Revolution #520, December 4, 2017 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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

Revolution #520 December 4, 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 #520 December 4, 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/520/us-rulers-want-you-to-accept-genocide-against-koreans-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

The U.S. Rulers Want You to Use Your Imagination... to Accept Genocide Against Koreans

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

After North Korea announced its latest ballistic missile test last week, ruling class voices in the U.S. further turned up the dial on their war threats and building of public opinion for war. Donald Trump declared ominously, “We will take care of it.” His defense secretary, General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, accused North Korea of building “a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, a key figure in the U.S. military and “national security” establishment, said “we’re headed to war if things don’t change” and warned China about “what happens in their backyard if we attack North Korea.”

Joining in the fear-mongering about the North Korean “threat,” the New York Times ran a number of articles and a video report on how the latest North Korean missile was supposedly “far bigger,” “more advanced,” and “more destructive” than any before. Other media stories asked how “prepared” are the people in the U.S. for possible nuclear strikes—including simulations of what such a strike might look like in a city like Los Angeles. Which brings up the question: Where are the articles about the much greater and immediate threat of U.S. attacks on North Korea and simulations of what an American nuclear strike would mean for the millions of children, women, and men in Pyongyang and other cities and towns of North Korea?!

A U.S. war on North Korea—whatever the specific justification about who “fired first”—would be an immense crime and pose tremendous dangers for people not only in the Korean Peninsula and the region, but the whole world. The Korean Peninsula is heavily militarized and densely populated, and even a “conventional” war—one that starts out with the use of non-nuclear weapons—will cause catastrophic death and destruction and could quickly spiral into a nuclear war. Experts say such a war could lead to a million lives lost in the first day alone.

Earlier, in the summer, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Joseph Dunford, spelled out the logic that the rulers want to draw people into. Dunford said for the U.S., using the “military option” against North Korea “is not unimaginable”—even though, in his words, “anyone who has been alive since World War II has never seen the loss of life that could occur if there’s a conflict on the Korean Peninsula.” Dunford went on to say that what is “unimaginable” is “allowing a capability that would allow a nuclear weapon to land in Denver, Colorado”—in other words, for the North Korean regime to develop a nuclear deterrent that might discourage or prevent the U.S. from launching an all-out attack, and that might make America look weak to its rival powers and challengers to its domination around the world.

So under this logic, it is perfectly “imaginable” and acceptable for the U.S.—the world’s biggest and most destructive military power by far, with thousands of nuclear weapons—to not only threaten but actually carry out a genocidal war to wipe out a small country of 25 million people. And the people in the U.S. are not to stretch their imagination beyond me, me, me—the supposed interests of myself, my family, and my country—conceived of as narrowly as possible.

To anyone with a shred of humanity, such a way of thinking should be utterly repellant and unacceptable. But this criminal logic is precisely what the U.S. rulers are trying to lead people in this country to accept and even support.

The means the rulers are using are to whip up fear and drill into people the view that what is of utmost importance is to keep America and Americans “safe.” Listen to what Lindsey Graham—portrayed as one of the “saner” forces among Republicans—had to say earlier about what Trump told him face-to-face: “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.” (emphasis added)

This is the kind of monstrous, immoral, imperialist calculation that you will be drawn into, and become complicit in, if you find yourself nodding your head in agreement to all the war-mongering talk about the North Korean “threat” coming from Trump and Pence and their generals, as well as Republicans and Democrats in the Congress and mainstream media, from Fox and Breitbart to MSNBC and New York Times.

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

There is absolutely NO justification whatsoever for U.S. military action or preemptive war against North Korea, including the use of nuclear weapons.

For those who say a U.S. war that kills millions in the Korean peninsula is “unimaginable”: The U.S. slaughter of three million Koreans in the 1950s and three million Vietnamese in the 1960s, as well as countless other horrors, have not just been imagined but actually carried out by the U.S. imperialists in the past.

And now, with the Trump/Pence fascist regime moving to consolidate control, the immediate danger to the people of Korea—and, indeed, to all of humanity—is greatly and intolerably heightened. Two choices are posed for everyone: To refuse to face up to the horrors that are being openly planned by the Trump/Pence regime or even to go along with it. Or to do everything in your power to prevent those horrors.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/taking-the-korea-pop-quiz-to-campuses-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

College Students Flunk Korea Quiz – Shocked At What They Learned

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The danger of the Trump/Pence regime launching, or provoking a war with North Korea becomes more imminent every day. Yet the degree to which people in this country have been kept ignorant of the most basic knowledge about the horrific war that the U.S. launched against North Korea in 1950 is extremely alarming. What follows are recent reports sent to revcom.us on taking out the quiz Before You Go Along With and Give Your Silent Approval to the Murder of Tens of Millions Koreans, Take This Quiz and See How Much You Really Know! to students at the elite University of Chicago, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the U.S., and at Columbia College. This represents a very small sampling of students, but the resulting scores are indicative of the important work that needs to be done with this test—this is a test that needs to be taken broadly to high schools as well as universities and junior colleges. And even as the universities must be defended from the vicious attacks from the fascists, it is important that students and others understand that they are still getting educated through a very narrow prism that reinforces ignorance, an upside-down (or from-me-out) view of the world and, ultimately, chauvinism—especially on issues touching on the essential nature of U.S. relations to the rest of the world.

We would like people who see these reports to take out the quiz to campuses and send in the scores to revcom.us (send to revolution.reports@yahoo.com).

 


Columbia College Students Take Korea Quiz—Shocking or Not-Too-Shocking Answers and Response

From a reader:

A couple of us in the Revolution Club together with someone newly involved with Refuse Fascism went to Columbia College in Chicago to get out the pop quiz on the history of the U.S. invasion of North Korea. There was a challenge at first in getting people to recognize the importance of the quiz, why it matters that people are so ignorant about these basics facts while Trump and his fascist regime drag the world closer to WW3 and nuclear war. This subject is so often treated as barely a footnote in history, while U.S. politicians routinely tell people to be concerned about the grave threat that North Korea poses to the world, and presents the people of North Korea as a faceless mob when they are mentioned at all.

We did start to puncture that, however, and quite a few people were provoked by the challenge being put out: “People are being silent while Trump threatens to totally destroy North Korea. Take the pop quiz; see if Columbia students know ANYTHING about the history of the U.S. invasion of North Korea.” We would also read out some of the questions from the quiz at times. In total, we had about a dozen students who stopped and took the quiz on the spot. Similar to any quiz students get in school, they took it seriously with some students smiling nervously at some questions, and all of them anxious about what they would get wrong. When they were done, we would go over their answers with them and grade the quiz. There was a common reaction of shock and surprise. One of the most common questions answered incorrectly, and which stood out in vivid shock, was the question about how many buildings in North Korea taller than one story high were destroyed by U.S. bombing. The answer is over 99 percent. People reacted viscerally, imagining the city of Chicago with only one-story tall buildings.

In addition to engaging people around the quiz, those of us in the Revolution Club were showing some of the students a clip from Bob Avakian’s talk The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible, where BA takes on gross American chauvinism and challenges people to “Free yourself from the GTF—The Great Tautological Fallacy.” This got people to really think about not JUST all the important facts about the U.S. role in the world that they don’t know anything about, but also how they have been trained to think about the U.S. role in the world. Some students, even when horrified by the reality of what the U.S. did in North Korea, were still trying to wrap their heads around why the U.S. would do these things, and had trouble coming to terms with the idea that America may NOT be a force for good in the world. Again, this was even from people who were actually concerned, not just about the ugly history, but also about the dangers of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. So with everyone we watched the clip with we told them about the need to listen to the entire talk from BA and the Q&A to really get a full picture of what we are facing and what can be done.

With most of the students who took the quiz, it opened an opportunity to get deeper into the stakes of WW3, the nightmare of the Trump/Pence fascist regime, and what we must do to end this nightmare. Students were challenged to act based on their understanding, not just about North Korea, but what humanity and the planet face. Many of the students we engaged with wanted to be involved. One student expressed enthusiasm for establishing a Refuse Fascism chapter in school. Through all this, we engaged people with the mission of Refuse Fascism, invited people to an upcoming potluck, and challenged them to become part of driving out this regime.

American Crime logo

Case #93: U.S. Invasion of Korea—1950

Read more


The U.S. Air Force carpet-bombed Korea, destroying every building in the North more than one-story tall.

University of Chicago Students Flunk the Korea Quiz

From a reader

A couple of us went out to the University of Chicago (UChicago) today and gave students the Pop Quiz on Korea posted at revcom.us and refusefascism.org. (Please take it yourself and share results: Before You Go Along With and Give Your Silent Approval to the Murder of Tens of Millions Koreans, Take ThisQuiz and See How Much You Really Know!) We distributed a couple hundred quizzes and were able to grade seven of them. At this premiere center of intellectual life, home of the most elite students, the average score was 60 percent correct. Basically, they flunked the test about a subject that is not trivial but involves Trump’s threats of nuclear annihilation against North Korea. It is of note that a leading scholar on Korea, UChicago faculty member Bruce Cumings, has been exposing the actual background and history of U.S. aggression against North Korea.

I asked one student who stopped, “How do you look at the level of danger represented by this nuclear threat, compared to the relative ignorance and complacency among students? What does ‘normalization’ look like here?” He said that on election night he was part of the “primal scream” as hundreds of students converged in the Quad to.... scream in horror. But now his peers just see Trump as a joke. I myself was at this “primal scream,” which was replicated on several campuses, and was organized in minutes on Facebook as the harsh realization of Trump’s election set in. I had watched the 2016 election returns at the Divinity School and ran out thrilled to hear the commotion converging on the Quad.

Another student initially raised this: “What is really important to me was what Trump could do in his field of study which is how he could contribute to humanity in the future.” I asked, “What future?” I posed the question that Bob Avakian posed to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman after he said Trump represents an existential threat to humanity. If this is true, what is the commensurate response? He thought and said, “What can I do?” A lot as it turns out, including as he explained he’s involved in UChicago student organizations.

A researcher we met told us how horrified she was when Trump got elected. Despairingly, she realized Trump was not gonna play by the rules. She told how she went to med school in Texas and was involved in the famous pink shoe demonstration at the Texas legislature when legislator Wendy Davis filibustered and mass protest at the statehouse shut down proceedings and stopped passage of the anti-abortion bill... temporarily. “What did we accomplish?” Here we are and she felt the Trump regime will not play by the rules so there’s nothing we can do. It never occurred to her that people could act outside the “rules,” the normal channels. Normal channels are not where opposition ends. That’s where making history begins. She is re-thinking. This exchange concentrates a lot about the chasm we have to lead people through as they realize NO ONE is going to save us and we have to break out of the normal cuz we’re not living under the normal.

While we are talking about normalization... there’s the role of head of the UChicago affiliated Institute of Politics, David Axelrod. (Axelrod was Chief Strategist for Obama’s presidential campaigns and served as Senior Advisor to President Obama up through early 2011.) He is one of the leading Democratic Party figures attacking any talk of impeachment of Trump. He despises any talk of impeachment, but Axelrod is right at home bringing to campus leading Trumpites, like Sean Spicer (when he was still Trump’s press secretary) and Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.

This campus cries out for creative “Break the Silence, Bring the Noise” action. Start at Stagg Field (a birthplace of the atomic bomb) Note: The exchanges described above occurred only a hundred yards from where the secrets of the nuclear bomb were discovered.), go visit Axelrod’s office, swing by the Medical School to SALUTE the students and faculty who just recently righteously “took a knee” action which needs to be supported, defended, and spread!


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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/the-molester-in-chief-must-go-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

Top Democrats Give Him a Free Pass, But...

THE MOLESTER-IN-CHIEF MUST GO!

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Editors note: This article was written before several Democratic senators began calling for resignation of Donald Trump over sexual assault and harassment accusations against him.

 

Democratic politicians who sexually harass and/or abuse women, like any other man who does so, should be called out. And if charges are proven, and this is part of an ongoing pattern, there should be a penalty. This whole thing has to STOP, and that is a needed part of the process of getting to a world where this really is no more.

But given what Trump has not just admitted to, but boasted about on the Access Hollywood tape... given the way his campaign founded itself on open misogyny against Hillary Clinton (and other women who “got in his way”)... given the many political crimes the Trump/Pence regime has committed against women... then nobody should call for anyone’s resignation without first calling for Trump’s. And not just calling for it, but fighting for it.

Further, a question to pose: Why is it that some of the politicians who seem to be among the most skeptical and opposed to the Trump administration—Al Franken and John Conyers in specific—are the ones who are coming under fire and, in Conyers’ case, being pressured to resign without a hearing? To let the top Democrats turn this extremely necessary and very just struggle around sexual harassment and abuse into a political football and to go along as they let it be “weaponized” by the very fascists whose program and outlook rests on and reinforces an openly vile and horrendous form of patriarchal oppression would be an irony so bitter that it must not be swallowed. This response of the Democratic leadership—to turn on opponents of Trump while saying nothing about the molester-in-chief—is once again evidence of their hopes and tendency to accommodate to the fascists, and why they cannot be relied upon in a struggle that bears very directly on the social position of all women all over the globe, and the fate of all humanity.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/the-democratic-party-is-part-of-the-problem-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

In the Struggle to Get Rid of Trump/Pence...
The Democratic Party Is Part of the Problem, NOT Part of the Solution!

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We face an urgent, indeed a crossroads, moment for humanity. You have a demented American Hitler at the controls of nuclear weapons. He—and yes, his whole administration—have adopted a posture and are grounded in a world view where the “logic of the logic” leads to war, with a very real chance of nuclear war. This has to be looked at, hard, and opposed with everything we have. As Refuse Fascism has said, “This nightmare must end, the Trump/Pence regime must go!”

In the face of this urgent need, what top leader of the Democrats has called for the removal of Trump or Pence? Indeed, Nancy Piglosi and Fuck Schumer have tried to “build bridges” to Trump. Piglosi has peremptorily and openly ruled impeachment out of order and actively rebuked those who call for it. Fuck Schumer has been played like a violin by Trump’s con-man shtick. They are willing to risk the nuclear button remaining in the hands of a psychopathic chauvinist rather than running the risk of upsetting the “proper channels.” They are willing to go along with what could very possibly be irreversible damage to the ability of humans (and other species) to even live on the planet rather than running the risks of calling millions of people into the streets. In the name of somehow containing a rabid monster, they are leading people to accommodate to it.

The Bogus Bullshit of 2018

As for the promise of 2018, this is bogus bullshit, for four reasons.

First, due to the ways in which the fascists have been able to prevent Black people and other “minority” groups from voting, and due as well to their drawing of electoral districts in ways that nullify Democratic votes, it is highly unlikely that even if a solid majority of people in the nation vote for Democrats next year, the Democrats will actually win either house of Congress.1

Second, even if the Democrats do win, Piglosi has already ruled impeachment off the table in advance, as she did in 2006 when the Democrats actually won a majority.

Third, this plan still allows Trump and Pence a free hand for the next year to do even more oppressive and vicious shit. Further, should the Democrats somehow manage to win a majority, Trump would then perceive even more necessity to preemptively use and cement executive power to impose yet more draconian, fascistic measures. He could very possibly unilaterally launch war as a pretext to severe clampdown.

Fourth, related to that and extremely important: the Democrats are certain to support Trump in any move that he undertakes toward war, or any war he actually wages (as they are essentially doing now in Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, West Africa, and elsewhere). In fact, should he go to war with North Korea—which would actually risk the whole planet—they will not just support him, but fall all over themselves to do so, as they did under George Bush I and George Bush II when they each launched major wars.

Even some of those who continue to steer people into voting as the path for change, like Michael Moore,2 say that the Democratic leaders are war mongers. And they are because the vast majority of Democratic leaders—and at the leading levels, every single Democratic leader—and more important, the Democratic Party as an institution—are "dedicated to the proposition" that the U.S. must dominate the world, and if it comes to war to do that, well, so be it.

Putting trust in leaders—and moreover institutions—like these is deadly. There is no alternative to millions taking the streets and demanding the ouster of this regime and by so doing compelling all institutions and social forces, including forces and politicians representing the ruling class and the system, to react to that.

These two paragraphs provide a crucial framework in relation to all this:

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. Elections for each of the 435 seats in the U.S. Congress are held every two years. In recent years, Democrats have received about as many votes as Republicans nationally—yet the Republicans have held a firm majority in the U.S. Congress. Results from the last four elections make this clear:

Year

Votes for Republicans

Votes for Democrats

Seats Won by Republicans

Seats Won by Democrats

2010

44,827,441

38,980,192

242

193

2012

58,228,253

59,645,531

242

193

2014

40,081,282

35,624,357

247

188

2016

63,173,815

61,776,554

241

194

The Republican majority in Congress has remained steady and basically insurmountable for years. Even in 2012, when the Democrats got more votes than the Republicans, the Republican majority remained unchanged from 2010. This is primarily a legacy of how the U.S. Constitution embedded slavery, and also gave disproportionate and ongoing power to slaveholders. Today that legacy continues in the disproportionate voting power weighted towards smaller states and rural areas, and away from major cities with their large populations of Black and Latino people, and immigrants. In addition, many Black people and Latino people, not to mention immigrants, are disenfranchised—not allowed to vote—for various reasons. [back]

2. Moore, to his credit, warns his audience that they must not follow the Democratic leadership when they do this; but by not telling people to get in the streets now, he sets them up to do the very thing he warns against. [back]

 

 


 

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

Revolution #520 December 4, 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 #520 December 4, 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/rev-books-nyc-forum-the-horror-of-sexual-abuse-must-stop-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 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/520/metoo-movement-keeping-our-eyes-on-the-prize-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

The #MeToo Movement: Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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.

While the mass upsurge still occasionally points to the issue of institutional complicity, the fact is that what has been INCREASINGLY prevailing is a focus on accusing and destroying INDIVIDUAL men. There is what is in fact a terrible epistemology bound up in this, having to do with the incredibly commonplace practice now of any and all allegations and accusations being automatically treated as proven fact, and accused individuals immediately being treated as “guilty until proven innocent” in effect, while concrete steps are immediately being taken by assorted institutions to fire them from their jobs, hound them out of public life, invalidate and bury their art or other works, deprive them of representation, demolish them on social media and generally turn them into lepers and social pariahs. What is the objective here? To unleash a culture of schadenfreude1 and revenge? Is that the solution to pervasive and universal sexual harassment and assault? And no, this practice is not the institutions “taking responsibility”—this is the institutions washing their hands of their responsibility by throwing someone under the bus and quickly “moving on.”

On a very basic level, the oppression of women is bound up with the emancipation of all humanity, in two profound senses. First, without the full emancipation of over half of humanity from the very specific and pervasive forms of oppression that they face every single day, then to speak of the emancipation of humanity is meaningless. And second, the struggle for the liberation of women can only be achieved as a crucial component of the overall struggle to overcome all class divisions, all the production relations from which those divisions spring, all the institutions that back up and reinforce those relations (including the oppression of women in all spheres of society), and all the ideas that grow out of and reinforce all that. The domination of women throughout the past 10 millennia is not a product of human nature, but comes from how human society developed out of communal, gatherer-hunter societies.

Many people right now have been driven to wrangle more deeply with where this all comes from, and how to get rid of it. Bringing out that point, and more generally sparking the kind of questioning that digs into what is the source of the problem and what is the character of the solution, is one critical task that revolutionary communists have within this struggle.

At the same time, as people are battling this, there is something very real at stake to win right now, even while this capitalist-imperialist, and patriarchal, system, continues to rule. We can and we must demand, and fight for, a real change in the culture, right now. THIS MUST STOP! Changing things in this way, right now, has real import for getting to the emancipatory society that revolution is dedicated to. The means we use in doing that must be consistent with the ends.

An Errant Epistemology, a Question of Morality, and What Kind of Society We Are Fighting For

One very disturbing aspect is the way few distinctions are being drawn between different kinds of instances of sexual harassment and assault. To be clear, ALL such instances are wrong and must STOP. But as demeaning as they are, the instances of stupid Al Franken-like sexist pranks or even drunken groping at a party in front of other people are not on the same level as the behavior of someone who uses his position of power over livelihoods and careers to systematically perpetrate a whole pattern of harassment and serious coercion and intimidation a la Weinstein. So some distinctions of degree should be drawn if the goal is to reshape the whole culture and put a stop to this for real rather than just exact 15 minutes of revenge against individuals.

Then there are all the questions of due process and protecting the rights of individuals who may be falsely accused. (Yes, there are and will be some, even if they are numerically in the minority. This aspect must be correctly addressed as well.) The current situation is such that increasingly, the mere raising of an accusation, even sometimes just in the form of a rumor, is deemed EQUIVALENT to having been found guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt, at least in the court of public opinion—and an individual can essentially be destroyed overnight on just such a basis.

And here there is the whole question that is very important: We cannot have one epistemology for the people we like and a different epistemology for the people we don’t like!!—an approach that is a hallmark of relativist identity politics. So, for instance, while it is righteous to really hate Roy Moore because of all that he represents that is backed up by plenty of evidence (his speeches and actions, etc.) right up to the present time, it does not seem at the present time that there is actually definitive proof about some of the allegations about his behavior 40 years ago, which his political rivals are so anxious to use to destroy him. He may well have done this, but this movement should model higher standards of principle and integrity and not fall into mob mentalities around the notion that mere accusations are good enough, that all women should always be believed, and who cares about the rights of individuals when the problem of sexual harassment and assault is so pervasive anyway!

Even were Moore to be found guilty of the most serious accusations, nonetheless his far greater crime—the crime for which there is plenty of evidence and which he not only commits but admits every single day—would still be his role as standard-bearer for the most reactionary kind of anti-woman (as well as racist, anti-gay and, of course, American chauvinist) theocratic politics and practice.

Calling Out Excesses While Supporting the Main Direction

In any righteous mass upsurge against any form of oppression, there will be excesses and wrong things on the part of the masses. And the fact that there are and will be excesses committed by oppressed rising up against their oppression cannot be used as an excuse to pour cold water on the righteous upsurges themselves—a point which has been strongly emphasized by BA. But that doesn’t mean that “excesses” and wrong persecution or denials of individual rights are somehow OK. It is not OK, and when such things are occurring it is necessary to call it out and to raise standards—to wage the struggle no less militantly but with higher principle and integrity. Otherwise, the strategically favorable focus on institutional complicity is in danger of fading from the discourse or being relegated to secondary importance as an increasingly revanchist “gotcha” culture increasingly turns the daily focus to individual men and seeks less a wholesale change in the culture than a complete destruction of individuals, one at a time.

To be clear: Many, and even most, of the accusations and denunciations of harassers and assaulters are likely true, at least over the full range and totality of such accusations. It is very unlikely that you could find a single adult woman anywhere in the world who doesn’t have a number of her own #MeToo stories! So a mass upsurge and mass revulsion against all this is much needed and should be spread and unleashed, as BA has emphasized as well. But this should be done correctly, with the right standards and the right methods and the right epistemology.

A Complex Contradiction

This profound fault-line contradiction, which negatively affects every girl and woman on the planet (and yes, more than a few boys and men as well), can and should be understood as a profound contradiction “between the people and the enemy” in that sense. But this contradiction—which truly stems from the workings of this system—nevertheless often, or even typically, manifests as a contradiction among the people. This is a very important issue to reflect on and grapple with when figuring out how best to lead in relation to this current battle and more generally: a key contradiction “with the enemy” that often presents as a “contradiction among the people.”

Just as every girl and woman is negatively affected by sexual harassment and assault throughout her lifetime, every boy and man is, to one or another degree, shaped, trained and ensnared from an early age into a prevailing culture which routinely fosters, encourages, defends, and normalizes the practice of male supremacy in countless forms, from sexist “jokes” to porn to endless daily forms of minor harassment, to outright physical assaults, and rape, the ultimate exercise of power to humiliate, degrade, diminish, and dehumanize. We are ALL drowning in this putrid culture. Don’t we have to deal with the manifestations of such problems via boys and men, ALL the boys and men, shaped by the patriarchy since earliest childhood, boys and men that include loved ones—fathers, boyfriends, husbands, sons, best friends? There are works on the website from BA in particular that get into this, and some of last week’s articles began to speak to this, but much more needs to be done.

Sharp Questions

Right now the struggle has come to a crucial juncture. How will and should it be sustained and carried forward? One thing for sure: it won’t be sustained in any kind of good way if bad epistemology and bad methods take precedence. But there are also questions to reflect on about what the bourgeoisie is already doing and will ultimately do in relation to all this. Right now they are using it a lot like a political football for their own rivalries and objectives (while still leaving the molester-in-chief in office!). (Read "The Molester-in-Chief Must Go" here.) But given the pervasiveness of the actual problem, can they really allow heads to roll in leading positions in all the major institutions of their society? This is fast going to become a problem for them. And of course they don’t actually share our desire to see the fury of women fully unleashed! So that’s a problem for them as well. Where and how will they seek to contain or stop this upsurge: a suicide of an accused that then leads to a backlash? New libel laws? Outright repression of the movement? Pence put forward as a Promise Keeper-like guardian of morality? Handmaid’s Tale overnight transformations? Perhaps any of these or something else altogether—no one can say for sure... which is exactly why grappling with such outcomes is one important part of what we all must do.

All this underlines both that the struggle must continue to advance, and the crucial importance of wrangling over HOW to advance it. It would be equally wrong to either pour cold water on the righteous upsurge in the name of preoccupation with excesses, or to passively tail people’s spontaneous impulses (pushed along by the ruling class) and thereby allow the whole thing to degenerate into a culture of revenge, schadenfreude, a blood sport aimed at individuals that leaves institutions and the whole damn system ultimately off the hook. The stakes—for all of humanity and for women—are too high to do anything short of fighting for this to advance in the right direction.


1. Schadenfreude is a German word meaning the taking of delight in the misfortunes of others. [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/an-historical-question-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

An Historical Question for Those Who Say “Yes, But...” to Ousting the Trump/Pence Regime

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A point to those who say the situation with the Trump/Pence regime is very dire, but there is no way to drive them out of the office because of the Republican majority:

Do people ask: “Why didn’t the Nazi Party stop Hitler?” Or do they ask: “Why didn’t the ‘good Germans’ do something commensurate when they saw where things were headed?”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/anti-lgbtq-case-goes-to-supreme-court-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

Colorado Cake Shop Case Goes to Supreme Court:

Trump/Pence Regime, Christian Fascists Move to Embed Anti-LGBTQ Prejudice in Federal Law

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Not that long ago, LGBTQ persecution and prejudice was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. A Supreme Court justice stated in a ruling upholding an anti-gay law that sex between people of the same sex was “an infamous crime against nature,” worse even than rape. Blatant prejudice against LGBTQ people permeated the entire culture; it was the currency in schools, workplaces, entertainment. Anti-LGBTQ violence was common, often by the police. The president and his staff “joked” about people dying of AIDS.

Not that long ago in the United States, discrimination against Black people was open and flagrant. “Whites only” signs hung over everything from water fountains to business entrances. Black people were denied entry to many public facilities, and always had to sit in the back of buses. “No dogs, no Negroes, no Mexicans” signs were common in Texas and other Southwestern states. This discrimination was legitimized in law; it was upheld by courts all the way to the Supreme Court. It was backed up by mob and police violence, and by long entrenched “custom,” hatred, and ignorance.

And now this type of institutionalized bigotry and hate could be returning to the U.S., once again sanctioned by law. Across the country, state laws protecting gay people from violence and discrimination remain the exception, not the rule. But the small gains made by LGBTQ people towards being recognized and treated as full human beings are under severe attack by Christian fascists, aided and abetted by the Trump/Pence regime.

And on Tuesday, December 5, the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission will be heard at the Supreme Court.

A Case with Far-Reaching Implications

Five years ago, David Mullins and Charlie Craig went to a baker in a Denver suburb to order a wedding cake. They were about to go to Massachusetts to get married—Colorado in 2012 did not allow marriages between people of the same sex—and wanted a cake for a party when they returned to Colorado. Bakery owner and Christian fundamentalist Jack Phillips refused to make their cake, in defiance of a Colorado law that bars refusing service based on “race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.” Phillips said making a cake for a gay wedding would violate his “religious beliefs.” Mullins and Craig filed a successful complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, beginning a five-year legal battle.

Phillips and his lawyers claim that baking a wedding cake is a form of constitutionally protected speech. They argue that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in particular its statement that there should be no law “abridging the freedom of speech,” protects his right to refuse service to LGBTQ people. But Phillips isn’t just baking cakes in his own kitchen; he is operating a business open to the public, and doesn’t have the right to refuse services to people because of his bigotry and prejudices.

The implications of this case are far reaching, and potentially even more ominous. If the Supreme Court decides in favor of Phillips, the floodgates will open to all kinds of state-sanctioned discrimination, using religion and “free speech” as justifications. State sanctioned protections against discrimination for women, disabled people, and Black people could also come under attack.

Bigotry Promoted by Trump’s Department of Justice

Phillips’s case is being argued by the “Alliance Defending Freedom” (ADF). The ADF is described as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It supports the “re-criminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad,” among many other vicious anti-LGBTQ measures. The ADF has major financial backing from enormously wealthy capitalists, and, as Revolution wrote in September, is “an agent of the agenda of sections of the ruling class who see an absolute need to re-cohere U.S. society under draconian Christian fundamentalist norms and morality, including demonization and dehumanization of LGBTQ people. These forces now have their people in the White House.”

Recently the Trump/Pence regime’s white supremacist attorney general, Jeff Sessions, addressed a meeting of the ADF. He said to them, “The challenges our nation faces today concerning our historic First Amendment right to the ‘free exercise’ of our faith have become acute.” This is utter bullshit—it is the perpetrator presenting himself as “victim.” As James Esseks, one of the lawyers for Mullins and Craig said, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case isn’t about a cake, it is about “licensing discrimination.”

Dozens of briefs have been filed on both sides of this case. In September, the Trump/Pence regime filed a brief on behalf of Phillips stating that “Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights.” Louise Melling, deputy legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, responded, “Even in an administration that has already made its hostility [toward the gay community] clear, I find this nothing short of shocking.”

The Trump/Pence regime has moved to legitimize discrimination against transgender people. Trump has "joked" that Pence wants to hang all gay people. A Department of Justice lawyer argued that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prevent an employer from firing someone because of their sexual orientation. A Trump nominee for a federal judgeship is on record as saying, “Guess what? I attend a conservative Baptist church. We discriminate, all right. On the basis of sexual orientation, we discriminate.”

Intensified attacks on LGBTQ people are integral to the entire fascist agenda the Trump/Pence regime is moving to consolidate. Now, hateful Christian fascist bigots, together with Trump’s Department of Justice, are working to embed their anti-LGBTQ ignorance and prejudices as law, enforced by the state. If they succeed, this would encourage discrimination and violence against LGBTQ people. The same laws could also be used to justify vicious and cruel discrimination against Muslims, against people who speak Spanish, against Black people.

They must be opposed, they must be defeated, and the entire Trump/Pence regime must go.

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #520 December 4, 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/trump-tweets-neo-nazi-propaganda-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 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/520/house-version-of-tax-reform-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

Republi-fascists About to Pass Tax Bill That Grants “Rights” to “Unborn Child”

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Trump/Pence regime and their Republi-fascists in Congress are moving rapidly to implement major elements of the program of the Christian fascist movement, including the banning of abortion. Both the House and Senate versions of the new tax bill will contain language which would, for the first time, enable the setting up of special savings accounts for future college expenses, known as 529s, for an “unborn child.” The unscientific term “unborn child” is part of the language used by Christian fascists in their attack on abortion, under the false justification that terminating a pregnancy means “killing” a baby. What they call an “unborn child” is, in fact, a fetus. A fetus is not a baby, and abortion is not murder.

The House tax bill says at one point, “Nothing shall prevent an unborn child from being treated as a designated beneficiary or an individual under this section. The term ‘unborn child’ means a child in utero. The term ‘child in utero’ means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.” The term “at any stage of development” echoes the language of the anti-abortion forces who want to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal. They want to define life as beginning from the moment of conception and to establish full “personhood rights” for fetuses. This would criminalize abortion under any circumstance, and ban many forms of contraception. And without the right to abortion, women cannot determine for themselves when and whether they will bear a child—they cannot determine the course of their own lives.

It has been repeatedly pointed out that this change in the tax law would be unnecessary if its proponents were really concerned about helping people who want to establish the college fund accounts. Under current rules, parents can already set up 529s for the children they want to have in the future by putting it in their own name, and then transferring it to a child once that child is born. Anti-abortion groups are celebrating the inclusion of the “unborn child” language in the House bill, and one of them said it was “a small increment in the momentum that we’re building....”

NARAL, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, denounced the House tax bill when it was passed: “The sole purpose of this provision is to codify the radical, anti-choice idea that life begins at conception into law and begin the process of banning abortion altogether.... This is the first time ‘personhood’ language has made it into tax reform legislation, leaving the door open for future laws to use the same, ideological definition of when life begins....”

Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—packed with anti-abortion extremists in the mold of Mike Pence—is making similar changes. The HHS, responsible for U.S. public health policy, recently released a draft of its strategic plan, which describes its mission as protecting “Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.” It also erases any reference to LGBTQ people, mentions “faith” or “faith-based” organizations more than 40 times, and uses other language of the anti-abortionists.

In “On ‘Principled Compromises,’ and Other Crimes Against Humanity,” Bob Avakian (BA) wrote:

Unbelievable as it may seem, in the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children, regardless of the situation, the feelings, and the better judgment of those women themselves. That is a way of enslaving women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system; and that is what the cruel fanatics who are determined to deny women the right to abortion are really all about.

The Christian fascist movement is now more powerful than ever with the Trump/Pence regime in power, and they are hell-bent on achieving what BA speaks to in this statement above. Mike Pence declared early in the presidential campaign that if he and Trump reached the White House, “We’ll see Roe vs. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs.” The House and Senate are dominated by the same Christian Fascist movement. Including this Christian fascist anti-abortion language in the tax law indicates how far the Christian fascists have gotten—and the even more radically reactionary changes they are pushing for. It is urgent to battle this drive to “enslave women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system” as part of the movement to drive this fascist regime from power.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/fighting-evil-before-its-cool-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

On fighting evil before it's cool.

By Sarah Roark
Hollering into the void with more than occasional smartassity.

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Reprinted from Medium.

Read more

A few (or few hundred) words of holiday encouragement to my beloved friends and allies in Refuse Fascism and Refuse Fascism Bay Area. Including the ones I disagree with. (Especially the ones I disagree with. :-) )

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
—Unattributed (possibly a Gandhi or a Nicholas Klein paraphrase)

We’re still waiting on that last part. But eventually people are going to figure out that we really don’t give a fuck whether five of us show up or ten thousand do; whether we outnumber, or are outnumbered by, the white supremacists and theocrats and fascists; whether people praise or vilify us; whether they spread truth or lies about us; whether they merely sit back and applaud for now, or stand up and join in whatever way they can.

I mean, we do give a fuck—we need to win. For everyone’s sake, winning is not optional. But what I am saying is none of these obstacles are ever going to stop us. The forces of darkness are never going to get the silence and fear they want. They just don’t know that yet.

Because don’t doubt it: what we are doing is right. It is needful. It is the response that is actually proportionate to the threat this corrupt and hateful regime poses to all humanity. And—sadly—shockingly— no one else is doing this kind of Candlelight-Revolution protest series. Yet. (YET.)

Because truth is still truth and love is still love, and they still need the living witness of people of goodwill, or else they wither.

And look. The day it finally sinks in that we’re not doing this for party, nor faction, nor philosophy, nor money, nor attention—but because win or lose, we literally see no other choice? Is the day we win. Till then, we have to endure, and we will endure.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/justice-for-quono-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

JUSTICE FOR QUONO!

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

by Noche Diaz and Revolution Club, Chicago

Aquoness Cathery was murdered by the police on Wednesday, November 29, on the South Side of Chicago. He was 24 years old and the father of a young daughter. He was known as “Quono” and was an aspiring rapper. The pigs responded to a “shots fired” call and claimed Quono had a gun, which they don’t even claim he fired. Multiple witnesses, including family members, say he was shot in the back while he was running away. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and died the next morning.

Quono’s beloved auntie described him as a “fine, fine man.” She said it was bullshit to say he was in a better place because he should be here alive today. One man said Quono was his little brother, he loved him and the police took a whole human being, took a whole soul. Like too many young people born with darker skin are treated in this country, Quono’s humanity meant nothing to the system that kills people like him every day and lets its murderous cops walk free.

The block where Quono was killed is one of the neighborhoods where over the summer and since then the Revolution Club has led people to blow whistles on the police and has been working to bring forward a revolutionary force and pole. At the end of the summer, a couple members of the Revolution Club had met and talked with Quono, along with a number of other guys in the neighborhood. Quono stood out to them as someone who was capable of taking a larger view of things than just what is happening in the neighborhood. One of the Revolution Club members described him as a sweet guy, very knowledgeable, and described how Quono had been trying to convince the Revolution Club members that they were wasting their time talking to the people there about getting into the revolution because they weren’t able to see anything beyond what’s happening right here in front of them. Instead of convincing us we were wasting our time, he ended up further convincing us we were in the right place.

When we found out the police had shot someone, we headed over there right away. The entire block was blocked off by the murderers. Police had swarmed the area the whole afternoon and by the time we arrived there were still a dozen cop cars, including some posted up at a busy intersection nearby, stopping cars and harassing people. When we walked up, they were putting someone in the back of a police car. We blew whistles and then talked with people who were on the street to find out who was shot and what happened. There was sadness and anger by many we talked to who knew Quono, who at that moment was in the hospital in critical condition, and over and over again we heard he was shot in the back. We walked up and down the street where he was killed, talking with people who were out, but also calling out to people in the houses to be part of standing up against this. Police tried to stop us from even walking by. A couple of people joined us as we walked around and were part of a small impromptu speak-out on the corner.

By the next day, Quono was gone and there was a gloom over the neighborhood. We saw his friends who were standing outside the courtyard and had their heads down or were staring off. They shook their heads when we tried talking to them. “We just don’t want to talk right now, man.” Another young man said it was difficult for them to talk. He wasn’t trying to push us away, but he seemed helpless at the fact that their friend had just been stolen by them. He said we were invited to come back that night for the vigil.

About 60 family members and friends showed up at the vigil. We held out a banner of photos of victims of murder by police, a STOLEN LIVES BANNER, which we had modified by adding a picture of Quono. This banner drew a number of people to record or take photos of it and express their anger and hatred of the police. There were a few people who knew more than one person murdered by the police. One young man we met personally knew four people who were killed by police: Laquan McDonald, Dakota Bright, Corsean Lewis, and Aquoness Cathery. We struggled with him to speak out and to join with the revolution needed to get rid of this system that causes all this madness and oppression. He was distraught and felt hopeless about speaking out or seeing any way out of this misery.

Quono’s sister led a popular chant between the people who knew Quono followed by a “Fuck 12.” Another man made sure he was being recorded when he spoke so he could send out a message for justice for Quono. He said he was there when Quono was murdered. He said he saw Quono get shot in the back. As he was speaking, a scene developed where a line of police on foot shined flashlights on the vigil and moved while a crowd of people faced off with them, outnumbering them and making the pigs back up while people screamed and yelled at the pigs.

Some people had begun to leave when the police arrived at the vigil, but a lot of people stayed back and when the pigs began marching toward the vigil, people from the memorial walked over to confront them with whistles, middle fingers, chants of Fuck the Police, and demands to know why they had to come up to a vigil when people were mourning over the loss of a loved one that had been taken by those same police. The sentiment among those who loved Quono was also filled with anger at the police for what they did to Quono and the nerve of them to show up at the vigil to disrupt and intimidate people.

As the pigs were flashing their lights at the family and friends of Quono, people came up to speak out about what happens when you call 911, and getting killed by the police. There was a lot of defiance by people. When a woman was trying to drive her car away from the pigs, they marched in front of her car and swarmed her while some other pigs formed a barrier to keep people from getting in between. People from the vigil moved forward and were ready in case they attacked her. A member of the Revolution Club spoke to the need and potential of the people to stand up and get with the revolution.

After people began leaving we made a video message from the memorial and read the powerful quote from Bob Avakian:

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.

 

 


 

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

Revolution #520 December 4, 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.”

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/uconn-students-righteous-shut-down-of-nazi-speaker-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

UConn Students Do the Righteous Thing: Shut Down Nazi Speaker

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On November 28, a speech by the White House correspondent for the fascist website Gateway Pundits, Lucian Wintrich, was disrupted by students and others at University of Connecticut in Storrs. Wintrich was giving a speech he titled “It’s OK to be White,” and he began by sipping a glass of milk—understood by white supremacist scum bags as a symbol of “racial purity.” Many in the audience of about 350 repeatedly shouted down Wintrich with “Fuck You,” “Go home Nazi” and “Black Lives Matter.”

At one point, a couple of youth approached the podium, and the young woman boldly took the text of his speech and began to walk away. Wintrich ran after her and physically attacked her, appearing to either try to choke her or punch her face. This further angered the crowd, and some came to her defense. The police moved in to put him in the restroom area to protect him. It was reported that smoke bombs were thrown and windows were broken in the building. As the cops were driving away with Wintrich, protesters chased the police car.

Since then, the protest has been attacked by none other than UConn president Susan Herbst, in a statement that said in part: “...it is never the role of a university to shield our campuses from speech that is disagreeable, purposely provocative, or even outright hateful, such as Wintrich's. These characterizations are in the eye of the beholder, and so it is unwise for us to attempt to draw lines in the sand about what is or is not protected speech.” As Sunsara Taylor sharply pointed out when students at UC Berkeley came under attack from the university chancellor for shutting down fascists like Milo Yiannopoulos on their campus, what’s at issue in these protests is fascism, not “free speech.”

Across the country, from UC Berkeley to UConn, big questions are being put before students about the importance of truth and how to arrive at it, and what needs to be done in the face of the fascist offensives on campuses and elsewhere in society. The action of the UConn students to drive the white supremacist Nazi Wintrich from the campus was righteous, and they need to be defended from any attack by the school administrators and fascists. There is fertile ground, and urgent need, for students to be connected with the film of Bob Avakian’s 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 the society-wide movement to drive out the fascist regime before they can carry out even more catastrophic damage to humanity.

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #520 December 4, 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/520/video-from-right-wing-trolls-used-as-evidence-against-j20-defendants-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

Federal Prosecutors Use Video from Right-Wing Trolls as “Evidence” Against J20 Defendants

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The trial of six people arrested last January 20 during a defiant protest against Donald Trump’s inauguration began in federal court in Washington, D.C. on November 20. Among the six are two medics and one journalist. These are the first of 200 defendants, many facing an outrageous 60 years in jail, known as the J20 Defendants. In a move that shows just how much this trial represents an escalation of fascist repression, federal prosecutors presented a video into evidence against the defendants that was provided by Project Veritas. Only a few days before this, this same dangerous, far-right group was caught attempting to carry out an undercover “sting” operation against the Washington Post in an attempt to discredit the allegations by women against Roy Moore written about in the Post.

Project Veritas and its founder, James O'Keefe, are well known for carrying out secret audio and video recordings of conversations, then deliberately editing them in order to misrepresent what is being said in conversations. They have attempted to smear Planned Parenthood in the past. The prosecutors in the J20 trial had earlier presented a video provided to them by the Oath Keepers, a neo-fascist militia group. James Anderson of It's Going Down website told the Guardian, “The fact that they have to fall back on using these far-right trolls, which are widely discredited, not only speaks to the illegitimacy of their case, but also a fundamental relationship between the Trump administration and the alt-right."

 

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #520 December 4, 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/stand-with-and-support-revolution-books-berkeley-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 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/520/news-flash-supreme-court-oks-trump-pence-muslim-ban-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

News Flash:
Supreme Court OKs Trump/Pence Muslim Ban—This Fascist Outrage Must Be STOPPED!

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Today the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the Trump/Pence regime to go ahead with one of the key fronts toward intensification and consolidation of fascist rule: the Muslim travel ban. The highest court of the land handed down an order allowing the regime to move forward with the ban while legal challenges continue. This was seen as an indication that the Supreme Court itself will likely rule in the regime’s favor when the issue reaches them.

The order means that there will be a ban or severe restrictions on travel into the United States by people from six predominantly Muslim countries—Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Chad. The ban also applies to people from North Korea and some from Venezuela. According to the NY Times, “The restrictions vary in their details, but in most cases, citizens of the countries will be unable to emigrate to the United States permanently and many will be barred from working, studying or vacationing here.”

The Supreme Court action comes just a few days after Trump escalated the propagation of anti-Muslim venom by tweeting neo-Nazi anti-Muslim propaganda.

For anyone who continues to hold on to the illusion that some “saner” figures in Congress or the judiciary can be relied on to put a stop to the fascist nightmare: The hour is very late. Every day brings new outrages that make the danger humanity is facing even clearer and more urgent. NOW is the time for millions from all walks of life to join together to act on the demand: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/special-holiday-bundle-offer-from-insight-press-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

December 5, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Click for the offer at insight-press.com

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/colin-kaepernick-receives-multiple-awards-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

Colin Kaepernick, Leader of the NFL Players’ National Anthem Protest Against Police Murders, Receives Multiple Awards

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader

Colin Kaepernick (Kap) has been named the recipient of GQ magazine’s Citizen of the Year Award, Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, and Southern California ACLU’s Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award.

Kaepernick, who played for the San Francisco 49ers, started the NFL players’ protest against police murders and racial injustice when he refused to stand for the national anthem during the first game of the 2016 season. Kaepernick is an all-pro quarterback who led the 49ers to the 2013 Super Bowl. He is currently being blackballed by the NFL owners from being signed to play for a team.

After starting the protest, Kap told the press, “This stand wasn’t for me. This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice, people that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard, and effect change. So I’m in the position where I can do that and I’m going to do that for people that can’t.”

After Philando Castile was murdered by a pig in Minnesota, Kap tweeted, “!” In response to Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America great again,” Kaepernick said, “Well America has never been great for people of color and that’s something that needs to be addressed.” And Kap called Trump “openly racist.”

Trump has viciously gone after Kaepernick. Trump called on the NFL owners to not sign Kaepernick. He told Sean Hannity on Fox that the NFL should have suspended Kaepernick. In a speech at one of his fascist rallies in Alabama, Trump told the crowd about Kaepernick, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired.”

GQ stated, “[Kapernick has] “been vilified by millions and locked out of the NFL—all because he took a knee to protest police brutality. But Colin Kaepernick’s determined stand puts him in rare company in sports history: Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson—athletes who risked everything to make a difference.”

Sports Illustrated said that Kaepernick was receiving the award “for his steadfastness in the fight for social justice, for his adherence to his beliefs no matter the cost” and, like the award’s namesake Muhammad Ali, embodying “the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy.”

At the ACLU award event, Kaepernick received a standing ovation from the audience that included Jane Fonda, Viola Davis, and Judd Apatow. He told them, “We must confront systemic oppression as a doctor would a disease. You identify it; you call it out; you treat it; and you defeat it.”

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/american-crime-case-52-north-american-free-trade-agreement-part-2-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

EDITORS’ NOTE: The Trump/Pence regime has attacked NAFTA as a “job killer” and a “bad deal” for America. This demagoguery covers up the real truth about NAFTA, including whose lives it has actually devastated. Trump’s attacks on NAFTA are part of his campaign to target immigrants, whip up “America First” xenophobia, and make U.S. imperialism’s domination of Mexico and other countries even more ruthless and predatory. We encourage readers to share this installment of American Crime widely. It is essential reading in this time of Trump/Pence fascism.

American Crime

Case # 52: NAFTA (Part 2):
Deepening the Plunder and Domination of Mexico and the Exploitation and Oppression of Mexican Workers, Especially Women

December 5, 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.

 

 

Inside a maquiladora in Mexico.
By 1998 there were more than a million workers in 3,700 factories assembling electronics, clothing, toys, auto parts, and other products for sale in the U.S. As many as 75% of those hired in the maquiladoras were women, the majority 16 to 23 years old. (Photo: AP)

The Crime: The “free trade” agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, known as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), was implemented in 1994 with much fanfare. The secretly negotiated 2,000-page treaty was touted as a measure to bring increased prosperity to the people of the three countries. NAFTA was, in fact, a predatory treaty whose effect was to ratchet up the cruel and reckless plunder of Mexico and its people. This mainly occurred through the rapid expansion of low-wage border “sweatshops” called maquiladoras. U.S. businesses have reaped enormous profits from hundreds of thousands of low-wage Mexican workers.

NAFTA was designed to allow the U.S. corporations to intensify their exploitation of Mexico and Mexicans. For example, NAFTA removed tariffs on goods crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. This greatly benefited the highly mechanized U.S. corporate agricultural businesses. NAFTA eliminated all taxes for goods, like electronics, brought into Mexico to be assembled and returned to the U.S. In the first year of NAFTA, nearly $100 billion of new direct foreign investment gushed into Mexico.

In the process, millions of Mexico’s small farmers and Mexican-owned businesses were unable to survive. Unemployment rose and wages for Mexican workers, already low, were driven further down. Mexicans from across the country, desperate for work, flocked to border cities like Juárez, Tijuana, and Nuevo Laredo to work in factories owned by corporations like General Motors, General Electric, Zenith, AT&T, and many others.

NAFTA provided the economic basis for non-Mexican companies, the majority of which are U.S.-based, to expand their operations or open new ones. Many were anxious to take advantage of the favorable “profit environment” in Mexico where wages were 12 times lower than those paid for the same work on the U.S. side of the border! By1998, there were more than a million workers in 3,700 factories assembling electronics, clothing, toys, auto parts, and other products for sale in the U.S.

As many as 75 percent of those hired in the maquiladoras were women, the majority between the ages of 16 and 23. Many were recent arrivals from rural villages and towns. The factory owners hired young women for their dexterity and youthful energy. But they were also preferred because, in societies (on both sides of the border) dominated by patriarchy and misogyny, women are more exploitable—could be put to work for long, exhausting hours, often with no breaks and very short lunch periods with pay lower than their male counterparts. As women, they are regarded as “supplementary income-earners.”

Ciudad Juárez is one of the largest concentrations of maquila factories. One-third of women working in Juárez apparel factories are heads of households. While women workers are vulnerable to manipulation by men in positions of authority, single mothers are especially so because their livelihoods and the well-being of their children are at stake. Mothers and parents rely on working extra shifts or overtime to earn enough. Factory supervisors are known to use this necessity as blackmail. For example, workers from one company complained that supervisors demanded a bribe of 50 pesos a week in order to be eligible for overtime. Workers who protested this kind of humiliating treatment were punished by being sent to a special work area known to the workers as “the prison,” or simply, “hell.”

Many maquiladora workers live in communities of makeshift homes of cardboard, cast off pallets, or packing crates from factories, or in shantytowns without indoor plumbing, electricity, or public lighting. Some make homes next to trash dumps. Their homes are frequently poorly insulated and dangerous. In winter especially, parents worry that children at home alone with a heater for warmth risk fire in their highly flammable structures. There is also the constant problem of food insecurity. Maquila wages are actually below the threshold of survival. A line operator, for example, as of 2015, made 650 pesos, $39 a week, in a place where food costs rival those on the U.S. side of the border. This forces working families into a constant struggle to provide for food and other necessities.

Workers in the maquiladoras are made to work around dust and chemicals that ruin their health, and have been known to cause birth defects. A study conducted in 1994 was the first to show that maquiladora workers gave birth to more lower-weight babies than women who worked in other industries. Their living places are often located near factories where environmental conditions are dangerous. Border residents are often exposed to extremely high air-pollutant levels, including high levels of carbon monoxide. Deteriorating water quality is another concern along the border. The promises made that provisions in NAFTA would guarantee protections for the environment have proven worthless. They have seen gradual deterioration in the urban communities where the factories are located as a result of the toxic waste from the maquiladoras.

Many companies subject women hires to humiliating pregnancy tests as a condition of employment. And women employees are warned that getting pregnant could cost them their jobs. Human Rights Watch documented cases of maquiladora personnel forcing pregnant workers to work unpaid overtime, assigning them more physically difficult work, or refusing them overtime in an effort to force them to quit.

Meanwhile, stories of predatory managers and supervisors using their power to extract sexual favors in exchange for a job or job security are widespread. Failure to comply or efforts to report sexual harassment can mean the loss of a job, of needed overtime, or other punishments. For women and their families, these can be life-and-death issues.

The economic and social conditions for women workers in Mexico’s border region are like scenes from a Hollywood horror movie. Since 1993, when women’s groups began to compile lists, at least 1,620 women and girls, many of them from Juárez’s maquiladora factories, have been kidnapped on the way to or from work. A great many have been raped, beaten, mutilated and murdered. At the same time, the rising rate of marriage conflict, child abuse, and domestic violence against women is a direct result of the stresses and social conditions of the maquila factory system.

Maquiladora companies have done little in response to the killings. Women still wait in the dark for rickety factory buses on lonely, unlit corners. And the murders have continued. Nor has there been any serious or credible effort to find the murderers. As a mother of one of the women who disappeared in the wave of female murders explained in a 2003 interview, “We’ve opened the big door, our border to the U.S., in order to allow big multinationals to settle in our city. We give them a permit to do absolutely anything. They don’t have to guarantee the most elementary aspects of life, from wages women can live on to basic service in our communities, or even just security.”

The Criminals:

U.S. President George H.W. Bush (1988-92): NAFTA was preceded by a bilateral treaty between the U.S. and Canada. Negotiations to expand that treaty to include Mexico began under the U.S. administration of George H.W. Bush.

Mexico President Carlos Salinas de Gortari: Presided over Mexico’s NAFTA negotiations. Salinas oversaw the privatization of Mexico’s telephone company and banks among a thousand other public entities. Some were sold at fire-sale prices to personal friends, and to foreign, especially U.S., companies. Salinas promoted NAFTA with the help of powerful Mexican business interests, claiming it would lift Mexico into the ranks of prosperous “first world” countries. But as his term ended in 1994, Mexico’s economy crashed and Salinas fled into exile.

U.S. President Bill Clinton (1992-2000): Pushed through ratification of NAFTA with the help of the U.S. Business Roundtable and other corporate backers. Clinton claimed that the treaty would lift people in all countries.

The Alibi: NAFTA proponents promised that the trade agreement would alleviate many of the problems along the border caused by the existing free-trade zone. NAFTA, it was said, would help to improve working conditions, improve enforcement of environmental laws, and decrease the high maquiladora concentration along the border.

U.S. President George H.W. Bush made clear his support for more free-trade pacts and linked the expansion of markets for American entrepreneurs and farmers with greater freedom throughout the world. He argued that more free trade between countries, regardless of the size and wealth disparities between trading partners, would lead to the expansion of civil and political freedom.

President Clinton said his support of the trade agreement rested on his confidence it would bring jobs and prosperity to all.

The Real Motive:

In the 1970s, U.S. corporations began moving their factories to low-wage countries to bolster profits and competitiveness. By 1994, U.S.-based transnational corporations (TNCs) employed 40 percent of their personnel in oppressed (or “Third World”) nations and conducted a third of their internal trade with affiliates in those nations.

Maquiladoras were first set up in the mid-1960s to take advantage of low-wage labor within easy access of the U.S. border. These borderland factories became a rich haven for U.S. and other foreign investors. Profits from these enterprises grew in importance for U.S. businesses in an increasingly competitive world.

Maquiladora factories became islands of modernity, enclaves of globalized economy distorting Mexico’s economic development and putting increasing control of the economy in non-Mexican hands.

The accelerated capitalist global competition that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the rise of a more economically robust capitalist China, spurred U.S. moves towards even greater exploitation of people and countries. It renewed interest in Mexico, which, since 1848 has been a major source of wealth for U.S. capitalism. Mexico’s dependent economy and its “comprador” ruling elite allowed an open door for U.S. corporations to ramp up their penetration of Mexico’s economy.

The U.S. had long benefited from Mexican workers and the exploitation of Mexico and Mexicans, which has provided sustenance to an expanding empire. Thus NAFTA and the maquiladora system is both a continuation and intensification of the long history of the U.S. accumulating wealth from the plunder of its southern neighbor and a counterweight to the growing economic strength of the European Union, Japan, China, and other competitive countries.


Sources:

James Cockcroft, Mexico’s Hope, Monthly Review Press, 1998

Mexico’s Maquiladoras: Abuses Against Women Workers,” Human Rights Watch, August 17, 1996

Patricia Fernandez Kelly, “The ‘Maquila’ Women, NACLA Report

Sierra Jorgensen, “Maquiladoras and the Exploitation of Women’s Bodies

David Bacon, “The Maquiladora Workers of Juárez Find Their Voice,” Nation magazine, November 20, 2015

Elyse Bolterstein, “Environmental Justice Case Study: Maquiladora Workers and Border Issues

Gil Villagrán, “Maquiladoras, NAFTA’s Sweatshops,” May 2, 2009

Mexico: Wages, Maquiladoras, NAFTA,” Migration News, February 1998

Evelyn Nieves, To Work and Die in Juárez, Mother Jones, May/June 2002

Jessica Livingston, “Murder in Juárez: Gender, Sexual Violence, and the Global Assembly Line,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, Volume 25, Number 1, 2004

Alana Semuels, “Upheaval in the Factories of Juárez,” Atlantic magazine, January 21, 2016

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/trump-guts-two-national-monuments-in-utah-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

Trump Guts Two National Monuments in Utah, Assaulting Native Americans and the Environment

December 5, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

On Monday, December 4, Donald Trump flew to Salt Lake City, Utah, to announce his decision to end federal protection on more than two million acres of public land and potentially open them up for oil and gas exploration, logging, and coal and uranium mining. Bears Ears National Monument was cut by 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly half.

It is the largest single elimination of public land protections in American history, and will cause cultural damage and environmental destruction that will possibly never be undone.

Both monuments are amazing places, filled with natural wonders and stunningly beautiful vistas. The areas have important historical significance for the Native peoples who live in that part of the Southwest—their ancestors have inhabited the area for at least 5,000 years. Experts estimate there are over 100,000 archeological sites of prehistoric stone cliff dwellings and rock art in Bears Ears alone, and many Native peoples today consider the areas to have important cultural and religious meaning to them.

There is also important scientific and ecological significance to the area. Grand Staircase-Escalante is reportedly the single best place in North America for scientists to study in detail the causes of dinosaur extinction. Bears Ears is home to at least 18 plants and animals listed on the Endangered Species List and plays a crucial role in ecological functions and sensitive habitat in the region as a whole.

Opening Up the Area to “Big Energy”

But the two areas also contain potentially valuable oil, gas and mineral reserves beneath the scenic cliffs and canyons. Establishment of the two monuments incurred the wrath of reactionary politicians and corporate drilling, mining and logging interests from the outset. They saw the monuments as a direct threat to unrestrained exploitation (whatever the cost in inevitable destruction) of environmentally sensitive places.

The Trump/Pence regime has been hell-bent on massive expansion of the energy industry since it came into office. Opening up protected public and tribal lands to exploitation has played a central part, with Utah senator Orrin Hatch acting as point man for much of this. When Trump appointed Ryan Zinke to head the Interior Department, Hatch said his support for Zinke rested almost solely on “his willingness to work with our congressional delegation to help us clean up the mess the Obama administration created in San Juan County” where Bears Ears is located (Obama had signed the measure establishing the national monument).

The decision to slash Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante was rumored ever since Trump’s April executive order directing Zinke to look into wholesale reductions of these protected areas—an executive order widely called the “Hatch E.O.” after Senator Hatch. In fact, Hatch met with Donald Trump, Jr., Trump’s son, shortly before the presidential election—and just before Obama designated Bears Ears as a national monument—to begin plotting ways to undermine and reverse the expected decision.

Oil and gas companies have expressed interest in leasing more than 100,000 acres inside monument boundaries since 2013. Coal mining interests have been drooling for decades over the possibility of turning the Kaiparowits area in Grand Staircase-Escalante into a gigantic coal strip mine. And there are already rumors that the Trump regime plans to reduce six more national monuments in the near future or at least open them up to energy exploration, mining and logging.

Killing Impact of Uranium Mining

Uranium interests have long wanted to expand mining operations in the southwestern U.S., an area with some of the largest uranium reserves in the country, including inside the former Bears Ears boundaries. And this has intersected with larger capitalist-imperialist interests to expand the reach of U.S. empire around the world.

A commission set up by the Utah legislature sent a letter to Zinke in May 2017 warning that Bears Ears posed a threat to national security and that “[t]he continued operation of White Mesa mill [the only working uranium mill in the country, located just outside the Bears Ears boundary] is critical to the operation of our nuclear naval fleet and our nuclear triad, and therefore vital to our national security. The Monument threatens its existence.”

Let’s be clear: The U.S. already has more, and more powerful, nuclear weapons than any nation on earth. It is the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon, dropping two of them on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II and killing up to 200,000 civilians. And now Trump openly threatens a massive first strike nuclear attack on North Korea. This past summer Trump reportedly told a gathering of the nation’s highest ranking national security leaders that he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Bears Ears and other sources of uranium in the southwest are viewed as essential to that effort.

The poisonous effects of uranium mining also have a long and sordid history, particularly among the Navajo and other Native peoples of the southwest. For nearly four and a half decades beginning in the early 1940s, the U.S. government extracted over four million tons of uranium ore from the Navajo reservation—first to build the bombs dropped on Japan, and then for several decades afterward to construct literally thousands of nuclear-tipped missiles and other nuclear weapons.

Most of the uranium ore was dug out with picks, shovels and dynamite blasting, with at least 1,500 Navajo men hired to work in the mines for years without any safety protection. Hundreds have died from cancer or other diseases caused by breathing uranium dust in the mines, from contaminated wells as uranium leached into the water table, and from living in stone dwellings built from mill waste—and for nearly the entire time, the government systematically and deliberately didn’t even tell the Navajo about the risk of radiation poisoning. Despite continual promises since the 1990s to clean up over 500 abandoned mines on the reservation and compensate the miners and their families, virtually nothing has been done—and now looks even more unlikely under Trump’s budget plans.

Thousands Protest Trump in Salt Lake City

On Saturday, December 2, 5,000 people rallied in Salt Lake City against Trump’s anticipated moves on the national monuments, with many spelling out “Dump Trump” with their bodies on the State Capitol lawn. And at least 3,000 more converged on Monday when Trump flew into the city, including 250 who “took a knee” in the street in defiance of riot police while hundreds more stood by during the tense confrontation. More protests are planned. And the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition of five southwestern American Indian tribes and a variety of environmental groups have promised to file suit immediately to try to block Trump’s actions.

All this is good and needs to continue. But much more is needed. Trump and the rest of his administration, along with all the other forces supporting his fascist agenda, have far greater crimes in the works. What is required is to move beyond fighting these outrages one by one, and to develop a mass, sustained and growing movement across the country to drive the entire regime from power. The very existence of a livable planet and the people who inhabit it is at stake.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/showing-and-discussion-of-bob-avakians-filmed-talk-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

From Revolution Club, NYC:

Showing and Discussion of Bob Avakian's Filmed Talk on "The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!"

December 6, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Off the call on revcom.us to promote and show Bob Avakian’s Filmed Talk: “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” the Revolution Club organized a film screening at Revolution Books NYC.

15 plus people attended the film screening, diverse but mainly young who were being introduced to BA and Revolution Books for the first time.

We watched the full speech and the Q&A “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?”

As the call makes the point "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." And this couldn't be more true: people watched the film intently. Afterwards we got into a very rich discussion where people were eager to dive in. People grappled with the Trump phenomenon, what it has in common with the past and what's different, and what to do. People said they appreciated how BA got them to think more about the history of this country and the film got people thinking about the nature and role of religion. And people wrestled with whether fundamental change is possible.

On BA's analysis on Christian fascism:

A college student from the South Bronx said “What Bob Avakian said about the Christian fascist component of this made me reflect on how Christianity has been used to justify slavery, and now there’s this kind of new Crusades in the Middle East and Christianity is used to justify it...And now the criminal justice system.”

A young Black woman whose friend we met at a Black Lives Matter protest the day before was very livid (in a good way) by watching the film and said: “I agree, what BA is saying about Christian fascists and how this got Trump into office.” As she continued to agree and listen intently to others’ comments.

A young activist who works with environmental researchers and who has recently been engaging BA appreciated that BA made clear that not all Christians are Christian fascists. And he went on to articulate the different interpretations of Christianity. He posed the contradiction of Jesus being a person who was trying to help people and now there are Christians who are attacking social programs and the poor.

Off this back and forth discussion we introduced people to the dialogue On Revolution & Religion...because of the questions provoked on the roots of religion, the differences made between Christian fascism, Christian fundamentalism, and Christianity (etc).

The deep impact of BA's analysis on white supremacy...

An African-American college student majoring in literature said the following: “From where I’m at BA really spoke to me...what he said about how if dogs were shot there would be chaos, but then what the cops are doing to Black people...and how BA talks about people saying to ‘get over slavery.’” She went on to recount a story about a white cop harassing a Black youth and feeling the disappointment of a Black sergeant doing the same thing. She continued by saying: “I’m trying to understand the history of this, people fighting for change...you had the Panthers and others....Yes we have to protest but then there’s the 13th Amendment and where things are today with mass incarceration and the scale is worse. I’m feeling hopeful and hopeless.”

People were provoked to look deeply into the present day reality and seek to understand the roots of oppression:

Someone who knows Revolution Books and is an activist; and who had seen the film previously was substantively working through the qualitative leap in the consolidation of a fascist America with the election of the Trump/Pence Regime. He said: “See it’s not just what Trump is saying but what [the regime] is doing and people see so little of this...and the influence of Bannon who wants to dismantle the ‘administrative state’ and establish the direct fascist rule by those with their hands on the reins on power..." And in response to someone saying, that there's just three years left he also commented that "they are breaking the way things work” and went on to explain that voter suppression can intensify and that the means in which people are clinging to stop Trump through voting can be tampered with by the government or outright eliminated. In addition, he said: “I was at November 4, it was great and we really have to spread it. And as I see it you have to do these protests but also do other things that bring change, like divestment, like supporting Revolution Books and local institutions.”

An older supporter of Revolution Books from the neighborhood who has been attending different programs in the past week or so reflected on the history of oppression: “I'm thinking about whether oppression has always existed...everywhere: in Africa, Europe, America there was oppression, different groups and different races up and down. And religion: Malcolm and MLK used it to overcome oppression; and other people like atheists get rid of moral confines and become free thinkers.”

An older white woman active in RefuseFascism.org who has uprooted her whole life since the election of Trump said: “It’s important how BA links fascism to capitalism.”

Off this round of discussion we recommended everyone get into “How We Can Win...” (we gave everyone a copy) because of the deeper questions provoked on the root of the problem and solution (that of capitalism-imperialism and revolution); and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) on how a radically better world really is possible.

The history of America:

A woman invited by a friend who had watched the film was deeply appreciative of the history of America BA gives and said “Trump isn’t just the problem...he’s the latest incarnation of a problem that has been brewing a long time.”

Her friend said: “Yeah, it’s what BA says about the Great Tautological Fallacy...people assume America is good, that Obama was good, but look at all that he did; this is really like a cancer metastasizing.” To which she replied: “A whole process got us here.”

Overall this was a very important gathering: it introduced people to BA, the most radical revolutionary on the planet and it really was a mind-opening experience for everyone present. This was but a beginning discussion and we intend to follow up on what's been opened up not just among those present but ever more widely in society. The importance of this film cannot be underestimated: we are planning other showings (formal and informal) and we strategized some with those present on how to get this film out to their networks (and more broadly throughout society).

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/trump-pence-regime-moves-US-embassy-to-Jerusalem-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

Trump/Pence Regime Moves U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem:

An Outrageous “Fuck You” to the Palestinian People... A Huge Provocation Aimed at Exacerbating Antagonism and the Risk of War

December 7, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On December 6 Donald Trump announced that the U.S. embassy in Israel will formally move to Jerusalem. This is a vicious slap in the face of the Palestinian people, who for 70 years have been subjected to escalating genocide at the hands of the state of Israel and its main backer—the United States. And, this move consciously pours gasoline on the tinder-strewn and volatile Middle East region.

Until this year, no country recognized Jerusalem as the country’s capital and none of them have embassies in the city. Every prominent expert on the region (coming from the perspective of safeguarding the interests of the U.S. empire) has warned this move will likely set off violence, unrest, and destabilize the region, including countries that the U.S. is working with to forge into an alliance against Iran. Trump got phone calls from his counterparts around the world, heard their warnings and pleas, and began his speech by rejecting that advice:

“When I came into office, I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking. We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. All challenges demand new approaches. My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”

What is “new” here is not U.S. backing for Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. Such backing is a basic job requirement for any political figure who wants to be considered legitimate by the ruling forces in this country, who see Israel as a key ally and enforcer for their interests in the Middle East and beyond. (See Bastion of Enlightenment ... or Enforcer for Imperialism: The Case of Israel for the real history and nature of this settler state, which has been systematically distorted or hidden from most Americans.)

Christian Fascism On The Rampage

What is new, is that Trump is redefining the nature of this alliance in ways that abandon pretense that the U.S. is any kind of “neutral broker” and instead frames the U.S.-Israel alliance in terms of a holy war between the West and Islam. This converges with an aggressive move from the U.S. policy of supporting the two state solution to an openly ethnically cleansed Israeli state. The Christian fascists led by Vice-President Mike Pence (along with extreme Zionists in both Israel and the U.S.), have been clamoring for the U.S. to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem—knowing that it may well set off hellish conflict.  These Christian fascists think that the establishment of the Jewish state in Israel is a crucial step on the road to “the second coming of Christ,” so Israel has to be backed 100%. Therefore, the fulfillment of their (imaginary) “God’s will” lies in some kind of Armageddon-style clash between their “true god” and Islam.

This outlook is at the core of the Trump/Pence regime. Trump’s advisor/wing-man/hitman Steve Bannon has articulated explicitly that this is the defining clash in the world today. For instance, in a talk Bannon gave three years ago at a conference held inside the Vatican, he laid out a “holy war” perspective of “Judeo-Christian capitalism” versus Islam. He traced this back to religious wars of the past and in the process accused “secularism” of sapping the “strength” of the West. (See the section “Israel’s Special Place in the Trumpite Holy War on Islam” in the article “Obama Abstains on a UN Resolution Condemning Israel... Trump Lashes Back: Not a “Sign of Hope,” a Preview of Incoming Horrors.”)

Stoking A Reactionary Dynamic

Trump’s announcement is very likely to set off a dynamic that is extremely dangerous to the people of the region and the whole world, but which is expected and may well be welcomed by the fascist theocrats and lunatics running the U.S.  The web site Politico reported that “At least two classified cables have been sent to (U.S.) embassies and consulates warning them of potential danger and advising they ramp up security.” Fox News reported that the U.S. Marine “Antiterrorism Security Teams (FAST) have bolstered security across ‘several’ U.S. embassies in the Middle East.” Israeli military and police officials have been meeting to prepare their forces for potential protests and upheavals. The Israeli police commander for Jerusalem said, “Any second this place could be set on fire.”

All this takes place in a world where the U.S. and Islamic fundamentalist jihadism are locked in a reactionary clash.  Bob Avakian has said:

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.

BAsics 1:28

Should U.S. installations be attacked, either by reactionary Islamic jihadists, or by the masses of people, or by some combination of the two, Trump could well use this as a pretext to escalate U.S. military activity in the region—maybe going to war with Iran, maybe supporting Israel in reactionary suppression of fundamentally just rebellions in Palestine, maybe many other things, depending on the response and both the challenges these would pose to the U.S. and the openings the U.S. would perceive to wreak its violent suppression and strengthen its domination by doing so. Should he do so, the Democrats would almost certainly support such a war. And he could also use this as a pretext for a major fascist crackdown in the U.S. itself, including using such an “emergency” as a way to crack down on his rivals in the bourgeoisie, shut down the Mueller investigation and perhaps suspend constitutional rights. And that in turn would bring about a “reaction,” which the Trump/Pence regime would then move to crush...

No matter what the character of the resistance against the U.S.—and again, while it may very likely contain positive elements of Palestinian national resistance and anti-imperialist outpourings in other places, it will also almost certainly have reactionary jihadist elements mixed in too—people in the U.S. must act against any and all U.S. aggressive moves in response.  The U.S. is by far the biggest oppressor in the region and has, with this act, committed new aggression.

It would be a terrible mistake to wait and see if any of the possible disastrous scenarios develops from this move. It is part of the whole direction, and momentum of a fascist regime moving domestically and internationally to tear up the way this system of exploitation and oppression has functioned for decades, and imposing an openly and virulently white supremacist, misogynist, rabid “USA#1” restructuring of U.S. society, and the world.

For those who have failed—or refused—to see up to now, this should serve as an extremely loud wake up call. It is not “more realistic” to sit on the sidelines and “let Bob Mueller do his work,” or “work to bring about change through the 2018 elections ... or the ones after that ... or the ones after that.”

No, it is wishful thinking verging on lunacy, in the form of leaving the fate of the world in the hands of lunatics and bloodthirsty monsters who have at their disposal truly world-destroying levels of military power, as well a vast and growing repressive apparatus.  The need simply could not be more urgent for people to take history into our own hands, in the streets, in mass, nonviolent and determined action that will not stop until this regime is driven from power.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/democratic-party-leadership-should-not-have-driven-al-franken-out-of-office-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

The Democratic Party Leadership Should NOT Have Driven Al Franken Out of Office, and Al Franken Should NOT Have Resigned

December 8, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

On Thursday, the Democratic Party leadership forced Minnesota senator Al Franken to resign his seat on charges of sexual harassment. In a single day, 35 Democratic senators seem to have suddenly decided that Al Franken must go and forced the Minnesota senator to resign and give up the seat to which he was legally elected. To be clear, the Democratic Party is an institution of the ruling class, openly dedicated to maintaining and expanding capitalism-imperialism, including unchallenged worldwide domination; and Franken is, at least until recently, an important player in that institution. Nevertheless, there is a question of principle involved here that bears on the kind of revolution we need and the society we are working toward. In getting rid of Franken, the Democratic Party leadership did serious damage to important principles, as well as to the whole upsurge against sexual harassment and abuse.

Six to eight women, some anonymous, accused Franken of sexual harassment and abuse. Franken has either denied these accusations outright or says that he remembers them differently. There is a procedure for hearing such allegations—a hearing by the Senate Ethics Committee. In previous years such a hearing resulted in the expulsion of former Senator Bob Packwood. Yet rather than let the process unfold through which these accusations could play out and be adjudicated, with both sides being heard, the Democratic Party leadership apparently made Franken “an offer he couldn’t refuse” and forced him out.

Accusations are not proof. By insisting that Franken leave, the Democratic leadership prevented him from exercising a basic right: the right to confront his accusers and to test the evidence against him in an adversarial proceeding.

By agreeing to go, Franken capitulated to a mob mentality and the strong-arming of the Democratic leadership. It is highly possible, and even likely, that the Senate Ethics Committee procedure is flawed and shaped in ways that make it weighted against women, as is virtually every institution in the society; nonetheless, people should still have the right to contest charges against them in some arena. In addition, by peremptorily purging Franken, rather than letting the process play out, the Democratic leadership focused against one individual and let an institution which is saturated in the oppression of women off the hook.

Earlier this week we criticized a trend of “any and all allegations and accusations being automatically treated as proven fact, and accused individuals immediately being treated as ‘guilty until proven innocent’ in effect, while concrete steps are immediately being taken by assorted institutions to fire them from their jobs, hound them out of public life, invalidate and bury their art or other works, deprive them of representation, demolish them on social media and generally turn them into lepers and social pariahs.” Because Franken is so high-profile, because this overturns a legal process (elections), and because this was so nakedly engineered by a powerful ruling class institution (the Democratic Party), Thursday’s action takes a terrible trend and seriously exacerbates it.

Today, this treatment is applied to those accused of sexual abuse. Tomorrow this could go on around charges of “aiding terrorism,” or “treason,” as it has often done and in fact still does in this country. Is that what we want?

To those who have asked why Franken should get due process, when women who are harassed too often get none, the question has to be posed: Do you want to end oppression for all people, or just get your chance to take revenge on those who oppressed you?

As we have said, the wave of exposures against sexual harassment and abuse has been in the main righteous and extremely important. It should continue—aiming its main fire and energy at the culture as a whole, the institutions that are complicit with this behavior, and the social relations which mold and shape men to behave as predators. But injustices like this forced resignation not only do grave harm to individuals and critical epistemological and legal principles, they will end up sabotaging and short-circuiting this movement. This approach misdirects the movement down blind alleys, turning away people who want to see this harassment exposed and ENDED but who also want to see a society in which there is rule of law, a respect for the process of getting at the truth, and respect for the rights of individuals, no matter how odious the act they are accused of. This trend, left unchecked and unstopped, will turn a righteous movement into a 15-minute paroxysm of revenge. No!

The night of Franken's resignation, Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC, visibly uncomfortable with the bum-rushing of Franken out of public life, nevertheless sought to justify it by saying that “There is wisdom in the wave.” This is wrong, terribly wrong. There is righteous anger at injustice in “the wave” but there is also the potential for turning that anger to revenge, rather than justice. Wisdom does not lie in tailing along behind every manifestation of a movement, but in seeing the source of the problem and the path of solution, pointing out the dead ends and ditches along the way, and struggling for principle.

Finally, Franken correctly pointed to the howling irony of at least 35 Democratic senators marching one of their own to the chopping block while doing nothing to demand that Trump—who is caught on tape admitting to much worse behavior than Franken is even accused of—be removed from office. In fact, not only have they done nothing to remove Trump, the Democratic Party leadership actively discourages and attempts to suppress any such move toward doing so. For them “the wave” must apparently end at the door of the Oval Office. And one would be justified in asking, given some of Franken’s aggressive questioning of Trump/Pence administration officials, whether Franken’s removal might be connected with further squelching any such move.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/roy-moore-wishes-for-days-and-morals-of-slavery-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

Republican Party Comes ALL the Way Out of Its Bag

Roy Moore Wishes for the Days and Morals of Slavery—Trump and Republican Party Continue to Back Him

December 8, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Thursday, a quote from a Roy Moore speech in September of this year, when he was already campaigning for the Senate, began bouncing around the Internet. Asked by an African-American man in the audience when Moore thought America was last “great,” Moore said, “I think it was great at the time when families were united—even though we had slavery—they cared for one another.... Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”

Think about this! Slavery and family values?!? When slave masters raped enslaved women over and over again?!?! When children were sold hundreds of miles away from their parents, never to be seen again?!?! When husbands and wives were separated, again sold to faraway places?!?!

What the fuck is on the mind of this monster? GodDAMN this pig. One of the most towering crimes of slavery was what it did to the families of those enslaved, and this monster feels sentimental about those days.

In the mind of this pious fascist fanatic, America began losing its moral way when slavery was abolished. This racist comes all the way out with his REAL thinking—and as we post this, not a single major figure in the Trump/Pence regime has denounced him or even mildly criticized this! THIS is what drives and sparks these people, and they are not going to stop until they ARE stopped—by masses of people in the streets saying that this whole rotten regime must be driven out.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/nomoore-refuse-a-fascist-theocracy-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

From RefuseFascism.org:

#NoMoore! Refuse A Fascist Theocracy! Protest Everywhere December 12

End Sexual Predation and the Enslavement of Women!
This Nightmare Must End: The Trump Regime Must Go!

December 9, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Tuesday December 12, a high-stakes election is taking place in Alabama between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.

Roy Moore is a Christian fascist theocrat who has twice been removed as a judge for attempting to remove the separation between church & state by placing “Biblical Law” above Constitutional protections . He has galvanized a fascist base & has been endorsed by an admitted sexual-predator, Donald Trump.

Some of Moore’s most powerful supporters have declared that even if the allegations that he sexually molested girls are true, he should still be elected to the Senate. Others have even used the Bible to justify Moore’s predation of young girls.

It is dangerous that Moore is being treated as a “legitimate” candidate & that even most criticism of him ignores his role in setting up a theocratic government.

Trump, Pence and Roy Moore represent an unholy American fascism; rooted in white supremacy, patriarchy, extreme religious fundamentalism, and America-First chauvinism. Trump has packed the federal courts with right-wing judges and filled his cabinet with religious fanatics. Mike Pence opposes abortion and birth control; as Indiana governor he oversaw the imprisonment of Purvi Patel for allegedly self-inducing an abortion. The election of Moore would represent an extremely dangerous leap in the consolidation of fascism in America. Even if defeated, Moore’s campaign has accelerated the mainstreaming and normalization of theocratic fascism.

Here are just a few examples of Roy Moore’s outrageous history:

Millions of people do NOT want to live in Moore’s kind of society, and feel it is a nightmare. We must reach them and challenge them to act. Everyday this regime is in power they are hammering their agenda into place & it becomes normalized. Waiting for elections in 2018 or 2020 endangers humanity. The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! Only the people acting in our millions in determined & continuous protest can end the nightmare.

On December 12 all those who want this nightmare to end–
Take to the streets to demand that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!—
In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.

Wear your Handmaid’s Tale costumes
Refusefascism.org
917 407 1286
@RefuseFascism

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/wildfires-dead-forests-climate-change-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

Wildfires, Dead Forests, Climate Change... and the Need to Act

December 9, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Huge wildfires are burning in Southern California. As of Thursday, December 7, the fires are raging and are out of control. More than 200,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes. The two largest fires, in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, have burned more than 116,000 acres. More than 300 structures have been destroyed. The 101 and 405 freeways, two of the most congested in the area, were closed as flames and smoke danced onto the highways.

These fires are happening just weeks after huge wildfires swept through Northern California for three weeks in October. The damage was horrific. Forty-two people died. More than 250 square miles burned and 8,400 structures were destroyed.  

The destruction caused by the California fires has focused attention on a disturbing pattern: the number and intensity of wildfires is rapidly increasing. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, wildfires in the western United States have been increasing in frequency and duration since the mid-1980s, occurring nearly four times more often, burning more than six times the land area, and lasting almost five times as long.

While wildfires are a natural part of the forest environment, the increase in number and intensity is being driven in large part by human-caused climate change, along with other factors such as increased construction in the urban-wildland interface and unscientific land management policies. The New York Times reported that researchers found that climate change was responsible for more than half of the dryness of western forests since 1979. Parched landscapes increase fire size and duration.

The increase in wildfires is a global phenomenon. In just June and July of 2017, more than 10,000 people had to flee fires in southern France, more than 60 people were killed in Portugal, nine people died and 10,000 people were evacuated in South Africa and 40,000 people have had to flee wildfires in western Canada.

Today the fire season in the western U.S. stretches, on average, 78 days longer than in the mid-1980s. Higher summer temperatures result in earlier snowmelt. Western forests typically become combustible within a month of when snowmelt is complete. Snowpack melts one to four weeks earlier than it did 50 years ago. In their book Tipping Point for Planet Earth: How Close Are We to the Edge? Anthony Barnosky and Elizabeth Hadly write, “No longer [in California] is there a ‘fire season’ and an off-season. Fires have become a year-round phenomenon. Wildfires, once recognized as local phenomena mostly controlled by precipitation, are a new global ‘normal,’ mostly controlled by temperature.”

Another factor behind the fires in California has been an increase in strong, dry winds. These are called Diablo winds in Northern California and Santa Ana winds in Southern California. During the wine country fires there were winds of up to 80 miles per hour and winds of similar force are spreading the wildfires in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

Dying Forests Part 1: Sudden Oak Death

Sudden Oak Death responsible for dead tanoak trees in Oregon. (Credit: Oregon Department of Forestry)

Sudden Oak Death responsible for dead tanoak trees in Oregon. (Credit: Oregon Department of Forestry)

A dramatic increase in the tree-killing disease known as Sudden Oak Death (SOD) helped spread the massive Northern California fires. Living oak trees are relatively resistant to fire. Dead and dying oak trees make wildfires hotter and cause them to spread more quickly. Matteo Garbelotto, the director of the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory, sampled trees in the Sonoma area prior to the fires and found that 37 percent were infected by SOD, a ten-fold increase compared with two years ago.

SOD is widespread in the coastal regions of Central and Northern California and southern Oregon. Millions of trees have died as a result of the disease.

While it did not bring the SOD pathogen to the United States, climate change has likely played a role in the spread of the disease. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture say that climate change is conducive to the spread of SOD, which spreads in warm and wet environments. “Increased temperature and moisture scenarios increased the likelihood of P. ramorum infection in California,” they write.

(Climate change comes about through a complex interaction of many different factors, and global warming has different effects on the climate in different regions. In some areas it can lead to warmer and dryer temperatures and in others warmer and wetter. Other areas could become cooler even as the overall average temperature of the Earth increases.)

A study by Ross Meentemeyer of North Carolina State University and others found that “in the absence of extensive control, we predict a ten-fold increase in [SOD] disease spread between 2010 and 2030 with most infection concentrated along the north coast between San Francisco and Oregon.”

Dying Forests Part 2: Pine Bark Beetle

Lodgepole pines killed by the pine bark beetle.
(Credit: V Smoothe/Creative Commons)

Lodgepole pines killed by the pine bark beetle.
(Credit: V Smoothe/Creative Commons)

The explosive population growth of the pine bark beetle is also destroying forests. Pine bark beetles inhabit ponderosa, whitebark, lodgepole, Scotch, jack pine, and limber pine trees in the western U.S. and Canada. These insects play an important role in the life of a forest, attacking old or weakened trees, and speeding development of a younger forest, according to badbeetle.com.

Prior to about 1990, winter temperatures were low enough to kill off a large number of the beetles each year. The beetles and the trees were in relative ecological equilibrium. As winter temperatures have risen, the beetle population has increased exponentially.

The pine bark beetle has killed billions of trees, likely the largest forest insect outbreak ever recorded, nearly 10 times the size of past eruptions. “A doubling would have been remarkable,” entomologist Diana Six told Mother Jones. “Ten times screams that something is really going wrong.”

In their book, Barnosky and Hadly describe the effect: “What used to be tens of millions of acres of mature green forest when we were growing up and when our kids were born are now dead sticks reaching for the sky, from New Mexico all the way up the Rocky Mountain chain through Canada and into Alaska. That’s why as you drive through that part of the world, in places you will find that 60 to 80 percent of the trees are dead. All that death happened in the course of a decade.”

“We’re talking millions of trees killed, whole mountain sides dying,” Dr. David Rizzo of UC Davis told the Guardian newspaper. A recent aerial survey by the U.S. Forest Service tallied 36 million more dead trees in California between May and November 2016.

The devastation of forests has been most marked in the West, but all forests in this country are in danger. “Our analysis shows virtually all U.S. forests are now experiencing change and are vulnerable to future declines,” forest researchers from Duke University wrote. “Given the high degree of uncertainty in our understanding of how forest species and stands adapt to rapid change, it’s going to be difficult to anticipate the type of forests that will be here in 20 to 40 years.”

Beyond Repair

Special Issue of Revolution on the Environmental Emergency

This Revolution special issue focuses on the environmental emergency that now faces humanity and Earth's ecosystems.

Read the section "Some Key Principles of Socialist Sustainable Development"

Read the entire issue online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

“There’s virtually nothing you can do to stop the beetles, either, unless they’ve killed everything and run out of food. Or unless the climate cools, and I don’t think anyone’s expecting that anytime soon.”

—Diana Six, entomologist, University of Montana

While it is not the only factor involved in the increase in wildfires and the spread of forest pathogens, climate change is transforming and harming the Earth in ways that CANNOT be repaired.

Forests play a crucial role in the environment. They provide clean water, lock up carbon (the main cause of climate change) and shelter whole ecosystems. Devastated forests leave birds, mammals and other living things that rely on them without food, shelter or the means for survival. The destruction of forest areas contributes to what is called a negative feedback loop, where increased temperatures and other climate changes kill trees and forests, which, because the trees no longer lock up carbon, increases global warming, leading to more dying trees, and on and on.

The Need to Act

In the face of all of this and many other manifestations of climate change, Trump and his regime are actively sabotaging any attempts to deal with this. They are attacking climate change science and working to destroy the infrastructure that scientists and the government have built up over years to study and monitor changes in climate; they are censoring scientists; and they are doing what they can to unleash more burning of fossil fuels, which accelerates climate change.

One of humanity’s goals should be to protect the precious resources of our planet and to leave it in better shape for future generations. The Earth’s forests, and much else, have already been damaged in ways that cannot be reversed. We must act NOW, with the urgency that the situation demands, to stop Trump and Co. from destroying the planet.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/honduran-people-erupt-in-protest-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

U.S. Puppet Hernandez Accused of Election Fraud: Honduran People Erupt in Protest!

December 9, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Honduran government declared a 10-day state of siege Friday night, December 1, in response to the massive eruption of protests by hundreds of thousands of people, day and night, against what is widely seen to be blatant election fraud by the current U.S. puppet dictator, Juan Orlando Hernández, and his National Party. The people have been bravely defying the state of siege and the 6 pm to 6 am curfew since it was declared.

Salvador Nasralla, a radio personality and sports reporter representing the Oppositional Alliance Against Dictatorship, a coalition of different parties, had a five percent lead at the first count of ballots. Yet soon, supposed computer glitches and other election “mysteries” appeared, and Hernández suddenly took the lead. The results of the election have still not been announced, 12 days since the vote. Nasralla has refused to concede and is calling for either a runoff election or a full recount of the vote. This political turmoil has created an opening for the pent-up anger of the Honduran people to pour into the streets.

One observer reported from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, on Democracy Now! (December 2): “[T]he first night of the toque de queda, or curfew, has been called the Black Night, because of the amount of death, because of the amount of blood that was shed. That next day, there was what’s called the cacerolazo, the banging of pots and pans. And when you stepped outside the doors in Tegucigalpa, it sounded like there wasn’t a single household in the whole city that wasn’t banging on pots and pans. It was a symphony of pots and pans, of joy, of yelling, of defiance. In many neighborhoods, people were flooding out of their homes in open defiance of extreme levels of militarization, and making very clear that the will of the Honduran people is not broken. And the day after that, there were over 100,000 in the streets....”

Hernández deployed U.S.-trained military police units, called TIGRES and Cobras, to carry out repression against protesters. Journalists have been detained and deported. Accurate reports of mass arrests, deaths, and injuries of protesters by the police and military are difficult to verify. As of December 5, there were reports of police teargassing whole neighborhoods, injuring hundreds who were flooding to local hospitals, and arresting several hundred. There are at least 16 dead, including 19-year-old Kimberly Fonseca, shot in the head by the military as she protested in the early hours Saturday, December 2.

On December 4, Honduran police, including the TIGRES and Cobras, announced that they would no longer enforce the curfew and crackdown against the protesters. A TIGRES spokesperson said: “We are tired. And our job is to give peace and security to the Honduran people, not repress them. We want all Hondurans to be safe.” This announcement was celebrated by the people. Yet, despite their honeyed words, the TIGRES includes graduates of the (now renamed) U.S. “School of the Americas” at Fort Benning, Georgia—a “school for mass murderers and torturers,” as an article in the revcom.us American Crime series described it. Whether this  stoppage is temporary or more extended, it cannot be forgotten that these forces are trained by the U.S. military and act in the interests of U.S. imperialism, which has no intention of losing control of Honduras.

Hernández was elected president in 2014. The Honduran constitution prohibited a president from being elected for a second term. But that didn’t stop Hernández; he led a move to fire four members of the Supreme Court and replace them with his cronies, and the court later changed the constitution to make it “legal” for him to run for reelection.

Hernández came to power through a 2009 coup that removed then-President Manuel Zelaya, carried out under the justification that Zelaya was violating the constitution by considering running again. Zelaya had become closely allied with Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, as well as with Bolivia and Cuba, all seen by the U.S. as obstacles to their domination of the region. Then-U.S. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew days ahead of time that the Honduran coup was in the works, and Clinton played a crucial role in enabling the coup's success.

The 2009 coup brought to power a thoroughly pro-U.S. and more openly fascistic regime. This plunged the Honduran people even more deeply into the hell of U.S. domination, state-sponsored political assassinations and terrorism, and intensified violence, poverty, and oppression that continues today. Credible estimates are that 200 LGBT activists, 100 journalists, and a dozen environmental activists, including renowned Berta Cáceres, have been murdered by state forces, security guards, or hired assassins in recent years. A report earlier this year from the British group Global Witness exposed that more than 120 people have been murdered in Honduras since 2010 for “standing up to companies that grab land and trash the environment.”

The Trump/Pence regime has a great deal at stake in restoring order in Honduras—under their control—before the rebellion of the people deepens. Honduras has long been a staging area for the U.S. in directing campaigns of murder and mayhem in Central America, and has received large amounts of military and other aid. Donald Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, who, as head of the U.S. military’s Southern Command worked with Hernandez, recently called him “a good guy, and a great friend.” Hernández just made a trip to Washington, DC, returning to Honduras to announce the state of siege. And just two days after the contested election, Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, green-lighted millions more dollars for the training of the Honduran armed forces and police.

The U.S. imperialist military has closely directed the actions of the armed enforcers of reactionary violence in Honduras. Any further bloodshed at the hands of the U.S-backed regime there must be opposed, especially by people in the U.S. If the U.S. military intervenes more directly in Honduras, there need to be protests in the streets of this country and around the world.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/520/another-pig-walks-en.html

Revolution #520 December 4, 2017

Another pig walks after murdering an unarmed man crawling on the floor, crying, and pleading for his life

December 9, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

A Mesa, Arizona, pig, Philip Brailsford, was found not guilty of second-degree murder and reckless manslaughter of Daniel Shaver, despite the fact that a video of the murder clearly shows Shaver was unarmed, crawling on the floor, and begging for his life.

The five-minute video, which was just released to the public, shows Shaver coming out of a hotel room with his hands up. He then gets on the ground with his hands on his head. He is given a series of commands by the cops, and he follows them. Shaver tells the cops that he’s “sorry” and then, as he is sobbing and putting his hands in the air begs to them, “Please do not shoot me.” He is told to crawl towards the pig. As he is crawling forward, it appears as if Shaver is trying to pull his pants up when the pig unloads his AR-15 rifle into Shaver. The pig’s rifle had the phrase, “You’re Fucked,” etched into it.

The cops were called to the hotel because someone saw Shaver with a gun. Two pellet guns that Shaver used in his pest-control job were found in the hotel room.

Once again, a murdering pig walks free with jury’s verdict telling these murdering pigs that shooting an unarmed person is legal in Amerikkka.

From BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian:

Editor’s note: Tyisha Miller was a 19-year-old African-American woman shot dead by Riverside, California police in 1998. Miller had been passed out in her car, resulting from a seizure, when police claimed that she suddenly awoke and had a gun; they fired 23 times at her, hitting her at least 12 times, and murdering her. Bob Avakian addressed this.

If you can’t handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people. Fuck all this “serve and protect” bullshit! If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene. They could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it’s been in power has handled—and would again handle—this kind of thing, valuing the lives of the masses of people. As opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses. And that’s one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people.

—Bob Avakian, BAsics 2:16