Revolution #513, October 16, 2017 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/512/see-and-share-this-talk-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Watch this talk and Q&A's. Share widely.

Updated October 25, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian:
The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!

The film of Bob Avakian's new speech addresses the most urgent question of the day: how to understand, and what to do about, the threat to humanity itself posed by the Trump/Pence regime. This talk—from the most radical revolutionary on the planet—makes the case for massive, sustained nonviolent outpourings to begin on November 4 in a compelling way. It traces the roots of the regime—the deeper and more immediate causes of its rise to power. This hour-long speech is full of substance, and heart.

What people are saying about this film...

To view the full speech, click 'Play' above. The film and all video clips are also available for download HERE

Read more

To view, download, and share the trailer and other clips from this film, scroll down or click HERE

To view, download, and share video of Q&A with Bob Avakian, scroll down or click HERE

How to download and share videos HERE.

 

 

The daily, almost hourly, headlines cry out with urgency. See—and share—this talk.

In addition:

  • Be part of the getting the trailer for the film—available early next week—out far and wide on the internet.
  • Show the film in classes, religious congregations, with friends, and more.
  • Do a short video about the talk, or video others. Post your videos on the www.revcom.us social media or email to: revolution.reports@yahoo.com
  • Go to film showings taking place across the country, or schedule your own.
  • Generously contribute funds to advertise this in a major way on social media. We are aiming to raise at least $5,000 right away. Donate here, earmarked for “social media promotion.”
  • Call people you know NOW to invite them to any screening in your area, or talk with them about the urgency of them seeing this.

Questions and Answers:

Q&A: Part 1

Q&A: Part 2

Q&A: Part 3

Q&A: Part 4

Part 1 of Q&A session

  • 0:00: What do you say to the late night comedians, the Stephen Colberts etc, who do some powerful exposure and ridicule but also run the risk of becoming like court jesters and, in this case, contributing to the normalization of fascism?
  • 11:10: If successful in driving out, or forcing Trump to resign, who will step in to take the reins?  What happens next?  And are these replacements prepared to lead this entire diverse country and its military?
  • 27:13: How is it possible to maintain a movement of that scale for a long period of time?

Part 2 of Q&A session

  • 00:00: We have this multi-national corporate news media that's fractured into a thousand pieces and even so, Refuse Fascism can barely get on air. What sort of strategies do you think we can come up with to get through this?
  • 11:30: Minorities have been in not a very favorable situation in this country to fight against everything that is going against them... because they're not in the land where they originally come from. How can we protect those who need to be on the streets fighting with us, how can we protect the ones that are being targeted directly? How can we get them to be on the streets?
  • 23:03: Could you speak to the role of students, including that there have been vicious attacks on critical thinking at known liberal or historically radical places, ie Berkeley, and how should we approach bringing students forward to the call of Refuse Fascism as well as unleashing them in that process?

Part 3 of Q&A session

  • 00:00: Unfortunately, as a Democrat it has long been determined that you vote for the lesser of two evils, right?  Either the Dems or the Republicans.  But it has gotten to the point where both of them are just as worse – one is cancer and one is HIV.  So you don't want to vote for either one of them... I know the system sucks, but what are you supposed to do in the interim?
  • My other question is as a revolutionary Christian, I acknowledge that Christian fundamentalists have been around spewing their venom for many hundreds of years... I believe that we do need this revolution.  I embrace it. But what I need to hear is how can you have other people of any religion so that they would want to embrace it also and not feel alienated because they are “Christians.”
  • 25:33: On fighting fascism and making revolution.  Can you talk about the difference and similarity between the situation we face in driving out the Trump/Pence Regime and a situation open to and makes possible for revolution.  Can one lead to the other?  What should revolutionaries do in the face of this?

Part 4 of Q&A session

  • 00:00: What do you think November 4 should look like and how do you envision the days following? Also, how we can overcome our own obstacles in reaching out broadly including to people that don't agree with the need for a revolution?
  • 14:46: I've been out, trying to tell millions of people that we need to drive out this regime before it becomes too late... and I know millions feel the way we do, but if they don't act, does that matter? We say we still have time but how do we know that we still have time before fascism fully consolidates? How do we know much time we have left?
  • 33:17: Do you think that we need to struggle for the liberation of all sentient animals that are being enslaved, raped, tortured and murdered by the billions each year as part of the animal agriculture, animal testing, leather, fur, and down-based clothes under this system? Do you think that liberation is possible under this system or does that require a concurrent struggle for animal liberation along with a broader revolution to get out of the system?

Trailer

Clip: "Free Yourself from the GTF!"

Clip: "What are we facing?"

Clip: "Order or Justice?"

Clip: "What Can We Do?"

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/what-you-can-do-to-build-for-november-4-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

What You Can Do Right Now to Build for November 4

October 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Here are some key things you can do immediately to be part of building for the massive, sustained nonviolent outpourings to begin on November 4.

1. See—and share—the film of the new talk from Bob Avakian (BA). THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America: A Better World IS Possible.This talk addresses the most urgent question of the day: how to understand, and what to do about, the threat to humanity posed by the Trump/Pence regime. The daily, almost hourly, headlines cry out with urgency. Go here for ways YOU can be part of getting this film out to many, many people right away.

 

2. Spread the slogan and the date far and wide:

NOVEMBER 4, It Begins...
This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

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

Use posters, stickers, flyers, chalking, light projections, banner drops, radio call-ins, social media, church bulletins, announcements at events, and much, much more. Go here for posters, flyers, banners, and graphics.

 

3. Be part of spreading the word and distributing thousands of copies of the Call for November 4 to students, religious congregations, professional organizations, and everywhere people gather. Here are a couple of examples of what people are doing: going out to a Democratic Club; connecting with students at a high school.

 

4. Endorse the call for November 4 and get other individuals and organizations to endorse it and be part of building for it.

 

5. Donate to and raise funds for November 4. Refuse Fascism says: “From shaking the can out on the street to calling individuals for major donations to house parties and yard sales and other activities, every donation raised strengthens this movement and expands the community of involvement.”

 

6. Use the Indictments of the Crimes of the Trump/Pence Regime to educate, organize, and stage political protests that provoke people broadly to understand the emergency we face and the extraordinary struggle required to redress it. Every protest should build for November 4.

 

7. Be part of protests against the outrages of the Trump/Pence regime and spread the word about November 4—like this protest against Trump’s genocidal actions against the people of Puerto Rico.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/three-false-hopes-and-one-thing-that-could-end-the-nightmare-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

The Three False Hopes That Could Kill Millions... and the One Thing That Could End the Nightmare

October 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In just this past week we have witnessed criminally irresponsible threats of nuclear war... eugenic and racist attacks on the health care of millions of poorer Americans and patriarchal attacks on the right to birth control... threats against the major media outlets and complaints that the press "writes what it wants"... the denigration and demonization of a whole people trapped in a terrible disaster... a theocratic speech to an assemblage of Christian fascists... and more. No doubt by the time you read this, still more and perhaps worse will have been done. But even—or especially—trapped in a nightmare, the normalization nevertheless creeps in, abetted by three false hopes.

False Hope One: The generals will save the planet from nuclear holocaust. Really? You do not become a top U.S. general without the ability to follow orders and kill lots of people in patently unjust wars like the ones waged against Iraq or Vietnam. Nor is there any law that enables anyone to override the "commander in chief" when they make a decision to use nuclear weapons. Beyond which—as the Republican senator Corker has pointed out—Trump could, through his actions, set the country on a course in which nuclear war erupts either by accident or because none of the principals feels they can back out.

False Hope Two: Mueller will save the rule of law and in doing so set in motion getting rid of Trump. This does not reckon with the fact that not only is Trump doing irreparable damage now to people and the planet, but that the regime is moving on the rule of law itself and by the time Mueller gets around to prosecuting anyone for anything, it may well be game over on that and other fronts.

False Hope Three: We can elect Democrats and they will impeach Trump. Let's just start by noting that as of today there is a grand total of TWO Democrats who are publicly entertaining the idea of impeaching Trump. Yet even were the Democrats inclined to impeach and then follow all the way through to remove Trump (which would still leave Pence and the rest of the ghouls in office), the setup of the electoral districts in the U.S., along with the denial of voting rights to large numbers of those likely to vote against Trump, makes it very unlikely that the Democrats will even win majorities in the House and Senate in 2018. And again—that is a YEAR away, and it is at the least very possible that, even if millions are not incinerated in a nuclear holocaust, the fascist regime will have consolidated and people will be in a qualitatively worse and more difficult spot from which to fight.

In short, neither the generals nor Mueller nor the Democratic Party will save humanity. The only ones who can save us are... US. Through massive sustained nonviolent action, the regime can be driven from office. Millions in the street, refusing to leave, could create enough of a political crisis to compel every power center in society (including some of the above) to act in response to that movement and to forge a consensus to remove and replace the regime, and to find a way to make that happen.

This is not a dream. Things like this have happened in the recent past, including in Korea. It can happen here and now... if we ALL act.

Consider the alternative—the real, and nightmarish, alternative.

Join us.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/511/ba-speaks-revolution-nothing-less-now-available-online-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

ANNOUNCING:

BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!
Now Available Online at revolutiontalk.net

October 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A truly groundbreaking work, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! is now available online for everyone to reach.

In this film, BA breaks down—like no one else can—the driving forces in human society, history, how we have gotten to where we are, and how we can get to a much radically different world, a communist world, through making an actual revolution. He does this with heart, humor, and science.

Learn the reality that the textbooks won’t teach you: the atrocities that this capitalist-imperialist system has committed on humanity, how it continues to oppress and exploit the masses of people all over the world; and the answers to the question: which system, capitalism or communism, is the true horror for humanity?

This talk is dealing with the most important thing there could be—the real possibility of bringing into being a radically different world, where all this madness, all the oppression and injustice, all the abuse and degradation that is so much a part of life now, would be done away with. It’s an incredible introduction to BA himself—the most radical revolutionary alive, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party and author of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

It’s a great thing to have this film available to a wider audience, accessible to the masses of people that may not have a DVD player but have a smart phone. Or a prisoner that only has an internet connection to the outside world. This full film is now in the palm of your hand, available to be seen by anyone seeking answers to the madness and terror of today’s world. And to those already with the revolution, it’s easily available to be whipped out when you’re struggling with others about revolution.

Check out the clips as a starting point. Then get deeper—watch the whole talk and understand how everything intertwines, what is the root cause of it all, and why revolution is not just necessary, but possible.

Promote this everywhere: share and spread on Twitter and FB (twitter.com/revolutiontalk and facebook.com/revolutiontalk), send a mass email out today to everyone you know, use the clips and full talk in engagement with people online, organize a showing... or just pull people together on a stoop or street corner.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/unconscionable-censorship-of-prlf-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Unconscionable Censorship of PRLF—Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund

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

 

Global Exchange, the fiscal sponsor for the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF), summarily cut off PRLF for explicitly political reasons after four years of excellent association. This cutoff means that PRLF can no longer accept tax-deductible donations. The new director, Jeff Ordower, stated, “Global Exchange is not interested in an association with Bob Avakian or the RCP [Revolutionary Communist Party, USA].”

This action by Global Exchange is unacceptable on general principle, but particularly in the time of Trump, this is downright unconscionable. This is also the most important time for PRLF’s annual fundraising drive.

In response to Global Exchange, four former prisoners immediately wrote a statement about what PRLF has meant to them. This statement is now circulating inside prison walls for current prisoners’ endorsement.

The PRLF is also sending out a letter to people of conscience who care deeply about the situation of prisoners to ask that they either contact Global Exchange directly or lend their name to a statement that will be sent to all members of Global Exchange’s Board of Directors to urge them to immediately reverse this decision.

PRLF’s objective is to have Global Exchange re-instate PRLF as a fiscal project of theirs. (Global Exchange can be contacted at web@globalexchange.org or 415.255.7296)

The PRLF has vowed to encourage supporters to protest outside Global Exchange’s office in San Francisco if the revocation of PRLF’s status is not overturned.

The following is the statement that PRLF is encouraging voices of conscience to sign:

“We, the undersigned, urge you to immediately reverse your decision to not continue Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund as a fiscal project of Global Exchange. The reason given that you do not wish to associate with Bob Avakian or the RCP is unacceptable, especially in the time of Trump. Some of us have actively engaged Bob Avakian’s work and value that engagement, but all of us protest this censorship on the part of Ordower on behalf of Global Exchange. In doing so, we recall the words of Pastor Niemöller:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Signed: _____________________________________________________________

Printed name: ________________________________________________________

Organization (for identification purposes only): _______________________________

Best way PRLF can reach you (not for publication): ___________________________

 


 

PRLF is asking you to be an initiating signer of this statement. PRLF will publish it as soon as possible, encouraging more people to sign this letter.

If you contact Global Exchange directly, please let contact@PRLF.org know that you did. Please also let PRLF know if you get any response from Global Exchange.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with PRLF: contact@prlf.org, 773.960.6952

 

Signatories (list in formation):

 

Jason Bell, Regional Director, Project Rebound Expanded*, San Francisco State University*
John Burris,
attorney
Colin Dayan
, professor and writer
Carl Dix, Representative of Revolutionary Communist Party, co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org
Gregory "Joey" Johnson, former defendant, U.S. Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson (1989), member of Revolution Club
Emily Kunstler, director/producer, William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe
Sarah Kunstler, director/producer, William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe
Nancy Michaels

 


 

*PRLF is an educational literature fund that has sent Revolution newspaper (www.revcom.us), works from Bob Avakian, (Chairman of the RCP) and other revolutionary and scientific literature to hundreds of prisoners across the U.S. for 10 years. PRLF has fought attempts by prison officials to censor these publications. For example, the ACLU of Southern California successfully represented PRLF in a censorship battle focused on Pelican Bay State Prison, with statewide ramifications in California.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/ex-prisoners-speak-out-against-the-global-exchange-censorship-of-prlf-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Ex-Prisoners Speak Out Against the Global Exchange Censorship of the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund

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

 

Recently, Global Exchange has notified the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) that it will no longer sponsor it and enable it to receive tax-deductible contributions. Jeff Ordower, the new director of Global Exchange, explained this by saying, “First, Global Exchange is not interested in an association with Bob Avakian or the RCP....”

As former prisoners whose lives have been positively transformed through engagement with Bob Avakian’s works as well as a wide range of other literature provided by the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund, we want to express our outrage and condemn what amounts to arbitrary and mean-spirited censorship of the PRLF by Jeff Ordower, the new director of the Global Exchange.

Jeff Ordower has stated: “Yes, I am a new director and one of the folks making this call. Two concerns pop up. First, Global Exchange is not interested in an association with Bob Avakian or the RCP....”

While incarcerated, enclosed by gloomy, gray concrete walls, we received literature from the PRLF that was truly a light in the darkness. The way we viewed the world and the role we played in society changed dramatically. We learned to think of more than ourselves and our present conditions, we learned of all the unnecessary suffering of masses of people throughout the world and were able to reclaim our humanity by recognizing it didn’t have to be that way and that there was a role for us to play in changing it. Through engagement with Bob Avakian we were inspired to think differently, to raise our sights beyond the monotonous comings and goings of prison life, and were able to envision a radically different world, without people being horrendously exploited, oppressed, degraded, cast off and ground up like human garbage by this system. Now Jeff Ordower wants to prevent other prisoners from getting the same opportunity.

Jeff Ordower has through his actions appointed himself the position of “thought cop,” policing the ideas that prisoners are able to engage by unconscionably cutting off the lifeline to the outside world that the PRLF provides to hundreds of people behind prison walls simply because he doesn’t agree with communism. What the PRLF has done for us (and does for many more still locked up) was more than offer an escape from the maddening, mind-numbing and mind-killing conditions of incarceration, but more importantly awakened us to political life and moved us to radically change our morality and way of thinking in the most positive way imaginable, yes, through the works of Bob Avakian and the RCP, as well as other works from other perspectives. It is hard to imagine the immensely positive transformation that we have been through had it not been for the work of the PRLF in getting the works of Bob Avakian and subsidized subscriptions of Revolution newspaper into our hands and into our cells.

This censorship is nothing more than a cheap, unprincipled anti-communist attack and we the undersigned call for this action to be reversed.

Signed by four former prisoners and two current prisoners, whose names are being withheld to prevent political repression, and now being circulated among current and more former prisoners for endorsement.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/trump-says-iran-violating-nuclear-deal-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Trump Says Iran Violating Nuclear Deal:
An Ominous Move, A Gangster Escalation

October 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Friday, October 13, in a bellicose, fascist speech, Donald Trump condemned and threatened Iran, then refused to certify its compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement it signed with the U.S. and other major world powers. This is a serious and dangerous U.S. escalation.

Under the nuclear deal, Iran agreed to radically scale back its nuclear development and enrichment programs, making it impossible for it to develop the capability to make a nuclear weapon for at least 10 years. In return, the U.S. and other world powers agreed to lift their crippling economic and financial sanctions. Every single party to the deal, including the Trump/Pence regime up until now, has confirmed that Iran is complying with the agreement.

The U.S. president is required to certify Iran's compliance every 90 days. And this is what Trump refused to do on Friday, claiming Iran had committed "multiple violations" of the agreement, and that it was not "living up to the spirit of the deal." These are lies.

And that wasn't all. Trump made new demands on Iran—over its missile program and to extend the agreement—that are not part of the deal. He demanded Congress write legislation to impose new sanctions on Iran if his demands were not met. These moves would violate the nuclear agreement, and if carried out could kill it. And Trump made clear what would happen if Congress and U.S. allies didn't take action to his liking: "Then the agreement would be terminated. It is under continuous review and our participation can be cancelled by me as President at any time."

Trump's Ominous Move and Gangster Escalation

Trump's threat to tear up the Iran nuclear deal is ominous.

This deal, between reactionary global powers and a reactionary regional power, was the product of escalating U.S. and Israeli military threats and years of punishing U.S. and international sanctions. It was put in place to prevent Iran from having the ability to develop nuclear weapons, and, from the U.S. standpoint, to maintain its control of a region long crucial to its global dominance and power. In this context, it was also aimed at interrupting the gathering momentum toward a possible U.S.-Israeli war on Iran, which the Obama team felt could endanger U.S. interests. The U.S. also hoped the nuclear deal could lead to greater Iranian cooperation with—and acquiescence to—U.S. objectives in the region and globally.

Yet since the deal was signed, war and turmoil in the Middle East has in many ways intensified, and U.S. and Iranian needs, interests, and ambitions are clashing sharply. In Iraq, where Iran has gained great economic leverage, U.S. and Iranian-backed military forces are maneuvering for dominance, even as they sometimes cooperate against ISIS. In Syria, Iranian and Russia military intervention has, so far, kept Bashir al-Assad in power, outraging the U.S., Israelis, and Saudis. In Yemen, Saudi Arabia, a crucial U.S. proxy in the region, is mired in a protracted and risky war against Houthi rebels, who are loosely aligned with Iran.

All this poses great challenges to America's domination of the region. The core of the Trump/Pence regime feels Obama was hesitating, even retreating, in the face of these difficulties and that the Iran deal epitomized this. They're determined to reverse what they see as a major drift, and if necessary bludgeon and bomb their way through these contradictions—existing treaties or agreements be damned.

When Trump says Iran isn't "living up to the spirit of the deal," this has nothing to do with the text of the agreement. It's Trump attempting to expand the scope of the deal to encompass Iranian actions that get in the way of America's bloody stranglehold on the region.

This is what drove Trump's warlike indictment of Iran's Islamic Republic, and his new strategy for aggressively confronting Iran and rolling back its influence. This included sanctioning Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a key pillar of the regime; working more closely with Israel and Saudi Arabia to directly assault and undermine Iran's allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen; and countering Iran's missile program.

A Pentagon spokesperson stated that in light of Trump's announcement, the military is reviewing the "full breadth" of its Middle East actions—including troop deployments—in order to find ways to counter Iran and its allies. One Iran expert told Democracy Now!: "The buzz [in Washington, DC] is that there's going to be a very significant ramping up, an escalation, in the region against Iran, potentially including shooting down Iranian airplanes, sinking Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf, targeting Iranian troops or Iranian-allied troops in Iraq and in Syria."

Trump: Consolidating Fascism, Heightening the Likelihood of Catastrophic War

Trump's threats against the Iran deal reflects his fascist regime's determination to rip up anything standing in the way of forcibly imposing "America First" gangster domination of the entire globe—if need be, even the strategies, treaties, alliances, and political norms through which the U.S. has exercised its domination over the last 70 years.

Tearing up the Iran nuclear deal and escalating U.S. aggression against Iran would be an utterly illegitimate act of military—and implicitly nuclear—brinksmanship that would put a region of hundreds of millions, indeed the world, at risk!

As revcom.us analyzed last week, Trump's actions toward Iran mark "the further consolidation of the fascist regime and fascist program, in the international sphere." And further:

While we can't say with certainty how any one situation will turn out, we can say that if this regime remains in power the probability that the U.S. will end up in a war that will either begin as, or become, nuclear is greatly heightened. Trump's threats and intentional unpredictability make a miscalculation or "accidental" war much more likely and trifle with the lives of literally billions of people. Indeed, what Trump represents and is doing qualitatively heightens the danger to humanity, including the very future of humanity.

What more reason do we need to flood into the streets on November 4, and stay there until this murderous fascist regime which threatens the whole planet is driven from power?

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/trump-stabs-medical-coverage-for-millions-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

With the Stroke of a Pen,
Trump Wipes Out Medical Care for Millions

October 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

After months of contention, the Trump/Pence regime's congressional allies were unable to pass one of their bills aimed at destroying the Affordable Care Act—"Obamacare." Trump has now stepped forward to use his executive orders to accomplish the same goal. In just a matter of hours on Thursday, October 12, Trump moved in two significant ways toward wiping out medical coverage for millions in this country forced to live near the bottom of society.

Trump signed an executive order stopping the billions of dollars in subsidies that have gone to insurance companies under Obamacare to provide lower premium and co-payment costs for the working poor who buy their insurance through the health insurance exchanges. Trump's cold-blooded move will drive up premium and co-payment costs, potentially sky high—making health insurance unaffordable again for those who had been able for the first time to have any kind of health coverage. Trump's move is also expected to drive more and more insurance companies out of the insurance exchanges altogether, further making it impossible for people who aren't eligible for Medicaid or able to afford their own insurance to have medical coverage.  

Only hours earlier, Trump had signed another executive order, this one allowing insurance companies to offer cut-rate coverage that leaves out essential elements of health care that had previously been required, like maternity care, mental health care, and prescription drugs.

A week earlier, on October 6, Trump made it possible for employers to use religious or "moral" justifications to avoid the requirement to provide free birth control coverage in their employee health plans. This day—when Trump undermined the guarantee of birth control coverage for 55 million women—was declared by his fascist cohort, House Speaker Paul Ryan, as "a landmark day for religious liberty."

This regime has been moving since day one to find every possible way to wipe out Obamacare. This includes using the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), supposedly responsible for implementing this medical care program, to go all out to destroy it. They have eliminated one program after another intended to let people know even how to sign up. They've cut 40% of the funding to groups set up to help people enroll. And they've cut funding for advertising and enrollment by 90%.

At the same time, HHS has used that money to fund publicity drives aimed at propagating the Trump/Pence claims about how bad Obamacare is. Since July people have been able to watch 23 different videos on You Tube, paid for by HHS, that attack Obamacare. And HHS has posted infographics that others can tweet attacking Obamacare.

Trump's most recent executive orders, the marshaling of HHS, and the battles by the fascist-led Congress and the White House point to how much this fascist regime has invested in destroying Obamacare and the big stakes they see in doing this. While Obamacare did make medical coverage available to millions for the first time, tens of millions were still left out—including the 11 million or more undocumented immigrants brutally exploited in this society. But for the Trump/Pence regime and ruling class forces they represent, even the concessions included in Obamacare are completely unacceptable.

The regime's white-supremacist, male-supremacist, America First ideology has as a cornerstone nakedly embracing the dictates of raw, cold-blooded capitalist-imperialist commodity relations: "those who can't afford it, shouldn't have it." They are moving to put an end to any idea that those people—meaning especially Black, Brown and other oppressed people and immigrants—who can't afford basic health care should receive any help. This is what "Make America Great Again" looks like. Trump, Pence, and their whole regime will stop at nothing to achieve it. Every day they are in power they are marching—not in a straight line, but relentlessly—toward the nightmarish vision of America First, with god on its side.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/512/trump-brings-slow-death-to-people-of-puerto-rico-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Trump Brings "Slow Death" to People of Puerto Rico
WE CALL "GENOCIDE"
In the Name of Humanity, This Regime Must Be Driven from Power

October 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

On September 29, nine days after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said, If we don't get the food and the water into people's hands, we are going to see something close to a genocide. ... the world will see how we are treated not as second-class citizens but as animals that can be disposed of.” [Emphasis added.]

Now, 23 days since the storm, what do we see?

Eighty-five percent of Puerto Rico’s power grid is not operating and up to 90 percent of its 3.4 million people are still without electricity... over one-third without drinkable water... 90 percent of roads impassable... communications shattered. Most hospitals are open but depend on generators that break down or run out of fuel, causing frantic evacuations.

A team of volunteers in a remote area reports they can only provide each family with two bottles of water, a pack of smoked sausage and some Skittles each day. People are drinking from mountain streams in which corpses of dead animals are rotting or from polluted waters of toxic “Superfund” sites.

The health crisis is intensifying—5,000 dialysis patients have had their life-saving treatments reduced by 25 percent. People are caring for frail elders at home, without water or air conditioning in the tropical heat. Rare bacterial diseases are killing people. Essential drugs are in short supply.

The majority are out of work, consumed with survival from morning to night or trying to flee the island altogether. Day after day, people line up before dawn and wait for hours to pick through rotting vegetables in supermarkets or to get a few bottles of water, a bag of ice, a few gallons of fuel, or money from an ATM.

Overwhelmingly, people report that any aid they’ve received has come from volunteers or private charities, not Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

And how has Donald Trump, head of the richest government in the world, responded to this huge humanitarian crisis?

By blaming the Puerto Rican people, saying “they want everything to be done for them” and claiming that Puerto Rico was “already a disaster”—a basket case that can’t be helped; by complaining that Puerto Rico has thrown the U.S. budget “out of whack”; by staging disgusting photo ops, like tossing paper towels to people; and lying about the “fantastic job” he’s doing.

On October 12, Trump lashed out again, saying the problem is Puerto Rico’s “total lack of accountability” and threatening, “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders ... in P.R. forever.” This after three weeks and having accomplished very little, as heat, fear, thirst and hunger stalk millions. In contrast, FEMA is still active in the Northeast U.S., five years after Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012.

Trump reinstated the Jones Act, which bars non-U.S. ships from Puerto Rico and is a major cause of high prices there, and an obstacle to relief effort.

Not only is the immediate relief effort endangered, but the Puerto Rican government is carrying $74 billion in debt to imperialist banks and hedge funds as a result of the systematic U.S. plunder. It is now on the brink of bankruptcy—of being unable to even cover Medicaid payments, pay healthcare workers, or provide other vital services. The Trump regime’s response to this imminent catastrophe? Proposing a $4.9 billion loan, which will drive the territory even deeper into debt. (Meanwhile, Trump asked for a $16 billion payout—not a loan—to cover the debt of the federal flood insurance program, which promotes construction of homes and small businesses in known flood plains in Texas and elsewhere.)

Nor has the U.S. committed to rebuilding Puerto Rico’s destroyed infrastructure, without which the great majority of Puerto Ricans, particularly the 45 percent who were already below the poverty line, will suffer drastic worsening of their lives and health.

Mayor Cruz rightly said that Trump’s tweets “Condemn us to a slow death of nondrinkable water, lack of food, lack of medicine, while you keep others eager to help from reaching us.”

So now a clear verdict must be delivered. What is going on in Puerto Rico is not a matter of “incompetence,” of Trump “not knowing” that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, nor of logistical problems. It is a purposeful manifestation of this regime’s fascist character and its hatred and contempt for the lives of nonwhite, Spanish-speaking people.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. “territory,” but it is also the heart and the homeland of the Puerto Rican nation, the source of the unique culture of the Puerto Rican people—the home that holds them together even as millions have had to move to the U.S. mainland. Its territorial (in other words, colonial) status was not voluntary—it is the result of the conquest of the island by U.S. imperialism in 1898, and the brutal crushing of repeated waves of popular resistance. 

Now, on top of this whole ugly imperialist history, the Trump/Pence regime is causing new levels of suffering and unnecessary death—and threatening to impose long-term devastation on the island, making it effectively unlivable for hundreds of thousands.

This is a wholesale attack on the very existence and national culture of the Puerto Rican people, and deserving of being called “genocidal.”

This massive crime against humanity is happening before our eyes. This cannot be allowed to continue. It is, and must be resisted by not only Puerto Ricans but by all people of conscience. Standing by as the regime carries out the cruel and racist strangulation of the island and people of Puerto Rico is not an option. All this drives home the reality that this regime must be driven from power at the earliest possible time.

November 4: It Begins. Drive Out the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/512/freedom-is-not-free-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Freedom is Not Free:
Speech, Fascism, and the University as Battleground

October 12, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Tuesday, October 17, 6:00–8:30 p.m.
Austin Hall, Ames Courtroom
Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA

The Muslim ban; the resurgence of white supremacist movements; the attack on DREAMers; the return to punitive policing; the assaults on affirmative action, science and critical thinking:

Speakers will address how the university is threatened by these and other aspects of the assault by the Trump-Pence regime.

Confirmed speakers:

Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government and Program Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy

Sunsara Taylor, Advocate for the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian, a writer for Revolution Newspaper (www.revcom.us), and a co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org

Nicholas Whittaker, Harvard University, ’19

The event is co-sponsored by Academics Against Fascism

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/512/taking-november-4-to-a-high-school-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

From RefuseFascism.org:

Taking November 4 to a Big, Diverse High School

October 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Yesterday we went to a big, diverse high school. This school had a recent protest against the rescinding of DACA. Three of us went at lunch, focusing on getting out fact sheets and stickers into the school. We had a couple of smaller panels with the indictments from Refuse Fascism, on Immigrants and the Environment, and a quiz we made up using those indictments. We also had a sign with Trump in the KKK hat. Even at lunch, it was clear there was a lot of interest from students. While students are more in a hurry on their 50-minute lunch hour, several stopped to talk, read the panels, ask questions, and get stickers. Some put them on. Even students who didn’t want literature wanted the stickers. Some students were asking about Nov.4, what’s it about, what’s going to happen.

When we went across the street to eat lunch, a student in there was taking the quiz we made, and said it was interesting. She told us that even before last weekend, several students in different classes had been refusing to stand for the national anthem, sitting through it. Some teachers supported them, others didn’t. One of her teachers did, and had a discussion about free speech. The student agreed with our urgency around the danger of the Trump regime, although she thought voting for candidates who would challenge him was important. She said she would talk to that teacher about Nov.4, about having a program based on the quiz or the broadsheet, and to a student arts organization she’s in about helping to organize for Nov. 4.

At 3:15 we went back, more in full throttle, with several panels, including the big Women/LGBT one, and the one with the 10 nightmares, a poster board that said “Nov. 4 it begins! Trump/Pence must go because...”, and a Trump puppet, and several people, including agitating on a bullhorn. It was quite a scene. Students were grabbing stickers, standing around in groups talking, signing the posterboard, whacking the puppet and taking pictures and selfies of themselves with it. At one point we asked the students to “take a knee against white supremacy” and a bunch of students did, by the posterboard with all the messages. A lot of the messages were versions of “fuck Trump,” but others were “you can’t have democracy run by fascists” and “trans people deserve to exist.”

Even some of the more conservative students engaged us. One asked what we thought of the so-called “free speech week”—which was really an attempt to have a fascist speech week at UC Berkeley. She didn’t think Milo is a fascist or Nazi because he’s gay and Jewish, but she thought even Nazis should have free speech. When I asked her how come Nazis have free speech but Black athletes don’t, she saw the contradiction. She said she was thinking of starting a conservative club. She took a broadsheet to read. We learned that November 4 is already generating controversy in the school. One group of white youth asked us, “are you starting a coup on November 4” and said that was going around on the internet. Refuse Fascism has refuted these lies. There was also an incident at lunch: as we were leaving, a couple of white guys pulled down posters we had put up on light poles, saying they couldn’t be there. At first we thought they might be school groundskeepers, but they watched us for a while from down the street and we thought they may have been trolls.

But overall, the response was tremendously positive. At least one student said she wants to start some kind of student organization that could take up November 4. Another student, when asked what she thought of all this, said “We are lucky to be in a time when we can stand up to a monster.” We have about a dozen contacts, and will get back to them right away.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/512/refusefascism-taking-nov-4-out-to-organizations-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

From RefuseFascism.org:

Presenting Refuse Fascism at a Democratic Club

October 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From someone who is taking November 4 out to organizations

We had the chance recently to present Refuse Fascism's proposal for November 4th—for sustained protests that begin on that date and grow and persevere until the Trump/Pence Regime is gone—at a local Democratic Club. This is in an affluent and highly educated city with an active Democratic Club. The club's membership is active in Democratic politics and spans those who are more conservative Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters to Bernie people.

A member of the local chapter was invited by someone he had recently met at a local cultural event and who had themselves been traveling to help campaign for Democrats in states where there have been recent contests. He did a brief presentation on Refuse Fascism and the call for November 4th drawing on the uncanny parallels and lessons from Germany and why we say Trump has assembled a Fascist Regime that is working to consolidate this in America and why the whole Regime must be driven out through non-violent mass mobilization from below. We passed out Refuse Fascism's broadsheet to the audience of 15-20 people.

40 minutes of discussion ensued as people asked questions and debated the proposal and each other since there were very different views among them. Many of the people were receptive and welcomed the proposal on the 4th—with questions about how to organize this in the brief time before November 4th—and wanting to know if we had been able to involve other organizations like Black Lives Matter and Indivisible. People thought the anniversary of the election is a good date to pick for this—harkening back to the Women’s March and the climate now 8 months later.  They wanted to know how we were planning on dealing with white supremacists who may attack the march or provoke violence. One person thought we needed to go to DC and occupy Congress.

There were those vociferously opposed to the call for the 4th who thought it preposterous & that the only way is to vote him out—and this was just ginning up people anxieties about Trump and over-inflating the situation. There is not going to be martial law and people should not let Trump get in their head—they should be keeping their focus on local and state elections.

Others thought that it was not out of place to discuss the possibility of martial law raising how many people here—when they heard about the Las Vegas mass shooting said to themselves “I hope it was not somebody Muslim—what would the situation be if this was an act of terrorism?”

People wrestled with the situation and each other—with one person raising that the danger is not just an incident that might precipitate a crackdown of some kind – but the deeper structural problems in our democracy—the shifts in the US population and the fact that soon 70% of the Senate will be determined by 30 percent of the population—as well as all the redistricting and gerrymandering the Republicans have been able to establish—that make it so that we cannot elect the people we want . There was discussion over going outside of the norms and the normal democratic process as needed.

The person chairing the meeting shared their own personal feelings that at the outset she worried this might be more conspiracy theorizing—but that the case the local Refuse Fascism speaker made contained things she could not refute—and thought this had been an important discussion.

There is much to follow up on but our host felt this had been a very productive discussion and one that they’d really not had for months—that this was a time for reflection and re-evaluation about what we are going to do to actually STOP this.

We think this is likely only one example of the kind of agonizing people are doing about the developments in the last 8 months and is a mini micro example of the kind of debate that the Refuse Fascism proposal for the 4th can provoke in society—and more importantly the change in the whole political atmosphere that is not only needed—but that could result from actually succeeding in the plans for the 4th—and putting before all of society the actual and practical and immediate demand for the whole of the Trump Pence Regime to Go.  This coming from the people of the US would mean a great deal to all of Humanity!

We think—as we follow up—we should be doing much more and that other chapters of Refuse Fascism should be reaching out broadly and presenting to organizations like this.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/thoughts-on-battle-to-drive-out-fascist-regime-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

A Letter to the Revolution Clubs

Thoughts on the Battle to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime

October 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We're now heading to November 4, the first day of massive, nonviolent, sustained, and determined actions to drive out the fascist regime of Trump and Pence. This letter isn't going to repeat everything in Bob Avakian's new speech or the many documents from Refuse Fascism or articles on this site about WHY this is so urgent. It's gonna focus instead on what the clubs should be doing, based on that understanding.

One key part of this movement must be a section of the basic people who catch hell every day, especially the youth. This section of the people, with revolution at their core, can provide a political backbone to the movement and a moral challenge to the rest of society. Something like this was done by the Black Panther Party in relation to the antiwar movement back in the '60s.

There are plenty of people in places like Chicago, or LA, who on some level get the nature of the threat posed by Trump and there are broad masses who just plain hate him. There are youth who want a better world and who need to be brought into motion on this. There are immigrant youth up against the threat of deportation; Black youth being demonized and worse; and all kinds of youth of all nationalities who just can't stand this nightmare.

The understanding of the Revolution Club is this: We are for revolution, all-the-way revolution, to get rid of this capitalist-imperialist, white supremacist society. We have the science, the leadership, the vision of the new society, and the strategy to make that happen. Right now, that revolution has to go through the stage of getting rid of Trump. This is urgent—this is urgent for the masses and for whether we are even going to be able to mount a larger struggle.

The clubs can take that understanding to the people. The most critical way will be "leading with BA" and especially the new filmed talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America: A Better World IS Possible. The clubs should be showing it all over—in classrooms, community centers, and on the street. The clubs should be about leading people to help make this film big on social media. Plus there's the indictments, which are really important because most people don't know the full scope of what this regime is doing. And there is the basic call, which must be postered all over. NO! shirts must become the thing.

We MUST draw out the youth—the students in high school and college, and the basic youth who are in the life, or drifting. This means a LOT of mass work in these next few weeks in the base. And that has to mean giving people a mission: a mission to play a critical role in driving out this regime. Everybody we meet who is in the least supportive should walk away with something to do—from setting up a showing to getting their friends together to putting on the NO! shirt or taking cards or stickers to distribute... and a way to report back. The club should be raising money as it goes, all the time, and other people raising money too can be one big way that they contribute to the whole thing happening. If there's an office, older folks can run it and be there to keep track of things politically and give people stuff to get out. And there can be daily meetings of an hour or two to sum up what's been done and what needs to be done, and to go more deeply into questions.

Let the clubs be all over in the next few weeks. Let them go boldly onto the campuses—both the universities (including community colleges) AND DEFINITELY the high schools; let them do pop-up rallies in key neighborhoods, focused on open-air showings of the talk; let them reach out to people we know who are links into the youth (people who work with victimized women, or "at risk" young people, or with the gangs, etc.) to make the case to the youth they work with (and to others like them who do similar work). Let the clubs reach out to all kinds of forces (student groups, DACA and other immigrant groupings, forces around Black Lives Matter or similar groups, NGO forces, religious youth groups, truce activists, etc.). This is not about "our group" or "your group"—this is about an emergency.

The club should dream big and aim high, but fight to forge the ties and organize to make things happen. Think about—and fight for—walkouts from high schools and even jobs, leaving the corners, demos on campuses and leaving classes... moving to massive and growing outpourings in the late afternoon and evenings through the week of November 6 and beyond...

In regard to Chicago in particular, think of the potential national and international impact if there were an element of defying the regime's attempt to constantly demonize the youth of Chicago. Instead of the world constantly seeing Trump and them using the conflicts among the masses to justify their genocidal plans, how about the world hearing that "we here in Chicago, including the ones of us cast out on the bottom, are bringing forward something in opposition to this madness, and for a whole better world."

Communists in the club need to be bringing out how all this fits into a strategy—that the revolution has to go through this stage right now, and how this stage fits into the revolution, and even more—what that revolution is all about. Communists should be giving people running with the club a sense that we are applying the two maximizings 1 and that this is part of the strategy to "break the encirclement" (the political encirclement in this period) and has relevance as well to how we conceive of state power.

Even more, communists need to bring out the whole picture of communism, as they are meeting people and running with them and focusing things on driving out the Trump/Pence regime. REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!; THE NEW COMMUNISM; Science and Revolution, the interview with Ardea Skybreak; and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America... as well as BAsics... all this should be wielded by club members. The Points of Attention should still be going up everywhere, with people in the club living by that morality. The REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts should be worn and gotten out, and the club should still post up when the police come down. But there has to be something different too—that we are doing all this with the immediate aim of politically driving out this Trump/Pence regime, and that this is the principal task and focus of club activity for the next period.

The point is this: we must mobilize a crucial section of masses to play their full part in changing the course of history, in the interests of humanity.


1. In his 2006 talk Bringing Forward Another Way, Bob Avakian says about the "two maximizings":

Moving ahead then from that foundation, I want to talk a little bit about the "two maximizings" and the decisive role overall of the first. To very quickly paraphrase here, this ("two maximizings") refers to developing a politicized atmosphere and a revolutionary current—and in particular a growing pole of people partisan to communism and to the Party—among the proletariat and basic masses; and developing essentially the same thing among the middle strata. And then there is the need to develop the "positive synergy" between these "two maximizings"; or, to put it another way (in more "classical communist terms"), the dialectical relation—the mutual interaction and reinforcement—between the two, in a positive way. [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/movement-for-revolution/revolution-clubs/revolution-club-frequently-asked-questions-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Revolution Club—

Frequently Asked Questions

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

 

1. “Why are you wearing the BA SPEAKS: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt?”

This T-shirt represents people getting free. Putting on this shirt means I’m no longer standing on the sidelines watching with no hope for the future or of getting free. I’m making a statement to be on the side of the people and getting ready for a time when there is a basis to go all out for revolution and end the nightmare that humanity has been trapped in for way too long.

Why aren’t YOU wearing the shirt?

2. “Why should I follow BA if he is white? How can I trust BA as a leader if I haven’t met him?”

No one should follow a leader because they’re white. Or Black. Or male. Or female. Or any other identity. People should follow Bob Avakian because he has answers on how we get free. He has answers for how we can make revolution to overthrow this system of nightmarish oppression, and how we can lead a new society on the road to real emancipation. BA is not leading any one group of people to try to get ahead of others. BA is leading a revolution to end all oppression and emancipate all of humanity. And if that’s not the leadership you’re looking for, what’s the point?

There are plenty of leaders you can meet who aren’t worth following to the grocery store. You can meet Farrakhan. He’s not even trying to lead a revolution! He’s so eager to get a piece of the capitalist-imperialist pie he even said he’ll make deals with the most powerful white supremacist in the world today, Donald Trump! You can meet with plenty of other forked tongue politicians and others who will stroke your ego, tell you what you wanna hear, and promise you a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That’s not what BA is about. BA tells you the truth, whether you like it or not. BA will struggle with you over where things need to go and what you can and need to do about it. BA has made a breakthrough in the science of human emancipation that provides us the tools to understand and radically change the world. And BA is leading the revolution with a deep connection to what people are actually going through and why it is so unnecessary. We’ve never had a leader like BA. And he needs to be defended and protected by the revolutionary people from a vicious enemy that would like nothing more than taking him out.

What people can do, and should do, is get to know this leader and his work. Great efforts are made to make this available at revcom.us, where you can get his writings and audio talks, including his memoir; the film of him dialoguing with Cornel West, REVOLUTION AND RELIGION; as well as the film of him talking straight up, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

3. “The revolutionaries don’t believe in God?”

“Let’s call this what it is—it is a slave mentality, with which people are being indoctrinated. All this ‘thank you Jesus!’ is a slave mentality.” (BAsics 4:18) Whose interests does it serve for people who are being fucked over and oppressed to accept this way of life as the will of a god who is punishing them or testing them with the promise of something better when they are dead? Who benefits from that? Think of what religion has been used to justify just in the history of this country: the pillaging and mass murder of the native peoples; enslaving, raping and selling African people; legalizing the beating and raping of women by their husbands.

We need to get beyond ALL lords and masters, and beyond all the oppressive economic and social relations, and traditional ideas, on which they rest. And to do that we have to confront reality as it really is. The truth is there is no god. And that is a great thing! It means we ourselves can understand the world using science and we ourselves can change it. It means we don’t have to be chained by books like the Bible that teaches that women should be killed if they are not virgins when they get married, children who rebel against their parents should be killed, gay people should be killed, and people who displease god or believe in other religions should be killed, including children (and if you bring us your Bible we can show you where it says that). We can get free of this kind of hate and this way of people treating each other.

At the same time, to join the Revolution Club you don’t have to agree that there is no god. Many good people, including revolutionaries, are motivated by their belief in a loving god that drives them to fight for justice. To make revolution, many, many of these kinds of “believers” are needed. To join the Revolution Club, you have to agree to the Points of Attention for the Revolution and while it is not a requirement to give up belief in a god, it is a requirement that we base ourselves on what we understand to be true and be open to discussing and debating what is true. Point of Attention #5 says this: “We search for and fight for the truth no matter how unpopular, even as we listen to and learn from the observations, insights and criticisms of others.”

4. “I heard BA’s a cult leader.”

This is the farthest thing from the truth and would be laughable if it wasn’t so harmful. Ironically, when people tell you this they are trying to get you to stop asking questions and stop thinking for yourself (which is what real cults do!). And even more ironically, what most characterizes BA’s leadership is that he leads people to think critically, which is the exact opposite of a cult leader!

So, we could all just laugh this off as ridiculous and idiotic. But it is actually harmful for people to be going around saying BA’s a cult leader—because it attempts to put a wall in between the people and their revolutionary leadership. It attempts to keep people disconnected from the leader they have who is on their side for real and leading them to rise to the challenge of freeing themselves and all humanity. BA has developed a new communism, an advance in science to understand human society and the world and how to change it, a toolkit that can be used to work through and fight through all the problems that stand in the way of getting all of humanity free of all oppression. He is also providing incredibly high-level leadership right now to the process of making revolution in the most monstrous empire on the planet. And he is hated and threatened by the powers that be and their followers and enforcers. What we need, what humanity needs, is A LOT MORE FOLLOWERS of BA. People taking up that toolkit and becoming leaders for this revolution. NOT RELIGIOUS WORSHIPERS OF BA. SCIENTIFIC FOLLOWERS. And a movement for revolution that will defend and protect this precious leadership.

5. “What’s in it for me?” / “I have to take care of me and mine first.”

What’s in it for you is losing those damn chains that got people held down! Getting PAST all that. Also while you’re “taking care of yours,” others are being murdered, rounded up, demonized, facing horror after horror on a daily basis. Quite frankly, it isn’t about you. It’s about the masses of people here and around the world putting a stop to this the only way it can be done—revolution, nothing less.

And we have a saying: “for whom and for what,” why are we doing this? We’re not doing this because it personally makes us feel good. No, it’s bringing forward another way outta this madness and we have that WAY. So break with that outmoded way of thinking and start living for humanity.

6. “You can’t win.”

How do you know? Have you studied past revolutions? Have you studied the strengths and weaknesses of this system? Have you studied how imperialist armies fight and how revolutionary armies fight and how “insurgent forces” fight? The Revolutionary Communist Party has done this work and a lot more. It has developed a strategy for revolution and a doctrine for how to fight with a real chance of winning, once a revolutionary people in the millions, and the necessary conditions for revolution, have been brought into being. The outline of this is laid out in the statement, “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.” We should dig into that statement together.

One thing it says in HOW WE CAN WIN is: "To make this revolution, we need to be serious, and scientific. We need to take into account the actual strengths of this system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions. We need to build this revolution among those who most desperately need a radical change, but among others as well who refuse to live in a world where this system spews forth endless horrors, and this is continually 'justified' and even glorified as 'greatness.'"

The problem: this capitalist system of oppression and exploitation of millions of people here and around the world, along with the plunder of the environment. The solution is revolution.

Revolution requires millions of people who see or can be won to see the illegitimacy of this system and those who rule. The Revolution Club is organizing, NOW, for revolution to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time with a real chance to win. We are Preparing the Ground, Preparing the People, Preparing the Vanguard for Revolution. What is needed is YOU!

7. “You’re going to get people killed.” / “The police are going to come down harder on me if I get involved in the revolution.”

What is actually worth living and dying and risking something for? This system kills and destroys people every single day, and gets people to take up its dog-eat-dog mentality and destroy each other. Why not put your life to something worthwhile? Getting rid of this system and emancipating humanity from this hell.

Yeah, if you step out of the life and get into the revolution, the police are going to hate it. They are going to fuck with you. We know all the dirty shit they are capable of—setups and murders and a whole court system backing them up. The police and the system they enforce would much prefer that you stay in your place, fighting over drug territory, taking revenge on other people in the same situation as you, going in and out of their prisons, always on probation or parole, always trying to stay low, on the run... and not causing any trouble for their system which keeps grinding you up and grinding up people all over the world. Children blown to pieces in wars for empire or washing up dead on beaches as their families try to escape war and poverty. Women killed in sweatshops that catch fire, or murdered for trying to go to school, or beaten and raped by men who consider them objects and property. Black and Latino people in the U.S. murdered by police, Rohingya people in Myanmar slaughtered...

So. What are you going to do inside this slave system? Bow your head and be an obedient slave? Or learn how to end the whole system of slavery and become a leader for the revolution to do that?

When you step into the revolution, you will not be alone. Every time the police try to take revenge on you for joining the revolution, you will have the movement for revolution at your back. We must mobilize people to support each other, mobilize lawyers to defend revolutionaries, raise money to fight cases, and most importantly bring forward more forces for revolution as we do all this. You stepping into the revolution now, putting on the T-shirt, living by and fighting for the Points of Attention for the Revolution—yes with all of the risks—inspires and gives strength to others to do the same.

8. “Black people will never get together.” / “White people are too fucked up.”

In saying that you are taking up the way the system wants you to think. Let’s look at this scientifically. It is the system that creates the conditions in which people are divided and not a predetermined human nature that says people are doomed to fight each other and exploit and oppress others. There are examples throughout history, even very recent history, where people from all walks of life have come together to fight the outrages of this system. People in times of acute crisis in society can have their thinking transformed and have their sights set higher and unite with others against the real enemy... this capitalist imperialist system and those who rule over it. Stop thinking the way the system wants you to think and step into the revolution.

9. “I have a responsibility to take revenge for my loved ones or I’m not a man...”

You are being played by this system that set up your loved ones to be killed in the first place and got you going after people who are just like you that this system rules over and oppresses. Give the lives of your loved ones some REAL MEANING by taking up the fight to get rid of this system that is really responsible. And when you start talking about being a "man" and not being a "bitch," this system has you played twice—now it has you trying to make your life count by dominating over and devaluing women.

Lift your sights and change what you are fighting for. Get out of that revenge shit that is just another form of “me and mine first” that is the way of life under this capitalist-imperialist system. Get out of that “man up” shit that keeps women enslaved and holds all of humanity back. Become an emancipator of humanity. Join the Revolution Club.

10. What does it mean to join the Revolution Club?

When you join the Revolution Club you join an organized group of people who are preparing for revolution—preparing the ground, preparing the people, and preparing the vanguard leadership, getting ready for the time when millions can be led to fight, all-out, with a real chance to win. In the Revolution Club you get trained to become a leader for this revolution.

In the Revolution Club you live by a different morality. You live by and fight for the Points of Attention for the Revolution. You are fighting for a morality that stands for a world in which there is no more exploitation of the many by the few and no more oppression of one group of people by another.

In the Revolution Club you learn how to lead people to stand up against the injustices of this system and learn how to come together and fight together against the system and all the ways in which it comes down on people. You learn about and do that in a way that contributes to and builds up the forces we need for a real revolution. This means learn how to fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution.

In the Revolution Club you learn about science—what it is and how to apply it to everything, including making revolution. This means learning about Bob Avakian’s new communism—and spreading this everywhere. You transform your own thinking and lead people to transform their thinking to start thinking about the interests of humanity first instead of “me and mine first” and to lose their fear of fighting to change the world. You struggle with people to break free of the system’s way of thinking. You learn—and learn to apply—the strategy for an actual revolution to overthrow the capitalist-imperialist system. You get into the vision and plan for the new society in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America authored by Bob Avakian (BA)—a society on the road to wiping out all forms of exploitation, oppression, and destructive conflicts among the people.

When you join the Revolution Club, you learn about and follow the leadership of Bob Avakian (BA) and the Revolutionary Communist Party. The most precious thing the masses of people have in their fight to get free is their vanguard party, the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), which leads the Revolution Club and the whole movement for revolution. In the Revolution Club you learn about the Party and how you can make the leap to becoming a communist leader and prepare to join the RCP.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/refuting-the-biggest-lies-against-communism-intro-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Setting the Record Straight on Communism and Socialist Revolution

REFUTING THE BIGGEST LIES AGAINST COMMUNISM

Updated October 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Introduction to new series Setting the Record Straight

The revolutions in Paris in 1871, in Russia in 1917 (to mid-1950s), and in China in 1949 (to 1976)—were all great historic breakthroughs. Hundreds of millions rose up and gained precious experience as to what it would take to get to a world without exploitation, without oppression, without destructive violent clashes among humans, without enforced ignorance and superstition. These first attempts to emancipate humanity were defeated.

History is being written by the victors—the imperialists. The oppressors issue endless lies on what "the wretched of the earth" were trying to do, what brutal forces lined up against these heroic attempts, and why there were limitations and even secondary errors in their theory and practice.

Bob Avakian (BA) has not only defended these pathbreaking experiences, and shown a way to truly understand them, but most importantly, he has developed a new communism based on a much deeper and more scientific view of what is involved in emancipating ALL humanity. The new communism of BA breaks with and is a leap beyond the previous understanding of communist revolution and "represents and embodies a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has existed within communism in its development up to this point, between its fundamentally scientific method and approach, and aspects of communism which have run counter to this." (From Resolution 1 of Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, January 1, 2016)

Along with bringing out the positive achievements of socialism and communist revolutions, and critiquing these previous revolutions through the prism of the new synthesis—how to do better next time around—there is a real need to boldly challenge the flow of lies, slanders, distortions, and phony representations of this history that has lowered sights and shut down discussions over how the world should/could be radically different. The lies serve to reinforce the rotten status quo and its conformist wisdom that the best we can do is adjust or reduce the misery in today's capitalist world order. This series aims to answer the most widespread lies about communist revolution.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LIE #1: Human nature undermines and invalidates the aims of communism, no matter how noble are its principles, or how sincere are the intentions of its advocates. Read more.

LIE #2: Because Socialism-Communism Goes Against Human Nature, It Resorts to State Violence and Mass Killing to Enforce Its Ideals. Read more.

LIE #3: The 1917 October Revolution in Russia was a “coup” staged by Lenin and the communist Bolshevik Party. They were power hungry and grabbed power for themselves. Read more.

Lie #4: Communism is a form of totalitarianism. Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin sought to impose total domination over society—through repression that invaded every aspect of society and individual life, and mind-manipulative ideology.  Read more.

Look back here often for refutation of more LIES!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/refuting-the-biggest-lies-against-communism-number-1-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Setting the Record Straight on Communism and Socialist Revolution

REFUTING THE BIGGEST LIES AGAINST COMMUNISM

October 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

LIE #1: Human nature undermines and invalidates the aims of communism, no matter how noble are its principles, or how sincere are the intentions of its advocates.

This is probably the most popular and accepted "evidence" against communism. But it is totally unscientific and totally self-serving of the status quo. Bob Avakian (BA) has pointed to Marx's insight that all of human history has been one of the continuous transformation of "human nature." Societies change, and people's consciousness changes. The dominant notions of what "human nature" is—as projected and instilled by the superstructure (i.e., the institutions, culture, values, ideas, etc.) of any given society—change.

People, Society, and Consciousness Change

What makes human beings unique among all the species on this planet is what is known as our "plasticity." Instead of being born "hardwired" and only able to stick to the same behavioral patterns over and over again, humans are born with a tremendous potential to constantly change and adapt to new circumstances and to learn new things through the course of their lives—especially through changing those circumstances and in interaction with other people. BA points out that human beings have "the ability to respond in a variety of ways to things, and the ability to change how they see and respond to things when they change their conditions and change themselves in dialectical relation to that."

Cooperation has been absolutely necessary to the development of human society. For example, in early primitive hunting and gathering societies prior to the emergence of classes, humans could not exist a day without cooperation to fend off threats of nature, from wild animals, to dangers of weather and habitat, etc. And that is true for most of human history. There is no human survival without various forms of cooperation. For example, the human baby requires the help and care of others. You can't run a nursery school or kindergarten without forms of cooperation. Modern society could not survive without complex webs of interlinked production requiring that people actually work together worldwide. So people are fully capable of cooperating and of organizing societies around that cooperation. But currently, this cooperation all exists within a framework of private ownership and competitive struggle within the system of capitalism-imperialism.

Capitalism and the Logic of “Look Out for Number One”

Capitalism is organized around private ownership and competition and the private accumulation of wealth. It has not always been that way—but it is in this epoch (i.e., period of history), and this economic reality of capitalism pervades every aspect of human existence—the social relations, the institutions and the values.

Because this system is organized around the competitive accumulation of wealth based on exploitation and oppression, it measures and rewards according to standards that further that exploitation. So values of competition, greed, individualism, and "looking out for number one" are constantly promoted and reinforced until they seem "natural."

Stop and think how ridiculous this logic is. In reality, human beings are capable of a wide range and variety of behaviors including rape, murder, genocide... but also compassion, sacrifice for the greater good, and altruism (i.e., selflessly helping others even if at risk to oneself). So, you say, socialism goes against "human nature." But then why have laws and regulations against murder and rape in capitalist society, aren't you legislating against "human nature"?

And there is the reality of socialized production, the fact that world humanity is more dependent than ever on the objectively interlinked efforts of millions of human beings. The goods; the services; the infrastructure; the science, medicine, and technology of today's world all depend on cooperation. All this stands out especially in times of natural disasters like during earthquakes and hurricanes. Never has the notion of the "self-made individual" been more absurd yet more widely embraced.

How the Revolution in China Radically Changed “Human Nature” for the Better

To make this more concrete: We can look at China as a kind of "social-historical" laboratory of how "human nature" can radically change for the better... but also go backward for the worse.

In 1949, the Chinese revolution came to power. Mao Zedong led hundreds of millions to stand up, and put an end, to centuries of exploitation, crushing poverty, and hopelessness. Peasants in the countryside had lived under the dominance of cruel landlords. During famines and bad years, many had to eat leaves and bark, and even sell children to meet debt obligations. It was a horrific struggle for survival in the cities as well—with people desperately scratching out a living and pitted against each other in a society where resources were controlled by an exploiting minority.

China's socialist revolution of 1949-1976 changed all of this. It became possible to develop an economy to serve the needs of the people. Resources were used for the benefit of society and the advance of the world revolution. New social institutions and revolutionary culture promoted cooperation and working for the betterment of humanity. People were measuring their lives and evaluating the actions of others through the lens of "serve the people." Not that it was perfect or without problems. But a new ethos took hold. People changed... and were changing themselves.

But in 1976, new capitalist forces staged a counter-revolution and came to power. They restored the old dog-eat-dog economic relations of capitalism. They promoted the slogan "to get rich is glorious." This is the China of today. People are competing for jobs, housing, and everything... with the lure of some "getting ahead." People, and the dominant values, have changed again... back to the old "me against you" and "everyone for him/herself." Not because some unchangeable human nature reasserted itself—but because society has changed back to capitalism!

A socialist economic system—because it is organized around social need as opposed to private profit—calls forth, reinforces, and makes possible new collective and cooperative ways that people can interact. And socialist society promotes values of cooperation and maximizing people's ability to contribute to a liberating society and the emancipation of humanity. A socialist society can tap the potential of socialized production towards creating a society free of exploitation and scarcity.

 

~~~~~~~~

Sources

Drawn from talks, interviews, and writings of Bob Avakian:

*The Problem, the Solution, and the Challenges Before Us. Summer 2017.

*What Humanity Needs: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism, An Interview with Bob Avakian. 2012 (see pages 13, 75, 78 online version at revcom.us)

*BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—Nothing Less! Disc 1: "How Long Must This Nightmare of Oppression & Brutality Go On? Chapter 1—Not God, Not 'Unchanging Human Nature,' Not Conspiracy... A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING REALITY." Fall 2012.

*Birds Can't Give Birth to Crocodiles, But Humanity Can Soar Beyond the Horizon, Part 1—"Revolution and the State. Chapter on: The Notion of 'Human Nature'—As a Reflection of Capitalist Society." November 2010.

*Revolution and Communism: A Foundation and Strategic Orientation. Part 1—"Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity: Changes in Society, Changes in Human Nature." May 1, 2008 (see pages 15-16).

*Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World. 2008 (see pages 226-234).

*Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About. Chapter on "Isn't the problem 'Human Nature'?" 2003.

Other key sources:

*The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters, by Ardea Skybreak, 2006 (see pages 170-175 in book).

*Science and Revolution: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, an interview with Ardea Skybreak. 2015 (see page 132 in book).

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/439/american-crime-case-98-1953-cia-coup-in-iran-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

American Crime

Case #98: 1953 CIA Coup in Iran:
Torture and Repression – Made in the U.S.A.

May 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 

CIA/British intelligence coup in Iran, 1953
In Tehran, Iran on August 19, 1953, mobs joined by the military took over streets chanting "Long live the Shah! Death to Mossadegh!" They ransacked pro-Mossadegh newspapers and attacked his supporters.

THE CRIME: On August 19, 1953, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) along with British intelligence launched a military coup overthrowing Iran’s popular, elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. In 1951, during an upsurge of protest against British colonialism, Mossadegh had nationalized Britain’s Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Great Britain had plundered Iran’s oil wealth for decades.

Britain moved to destabilize Mossadegh’s government, including by launching an international boycott of Iranian oil. The U.S. soon joined the coup plotting, conspiring with Iran’s Mohammad Reza Shah [King] Pahlavi and the military, and orchestrating an anti-Mossadegh propaganda campaign.

On August 19, mobs joined by the military took over streets chanting “Long live the Shah! Death to Mossadegh!” They ransacked pro-Mossadegh newspapers and attacked his supporters. Street battles raged. By late afternoon, military units seized control of Mossadegh’s house, breaking the resistance. By evening, 300 lay dead, as General Fazlollah Zahedi rode to Radio Tehran atop a tank and broadcast that with the Shah’s blessing, he was the new prime minister.

Iran’s nationalist upsurge was crushed. The Shah ruled as an iron-fisted U.S. puppet for 25 years. Speaking out risked arrest by SAVAK, his U.S.-trained secret police. Thousands were murdered, jailed or barbarically tortured—they even threatened to torture children in front of their parents. When millions rose against the Shah in 1978-79, he shot down thousands with U.S. backing before being ousted. The 1953 coup and what followed ended up helping pave the way for a new Iranian nightmare: the 1979 founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

THE CRIMINALS: After covering up for 60 years, the CIA admitted in 2013:

The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government.

In the U.S., that meant President Dwight Eisenhower on down through the State Department, the CIA, and the military. In Britain, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and on down.

THE ALIBI: For decades, the U.S. and British rulers covered up and lied about having orchestrated the anti-Mossadegh coup, and their media cover story turned reality upside down. It portrayed this U.S.-led fascist military coup against a widely supported, elected leader as a popular “revolution” against a Hitler-like lunatic trying “to make himself unchallenged dictator of the country,” as the New York Times put it.

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE: A CIA memo spelled out U.S. goals: “to effect the fall of the Mosaddeq government; and to replace it with a pro-western government under the Shah’s leadership with [General] Zahedi as its prime minister.”

The U.S. used the 1953 coup to muscle into Iran and replace Britain as top dominator. Mossadegh’s nationalization was reversed, and U.S. oil giants were cut in on the spoils, reaping enormous profits. The coup was a warning against similar moves to nationalize imperialist companies. And it embedded Iran as a key military outpost for the U.S. against regional liberation struggles and in its Cold War clash with the Soviet Union.

REPEAT OFFENDERS: In 1979, the Shah was overthrown and replaced by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), a regime that, while reactionary, was viewed by the U.S. as an obstacle to its immediate interests. In the decades since, the U.S. has bullied, intervened, and threatened Iran. It fueled the bloody 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, which left a million dead or wounded, to weaken both. In 1988, as a warning to Iran to halt the war, the U.S. warship Vincennes “accidentally” shot down an Iranian civilian airliner, killing all 290 on board. Since then, the U.S. has imposed punishing sanctions and threatened war repeatedly, and it still seeks to dominate and control Iran.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/511/puerto-rico-120-years-of-imperialist-exploitation-and-oppression-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Puerto Rico: 120 Years of Imperialist Exploitation and Oppression

October 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In 1898, U.S. military forces invaded and occupied Puerto Rico as part of the Spanish-American War. The victory over Spain established the U.S. as the unquestioned major power in the Caribbean and much of South America (and its seizure of the Philippines positioned it as a power in the Pacific and Asia).

The U.S., the self-proclaimed champion of "freedom and democracy," denied the people of Puerto Rico the right to self-determination. It has continued to do that to this day.

"Waging War" on Puerto Rican People

The U.S. military outlawed the use of Spanish in schools and other institutions. It banned the national flag of Puerto Rico and jailed anyone caught displaying it. It appointed U.S. residents to be the governors and police chiefs and repeatedly carried out savage repression of students and others demanding Puerto Rican independence.

One notorious example: the Rio Piedras Massacre in 1935. University of Puerto Rico students called a meeting to discuss the program of the Nationalist Party, led by Pedro Albizu Campos. Heavily armed police surrounded the meeting place and commandeered a car with Nationalist Party leaders trying to get to it. They shot up the car and the surrounding area, murdering five people. A funeral for the murdered youths was attended by 8,000 people and addressed by Campos, who accused the governor and police chief of "deliberately murdering" the five. Police chief Francis Riggs responded by telling several newspapers he was prepared to wage "war to the death against all Puerto Ricans."

In 1937, the U.S. governor instructed a new police chief to prevent contingents of students, cadets, and nurses from holding a permitted demonstration for independence in the city of Ponce. Marchers set off as a band played "La Borinqueña," the anthem of Puerto Rico. Over 200 police armed with machine guns and rifles opened fire. According to one account, the police "shot a young girl in the back as she ran to a nearby church. They shot a man on his way home ... They split a fruit vendor's head in two..."  Seventeen people were murdered and over 200 seriously wounded in the Ponce Massacre.

Pedro Albizu Campos, who fought courageously for decades for Puerto Rico's independence and was the spokesperson for the Puerto Rican Independence Party, was imprisoned for 26 years by the U.S. He was repeatedly tortured and brutalized by prison authorities and died shortly after he was released from his last imprisonment in 1965.

In 1948, in the face of a growing movement for independence, the U.S.-appointed governor of Puerto Rico signed a law making it a crime to own or display a Puerto Rican flag, to sing a patriotic Puerto Rican song, to speak or write of independence, or to meet with anyone or hold any assembly in favor of Puerto Rican independence. This law remained in force until 1957.

A Century of Impoverishment and Dislocation

U.S. imperialism has subjected Puerto Rico to a distorted, lopsided development serving the interests of U.S. capitalism-imperialism, not the needs of the Puerto Rican people.

Beginning in the late 1960s, pharmaceutical manufacturing giants like Bristol Myers and Eli Lilly moved into Puerto Rico. They were given lucrative federal tax incentives to set up plants on the island. Again, workers were paid less than in similar jobs in the U.S. But even here employment shrunk beginning in 2006, as these corporations sought greater profits elsewhere.

The dislocation and impoverishment capitalism-imperialism inflicted on so many people compelled "the Great Migration" from Puerto Rico, beginning and gaining intensity in the 1950s. The population of people from Puerto Rico soared in mainland U.S. cities, where people were subjected to harsh repression from the police and other authorities, forced to live in overcrowded slums, and ridiculed for their language and culture.

Generation after generation, millions of Puerto Rican people have created enormous wealth for U.S. imperialism. The imperialists have used this to make further profits all around the world while impoverishing the Puerto Rican people, who have been left with an economy that has been utterly devastated. It is complete and utter bullshit when anyone, especially the fascist Donald Trump, accuses the people of Puerto Rico of wanting "everything to be done for them."

An imperialist-created crisis has been engulfing Puerto Rico for several years before Hurricane Maria hit. Like vultures fighting over a carcass, parasitic U.S.-based hedge funds have been scrambling to bleed the country in what the media and political leaders call Puerto Rico's "debt crisis." The crisis has been the suffering inflicted on the people of this beautiful island.

Hundreds of thousands of people—out of a population of 3.5 million—have been forced to leave Puerto Rico to try to find a living in the U.S. This includes many doctors and health care professionals. Speaking of the cuts in health care, the chairman of the Puerto Rico Healthcare Crisis Coalition said, "These are a cascade of cuts that will have disastrous, gigantic implications... Health care in Puerto Rico is headed for a collapse." This was well before the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

About 60 percent of the workforce was unemployed before Maria. The majority of those employed did not have full time jobs. With most farmers driven from the land, 85 percent of the food in Puerto Rico must be imported.

Utility bills in Puerto Rico average more than twice the cost in the U.S. Soaring utility costs impact the cost of everything, in particular the ability of basic people to survive and obtain lighting, transportation, water, and other life necessities. Some communities in San Juan do not have even a basic sewage system. One woman said that in her neighborhood, when it rains, water flows into a canal and wastewater backflows into the pipes carrying drinking water, and even floods into their homes. "What keeps impacting us is the problem of polluted water ... our children have to put their feet in polluted water...."

Eighty-four percent of Puerto Rican children grow up in impoverished communities. Cutbacks in funding for schools and public health, and steep reduction of all government services, have resulted in the closing of dozens of schools; deep funding slashes have crippled public higher education.

       

Ending the Nightmare of Oppression

This nightmare of exploitation and oppression will finally end when the imperialist chains that shackle Puerto Rico are shattered through revolutionary struggle. There is a proud history of resistance of the Puerto Rican people—on the island and in this country. One of the high points in this struggle was the courageous and bold struggles in the 1960s by the Young Lords Party within the U.S. This fighting spirit and struggle needs to be revived, and taken much further—into a fight for revolution based on Bob Avakian's new synthesis of communism.

Right now is one of those rare times when the media and politicians in the U.S. are actually talking about Puerto Rico—and the real truth about Puerto Rico and the possibilities for great advance in overcoming oppression in today's situation must be made known as widely as possible in all society. On this scientific basis, support for the struggle of the Puerto Rican people to break the imperialist chains must be built as a part of building the movement for revolution—and with the seizure of power the hold of the U.S. on Puerto Rico will be broken.

Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, explains how the future socialist society will view and relate to the nation of Puerto Rico:

The Nation of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans Within the New Socialist Republic in North America.

  1. Puerto Rico and its people were subjected to brutal conquest and domination—first by the Spanish Conquistadors and then by U.S. imperialism, forcibly seizing Puerto Rico at the end of the 19th century—with devastating and even genocidal consequences for the first inhabitants of the island and then the enslaving exploitation of others. Through this process, however, a Puerto Rican nation was forged on that island territory, even as Puerto Rico itself continued to be held as a colonial possession of the imperialist United States of America. As a result of the revolution which brought into being the New Socialist Republic in North America, the hold of U.S. imperialism over Puerto Rico has been broken, and the New Socialist Republic in North America recognizes the independence and right of self-determination of the nation of Puerto Rico. At the same time, the New Socialist Republic in North America works to develop relations with the nation of Puerto Rico on the basis of the internationalist orientation and other principles and objectives set forth in this Constitution, and remains open to the possibility of a union with the nation of Puerto Rico, in a larger socialist state, on this basis.
  2. With regard to Puerto Ricans within the territory of the New Socialist Republic in North America, the principles and policies that apply to minority nationalities which were oppressed and discriminated against in the imperialist USA shall be applied, including the right to the establishment of autonomous areas in cities and other places where there are significant numbers of Puerto Ricans.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/443/american-crime-93-us-invasion-of-korea-1950-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

American Crime

Case #93: U.S. Invasion of Korea—1950

June 13, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 

The Crime: Mass murder of millions; carpet bombing an entire country into rubble; use of chemical weapons against civilians; repeatedly threatening use of nuclear weapons; wholesale rape of women.

From a series of U.S. Army photos depicting the summary execution of 1,800 South Korean political prisoners over three days in July 1950.
From a series of U.S. Army photos depicting the summary execution of 1,800 South Korean political prisoners over three days in July 1950 carried out by the U.S.-installed puppet Syngman Rhee.

In June 1950 the U.S. orchestrated a United Nations invasion of Korea. Of the 342,000 invading troops, 90 percent were American, and the entire force was under U.S. command. The U.S. and its allied war criminals killed millions of Koreans in three years of open warfare—estimates range from three to five million. The dead were overwhelmingly civilians.

Mass murder of civilians was systematic, and it was explicit U.S. policy. In the opening days of the war, U.S. bombers and troops carried out a massacre near the village of No Gun Ri in southern Korea. More than 250 people were murdered, most of them women, children, and the elderly. The U.S. Army commander told his troops that all civilians “are to be considered as enemy and action taken accordingly.” One witness said that an American captain said to his soldiers in No Gun Ri, “the hell with all those people. Let’s get rid of all of them.”

A representative of the No Gun Ri Victims’ Organization described what happened: “We were ordered by U.S. army, ‘Everybody, come together! We will escort you to the safe place.’ Following the order, we, local villagers, walked the road in the dark night, leading ox-carts, with children on our backs. About noon of next day, July 26, when our refugees’ march arrived at Nogun-ri area, 5-6 GIs blocked our way. They brought all the people and ox-carts onto parallel railroad tracks. After fully investigating all of us, they spoke to someone by radio. We Korean refugees didn’t know why. There we took a rest for a while.

“About that time, two U.S. airplanes flew over us. At that moment the GIs disappeared, something black fell down on us and exploded among the refugees. It was like a storm, with clouds of dust and pieces of rock bursting into the sky. The bloody pieces of bodies and oxen were all around. The rest of people alive ran into the tunnel under the railroad trestle.”

U.S. forces set up machine guns on both sides of the tunnel, and mowed people down when smoke bombs forced them to try to escape into the open. Literally hundreds of massacres like this were perpetrated by U.S. forces, and possibly thousands more by its South Korean allies, under U.S. direction. The U.S. did not even acknowledge the murders at No Gun Ri until 2001! Even then it refused to apologize for the atrocities its troops committed, and tried to cover up official documents that showed its commanders were ordered to “shoot” and “fire on” civilians.

All Korea was in utter devastation by the end of the war. In the North, every building over one story was destroyed. In mile after mile of charred landscape, only chimneys and rubble remained. Bruce Cumings, a history professor at the University of Chicago, reported in his book The Korean War that the U.S. dropped over half a million tons of bombs and thousands of tons of napalm—jellied gasoline that sticks to the skin and burns at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—on Korea. This was more than the bombs dropped in the entire Pacific theater in World War 2.

About 30 percent of North Korea’s population died in this bombing. If an equivalent percentage of the U.S. population at that time had died, the population would have been reduced by over 45 million people. Cumings also reported, “Rapes were extremely common. Koreans in the South will still say that that was one of the worst things of the war (was how) many American soldiers were raping Korean women.”

Marines in village street with prisoners.
Korea was devastated by the end of the war. Millions were killed and in the North, every building over one story was destroyed. Here, in September 1950, early in the war, U.S. Marines take prisoners from one bombed village. (Photo: U.S. Department of Defense/U.S. Marine Corps/S. Sgt. John Babyak, Jr.)

The Criminals: U.S. president Harry Truman, who ordered the invasion of Korea and strong-armed the United Nations into approving what it called a “police action” and sending of troops from 16 countries and other forms of support from five countries. U.S. Army Generals Douglas MacArthur and Matthew Ridgway, and U.S. Air Force General Curtis LeMay—commanders of the U.S./UN forces who oversaw the genocidal land and air campaigns in Korea, and all of whom threatened to use nuclear weapons to attack neighboring China, which was then a revolutionary socialist country under the leadership of Mao Zedong.

Aiding and Abetting: Major U.S. media outlets, which systematically and repeatedly portrayed Koreans as subhumans who deserved death. Typical was Pulitzer Prize winner Hanson Baldwin, military correspondent for the New York Times, who Cumings said described “North Koreans as locusts, like Nazis, like vermin...”

The Criminal Past: The U.S. emerged from World War 2 as the victorious imperialist power. At the end of that war the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Japan, massacring hundreds of thousands of civilians. The Japanese imperialists had dominated Korea, but when Japanese authority in Korea collapsed, the country was divided between a zone occupied by the Soviet Union in the North and the U.S. in the South.

This was supposed to be a temporary division pending countrywide elections to establish a unified regime. But reunification elections never happened. Fearing that elections would put nationalist or communist resistance forces allied with the Soviet Union and China in power, the U.S. built up a separate regime in South Korea. This made the division of the country a “fact on the ground.” The U.S. installed Syngman Rhee, a brutal puppet of the U.S., in power. Rhee imposed intense repression, mass arrests, and massacres of nationalists, radicals, communists, and others. The U.S. imperialists regarded the southern half of Korea and its puppet regime there as a major element in their plans to contain and perhaps wage war against the Soviet Union, and also as a step toward surrounding and threatening the People’s Republic of China, founded in 1949 after nearly 30 years of revolutionary warfare.

The Alibi: The U.S. claimed North Korea instigated the war by invading South Korea. In fact, Korea had been one country for hundreds of years. A year-long series of incursions into the North and provocations by the flunky South Korean government preceded the war. As war appeared imminent, Rhee murdered 100,000 people, both those accused as having leftist sympathies as well as other civilians. The Rhee regime also forced 300,000 peasants whose loyalties it questioned to join a state-sponsored “National Guidance League. In summer 1950, North Korean troops quickly began advancing into the South.

Truman expressed “concern” with “communist aggression and expansion” in Korea. In a major statement on June 27, 1950, he claimed that “communism has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use armed invasion and war.” In fact, the U.S.—which already had warships from its Sixth Fleet circling the region thousands of miles from North America, and tens of thousands of ground troops on bases throughout the East Asia region, including Korea and Japan—began its massive military buildup and within a few months launched an invasion.

The Actual Motive: The Korean War was a murderous move by the U.S. to consolidate its imperialist domination of South Korea, to seize control of the North, and to move against communist and nationalist forces in Asia. The U.S. wanted to keep the Soviet Union at bay and to surround and contain the Peoples Republic of China, as key elements of its overall strategic goal of dominating the Pacific and East Asia. The U.S. was not able to accomplish all those objectives in the Korean War.

Repeat Offenders: After the war, the U.S. moved to build up South Korea as a political, economic, and military base from which it could face off against China and the Soviet Union, and impose its interests in the region. In 1975 it installed nuclear-tipped weapons in South Korea. It has maintained a large military presence in Korea for seven decades. It has repeatedly staged provocative acts aimed at North Korea, and literally ringed that country with its military forces. For decades, there were encampments of thousands of women forced into prostitution, built and maintained by the U.S. military and the South Korean government. The U.S. continues to threaten North Korea, including with nuclear weapons, while portraying North Korea as the “aggressor.”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/california-inferno-disaster-fueled-by-capitalism-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

California Inferno: A Disaster Fueled by Capitalism

October 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

In the early morning hours of October 9, fires burned across Northern California. These are the deadliest wildfires in California history. As of October 14, more than 38 are confirmed dead and hundreds are still missing. Bodies remain unidentified, “nothing more than ash and bones,” as a Sonoma County official reported. Often the only way to identify the victims is by the serial numbers stamped on artificial joints and other medical devices that were in their bodies. Cadaver-sniffing dogs are being led from house to house in the affected areas.

Extreme conditions—including dry, easterly winds of up to 79 miles per hour and highly combustible land—led the fires to grow rapidly. The flames, at times 100 feet high, jumped over a six-lane highway. The equivalent of a football field was consumed every three seconds. People had only minutes to flee the oncoming flames.

By October 13, the fires had burned more than 300 square miles—an area bigger than the city of Dallas; 5,700 structures have been destroyed; and 90,000 people have been displaced and many have not been allowed to return. The largest school district in Sonoma County has been closed the entire week and it is not clear when it will reopen. Patients were evacuated from at least two hospitals.

Smoke from the North Bay fires blanketed the San Francisco Bay Area Friday, creating the dirtiest air ever recorded by the region’s air monitoring board. In San Francisco, 50 miles from the fires, many people wore masks to filter the air.

As of Saturday morning, the fires are only partly contained. More than 3,000 new evacuations were ordered on Friday night. Officials fear that the fires could intensify over the weekend when strong winds are predicted.

Forest fires are a natural part of the environment of the western U.S., and have been happening since before people lived in this land. But what we see with these fires is a human catastrophe which has been greatly intensified by the system of capitalism, both in how it treats people and how it relates to the environment.

Napa and Sonoma counties, where the fires are centered, are famous as the heart of California’s wine industry and much has been written in the last week about how the fires are affecting the famous wineries and wine production. But there is little information in the press about the immigrants who work in the fields or in the area’s service industry. The Migration Policy Institute reports Napa County has 33,000 immigrants, who make up 23 percent of the county’s population. About three-quarters of the county’s agricultural workers and a third of hospitality workers are immigrants. It is estimated that there are 30,000 undocumented people in Napa and Sonoma combined.

When the fires came, many immigrants, fearful of being deported, avoided shelters and slept outside. A Sonoma County supervisor told the Sacramento Bee that she went to an area where immigrants had gathered after the fire. “I saw dozens of families. There are traumatized. They lost homes. It’s cold out there. But they are afraid they will be targeted by ICE (federal immigrations officials) if they go to shelters.”

The heartless immigration policy and anti-immigrant diatribes from the highest levels of government set the stage for the fear that drives people to sleep in the streets and makes them fearful to seek assistance. Just one week before the fires, ICE rounded up 498 immigrants in raids that targeted cities and counties that had declared sanctuary for the undocumented. On October 6, days before the fires broke out, Thomas Homan, the acting director of ICE, said that he was targeting California in particular, promising to “conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at work sites” in the state.

There were widespread rumors that immigration officials were conducting raids at shelters. This does not appear to have been true. However, it took four days for ICE to say that they would not be carrying out raids in the fire-affected areas.

On top of all this, the federal government prohibits any aid from being used to meet the needs of undocumented workers.

Climate Change, Unplanned Development, and Wildfires

What are some of the causes of the fires and their intensity?

California had been through five years of extreme drought, which killed many trees and left forests filled with dead trees, making the forests like tinderboxes. This past winter, the drought ended with major rains, which led to an explosion of plant growth, including grasses. This then was followed by an extremely dry and record hot summer, and that plant growth got very dry, adding to the tinder and the extreme fire danger.

The New York Times reported that researchers said that climate change had caused more than half of the dryness of forests in the U.S. West since 1979. Parched landscapes can increase fire size and duration, said a professor of fire science at the University of California, Berkeley.

An article from the Union of Concerned Scientists summarized the data linking climate change and wildfires: “Wildfire seasons (seasons with higher wildfire potential) in the United States are projected to lengthen.... Additionally, wildfires themselves are likely to be more severe.”

Another factor exacerbating the impact of the fire is the extent to which new housing is being constructed in areas where wild land connects to urban areas. Construction in these areas has increased rapidly in recent decades—60 percent of the homes constructed between 1990 and 2000 were built in these areas.

Fountain Grove, a hilltop subdivision of homes in Santa Rosa, many of which are priced at more than $1 million, was heavily damaged by the fires. In 1964, fire swept through this area, but there were no houses then. “Planning scenarios devised in the intervening years have often raised the specter of death and disaster if another blaze were to burn along the same path,” wrote the editor of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Yet these warnings were ignored.

Under capitalism, it is profit and anarchic competition that drives housing construction (and everything else). That is why, despite much damage and loss of lives from wildfires over many years, “land use planning for wildfire has yet to gain traction in practice, particularly in the United States,” as an article in a scientific journal put it.

As this is being written, the fires continue to burn and the lives and homes of thousands remain at risk. Many people are making sacrifices to assist those in need. Disasters bring to the fore what is really important: the lives of people more than property. But that is not how this system works. Instead we see the working of a system that values not people but property and profit.

This is not the best that humanity can do. We need revolution to bring into being a radically different and better system that can serve the interests of humanity.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/eminem-check-it-out-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Check It Out:

Eminem’s “The Storm”

October 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

At the BET Hip Hop Awards on October 6, rapper Eminem raised his voice in a denunciation of Donald Trump in a freestyle rap titled “The Storm.” The video shows Eminem in a cypher, where rappers normally stand in a circle competing by trading verses back and forth. In this case Eminem’s real opponent is not physically present—he’s in the White House. Eminem delivers a powerful freestyle attacking Trump at every angle with verse after verse. Eminem makes his intentions clear, ending the song with a fist in the air screaming, “We fucking hate Trump!” 

Just before that last line, Eminem says, “We love our military, and we love our country.” No, Eminem, there is nothing to love about this capitalist-imperialist country, and nothing to love about the America’s imperialist military. But while I take issue with Eminem on this important point, overall “The Storm” is a work that is very positive and that everyone should check out. The rapper goes after Trump for his murderous neglect of Puerto Rico and his attacks on NFL players kneeling in protest of police murder and brutality: “Instead of talking Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada / All these horrible tragedies and he’s bored and would rather / Cause a Twitter storm with the Packers.” And he says: “From his endorsement of Bannon / Support for the Klansmen / Tiki torches in hand for the soldier that’s black / And comes home from Iraq / And is still told to go back to Africa.”

Eminem successfully started a shit storm when he sharply called out those among his fans who are pro-Trump: “And any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his / I’m drawing in the sand a line: you’re either for or against / And if you can’t decide who you like more and you’re split / On who you should stand beside, I’ll do it for you with this: / FUCK YOU!” In the wake of “The Storm,” fascists on Twitter went wild denouncing and threatening Eminem while trolling people celebrating Eminem’s slam against Trump. On the other side, many prominent voices have praised Eminem for “The Storm,” including Colin Kaepernick (whom Eminem defends in his rap), J. Cole, LeBron James, Ellen DeGeneres, T-Pain, and Keith Olbermann. 

To anyone who hasn’t checked out “The Storm,” check it out and share it. Eminem and others with prominent voices should be encouraged and supported when they speak out against the Trump/Pence regime. And others should follow suit.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/512/professor-ciccariello-maher-and-the-fascist-thought-police-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Professor Ciccariello-Maher and the Fascist Thought Police

October 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

"Conservatives are the real campus thought police squashing academic freedom." This op-ed appeared in the October 10 issue of The Washington Post, written by George Ciccariello-Maher, tenured professor of politics and global studies at Drexel University. The professor has become the latest target of what he describes as the "coordinated onslaught" that's been systematically unleashed against progressive and radical scholars and academic freedom on university campuses since the Trump/Pence regime took power.

Following the Las Vegas mass killings, Professor Ciccariello-Maher posted a series of tweets addressing the question—"Why are these crimes almost always carried out by white men?" As he explains in the article, he was "diagnosing a sense of double entitlement—as white people and as men—that, when frustrated, can occasionally lead to violent consequences." And he continued:

My argument was not new, but rather reflects decades of research on how race and gender function in our society. To be both white and male is to be subject to a potent cocktail of entitlement to economic and political power, and to dominate nonwhite and female bodies. When that entitlement is frustrated, it can lead to what the criminologist Mike King calls "aggrieved whiteness," an ambient furor based on the idea that white Americans have become oppressed victims of politically correct multiculturalism.

In my view as a researcher and professor of politics, these tweets were neither provocative in tone nor controversial in content. Rather, the insight they provided felt all the more pressing now that President Trump has brought this aggrieved whiteness into daily headlines....But more and more, professors like me are being targeted by a coordinated right-wing campaign to undermine our academic freedom—one that relies on misrepresentation and sometimes outright lying, and often puts us and our students in danger.

What the professor was calling out—emboldened white supremacy and male supremacy—are, along with America First national chauvinism, the three pillars of the Trump/Pence regime's fascist ideology and program. To this regime's "ministry of propaganda," the professor's analysis was not going to be tolerated. In no time the professor saw his posts picked up and deliberately distorted by the Daily Caller, a rabid right-wing outlet created by Fox's Tucker Carlson. Soon thousands of vile and vicious threats were coming at Ciccariello-Maher. Then the "outrage machine" as the professor calls it spread the "story" like wildfire—including Steve Bannon's Breitbart News, Milo Yiannopoulos' own website, David Horowitz' FrontPage, the Turning Point, and more. Fox News then stepped in, spewing out the completely false claim that the professor blamed the victims themselves for the Las Vegas killings.

Since the start of the Trump/Pence regime, Professor Ciccariello-Maher has been in the crosshairs of this fascist mob which has been aiming to drive him out of his position and his profession. And there are many other radical and progressive scholars around the country who are being threatened in the same way. There has been a fascist movement underway for decades targeting the universities, with its sights set on "taking back" the universities from the "tenured radicals" and critical thinkers who have, since the 1960s, been challenging the mythology of "American Greatness," and "America as a force for good in the world," used to justify American crimes against humanity without equal. In the eyes of this fascist regime the universities represent a serious obstacle to consolidating a new social order based on overt white supremacy, male supremacy, and America First chauvinism everywhere.

Some university administrators have stood by their faculty in the face of these attacks, and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has called on faculty and administrators to condemn and firmly stand up to these attacks. Drexel University has instead put Cicariello-Maher on "administrative leave"—in the name of protecting the safety of students, faculty and staff from threats. Whatever their intentions, this capitulation rewards and encourages these fascist goons. And it sets a dangerous precedent for other universities to submit to such threats, as well as to the increasing efforts by fascist state and federal legislators to threaten administrators with loss of funding if they fail to take action against the targeted professors. This attack on radical and progressive scholars across the country, and on the very atmosphere where critical thinking and dissent still has room to breathe, must be met by the most fierce, determined resistance.

Michael Slate interviewed professor Ciccariello-Maher on The Michael Slate Show on Pacifica's KPFK (90.7 FM) in Los Angeles in July, about the professor's resistance to previous attacks on himself and on other academics. In response to Slate's question about what's at stake in relation to these attacks, the professor talked about the need for spaces where people can learn to question the dominant narratives, such as blaming immigrants for unemployment and wages, etc. and learn the way the actual workings of the system are creating these conditions. And more, "We need to keep those spaces, not so we can simply educate people in better citizenship, but no, so we can actually interact and create militants who are gonna be able to fight this fight going forward... "

These fascist threats on the universities, on critical thinking and dissent, and the search for the truth underscore the urgency of driving the Trump/Pence regime from power. Students, faculty, and the universities as a whole have a critical and urgent role to play in bringing forward a movement from the campuses that joins with others around the country and takes to the streets declaring: This nightmare must end. November 4: It Begins. In the Name of Humanity, Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/512/two-constitutions-two-legal-systems-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Two Constitutions, Two Legal Systems, and a Man Who Imagined the World as It Should Be

October 9, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A 55-year-old Black man named John Thompson died in New Orleans on October 3. Thompson spent 18 years of his life in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola—an infamous torture chamber. Fourteen of those years were on death row, and he was scheduled for execution seven times, all for crimes he was falsely convicted of in a trial where the prosecutors withheld evidence of his innocence.

A lawyer friend of John Thompson said Thompson often asked why the people who put him behind bars weren’t punished. Thompson would go over the legal statutes for kidnapping and attempted murder and show how what was done to him—what was very consciously done to him—fit these crimes. The lawyer said Thompson “understood when I said that it doesn’t work that way, but I was describing the way the world is. He was describing the way it should be.”

The U.S. Constitution: The World as It Is... Now

John Thompson’s experience concentrates what so many people—especially Black, Brown, Native American, and other oppressed people—confront in the meat grinder of the U.S. “justice system.” Ripped from your family... charged with crimes you knew nothing about... prosecutors lying and destroying evidence... phony “witnesses” coerced by police and the DA into lying on the stand... a court system that does nothing to guarantee supposed constitutional rights... public defenders routinely prevented from being able to mount any kind of real defense.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that prosecutors must provide defense lawyers with evidence that may be favorable to their case. Louisiana authorities systematically suppressed and destroyed evidence in order to send Thompson to death row.

Thompson’s conviction was overturned in 2002. In 2003 he was acquitted in a retrial. A jury awarded him $14 million—$1 million for each year on death row. The state of Louisiana appealed that ruling.

In 2011, the Supreme Court agreed that prosecutors had violated the 1963 Court mandate. But it also ruled that the “district attorney’s office may not be held liable.” Thompson never received a penny. The point, for Thompson, was never the money—it was some form of justice. Even when the system’s courts acknowledge that their prosecutors and police break their own laws—they refuse to even pretend to provide justice to people they’ve persecuted. The whole murderous chain of repression that has lashed John Thompson and millions of others is reinforced and legitimized by the legal system, concentrated in the U.S. Constitution and upheld all the way up to the Supreme Court.

This is not simply because of racist police, prosecutors, judges, and jailers—although there is plenty of that. More fundamentally, it is because the U.S. Constitution provides a framework that appears to treat everyone equally and claims to provide “justice for all,” but actually both covers over and reinforces the deep inequalities and divisions foundational to the capitalist economic, social, and political system. In actual fact, what kind of legal representation you get hinges on what social class you are in—how much money you have to hire lawyers, to be blunt.

In particular, for about 230 years the U.S. Constitution has served to legitimize the oppressed—and, for many decades, enslaved—status of Black people. This was certainly true under slavery, whose existence—while never explicitly mentioned in the Constitution—saturated the entire document. (See Bob Avakian’s latest talk, “The Problem, the Solution, and the Challenges Before Us,” on this.) Even after the Constitution was amended, following the Civil War, to recognize the legal and civil rights of Black people, for many years the Supreme Court ruled that laws stigmatizing Black people were actually legitimate. And even after the most egregious of such laws were found to be unconstitutional, the way in which the Constitution purports to recognize individual rights only, and not social inequalities (inequalities and oppressive relations between different groups), still serves to legitimize the kinds of things that happened to John Thompson and that continue to happen to all too many people like John Thompson.

Emily Maw, director of the Innocence Project New Orleans, said of her friend John Thompson, “He was angry, and yet he had astounding strength from the moment he got out and a need to channel his anger to doing good in the world. And that is what he did until he died.... [H]e did what he always did with the dreadful injustices life threw at him over and over again: He decided to use it to fight for accountability and more justice for people who came after him.”

How the World Could Be

We do not need to torture our aspirations for justice and emancipation to fit a document that was never intended to foster either. A better world IS possible. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian and adopted by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, provides the legal framework and guiding principles and processes for a radically new form of state power that would be established after an actual revolution. The power, resources, and institutions of the new state will serve radically different purposes than what exists under this society based on exploitation and oppression.

This will have real meaning and impact in every dimension of society, including the legal sphere and the rights of the individual. Even though state power will now be in the hands of the masses of people, Bob Avakian has recognized that there will still be struggle between different classes and there will still be contradictions between the individual and the state, and he has taken this understanding and its implications to a far deeper level than communism previously understood. But this will be approached and dealt with in a qualitatively different, night-and-day different way. One big thing this would mean: there will be no more John Thompsons—arrested unjustly, railroaded to prison, with indifferent or overworked public defenders up against the full resources of the state, tortured for over a decade.

From the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, Article 1, Section 2, D, 2:

As a key part of providing the fullest protection for the rights and liberties of the people, and more specifically the defense of their rights in situations where they are accused of crimes—as well as in other proceedings where citizens or residents of this Republic are confronting the government as a legal adversary and have the right to legal representation—there shall be a Department of Legal Defense and Assistance, which shall be funded by the government, as part of the overall budget prepared by the Executive Council, but which shall in every other way be independent of, and operated independently of, the government. Branches of this Department of Legal Defense and Assistance, funded out of the overall government budget, shall also be established in the various regions, including any autonomous regions (or other autonomous areas) which may be established, and other areas of governmental responsibility and administration. The funds and resources allotted for this Department of Legal Defense and Assistance, including its various branches, must be at least equal to those provided, at the corresponding levels of government, for the prosecution of crimes. This Department of Legal Defense and Assistance, and its various branches, shall, with the resources provided by the government, establish the necessary personnel, structures and procedures in order to carry out the functions assigned to it by—and within the overall framework of what is set forth in—this Constitution.

Which world do you want to live in? Which world are you going to fight for?

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/NFL-players-defy-attacks-continue-protests-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Courageous NFL Players Defy Attacks, Continue Protests

October 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This Sunday, in the face of ongoing attacks, significant protests by National Football League (NFL) players continued during the playing of the U.S. national anthem for a sixth straight week.

Trump has tweeted at least 22 times against NFL players, called for them to be fired, and called those who protest the anthem “sons of bitches.” Videos of people burning NFL player jerseys have been posted on YouTube. Numerous players have received death threats and abusive, racist insults. Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys (“America’s Team”), said players who “disrespect the flag will not play in the game” (the Cowboys did not have a game this week). When ESPN sportscaster Jemele Hill said on Twitter that fans who disagreed with Jones should boycott the Cowboys advertisers, she was suspended by the network.

In the face of this virulent, white supremacist opposition, many players have persevered. Players from at least eight teams engaged in various forms of protest by the time the first round of games was over this Sunday, with more to be played later in the day and Monday. A week after Mike Pence walked out of a San Francisco 49ers game after players protested, seven 49ers took a knee at their game in Washington, DC. Other protests included Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland Raiders, who sat on the team bench during the anthem; two players from the Kansas City Chiefs—Ukeme Eligwe, who sat during the anthem, and Marcus Peters, who kneeled; Kenny Stills, Mike Thomas, and Julius Thomas of the Miami Dolphins, who stayed in the locker room until the anthem was over; Russell Okung of the Los Angeles Chargers, who raised his fist. At the Thursday game, Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod of the Philadelphia Eagles raised their fists, and Chris Long, a white player from Charlottesville, put his arm around Jenkins in solidarity. Meanwhile, Okung wrote a call for the players to “Get Organized” on the Players Tribune.

Colin Kaepernick initiated the take a knee protests last season when he was playing for the 49ers. Now Kaepernick is out of work and has not been picked up by any NFL team despite a proven record as a winning, creative player, one who is well liked and respected by teammates. On Sunday, Kaepernick filed an official grievance against the NFL. The grievance says team owners “colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice.”

It is very significant that these athletes are continuing to protest. They are putting a lot on the line—their careers, even their lives—to take a highly public stand against police brutality and the oppression of Black people.

Everyone who opposes injustice, and wants to see an end to the oppression of Black people, must support them, and oppose any efforts to silence them.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/512/lance-kendricks-taking-a-knee-for-puerto-rico-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Lance Kendricks: Taking a Knee for Puerto Rico

October 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Lance Kendricks, a tight end for the Green Bay Packers, was one of the NFL players who refused to stand for the national anthem on September 24. It was the first protest of his life.

Kendricks told a reporter that he was racially profiled by authorities when he was growing up in Milwaukee, and understands why other players started the protests. He also explained that when Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee as the U.S. anthem played last year as a statement against police murder of people of color, “I was one of those people who was like, ‘I understand why he’s doing it, but I wouldn’t do it.’ That’s how I felt about it.”

But Kendricks, whose wife Danielle is from Puerto Rico, was jolted to take a stand when he learned more deeply from his wife about the devastation in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, the human suffering it is causing, and Trump’s sneering contempt for the Puerto Rican people.

Danielle Kendricks doesn’t know what’s happened to most of the 100 or so family members she has in Puerto Rico. She doesn’t know what’s happened with her 82-year-old grandfather, who was hospitalized for 10 days after the storm. She told a reporter, “You think about the fact that he’s just one person, and you have 3.4 million people on this island. It’s really devastating, because people don’t have access to basic needs: water, cash. The power is out, so everything they had in their fridge, they can’t eat anything.”

For Lance Kendricks, hearing Donald Trump denounce football players protesting police brutality against Black people as “sons of bitches” while barely acknowledging the crisis in Puerto Rico “broke the camel’s back.” It is very positive that someone in a prominent public position is jolted to take defiant stands in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico, as well as against police brutality.

These protests must continue, and go further—not only involving more people, but going deeper. Enforcing patriotism, flag worship, and cult of the military is an essential component of the fascist program of “Making America Great Again.” As Revolution wrote last week, “Everyone who is coming to hate and find intolerable the crimes of this system, and the even greater horrors openly promised by the Trump/Pence regime, has got to confront, and break with, the American chauvinism that the Trump/Pence regime and the rulers of this country are using as a key ideological weapon in maintaining their rule.”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/512/nfl-player-russell-okung-on-colin-kaepernicks-protest-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

NFL Player Russell Okung: “I initially doubted the merits of Colin Kaepernick’s protest. I was wrong”

October 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

On Wednesday, October 13, Russell Okung, an eight-year NFL veteran who plays for the Los Angeles Chargers, issued an open letter to his fellow NFL players calling on them to unify over the message that was started by Colin Kaepernick when he refused to stand for the national anthem in protest against police murders and brutality against Black people. (Okung’s full letter is available online here.)

Okung’s letter was a direct response to NFL president Roger Goodell, who sent out a letter to all 32 team owners stating, “We believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem”; to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who said he would bench any of his players who refused to stand, and to Donald Trump, who has been tweeting attacks on the players who take a knee during the anthem.

Okung starts out by saying, “I initially doubted the merits of Colin Kaepernick’s protest and questioned his strategy. I was wrong. There is now no doubt in my mind that what he did last season was a courageous, prophetic, self-sacrificial act that has captivated a nation and inspired a powerful movement. If I had his cellphone number, I would tell him that.” Kaepernick began the protest last season when he was a San Francisco 49er quarterback—and this season, as a free agent, none of the teams have hired him.

In speaking about the current protests that are being made by players and teams in the NFL, Okung says that “As Kap’s message has now been distorted, co-opted and used to further divide us along the very racial lines he was highlighting, we as players have a responsibility to come together and respond collectively.”

NBC Sports reported that “Okung said he wanted to reach out to players because he feared the initial point of protests—racial inequality and police brutality—has been lost in the bluster of President Donald Trump’s speeches and tweets.... ‘I’m about shifting the narrative. We can’t be distracted by what he is trying to do,’ Okung said of Trump.”

Okung’s view is that the current situation—with players with some teams (in some cases including the team owner) standing during the anthem and locking arms, some staying in the locker room until the anthem is over, some taking the knee before the anthem and then standing during it, etc.—shows that “the will of the players who align with Kap’s message is being diluted. Rather than our collective voice prevailing in a way that spans the league.”

He points out to the players that the system of professional football has been designed to keep the players separated and divided while the owners remain unified in being able to have their interests served by the league. His letter calls for players to “transcend the ‘natural’ divisions that have been defined by the league and sanitized by a fictional narrative of competition above all else ... by open[ing] up a line of communication just between us, and be ready to respond with one voice as players.”

In September last year, Okung wrote a piece for The Players Tribune, “We See You,” in which he said:

The more I read about the controversy surrounding 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to not stand during the national anthem, and his efforts to shine a light on injustice in this country, the more I think about Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

In 1968, in the midst of heated racial tension, Smith and Carlos used their platforms to change the world. At the Summer Olympics that year, Smith earned a gold medal in the men’s 200-meter dash, while Carlos won a bronze, and during the medal ceremony the two engaged in a powerful demonstration. With the national anthem playing in the background, they displayed one of the most symbolic gestures in Olympics history: The two men each raised a fist, showing their commitment to the civil rights movement.

I’ve always wondered if, at the time, they believed that their showing of solidarity with Malcolm X, the Black Panther Party, and the recently assassinated Martin Luther King Jr., would even make a difference. But, as it turned out, a simple act on the world stage would surprise many, and show that change was needed.

The two competitors inspired millions around the globe and shed light on the oppression experienced by African-Americans in the United States. Their punishment, of course, would be severe. Soon after they took their stand, Smith and Carlos were expelled from the Olympics and made into public enemies. At home in the U.S., they received death threats. A moment of solidarity almost immediately became a swift burden. But when asked back then why he sacrificed the glory of the Games after earning a medal, John Carlos answered: “I can’t eat that. And the kids ’round my block can’t eat it. They can’t eat publicity, they can’t eat gold medals. All they want is an equal chance to be a human being.”

The protest started by Kaepernick last season is at a crossroads, and Okung clearly sees that when he says, “We can either wait until we receive our respective marching orders, speak up individually, or find a way to collaborate and exercise our agency as the lifeblood of the league.”

He’s issued a challenge to the players to make a difference, to act in unison against racism and police terror, in the face of attempts by Trump, NFL owners and others to shut them up. It will be a very good development if these players take up this challenge.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/512/trump-threats-to-nfl-protests-muzzling-black-men-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Trump’s Threats to NFL Protests: Muzzling Black Men Like Slave Days

October 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In Trump’s fascist worldview, the Nazis and KKK white supremacists in Charlottesville are “very fine people”… while the NFL players who protest the murder by police of people of color are “sons of bitches” who should be immediately fired.

 

Nazis and KKK white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: AP

NFL players take a knee to protest murders by police of people of color. Photo: Twitter/OaklandRaiders

 

If Trump shuts down the NFL protests, or if the owners punish the players taking righteous action, it will be a significant victory for fascism. It would mean he will have succeeded in silencing Black men. It brings to mind the binding and gagging of Black Panther leader Bobby Seale in a political kangaroo trial in 1969 and the literal muzzling—and worse—that slave owners perpetrated on “back-talking” slaves.

 

Depiction of Black Panther leader Bobby Seale, bound and gagged during his a political trial in 1969. (Image: © Estate of Howard Brodie/courtesy Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

Instruments of torture that slave owners used to literally muzzle “back-talking” slaves.

 

This must NOT be allowed to happen.

This nightmare must end.

November 4: It Begins.

Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/510/10-reasons-to-disrespect-the-anthem-en.html#reasonten

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017


Warning: file_get_contents(../a/510/10-reasons-to-disrespect-the-anthem-en.html#reasonten): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/revweb/public_html/quick/513en.php on line 157

 


 

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

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017


Warning: file_get_contents(../a/465/other-voices-on-trump-resistance-en.html#hertha): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/revweb/public_html/quick/513en.php on line 157

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/awtwns-catalonia-and-the-interests-of-humanity-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

From A World to Win News Service:

Catalonia and the Interests of Humanity

October 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

October 8, 2017. A World to Win News Service. When Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain, attempted to hold a referendum on its independence 1 October, the central state forbade it. Thousands of national police and paramilitary Guardia Civil were sent in to stop the voting.

They smashed their lead-filled truncheons down on the heads of people lined up in front of schools to vote, beating even the elderly to the ground. They dragged women by the hair, punching them while hurling patriarchal sexual insults, and shooting rubber bullets to disperse onlookers. Crashing down doors, they brutalized students who held overnight sit-ins to protect ballot boxes, and confiscated them. Catalan firemen who had lined up to protect crowds were also beaten. Almost 900 people were reported injured. Now Spain's courts are pressing sedition charges against the head of the Catalan police and other officials for failing to support the Guardia Civil, and the central government is threatening to take over the regional government and arrest its leaders.

Although Spain is now a parliamentary democracy, the Guardia Civil, a paramilitary corps infamous for their swaggering brutality, were for decades the most hated enforcers of the regime of the fascist General Franco. In a rare political pronouncement, King Felipe, whose father was enthroned by Franco, denounced Catalan "disloyalty." He called the referendum "an unacceptable act of disrespect for the powers of the state" he heads and represents, and cynically failed to mention the hundreds of injured. The Spanish establishment closed ranks to proclaim that any challenge to the unity of Spain is illegitimate and criminal.

Because the parties that govern the Spanish state are now elected, that state is said to embody the will of the people. But when people defy that state and the interests it represents, they are beaten, stomped and threatened with prison, whether or not their actions are violent. The state's ultimate reliance on force—as a dictatorship of the capitalist ruling class—begins to be revealed, and the country's unity can be seen as not something sacred and therefore beyond question, or even the product of the will of the people, but as a product and source of that state's power. But there is more that needs to be seen: the interests, classes and future represented by the main actors in this complex drama, and how it's connected to broader phenomena shaping the world stage today.

The "unity of Spain" and its "economic and social stability" that the king called the highest good would not have come into existence without the global plunder and slavery that fuelled the emergence of the capitalist countries and system in general. In Spain, the tonnes of gold looted from the New World by slave labour propped up the feudal aristocracy and its handmaid, the Catholic Church. As a result, capitalism developed slowly and unevenly, and the central Spanish state subordinated other territories with their own distinct history, language, culture and economy. Catalonia, where early capitalism was most successful, was a pillar of Spain's first, short-lived republic (1873-74) and its second and last (1931-39), when an autonomous Catalonia was a stronghold of a revolutionary upsurge sweeping Spain's cities and countryside. Franco won the three-year civil war against the republic thanks to the support of fascist Italy and Nazi Germany and the complicity of all the world's major powers—except the then-socialist USSR. Catalonia was occupied, the leadership of its parliament executed and its language banned from public life for the next two generations.

During the 1960s and early 1970s, when Franco's fascist regime was under the protection of the U.S. as a counterweight to France and other European powers, Spain underwent very rapid capitalist development, becoming a more typical European country. These were also decades of cascading political upheavals, courageous illegal organizing, huge street protests, strikes and armed actions against fascism. This political ferment and capitalist development also worked to revive nationalist movements, especially in Catalonia and the Basque region where much of the country's new industrial wealth was generated.

Despite the strength of the popular and revolutionary movements, in 1975 the Franco regime came to an end not with its overthrow but with a pact brokered by the country's ruling classes, regime leaders, the army, Church and most of the mainstream opposition. Disoriented and unclear on its objectives, the revolutionary upheaval collapsed.

In his speech, King Felipe declared that his primary duty is to defend Spain's 1978 constitution. That constitution does concentrate issues in today's crisis. It brought parliamentary democracy, but also made the monarch the head of state and the armed forces to ensure the continuity of the imperialist state. That constitution both made concessions to the minority nationalities (some degree of autonomy) and placed strict limits on their rights. It also placed strict limits on the rights of all the people, including forbidding legal pursuit of Francoist leaders and exposure of the regime's crimes. Even today, in the name of the country's unity and stability, it is forbidden to locate the graves of people secretly executed during and after the civil war, such as Spain's most famous poet, Federico Garcia Lorca.

Yet the development of the global capitalist-imperialist system is digging the ground out from under the social and ideological unity embodied in that constitution. Spain's crisis is inseparably linked to the gathering turmoil in a world where old international alliances are becoming shaky, and national systems of governance and the corresponding ideological consensuses are tottering. This is what there is in common to global phenomena that are very different and even incomparable when considered individually, including rising nationalist movements (both those spurred by domination, and reactionary expressions of dominant nation chauvinism like Trumpism and Brexit) and the almost universal outbreak of religious fundamentalism.

In the context of ever more globalized and acute international competition, Spain, at least as much as anywhere else, is experiencing the crumbling of the social-democratic model that accompanied the long, awful night of post-World War 2 reactionary political stability in Europe and made the pact with Francoism possible. That social consensus was severely jolted when Spain broke ranks with Europe and joined the U.S. and UK invasion of Iraq in 2001, in flagrant opposition to public opinion and the most powerful anti-war movement in the West. It cracked further when decades of economic boom came to an abrupt end with the 2008 world financial crisis, which hit Spain particularly hard. Massive unemployment, widespread home evictions and state brutality against the old and new poor have spurred questioning and resistance. The two parties that have alternated in government since the Franco era, current Prime Minister Rajoy's Popular Party (founded by Franco politicians) and the Socialist Party (opposed to Franco), have lost much of the legitimacy they once enjoyed among different classes, along the same general lines as the mainstream "right" and "left" in most imperialist countries.

Within this context, there are other accelerating push and pull factors. Catalan capital has been particularly successful in its relations with other European capitals and looting Latin America and Africa through investment, while the central government has taken legal moves to rein in regional financial organizations. The main Catalan employers' association, the association of small and medium enterprises and the traditional political representatives of Catalan capital have become more favourable to Catalan independence, even as popular support seems to have ebbed. Politically, the demand for independence has been spurred by the state's harsh moves against the Catalan regional authorities.

King Felipe needed to echo Franco in raising the indivisibility of Spain as the highest good because the country is increasingly divided in ways unfavourable to its rulers. The challenge to this unity has also set the stage for today's crowds of young people waving Spanish flags to avenge the "affront" of Catalan nationalism. More than a few can be seen making the stiff-armed Franco fascist salute. Self-declared fascists have been given much more political space by the resurgence of Spanish nationalism sanctified by most of the political spectrum. At the same time, that nationalism cannot be painlessly propagated in a country where many millions remember or are aware of the role that inherently reactionary ideology played in justifying and sustaining the Franco regime and its suffocating grip on Spanish society. This is seen in duelling displays of Spanish and Catalan flags on balconies in Barcelona, Madrid and elsewhere. Some people who can't accept the Spanish banner instead fly the rainbow LGBT liberation flag in defiance of the homophobia, patriarchy and Catholic doctrine that thrived in the country's backwardness and defined Spain's official culture. At the same time, many of the forces rallying around the indivisibility of Spain are also determined to reverse the legality of birth control, abortion and gay rights along with the most elementary rights of minority nationalists. The shadow of fascism stands not only in the Francoist past, but far more on the needs of the hour faced by Spanish imperialism.

The upheaval in Spain today is coming at a time when the unity of the European Union itself and the traditional arrangements for the governance of its constituents are under unprecedented strain. Following the crisis in Greece, Brexit and the rise of fascist movements throughout the EU, the spectre of Spain now being ripped apart has sent shock waves through Brussels and the capitals of Europe. And while the leaders of the Catalan nationalist movement have set their sights on joining the EU, the EU leaders have mainly either maintained a stony silence as Catalonian blood flows from the police truncheons, or else confined themselves to saying that this is "an internal matter" for Spain.

Indeed, while the contradictoriness of the Catalan bourgeoisie's interests (linked with Spanish capital and unable to do without the financial and political institutions of a strong state) means their position tends to waver, there is little chance that the Spanish state and ruling class overall will waver. This is not only due to life-and-death economic interests but even more because they need to get united, even if by force if that is required, rally some of the people and neutralize or isolate others, and defend their rule at all costs.

In Catalonia the nationalist movement has absorbed other, powerful currents of protest and hatred for the government common to most of Spain, and which are fueling discontent throughout the continent. This has given rise to a complex and highly contradictory brew. In the wake of the central state's suppression of the vote, a powerful regional strike against the vicious brutality of the Guardia Civil included many waving Spanish flags. And as we go to press, hundreds of thousands have flooded Barcelona's streets in a pro-unity demonstration. Clearly serving the Spanish state, the main slogan of the protest called for "a return to reason," and an abundance of Spanish, Catalonian and European flags was a reflection of a broad range of contradictory sentiment.

Catalan nationalism cannot offer a way out of this complex intermingling of contradictions, because it is not in the interests of the vast majority of Catalonia's people or the people of Spain and the world. Its interests are too narrow and its horizons far too limited. To take just one example, how does this vision of an independent Catalonia joining the EU speak to the almost 20% of Catalonia's inhabitants who are immigrants from the poorer parts of Europe and Latin America, Asia and Africa, generally found in the lower ranks of Catalonia's workforce? Even in the unlikely event of an independent Catalonia emerging, a new capitalist-imperialist state would perpetuate—and violently enforce—the exploitative and oppressive social relations so many people there and in the rest of Spain already find intolerable. It would be part of imprisoning humanity in an outmoded world system of antagonistic economic and social relationships that crushes human potential and is killing the planet.

The turbulence that is wracking Spain and Europe's traditional social and political order more generally is weakening these powerful imperialist states and their traditional alliances and awakening people to political life, but in highly contradictory ways. Upholding and defending the rights of Spain's minority nationalities is essential to unite all those who can be united to carry out a revolution to overthrow the Spanish imperialist state and establish a socialist state or states throughout as much of Spain as possible on a voluntary basis. One key task of such a radically new state would be to achieve a just and democratic solution to the oppression of the Catalonian and the other oppressed peoples of Spain. This would be an indispensable part of building a radically new society and moving toward the abolition of all inequalities and all forms of oppressive and repressive rule and all relations of domination and exploitation throughout the world. That kind of revolution is the only way out.

 

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

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/reaching-out-to-immigrants-rights-activists-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

From RefuseFascism.org:

Reaching Out to Immigrants Rights Activists

October 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Over the last couple days I have been meeting with activists, and people from several immigrants' rights groups. One of them is a newly ordained minister who has spoken up for DACA students. After I read the Call for Nov 4 to her, she asked me what is fascism? She didn't know, so we got into that. She had a sense that bad things are happening, but didn't see the whole picture, particularly the taking away of what have traditionally been people's rights – that kind of clicked with her. I'm not sure if she fully agreed with all of that, it's circulating in her head, but she much more confronted the scope and scale of what is in those panels – the Indictments. Off this, the minister signed up to endorse Nov 4.

From our conversation, she was thinking through "Who do I know." She attends a church in a neighborhood with a lot of progressive people. Her minister has been published in national publications speaking out against things like Charlottesville. So, I went to the church and caught the minister on Sunday, between services. Maybe not the best day to go, but I didn't want to let time waste, and I knew I could follow up. I told her about the 4th, and she said that it sounded like the right thing to do, but wanted to think about her role – like I said, she was basically on her way from one service to another. She connected me with the church's social justice coordinator who is also a minister. I gave him the Faith letter on the spot, and followed up with the original Call from Refuse Fascism. And resent the faith letter – because you give people something and they put it somewhere... So I'll go back and talk to them to follow up.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/refuse-fascism-confronts-nfl-owner-jerry-jones-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Carl Dix, Refuse Fascism Confront Dallas Cowboys’ Owner Jerry Jones: “People need to take a knee against white supremacy and drive out this whole regime”

Updated October 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


Carl Dix confronts Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who said "Any player who doesn't stand for the anthem will not play." People need to take a stand against white supremacy and stand up against the entire Trump regime, and it begins November 4.

On Tuesday, October 17, as part of building for the November 4 protests to drive the fascist Trump/Pence regime from power, Carl Dix and Linda Solotaire of Refuse Fascism confronted Dallas Cowboys owner and Trump-supporter Jerry Jones before a National Football League (NFL) owners meeting in downtown Manhattan. “You want to treat players like 40 million dollar slaves, well-paid gladiators who beat each others’ brains out for your enjoyment and profit but have to keep their mouths shut when talking about injustice,” Dix told Jones, who was standing a few feet away. A week earlier Jones warned Dallas players if they didn’t stand for the national anthem they wouldn’t play. “Look at the videos of the police getting away with murder and tell me that the players are wrong to protest it and that they have no right do to that!” Dix said to Jones. “People need to take a knee against white supremacy and people need to stand up against you and your buddy Donald Trump and drive his whole regime out, and it begins November 4.” This protest struck a nerve—one Instagram video of the confrontation has been viewed over 500,000 times—and it was widely covered in the media, including The New York Times, The New York Post, and other publications. An article on The Root, drawn from a short online video, declared, “Jerry Jones had his Southern-fried ass handed to him by a lone protester as the Dallas Cowboys owner walked through what looked to be a hotel lobby.” Carl was interviewed in Al Jazeera and on sports-oriented BSO Live with Robert Littal. Carl’s article on The Huffington Post, “Why I Confronted Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones,” walks the reader through the confrontation and why organizing for November 4 is so crucial.

 

Standing up for taking a knee – calling for Nov 4 at the NFL owners meeting

 

From the NY Daily News coverage:

“Jerry Jones was confronted by two protesters for his national anthem stance Tuesday while on his way into the NFL fall owners meetings in a Battery Park City hotel.

“The Cowboys owner said nine days ago that any Dallas player who does not stand for the anthem will not play. He had previously locked arms and taken a knee with his team, before the anthem was played, after President Donald Trump called protesting players a “son of a b—h.”

“Carl Dix, an African-American man, and Linda Solotaire, a white woman, were in the Conrad New York lobby when they spotted Jones with his son Stephen and daughter Charlotte, both Cowboys executives. Dix and Solotaire represent a group called RefuseFascism.org.

“After confronting Jones, Dix spoke out against the Trump-Pence administration and announced his group is organizing a Nov. 4 event. According to a card they were handing out, ‘We will take to the streets across this country and stay there — day after day, night after night — not stopping until our demand is met: this Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence Regime must go! No! In the name of humanity we refuse to accept a Fascist America.’...”

Everyone who sees the danger of the Trump/Pence regime and the complicity of those like Jerry Jones who carry out Trump’s white supremacist fascistic orders, needs to stand up and act now, recognizing that is OUR responsibility to drive the Trump/Pence Regime from power and ORGANIZE to bring people into the streets on NOV 4 and everyday after until the regime is gone.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/bob_avakian-a-question-of-basic-stand-and-orientation-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

October 18, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A Question of Basic Stand and Orientation

By Bob Avakian

 

SUPPORT AND SPREAD THE FURY
AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE

The phenomenon of sexual harassment and sexual assault—including (but not limited to) the sexual abuse of women by men who hold positions of power over them—is long-standing and widespread throughout this male supremacist society and is reinforced by the putrid culture it has spawned. The outpouring of outrage against this sexual abuse and the all too commonplace institutional cover-ups and complicity with it, and the demand for a radical change in the culture—which has made a major leap in relation to the accusations against Harvey Weinstein and has now spread far beyond that, involving millions of women, in sphere after sphere throughout this country and in other countries as well—is right, righteous, and long overdue, and should be supported, encouraged, spread, and defended against counter-attack. 

In the context of such a long-suppressed outpouring of outrage, there are bound to be some negative aspects, including some excesses, where false or exaggerated accusations are made in particular cases; but these have been (and will almost certainly remain) a very secondary aspect of the phenomenon. If and when it may be necessary to point to some of these shortcomings, this must be done very judiciously, in a way that does not undermine the overwhelmingly positive character of this upsurge, and in fact helps to strengthen it.

This long-suppressed and thoroughly just outpouring of outrage is not the same as any particular accusation. Such particular accusations do have to be approached on the basis of scientifically evaluating the evidence, and this is especially important where the accusations not only allege misconduct but actual criminal action, such as rape or other sexual assault. But this distinction, between particular accusations and the overall phenomenon, should not be allowed to obscure or diminish the righteousness and importance of the massive upsurge against this widespread and deeply-rooted abuse and the tremendous injury it does to women and to humanity as a whole.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/invitation-to-be-part-of-bold-plan-to-end-the-nightmare-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

October 18, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Email sent out widely from Refuse Fascism on 10/18/17

An Invitation To Be a Part of a Bold Plan to End the Nightmare

 

Think hard about this: Trump is setting us "on a path towards World War III." Not our words, but those of the arch-conservative senator Bob Corker. What does that tell you?

Everyone who is opposed to this possible "path" becoming reality needs to act now on bridging the gap between the extreme danger posed by the Trump/Pence Regime and the level of mass resistance to it.

There is a way forward: a massive movement of people taking to the streets in non-violent protest every day and night until this regime is removed from power. This begins November 4.

THIS WEEKEND YOU ARE NEEDED TO EMPOWER PEOPLE to understand that the future depends on them to make it known everywhere that:

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

From Friday, October 20, through Monday, October 23, RefuseFascism is calling on each of you to devote your time and effort to being a part of

A BOLD PLAN to Mobilize the People to Make Nov. 4 Known Everywhere!

If you are reading this, you are needed to knock on doors, to make phone calls, to get posters up in store fronts, to join teams of people in the neighborhoods and on the trains, to be a part of the evening light projections on buildings raising the demand that millions want in their hearts: for the Trump/Pence Regime to be gone!

If together we make Nov. 4, and the great cause it begins, known everywhere this weekend, at a moment when people are agonizing over what the Trump/Pence Regime has done in just the last 10 days: ratcheted up danger of war; denied birth control; demeaned and gagged NFL players fighting for justice; strangled healthcare; and left millions of Puerto Ricans to die, THIS CAN INSPIRE AND GIVE PEOPLE A SENSE OF THE POSSIBILITY FOR REAL CHANGE. THIS WEEKEND CAN BE A MAJOR STEP TOWARDS NOV. 4.

Wherever you are: Volunteer to join this saturation effort now.

Bring your mom, your friends, your neighbors!

There is a mood change that is beginning again, and if we act in this new way together, projecting the bold vision of Nov. 4 and putting it in people's hands, we could awake a sleeping giant.

There are two choices we all face right now: Act like the future depends on it; or not... consider what that will mean.

If not now, when? If not you, who?

Copy this and email to 5 friends and recruit them to join you in the effort to drive out this regime.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/rf-this-is-fascism-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

October 18, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From RefuseFascism.org

THIS is Fascism: 10-18-17

 

Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. Fascism is a qualitative change in how society is governed. (From the Refuse Fascism Call to Action).

Read/share the comprehensive indictment of the regime's crimes here.
Volunteer to help compile this series by emailing info@refusefascism.org

In Just the Last Few Days the Trump/Pence Regime...

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/carl-dix-on-october-22-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

October 22: The National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation!

Take a Knee Against White Supremacy and Get Ready to Stand Up on November 4 to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime

by Carl Dix

October 19, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Police continue to brutalize and murder people—Patrick Harmon in Utah and David Jones in Philadelphia, Black men shot in the back by cops; Justine Ruszczyk killed by police in Minneapolis after she called 911, Kiwi Herring, a transgender woman in St. Louis killed by police. Juries continue to allow cops to get away with murder by exonerating killer cops even when there are videos of their murderous deeds. Police are on track to kill as many people this year as in 2016. And the victims of the police continue to disproportionately be Black people and other people of color. Hundreds of thousands of Black and Brown people continue to be warehoused in prisons across the U.S.

This police terror and mass incarceration is the spearhead of an overall assault this system is inflicting on Black people that amounts to a slow genocide. This slow genocide is built into the very way this capitalist-imperialist system works, and it will take revolution, nothing less to end it and all the brutality and misery this system enforces on humanity, once and for all.

And now comes Trump, accelerating this slow genocide and intensifying other horrors people suffer in this country and around the world.

Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, have called for taking the gloves off the police. At a gathering of police in Long Island, NY, Trump said police should stop being too nice to the people they arrest. Sessions has re-instated mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes—sentences that played a big part in the growth of mass incarceration. Deportations, which hit record highs under Obama, have been intensified by Trump. Trump has called for professional football players who protest how police get away with murder to be fired. As far as he is concerned these players are nothing more than well-paid gladiators who should beat each other’s brains out in the arenas—football stadiums—and never speak out about injustice.

This is part of an overall program that includes restricting a woman’s right to have an abortion or access to birth control, a Muslim travel ban, taking newly won rights from LGBTQ people, attacking freedom of the press and the right to protest, and threatening to destroy North Korea. If we don’t stop this regime before it’s too late, the Trump/Pence regime will consolidate fascist rule in this country, and it will be far more difficult to do anything about any of the horrors being enforced on humanity.

It is crucially important that people stand up in resistance to these intensified attacks. And October 22 is a day to do that. Family members with Stolen Lives banners, students and youth who refuse to accept growing up in a society that has put bull's eyes on their backs, formerly incarcerated people, Black Lives Matter activists, professional people who don’t want to live in a world where the color of a person’s skin can determine whether they live or how they live—everybody—needs to be out in the streets, out at NFL games, everywhere taking a knee against police terror and white supremacy and delivering a message that police terror must stop.

And as we do this, we must be gathering strength for taking to the streets on November 4 in cities across the country. As the Call issued by Refuse Fascism for November 4 says: 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!

If you’re one of those who say you would’ve resisted the horrors of slavery, or Nazi rule in Germany, or the savage oppression Black people suffered during Jim Crow segregation and lynch mob terror—you need to stand up NOW and engage in massive non-violent resistance.

STOP POLICE BRUTALITY, REPRESSION AND THE CRIMINALIZATION OF A GENERATION!

TAKE A KNEE AGAINST WHITE SUPREMACY!

TAKE TO THE STREETS ON NOVEMBER 4 AND STAY IN THE STREETS UNTIL THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME IS DRIVEN FROM OFFICE!

 

 

New and revised poster ** DOWNLOAD PDF ** DOWNLOAD JPG **

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/512/see-and-share-this-talk-en.html#qapart1

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017


Warning: file_get_contents(../a/512/see-and-share-this-talk-en.html#qapart1): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/revweb/public_html/quick/513en.php on line 157

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/437/american-crime-case-100-massacre-in-indonesia-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

American Crime

Case #100: 1965 Massacre in Indonesia

Updated October 20, 2017, first published May 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 

THE CRIME: Bloated corpses clogged and choked the rivers of Indonesia. Villagers didn’t want to eat anything caught in these waters because human fingers were found inside the fish. This sounds like a horror movie. But this was an American-made reality.

Members of the Youth Wing of the Indonesian Communist Party being taken to a Jakarta prison, October 30, 1965.

Members of the youth wing of the Indonesian Communist Party being hauled to a Jakarta prison, October 30, 1965. AP photo

For many months, starting at the end of 1965, the Suharto regime in Indonesia slaughtered people with wild abandon. At least 500,000, perhaps more than a million, people were killed, including members of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), trade unionists, intellectuals, teachers, land reform advocates, ordinary peasants, ethnic Chinese, women, and children. Hundreds of thousands more were arrested and tortured.

This massive bloodbath was set in motion, backed and orchestrated by the United States. The U.S. provided the Suharto regime with equipment, weapons and ultimately tens of billions of dollars. CIA advisers counseled Indonesian generals. Top U.S. Embassy officials compiled and approved a list of those who might oppose the new regime and this HIT LIST with 5,000 names was handed over to the Indonesian military. Then during the slaughter, U.S. advisers coldly calculated and assessed the progress—methodically checking the names of the dead, one by one, off the list.

Robert J. Martens, a former member of the embassy’s political section who was responsible for compiling the lists and turning them over to the Indonesian military, said in an interview, “It really was a big help to the army. They probably killed a lot of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment.”

By the end of January 1966, the deputy CIA station chief in Indonesia said the checked-off names were so numerous that CIA analysts in Washington concluded that the leadership of the PKI had been destroyed.

THE CRIMINALS: Thousands in the Suharto government carried out this massacre, and many U.S. operatives were there behind the scenes, facilitating the carnage. But U.S. president Lyndon Johnson was ultimately responsible for calling the shots, and he was clearly pleased with the horrific outcome. The New York Times described the Johnson administration’s “delight with the news from Indonesia” and the private responses of U.S. officials who were “elated to find their expectations being realized.” President Johnson’s secretary of state, Dean Rusk, cabled his encouragement to the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta. The “campaign against the communists,” he wrote, must continue as the military “are [the] only force capable of creating order in Indonesia.” The U.S. ambassador replied that he had assured Suharto and his generals “that the U.S. government [is] generally sympathetic with, and admiring of, what the army is doing.”

CRIMINAL PAST: In the early 1960s, the U.S. laid the groundwork for massive repression. An April 1962 meeting between American and British officials resulted in a consensus “to liquidate Sukarno.” The U.S. trained thousands of Indonesian army officers. The CIA built networks of agents and informants in the trade unions, where the PKI had a lot of influence. According to former CIA agent Ralph McGehee, “[In 1963] U.S.-trained Indonesian trade unionists began gathering the names of workers who were members or sympathizers of unions affiliated with the national labor federation, SOBSI. These trade unionist spies laid the groundwork for many of the massacres of 1965-1966. The CIA also used elements in the 105,000 strong Indonesian national police force to penetrate and gather information on the PKI.” (Covert Action Quarterly, Fall 1990)

THE ALIBI: The reactionary pro-U.S. regime of Suharto seized power after a failed military coup. Before this, Sukarno led a nationalist coalition government in which the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) played a prominent role. The PKI didn’t advocate armed revolution, but the U.S. saw them as a threat to be eliminated. Suharto claimed the attempted military coup was part of a nationwide conspiracy to commit mass murder. This became the pretext for a massacre that targeted the PKI but also killed trade union activists, youths and women’s groups, peasants in remote villages, progressive intellectuals, students and others who the regime claimed were “murderers and accomplices” in this so-called conspiracy.

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE: In the early 1960s, U.S. imperialism faced huge challenges. U.S. efforts to crush the revolution in China had failed and a new government led by Mao had come to power in 1949—with one quarter of humanity building a socialist society, inspiring people around the world. In the early 1950s, the Chinese Army stopped the U.S. Army cold in its move into northern Korea, and delivered a historic defeat on the world’s most powerful imperialist army. Throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America, national liberation struggles rose in armed revolution against colonialism and imperialism, and often put forward socialism and communism as the ultimate goal of their struggle.

The U.S. was very worried about maintaining control in Southeast Asia, where Indonesia is located. With socialist China to the north and the growing struggle for national liberation in Vietnam, U.S. rulers felt compelled to crush any other spark of rebellion or possible trouble for them. The U.S. could not allow the Sukarno coalition government, in which the Communist Party of Indonesia played a prominent role. It needed to try and crush growing unrest and anti-U.S. sentiment. In March of that year,1965, students had taken over the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta to protest the murder of Malcolm X. Right before the coup, U.S. President Johnson spoke about the need for the U.S. to take on the “communist threat,” saying, “There are great stakes in the balance. Most of the non-Communist nations of Asia cannot, by themselves and alone, resist the growing might and the grasping ambition of Asian communism. Our power, therefore, is a very vital shield.”

And so, as many as one million people were slaughtered and the people of Indonesia were subjected to a 40-year rule of military terror (which included a terrible genocide against the people of East Timor, as well as other crimes): all in the service of what the imperialists deemed to be in their interests.

For more information:
Indonesia: U.S. Role in 1965 Massacres,” Revolution, November 9, 2015
Suharto’s Purge, Indonesia’s Silence,” Joshua Oppenheimer, New York Times, September 29, 2015

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/police-blare-sirens-to-drown-out-word-of-november-4-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

From Revolution Club Chicago:

Police Blare Sirens to Drown Out Word of November 4 Outside High School

Updated October 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Update October 22: The Revolution Club went right back out to Kenwood High School the day after the police tried to literally drown out their interactions with the students. This time the police stayed away while the school security messed with the organizers and students, but they couldn't stop the students from signing the banner and getting organized for November 4th.

Thursday, October 19, at Kenwood Academy High School, Chicago police swarmed Kenwood students after school, using force and intimidation tactics to attempt to stop the students from talking with organizers about the November 4 protests to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. Police pulled up with three marked SUVs, driving one of them onto the sidewalk of the school, which was crowded with students, and turned the siren on for several minutes to drown out the message. They snatched flyers and stickers out of the hands of students and used their authority to tell students they had to leave the front of the school.  The Revolution Club was promoting the film of a new talk by Bob Avakian on www.revcom.us, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America—A Better World IS Possible, and held a banner that students were reading and adding their own messages to, “Hey Trump, from those you like to demonize: You and your GANG in the White House are the real thugs and threat to humanity. In the name of humanity, WE WILL DRIVE YOUR ASS OUT!” Students talked about their anger at Trump/Pence for targeting Mexicans, ripping apart Muslim families, insulting and dehumanizing Black people, and threatening nuclear war.

It is unacceptable that police be allowed to politically repress high school students. This would be unacceptable at any time, but especially in the current situation where these students are being demonized by a regime that openly extols white supremacy, male supremacy, and American supremacy; jokes about hanging LGBT people and threatens humanity with nuclear war; and when “free speech” is being rewritten to enforce neo-Nazi speech while those who protest these injustices are unjustly repressed by police and repeatedly attacked by Trump thugs.

Students have the right to know about the RefuseFascism.org call for protests beginning November 4, continuing and growing every day and night until the demand is met: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! Students have a right to express their political positions and to be part of protests against a fascist regime. And students have a right to hear about and get organized with the movement for revolution and the radical revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian.

Stand with the Kenwood students and the movement to drive out the Trump/Pence Regime. Call the principal at Kenwood Academy High School at 773-535-1350 and the commander at Chicago Police Department District 21 at 312-747-8340, to demand school authorities and police keep their hands off students and organizers for expressing themselves against the Trump/Pence regime and for the November 4 protests.

Revolution Club Organizing Center

1857 E 71st Street (near Jeffries in South Shore) Chicago, Illinois. Open noon to 9 pm every day till November 4

312-804-9121 • Revclub.chi@gmail.com

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/513/perfect-example-of-a-genocidal-liar-en.html

Revolution #513 October 16, 2017

Trump Gives Himself a Perfect "10 out of 10" for Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico

A Perfect Example of a Genocidal Liar in Top Form

October 21, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In Puerto Rico (and in the other nearby colony, the U.S. Virgin Islands), one full month after Hurricane Maria, the situation for millions of people remains dire. Just 22 percent of Puerto Ricans have electricity, more than one in four has no access to drinkable water, and the majority of cellphone towers are down. People are forced to drink from dangerously polluted wells and streams. The economy is at a standstill, and doctors use terms like "post-apocalyptic" to describe the state of healthcare, warning that thousands are in danger and many dying "preventable deaths."

At the recent funeral of a man who slowly suffocated for five days because there was no power for his oxygen pump, his body lay decomposing in the casket at a funeral home with no refrigeration. A mourner declared, "You can't even die. In this country you can't even die."

But at an October 19 meeting with the Puerto Rico's Governor Rossello, when asked to rate the job his administration had done in providing relief on a scale of one to ten, Trump gave himself a perfect score—"a ten" for what he claimed was the "great job" they were doing.

At this meeting, Trump spoke not of aid but of debt, indicating that Puerto Rico, already over $70 billion in debt, and facing an imminent government shutdown, would have to borrow more money to repair the devastated infrastructure on which the lives of millions depend. And this exactly one week after Trump again threatened, "At some point, FEMA has to leave, first responders have to leave and the people have to take over."

After over a century of colonial domination, plunder and exploitation, Puerto Rico is now suffering from purposeful, murderous, and racist neglect at the hands of the Trump/Pence fascists.

Is this an overstatement?

Look at the facts—Puerto Rico, mainly Spanish-speaking and dark-skinned, gets a pitiful fraction of the support received by areas in the continental U.S. that suffered less devastation:

In a nutshell, the Trump regime's program for Puerto Rico is to blame Puerto Ricans for the disaster, go through the motions of providing emergency relief while letting hundreds of thousands suffer and many die, and then "offer" to entrench the island even more deeply in debt if they ever want to get electricity and running water. The effect of this has been and will be to drive tens of thousands from the island and make life an unsafe and unhealthy hell for those who remain.

And in declaring the relief effort "a 10," and constantly demanding that Puerto Rican political leaders publicly praise it, Trump is making clear that in his eyes, "inferior peoples" should be grateful for any crumbs they get from their masters, and stop complaining about the needless misery and death.

So yes, Trump deserves "a perfect score"—in his genocidal assault on the Puerto Rican people.