months. Most of these are over water and only a few people get to see them. The eclipse on August 21 this year is rare because it will mostly be over land, and millions will be able to watch. And it is an awesome sight! If you are completely in the shadow (seeing a total eclipse), the sun will become completely blocked out and for a few minutes it will look and feel like nighttime. You will even see some stars.

But that's not all. If you're completely in the moon's shadow, you will see the sun's outer fiery atmosphere, something impossible to see any other time because of the intensity of the sun's light. It will look something like the picture at right.

Scientists are excited. Along with a wondrous awe (one scientist was quoted saying "It will be awe-inspiring and I mean that 'awe' in the original, moving you to tears since of 'awe'"), they are gearing up to learn everything they can from this eclipse, including by popularizing experiments for "citizen scientists" (anyone who wants to get in on this) to do and send in results. Studying the sun during eclipses is not new, but there is still a great deal we don't know. The sun is our star. It's large enough that about one million Earths could fit in it. It's more than 90 million miles from us. The moon is smaller than Earth, but because it's much closer to us casts a shadow on the Earth's surface when it passes in front of the sun. During a total eclipse, scientists can study the outer atmosphere of the sun. And through that they'll learn even more about how our sun works, how stars work. Other scientists have experiments ready to learn how the Earth's atmosphere and environment changes when radiation from the sun changes. Eleven satellites, high-altitude balloons, hundreds of ground-based telescopes and the International Space Station will be chasing the moon's shadow.

These days we can also watch the moon's shadow from space!

On Monday, humanity gets another peek at the awesomeness of the universe we are part of, how it works and our place in it. And it's a chance to send a big "fuck you!" to those that would deny science and reality. Learning science, learning how to know what's real, what's true, discovering what we do not yet know, learning how to apply that to changing our world... this makes all the difference in the world.

It's easy to find online videos and information about this eclipse, including what the science community is planning.

Science rocks!



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

  Order from Insight Press:

The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters, by Ardea Skybreak

The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism

Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters

by Ardea Skybreak

"This book will be of tremendous benefit to many..."
— Richard Leakey

 

Graphic to help visualize what happens during an eclipse. Source: NASA

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/504/trump-white-supremacy-and-neo-nazism-en.html

Revolution #504 August 14, 2017

Trump, White Supremacy, and Neo-Nazism: New Book, Hitler's American Model, Takes on Heightened Relevance

by Raymond Lotta

August 18, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

James Whitman, professor of law at Yale University, spoke last week at Revolution Books in Harlem, NYC about his new book Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law.1This is an important work of scholarship. And an extremely timely one in light of the racist and Nazi lynch mob mobilization in Charlottesville—and its ugly and menacing defense by the white-supremacist-in-chief, Trump.

Hitler's American Model painstakingly shows how top Nazi legal scholars and policy makers looked to America as an inspiration and precedent for a functioning white-supremacist society. Hitler himself in Mein Kampf and other writings and pronouncements extolled America as a shining and working example of what Nazi theorists called a "race state" that preserved "racial purity."

The Nazis Closely Studied America's Racist Law and Practice

The story that Whitman tells: In setting out to create legal structures to degrade, demonize, and expel the Jews of Germany, the Nazis closely studied America's Jim Crow segregation in the South—­America's racist immigration laws (setting quotas and excluding some nationalities outright)—and the laws of 30 U.S. states (north and south) that banned intermarriage between whites and non-whites. Click here to watch the video of James Whitman's talk.

In particular, Whitman examines the notorious Nuremberg Laws enacted by the Nazis in 1935. These measures formally stripped Jewish people of political rights, subjected them to a legal category of second-class citizenship, and made it a crime for Jews to marry non-Jews. Whitman researched and made use of the minutes of high-level Nazi meetings to demonstrate how the Nuremberg statutes were deeply influenced by American law and judicial practice against Blacks, Native Americans, Puerto Ricans, Filipinos and other Asians, and non-West European immigrants.

The Nazis did not find Jim Crow segregation to be the most useful form to apply in subjugating the Jews of Germany. But America's system of legal and terroristic enforcement of white racial domination was seen as a precedent. The Nazis were especially taken with U.S. restrictions on immigrants in the name of preserving "racial purity" and "superiority" and the laws against "miscegenation"—the U.S. term for racial intermarriage—laws which existed in many states until as late as 1967 in Virginia.

But—and this is further indictment of American racism—some elements of the "American model" were "too extreme" even for the Nazis: for instance, the principle that a person with "one drop" of African blood was classified as Black.

A Challenge to the Official Narrative of "American Exceptionalism"

The official and lying narrative of "American exceptionalism" holds that the U.S. is a special force for good in the world. In his book, James Whitman shines a light on a profound truth:

In the early 20th century the United States was not just a country with racism. It was the leading racist jurisdiction—so much so that even Nazi Germany looked to America for inspiration ... [T]he United States, with its deeply rooted white supremacy and its vibrant and innovative legal culture, was the country at the forefront of the creation of racist law. This is how the Nazis saw matters, and they were not the only ones. (p 138)

Hitler's American Model looks at American white supremacy and racism through the lens of German Nazism. Today, white supremacists and Nazis are mobilizing, marauding in Charlottesville and throughout the country. The Trump/Pence regime has courted, emboldened, and defended them. Such are the dangerous depths of the current moment. This is a time to resist and to mobilize to end the nightmare of this regime. It is also a time to grapple with the real history and nature of the system that spawned Trump... and that inspired the Nazis in the 1920s and 1930s.


1. James Q. Whitman, Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law, Princeton University Press, 2017. [back]