Revolution #519, November 27, 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 #519 November 27, 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/516/how-to-download-new-film-by-bob-avakian-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Download and share the new film by Bob Avakian…
Here’s how:

November 11, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To DOWNLOAD the Full Speech, Trailer, Q&A or Clips from the Vimeo page (HERE):

  1. Look for a number at the bottom right of each video that starts with “#vimeo.com/”. For the video you want to download, click on that number.
  2. On the new page that opens, below the video on the right is a button “Download”. Click that button.
  3. A menu will pop up. Click on your choice of size of file to download.

4. Repeat this process for each file (Full Speech, Trailer, Clips, Q&A) that you want to download from the Vimeo page (HERE).

 

To SHARE the Full Speech, Trailer, Q&A or Clips from the Vimeo page (HERE):

  1. For each video (Full Speech, Trailer, etc.) that you want to share, click on the “Share” button—the little paper airplane near the upper right corner.
  2. The Pop-Up Menu will give you many choices for how to share.

Share widely!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/518/special-effort-to-promote-and-show-bob-avakians-talk-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

This Weekend and the Week Following: A Special Effort to Promote and Show Bob Avakian's Filmed Talk on "The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!"

November 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Bob Avakian’s speech, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible, is the single best work on the situation we face today—the challenges it poses to humanity, where it came from, and how to act against it. The question/answer session that follows the hour-long talk speaks to the most critical questions that people have raised—in a powerful, comprehensive, and accessible way. In addition, people get to meet, and begin relating to, the most radical revolutionary on the planet ... a really mind-opening experience.

But far too few people have seen this. Let’s take this next two weeks to begin to change that. Everyone reading this should be thinking of creative ways to get this out—especially those of you who know opinion-makers of different kinds. For the Revolution Clubs, this means two things in particular.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/518/showings-of-bob-avakian-film--the-trump-pence-regime-must-go-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Where You Can See the Bob Avakian Film "The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go"

Updated November 29, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Watch and download...


See film, Q&A session, Trailer

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.

The film is being shown across the country. Below are scheduled public showings. Look for one near you.

You can also pull together people who are looking for emancipatory answers in this period to watch the film, available on this page. Write revolution.reports@yahoo.com to let us know what happens and what people think about what Bob Avakian says in the film.

 

New York, New York

Sunday, December 3, 5:30 pm
Revolution Books
437 Malcolm X Blvd./Lenox Ave. @ 132 Street
Manhattan, NY
Phone 212-691-3345
www.revolutionbooksnyc.org

 

San Francisco Bay Area, California

Sunday, December 3, 6 pm
Revolution Books
2444 Durant Ave., Berkeley
$5-10 suggested donation (no one will be turned away for lack of funds)

 

Los Angeles, California

Tuesday, Dececember 5th: 5:00 pm
2716 S. Vermont Ave #8
Los Angeles, 90007
Hosted by the Revolution Club LA.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/avakian/bob_avakian_official_biography/Bob_Avakian_(BA)_Official_Biography-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian (BA)—Official Biography

This Bob Avakian (BA) Official Biography is published here with the permission of The Bob Avakian Institute.

Introduction

Bob Avakian

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

Bob Avakian (BA) is the architect of a whole new framework of human emancipation, the new synthesis of communism, which is popularly referred to as the "new communism." Read more

 

 


 

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

Revolution #519 November 27, 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/519/a-righteous-upsurge-against-sexual-assault-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Updated December 11, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Upsurge Against Sexual Harassment And Abuse—And The Crucial Questions In Going Forward

 

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.

The New Synthesis and the Woman Question: The Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution—Further Leaps and Radical Ruptures

By Bob Avakian

Part III of “Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution” (2009)

Read more

The #MeToo Movement: Keeping Our Eyes On The Prize

A very righteous mass upsurge has broken out around a key fault-line issue of this, and all prior, class societies. Sexual harassment and sexual assault is a problem going back millennia, and a problem which is totally pervasive, including on a global scale. A problem which negatively affects every single girl and woman on this planet: indirectly, since every instance of degradation, humiliation, and dehumanization of any girl or woman is ultimately projected onto ALL girls and women; and, of course, way more often than not directly, because one would be hard-pressed to find a single adult woman anywhere in the world who does not have quite a few personal #MeToo stories.

In this light, the opening of Bob Avakian’s recent statement on this remains very important: “The outpouring of outrage against this sexual abuse and the all too commonplace institutional cover-ups ... is right, righteous, and long overdue, and should be supported, encouraged, spread, and defended against counter-attack.”

This must continue to go further. At the same time, at this point it is in fact necessary to recognize and overcome some negative trends which could serve to misdirect and derail this struggle.

What Should Be the Aims of This Struggle?

When the #MeToo upsurge first emerged there was, in addition to the initial press exposures and outpourings of righteously speaking bitterness, a very significant focus placed on the whole question of INSTITUTIONAL COMPLICITY AND COVER-UPS (similar to the issue of the Catholic Church in relation to pedophile priests). This was a big part of what was new and historically unprecedented about this upsurge: not just the scale of it, the feeling of a dam breaking like never before, including globally, but also the serious attention being given to the fact that these individual behaviors could not go on if they were not being routinely and systematically protected and defended by leading institutions in every corner and sphere of society. This was new, and a very welcome development.

One of the things very important about this is that when you start to recognize the role and complicity of institutions, you start to ask yourself about the overall prevailing culture. You start to wonder about what kind of society and what kind of system we are living under that produces and maintains such institutions and such a culture.

Read entire article

 

#MeToo Rally Against Sexual Abuse 
in Front of NYC Trump Hotel

Read more

Sri Lanka, 2004. Photo: Mukai

Sri Lanka, 2004. Photo: Mukai

Look at all these beautiful children who are female in the world. And in addition to all the other outrages which I have referred to, in terms of children throughout the slums and shantytowns of the Third World, in addition to all the horrors that will be heaped on them—the actual living in garbage and human waste in the hundreds of millions as their fate, laid out before them, yes, even before they are born—there is, on top of this, for those children who are born female, the horror of everything that this will bring simply because they are female in a world of male domination. And this is true not only in the Third World. In 'modern' countries like the U.S. as well, the statistics barely capture it: the millions who will be raped; the millions more who will be routinely demeaned, deceived, degraded, and all too often brutalized by those who are supposed to be their most intimate lovers; the way in which so many women will be shamed, hounded and harassed if they seek to exercise reproductive rights through abortion, or even birth control; the many who will be forced into prostitution and pornography; and all those who—if they do not have that particular fate, and even if they achieve some success in this 'new world' where supposedly there are no barriers for women—will be surrounded on every side, and insulted at every moment, by a society and a culture which degrades women, on the streets, in the schools and workplaces, in the home, on a daily basis and in countless ways.

—Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:10

Other Key Works:

Excerpt from:

BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

Watch entire talk online at revolutiontalk.net

Bob Avakian: "A World of Rape and Sexual Assault"

Click HERE to download the PDF

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/518/Bob-Avakian-on-breaking-all-the-chains-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Bob Avakian on Breaking ALL the Chains

November 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

"Look at all these beautiful children who are female in the world. And in addition to all the other outrages which I have referred to, in terms of children throughout the slums and shantytowns of the Third World, in addition to all the horrors that will be heaped on them—the actual living in garbage and human waste in the hundreds of millions as their fate, laid out before them, yes, even before they are born—there is, on top of this, for those children who are born female, the horror of everything that this will bring simply because they are female in a world of male domination. And this is true not only in the Third World. In 'modern' countries like the U.S. as well, the statistics barely capture it: the millions who will be raped; the millions more who will be routinely demeaned, deceived, degraded, and all too often brutalized by those who are supposed to be their most intimate lovers; the way in which so many women will be shamed, hounded and harassed if they seek to exercise reproductive rights through abortion, or even birth control; the many who will be forced into prostitution and pornography; and all those who—if they do not have that particular fate, and even if they achieve some success in this 'new world' where supposedly there are no barriers for women—will be surrounded on every side, and insulted at every moment, by a society and a culture which degrades women, on the streets, in the schools and workplaces, in the home, on a daily basis and in countless ways."

BAsics 1:10

NYC. Photo: Enbion Micah Aan
NYC. Photo: Enbion Micah Aan

Sri Lanka, 2004. Photo: Mukai
Sri Lanka, 2004. Photo: Mukai

"It is a striking fact—which is starkly evident in the U.S. now—that, in comparison to what is done to women, there is no other group in society that is so systematically reviled and defiled in a way that has become acceptable (or widely accepted in any case) as a significant part of 'mainstream' life and culture, as happens in a concentrated way through pornography and the extremely demeaning and degrading images and messages about women it massively and pervasively purveys (with the Internet a major focus and vehicle for this), including pornography's extensive portrayal of sadistic and violent sexual domination of women...

"I began the 'Revolution' talk with 'They're Selling Postcards of the Hanging,' reviewing the ugly history of the lynching of Black people in America and the way in which celebration of this became a cultural phenomenon in the U.S., with the selling of picture postcards of these lynchings a major expression of this—often including smiling and leering crowds of white people surrounding the murdered and mutilated body of a Black man. In a recent exchange, a comrade emphasized this profoundly important and compelling point: Today, the way in which pornography depicts women—the displaying of women in a degraded state for the titillation of viewers—including the grotesque brutality and violence against women which is involved in much of this, is the equivalent of those 'Postcards of the Hanging.' It is a means through which all women are demeaned and degraded."

Bob Avakian, Unresolved Contradictions,
Driving Forces for Revolution

"This brings up one very important factor in all this: the positive side of unresolved contradictions under socialism—the bringing to the fore of driving forces for revolutionary transformation in the socialist stage—forces on the cutting edge of contradictions that are coming to the fore as decisive questions in terms of whether society will be moved forward or dragged backward. A very important aspect of all this is the woman question, the struggle for the complete emancipation of women. This will be a decisive question giving rise to crucial struggle throughout the socialist period.

"Along with this are other divisions and inequalities left over from the old society....Unleashing all these forces [related to these unresolved contradictions in socialist society] to speak out, rally forces, raise criticism, and rise in rebellion can be risky and messy. But such mass upheaval is no less essential under socialism than it is under capitalism. And certainly this is not something communists should fear!"

BAsics 2:25

 

New Delhi, India, December 2012, rising up against the epidemic of rape. Photo: AP
New Delhi, India, December 2012, rising up against the epidemic of rape.
Photo: AP

"You cannot break all the chains, except one. You cannot say you want to be free of exploitation and oppression, except you want to keep the oppression of women by men. You can't say you want to liberate humanity yet keep one half of the people enslaved to the other half. The oppression of women is completely bound up with the division of society into masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited, and the ending of all such conditions is impossible without the complete liberation of women. All this is why women have a tremendous role to play not only in making revolution but in making sure there is all-the-way revolution. The fury of women can and must be fully unleashed as a mighty force for proletarian revolution."

BAsics 3:22

In contrast to today's world culture, which degrades women as weak or as sex objects, in socialist China during the Cultural Revolution operas and ballets put the masses on stage front and center, with women as physically and ideologically strong central characters.

"This takes us back to the very important point from ‘The End of a Stage—The Beginning of a New Stage’ about unresolved contradictions under socialism. What is said there is another way of expressing the understanding that the struggle for the complete emancipation of women will be a crucial part of ‘the final revolution.’ In other words, it will be a crucial component in propelling and driving forward not only the revolutionary struggle to overthrow the rule of capitalism-imperialism but to continue the revolution, within the new, socialist society itself, in order to advance on the road toward the final aim of communism. The point is that, among the unresolved contradictions which will remain in socialist society, and which can be a driving force propelling that revolution forward, the continuing ways in which the emancipation of women will need to be fought for and fought through will be one of the most decisive aspects and expressions of that."

BAsics 2:30

"In many ways, and particularly for men, the woman question and whether you seek to completely abolish or to preserve the existing property and social relations and corresponding ideology that enslave women (or maybe 'just a little bit' of them) is a touchstone question among the oppressed themselves. It is a dividing line between 'wanting in' and really 'wanting out': between fighting to end all oppression and exploitation—and the very division of society into classes—and seeking in the final analysis to get your part in this."

BAsics 5:18

"Marx and Engels said in the Communist Manifesto that the communist revolution represents a radical rupture with traditional property relations and with traditional ideas. And the one is not possible without the other. They are mutually reinforcing, one way or the other.

"If you have a society in which the fundamental role of women is to be breeders of children, how can you have a society in which there is equality between men and women? You cannot. And if you don't attack and uproot the traditions, the morals, and so on, that reinforce that role, how can you transform the relations between men and women and abolish the deep‑seated inequalities that are bound up with the whole division of society into oppressors and oppressed, exploiters and exploited? You cannot."

From "Three Alternative Worlds" supplement in BAsics

Includes "The New Synthesis and the Woman Question: The Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution—Further Leaps and Radical Ruptures," Part III of Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution (2009). (p 18)

Read/Download PDF HERE.

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

A Righteous Upsurge Against Sexual Assault... A Crucial Step Toward a Different World

Updated December 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This week we begin a page devoted to the upsurge against the harassment, abuse and assaulting of women in this society, especially in workplaces, but also through every nook and cranny of society. We will feature news on this struggle, analysis and commentary from ourselves and others, and key works grounded in Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism that shed light on this. Our aim: to “unleash the fury of women as a mighty force for revolution.”

First, a key dynamic, a prism through which to understand what is raging in society, from Bob Avakian (BA):

The whole question of the position and role of women in society is more and more acutely posing itself in today’s extreme circumstances. It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms.... The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution, will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement?

This crystallizes the overall stakes in society in the current juncture. Something has been ripped open. What women have too long been forced to accept as “the way it is”—enduring violence, torment and humiliation as part of what is “normal”—has been shattered by women having the courage to go public, expose the oppressive actions and, in some cases, crimes of powerful men, and throw the whole order of social relations between men and women and the dominance of the former over the latter into the air.

But what happens now—whether this struggle goes further, toward the full liberation of women and the emancipation of all humanity, or is in the end confined to a few small reforms, or is shoved back into the bottle altogether and punished with even more open degradation and enslavement by the backlash that is even now gaining strength—has great importance for women and, indeed, all of humanity.

A watershed moment: Yes, IF...

Many people have called this a “watershed moment.” They correctly and righteously say there must be no toleration for what has been exposed and no going back to the enforced silence of just a few months ago. But things are still very fraught. What has erupted—what has been courageously torn open—must go forward in its own right, and link up with other streams in society, lest it die down and the verdicts of right and wrong get reversed again, if not openly (at least at first) then in actual practice.

With the election of Trump and Pence, those fighting for a reactionary resolution to this oppression gained tremendous momentum; this was a great leap backward. In the past few decades a revanchist and virulent sense of male entitlement has been fanned, and linked into a whole fascist move in society. This has drawn from the wells of both Penceian Christian fascism and “guy culture” on steroids (the latter promoted by fascist Trump operatives like Steve Bannon and Milo Yiannopolous). The election of Trump after the exposure of the Access Hollywood tape and after a campaign against Clinton that was openly misogynist (with signs at his rallies saying “Trump That Bitch”) gave this a “stamp of approval” and tremendous momentum. This grotesquely cruel and degrading view of women now has the power of a fascist regime behind it, a regime clawing and fighting to consolidate its position.

Rising against this was the massive and unprecedented Women’s March in January. And both these trends—the ugly assaultive Trump-Pence fascism and the righteously outraged response—have fed into the current moment full of struggle, possibility... and danger.

How all this gets resolved has meaning here in several dimensions. First, the actual struggle itself must go forward and spread, to all sections of society. Different standards have to be fought for and spread. We cannot afford to “go back to normal.” “Normal” has been exposed as a daily horror for huge sections of women. We need much more overturning of that “normal,” much deeper examination in every sphere, much more transformation of people’s ideas and values, and a much greater sense among the oppressed of their own potential strength.1

At the same time, what happens here must be linked to the urgent struggle against the Trump/Pence regime. If Trump and Pence succeed in their fight to consolidate a fascist form of rule, they will slam shut the space that has been opened—with a vengeance. What follows that would be a still greater level of horror. Refuse Fascism has documented what this regime has done in even its first few months, as it fights to consolidate its grip. Should it succeed, we will be facing a handmaid’s-tale future for real. It’s important to bring this powerful upsurge and the issues that it has raised into the battle to drive out that regime... and to bring the battle to drive out the regime to the women, and men, now surging into action.

The ultimate answer, though, must not be to return to the best of what was... to a society that makes a show of recognizing (some) formal equality for women, but continues to subordinate them in every sphere. So long as the taproot of patriarchy—the division of society into classes, into exploiter and exploited—remains, today in the form of capitalism-imperialism, there can be no emancipation of women. This has been analyzed in depth elsewhere—you can find it on this page—and that analysis needs to be spread.

In short, people need to know that a better world—without all this cruelty and madness—really IS possible. To get to that world, we need a revolution aimed at overturning capitalism-imperialism. We need a revolution that, from there, sets itself the goal of uprooting and abolishing the whole division of humanity into different classes, into exploiter and exploited... the production relations on which that division rests... the oppressive institutions—like patriarchy, the oppression of whole peoples, and much else—that feed off of and reinforce those relations... and the ideas which reflect and reinforce it as well. We need a revolution that takes the liberation of women as a critical, dynamic and absolutely necessary component of the emancipation of humanity. In short, we need a communist revolution, guided by the New Communism of Bob Avakian.

So, yes, this MUST be a watershed moment, in many different dimensions. All this underlines even more the insistence in BA’s statement in October that this upsurge “is right, righteous, and long overdue, and should be supported, encouraged, spread, and defended against counter-attack.” It is important in its own right... and it is critically important to stepping into a whole different future.

 


1.  One thing this upsurge has revealed is how we become inured to the horrors that pass for “normal” in this society. In “Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution,” Bob Avakian raises a series of questions that lay this bare:

How long does it take before the carefree play of female children—yes, in countries like the U.S.—gets turned into cutting themselves, in response to an unbearable feeling of worthlessness and despair, and often as a result of abuse; or starving themselves in an attempt to conform to the dominant and incessantly propagated notions of female beauty, with which their worth as a human being is equated and to which it is reduced? How long does it take before many girls who show intellectual curiosity and the spark of wanting to know about the world, and of learning about the world, learn instead to stifle that, to "play dumb" and stop speaking up, because it becomes all too clear to them that boys and men feel "threatened" by strong, competent and intelligent women? Or girls who, once having been actively involved in the joy of playing sports, give that up in order to be perceived as more "feminine." Girls in general who, whatever else may happen in their lives, will be insulted and assaulted by pornography and other degradation of women, soft core and hard core, from mainstream advertising to the most extreme and grotesque and perverse. Who will learn to accommodate themselves in various ways—or will be encouraged, and in many ways coerced, into accommodating themselves—to the oppressive relations that prevail and predominate in society, particularly as regards women; or, on the other hand, will be encouraged and will learn to become hardened and cynical, to treat everyone and everything, including themselves and their own bodies, as commodities, and will be further degraded and debased in the process; will learn to lower their sights and not to dream and think of fully taking part in every sphere of society nor dare to rise up and change society, including in the way that it treats women? All this too, is laid out for female children, including in countries like the U.S., even before they are born. [back]

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

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/on-males-well-meaning-and-otherwise-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

On Males, Well-Meaning and Otherwise

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Do men have a role to play in the struggle against harassment and abuse of women that has now erupted? Yes, most definitely. To the many men who have been shaken by glimpsing the daily reality of most women, and to those who have come face-to-face with the implications of what they’ve done or what they have “let slide,” but who really don’t want this and want to know how to end it—there is much to do. First of all, there’s treating the half of humanity that is female as being fully human! There is listening and learning and reflecting, there is studying and researching to get to the roots of this problem and to explore the solution, there’s joining in and supporting actions and forums, speak-outs and marches, that take this on. We need a better world, and everyone who wants one needs to be part of fighting and working to bring it into being.

At the same time, among some men there is a lot of mystification being spread about, “Oh, this is so-o-o-o-o hard to figure out, what is right and what is not right.” There’s a lot of pseudo-scientific nonsense about the “raging male sex drive” that can only maybe be tamed with therapy and introspection. This gets obscured with talk about “human nature.”

But let’s be really scientific, and not pseudo-scientific. When you study the history of human societies and the tremendous variation among them, when you use science to understand both what the values of different societies are rooted in and how those societies change, you learn something. You see “human nature” has varied from society to society, based on the different ways that production has been organized, the social relations between people that flow from that, and the consequent values of society. So while it may conform to and flow out of the culture that is promoted and reinforced by the structures and relations of the system we live under for “boys to be boys”—that is, to prey upon women—it does not flow out of some unchanging “human nature.” Men have a choice to make as to whether they will participate in tightening these chains, or join in breaking them.1

Then there’s the religious notions that talk about the “sinful, fallen nature of man” and then point to the religious strictures on women as the way to control this. This mystification is then used to justify removing women from access to social and professional space used by men and leads then to the Mike Pence biblically-based code of objectively isolating women within, and eventually from, public life altogether, while those who remain get treated to Trumpian piggism.2

No. We need a radical revolt against a revolting culture. Take a look at the section from REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! on this that we’ve been featuring on this website. Look at what BA draws out there, and ask yourself where you want to stand.

Look, there is really a whole better way to be and move through this world. Do you really want to be an exploiter, a dominator, a “mini-me” of a Trump or a Pence or a Bill Clinton, for that matter? The fascists like to sneer at “social justice warriors”—well, what’s wrong with fighting for a better world, what’s wrong with justice? There’s a fight right now over whether this society is going to be plunged into an even worse and more grotesque form of capitalism, and there’s a morality that goes with both sides of that fight. Beyond that, and again, the only way to fully break out of this trap, there is a revolutionary morality based on being emancipators of humanity; a morality based on bringing into being a better world and doing all we can to live consistently with the world we are fighting to bring into being.

The question to ask, and answer, is this: Which Side Are YOU On?

 


1. On the variation of “human nature:” during slavery the ruling class said that it was human nature for some people to be born slaves and some to be born masters; in the case of the U.S., they concocted a whole pseudo-science of racism to justify that. Today, in capitalist society, we are taught that it is human nature for each person to seek advantage over others, to relentlessly compete, and so on, as that both mirrors and serves the production relations. In regard to women, the status of women and the view of what is “natural” has varied tremendously between gatherer-hunter societies to feudal societies to capitalist societies. See Ardea Skybreak, Primeval Steps and Future Leaps. [back]

2. For all the ways in which this Christian fascism whips people up against Islamic fundamentalist jihadism, they share a great deal with their fundamentalist opposite numbers in their views of women and men... and the position of male privilege and domination that each claims to sanctify. [back]

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/supporting-and-taking-metoo-further-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Supporting and Taking #MeToo Further: Bringing More Voices, Making the Links

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following letter comes from a Party supporter who contributes to the revcom.us website. It has been edited for publication.

1.  While supporting those who have courageously spoken up, we need to encourage even more voices including from other sectors of society. I think the piece from and about the women farmworkers was very important for having big arms and welcoming and recognizing the importance of women in the arts/media speaking out and adding “us too.”

A prominent feminist writer who does valuable work and usually takes a good stand on things tweeted that “me too” was too much about actresses and therefore “class-skewed.” This doesn’t fully recognize the importance of these voices “breaching the dam” and opening the floodgates for women from all levels of society, including those on the bottom speaking out, even as more has to be done to lift up those voices (like housekeepers, which she was calling attention to).

In that light, what does it say that the city of Chicago had to pass an ordinance last month called “Hands Off/Pants On” initiated by the union representing hotel workers? The ordinance had been in the pipeline for months after a survey of housekeepers at major hotels revealed that more than 50 percent of the women experienced that the door to the room they were to clean was opened by a naked man or, once in the room, that a male hotel guest exposed themselves. These rooms typically cost well over $200/night. (The remedy? A panic button and the right to not keep cleaning the room!) But would this have even gotten out of the pipeline and received media attention were it not for the voices that originally spoke out?

2.  An overall point of orientation: I think it is important to underline the dialectical relationship of this to driving Trump/Pence out of office. This whole outpouring is very important in its own right and this has been festering over a long period of time including with the revanchism towards women (on a global scale), the mainstreaming of porn and the growth of Christian fascists in the U.S., and other reactionary fundamentalisms worldwide. Now this is concentrated in the Roy Moore election, especially given the whole picture of him as a predator that has spilled into the open. The Trump administration support for Moore could potentially lead to the unraveling of the whole thing or to the further consolidation of fascism. A lot is bound up in this right now.

The nomination and then the installation of the Trump/Pence regime both concentrates the revanchism towards women and gives great encouragement and backing in unleashing it throughout society. Everything from the packing of the courts (and now, according to Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times, a serious proposal for greatly expanding the number of judges sitting on the federal bench—in order to really dominate them)... to the bullying and harassing of women verbally and physically for daring to exist in male spheres and open their mouths... to the election of Trump himself given his whole history (owning “beauty pageants” and looking over teenage contestants, shaming the winner who gained weight, ad nauseam—not to mention the Access Hollywood tapes and over a dozen charges of harassment and assault). “Lock her up” referred to Hillary, but also refers to HER as in any woman. Going way back to the attacks on Rosie O'Donnell down to Megyn Kelly—Trump has uncorked a torrent of misogyny flowing out of the sewer.

I think the quote from Bob Avakian (BA) in Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution is extremely relevant here. He wrote:

The whole question of the position and role of women in society is more and more acutely posing itself in today's extreme circumstances.... It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms.... The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution, will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement?

If Trump is allowed to stay in power, then the reactionary resolution pointed to by Bob Avakian in Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution is going to keep steamrolling over society. The implications of this in terms of what happens, how it is justified, for HOW people and in particular men and young men think, is horrific. This is a fight that cannot be won just by electing more women to local offices.

3.  On another level, BA makes the point in The Problem, the Solution, and the Challenges Before Us:

There is this book by this guy—his name is ... (Michael Kimmel) called Angry White Men. And he made a statement which I think speaks to a lot of this sort of mobilized resentment, this frustrated entitlement. He said: “If you’ve been in a situation—speaking about men who feel aggrieved these days because ‘the bitches are getting everything their way’—if you’re used to having everything 100%. ... And that’s essentially what’s happening here. There have been certain concessions to the struggle against things like white supremacy, and patriarchy in different forms, and so on and so forth. So this feels to these people like their birthright of superiority—even if they are not wealthy and powerful, all of them, some of them are—their birthright is being undercut and diminished and destroyed by these minor concessions. I think this is very important to understand.

In that same talk, BA makes the point about how the triad at the foundation of the Trump/Pence package—white supremacy, male chauvinism and the patriarchy, and U.S. first with all its militarism—involves the exaltation of white American “manhood.”

There is a relationship between the attacks on the Black athletes and the Roy Moore election. Trump calling LaVar Ball an “ungrateful fool” reeked of white supremacy and not only that highly paid athletes should be grateful and patriotic but the implication was much broader in terms of fueling white resentment toward Black people as ungrateful for what being an American has given them (and even the idea that these reactionary fools say slavery gave Black people Christianity, work ethic and they should be grateful for it, etc.).

In the context of the Moore election in Alabama, this is a tried-and-true way to stir up the racist social base that they need to come out in droves to vote for Moore (and not sit out the election). BA made the point in his recent talk—let’s face it—the rally in Alabama where Trump launched the vitriolic attack on the football players who took a knee was basically a KKK rally. I think this is part of the picture in the election in Alabama as well as the bigger one.

Moore has a history of really incredibly vicious attacks against gay people, against the right to an abortion, and there is the whole Christian fascist package and there is what Alabama concentrates in the way of white supremacy. The fact that Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, was the prosecutor of the KKK members who bombed the church that killed the four girls in Birmingham, decades after the fact, is also probably very symbolic in the South. According to an article at The Root, “WTF is wrong with Alabama?” “Heart of Dixie” is stamped on every license plate; the state is one of two in the country still celebrating Confederate Memorial Day as an official holiday; and in April 2017, Alabama passed a law fining any one or any jurisdiction $25,000 that tries to remove or rename a Confederate monument.

You could truly say that Roy Moore, who is styled by the Christian fascists as the “tip of the spear” of the Trump/Pence agenda, is the personification of BA’s quote that “The ‘Bible Belt’ in the U.S. is also the Lynching Belt.”

4.  Finally, BA makes the point in the same talk (page 13), in speaking to the underlying economic system: “What are the actual relations here? If you want to understand why people treat people the way they do, you have to look fundamentally to the underlying economic system, and the social relations that correspond to that, and then the ideas that arise on that basis and the contradictions and motion within all that. That’s the way you understand it. Otherwise, you’ll go around in a circle. ‘White people are racist.’ ‘Men are chauvinist.’ Well, overwhelmingly in a society like this, if you’re looking at the broad population, that’s true—but why is it true?”

This is dug into in depth in regard to women in A Declaration: For Women’s Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity, and this needs to be popularized and discussed.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/spread-this-Bob-Avakian-quote-everywhere-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

To Be Born Female In a World of Male Domination...

Fan the Flames of The Current Outpouring—Spread this BA Quote Everywhere!

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Everywhere on this planet... in every sphere of society... among every strata... women and girls are treated as less than human. The recent outpouring of women breaking the silence to challenge the domination, sexual harassment and assault, and other forms of abuse they face in many spheres of society is very positive. It must be supported, and it must spread much farther—reaching down into and involving women in the factories and fields, in the restaurants and hotels, in the prisons and detention centers, in the high schools and colleges, in every walk of life. It must go much deeper—provoking millions to question and dig into the roots of this oppression and degradation, not in “human nature” but in the nature of the system of capitalism-imperialism which now dominates the globe and of all previous class-divided societies. And it must aim even higher—at the creation of a world in which women and girls are never again treated as sex objects, punching bags, breeders of children, or possessions of men in any form through the most thoroughgoing revolution in the history of humanity, a genuine communist revolution that emancipates all of humanity.

As part of uniting with and fanning the flames of this important outpouring and in order to increasingly infuse this with a scientific understanding of the roots of this systemic oppression and its liberating and realistic resolution through an actual revolution, we urge Revolution Clubs and others to spread the following quote from the revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian, far and wide:

Includes "The New Synthesis and the Woman Question: The Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution—Further Leaps and Radical Ruptures," Part III of Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution (2009). (p 18)

Read/Download PDF HERE.

Look at all these beautiful children who are female in the world. And in addition to all the other outrages which I have referred to, in terms of children throughout the slums and shantytowns of the Third World, in addition to all the horrors that will be heaped on them—the actual living in garbage and human waste in the hundreds of millions as their fate, laid out before them, yes, even before they are born—there is, on top of this, for those children who are born female, the horror of everything that this will bring simply because they are female in a world of male domination. And this is true not only in the Third World. In “modern” countries like the U.S. as well, the statistics barely capture it: the millions who will be raped; the millions more who will be routinely demeaned, deceived, degraded, and all too often brutalized by those who are supposed to be their most intimate lovers; the way in which so many women will be shamed, hounded and harassed if they seek to exercise reproductive rights through abortion, or even birth control; the many who will be forced into prostitution and pornography; and all those who—if they do not have that particular fate, and even if they achieve some success in this “new world” where supposedly there are no barriers for women—will be surrounded on every side, and insulted at every moment, by a society and a culture which degrades women, on the streets, in the schools and workplaces, in the home, on a daily basis and in countless ways.

—Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:10

Read this quote aloud and dig into it with groups of friends and with strangers. In the past, revolutionaries have taken this to tables at student cafeterias, read it out loud and provoked deep conversations with groups of people they had never spoken with before. This—and more like it—should go on everywhere people gather. Spread palm-cards of this quote at public programs taking place that are dealing with sexual assault and harassment or with reproductive rights. Take it into immigrant communities and housing projects. Inject the truth concentrated in this quote into conversations everywhere and, as you do, introduce people to the most radical revolutionary alive on the planet today: Bob Avakian. Let people know about the compendium that includes this quote: Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution—share copies of this if you have them, or else open up the link for people on their phones. Use this quote to build for—and then read and distribute it at—the Speak Outs being held by Refuse Fascism against sexual degradation.

Finally, write to us at revolution.reports@yahoo.com to let us know what responses you get, what kinds of questions this provokes, and other ideas you have for how we can go even further in breaking the chains, and unleashing the fury of women as a mighty force for revolution.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/a-breadth-of-voices-on-women-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

A Breadth of Voices Against the Assaults on Women

Updated November 27, 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.

Diana Nyad

Diana Nyad is a world-renowned long-distance swimmer, as well as author and motivational speaker. In 2013, at the age of 64, she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida (a distance of 110 miles) without a shark cage. In a November 9 op-ed in the New York Times, titled “My Life After Sexual Assault,” she recounts the horrible true story of being sexually assaulted as a teenager—and the effect of that crime through her whole life.

It was 1964, and she was a 14 year old, a member of her school’s swim team. She looked to her swim coach as “the father I had always yearned for.” During the state championships hosted by her school, she went to her coach’s house to take a nap—as Nyad recalls, “This was normal: Coach’s house, his family, his kids were all part of the swim team’s daily milieu.” As she slept in the bedroom, the coach crept in and forcibly abused her. When he left, Nyad writes, “I gasped for air, as if had just been held underwater for those two minutes. I vomited onto the floor.”

This was not the only time she was assaulted by the coach. As she was molested, her attacker called her his “little bitch.” Nyad writes, “These molestations were the cornerstone of my teenage life. I studied. I had friends. I won awards. On the outside, I was a bold, overly confident, swaggering success. But the veneer was thin. On the inside, I lived the perpetual trauma of being held down, called misogynist names and ordered to be quiet. I wanted to be anywhere but here, anybody but me.

It was not until she was 21 that she first told anybody about this trauma—to her best friend from high school: “My friend cried with me, hugged me, took a long pause and said, ‘Well, Diana, hold on to your hat because the same thing happened to me.’ The same coach. The precise same words. The mattress in the office shower stall. The same covert manipulation. The same special secret. And we soon learned that it wasn’t just the two of us. It never is.”

Nyad and her friend finally confronted the coach, in front of the school principal and lawyer. He denied the accusations. The principal asked the two women if the coach’s firing would be enough—and she agreed that it would be. Little did they know that their abuser would simply go to a nearby town and become head coach at a university, make it into coaching halls of fame and the Olympic Games, and continue to be a celebrated figure in the community until his death in 2014.

Nyad writes: “And so is woven the fabric of the epidemic. These often charming individuals are lauded, presented with trophies for their leadership, from the piggish Weinsteins of Hollywood to the unscrupulous parental figures scattered throughout our suburbs. Statistics bear out the astonishing number of sexual abusers among us.

“And therein lies the call for our speaking up. We need to construct an accurate archive of these abuses. And we need to prepare coming generations to speak up in the moment, rather than be coerced into years of mute helplessness.”

Nyad ends her article with: “Tell your story. Let us never again be silenced.”

Diane Nyad’s op-ed is available online here.

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Sophie Gilbert

Sophie Gilbert, who writes on culture for the Atlantic magazine, spoke in her October 16 piece, “The Movement of #MeToo, How a hashtag got its power,” to what was unleashed by the actress Alyssa Milano when she encouraged women who’d been sexually harassed or assaulted to tweet the words #MeToo. She described the way most women defined their own sexual harassment and assault as something unspoken, something private, something to be ashamed of acknowledging. “Silence, although understandable, has its cost,” wrote Gilbert.” And then she described the effect of the #MeToo hashtag: “A decade ago, I couldn’t have conceived of the fact that so many women had experienced sexual coercion or intimidation; now, I’d be surprised if I could find a single one who hadn’t.” And Gilbert continues:

But as horrifying as the allegations against Weinstein have been, more appalling still is the sense that his behavior isn’t uncommon. That in industries across the world, from media to music to modeling to academia, women have encountered their own Weinsteins and have deduced, for whatever reason, that nothing could be done about it and nobody cared.

The power of #MeToo, though, is that it takes something that women had long kept quiet about and transforms it into a movement. Unlike many kinds of social-media activism, it isn’t a call to action or the beginning of a campaign, culminating in a series of protests and speeches and events. It’s simply an attempt to get people to understand the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in society. To get women, and men, to raise their hands. Recent revelations about the alleged abuses of Weinstein and Bill Cosby and Jimmy Savile and R. Kelly have proven that truth has power. There’s a monumental amount of work to be done in confronting a climate of serial sexual predation—one in which women are belittled and undermined and abused and sometimes pushed out of their industries altogether. But uncovering the colossal scale of the problem is revolutionary in its own right.

Read Gilbert’s entire article here.

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Eve Ensler

Writer and musician Maureen Herman reported in Boing Boing that a letter from Eve Ensler, playwright, performer, and activist, was read to the #MeToo march in Hollywood on November 12. Ensler’s letter said in part:

I am over women still being silent about rape because they're made to believe it's their fault, because they did something to make it happen, like wearing the wrong clothes, because they are terrified they will get fired, or won't get the part, or ever work again.

I am over violence against women not being a #1 international priority, when 1 out of 3 women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. The destruction, and muting, and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself. No women, no future, guys.

I am over the endless resurrection of careers of rapists and sexual exploiters. Film directors, world leaders, corporate executives, shamans, priests, rabbis, imams, gurus, coaches, doctors, movie stars, athletes--you put in the rest. While the lives of women are violated, devastated, often forcing them to live in social and emotional exile.

I am over being polite about rape. It's been too long now. We have been too understanding. We need it to end now. We need people to truly try to imagine, once and for all, what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, your soul shattered, and really, deeply, I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you? You live with us, work with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get us, that you're nurtured, you're mothered, you're eternally supported by us. So why aren't you standing with us? Why aren't you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and harassment, degradation, and humiliation of us? Why aren't you rising in droves, going beyond apologies and confessions, realizing this is your issue, not ours.

The whole thing could change overnight. There are approximately one billion women on the planet who have already been violated. One billion women and girls. Can we rise together? Can we change the paradigm? Can we rebirth the culture? Because we know that when women are free, and safe, and equal, and allowed to be alive in all their intensity, the whole story will finally change. Yes? Me too.

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Open Letter from Alianza Nacional de Campesinas to Women of Hollywood

First published November 10

Dear Sisters,

We write on behalf of the approximately 700,000 women who work in the agricultural fields and packing sheds across the United States. For the past several weeks we have watched and listened with sadness as we have learned of the actors, models and other individuals who have come forward to speak out about the gender-based violence they've experienced at the hands of bosses, coworkers and other powerful people in the entertainment industry. We wish that we could say we're shocked to learn that this is such a pervasive problem in your industry. Sadly, we're not surprised because it's a reality we know far too well. Countless farmworker women across our country suffer in silence because of the widespread sexual harassment and assault that they face at work...

Read the entire letter

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Katherine Stewart on Roy Moore, the "Tip of the Spear" for the Christian Fascist Theocrats

Katherine Stewart, journalist and author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children, has written a powerful exposure that shines a bright light on who Roy Moore is and what he represents in the November 20 issue of the New York Times, which should be read by everyone. Moore, the Republican candidate for Senator from Alabama, has been accused by multiple women of being a sexual predator who targeted young women, one only 14 years old at the time. Stewart’s article reveals, as the title of her piece says, “Every Other Terrible Thing About Roy Moore.”

Roy Moore is a powerful proponent of Christian fascism. Stewart describes him as someone who “shows contempt for the Constitution and proposes to replace our democracy with a theocratic state.” Stewart points out that his brand of theocracy “has come to wield enormous influence within the Republican Party.”

Stewart writes, “He believes that God’s law (as he sees it) trumps the Constitution every time. That is what it means to be a theocrat, and that is why some of the most outspoken theocrats in America love Roy Moore.” And she shows that the religious freedom these fascists uphold is solely for Christians. Moore once said that non-Christians have no right to hold elective office.

Stewart goes on to describe Roy Moore’s staunchest supporters, beginning with a radio personality and anti-abortion activist whose brand of Christian fascism, Dominionism, is working to create a nation governed by Christians based on their version of biblical law. “She wants to impeach Supreme Court justices for legalizing same-sex marriage.”

One of Moore’s biggest donors is a lawyer and former member of the white supremacist “League of the South” and the Constitution Party, “which explicitly advocates imposing biblical law in the United States.” Roy Moore was a star speaker at a rally organized by another supporter and senior fellow of American Vision, who has written that “the law of God, as outlined in Scripture, is to be the standard of justice.” In October Trump spoke to the Values Voters Summit in D.C. As Stewart describes, “These forces believe they were directly responsible for the best thing that happened to American Christianity, namely the election of President Trump. The second is that Roy Moore is the hero who will lead the Republican Party to glory.”

Stewart concludes by saying, “There is a movement to destroy our democracy, and it has invaded one of our two major parties. Roy Moore... was said to be ‘the tip of the spear.’”

Read the article here.

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Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister of New York magazine has written several trenchant articles about the abuse and degradation of women over the last few weeks. Traister’s November 12 article, “Your Reckoning. And Mine,” says,“Then there are the men who are looking at the world with fresh eyes, who are startled by the unseemly parade of sexual molesters and manipulators.....These men have begun to understand my journalistic beat for the first time: They didn’t know it was this bad. They didn’t see how systemic, architectural, it was—how they were part of it even if they didn’t paw anyone, didn’t rape anyone.” She speaks plenty bitterness and she writes about how the abuse is more than sexual and takes place on many levels:

So, no, I was never serially sexually harassed. But the stink got on me anyway. I was implicated. We all are, our professional contributions weighed on scales of fuckability and willingness to go along, to be good sports, to not be humorless scolds or office gorgons; our achievements chalked up to male affiliation—the boyfriend who supposedly supplies you with ideas or the manager who took you under his wing because he wanted to get inside your pants. We can rebuff the harasser; we can choose not to fuck the boss. But in a world where men hold inordinate power, we’re still in bed with the guy.

There is another realm of anger here, arising from our knowledge that even the long-delayed chance to tell these repugnant truths is built on several kinds of privilege. As others have observed, it matters that the most public complaints so far have come from relatively affluent white women in elite professions, women who’ve worked closely enough with powerful white men to be available for harassment. Racism and class discrimination determine whose stories get picked up and which women are readily believed.

That reality fogs some of the satisfaction we feel in watching monstrous men lose their influence; we know that it’s a drop in a bottomless bucket. “Maybe we can get another two horrible people to have to step down or say they’re sorry,” one Democratic lawmaker told me, “but that helps only 20 people, and it’s 20 million who need things to change. Plus, you’re a farmworker? A lady who cleans offices? You’re a prostitute or an immigrant? You’re not going to tell your story.”

Later in the article she says

Letting all this out is undeniably exciting. Its power, to some extent, comes from the fact that it is almost terrifyingly out of control. Anything is possible, good or bad. And yes, there is satisfaction that for a month or so, it’s like we’ve been living in the last ten minutes of an M. Night Shyamalan movie where the big twist is that women have been telling the truth all along.

Yet you can feel the backlash brewing. All it will take is one particularly lame allegation—and given the increasing depravity of the charges, the milder stuff looks lamer and lamer, no matter how awful the experience—to turn the tide from deep umbrage on behalf of women to pity for the poor, bullied men. Or one false accusation could do it. One man unfairly fired over a misinterpreted bump in the elevator could transform all of us women into the marauding aggressors, the men our hapless victims.

Traister has important things to say in all of her essays. Access them on line here.

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Wesley Morris

Wesley Morris, a critic-at-large for the New York Times, wrote a thought-provoking piece that appeared on October 27, exploring some of the causes and forces at work behind the breadth of ugly sexual predation of women in entertainment and politics being exposed today. In “Weinstein, Hefner and the Poor Excuse That Explains a Lot,” Morris begins by inviting the reader to consider the industries built on the exploitation of women—particularly the prostitution and pornography in early 1970s Manhattan depicted in the new HBO series The Deuce. And then Morris draws this parallel: “But the show’s scuzzy tableau could easily stand in for gender dynamics in Hollywood or various areas of the American workplace, where part of securing or keeping a job might require enduring the sort of serial predation we’ve been hearing about in the last year,” including, he writes, Bill O'Reilly, Harvey Weinstein and others.

Morris describes Weinstein's “defense”—that he “came of age in the '60s and '70s when the rules about behavior and workplaces were different”—as “Hugh Hefner's Playboy ethos that Mr. Weinstein used like a get-out-of-jail-free card.” That “Playboy ethos” was and is nothing more than “a popularization of entitlement,” Morris writes. He continues, “The effects of its ideas about women on the American psyche were totalizing. Women were inferior to men because, for Playboy, they were scenery—pretty, passive, usually white, often blonde, there.”

Morris sees the culture now as willing to “at least restage, unpack and reckon with” that culture, pointing to works like The Deuce and the film Battle of the Sexes, which recounts the 1974 staged tennis match between world champion Billie Jean King and the “self-styled chauvinist clown Bobby Riggs.” And yet, says Morris, those works point to how resistant this culture is to real equality: “Systemic inequity is harder to kill. So is the misogyny that fuels it.” While ousting Weinstein, and others like Charlie Rose, address an aspect of the problem, “it doesn't do much to reverse the absence of women from all kinds of craft jobs; nor does it end the drought of best picture winners that feature two or more women in major speaking roles who also speak to each other. In the last 34 years, that’s happened twice, with ‘Terms of Endearment’ and ‘Chicago.’”

Morris concludes by grappling with the importance of resistance, but even more, genuine change. He asks, if the entitlements of the Playboy era have spread so massively, and porn has become so elemental, “how do we prevent their personal encroachments and abuses, along with every other important but less salacious imbalance, like for instance, with salaries? How do we reconcile all the complications? ‘Resist’ is one thing. ‘Change’ is something else. Beyoncé [with her song “Formation”] is sending that solidarity cry out for ladies. But to get anything meaningful done, more than a few good men are going to have to answer it, too.”

The Wesley Morris article is online here.

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/rev-books-nyc-forum-the-horror-of-sexual-abuse-must-stop-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

The Horror Of Sexual Abuse Must Stop… The Upsurge Against It Is Just…
Are We At A Turning Point?

A Public Forum at Revolution Books, 132nd St. and Malcolm X Blvd., NYC:
Tuesday, December 5, 7 pm

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Against the backdrop of the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore, and the bragging of sexual abuse by the predator-in-chief himself—A VOLCANO HAS ERUPTED.

A righteous upsurge against sexual assault and harassment. Women calling out dominating, brutalizing, dehumanizing men... in the entertainment and media industries, in the corporate world, in politics. Women speaking bitterness and shining a light on sexual abuse that weighs as a heavy chain on tens of millions of women in every corner of society.

Big questions are being raised and critical challenges are getting posed. This is about half of humanity... and all of our humanity. Join us for this urgent public forum.

WOMEN ARE FULL HUMAN BEINGS

 

Revolution Books in Harlem
132nd St. and Malcolm X Blvd.
www.revolutionbooksnyc.org @revbooksnyc 212.691.3345

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/roy-moore-and-the-advance-of-christian-theocracy-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Goose Stepping Towards Fascism:
Roy Moore and the Advance of Christian Theocracy 

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The basic idea: The campaign of Roy Moore for a U.S. Senate seat from Alabama has galvanized a fascist social base, and gained the effective support of Donald Trump. Win or lose, the controversy around Moore has advanced the cause of Christian fascism nationally. The need to drive the fascist Trump/Pence regime from power is more urgent than ever. 

 

“I pledged that, in a Trump administration, our nation’s religious heritage would be cherished, protected, and defended like you have never seen before. That's what’s happening. That's what’s happening. You see it every day.

“And above all else, we know this: In America, we don't worship government—we worship God. (Applause.) Inspired by that conviction, we are returning moral clarity to our view of the world and the many grave challenges we face.”

From Donald Trump’s speech to the “Value Voters Summit,” October 13, 2017

 

Trump was the first sitting president to address the “Value Voters Summit”—an annual gathering for people who advocate abolition of public schools, who think all non-heterosexual relations should be outlawed, who think women are inferior and must be subordinate to men, who intend to criminalize all abortions, who want to abolish Medicaid and Medicare, who think the Earth was created in seven days 6,000 years ago, who think every word of the Christian Bible is literally true and should be the basis of all law and morality. 

It was a lovefest. 

Paula White, Trump’s “spiritual advisor” and a prominent, influential leader of Christian fascism, said “Whether people like him or not, (Trump) has been raised up by God, because God says that He raises up and places all people in places of authority. It is God that raises up a king, it is God that sets one down and so when you fight against the plan of God, you’re fighting against the hand of God.” 

Trump’s Endorsement of Roy Moore

Trump’s appearance and speech at the Value Voters Summit significantly emboldened and advanced their cause. Now the candidacy of Roy Moore, who has effectively been endorsed by Trump, is a new, major and deadly serious offensive by Christian fascists. Not just to win a Senate seat from Alabama, but to make a significant move towards establishing a theocratic—Christian fascist—U.S. government. 

Roy Moore, who has said that “God is the only source of law, liberty and government,” became notorious when, as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, he commissioned construction of a two and a half ton monument to the Ten Commandments in front of the state’s judicial building and then refused to obey the order of a federal court to remove it. He was forced out of his position in 2003. He portrayed himself as a Christian martyr and self-righteously made a proclamation aimed at galvanizing other fundamentalist fascists: “I cannot forsake my conscience. I will not neglect my duty. And I will never, never deny the God upon whom our laws and our country depend.”

Moore was again elected as Alabama Chief Justice in 2013—and was again suspended, this time when he directed judges to enforce a state ban on same sex marriages, in defiance of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. His hateful, biblically based venom for LGBTQ people is central to his world view and to his appeal to many Christian fundamentalists. In his words, "Homosexual conduct is, and has been, considered abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature." 

Moore insists that biblical law trumps U.S. constitutional law. He claims that the First Amendment applies only to Christians—more specifically, only to fundamentalist Christians who accept every word of the Bible as literally true. “They didn’t bring the Koran over on the pilgrim ship, the Mayflower” he told a group of anti-abortionists in Jackson, Mississippi. “Let’s get real. Let’s learn our history. Let’s stop playing games … Buddha didn’t create us. Mohammed didn’t create us. It’s the God of the Holy Scriptures.” 

Now, with Moore making a run for the U.S. Senate, allegations have come out that he is a sexual predator with a history of sexually harassing teenagers. In “ordinary” times—before Trump’s boasts about “pussy grabbing” became widely known and he still sailed on to the presidency with the backing of powerful capitalists, the vocal support of influential Christian theocrats, and the votes of over 60 million people—this was the kind of thing that would shame and disqualify someone from public office. Far from being dismayed by the accusations that Moore is an alleged serial child abuser and sexual predator, far from abandoning his candidacy, his supporters are belligerently doubling down in their support for him.  

Christian Fascism Moves to Center Stage

Moore’s backers cherish him as a modern-day “martyr” for Christianity and a fighter for their cause. They view him as the “tip of the spear” (as a prominent “Value Voter” described him) of an aggressive fundamentalist fascism. They actually think that they are carrying out a “mission from God” in their support for Trump and Moore. A group of prominent Christian fundamentalists who met with Moore after the allegations against him became public issued a public letter stating their support for Moore. They view him as a “man of integrity who has never wavered from his valiant defense of the unborn, the Ten Commandments, and the Constitution.”

Whatever happens in the Alabama election, Moore is now much more prominently positioned in U.S. politics. Testimony backing the allegations against him be damned—he is back on the offensive. Even more, his abominable, hateful world outlook and views are being injected into the political and cultural discourse. Powerful forces have coalesced around him. He, and they, are on the offensive.

Now it is quite possible that the full-bore Christian fascist lunacy of Roy Moore will be in the U.S. Senate, with Trump’s effective support, promoting and fighting for the development of a theocratic government. 

The Trump/Pence regime is already packed with Christian fascists. Pence, the vice president and next in line to the presidency, has been a prominent figure in the Christian fascist movement, described by the Los Angeles Times as someone who “might be the most piously anti-gay politician in America.” The Attorney General thinks people who don’t believe in God are incapable of telling the truth… the Environmental Protection Agency chief denies the reality of climate change… the head of the CIA opposes all abortion, including in the case of rape… the president’s attorney went to the Supreme Court to defend school prayer… the spiritual advisor thinks Trump has been “elevated to leadership against all odds in order to do God’s will” and compares Trump to the Biblical Esther, who, as the story goes, coalesced an army responsible for the slaughter of over 75,000 of her opponents. 

But Moore outdoes them in his unabashed advocacy of theocracy. Moore doesn’t bother to put a thin veil of political purpose over his program and doctrine. 

This is the virulent ignorance and hate that the Trump/Pence fascist regime is bringing forward and empowering. It is moving, through conflict and turmoil, towards entrenching itself and imposing its will on the country, and the world. 

Christian fascists have been working for decades to build their strength and influence. They have participation and backing from powerful sections of the U.S. rulers. They outright control or dominate many state governments, especially in Southern and Plains states. They have established and developed universities, think tanks, TV networks and other forms of mass communication. They raise enormous amounts of money. They have successfully fought to have their anti-scientific ignorance drilled into the heads of school children. They have trained legions of lawyers who think U.S. law should be based on biblical law. They occupy seats on the U.S. Supreme Court, scores of judgeships on state and federal levels, positions of leadership in the U.S. military, and in the Trump/Pence cabinet. They are positioning themselves to impose their theocracy on all of the U.S. as the “law of the land.”

They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t do compromise. Lance Wallnau, a leading figure among Christian “dominionists” (people advocating and fighting for a government based on Biblical law) declared his support for Trump by saying “God has given this man an anointing for the mantle of government in the United States and he will prosper!”

These people aren’t going to just talk about Biblical law forever. They are deadly serious about imposing it on all of society. They are advancing that effort through their unqualified support for Roy Moore. 

They must be stopped, and there isn’t time to waste. The possible ascension of a theocrat like Roy Moore to a position of national power and influence, with the effective support of Trump, is deeply ominous. This must not be “normalized.” The stakes in this political battle couldn’t be higher. The need to drive the fascist Trump/Pence regime from power is more urgent than ever.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/some-thoughts-on-combatting-the-fascist-approach-to-truth-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Some thoughts on combatting the fascist approach to truth

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a Reader:

On September 13, 2017, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Whatever Kimmel’s thinking was, perhaps that Spicer was now going to apologize for being Donald Trump’s shill, for presenting lies as facts, or perhaps expose some of Trump’s bullshit, none of this happened.

In a perfect example of conciliating, collaborating, accommodating with, and normalizing fascism, Kimmel’s questions and mild challenges were allowed to be deflected by Spicer as he explained that he is not distancing himself from Trump, that Trump “has a good heart” and it was Spicer’s job to “represent the president’s voice.” In other words, like a good Nazi, Spicer was only following orders. As a small-time bootlicker with no moral courage, none of this is surprising.

But the most telling statement Spicer made in response to Kimmel’s questions was the following: When pressed on whether facts are facts, Spicer said that people can “look at a set of facts and come to different conclusions, different opinions.” And “Disagreeing with the facts is what makes our country great.” This BS is completely in line with bourgeois ideology and its definition of “free speech” and is completely in line with a fascist approach to “truth.”

What Spicer is peddling here is the philosophy that everyone’s ideas are their personal property, all ideas are valid in the “marketplace of ideas,” and the ideas that win out must be true. But, an actual search for a deeper understanding of reality and for truth is not a goal of the “marketplace of ideas.” The fact that some ideas will have more weight and importance because they come from persons in authority or with more prestige is not questioned, and the result, ultimately, is not truth but “might makes right.”

Bob Avakian has spent serious time in the development of a scientific approach to epistemology because how people think can either enlighten people or paralyze them. In the recent excerpt from Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy (revcom.us #509), he says:

Understanding the importance of the “battle of ideas,” of not suppressing unpopular or unconventional thinking, in order to have the richest process in seeking an understanding of reality, and in order for the people in society to feel that they have air to breathe and room to be “different” and to express different ideas: this is a crucial dimension of the kind of society that we want to live in and that masses of people would really thrive in; and it is also crucial in order to arrive at the truth in fundamental terms. But there is a vast difference, a crucial distinction, between that and the notion that any individual’s ideas are her/his private property and should in effect operate in competition with other people and their ideas—that all this should contest in a “market place of ideas” to see which one can, to put it rather baldly, command the highest exchange value. This is not the same as determining which one actually contributes the most to getting to the truth, and is not simply an appreciation of the way in which the contestation of ideas will help to create the right atmosphere for the kind of society we want, but it gives expression to the notion of ideas as commodities, competing to command a greater remuneration, in one way or another (even if this is not always directly monetary). So, too, the notions and the practice of “intellectual property rights” are an extension of, or are bound up with, the idea of “the free market place of ideas.”

A perfect example of the “free marketplace of ideas” in which “might makes right” is the battle for Berkeley. In order to protect the right of fascists to speak in favor of ideas that have been proven untrue, the campus was locked down with heavy police presence and fascists were offered thousands of dollars to speak. The article by Sunsara Taylor with revcom.us writing group (revcom.us #508 & #509) “Does ‘Free Speech’ TRUMP All Else? A Response to Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ,” breaks down these bourgeois-democratic ideas about free speech and the “marketplace of ideas” and shows the actual harm being done by fascists in the name of “free speech.” This entire article should be studied for the incisive way it slices through these arguments and gets to the heart of the matter:

This is the “free marketplace of ideas” at work in capitalist society, and a good example of why that “marketplace”—like the capitalist market that gives it its metaphor—in actual practice reproduces relations of power and domination, silences the powerless, and contributes to ignorance and/or reactionary thinking on major political and social questions. Arrayed against massive funding, think tanks, control of the media and the academy, those who represent the dispossessed are in most cases effectively rendered voiceless and marginalized unless they shape their ideas to those dominant interests.

Further, it is a myth that the free contestation of ideas—and people’s ability to “compare and contrast” and engage in critical thinking—can ONLY take place through orderly respectful engagement. In cases where, in the face of disproportionate power, influence, and official backing of one side of the contestation (e.g., these fascists, backed by the university administration and ultimately dovetailing with the prevailing ideas of the dominant institutions of society), the other side (in this case the relatively powerless students and others) choosing to resist rather than engage in a “respectful and orderly” way can actually lead to MORE and quite vigorous engagement with the contested ideas in the period following. As stated in “The Middlebury Controversy: Points of Orientation,” “A correct protest can definitely fuel further engagement and contestation, and it is a myth that this just serves to ‘suppress’ ideas!”

These ideological questions: the nature of truth and how to arrive at it vs. the “marketplace of ideas,” the need to engage in critical thinking and to oppose oppressive, in fact fascist, ideology vs. orderly respectful engagement with fascists and their ideas--these are among the ideological questions facing the party and Refuse Fascism as we say NO to fascism in the name of humanity and build a movement that must grow and put an end to the Trump/Pence regime.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/black-friday-protest-against-killer-cops-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Black Friday Protest Against Killer Cops Rocks St. Louis

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Shoppers at the Galleria Mall outside St. Louis had their routine broken by powerful chants on November 25: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, killer cops have got to go.” The protest included clergy as well as a Black Missouri state representative, who was among at least seven people arrested.

A woman who was at the mall shopping posted on Instagram a video and a description of how the pigs treated peaceful protesters: “I came to the Galleria to do some Xmas shopping. Everything stopped for a moment, because people were exercising their right to peacefully assemble and protest. While I was waiting for the police to reopen the stores, and let us resume shopping I witnessed a kid who wasn’t even part of the protest get slammed against a glass wall, and thrown to the ground by multiple officers. I can say from first hand experience today the people were protesting peacefully, and it was the police who antagonized, and facilitated the violence...THEN THIS HAPPENED.”

In September, a judge ruled that the cold-blooded murder of Anthony Lamar Smith, a 24-year-old Black man, by a St. Louis cop was “justifiable homicide.” Hundreds of people went into the streets of St. Louis in righteous protest. Since then, Black people as well as white people have continued to take to the streets day after day despite mass arrests and vicious police assaults, including pigs pepper spraying and brutalizing of a clergyman and a city council member. About a month ago, some “faith and civic leaders” called for an economic boycott, which, while using blustery phrases like “they kill our kids, we kill their pocket books,” was aimed at channeling the protests into tamer and ineffective channels.

In early November, the Al Jazeera America news service ran an article asking if St. Louis has become the Selma, Alabama of our time—where Black people demanding basic rights are met with police running amok. But today, the centuries of vicious oppression of Black people in Amerikkka is being taken in a new, genocidal direction under the Trump/Pence fascist regime and the Department of INjustice headed by Jeff Sessions, which have given an open green light to murder and brutality by pigs around the country.

In this light, protests like resistance on Black Friday in St. Louis is ever more important and should get support from justice-loving people everywhere. These protests need to continue and go further—and they can and must become an important part of the movement of millions to drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime. As the Call from Refuse Fascism says in part:

Every outrage committed by this regime must be met with greater and greater resistance. We must ORGANIZE: working with all our creativity and determination toward the time when millions of people can be moved to fill the streets of cities and towns day after day and night after night, declaring this whole regime illegitimate—Demanding, and Not Stopping, Until the Trump/Pence Regime Is Driven from Power. If this happens, then the whole political landscape would be dramatically transformed, every faction within the established power structure would be forced to respond—and all this could lead to a situation in which this fascist regime is driven from office.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/artists-shine-light-graffiti-on-trump-border-wall-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Artists Shine Light Graffiti Against Trump’s New Border Wall

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

For half an hour on the evening of Saturday, November 18, a group of artists creatively opposed and exposed one of the major crimes that the Trump/Pence regime is carrying out on the Mexico-U.S. border—the wall. The regime is displaying what they say are prototypes of the border wall they intend to build. Artists from both the U.S. and Mexico climbed atop their trucks and ladders, which were on the Mexico side, to shine theater lamps onto the 30-feet-high concrete and steel border wall prototypes built by the U.S. near San Diego. These artists were from the Overpass Light Brigade, People Over Profits San Diego, along with a group of UC San Diego graduate students.

The artists projected light graffiti images of a tall ladder, a “lucha libre” mask, and a Statue of Liberty silhouette next to the words “refugees are welcome here.” One projection was of a stick figure above the word “¡llégale!” which looks like the word “illegal” in English but is actually the Spanish word for “come in.”

These menacing giant tombstone-like slabs were erected in October and tower over the current, shorter wall just outside of Tijuana, Mexico. The threatening structures sit at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego. This new border wall is a major part of the fascist regime’s plans, already underway, to greatly intensify the arrests, deportations, and overall repression of immigrants. They have so far requested $1.6 billion from Congress for 74 miles of the new wall, most of which will be in South Texas.

The graffiti projection was an inspiring act by these artists that put a literal light on this unfolding, ugly monstrosity. And it needs to spark more bold and creative protest against the wall, the war on immigrants, and the whole fascist regime.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/dreamers-and-allies-disrupt-macys-parade-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

"Dreamers" and Allies Disrupt the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to Demand Permanent Protection for Undocumented Immigrants

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“Undocumented, Unafraid” could be heard loudly from within as well as alongside New York City’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as undocumented youth—known as “Dreamers”—and their allies from around the country sat down in the middle of the parade! This civil disobedience action, organized by The Seed Project and Movimiento Cosecha, expressed “their commitment to winning permanent protection for young undocumented immigrants in the country.” The parade was disrupted while the police hauled off four of the protesters who allegedly refused to move, one by one. They were later released without charge.

On September 5 the Trump/Pence fascist regime killed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Obama established in 2010. DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children—now known as Dreamers—to have two years of renewable protection from deportation and work permits.

This regime has already put the first of 800,000 Dreamers on the chopping block, making them deportable at any time and ending their dreams of getting an education and/or continuing in their jobs, starting families, and more. Instead they will face the cruelty and terror of being torn from their families at any time and sent to a country whose culture, and often whose language they do not know. This crude and ugly attack is meant to deliver a message to all immigrants—in this overtly white-supremacist, xenophobic fascist society immigrants are not welcome.

The movement that has come forward is demanding Congress pass a new, permanent Dream Act—before the end of the year. As one of those who sat down at the parade put it, “Undocumented youth are refusing to put our destiny in the hands of establishment politicians. We are choosing to fight for the dignity of our entire immigrant community, and that begins with us.... We are calling on our community members to stand up and fight for our right to work and live in this country.”

It is also significant that the youth in this movement are refusing to allow themselves to be used by the Democrats to “cut a deal” that will accept attacks on other undocumented immigrants—accepting massive funds for border security and Trump’s border wall, the mass deportation of immigrants from Central America and Haiti by ending their Temporary Protected Status, and more, in exchange for some kind of temporary protection for Dreamers. As another one of those who sat down in the parade said, “The White House and establishment politicians are responsible for this decision. They are negotiating away the power and the dignity of our immigrant community. The community is being pitted against each other - children against parents. Their aim is to make undocumented youth bargaining chips for driving our parents and our community deeper into the shadows.”

Earlier this month Dreamers and their supporters walked out of high schools and colleges around the country to fight for their demand for a new, permanent Dream Act before the end of this year. In Washington, D.C., thousands walked out, marched to the Hart Senate Office Building and stormed inside, taking over the inside courtyard and the 6 floors of balconies overlooking it!

The organizers of this movement now believe their best chance at getting a permanent Dream Act bill passed this year is to force Congress to attach it to the Omnibus spending bill that is scheduled to be voted on December 8. They have issued a call for Dreamers and their allies around the country to organize sit-ins and take-overs of local offices of Congress members on December 4 and 5, to pressure them to “make a choice: stand with Dreamers, or stand by as 800,000 young immigrants are deported.” And then on December 6 through 8 they are mobilizing in Washington, D.C., calling on “undocumented youth and allies across the country to rise to the challenge, and once again, use the power of non-violent direct action that won DACA in the first place.”

The courage and determination of these undocumented youth, who are right now taking great risks to defend not only their own right to be here, but for all undocumented immigrants to remain in this country, is extremely significant. It must be supported by people everywhere, and be taken up as a part of driving this whole regime from power.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/revolution-club-chicago-from-the-front-lines-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Updated November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Front Lines With the Revolution Club—Chicago

The Revolution Club is on a mission to make a major advance in organizing forces for an actual revolution, impacting all of society by people getting out of killing each other, changing what they are living and fighting for, taking up the leadership of Bob Avakian, and getting organized for a real revolution.

To do this, the club is out there most every day, doing all kinds of different things, trying to learn as much as we can so we can transform more, so we can learn more and transform better, so we can learn still more... and on and on... till we make a breakthrough... and then go further still. We’re struggling with people’s ideas, straight-up... and we’re leading them to struggle against the enemy. We’re fighting to get to a situation where millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.

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November 2017

Showing the BA Film at the Revolution Club Organizing Center in Chicago

November 26, 2017

From the Revolution Club Chicago:

At the Revolution Club Organizing Center in Chicago, people gathered Sunday, November 26 for a showing of the film of the speech and full Q&A from Bob Avakian, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. About half of the people there were Revolution Club members and the other half were people at various levels of getting involved with the Revolution Club and/or the struggle to drive out the Trump/Pence Regime.

Everybody was into the film. People were hungry to hear what BA was talking about. People came in at different points, some were there for the whole thing, some came during the Q&A, but once they were there, they were inside the film. People responded vocally throughout, but there was also a real resonance in the middle of the Q&A when BA was talking about the situation in Chicago: the individualism of people saying “I’m good” and looking out for themselves while they and millions of others are being oppressed by this system… the role Obama played in the destruction of public housing in Chicago and how that was part of creating some of the madness happening now among the youth… the way “religious freedom” is being used by the Christian fascists to carry out their program and didn’t count for shit when it came to Jeff Fort and the El Rukns.

After the film, a number of people recorded video messages of their response to it, speaking to what stood out to them and why they would recommend the film to others. The responses were very meaningful and insightful.

An activist who has been very involved in the protests to drive out the Trump/Pence regime had seen the speech from BA before, but this was his first time watching the Q&A. He was very moved by it. When asked what stood out to him about it, he said, “He … points out that we have to be willing to sacrifice some things, that’s the key things that he pointed out, to me. In order for you to do a revolution, you got to be willing to go through some stuff and sacrifice some things, in order to fight, not only to have your rights in store and other people’s rights in store, but to also drive out this regime to keep them from hurting and taking away the rights of other people.”

A student who attended the Nov 18 protest watched the whole Q&A. When asked why he would recommend the film to others, he spoke specifically of recommending it to people who are caught up in the conditions BA spoke about when he talked about Chicago, “…so they will help open up their eyes to understand yes this is the war that’s going on outside of you, not the war — what Bob was talking in the video, as far as territory, gangs, things that’s going on in your city or state. Yeah, that’s the war you’re fighting, but that’s not the right war that you should be in. This is the big war that’s going on around you that you have no idea it exists because you’re not educated about this, no one’s telling you this, your parents, they don’t know.”

A member of the Revolution Club who has seen the talk a number of times said he gets more out of it every time and one of the things that stood out to him this time was the description of the Vietnamese girl running naked burning from napalm and imagining his own loved ones being subjected to that. He talked about how Trump has his finger on the nuclear button and this is a danger to the planet and humanity and everyone should be involving themselves in the struggle to drive out this regime.

After making the video messages, people stayed around talking to each other and then left with stacks of Refuse Fascism palm cards to distribute, with some also getting material about Bob Avakian and the Revolution Club. We invited everyone to next Sunday’s Refuse Fascism potluck and told people about the upcoming showing of the film on a local public access station so they could watch with friends.

front page of the Columbia Chronicle

The Saga of a Banner

November 26, 2017

A couple of us in the Revolution Club recently met up with two students at Columbia College and showed them the front page of their own campus newspaper, The Columbia Chronicle. “Do you see that banner? It says ‘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!’ But look closer. Do you see the signatures? Those are from some of the people demonized, on the South Side and in the high schools, who put their name on the banner.” One of the students’ eyes swelled with emotion when she realized what she was looking at and as we told them the story of the banner. Read more.

Running with the Revolution Club, Refusing Fascism

November 26, 2017

The Revolution Club in Chicago has been throwing all in with the movement of protests to drive out the Trump/Pence regime, moving with the urgency of stopping the consolidation of fascist rule. We have been part of all the major protests and events called by RefuseFascism.org, contributing to the organization and spirit of the marches, and organizing people from the oppressed neighborhoods as well as college students to come to these protests, with some running with the Revolution Club and wearing the REVOLUTION, NOTHING LESS! T-shirts. Read more.


Chicago, November 4.

Then, in the freezing rain on Nov. 18, we were part of the raucous, joyous BREAK THE SILENCE, BRING THE NOISE! march to break through the atmosphere of people normalizing a NOT NORMAL regime.

Speaking to an African-American History Class

When students at a predominantly Black community college arrived at their African-American History class last week, the professor announced there would be a guest speaker. A member of the Revolution Club introduced herself and began to talk about why the Trump/Pence regime must go.

It was a small class, not more than 20 students. The professor asked the speaker, a Black woman, to talk about what this has to do with the history of white supremacy in this country. She brought to bear some of that history, and how the Trump/Pence regime is now establishing open white supremacist rule and also other aspects of what the regime means for humanity, that we have to act to drive it out, not just for ourselves or for one people, but in the interests of humanity.

The Revolution Club member was soon joined by her comrade, who talked about the movement of protests that began Nov 4 to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power, and the urgent need to join into this movement, including coming and spreading the word about the upcoming protest on Nov 18, “Break the Silence—Bring the Noise!” A student asked for more information about Nov 4 and what is this movement of protests. We described 4,000 people in 24 cities coming out into the streets to demand Trump and Pence Must Go. Then, we highlighted how brave people were to do this, the threats flooding the internet they had to go up against; places where people had to march in the face of armed white supremacist fascists; the people who came by themselves even though they couldn’t get any friends to come with them. We connected this to what happened in Charlottesville, and what it means that a violent fascist movement is being unleashed and why this makes it even more urgent to step forward NOW before it is too late. Read more.

Then They Came For Me.

November 26, 2017

Whole families packed liked sardines into the trains to be shipped off to the camps, with only what they could carry. Not knowing where they were going. Not knowing when or if they would ever come back. Their property taken or sold off for next to nothing. Humiliated, demonized, and ordered to report for “relocation.” No, I’m not talking about Jewish People in Nazi Germany.

Twice in the course of a week about 10 people with the Revolution Club went to the Alphawood Gallery exhibit in Chicago about the internment of Japanese Americans titled “Then They Came For Me,” drawing from (and featuring in large letters at the entry way) the poem from Pastor Niemöller.

In the center space of the gallery there are suitcases piled up with photographs along the walls of people having to leave their homes, taking only what they could carry. “Only what we could carry was the rule, so we carried Strength, Dignity, and Soul (Lawson Fusao Inada)” appears along the top of some of these photos. A Black artist in our crew broke into tears. Seeing all these people, who had built their whole lives, they had homes and neighbors and they were just picked up, uprooted and sent off. “The photographs brought you there,” another person with us said, “and you were in it, you could smell it, you could feel it.” Read more.

 

For earlier articles on the Revolution Club in Chicago, click here.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/the-saga-of-a-banner-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

From Revolution Club Chicago

The Saga of a Banner

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A couple of us in the Revolution Club recently met up with two students at Columbia College and showed them the front page of their own campus newspaper, The Columbia Chronicle. “Do you see that banner? It says ‘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!’ But look closer. Do you see the signatures? Those are from some of the people demonized, on the South Side and in the high schools, who put their name on the banner.” One of the students’ eyes swelled with emotion when she realized what she was looking at and as we told them the story of the banner.

The Revolution Club has been working among people who are most oppressed under this system, consigned to a future of being blown away by police, put in prison, or brutally exploited. These are youths who are right now trapped in doing what this system wants us doing, killing each other off. We have been working to win people to see their real enemy and common cause with people of the world to make revolution to overthrow the system that has them in these conditions, and to connect them with the leadership we have for that revolution, Bob Avakian. These are people constantly demonized by Trump and Co. and threatened in ways that literally echo Hitler’s genocidal talk of dealing with Jewish criminals and cleaning up the Jewish Ghettos.

So in the lead-up to November 4th, when RefuseFascism.org called for protests around the country to begin a movement of mass mobilizations to drive out the Trump/Pence fascist regime, we made this banner to cut through the bullshit way Trump and his fanatics use the youth in Chicago as a punching bag to justify just about anything, including KKKlansmen and neo-Nazis (who have actually killed people) marching in the streets, and to silence people who protest.

We took this banner all around Chicago, working to get people to see that this was the stage they were acting on when they add their name. We took it mainly to the South Side and to high schools. Many people who signed their name to the banner had some sense of how they and others are looked at and wanted to take the opportunity to add their name to this message to Trump, and then we involved some of those people and others in a special delivery of this banner to Trump Tower.

One of the first stops of the banner was Kenwood High School, where police drove up, blared sirens, and pushed students to leave—and in the face of that a number of students walked up and signed the banner. In one neighborhood, a number of young men in “the life” eagerly signed it when they saw what it said and heard we would be delivering it, even as we struggled sharply with them to get out of the trap of seeing each other as enemies and get into revolution to emancipate humanity, revolution that has leadership and a strategy to win.

At the banner delivery, Trump Tower security refused to call the manager to accept the banner, calling the police instead, and as police gathered, people who had come to deliver it shouted out its message in unison.

The banner was then brought to the protest on November 4th, where it was part of the banners at the head of the march that day. Not enough of the people who were part of signing the banner and delivering it to Trump Tower made it to the march that day in person, but it is important not only that some were there, but also that this crucial voice and message was there.

This impact was magnified at the next stop on this banner’s journey when, over a week later, a picture of the November 4th march with the banner front and center appeared on the front page of the Columbia Chronicle along with an article about November 4th.

A couple of us in the Revolution Club went out to Columbia College in the aftermath of this front-page article and got 100 copies of it to distribute in the South Side where the paper never usually reaches, both to show people what impact they were having, how this is strengthening the very needed movement to drive out the Trump/Pence fascist regime, and the potential of students and basic people to mutually influence each other in a positive way.

There is also important beginning brainstorming going on over how to maximize this mutual influence. One idea that got thrown around, for example, was telling this story to more students and getting their responses to share with people on the South Side and vice versa. Another idea is having a student banner standing with the people who are demonized this way that gets signed by students.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/running-with-the-revolution-club-refusing-fascism-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

From Revolution Club Chicago

Running with the Revolution Club, Refusing Fascism

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Revolution Club in Chicago has been throwing all in with the movement of protests to drive out the Trump/Pence regime, moving with the urgency of stopping the consolidation of fascist rule. We have been part of all the major protests and events called by RefuseFascism.org, contributing to the organization and spirit of the marches, and organizing people from the oppressed neighborhoods as well as college students to come to these protests, with some running with the Revolution Club and wearing the REVOLUTION, NOTHING LESS! T-shirts.

On November 4, the day of nationwide protests that kicked off the movement to drive out Trump & Pence, one person wearing the REVOLUTION, NOTHING LESS! T-shirt was a young guy who has been running with the Revolution Club on and off since the beginning of the summer. He is someone who decided after being shot a couple years ago that he wanted to get out of the trap of people fighting and killing each other, and he is drawn to the message and mission of the Revolution Club Chicago project: get out of this dog-eat-dog madness and get with the revolution to emancipate all of humanity. After the protest, he was happy he’d been part of it and commented on a number of things: He was moved by the high school student who spoke from the stage and her courage to openly say that she is gay; he felt what he saw that day was people really getting organized; and he reported that he went up to all kinds of people at the protest and introduced himself so people would feel welcomed and know that we are all doing this together.

That week, as we continued to get the word out at high schools and neighborhoods, transportation hubs and colleges, we were also part of RefuseFascism.org’s daily mini-rallies downtown. One of these was a #MeToospeakout we helped to MC that drew forward people on the spot to get on the microphone on a busy corner and speak out against the degradation of women and LGBTQ people and an openly woman-hating regime. A college student stopped to watch the speak-out, and some of her friends passed by a few minutes later and also stopped. They listened to what was being said and they were invited and challenged to speak themselves. Finally, one gathered the courage to come up. She angrily talked about how she is tired of being talked down to because she is Black and female, and she is tired of not having the freedom to walk the streets at night without fear of assault, and Trump and Pence MUST GO! She ended her speech making a roaring sound and everyone listening repeated it as she walked away from the mic. A student who had come to the Nov. 4 protest and joined in at the mini-rallies all week spoke a bit later. He wrapped up his comments with something very powerful in its simplicity: YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO TOUCH WOMEN WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION!

With Trump’s threats of nuclear war hanging over Korea and all of us, and as people in South Korea persistently and creatively found ways to protest Trump’s visit there, we went to the Nov. 11 protest, joining people around the country in the ONLY national protest against war on Korea that has yet happened. An artist who met the Revolution Club on the South Side and has thrown in wholeheartedly with the movement to drive out Trump & Pence brought a beautiful painting she’d made replicating the art in the RefuseFascism.org billboard, a mushroom cloud in front of a silhouette of a Trump.

Then, in the freezing rain on Nov. 18, we were part of the raucous, joyous BREAK THE SILENCE, BRING THE NOISE! march to break through the atmosphere of people normalizing a NOT NORMAL regime. As the march made its way through downtown, heard from blocks away, the Revolution Club crew included college students and ex-prisoners drumming on buckets together and calling out to all to join us.

Thousands and millions ARE needed to join us. Now and more urgently than ever. We are putting out the word to everyone: watch the speech and Q&A from Bob Avakian, The Trump/Pence Regime MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/speaking-to-an-african-american-history-class-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

From Revolution Club Chicago

Speaking to an African American History Class

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

When students at a predominantly Black community college arrived at their African-American History class last week, the professor announced there would be a guest speaker. A member of the Revolution Club introduced herself and began to talk about why the Trump/Pence regime must go.

It was a small class, not more than 20 students. The professor asked the speaker, a Black woman, to talk about what this has to do with the history of white supremacy in this country. She brought to bear some of that history, and how the Trump/Pence regime is now establishing open white supremacist rule and also other aspects of what the regime means for humanity, that we have to act to drive it out, not just for ourselves or for one people, but in the interests of humanity.

The Revolution Club member was soon joined by her comrade, who talked about the movement of protests that began Nov 4 to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power, and the urgent need to join into this movement, including coming and spreading the word about the upcoming protest on Nov 18, “Break the Silence—Bring the Noise!” A student asked for more information about Nov 4 and what is this movement of protests. We described 4,000 people in 24 cities coming out into the streets to demand Trump and Pence Must Go. Then, we highlighted how brave people were to do this, the threats flooding the internet they had to go up against; places where people had to march in the face of armed white supremacist fascists; the people who came by themselves even though they couldn’t get any friends to come with them. We connected this to what happened in Charlottesville, and what it means that a violent fascist movement is being unleashed and why this makes it even more urgent to step forward NOW before it is too late.

We asked students for their thoughts and questions. One asked if the murderer of Heather Heyer would be punished for this murder. Another student asked for a definition of fascism. We responded and also pulled up the “What is Fascism?” definition from RefuseFascism.org on the screen behind us. The same student responded with what she understands fascism to be, and interchangeably used the terms fascism and communism. We told her that these are actually polar opposites, that we in fact are communists which mean ending all oppression for all of humanity, whereas fascism is a more openly violent form of capitalism that shreds basic rights and dehumanizes and targets groups that are not the dominant group that sees itself as superior. We told them about Bob Avakian, the leader who has developed a new communism and is leading a Party and movement for revolution today. We showed the trailer for his talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America: A Better World IS Possible, and passed out cards for the film and really encouraged people to watch the whole thing. We made the point, and the students understood it from the trailer, that we all must come together to drive out this fascist regime, and we can disagree on things like communism and revolution as we do this together. The student who had asked about fascism said she agreed that we can and need to come together from different viewpoints in order to meet this danger.

One student in the class had come to Nov 4 and very strongly hates everything Trump and Pence represent. She is a Latina student taking an African American History class with all Black students and feels this experience has taught her a lot, including rupturing some of her own stereotypes. She was the reason we were speaking in that class. We had talked with her after Nov 4 and she had the idea that we should speak in this class and asked her professor if he would invite us in. In the class, we asked her if she would speak about her experience on Nov 4. She said she had already reported back to the class about it, but she would talk about it again. She described a scene where some Trump supporters had mixed in with the marchers and at one point one of them tried to punch her in the face. Somebody with blue eyes jumped in between before she was hit and was hit himself and fought off the person trying to hit her. She said this really moved her, and made her think differently about who “her people” are. These are “her people” that she was marching with and we were looking out for each other.

Towards the end of the class we put the challenge directly to everyone there, who would be coming to Bring the Noise on Nov 18? One older woman who had been very engaged said she wants to be part of this, but wasn’t sure she could make it Saturday because she had plans already. A younger man said if he had time he would come. We responded that this is the time for people to change their schedules. After everything we’d discussed together about the danger of this regime to humanity—the genocidal talk of unleashing the police to be more violent, the needless deaths of people in Puerto Rico, the threat of nuclear devastation to Koreans and the whole world, the unleashing of fascist storm troops, the “joke” of Pence wanting to hang all the gay people, the disgusting assault on the humanity of women.... This is moving forward, we must stop it, and the time is now. The man said he would change his schedule to come on Saturday, and he did.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/revolution-club-chicago-then-they-came-for-me-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

From Revolution Club Chicago:

Then They Came For Me.

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Whole families packed liked sardines into the trains to be shipped off to the camps, with only what they could carry. Not knowing where they were going. Not knowing when or if they would ever come back. Their property taken or sold off for next to nothing. Humiliated, demonized, and ordered to report for “relocation.” No, I’m not talking about Jewish People in Nazi Germany.

Twice in the course of a week about 10 people with the Revolution Club went to the Alphawood Gallery exhibit in Chicago about the internment of Japanese Americans titled “Then They Came For Me,” drawing from (and featuring in large letters at the entry way) the poem from Pastor Niemöller.

In the center space of the gallery there are suitcases piled up with photographs along the walls of people having to leave their homes, taking only what they could carry. “Only what we could carry was the rule, so we carried Strength, Dignity, and Soul (Lawson Fusao Inada)” appears along the top of some of these photos. A Black artist in our crew broke into tears. Seeing all these people, who had built their whole lives, they had homes and neighbors and they were just picked up, uprooted and sent off. “The photographs brought you there,” another person with us said, “and you were in it, you could smell it, you could feel it.”

A young Black man in our crew did not know anything about what had happened to Japanese Americans. He said that while he was there he texted four of his friends about what he was learning with pictures from the gallery and none of his friends knew anything about it either. He talked about looking at the mock hunting license that was made for hunting Japanese people, “it reminded me of how they did with Black slaves, and I’m just thinking this is being done to these people all by the same imperialist system. And it’s not just in Chicago, it’s not just in the U.S., it’s all over the world.” He talked about how this made him “want to learn what else has this system done, what other groups of people have had things done against them that we never learn about.”

One thing some of us were talking about is how little you hear of the resistance. On the one hand, you don’t hear about some of the heroic resistance that did take place, mainly among Japanese Americans, like the “No-nos” which captured a lot of our imaginations. These were people who answered “No” to two questions on a loyalty questionnaire which had to do with pledging allegiance and going to war for the same country that had just done all this to you. But one of the hard things is you don’t hear about big and broad sections of people throughout society who stood up to this. Because they didn’t.

As usual, relying on the white supremacy of this country, many white people were mobilized to support a lot of these horrors. In addition to the hunting license, there were an array of racist postcards and posters that encouraged the most vile racism. There were articles with familiar language of these immigrants coming with no money and to do no good. Articles about the “legitimate grievances” of white workers and farmers angry about Japanese Americans owning land and businesses. Articles talked about the brown terror in the schools (It seems the racist imagery of Japanese people was still being worked on, as articles went back and forth on calling them Brown or Yellow.) “There was this big picture of white people lined up... watching people taken away.” As is explained in a video interview with legendary freedom fighter Yuri Kochiyama, some would come with racist signs: “Japs Get Out!” But some would line up with signs saying, “I’m so sorry to see you leave,” while just gathering to watch as people are shipped off.

It was very important that one thread of the exhibit was tying it to today. They explicitly tie this to the current Trump administration, and call out where this leads. And they rightfully uphold that Japanese Americans were one of the first groups to step out to oppose the Muslim ban. And our crew also discussed the parallels and what it means for today. One person noted that there has been important resistance today to the moves of the Trump/Pence regime, and that’s good, but it is still moving forward and they ARE going after people every day, and this confronts people with the questions of whether they will be like those people who lined up to watch people go, not with the racist signs but the “I’m sorry to see you go” signs. One person said, “This made you get into how in one sense what Trump/Pence are tapping into is not new but they’re taking it to another level and pacing.” One person reflected on a point made by Bob Avakian in his recent talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America: A Better World IS Possible when he says that when you look at the actual history of this country, does it really make any sense for people to say “Fascism, oh that can’t happen here.”

A number of people summarized how this exhibit made them look at America, “For me, you really do see the whole system, the white supremacy welded into its very core and on every level from the culture up to the Supreme Court legitimizing this. Those white people lining the streets really didn’t see these people as human.” Another person said “I knew I didn’t really like the gov of this country or its history very much...that deepened a lot, but now I just definitely know for sure I just hate it.” And another person said, “I went back to what I thought I knew about the internment and it was kind of ‘just another one of those things’. It happened, then they let people go. Wasn’t as bad as Slavery or as bad as a lot of the other crimes of the U.S. But really... this really is another crime that makes you hate this country, goddamn.”

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/chicago-revolution-club-trial-its-right-to-stand-up-to-police-running-amok-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Pack the Courtroom Wednesday, November 29

It’s Right to Stand Up to Police Running Amok

Trial Set to Begin for Members of the Chicago Revolution Club

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Revolution Club

On Wednesday, November 29, at 9 am, members of the Chicago Revolution Club will be in courtroom 303 at 555 W. Harrison. This is the day trial is set to begin for three members of the club arrested last summer. The charge is “interfering with a police officer,” the most serious class of misdemeanor which carries a penalty of up to a year in jail.

The case set for trial stems from arrests on July 21 when the Revolution Club dared to defy the Chicago Police Department 7th District’s unofficial martial law in a South Side neighborhood where the police had been running roughshod over people, particularly people who had stood with the Revolution Club, put on the club T-shirt and taken up the club’s call to “blow the whistle on police brutality.”

Two of these three club members were arrested again in August for simply witnessing the police harass two men outside the Revolution Club’s Organizing Center. Due to this, they face a second charge of “interfering with a police officer.” In the second case, the police were so angry that club members dared to come out of their office to witness them harassing people that they turned their ire on the club and arrested club members when they refused to leave. There is a status hearing for this case in the same courtroom at the same time.

This prosecution and now this trial is a clear case of the police suppressing political speech they don’t like, especially speech that calls out the police intimidation, harassment and brutality against those on the bottom of this society. On the day of the arrest, Revolution Club members had been standing on the sidewalk during the hours that police had told community people they could not be out on the sidewalk, 7 am-3 pm—an informal martial law. When the first club member was arrested in mid-morning, the police swooped in with 11 cars, using the pretext that she had taped a hand-written sign to a pole calling on people to stand with the community.

The two other club members were arrested close to noon just as the rally was set to begin. This time, more than a dozen police cars roared up. The rally had been well advertised in the community. Former Black Panther and revolutionary communist Joe Veale was scheduled to speak at the rally, but the rally could not take place due to the pre-emptive arrests.

How do we know this is a clear case of attacking the content of the message from the Revolution Club in violation of their First Amendment rights and the rights of the people to hear this message? Simple. Because the commander of the 7th District has repeatedly told us this to our face. At a press conference to protest these arrests, he told Carl Dix, “All right, look, I am not going to let you intimidate me in this. You have to move yourself from in front of the station. We made lawful arrests today.” When Carl Dix challenged this, the commander said, “In my opinion as a district commander, yes, these arrests were lawful, legal and within the law. This is not a police brutality situation at all. The 7th District works hard at fostering relationships within the community. And I think what you are doing right now is totally antithesis to what’s going on in the streets.”

And when the 7th District commander was challenged the next day by an attorney saying that he could not simply suppress speech he didn’t like, the commander responded, “So I will do it legally then! I will enforce every law I can find against this group.”

The revolutionaries are being singled out to punish them and to send a message to the people that this (and worse) is what will happen to you if you dare to join up with the revolution and stand up to the police and the system they enforce. This arrest became a big social question in the community and beyond. A video of the revolutionaries being arrested, taken by a member of the community, was viewed by 92,000 on Facebook live.

Two other club members were also arrested on July 2 and were charged with violating a sound ordinance. Their charges have been dismissed.

The fact that the state is pursuing these charges is very serious and an outrage. The Revolution Club calls on all people of conscience to oppose this attack and to support the rights of the people in the neighborhood to peacefully assemble and the rights of the Revolution Club members to stand up to an informal martial law and conduct a rally and speak-out against these police running amok on the South Side neighborhood without facing arrest. One woman suffered a cracked rib from her arrest and two of the three went to the hospital after release. Send letters, emails, and call the State’s Attorney demanding that these charges be dropped (Kim Fox Cook, County State’s Attorney, 69 W. Washington, Suite 3200, Chicago IL 60602, 312-603-1880, email statesattorney@cookcountyil.gov). Send copies to the Revolution Club at revclub.chi@gmail.com and call us at 312-804-9121. Donate here (http://bit.ly/Maya-VoiD-Fund) to help pay legal fees. And for those in Chicago, pack courtroom 303 at 555 W. Harrison at 9 am this Wednesday, November 29.

Revolution Club Organizing Center
(312) 804-9121
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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/aurora-roja-fifth-national-week-of-resistance-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

From Aurora Roja, the voice of the Organización Comunista Revolucionaria, Mexico.

“The State Is Not Negligent, It Is Criminal!” Proclaimed During the 5th National Week of Resistance “Stop the War Against the People!”

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

They are killing, disappearing, torturing, and repressing in unprecedented numbers we women, activists, journalists, youth, immigrants, poor people, LGBT people, and people in general. We must resist, we must unite, we must say no more, we must stop this war against the people. We cannot let them get away with it, we cannot let them reduce us to people who are frightened, paralyzed and demoralized, trampled under the boot of those at the top. No! ... We need to double down in the struggle, and we need to forge an independent movement opposed to the state, the ruling classes and the criminal system, which without hesitation calls out their criminal nature, and strives to develop the consciousness, militancy and organization of the people in order to stop this reactionary war and contribute to finally put an end to the current inhuman system in which we live.

In response to this “Urgent Call to Action for the 5th National Week of Resistance” from November 6 to 12, there were several actions in the Mixteca in the State of Oaxaca and Mexico City, as well as agitation and leafleting in the state of Puebla and the city of Oaxaca, with the central slogans of “Stop the War Against the People!” and “The State Is Not Negligent, It Is Criminal!”

An important advance this year was the participation of a wider range of forces in the Week: National Network of Resistance “Stop the War Against the People!” (RNRAGCP), Magisterial Commission on Human Rights, SNTE Chapter 22 (COMADH), Movimiento Popular Revolucionario (MPR), Organización Comunista Revolucionaria, México (OCR, M), Frente Popular Francisco Villa Independiente (FPFVI), Norma Esther Andrade, Unión Popular de Vendedores y Ambulantes “28 de Octubre” (UPVA-28), Carmen Zamora Foundation, General Assembly of Workers (AGT), Representative and Sectorial Coordinator of the National Union of Education Workers Chapter 22, Sector 01 Tlaxiaco, Students of the Teposcolula Experimental Teachers Training School.

In addition to distributing thousands of copies of the Call for the Week, thousands of copies of the analysis of the Organización Comunista Revolucionario, Mexico, were also distributed, analyzing the war against the people, which has meant more than 200,000 murders, 30,000 disappeared, and 7 femicides a day, “a kind of preventive counterinsurgency, in which hundreds of thousands of people are being killed, before a mass insurgency has emerged.”

In Oaxaca, the Week began with a speakout forum in the Teposcolula Experimental Teachers Training School, with the participation of the students, giving the welcome and with a student playing the role of MC. She read parts of the Call at the beginning and during the course of the forum, which included presentations by a representative of the Sectorial Committee of the Teachers Union of Tlaxiaco, a woman from the Committee in Defense of Education, a representative of the Teachers Training School committee, a teacher representative of workers of the school, and an activist of the Movimiento Popular Revolucionario [MPR]. Approximately 30 people attended, most of them women students, some with their babies.

On Thursday, there was a screening, in the municipal esplanade of Tlaxiaco, of a documentary about the massacre by federal and state police in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, on June 19, 2016, with film of scenes, testimonies of wounded people, children who suffered from the tear gas, and one who lost his father from police bullets. Before dark, teachers and MPR people placed a clothesline around the pavilion on the esplanade to hang posters and reports of various crimes that military forces, federal and state police have committed such as Ayotzinapa, Nochixtlán, Tanhuato, Tlatlaya, and others, as well as other crimes, like femicides that state institutions are covering up. There were about a hundred people at different points watching the screening of the documentary, including students, teachers and others.

On Friday, November 10, an enthusiastic political-cultural event was held with the participation of youth from the urban culture, Break Dance, Hip Hop, and Rap, with another clothesline of posters with exposures and banners with the two main slogans of the week and another, from the MPR, of “What Humanity Needs: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism.” Among the various cultural presentations, parts of the Call were read.

The week closed on Saturday, November 11, with a rally and march from the Tlaxiaco plaza to the public prosecutor’s office, with the participation of some 200 demonstrators, mainly teachers. The march through the streets was militant. From the beginning teachers and MPR people did agitation and exposure of the crimes by state forces. They were chanting slogans such as: Stop the War Against the People!; The State Is Not Negligent, It Is Criminal! What do the people who died in Nochixtlán want? Justice! What do the missing students of Ayotzinapa want? Justice! What do women want who are raped and murdered? Justice!; The problem is the system, the solution is the revolution! Faced with the criminal state, nationwide resistance! There were people coming out of the businesses to watch the march and get the flyers. The rally was concluded with the participation of the MPR and a teacher from Chapter 22 of the teachers union. Among other cases, people called out the recent repression of young education students in the city of Oaxaca and the crime in which a student from the Rural Teaching College of Tamazulapán was denied medical attention after an abortion. The education students are demanding the dismissal of all the authorities at this school, who are guilty of the death of this young woman.

In Mexico City, the Week began with a forum at the Autonomous University of Mexico City, San Lorenzo Tezonco campus, with a student as moderator. In the forum, Carmen Zamora called out the crimes against women in Ecatepec, State of Mexico, pointing out that it is a criminal state because they cover up for the aggressors, and when the women call out the officials of these institutions, the women themselves become the ones who are threatened and harassed by the police. She also said that through the mobilization of the people, they managed to retrieve an adolescent girl who was kidnapped and forced into prostitution in a network of trafficking in women, although the institutions of (in)justice drag their feet, covering up the criminals.

A compañera also spoke in representation of the fathers and mothers of the 43 disappeared education students from Ayotzinapa. She said that they have been calling out and fighting against the state for more than three years as the guilty party in the murder of three students and in the disappearance of the other 43. In this fight they have learned about many more cases where the state is committing crimes such as the “femicides that are on the rise in Mexico, the disappearance and murder of many young people. In Guerrero, that is happening and people are leaving their communities because they cannot live there anymore.” She pointed out that the state is criminal because in the case of the education students who have been murdered and disappeared, “it has been demonstrated and it is known that the army and the police were involved in all this.” She made a call to support the struggle, and noted that “we are determined to get to where we have to go, we call on you to continue accompanying us to demand justice, punish the guilty and find out what happened with our young people, to get to the truth.”

A compañero from the Movimiento Popular Revolucionario spoke to the dimensions of this war against the people. For example, during the government of the criminal César Duarte [ex-governor of the State of Chihuahua], they were saying that there were only about 500 disappeared, but later it was found out that there were up to 3,600. This state is not negligent, it is criminal because many times they commit these crimes or cover them up: it serves the mainly capitalist system, where a handful of national and foreign capitalists and landowners exploit and oppress the majority of the people. In this situation it is both necessary and possible to generate a resistance that opposes this state and its system. In order to put an end to these crimes and many others that are being committed against the people, communist revolution is needed. A communist revolution that can create a new socialist society, and for this revolutionary struggle we have the guidance of Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism, and we also have the Organización Comunista Revolucionaria, Mexico.

From the auditorium one person said: “You talked about the source of what is causing all these crimes. What do the compañeras hope to get from their cases, do you think that they will be solved, and those of so many more people? Or should we get to the root of things in order to get rid of them?” In response to this question, the MPR person stated that it is important to stand up and fight together with the thousands who are already doing so, and to be able to generate a movement of growing resistance that calls out without hesitation the state as criminal and which opposes this state. You need militancy and struggle. And this contributes to the communist revolution that is the only thing that can definitely end these crimes and many more that are being committed against the people. Two things are needed: resistance opposing these state crimes, and to urgently prepare for the revolution that can free humanity from this capitalist-imperialist system.

A rally for justice was also held for Carlos Sinuhé Cuevas Mejía (a political murder that the Mexico City government is still trying to cover up) and Victoria Pamela Salas (a young woman brutally murdered last September), on Friday, November 10, at the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office. Some 60 people participated, including people from the General Assembly of Workers, the MPR and relatives of Diana, a young woman murdered in Chimalhuacán, a State of Mexico municipality on the outskirts of Mexico City. In front of the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office, all the speakers called out how in different ways the authorities have been covering up the criminals. Among other speakers were: Lourdes Mejía, Carlos’s mother, who has been demanding justice for six years. The family members of Luís Roberto Malagón also participated. His father called out the authorities of Mexico City and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), who are trying to file away the case of his death as a suicide, when there are signs of murder. They have started a fight to demand that the truth be uncovered in the crime against their son, who was a student at the Law School, who was found unconscious on the campus. He died on August 23, 2017, after being in a coma for five days. His father asked everyone for support in this fight against the authorities that are covering up this crime; his mother did the same thing at the close of the Week in front of the federal Attorney General’s Office.

The Week of Resistance culminated in Mexico City with a march and rally from the Palace of Fine Arts to the federal Attorney General’s Office, in which some 65 people participated, importantly people from barrios of the Frente Popular Francisco Villa Independiente, as well as some people from the General Assembly of Workers and the Movimiento Popular Revolucionario. Lourdes Mejía and the relatives of Luís Roberto Malagón also participated.

In the course of promoting the National Week of Resistance, other crimes were learned of, for example in Veracruz, where the police and the army have been part of the disappearances and the murder of youth. In one of these cases, eight young people, all of them athletes, were arrested by the police in 2009 and are still missing. One of their friends witnessed the arrest by the police. Shortly afterwards, at the police headquarters, the sister of one of the young men, accompanied by the witness, demanded to see the detainees and be told the reasons for their detention. However, the police denied detaining the youths. Since then, she has been fighting against these state forces that cover up their own crime by slandering the victim: they repeat time and again that “maybe he was involved in something.” The relatives themselves are the ones who are investigating and finding evidence that prove the police are guilty, and deny the criminalization of so many murdered and disappeared youths.

In another case in Veracruz, a woman reported that a young man appeared before the civil authorities to complain that he faced threats from organized crime for his refusal to get involved with them. Soon after, members of the military tracked him down in order to tell him, “You don’t know anything!” When he insisted that he did have information and that he was threatened, the soldiers raised their tone, threatening him: “You don’t know anything!” These soldiers, as well as the police and civil authorities, are criminals in collusion with other criminals. And this not only happens in Veracruz but it happens in different ways throughout the country.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/aurora-roja-trump-pence-fascist-regime-must-go-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Taken from the blog of Aurora Roja, the voice of the Organización Comunista Revolucionaria, Mexico:

From Puebla to New York, from Oaxaca to Los Angeles: "The Trump/Pence Fascist Regime Must Go!"

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To the chant of “Away With Trump, Away With [Mexican President] Peña Nieto, Down With the Whole System!” people demonstrated in the streets of Puebla, Mexico City, and Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, on November 4 in unity with the militant demonstrations in 24 cities in the United States demanding, “This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!” (For more news about U.S. demonstrations organized by Refuse Fascism, visit: revcom.us and RefuseFascism.org)

The speakers at the demonstrations in Mexico called out the crimes of the Trump regime and his vice president Pence, such as their threat of nuclear war against North Korea, their attacks on women in the U.S., Mexico and around the world, the open season on immigrants, police terror against Blacks, Latinos, and others, their increased acceleration of global warming, their attacks on LGBT people, among other crimes. The posters reproduced from RefuseFascism.org detailing these and other atrocities had a major impact on the people who read them during the actions.

There was also agitation that the Trump/Pence government is a fascist regime in the process of consolidation, and not just some bad rulers, and the analysis of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, that “Fascism is the exercise of blatant dictatorship by the bourgeois (capitalist-imperialist) class, ruling through reliance on open terror and violence, trampling on what are supposed to be civil and legal rights, wielding the power of the state, and mobilizing organized groups of fanatical thugs, to commit atrocities against masses of people, particularly groups of people identified as ‘enemies,’ ‘undesirables,’ or ‘dangers to society.’”

In the city of Puebla, some 150 people participated in a lively march and rally, including street vendors from the Unión Popular de Vendedores y Ambulantes “28 de Octubre [UPVA-28],” participants in the Movimiento Popular Revolucionario, teachers, and youth. From a sound truck that accompanied the march and in the rally at the end, the crimes and the fascist character of the Trump/Pence regime were called out. They shouted slogans such as “Away With Trump, Away With Peña Nieto, Fuck the Whole System!” and “From North to South, From East to West, Fascism Will Not Go Forward, No Matter What!”

Among other participants, a woman from Argentina approached and commented that it was very good that this protest was happening, because in Argentina the right wing has won and those who protest are threatened, harassed, and imprisoned. A compañero pointed out that women are being denied their rights in the United States, as well as in Mexico. Both in the United States and in Mexico, male supremacy is being reinforced.

At the end, a compañero painted with red a U.S. flag and another compañero set it on fire: the red color showing that what this flag represents is genocide and imperialism. Then he set it on fire, shouting “Fuck fascism in the United States! The Trump/Pence regime must GO!”

The march was filmed by the police, showing that the Mexican state considers the demonstrations against the Trump regime a threat.

Clothesline display with exposures of the fascist Trump/Pence regime, in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca.

 

Banner at Tlaxiaco rally: “What Humanity Needs: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism, Bob Avakian.”

In Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, some 30 people demonstrated against the Trump/Pence regime, with participants from teachers with Chapter 22 of the teachers’ union, Movimiento Popular Revolucionario, and others. In addition to agitation on a bullhorn, a clothesline display with posters against the Trump/Pence fascist regime and other news about it was put up with downloads from revcom.us, refusefascism.org, and other sources in Mexico.

Among other people’s comments, a retired teacher who joined the protests said that it’s good to have these events. “The truth is that many people in small towns don’t know what’s happening, since they only know what they see on TV and hear on commercial radio stations... Some people say that this thing is over there in the United States, that it has nothing to do with what happens in Mexico, but I think it is really related, because as they say in this flyer, Peña Nieto is a collaborator with the Trump regime, which is who gives him orders.”

A father with his 17-year-old son said, “I do see that Trump is a danger to the world. He is a madman and is threatening North Korea with a nuclear attack. He is also attacking immigrants, mainly from Mexico but also from Central America and other countries. He represents the rich fat cats because he is a big businessman, and I do believe, as you say, that he represents fascism and we must stop him, because he can commit more crimes.”

Some peasants were saying that they had relatives or acquaintances in the United States and asked for materials to send and encourage them to get into the fight there. A retired teacher who was passing by said that this “seems very good to me, many people do not know about this and they should. More people must hear about both the attacks on immigrants and other nationalities by Trump in the U.S., and in Mexico the dimensions of this war against the people, so that they can also act.” He began to put up posters, promote the literature, and distribute leaflets.

At the U.S. Embassy, Mexico City: “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!”

At the United States embassy in Mexico City, people from the Movimiento Popular Revolucionario [MPR] and others put up posters and did agitation with a bullhorn against the Trump/Pence fascist regime and its crimes. They handed out an MPR flyer calling out this regime and the collaboration of the Mexican state with it, chanting “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!” In addition to what we already reported on (see article), an immigrant joined the action on the spot and took the megaphone to say, “I was deported from the United States, where I lived 14 years. I have an American son, an ‘American citizen,’ you know. But, you know what? I’m Honduran, from the Republic of Honduras, I will never deny it. But, you know what? I’m fighting Donald Trump. Why? Because they are Nazis and racists....” This compañero is one of the thousands of deported immigrants—Central Americans, Mexicans, Haitians, and other nationalities, who have been brutally thrown out of the U.S., thrown out on to Mexican soil, dispossessed of everything, including their families, who are potentially a powerful force to overthrow the fascist regime and the capitalist-imperialist system it represents. A young Mexican woman joined the protest, denouncing that “Mexicans are discriminated against by the United States government. There have also been murders there in the United States, by the government. There have been femicides and homicides. And we went out to say, ‘Enough is enough’ with murders, deaths, corruption. We say to the Trump/Pence and Peña Nieto governments, enough is enough with all this!”

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/517/aurora-roja-november-4-mexico-city-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Taken from the blog of Aurora Roja, voice of the Organización Comunista Revolucionaria, Mexico:

Against the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime:
November 4 in Front of the Yankee Embassy in Mexico City

November 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On November 4 a speakout and protest rally was held against the Trump/Pence fascist regime, in front of the main building of the Yankee Embassy in Mexico City.

It was held on November 4 to support and show solidarity with the thousands who at that moment were also mobilizing on the streets of two dozen cities in the United States, acting and joining the call of the Refuse Fascism initiative (see more information at refusefascism.org), with the demand, “This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!”

Yes, this has to stop, the Trump/Pence fascist regime has to go.

The people walking along the sidewalk heard the agitation on the bullhorn. Some also received the flyers that were distributed and listened to what the compañeros were telling them as they put the flyer in their hands. It was a warm afternoon in which hundreds of people were walking by, or driving by in their cars, hearing and learning about the danger humanity is facing due to the advances and threats that the Trump/Pence fascist regime has been making. And that it’s urgent that the peoples of the world act in unity with the people of the United States and the Refuse Fascism initiative and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, who have been mobilizing in a great effort to drive out the whole Trump/Pence regime.

A large banner with the slogan “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!” attracted people’s attention, along with large posters exposing the attacks by the Trump/Pence regime during these months in the government. The visual form of these posters shows people the dimensions of the danger in which we find ourselves, if this fascist regime is able to consolidate, and at the same time poses the urgent need to unite and act in the name of humanity so that this nightmare ends.

On the bullhorn, the compañeros of the Movimiento Popular Revolucionario, and others who spoke, exposed, among other things, that what Trump/Pence are trying to consolidate is fascism, a drastic change in the bourgeois form of government to an open dictatorship that is exercised by terror, which crushes so-called rights and mobilizes its fascist forces to attack and commit atrocities against opponents, Muslims, immigrants, women, Black people, and others. We called out the recent statement by the U.S. Air Force that they made a “surprise raid, simulating a nuclear attack” on the North Korean peninsula, which is the escalation of the danger of a nuclear war that could cause thousands of deaths in the first instant that it happens. Also the criminal and ruthless persecution against immigrants and the recent case of the girl with cerebral palsy who was intercepted by ICE (Department of Immigration and Customs) on the way to be operated on, in order to arrest her for deportation after her operation. Or the escalation of attacks on the NFL (National Football League) players taking a knee when the U.S. national anthem is played in repudiation of the murder of Black people by racist white police. Trump attacked these players as “sons of bitches” who should be fired immediately. And the attacks and degradation against women, with an order not to give funds to clinics around the world, not even to give information about abortion. There was also talk of global warming and how the actions of the fascist regime accelerate it, endangering the survival of humanity. A migrant from Honduras denounced his recent deportation and the harassment being suffered by immigrants in the United States. And we called on people to be following the development of events of the people that have taken to the streets in the United States with the purpose of bringing forward more and more people and disrupting the life as usual in U.S. society until the Trump/Pence fascist regime leaves.

The Trump/Pence fascist regime has to go!

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/american-crime-case-number-53-genocide-of-californias-native-americans-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

American Crime

American Crime Case #53: The Genocide of California's Native Americans, 1846–1873

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian recently wrote that one of three things that has "to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this." (See "3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.")

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

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 

The Crime: From 1846 to 1873, a mass genocide was carried out against California’s Native American population by the U.S. government and white settlers. In 1846, before the 1848 Gold Rush, 157,000 people were living in California, 150,000 of them Native Americans. It was the densest and most diverse Native American population in the U.S. By 1873, there were only 30,000 Native Americans left alive, and by 1880, only 16,277.1

This massive ethnic cleansing was the result of the genocidal murders of the native population at the hands of U.S. soldiers, volunteer state militiamen, and vigilantes. This  included large massacres that wiped out entire villages, group killings, individual killings, the starvation of thousands, and the death of thousands due to diseases while imprisoned in U.S. Army forts or on federal Indian reservations.

In An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, Benjamin Madley documents the killings of thousands of Native Americans from historical records.

Here are some of the largest massacres that were part of the campaign waged against California’s Native American population.

The 1846 Sacramento River Massacre

In 1846, California was formally under Mexico’s control, but the U.S. military and white American settlers had already begun to fight for control of the territory which would become a U.S. state in 1850.

On March 30, 1846, Army Captain John C. Frémont along with 60 heavily armed buckskin-clad white men, guide Kit Carson, several Delaware (Lenape) Indians, and some volunteers from a nearby trading post began advancing up the Sacramento River towards land occupied by the Wintu people in an area about 90 miles northwest of what was to become the City of Sacramento.

On April 5, this band of 76 men intent on killing Indians reached an area that would later become the City of Redding in the upper Sacramento Valley. It was an area of several hundred square miles that had a rich abundance of food that supported over 5,000 Wintu people. Despite having some contradictions with other tribes in the area, the Wintus were peace-loving and had developed mutual trading relations with the other tribes.

That day, the Wintus, including women and children who were largely unarmed, had gathered along the Sacramento River to catch and process salmon for food. From recorded estimates, Madley states that “as many as 1,000 or more Wintus were there that day.”

The river was swollen that day, so any attempt by the Wintus to get back across it would be too dangerous. Frémont’s forces surrounded them and then “launched a well-planned, preemptive assault of a kind that would later  become common in California. ... the or[d]er was given to ask  no quarter and to give none.” The range of the rifles was 200 yards, much further than an arrow could travel.

After firing upon and killing many Wintus, Frémont ordered the second phase of the attack. This, Madley stated, “would become the second phase of many California massacres. ,.. a well-executed military  assault” made by an advance guard that would fire round after round at closer range.

The third phase of the attack was close-quarter killings using sabers, pistols, and butcher knives. It was reported that “the bucks, squaws and papooses were shot down like sheep and those men never stopped as long as they could find one alive.”

The Wintus who survived the first three phases of the attack tried to retreat on foot into the river, the plains, and the foothills. Then Frémont executed the fourth phase. Kit Carson and his men, the Delaware Indians, on horseback, followed those who retreated into the plains and “literally tomahawked their way through the  flying Indians.” Those trying to cross the river were gunned down.

An eyewitness, William Isaac Tustin, reported on what he saw. According to Madley, “If Tustin was correct, Frémont’s force killed as many as 1,000 California Indian men, women, and children in what may have been one of the largest but least-known massacres in U.S. history.” It was reported that not one of Frémont’s men had been killed, wounded, or even injured during the massacre.2

The Bloody Island Massacre, May 1-15, 1850

Charles Stone and Andrew Kelsey were two of the first white settlers in the Clear Lake area of Northern California, some 100 miles north of San Francisco. They became landowners with land transferred to the settlers from the local Native American tribes. As African-American slave prices rose, these settlers in California were able to buy low-cost Indians as forced “apprentices” (basically slaves) to work on their ranches.

Stone and Kelsey were known to torture and kill many of their Native American slaves. They routinely raped the Native American women and girls. It was reported that “they murdered the Indians without limits and mercy.”3

After a horse and an ox went missing from Andrew Kelsey’s ranch, two Native Americans were blamed for it. They knew that Stone and Kelsey would take revenge for this. At first they were going to pay Stone and Kelsey, but then decided that the best thing to do was to kill them. Madley wrote that these two Indians “could not envision the scope of retaliatory mass murder that killing Stone and Kelsey would provoke. In just five months, between December 1849 and May 1850, vigilantes and US Army soldiers would kill as many as 1,000 Indians, or more, across four Northern California Counties.”

The first wave of murders started on Christmas Day 1849 when First Lieutenant John W. Davidson led the U.S. 1st Dragoons, an infantry unit to fight the Indians, into battle. The ranks of 1st Dragoons had included people like Nathan Boone (Daniel Boone’s son) and Jefferson Davis, later the president of the Confederacy. They rode into a group of Indians firing on them, killing many and wounding others. [The 1st Dragoons, or the 1st Regiment of the Dragoons, was formed as a cavalry unit in the western United States. Besides fighting the Indians, they played a big part in the battles during the Mexican-American War. They were not specifically formed  to fight the native population.]

Davidson saw another group of Indians on an island in Clear Lake. He wanted to attack but his troops were tired, so he retreated and planned for an attack later in the spring.

The locals grew restless at the inaction of the U.S. military, so they organized vigilante actions. These became the second wave of mass murders, from February to March 1850. These vigilantes indiscriminately attacked and killed Native Americans. In one report, “a party of Americans came over from Sonoma to avenge upon the Indians in general the murder of Kelsy.... This party were on their way to Soscal to attack the Indians there, but were turned back by another party of white men at Napa, who prevented them from crossing the ferry. They then returned to Calistoga, and murdered in cold blood eleven innocent Indians, young and old, as they came out of their ‘sweat house,’ and then burned their ‘wickeyups,’ [huts often used for ceremonial purposes] together with their bodies.”

The white men who stopped the vigilantes were part of a group of ranchers “motivated by moral conviction and economic interests [to come] to the aid of  Indians  under attack.... The [Native Americans] ...were also human beings, and some non-Indians considered the vigilante actions 'cruel.' “  Their actions resulted in the arrests of some of the vigilantes, who were not convicted, but this halted much of the vigilante action.

So, a third wave of mass murders, the Davidson plan, was given the go-ahead. Led by expedition commander and Brevet Captain Nathaniel Lyon, Company C of the 1st Dragoons along with a detachment of the 3rd Artillery and detachments of the Army’s 2nd Infantry set out for Clear Lake “with the orders to proceed against the Clear Lake Indians and exterminate if possible the [Pomo] tribe.”

After a seven-day march, they reached Clear Lake on May 11. On May 15 they trapped the Pomo people on the island in Clear Lake. Lyon ordered his men to kill their two Indian guides—one was shot, the other was hanged.

The original order given to Lyons was not to negotiate. The Pomos met the soldiers, peacefully, as they thought they would be able to negotiate. But once they saw this was not possible, a few Indian men attempted to thwart Lyon’s forces from getting on the Island. The troops then attacked and slaughtered the Pomos.

In an article 13 days later in the Daily Alta California, an army captain described the attack:

“They ... poured in a destructive fire indiscriminately upon men, women, and children. ‘They fell,’ says our informant, ‘as grass before the sweep of the scythe.’ Little or no resistance was encountered, and the work of butchery was of short duration. The shrieks of the slaughtered victims died away, the roar of muskets. .. ceased; and stretched lifeless upon the sod of their native valley were the bleeding bodies of these Indians—[n]or sex, nor age was spared; it was the order of extermination fearfully obeyed.”4

The army disputed this report and tried to cover up the massacre. But William Rhalganal Benson, a Pomo, exposed the attempted cover-up, stating:

“Many women and children were killed on around this island. one old lady a (Indian) told about what she saw while hiding under a bank, in under a overhanging tuley [bulrushes]. she said she saw two white man coming with their guns up in the air and on their guns hung a little girl. They brought it to the creek and threw it in the water ...  a little ways from she, said layed a woman shot through the shoulder. she held her little baby in her arms. two white men came running torge the woman and baby, they stabed the women and the baby and, and threw both of them over the bank in to the water. she said she heard the woman say, O my baby; she said when they [the survivors] gathered the dead, they found all the little ones were killed by being stabbed, and many of the women were also killed [by] stabbing....They called it the siland creek. (Ba-Don-Bi-Da-Meh).”5

At Clear Lake in July 1850, Major Edwin Allen Sherman said, “There were not less than  four hundred warriors killed and drowned at Clear Lake and as many more squaws and children who plunged into the lake and drowned... So in all, about eight hundred Indians found a watery grave in Clear Lake.”

“If Sherman’s estimate is correct,” states Madley, “the May 15, 1850, attack may rank among the most lethal of all Native American massacres in the history of the United States and its colonial antecedents. According to Sherman’s figures, it would have exceeded the 260-300 Hunkpapas and Miniconjous murdered at Wounded Knee in 1890, surpassed the 400-700 Pequots massacred at Mystic, Connecticut, in 1637, and rivaled the 600-800 Puebloan people killed at Acoma, New Mexico, 1599.”6

1853 Yontocket Massacre

In the spring, 1853, several Tolowa Indians were killed by vigilantes at Battery Point in far northern California (in what is today Crescent City). The vigilantes went after the Indians after one of them was seen carrying a pistol.

In the late fall of that year, at Yontocket on the California coast near today’s border with Oregon, the Tolowa people rendezvoused with the Yuroks and several other tribes from southern Oregon. The tribes came as a spiritual pilgrimage to pray on the sacred ground of Yontocket, which the tribes thought to be the center of their universe.

A large group of white vigilantes led by J.M. Peters organized to go after the Tolowa because they believed that the conclave at Yontocket included some of the survivors from the Battery Point massacre.

In the early morning, Peters and his vigilantes surrounded the village where the Tolowas were sleeping and opened fire on their tents. As the Tolowas attempted to escape, they were gunned down from all sides of the encampment. The vigilantes burned Yontocket to the ground, and Peters later announced that “scarcely an Indian was left alive.” Peters called his attack “a saturnalia of blood.”

At that time, it was not reported how many had died.

In 1963, an 87-year-old Tolowa, Eddie Richards, recounted the stories told to him about the massacre by his relatives and an eyewitness. They said that “hundreds and hundreds” of Indians were massacred at Yontocket:

“The white people got all around them.... Every time someone go out, never come back in.... They set fire to the house, the Indians’ house. You could see them cutting heads off. They stick them things into them; pretty soon they pick them up and throw them right into the fire. Some of ‘em tried to get away, run down the slough. Soon as they get down there, if they don’t get ‘em right away, they get ‘em from the other side when they come up. Shoot ‘em right there waiting for them.”7

The survivor told Richards, “the water was just red with blood, with people floating around all over.”

Another old Tolowa said she had been told that “the white people were all around, they just watched. Then they set fire to the place. Women try to get away, he grab ‘em, throw ‘em in the fire. Take pot shots at ‘em when they try to run.”

Another person recounted that he had been told that the vigilantes “killed so many Indians they could not bury them all, so they took the bodies and tied rocks around their necks and took them in the slough....and buried them that way.”

A Tolowa historian, Loren Bommelyn, stated that “Over 450 of our people were murdered or lay dying on the ground. Then the whitemen built a huge fire and threw in our sacred ceremonial dresses, and regalia, and our feathers, and the flames grew higher...they threw in the babies. Many of them were still alive...(Then they) burn[ed] the village to the ground.”

Madley reports that:

“So many victims were incinerated, submerged, or floated away that the attackers could not obtain a complete body count. White sources estimated as many as 150 massacred that morning. Still, this may have been an underestimate. Tolowa sources—recorded first in oral histories and later written down in the twentieth century—insist that whites massacred as many as 600 people at Yontocket. Even if we halve the latter estimate, Yontocket may rank among the most lethal of all massacres in US history. Yet, it remains unknown except to a few scholars, locals, and of course, the Tolowa.”8

The mass murder of Native Americans continued into the late-1870s. All told some 130,000 Native American lives were snuffed out—80 percent of the Native population in 1846—through massacres, murders, starvation, and disease carried out by the American military and American settlers.

The Criminals

Genocide of the California Native Americans could not have been carried out over this 30-some year period without many criminals taking part, including the government, the army, the mass media, and groups of individuals (vigilantes and the militia). Key criminals include:

U.S. President James K. Polk and U.S. Army Captain John C. Frémont. Frémont was sent to California in 1846 by Polk, who had designs on taking California away from Mexico. Frémont’s role was to organize and protect the American settlers in California from the Mexicans and Indians. When Frémont and his troops became a formidable threat to the Mexican government then ruling California, the Mexican government ordered him out of California. On his way north towards Oregon, Frémont and his troops committed the 1846 Sacramento River massacre.

The California State Legislature. The California State Legislature passed the 1850 Act for the Government and Protection of Indians. Between 1850 and 1863, this law facilitated removing California Indians from their traditional lands and separating at least a generation of children and adults from their families, languages, and cultures. The Act made Indians charged with crimes guilty until proven innocent. It established a system of California Indian servitude, in which Indian children could be held and forced to work without pay and any jailed Indian could be purchased for their labor. It also legalized corporal punishment of Indians.

The California state government spent over $1 million to fund the California state militias that went on Indian killing expeditions throughout the state. It was reported that these militias killed about 2,000 California Native Americans between 1850 and 1861.

U.S. government. As California’s “Indian War Debt” mounted, it meant that the state might have to halt the militia Indian killing expeditions. So, under President Franklin Pierce, the U.S. government stepped in to reimburse California for its “Indian War Debt” by passing legislation in 1856 and 1857. About this, Madley wrote, “This enormous cash transfer provided crucial funding for California’s killing machine and made the genocide an increasingly state and federal project.”9

California Governor Peter H. Burnett. In 1851, Burnett used a racist argument to justify the genocide of California Native Americans. He called for a war of extermination and said that it “will continue to be waged between the  races, until the Indian race becomes extinct...The inevitable destiny of the race is beyond the power  or wisdom of man to avert.”

Senator John B. Weller, who was later to become California’s second governor, told his fellow U.S. senators that California Indians “will be exterminated before the onward march of the white man....humanity may forbid, but the interest of the white man demands their extinction.”

The California press played a huge role in whipping up a racist fervor against the Indians and promoting genocide. After the gold rush started in California, the press began to ramp up its attack on the Indian population, which it viewed as a problem. In 1848, The California Star stated that the Indians would become thieves, and that “a continual war will be necessarily waged, for depredations committed, till all are exterminated.” A month later a columnist for the Star wrote that the Indians “are a burden and pest to the country, and gladly would I behold the exit of every one of these miserable creatures from our midst.”10

By the end of the 1850s the press became the main advocates for exterminating the Indians. The Red Bluff  Independent wrote, “It is becoming evident that extermination of the red devils will have to be resorted to before the people in proximity to the rancherias will be safe, or mountain roads traveled with any degree of safety except by parties of well-armed men.” In 1865, the  Courant wrote, “It is a mercy to the red devils to exterminate them, and a saving of many white lives...there is only one kind of treaty that is truly effective—cold lead.” And from the Shasta Courier, “Extermination is the only sure protection...and the sooner the remedy is applied the better.”11

The Alibi

The U.S. government, military and white settlers claimed they were only protecting themselves from Indians who were out to kill them. U.S. Army units would claim that they ran into a war party, so they had to defend themselves, despite the fact that women and children, who were a part of these groups of Indians being killed and massacred, would never have been on a war party.

The just resistance of California’s indigenous inhabitants to the genocidal attacks on them became a further justification to kill and murder more of them. A program of mass fear of the Indians was unleashed throughout California. Native American resistance to being exterminated was labeled aggression and proof that native tribes were at “war” with the white population.

Even when an Indian did kill a non-Indian, it became a justification for wiping out all Indians in the area. Madley reported that so-called punitive expeditions against Indians “chose not to differentiate between the guilty and the innocent.” This led to “the mass murder of any California Indians in the vicinity, regardless of their age, gender, identity, location, or tribal affiliation.” The need for collective punishment was used to justify the indiscriminate killing of Indian men, women, children, and elders, and theft or destruction of their property.

Running through all this was white supremacy and “Manifest Destiny”: the notion that the white “race” was inherently superior to other peoples, who were less than human, and that the God-given destiny of white people in America was to conquer and rule the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from “sea to shining sea.”

The Real Motive

There’s a popular conception that California (known at that time as Alta California) was stolen from Mexico. While this is true, the fact is that by the time of the gold rush, Mexico had lost control of California. President Polk coveted California and feared that another country might colonize it. At the end of the Mexican-American War in 1849, the U.S. forced Mexico to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which gave the U.S. control of the Southwest, including California.

Prior to the 1848 Gold Rush, the population of California was 157,000—150,000 Native Americans, 6,500 of Spanish and Mexican descent, and about 800 non-native Americans. Once gold was found, it was estimated that over 300,000 people immigrated to California by 1850, the year California became a state.

California’s 150,000 Native Americans practiced a way of life which often involved collective, not private ownership of land and resources, and required large expanses of land for agriculture, hunting and gathering. And from the beginning, California’s indigenous peoples justly resisted the theft of their land and the destruction of their societies. This stood as an obstacle to the white settlers’ drive to colonize and dominate all of California: to control and exploit its land and resources and expand the capitalist forms of exploitation they brought with them.

The only solution for the on-rushing hoards of white gold seekers (called 49ers) and colonizers was to get rid of the Native Americans and steal their land.

This genocide was also driven by the fact that half the population of California was non-white. Such racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity was not in accord with what was required by the U.S. to cohere the country and its new territory around white supremacy. A white, Protestant, English-speaking California was what the U.S. required.

Non-white immigrants were physically attacked and many killed by the white 49ers. The government imposed the Foreign Miners Tax Act that made it more difficult for those who were not white to survive. Chinese immigrants faced racist mobs. Despite the fact that California was a free state, the imposition of the Fugitive Slave Bill of 1852 allowed for Southern slave masters who immigrated to California to continue to have slaves.

But there was no one population other than the Native Americans in California that firmly stood in the way of a country based on Manifest Destiny and white supremacy. California was stolen from Mexico and its indigenous Native Americans—through a ruthless genocide against tens of thousands that nearly wiped out the state’s indigenous population.


1.  An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe by Benjamin Madley, 2016, Yale University Press, New Haven & London,  p. 3. [back]

2. Ibid., p. 48 [back]

3. Ibid., p. 112 [back]

4. Ibid., p. 130 [back]

5. Ibid., p. 130 [back]

6. Ibid., p. 132 [back]

7. Ibid., p. 223 [back]

8. Ibid., p. 224 [back]

9. Ibid., p. 250 [back]

10. Ibid., p. 65 [back]

11. Ibid., p. 330 [back]

Bibliography

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/massacre-of-sufi-worshippers-in-egypt-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

On the Horrific Massacre of Sufi Worshippers in Egypt

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Friday, November 24, heavily armed Islamic fundamentalists, reportedly affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS), surrounded a Sufi Islam mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula filled with worshippers. They exploded a bomb inside, then gunned down those trying to escape and attacked ambulances that rushed to the scene. Over 300 people, including at least 27 children, were massacred and another 109 were wounded.

This was a horrific crime, carried out by thoroughly reactionary fundamentalist Islamic jihadists. Then Trump seized on it to promote even greater reactionary crimes. He called for escalating U.S. bombings and wars in the Middle East, banning all Muslims from the U.S., and moving ahead to build the wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

How do we understand and act in relation to the battle between the U.S. and its allies, on one hand, and Islamic fundamentalism and jihadism, on the other? Bob Avakian spells this out in BAsics 1:28:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade [increasingly globalized western imperialism] on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the “historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system,” and in particular the U.S. imperialists.

Think about it: the U.S. has been waging wars, carrying out enormous crimes, killing hundreds of thousands of people, and destroying the lives of millions across the Middle East for the last 16 years. It has recently been exposed that the U.S. has killed 31 times more civilians in Iraq and Syria in the last two years than it has admitted to.

U.S. allies, like the military butchers running Egypt, are notorious for rounding up and torturing their opponents. In the Sinai, Egypt’s military has carried out summary executions and destroyed whole villages.

These crimes have fueled reactionary Islamic fundamentalism. One of the horrendous by-products of this dynamic is the spread of violent religious sectarianism. ISIS and other jihadists have massacred those they consider “heretics” or “apostates”: Sufi Muslims as well as Coptic Christians in Egypt; Shi’ite Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan; and religious minorities like the Yazidis in Iraq. All this is driven by their reactionary program of imposing medieval fundamentalism as the ruling ideology and law of society.

The world does not have to be this way! We do not have to choose between the horror of global imperialism and the horror of Islamic fundamentalism and jihadism. A whole other way and a radically different and much better world is possible through communist revolution, a real revolution aimed at ending all forms of oppression!

STOP Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/trump-republican-tax-plan-a-major-attack-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Letter from a Reader:

Trump/Republican Tax Plan: A Major Attack on the People, a Big Fascist Move

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Dear Revcom,

The Trump/Pence regime and the Republicans are trying to ram a massive tax bill through Congress right now. One version has already passed in the House, and another is before the Senate. Nothing is yet finalized, and there are a lot of different things packed into these bills, but there’s plenty to be alarmed and outraged about (and different groups are planning protests).

First, the centerpiece of these bills is a massive, $1.5 trillion tax cut for corporations, permanently cutting their tax rate nearly in half, from 35 percent to 20 percent. This is a huge shift of the tax burden away from America’s biggest capitalist exploiters on to ordinary people (especially in Blue states). Meanwhile, tax rates for many in the middle and working classes will initially decline, but then likely rise over the next decade!

The Trump/Republican “tax reform” also includes devastating attacks on healthcare. The Senate plan eliminates the Affordable Care Act's (“Obamacare’s”) individual mandate that requires people to buy health insurance. If passed this could strip 13 million people of their healthcare, and lead to even higher health insurance premiums, which would be unaffordable for many more people.

These tax bills may also raise federal government debt by as much as $1.4 trillion. If so, this would trigger deep, automatic spending cuts which would probably target social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education. This would put the lives of many millions at risk, especially Black, Latino and other oppressed or impoverished peoples.

This vicious, draconian assault on the people reflects a core element of the fascist program: unleashing even more ruthless capitalist exploitation to strengthen U.S. imperialism’s ability to compete and dominate globally (“Make America Great Again”). Bob Avakian analyzed this program and what’s driving it in his prescient 1998 analysis, “The Truth About the Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer”:

And, in the present period and the present "global environment," the requirements of the capitalist economic and social system not only demand that the lords of capital be able to carry out their supreme commandment, "let us prey," in a more unrestrained and more "mobile" way, on a world scale. They also demand, within American society itself, a slashing of major social programs and a heightening of the repressive powers of government, along with the fostering of a repressive social atmosphere. They demand what the organization Refuse and Resist! has called the politics of cruelty, or the politics of poverty, punishment, and patriarchy.

A Fiscal, Political & Social Attack Against Liberalism, Secularism & “Blue States”

These Trump/Republican tax plans target and raise taxes on those sections of the middle class (professionals, artists, intellectuals), institutions (private colleges), and areas (big cities, the West Coast, and the Northeast) that are centers of liberalism, secularism, and scientific thought. Funds from these sectors, which generally oppose the Trump/Pence regime, will be funneled to corporations, billionaires, “Red States” and rural areas the fascists dominate. Here are some of the ways the Republi-fascists are doing this in the guise of “tax reform.”

So these Trump/Republican tax bills are clearly a major assault on the people, and another way the fascist Trump/Pence regime is fighting to reshape U.S. politics and society.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/518/protests-after-trump-ends-temporary-protected-status-for-haitian-refugess-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Protests in the Streets After Trump's Ending of Temporary Protected Status for Haitian Refugees

November 21, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On November 20, Trump announced his regime is ending the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians who were unable to safely return to their homeland because of devastating earthquakes and hurricanes. This means some 60,000 Haitians now in the U.S. could be forcibly deported or forced into the shadows by July 2019. People in different cities are taking to the streets in protest. Check at revcom.us for more on the Trump/Pence regime's TPS decision this week.

 

Mar-a-Lago, Florida, outside Trump's "Winter White House"

Washington, DC:

 

 

New York - Outside Representative Peter King's office on Long Island, demanding that Temporary Protected Status be saved, and the passage of a clean DREAM Act.

Photo: Make the Road NY

Photo: Make the Road NY

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/518/Trump-Pence-announces-intention-to-deport-thousands-of-haitians-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Trump/Pence Regime Announces Intention to Deport Thousands of Haitians

November 21, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

On November 20, the fascist Trump/Pence regime announced that it intends to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for about 59,000 Haitian immigrants. This means that as of July 2019, if this order stands, those people will be subject to immediate arrest and deportation. 

TPS provides a legal status to immigrants in the U.S. from a small number of designated countries who are deemed unable to safely return to their homelands because of natural disasters or armed conflicts. TPS temporarily protects people from deportation even though they lack legal status as permanent residents, and enables them to obtain work permits.

In 2010, much of Haiti was leveled by a powerful earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people. About 1.5 million people were injured, and an equal number left homeless. Roads, power lines, and sources of drinkable water were obliterated in the already impoverished country. The meager sanitation system collapsed. Repeated cholera outbreaks killed thousands and infected hundreds of thousands of people.

The U.S. recognized the unavoidable fact that Haiti was unsafe to return to, and granted TPS status to tens of thousands of Haitians already here, and to thousands more who were able to flee in the months after the disaster. In the seven years since, most of these immigrants have been working, mainly at low-paying jobs in New York and in the tourist enclaves of Florida. Many arrived as children and are now teenagers and young adults who have spent most of their lives in this country.

Now all of them are being told they will have to get out. A single mother of three children told the Miami Herald, “I do not believe I will survive one month in Haiti. I’ve been here for so long. My whole life is here...This is home, so when they tell you to go back, where am I going to?”

Part of a Broader Assault

This attack against Haitians is part of a broader assault on TPS by the Trump/Pence regime. This month, a spokesperson for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the State Department recommends ending TPS for people from several countries in the Caribbean and Central America. The website Vox reported, “The administration will make decisions about their fates over the next few months. And it’s expected to tell all of these people that they’re no longer welcome.”

In October, the Department of Homeland Security ended TPS for people from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. This month, it announced that 2,500 Nicaraguans driven from their homes by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 will not have their TPS renewed and have to leave the country within 14 months; and 57,000 Hondurans forced from their homes by the same storm were recently told their status will be “reviewed” in six months. A Trump official announced this month that “it is possible that the TPS designation for Honduras may be terminated with an appropriate delay at the end of the 6-month period.”

Lying Pretexts for Ethnic Cleansing

An unnamed “senior official” in Trump’s regime told the Washington Post that these decisions just reflect that the original horrific conditions that gave rise to a TPS designation no longer exist: “The law is relatively explicit that if the conditions on the ground do not support a TPS designation, then the secretary must terminate the TPS designation.” In other words, these countries are now being declared “stable” and “safe” for people’s return.

This is utter bullshit, a thin attempt to cover what amounts to the ethnic cleansing of 300,000 mainly Black and Brown people by the fascist Trump/Pence regime over the next year and a half. People living here legally. People who have suffered incalculably already. People whose home countries were ransacked and shredded by decades of U.S. domination. (See revcom.us article “Truth Amidst the Rubble in Haiti: The U.S. is the Problem, Not the Solution.”)

In the case of Haiti, less than two months before the State Department declared it safe for Haitians to return, it issued a “Haiti Travel Warning” to U.S. citizens, warning them to “carefully consider the risks of traveling to Haiti due to its current security environment and lack of adequate medical facilities and response.” Even this only hints at the bitter reality behind the regime’s outrageous claims of “stability” in Haiti.

Haiti remains one of the poorest countries on earth. The website Foodtank: The Think Tank for Food reported that nearly one-third of the country’s population was “food insecure” in early 2016—before two major hurricanes tore across the island and further devastated its agriculture. Nearly a quarter of its people live on less than $1.23 a day. People being deported back to Haiti from the Dominican Republic, with which Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola, are having enormous difficulty finding jobs or homes.

Homeless, destitute children crowd the cities. And as one young woman said, “The hardest thing is finding a job.” People are struggling to get by any way they can, often relying on money from relatives in the U.S. and Canada to close the gap between extremely low-wage jobs and outright starvation. One quarter of Haiti’s national income comes from these remittances, which will now be reduced as people are deported.

The regime is also trying to justify its ethnic cleansing by portraying Haitians as criminals. According to the Associated Press, when John Kelly was head of Homeland Security (before he became Trump’s chief of staff), one of his underlings directed her department to find out “how often Haitians with temporary status have been convicted of ‘crimes of any kind,’ and how many have taken advantage of public benefits.”

Kelly must know that people can’t continue in TPS if they have been convicted of even minor offenses. As Randolph McGrorty of Catholic Legal Services in South Florida pointed out, “If you have two misdemeanors, no matter how minor, or one felony, you’re not eligible for TPS,” and once in the program, “they have to demonstrate [a clean record] every 18 months.” Kelly is probably also aware that 80 percent of Haitians in this country are employed.

These attempts to paint Haitians as criminals have nothing to do with the truth. It is about trying to portray a whole group of people as “criminals,” in order to justify committing great crimes against them.

Urgently Needed: Massive Protest

People have already begun protesting Trump’s announcement. On Tuesday, November 21, hundreds of people of different nationalities protested Trump’s attacks on TPS at his Mar-a-Lago resort in south Florida, where he is spending the holiday, and there were protests in several other cities. More protests are planned, including a demonstration in Washington, D.C. in early December.

The attack on TPS and other white-supremacist assaults are part and parcel of what Trump means when he says he is putting “America First.” They must be opposed by growing numbers of people of all backgrounds and nationalities. And the fascist regime pushing these vicious attacks must be driven from power.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/fascist-showdown-over-the-consumer-protection-agency-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Fascist Showdown Over the Consumer Protection Agency

November 28, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

FLASH: In the last week the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau resigned. In the wake of this, there has been contention between Donald Trump and the current acting head of the CFPB about who will lead this agency. And the different parties went to federal court for a ruling. As we post this, Judge Kelly has ruled in favor of Trump’s appointment to the CFPB.  The following article describes what this contention is all about and the stakes involved.

 

This showdown in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a pretty big deal.  Last week, Richard Cordray, the director of the CFPB, left the agency.  According to the rules of the agency, when a director resigns, the chief of staff becomes the acting director until the end of the term.  However, in violation of these rules, Donald Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney to take over.  Both Mulvaney, and the rightful acting director, Leandra English, showed up to work as head of the agency on Monday and now a legal showdown is ensuing over who will go forward as the recognized director.

On one level, this is a move by Trump to demolish any restraints on banks and predatory lending which will be very bad for the people.  Mulvaney has openly and repeatedly expressed his desire to see the entire agency dismantled.  In his first day as Trump’s man in charge, he already announced a hiring freeze for the entire agency and a ban on any new regulations.

Right now, two different people claim to be the rightful head of the agency, issuing instructions for the agency that are directly at odds.  This inherently undermines the agency no matter what comes of this round, and forces people in the agency to reveal where they line up in the split—further undermining the ability of such an agency to function in the future and making clear to the Regime who they most would want to go after.

But, on an even more overarching level, this is a frontal attack on the rule of law and separation of powers with extremely far-reaching and dangerous implications.  Trump has no legal right to appoint an acting director—this is explicit in the rules of the agency as specified in the Dodd-Frank Act, the act of Congress which created the CFPB.  So, right there is an assault on the rule of law and separation of powers, the assertion of the President that he will do what he wants even if it is against the law.  But that is not all.  Mulvaney is part of Trump’s cabinet—so it is a violation of separation of powers for him to simultaneously head up a watchdog agency, which is supposed to have independence.

Then, you have the ominous situation where the emergency lawsuit challenging this lunacy filed by Leandra English (the rightful head of CFPB) is being heard by Timothy J. Kelly—a new federal judge appointed in a rushed proceeding by Trump and who is a member of the Federalist Society, a group that sees almost no legitimate restraint on the power of the President.  It is revealing that, according to the Washington Post, Kelly asked Leandra English’s lawyer “why the court should undertake the ‘extraordinary remedy’ of enjoining the president from exercising the power of his office”—despite the fact that it is written into the law that it is not in the power of the president’s office to appoint an interim director.  This does not bode well—not for this particular case, and not for the future.

This is not normal.  This is part of the destruction of any previously existing checks on executive authority.  It is part of the consolidation of a fascist America.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/first-trial-of-the-anti-trump-inauguration-day-protesters-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

First Trial of the Anti-Trump Inauguration Day Protesters Now Underway:
A MAJOR Escalation of Political Repression that MUST Be Opposed

November 28, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On November 20, the trial of six people arrested last January 20 during a defiant protest against Donald Trump’s inauguration began in District of Columbia Superior Court, a federal court. This is the first of a series of trials expected to go on through 2018. There are nearly 200 defendants in all, many facing 60 years in jail. They are known as the J20 Defendants.

This prosecution is an act of revenge against the protests that erupted as Trump took office, showing the whole world that there were millions in the U.S. who hate Trump and everything he stands for. The regime was deeply stung by the fact that its “big day” was covered on “split screen”—one showing a disgusting fascist spectacle (with relatively small crowds) and the other showing determined protesters in the streets at several demonstrations, including a march from McPherson Square that grew to 4,000 people, and another of about 700 people that was attacked by the police in Franklin Square. This rebuke to Trump continued the next day as millions took part in the Women’s Marches in D.C. and around the country.

But these trials are more than just revenge—they are a major escalation of fascist repression, with extremely ominous implications.

The government claims that these defendants are being prosecuted because shop windows were broken. But in her opening argument, U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff said (according to journalist Chip Gibbons, who was in the courtroom): “I’ll be very clear. We don’t believe any of the defendants personally engaged in property destruction.” [Our emphasis.]

So if the defendants didn’t damage any property, why are they facing 60 years in jail? “Kerkhoff argued that the defendants were as guilty as those who actually vandalized the businesses because they continued to walk with the group through the city.… It was their choice to stay.” (Washington Post, November 20)

As preparation for the danger of brutal attacks by the police or by fascist supporters of Trump (both of which are common occurrences), medics took part in the march—and they too were arrested. By the logic of the U.S. Attorney, their presence was further evidence that the whole protest was a criminal enterprise—Kerkhoff said, “Oh, these medics, they’re not your first aid technician at a charity walk. Oh, no. They had tourniquets and gauze.” Tourniquets and gauze??

One of the people on trial now was there as a journalist, taking pictures and streaming the event. But supposedly because his voiceover showed sympathy with the demonstration, his act of reporting is also treated as a major crime.

According to the federal government, every single person at a protest is 100 percent responsible for any action that any individual or group takes or is alleged to take. Here the government is forging a legal tool that could severely criminalize even peaceful participation in any tumultuous protest. And it is not just targeting those who participate—the government is trying to obtain the URLs (web addresses) of over one million people who simply went to the protest organizers’ website! So even thinking about joining this protest is being criminalized.

What Actually Happened on January 20, 2017

Not only is the legal logic of the prosecution’s case straight-up fascist but their factual argument turns reality upside down. The U.S. Attorney showed brief snippets of video focused on people breaking windows, as if this characterized the protest. (She also showed and referred to a limousine that was set on fire—but didn’t mention that this occurred five hours after the defendants were taken into police custody.)

By contrast, the defense showed extensive footage of the march when it set off. Describing the footage, Chip Gibbons said, “… [I]t was just a normal march. There was one person with a dog. There was one person who their leg was injured up on a scooter. So, clearly not a violent mob, a normal march. A handful of people broke some trashcans and a parking meter. But beyond that, it was very clearly a protest based on the video I saw during opening evidence.”

And it should be noted that a massive force of heavily armed DC police (who had purchased $300,000 worth of military equipment in preparation) violently attacked the protesters! According to the National Lawyers Guild, not long after the march set off, “The police, without warning, fired pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and flashbombs at protesters. The police tactics including kettling a large group of protesters, including at least one NLG Legal Observer, and spraying them with chemicals.” (Kettling refers to bottling in a large number of people and then arresting them en masse.)

Resistance by the protesters in self-defense against this brutal police attack is completely legitimate!

Several hundred people were held in police custody on the street for nine hours, without food, water, bathrooms, or medical care. There is footage of cops wantonly dousing people with pepper spray, including elderly and disabled people. Then over 200 were arrested and jailed for another 24 hours, with many still denied food or medical care. Four are suing the DC police for sexual assault while in custody.

Support the J20 Defendants, Oppose the Trump/Pence Regime’s Fascist Repression

A lot is at stake in these trials. The J20 Defendants should be vigorously defended and supported. And their spirit of determination to struggle and sacrifice in the interests of humanity should be called forth from thousands and millions who need to act with ever more defiance and determination to drive this regime from power.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/korea-the-danger-of-war-intensifies-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Korea: Every Moment the Trump/Pence Regime is in Power, the Danger of War Intensifies

November 29, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The media is reporting that North Korea conducted a missile test on November 28 that demonstrated its capability for long range attacks, spanning a range that potentially includes U.S. territory. These could—in the future—be loaded with nuclear warheads, making them lethal and devastating. This is being used to whip up fear of U.S lives at risk, and further propagate the logic and rhetoric of war against North Korea.

Trump ominously stated that he “will take care of it” and Senator Lindsey Graham, a stalwart of the US national security establishment, said “we’re headed to war if things don’t change." Since summer, Trump has been escalating the rhetoric of war against North Korea, threatening to rain “fire and fury” and “totally destroy” North Korea

This is dangerous for the people of the world, for people in the Korean peninsula and the region. The Korean peninsula is heavily militarized and densely populated, and deaths and destruction from nuclear war would be catastrophic. Losses in lives from such a war range in estimates from hundreds of thousands to millions. Some experts estimate the fatalities at possibly a million in the first day alone.

The ground being sown in public opinion and the logic being put forth is that it is unacceptable for a regime like North Korea to have missiles that could strike the U.S. with nuclear weapons—and it may be necessary and acceptable to go to war to prevent this possibility, even with catastrophic consequences. Articulating this earlier, Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that US military action against North Korea isn’t “unimaginable,” even though “anyone who has been alive since WW II has never seen the loss of life that could occur if there’s a conflict on the Korean peninsula.” Yet, what’s unimaginable Dunford said, is “allowing a capability that would allow a nuclear weapon to land in Denver, Colorado.”

While this scenario is “unimaginable” in Dunford’s view, the U.S. on the other hand has far greater destructive powers—by orders of magnitude—in its ability to strike North Korea with nuclear weapons. This asymmetry is justified in the framework of bone-deep American chauvinism, sitting atop an imperialist system.

Whipping up fear, the underlying logic propagated is a rationale of incurring costs in millions and millions of other peoples’ lives to keep America “safe!” This was evident in what Lindsey Graham had earlier quoted about how Trump views the situation: “If there’s going to be a war to stop [Kim Jong Un, the leader of the North Korean regime], it will be over there. If thousands die, they're going to die over there. They’re not going to die here. And [Trump’s] told me that to my face,” Graham continued. “That may be provocative, but not really. When you’re president of the United States, where does your allegiance lie? To the people of the United States.”

NO!, American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives!

As a basic point of orientation, There is NO justification whatsoever for military action or preemptive war against North Korea, of first use of nuclear weapons. However, by U.S. law, doctrine and policy, Trump has the executive power to launch nuclear strikes, with few checks and balances.

Nuclear brinksmanship of this order is fraught with hair trigger situations with tremendous potential for misreading of events and situations, and heightens the role of accident in triggering a catastrophic, even nuclear war. These events could be as simple as faulty radar readings or even radar testing.

All this greatly increases the danger and possibility of war, and any moves toward this have to be fiercely resisted—for, and in the name of the humanity!

Every moment this fascist regime is in power, the threat and imminence of war intensifies ... This REGIME NEEDS TO BE DRIVEN FROM POWER AT THE SOONEST POSSIBLE TIME.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/trump-tweets-neo-nazi-propaganda-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Führer Trump Tweets Neo-Nazi Anti-Muslim Propaganda
There Is No Innocence in Looking Away
The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

by Sunsara Taylor

November 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Wednesday, Donald Trump used the bully pulpit of the U.S. presidency to spread neo-Nazi anti-Muslim propaganda to the world. With three tweets, he elevated a white supremacist fascist group in England, which has mobilized mosque invasions and publicly and pridefully harassed average Muslims on the street, to the international stage. But that is not all. With a move straight out of the Nazi propaganda playbook, these tweets—which purported to show several groups of particular Muslims carrying out acts of brutality and religious bigotry—were used to portray all Muslims as dehumanized, barbaric enemies.

Make no mistake: this is NOT a “distraction.” This is NOT just the president “acting crazy” or proving himself “unstable.” There is a dangerous—truly, a genocidal—message being sent.

This is the white supremacist propaganda of a fascist regime—and it is not isolated.

It is consistent with Trump’s declaration that Muslims hate us and his advocacy for a Muslim registry and a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the country.

It is consistent with Trump’s paid ads in 1989 calling for the death penalty to be brought back at the time of the railroad of the innocent Central Park 5, or his declaration that there were “fine people” amidst the murderous white supremacists in Charlottesville.

It is consistent with Trump calling Black NFL players who protest police brutality and murder “sons of bitches” and demanding that they be fired.

It is consistent with Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, upholding the Confederate General Robert E. Lee as an “honorable man.”

It is consistent with Trump’s adoration of Andrew Jackson—the notorious Indian-killer and architect of the Trail of Tears—and standing in front of Jackson’s portrait as he hurled the name “Pocahontas” as a racist slur to Navajo Code Talkers just days ago.

History has shown where this kind of dehumanization and demonization leads. No one can claim the innocence of ignorance.

There is an organization in this country that has, since the very beginning of this regime, identified it as fascist and called out the catastrophic danger it poses not only to people in this country but to all of humanity. There is an organization in this country that has opened its arms wide to embrace and involve people coming from a great diversity of perspectives to act on the reality that only the people can stop this nightmare of fascism now being hammered into place—and that this can only be done by driving this regime from power through mass, nonviolent, political protest that does not stop until its demand is met: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

That organization is Refuse Fascismrefusefascism.org.

The hour is late. The danger is clear. Now is the time to overcome fear and uncertainty and to join with thousands and soon millions across this country to say: ENOUGH! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/christian-clergy-and-lay-people-protest-immoral-tax-bill-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Washington, DC: Christian Clergy and Lay People Carry Out Righteous Protest Against “Immoral” Trump-Republican Tax Bill

November 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

From A Reader:

The Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, echoed Thursday morning, Nov 30, with the voices of dozens of Christian clergy and lay people as they called out the senators within who were right then deliberating on a tax bill that the protesters denounced as immoral.

The action was tagged #2000Verses, and the protesters read aloud a few of the 2000 bible verses that, in their view, illustrate god’s “special concern for those in poverty.” They continued to read as the Capitol police surrounded them and gave them three warnings over a bullhorn to “cease and desist.” Rather than cease, however, one protester shouted out a “final warning” to the senators that “your souls are in danger!” Another minister read a bible verse that said, “And now you are a city full of murderers.” The police moved in and arrested twelve of them as they continued to read out loud, tied their hands behind their backs with zip ties, and led them out of the building. One of the clergy shouted as she was led away, “Oh God, you are great above all kings...all authorities in heaven and on earth...greater than all senators, all governors...” This was an outspoken act of conscience that was meant as a call to others to also act on theirs.

A statement on the Sojourners website explained their reasons for the action. “The tax bill being voted on this week in the Senate will blow up the deficit in order to cut taxes for the wealthiest while cutting programs for the poor and vulnerable. That moral choice is immoral and contrary to the priority of the poor in our Scriptures. So we are calling Christians to act. This comes after endless meetings and calls with our members of Congress, countless statements, press releases, sermons, and lobbying and praying for and with the most vulnerable. It is now time for nonviolent, faith-based, civil disobedience for those called and for all of us to present what God says in our Scriptures about the poor to every member of the Senate who is about to vote for a bill that would devastate low-income people and families.”

While the protesters did not utter Trump’s name or call out this regime as fascist, online supporters referenced Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor who led the Confessing Church, an underground faith-based movement of resistance to the Nazi regime, and who remains widely influential today. He was eventually captured and executed by the Nazis. Supporters also commented that, instead of worrying about a fictitious “war on Christmas,” Christians should “act on their responsibility to the poor.”

Today’s action stepped outside the boundaries of politics as usual, of relying solely on lobbying, signing petitions, and even praying. It was meant as a clarion call to others to engage in civil disobedience based on their faith. “Christ was arrested, put on trial, and condemned—for refusing to sell out his faith,” read the headline of an article posted on Sojourners Facebook page hours after the arrests. There could be little doubt about who these protesters viewed as the sell-outs. “Christ, Not America, First,” read another caption on their Facebook page the evening of the action.

This is a welcome development in the breadth and militancy of faith-based opposition to the escalating fascist nightmares that are constricting dissent and threatening millions of lives, an example that needs to be upheld and spread, grow more determined, and deepen in its rejection of this fascist regime.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/flynn-pleads-guilty-struggle-in-ruling-class-sharpens-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Flynn Pleads Guilty—Struggle in Ruling Class Sharpens
It’s Still on US—Now More Than Ever—to Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime!

December 1, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Today, Trump’s former National Security Advisor, Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Russia’s ambassador. Flynn has confirmed that he’s cooperating with the investigation of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

This represents a real and sharpening struggle within the ranks of the U.S. ruling class. MSNBC and CNN are reporting that Mueller is “climbing the ladder”—using the testimony of officials to testify against and implicate those above them in Trump’s chain-of-command, perhaps at some point reaching Trump himself. This guilty plea is a major step in that direction.

No doubt many liberals, progressives, and people who generally hate and fear Trump hope that this investigation will lead to Trump’s indictment and/or removal from office.

The following two paragraphs provide a crucial framework for understanding these latest developments:

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

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

1. In that light, the Mueller investigation (and other congressional investigations of the Trump campaign) are the sharp manifestations of a fierce struggle within the U.S. imperialist ruling class. While this is being battled out within the ruling class on their terms, when there is such acute struggle in the ranks of the rulers, this necessitates and does provide openings for thousands and ultimately millions to act to drive out this fascist Trump regime. Big moves are afoot, and while no one can predict where these moves might lead, the people must act. We must seize on this and step up the struggle for people in the interests of humanity.

2. These investigations are often the means through which the rulers settle differences within their own ranks. People are taught they have no active role in this process—other than picking one side or the other—and letting the system “work.” But as we write above, the independent historical action of millions can play a decisive role when deep contradictions are playing out among the rulers.

3. Even if Mueller’s investigation does lead to Trump, this would not in itself lead to the removal of his regime stuffed with fascists from VP Mike Pence on down. Second, Trump has made it crystal clear he’s not willing to “go quietly into the night.” He’s said the whole investigation is an illegitimate “witchhunt” and this summer called on Republicans to end it. And like a cornered rat, faced with the prospect of losing power, and while we cannot predict what Trump’s response will be, it is likely he will double-down (or “escape forward”) to consolidate fascism—including perhaps firing Mueller, escalating his attacks on his opponents and moving quickly to repress those in society who are resisting.

4. This is a very dangerous situation. As revcom.us has written before: If anything, any sense that Trump is losing political ground within the U.S. will make it more, not less, likely that he will go to war. Such a war would enable the regime to carry out severe repression within the U.S.  and gain support on a “rally round the flag” basis. Right now, there is not a single major Democrat offering any substantial or consistent criticism of this.

5. All this underscores the urgency of Refuse Fascism’s mission to bring thousands into the streets in mass, non-violent, sustained political protest and resistance, growing to millions with one demand: Trump and Pence Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America!

This is a moment when the determined action by millions could interact with the fissures in the ruling class to create a situation in which it’s possible to drive this regime out. This is an opening which can provide for struggle from below. BUT ONLY IF WE ACT WITH COURAGE, CONVICTION, AND DETERMINATION—IN OUR THOUSANDS GROWING TO MILLIONS!

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/stand-with-and-support-revolution-books-berkeley-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Revcom.us received this statement from Revolution Books Berkeley:

Stand With & Support Revolution Books: STILL Under Fascist Assault – we will not back down!

Make Berkeley a Fascist Free Zone! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

December 1, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Over the last two months, on 9 separate occasions, Revolution Books has been attacked and harassed by fascist mobs screaming taunts, threats and “USA. USA.” They dress in alt-right regalia, carrying an assortment of Trump and American flags, jabbing their cameras in our faces. They have physically assaulted supporters of the store. They wage an online campaign against our bookstore, deluge the store with threatening phone calls. People who come to our events have had to walk past or through these MAGA (Make America Great Again) hat wearing zealots who try to video and intimidate them.

As recently as November 11th, fascists came from as far away as Oregon to People’s Park – a place created as part of Berkeley’s radical history of standing against oppression and standing up to those in power – to hold a fascist “Patriot Prayer” rally. They marched around Telegraph Avenue, rallied again at Sproul Plaza, and then about 30 of them mobbed our store. And they have promised to keep coming back.

They have targeted Revolution Books because we are the intellectual center of a movement for revolution aimed at bringing into being a radically different and far better world, envisioned in a new communism. Revolution Books brings people together to learn about and engage the world in a deep, scientific, and revolutionary way. Revolution Books works to end white supremacy, emancipate women, and liberate all humanity. In opposition to narrow America-first chauvinism, we proceed from – and invite people to learn about – the interests of people all over the world. As part of all this, Revolution Books has thrown into the struggle to drive the fascist Trump/Pence regime from power – working to understand the roots and dynamics of what has brought us to this situation, the historic lessons and warnings, and what is required to prevent the catastrophe for humanity threatened by this regime.

At the foundation of Revolution Books is the most advanced scientific theory and leadership for an actual revolution for the emancipation of humanity – the new synthesis of communism brought forward by the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian.

The fascists – backed up and unleashed by the regime in power – hate all this and want to see it crushed and destroyed. While they cynically cry about “free speech” they are in fact foot soldiers of an all-around fascist regime which is rapidly escalating its assault on free speech and civil liberties, gutting of the separation of powers and separation of church and state, unleashing xenophobia, misogyny and white supremacy, attacking science, and threatening the world with nuclear war.

As part of this program, these fascists have specifically targeted Berkeley and UC Berkeley because they see this as a historical center of critical thinking and a symbol of resistance to oppression, in particular concentrated in its radical legacy and multicultural and progressive character.

The still common attitude of “just ignore them, they will go away” denies that the fascist street fighters have been called forth and are backed by the highest levels of power. In addition to murdering a hero in Charlottesville (which they celebrate), they mob public officials, political organizations, professors, and others who stand up against them with verbal attacks and death threats via phone and internet from networks across the country. And they are on the march, determined not to back down. We refuse to shrink in the face of this, and call on you to join us. In addition to spreading the mission of Revolution Books, we aim to unite very broadly, across all political viewpoints, to bring forward the thousands and millions needed to drive this regime from power, through mass, sustained, political protest. We say NO! We refuse to normalize – and accommodate ourselves to – fascism.

With the people of the world in our hearts, we must refuse to let them have their way – at Revolution Books, or in Berkeley, or in the country. People in Berkeley need to confront the situation we are in, and stand up. The people who have posted signs denouncing hate in their windows and stood together in our thousands against these forces on August 26 in SF and on August 27 in Berkeley, have taken beginning steps that must be followed up with courage and determination: In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America!

The fascists should not feel welcome in Berkeley, or anywhere else. We need to make Berkeley Berkeley again. We call on Mayor Arreguin to publicly state that they are unwelcome. Hold a town hall where people can testify.

We call on the City Council to pass the pending Social Justice Commission’s resolution against fascism. We call on the city to print posters which actually oppose fascism, that businesses can post as they refuse service to these fascists. And the people must fill the streets and parks with determined resistance of every kind.

What You Can Do:

It can make a huge difference what we do and how we act. And this can be the beginning of even bigger and more fundamental change.

Stand with and Support Revolution Books!
Make Berkeley a Fascist Free Zone.
The Nightmare Must End, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.

REVOLUTION BOOKS 
2444 DURANT AVE.
BERKELEY, CA 94704
RevolutionBooks.org
510-848-1196

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/graduate-students-walk-out-nationwide-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

Graduate Students Walk Out Nationwide—
Refuse to Have their Education Stolen by the Trump/Pence Regime!

December 1, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Grad students at more than 55 universities across the country walked out of their research labs and the classes they teach simultaneously on November 29 and rallied, marched and held teach-ins to denounce provisions in the House version of the Trump/Pence-Republican tax bill that threaten their ability to continue their education. If the tax bill now in Congress becomes law and contains these provisions, for the first time the government will treat as taxable income the waiver (dropping) of the graduate students’ cost of tuition. This will affect the ability of an estimated 150,000 grad students, who work long hours as teaching assistants (TAs) and researchers, to be able to survive financially and continue their education.

For example, an article at Atlantic.com titled “The Republican War on College” describes what effect the bill would have on a graduate student at MIT who studies mental-health disorders: “She is paid $33,000 for up to 80 hours of weekly work as a teacher and researcher, but she pays nothing for her tuition, which is priced at $51,000. By counting that tuition as income, the GOP plan would raise her tax bill by about $9,000.”

The November 29 demos were organized by two quickly formed student groups, #GradTaxWalkOut and #SaveGradEd, with support from the UAW (United Automobile Workers), which represents many working graduate students. In New York City over 100 students from NYU, CUNY, New School, and Columbia University held a spirited rally at Union Square to condemn the House bill. They brought signs such as “Tax the Rich, Not the Poor—You won’t have TAs no more”; “No Humanity without the Humanities”; and “Hell Hath No Fury Like Hungry Grad Students!” Students took the mic to share their stories and talk about the damage to higher education if the tax bill becomes law. An international student from the New School said he and many students like him won’t be able to afford to continue their education. And that means they’ll have to leave the country or be deported, because they won’t meet their visa’s income requirement anymore. An activist  with Refuse Fascism was invited to give a statement at the end of the rally.

In Southern California, graduate students at UCLA, UC Riverside, UC Irvine, USC and Cal Tech held walkouts and rallies. At UCLA over 100 graduate and undergraduate students rallied and marched across campus. Hundreds rallied at USC, where a grad student studying clinical science expressed the feelings of those who walked out: “If this bill passes, I don’t know if I will continue my [doctorate degree]—and this is my dream.” There were also protests at the Universities of Wisconsin, Kentucky and Oklahoma; at Duke, Yale and Harvard; and many other campuses. The walkouts were followed up the next day by the delivery of 3,500 petitions opposing the change to Democratic Party Congress members.

There are other provisions in the tax bill that attack higher education, including a cap (or limit) on the size of government loans for college tuition—making it nearly impossible for low-income students to attend the more expensive, elite universities. It also targets the endowments of the top-tier private universities. In all, the House tax bill cuts benefits to higher education by $60 billion over the next decade. A PhD student in sociology, who attended the rally of 150 students, faculty and administrators at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told Huffington Post how significant these changes could be on higher education overall:

Without graduate students as a workforce on campus, higher education as we know it will cease to exist. We teach the majority of introductory coursework at all research universities in the U.S. so without us disciplines like the humanities, social sciences, and the arts cannot function. This proposed bill represents the political agenda of the right—to dismantle liberal arts education and critical thinking.

Graduate studies play a key role in advancing knowledge: in medicine and in the sciences, including the study of climate change and what it will take to prevent a catastrophe for humanity. Scholarship in history has brought out important truths, for example about the history of Black people and slavery in this country and the continuation of oppression in new forms today. And grad students contribute to the education of undergraduates they teach and mentor. An atmosphere where critical thinking and the search for the truth have room to breathe is seen as an obstacle and threat by the Trump/Pence regime and their fascist cohorts in Congress, and they are moving to destroy the role and influence of academia in public life.

The students revcom.us spoke to at the November 29 protest opposed Trump and were aware of the regime’s attacks on different fronts—and some expressed deep concern about what’s happening, in some cases calling it “neo-fascism.” Look for plans for further protests under #GradTaxWalkOut and #SaveGradEd. The struggle of the grad students must be broadly supported—and needs to become a part of the movement to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/UMichigan-students-boldly-protest-white-supremacy-fascism-en.html

Revolution #519 November 27, 2017

University of Michigan Students Boldly Protest White Supremacy and Fascism

December 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Chanting “No Spencer, No KKK, No fascist USA,” hundreds of University of Michigan students walked out of classes on Wednesday, November 29 to protest the administration’s plan to allow Nazi white supremacist Richard Spencer to speak on the campus. After the election last year, Spencer led a gathering of fascists in shouts of “Hail Trump!” and he was among the Nazi white nationalist mob at Charlottesville this summer. The students marched across campus, blocked traffic, and disrupted classes, calling to their fellow students, “If you are with us, join us.” Teams of students would run ahead of the main body of the protest, opening doors to classrooms to make their message known, while others would step into the classrooms, give brief speeches, and then head back outside to rejoin the march.

Despite the pressure of finals and term papers, a coalition of student groups called for the week of action and for a full student strike on Thursday, November 30. Several deans sent out letters to faculty members to hold classes instead of honoring the students strike. A statement from the students read: “The recent decision to ‘begin discussions with Richard Spencer’s group to determine whether he will be allowed to rent space’ on the University of Michigan’s campus demonstrates, as we have learned time and time again, the administration’s refusal to truly prioritize the needs and safety of its students. Though President Mark Schlissel stated ‘if we cannot assure a reasonably safe setting for the event, we will not allow it to go forward,’ Spencer’s history shows us there is no ‘safe’ setting possible when white supremacists and neo-Nazis are given permission to come to college campuses.”

On Thursday morning, a couple dozen students staged a sit-in at the office of the Dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. They posted a handwritten sign on the door reading “U of M upholds white supremacy as usual.” There was also a standing room only teach-in Thursday with various elected officials, with some trying to channel the protests into electoral dead ends while some argued for the students to stand strong.

One of the student coordinators of the protests said, “I think what a lot of people have been saying is, ‘Why don’t you just ignore him? Why don’t you just ignore this and let him do his thing?’ Are we supposed to just ignore actual Nazis...? Do we just say, ‘Oh, it’ll solve itself?’ Let’s look at everything else that has happened in history. We can look at what happened with Hitler, we can look at slavery—a lot of people sat there and said we’re going to let this happen, but if everybody had done that, if everyone had said, ‘Let’s just let them do their thing,’ it never would have ended.”

The students’ militant protest and the spirit of this protest coordinator’s comment are important to unite with. In both instances—Hitler and slavery—too many people did sit it out for too long and did not act in due time. As Refuse Fascism has made clear: “You cannot try to ‘wait things out.’ Those who lived through Nazi Germany and sat on the sidelines, looking on as Hitler demonized, criminalized, and eventually rounded up one group after another, became shameful collaborators with monstrous crimes.”

As fascist foot soldiers like Richard Spencer are being unleashed and encouraged from the top levels of the U.S. ruling class, there is urgency to bring to these rebelling students the urgent need to drive out the whole fascist regime from power—and for these and many, many more students to become part of a broad, massive movement with the unifying focus of “In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.”