Revolution #524, January 1, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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

 


 

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

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

In this Film, Bob Avakian Analyzes the Deep Roots and Driving Forces of Trump/Pence Fascism and What Must Be Done to Stop It.

Watch It Here, and Spread It.

Updated April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Be part of bringing the most serious answers to the most urgent questions to tens and hundreds of thousands, and ultimately millions.

This talk from Bob Avakian (BA) provides a scientific understanding of the roots of this fascist regime—in the history of the U.S. and the deeper roots in the system of capitalism-imperialism. He does so with passion, humor, humanity, and a deep sense of history. He cuts into the deepest, most agonizing questions, first in the speech and then in a wide-ranging Questions and Answers.

If more people watched this talk, it could change today’s political equation. But far too few have seen this talk, or even know about it. You are needed to be part of changing this.

Donate towards promotion of this film:

Scroll down for the film trailer, videos of the Q&A session following the speech, and clips from the film


Click to view the full speech.

The film and all video clips are also available for download HERE

For instructions to download this film click HERE

 

 

 

Questions and Answers with Bob Avakian

NEW:  Download, share, and watch each Q&A in a separate clip. To download these clips, click the "v" icon on the bottom right of the clip to get to the Vimeo page, and scroll down to the button for "Download"

Q&A: What do you say to the comedians who ridicule Trump/Pence but also run the risk of contributing to normalizing fascism?

Q&A: If we drive out the Trump/Pence regime, what will replace it?

Q&A: How can we sustain the massive movement required to drive this regime from power?

Q&A: What strategies are there to break through the mainstream news whiteout of Refuse Fascism?

Q&A: How can we protect immigrants targeted directly by this regime?

Q&A: What's the role of students in the movement to drive out the Trump/Pence regime?

Q&A: The Democrats are supposed to be the lesser of two evils, but I don't want to vote for them. I know the system sucks, but what do we do in the interim?

Q&A: As a revolutionary Christian, I believe that we do need this revolution but how can you have religious people not feel alienated?

Q&A: What's the relationship between fighting fascism and making revolution?

Q&A: How can we overcome obstacles in reaching out broadly to drive out the Trump/Pence regime?

Q&A: Millions hate what's happening with the Trump/Pence regime, but does that matter if they don’t act?

Q&A: Do you think that we need animal liberation?


Trailer and Clips From the Film:

Trailer

Clip: "Free Yourself from the GTF!"

Clip: "What are we facing?"

Clip: "Order or Justice?"


Clip: "What Must We Do?"

Clip: "The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today"

Clip: "Why is it the Democrats can only try to resolve this on the terms of the system?"

Clip: "The Christian Fascists
Now In Power"

Clip: "The 'Unholy Alliance' Between Trump and Fundamentalist Christian Fascists"

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/516/how-to-download-new-film-by-bob-avakian-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

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/524/new-years-message-from-revolution-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

New Year's Message from REVOLUTION

A World in Upheaval, A Planet in Flames

There IS A Way Forward...
A Better World Truly IS Possible

January 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The new year dawns on a world in upheaval, a planet in flames.

Tens of millions of refugees flee from country to country—driven by war, violence and disastrous global climate change—and endure horrors worse than any hell imagined in any “holy book.” One half of humanity—women—demeaned, harassed, beaten, raped and murdered by the other half. All over the world, fascists march toward power. In the U.S. itself, Trump and his minions openly uphold the slaveholding Confederacy, vilify immigrants and Muslims, and work to bring back open white supremacy. They rain violence around the world, and threaten nuclear genocide. And all the while, the planet burns... and drowns.

How many have lived the past year in dread, disbelief and despair for the future of humanity, questioning how we got into this state and what can be done about it? Can anyone say that they are confident of the survival of human civilization? Let alone an advance to a world in which the masses of people can rise to their full humanity?

Some turn away, drowning in despair, numbing with drugs, or hardening in pursuit of a parasitical peace... for themselves. Some turn, or are turned, against each other in conflicts that ultimately make no sense at all. Some turn to promises that in the end lead nowhere.

But there IS a way out, a way forward. Beneath the extreme contradictions we face lies the very possibility of a whole new world, if we dare to take up struggle. The possibility actually exists—it is real—to go forward to a radically new society on the road to human emancipation. There is a way to understand the world, and on that basis to radically change it. There is a way to fight and work toward a world free of the madness that envelops humanity today. There is a strategy that could actually bring forward the tens of millions who deep down yearn for something better; a strategy that, when the time is right, could actually defeat those who rule today, with all their might and power.

That way forward is the new synthesis of communism, brought forward by Bob Avakian (BA). This new synthesis analyzes the world as it is, digging for the truth, without any hint of religion or relativism. It digs deep, going for the underlying patterns and dynamics, and it applies all this, as BA himself has said, “to reality in general and in particular the revolutionary struggle to overturn and uproot all systems and relations of exploitation and oppression and advance to a communist world.” And it does this in a way that’s not been done before. If there is to be a better world, if there is to be a way out of the madness and horror that looms, it will proceed through this—and nothing less.

You can learn about this way in The New Communism, by Bob Avakian. You can learn about this leader and more about the science he’s developed in Science and Revolution, by Ardea Skybreak. You can see him doing the work up close in films like REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! And BA has actually written a constitution—Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—to guide the new revolutionary power, a constitution that builds on the lessons of past revolutions but is an advance beyond and, in some critical ways, a rupture with what has gone before. This revolution is hard, but it is possible—and the road to that new society has been charted.

And there is a leadership for this. There is Bob Avakian himself. We’ve truly never had a leader like this, who combines the most rigorous, clear-eyed scientific outlook with a deep feeling for humanity... who applies this science to the heaviest, deepest problems we face and puts it in the hands of the people who step forward to take it up, enabling them to understand and transform the world. There is the party he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party, organized on the basis of the new communism—a party which you can learn about and join and build into the revolutionary instrument that could actually lead and fight forward toward this new world.

If across the planet parties based on this new synthesis grew into powerful forces... if they came into being where they don’t exist... that in itself would open up new possibilities. The world would look very different. As BA himself has written:

There is an urgent need for this new synthesis to be taken up, broadly, in this society and in the world as a whole: everywhere people are questioning why things are the way they are, and whether a different world is possible; everywhere people are talking about “revolution” but have no real understanding of what revolution means, no scientific approach to analyzing and dealing with what they are up against and what needs to be done; everywhere people are rising up in rebellion but are hemmed in, let down and left to the mercy of murderous oppressors, or misled onto paths which only reinforce, often with barbaric brutality, the enslaving chains of tradition; everywhere people need a way out of their desperate conditions, but do not see the source of their suffering and the path forward out of the darkness.

* * *

Right now, right here, humanity faces a sharp and dire threat from the Trump/Pence fascist regime. This regime is moving to lock down a directly fascist form of rule in the U.S. It is preparing to bring down horrors that could well mean the end of humanity and that could, in any case, foreclose the possibility for any change for the better for a long time to come. Bob Avakian’s film, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible, lays out why we face this situation and what must be done in the face of it. This film urgently must be seen and spread.

The organization RefuseFascism.org has taken on this battle. RefuseFascism.org unites people of many different viewpoints around the demand that The Trump/Pence Fascist Regime Must Go! It sets forth the stand: “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!” The Revolutionary Communist Party supports RefuseFascism.org and calls on people everywhere to check out their website and join with them.

* * *

As the new year dawns, even amidst the horror and anguish, a better world truly IS possible. The need for such a world cries out. The challenge, the chance, is there for you to take. It is hard to be among the first who step on that road, but there is a just pride in learning about and working to become an emancipator of humanity.

What will YOU do?

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/refusefascism-organizing-tour-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

From RefuseFascism.org

Join us now! What could be more important than breaking the silence of adjusting to a fascist regime and Bringing the Noise that We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.

RefuseFascism.org Organizing Tour

Updated January 3, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Chicago & San Francisco: January 5-10
Los Angeles & NYC: January 11-17

Refuse Fascism called for mass protests nationwide on November 4, 2017 to launch a movement to end this nightmare – to drive out the Trump/Pence regime.  4000 people came out in over 20 cities, and did so in the face of unrelenting fascist threats broadcast on mass media and the internet, including vicious armed fascists who showed up in 3 cities to threaten.

November 4 was an inspiring day a harbinger of potential but it did not launch the movement of mass continuing growing nonviolent protest that that was, and still is needed.

We have begun a process of figuring out why, and we invite you to read some of what we’ve been wrangling with.  The point for now is that we are working on the contradiction between the relative stability of most people’s lives and reluctance to upend that, on the one hand, and their deep and profound revulsion and turmoil over the horrific actions and future of the Trump/Pence Regime on the other: in brief, how does the latter come to the fore?

Part of the problem is this: people have been told by the leadership of the Democratic Party to rely on them, to wait and work for normal process of electing them to office.  People have been instructed that mass protest will only stir the beast of the fascist forces, that it will undermine the Democrats chances to win over “swing voters,” to be “realistic,” and not think and act outside the framework of politics as usual and perhaps see the role of the Democratic Party leadership’s conciliation with the fascists over a long period of time, or even to begin to question the whole set up.

The question, then, is how essential is defiant, non-violent, mass struggle in the streets to driving out this regime and preventing the full horror of fascism? And what is the basis for such a struggle to take place?

If you are reading this you are one of millions who wants the nightmare of the Trump/Pence regime to end.  The people can drive it from power.  Refuse Fascism has made a start. Many have resisted and there is a broad reservoir of people who deeply abhor the regime.

Now it depends on you and us together finding the ways and the means to unite to struggle to drive it out.  To do anything else, or less, is to put humanity’s future in peril. That we must not and will not do.

Donate here to support the National Organizing Tour.

Chicago:
Saturday January 6 RefuseFascism.org Mass Organizing Meeting

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Trinity Episcopal Church 125 E. 26th & Michigan Avenue
Facebook Event
chicago@refusefascism.org 312-933-9586

San Francisco:
Saturday January 6 RefuseFascism California Statewide Student Conference

12:00 pm – 6:00 pm 1590 Bryant Street, San Francisco
Facebook Event
Sunday January 7 RefuseFascism Mass Organizing Meeting

Sunday, 3:00 pm 1590 Bryant Street, San Francisco
norcal@refusefascism.org 510-253-5551 | Facebook event

Los Angeles:
Los Angeles Refuse Fascism Mass Meeting
Saturday January 13
Location TBA
socal@refusefascism.org 323-946-1742

New York City:
New York City Refuse Fascism Mass Meeting
Saturday January 13
2:00 pm LGBT Center 208 West 13th Street NYC
nyc@refusefascism.org 646 852 6785 | Facebook event

Kick-off for Refuse Fascism National Tour Fundraiser-Seattle
Wednesday, January 3 at 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM PST
Bedlam Coffee 2231 2nd Ave Seattle, WA 98121 | Facebook event

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/repression-it-is-happening-here-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

“It can’t happen here”? Sorry—It IS Happening Here

In One Year, the Trump/Pence Regime Has Made Huge Leaps in Forging the Repressive Machinery of a Fully Fascist Society

January 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

INTRODUCTION

Since the Trump/Pence regime came to power, we have been hit by shock after shock, day after day, leaving millions reeling and fearful. Many worry aloud that “this is not the country I thought it was,” and ordinary people as well as writers and intellectuals point with alarm to not only the close relationships, but also to the similarities, between Trump/Pence and “authoritarian” regimes like Erdoğan in Turkey, Putin in Russia, Duterte in the Philippines. Millions agonize about where things are heading and what to do about it, and at different points, thousands, tens of thousands, and even millions have taken to the streets in protest.

Yet even as these fears persist and deepen, and the word “fascism” and the image of Hitler come to mind and even pop up in the public discourse, people hold, and cling, to the belief that “It can’t happen here!” “Not in the USA,” not with its long history of democratic rule, entrenched institutions, its system of checks and balances. People hope—and are encouraged by Democrats and others of influence and authority to believe—that there are mechanisms within the normal workings of the system that will either constrain or remove this regime before it has done irreversible damage.

This line of thinking is a way of reconstructing a “comfort zone” within the mounting horror—things are bad, but surely “the worst” won’t come to pass.

But... a sober survey of the past 11 months shows that it is “happening here”! Trump and Pence are erecting the legal, political, and ideological architecture of a fascist society, carrying out real atrocities today, but even worse, laying the groundwork for dramatic and catastrophic leaps. They have made enormous strides in suppressing political protest; undermining freedom of speech, assembly, and the press; attacking science and critical thinking; galvanizing a mindless and hateful fascist movement; and in these and many other ways, moving towards consolidating power in their hands, in preparation for a full fascist clampdown on society as a whole that will be extremely difficult to reverse or undo.

What they are doing in fact is carrying out a profound transformation in the form of capitalist-imperialist rule in the U.S., from bourgeois democracy1 to bourgeois fascism.

The Trump/Pence regime has not “shut the door” yet in terms of implementing fascism. But there is direction and momentum in what they have accomplished.

In this article we will focus on some key examples (and by no means all) of the regime’s multipronged fascistic attacks:

  1. On progressive, radical and revolutionary individuals, movements, and organizations;
  2. On institutions that to any degree promote critical thinking, and/or which contradict the official mythology of the regime; and
  3. On fundamental democratic rights and civil liberties, like freedom of speech and assembly.

PART 1:
The Fascist Forces, Led by the Trump/Pence Regime, Are Targeting Social Movements That Could Become Centers of Mass Resistance to Their Program

A central feature of fascism is the criminalization of all political protest, and the outright crushing of radical and revolutionary opponents. That is exactly what the Trump/Pence regime has been moving toward for the last 11 months.

The Trump regime has targeted movements of opposition to police murder of Black and Brown people.

Trump has gone after anti-fascist groups—starting when he was a candidate inciting his supporters to “knock the crap out of” protesters.

In August, torch-bearing Nazis and white supremacists stormed through Charlottesville, Virginia, beating and even shooting at anti-racist demonstrators while police stood by and did nothing. One fascist drove a car into protesters, killing a young woman and injuring many others. Trump belligerently declared that there were “many fine people” on the Nazi side.

PART 2
The Fascist Forces, Led by the Trump/Pence Regime, Seek to Shut Down Institutions and Centers of Critical Thinking, Foreclose Open Criticism of the Regime Even From Other Ruling Class Leaders and Institutions, and Clamp Down on the Free Flow of Ideas on the Internet

The fascists are rapidly moving to transform as much news media as they can into fawning mouthpieces for the regime, while restricting and repressing media that do not go along with this. Their targets include major capitalist media that are not fully in line with the fascist transformation, as well as independent, progressive, radical, and revolutionary media.

PART 3:
The Fascist Forces, Led by the Trump/Pence Regime, Are Laying Siege to Basic Democratic Rights and Core Principles of Bourgeois-Democratic Rule, Laying the Foundations for “Führer-Style” Fascist Rule—A “Leader” With Unchecked Power, a People With No Rights

CONCLUSION:

The totality of all these measures is a powerful effort to:

Criminalize protest and suppress all opposition political movements and organizations through legal means, as well as the fostering of mobs, online and off;

Make institutions like colleges and universities that can nourish dissent “inhospitable” to critical thinking, radical ideas, and movements of protest and resistance and severely cut down on their resources;

Create a national “information environment” where large-scale providers who have access to an audience of tens or hundreds of millions are systematically cowed or legislated into towing the fascist line, smaller-scale providers are pushed to the furthest margins and denied an audience, or are outright arrested, beaten, or otherwise repressed, and the Internet is under increased control of the government and huge corporations;

Concentrate overwhelming and unchecked power in the hands of the Trump/Pence regime, and deprive the masses of people of all previously acknowledged, minimal democratic rights.

In other words, it is a program for a political and intellectual lockdown of U.S. society... and it is well along the path to full implementation.

 


1. The reality of democracy in the U.S. is that it was from the beginning built on the slavery of Black people, the genocide of Native Americans, and then the conquest and theft of much of Mexico, the exploitation of immigrants and other working people, and the bloody and brutal conquest and domination of much of the rest of the world, and that it is still fully stamped with this oppressive character. It is in its essence a DICTATORSHIP—one in which the instruments of coercion are in the hands of the capitalist-imperialist class—with a democracy that corresponds to the interests of that ruling class. This essential character—as well as the revolutionary path to a vastly more liberating society—is gone into extensively at revcom.us, particularly in the works of Bob Avakian (BA). (See Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy; The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! and The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—all by BA—as well as the American Crime series.) Further exploring that is beyond the scope of this article—our purpose here is to bring out the fact that under the Trump/Pence regime, U.S. society is rapidly plunging to a qualitatively worse form of rulefascism—with potentially catastrophic implications for humanity, if we do not act decisively and in our millions to prevent it. [back]

2. Extreme charges like this are not, however, unique in dealing with protest, especially by revolutionary forces. In fact, in 1979, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Bob Avakian and a dozen or so other people faced multiple charges potentially carrying 241 years in prison, in the wake of a police attack on a protest against the Chinese counter-revolutionary, Deng Xiaoping, who was visiting and being celebrated in Washington, DC. For more on this, see the BA Timeline, “1979.” [back]

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/controversy-over-matt-damons-comments-about-metoo-movement-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

On the Controversy over Matt Damon’s Comments About the #MeToo Movement

Are we going for retribution or transformation?

January 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

In the last two weeks, there has been a great deal of controversy and commentary on recent comments from the actor Matt Damon about the #MeToo movement. This has ranged from substantive critiques to complaints that the problem is that he, as a man, is speaking at all. There has even been a petition to remove him from the movie Ocean’s 8.

Some of Damon’s most quoted remarks (here in context) include: “I think we’re in this watershed moment. I think it’s great. I think it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories, and it’s totally necessary.… I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior, right? And we’re going to have to figure—you know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?... We’re so energized to kind of get retribution, I think. And we live in this culture of outrage and injury, and, you know, that we’re going to have to correct enough to kind of go, ‘Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect.’” 

He went on to talk about a couple of different cases on this “spectrum” where, for criminal charges, there should be prison time, but for lesser crimes, there would have to be transformation, “reflection and dialogue and some reconciliation.”

Are these statements basically right or wrong? They are basically right. Not just in talking about the way we ought to approach different cases in terms of punishment, but by pointing correctly to a negative trend that has emerged from the #MeToo movement. And this is something that is vital to get right if this movement is going to go forward on a positive basis. We need to get to a world free of all forms of exploitation and oppression, all the underlying economic and political structures and relations that give rise to them, and all the ideas based on—and reinforcing—those structures. But to even have a chance of getting there, we need to get right how we’re fighting right now, today, for changes. I want to focus here on three questions concentrated in this controversy over Damon’s remarks.

1. Are we going for retribution or transformation?

In response to Damon, actress and activist Alyssa Milano tweeted a thread about how it’s “the micro that makes the macro.” She compared sexual assault to cancer: there may be different degrees but it is all still cancer. She explained: “I have been a victim of each component of the sexual assault spectrum of which you speak. They all hurt. And they are all connected to a patriarchy intertwined with normalized, accepted—even welcomed—misogyny.”

She upheld the “culture of outrage” in a way that could lead to justifying the aspect of retribution that Damon was criticizing. She said: “Sexual harassment, misconduct, assault and violence is a systemic disease. The tumor is being cut out right now with no anesthesia. Please send flowers.” Alyssa Milano should pursue her metaphor. In the history of breast cancer, radical mastectomies were once the one and only treatment known. When cancers returned after the surgery, as they often did, the doctors concluded that they had not cut deeply enough. So they operated again, cutting out even more, and often crippling the women so treated without preventing recurrence. It was only when medicine identified a genetic component to certain breast cancers—that is, it was only when the underlying causes were correctly understood—that a more effective treatment could be designed. If we allow this moment and this movement to be reduced to targeting of individuals and if no distinctions are made between them while the actual underlying and truly systemic causes are ignored and the institutional factors are untouched, a few tumors may be removed—along with some healthy tissue—but after the initial surgery the cancer will surely return.

Given the ways our whole world is saturated and shaped by this kind of misogyny, do we think we can or should try to punish our way out of this? For men—who have maybe never considered or understood the depth of the horrors visited on women—what is the kind of debate and struggle needed for real transformation? What kind of broad debate and struggle has to go on for men and, yes, for many women, to recognize the swamp we’re all swimming in and shaped by? To really recognize and uproot all the ways women are viewed—and frankly, view themselves—as less than fully human? The depth of enforced gender roles, the way degradation has embedded itself into our most intimate relations, the way women have been trained to view themselves as commodities... all this flows from a system and needs to be put back at the feet of the system—not by some kind of individualized bloodlust that actually lets the system off the hook.  

Without overturning that essential point here, there is something important that Milano was speaking to: the ways in which women are forced to walk through the world surrounded and assaulted at every turn—on the street, in the workplace and in their most intimate spaces. Let us also add in the culture as a whole (including in the way it is saturated with porn, a point way too little noted in today’s movement), and in the family. The abuse, harassment and worse now being righteously called out is systemically intertwined with the larger system of patriarchy, which is not just a curse word but a system of subjugation that arose with the division of society into classes and is now completely interwoven with the system of capitalism-imperialism.  

The widespread and ubiquitous character of this is something that men in this society do not spontaneously understand or appreciate, and are trained to be blind to. The institutional character of it is not spontaneously understood by anyone, and one of the original strengths of this movement in drawing out and focusing on that institutional role and complicity is now in danger of being lost.

Damon himself has clearly been learning a great deal through this outpouring. Later in the same interview with him, he talks about how surprised he has been at how widespread sexual assault is. He said, “I think one of the surprising things for me has been the extent to which my female friends, as, I think, of all the ones I’ve talked to in the last year since all this stuff started happening—I can’t think of any of them who don’t have a story at some point in their life. And most of them have more than one.”

In addition, it’s clear that Damon doesn’t fully understand the ways in which all men are brought up to regard and treat all women, and the way in which all women are oppressed by this. But again, there is inculcated and enforced ignorance about this which comes from and is shaped by this system and prevailing culture. What is needed is serious and principled struggle about all this.

A recent revcom.us article, “The #MeToo Movement: Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize,” made the following point: 

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 [other recent] articles began to speak to this, but much more needs to be done.

There is a great deal worth grappling with about this—the reality and implications of this contradiction.

2. Do men have a right and responsibility to speak or should they just shut up and listen?

Another major avenue of criticism towards Matt Damon has been that as a man, he shouldn’t be speaking out about this at all. That right now, he should just “shut up and listen.” But this is wrong and will lead us to a very bad place.

A critical point of epistemology: Truth is not determined by the identity of the speaker; truth is determined by evidence. 

First, we should listen to and learn from the flood of stories pouring forth from women. And much more of this needs to happen, even as it has to be increasingly directed at the system and culture that is the source of all this. But while most allegations ARE true and while every woman DOES have a story or more to tell, not every single allegation is true. There are too many painful cases to recount, including the “Scottsboro Boys” 1 and countless lynchings of Black men that took place based on accusations of rape. There are cases in the present day of accusations made that later turned out to be false, including against the Duke University men’s lacrosse team, the story about the University of Virginia printed in Rolling Stone, or even cases of mistaken identification.

Every woman should be listened to and taken seriously, but in evaluating truth we have to go for the evidence. 

But there is another, deeper dimension to this. Getting to the truth about the deep societal causes of this and the kinds of changes that must be made to end it, is a question independent of the gender or social position of the speaker and one in which all people who want to see this ended should be participating, with all they can bring to it.

If we think and act based on the false idea that the “truth resides in the speaker,” this will ultimately enforce a society in which “might makes right.” With that criterion, the speaker with the most power will be able to define and dictate what is accepted as true. Here it’s worth thinking about why the Trump/Pence regime is so determined to obliterate the basic concepts of objective reality and evidence-based and science-based truths (words his regime is going so far as to ban from government budgets, documents, etc.). Think about how the fascist movement it is bringing forward is trained to view the truth as what corresponds to and reinforces their feelings—feelings, in this case, rooted in the white supremacy, misogyny, and America Über Alles chauvinism drummed into people in this country from the day they’re born.

If people don’t agree with the content of Matt Damon’s argument, they should argue it out on that basis. And while it’s true that too often men have dismissed women, don’t listen to or hear women, condescend to them, the charge of “mansplaining”—which has been hurled at Damon incessantly—sidesteps and obfuscates the essential question: Is the problem the content of someone’s argument or the gender of the person making it? 

3. A dangerous trend: the erasure of works

As I noted at the beginning of this letter, the outrage against Matt Damon now includes a petition, signed by over 20,000 people, demanding that he be edited out of the upcoming film, Ocean’s 8 (made this time with a mainly female cast) because to keep him in “would trivialize the serious nature of the charges against sexual abusers...”

This points to a very ugly phenomenon: people’s work being erased on the basis of accusations or, in Damon’s case, a call to do this on the basis of disagreements with what he said and/or unproven allegations about what he knew or didn’t know about Harvey Weinstein. What was the effect of the boycott launched against the film The Birth of a Nation due to accusations of rape against director Nate Parker—for which he was tried in court and legally acquitted—earlier in his life? A significant, and unique, film about an armed slave rebellion went almost unseen, and this was celebrated and encouraged by far too many people who should’ve known better! 

What happens when a standard is established in which a work is not only not judged on its merit, due to alleged transgressions of its author, but is effectively not even allowed to get a hearing—no matter the content of the work? 

This is happening to the actor Kevin Spacey and others on the basis, again, of allegations. Here, Matt Damon was terribly wrong in the same interview with him when he upheld the decision to scrub Spacey out of an upcoming film, basing this on financial reasons: that this was “smart, from a business perspective.” Tailing behind what is popular at any moment, with commercial success as the ultimate determinant, will lead to a terrible place. Generally speaking, this system fosters and encourages wrong thinking among people, then uses that to justify what amounts to censorship based on public opinion which they’ve created. This is the logic of complicity with blacklists.

The righteous anger unleashed in these past few months must continue and go forward—but that requires standards and principles that reflect the world humanity needs and that do not fall into mirror-opposite examples of the same methods that keep us in this spot.

 

1. The Scottsboro Boys were nine Black teenagers, ages 13 to 19, accused in Alabama of raping two white women on a train in 1931. They were found guilty twice by all-white juries, but the case was taken to the Supreme Court. They were innocent, but collectively spent years in prison in a brutal injustice. [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/521/opening-talk-refuse-fascism-december-10-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

Opening Talk, Refuse Fascism, December 10, 2017

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

December 11, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following is the text of the opening talk given at Refuse Fascism mass meetings around the country.

“The Trump/Pence Regime is a fascist regime. Not insult or exaggeration, this is what it is.

For the future of humanity and the planet, we, the people, must drive this regime out.”

RefuseFascism.org was formed one year ago, one month before Trump was inaugurated. This is what we said then. Every agonizing infuriating day since, this basic message and mission has been borne out.

The National Office of RefuseFascism.org has prepared this talk to open a discussion of what our organization set out to do, and why; to get into what we have achieved and what not, and why; and finally what we need to do now. After we discuss this talk, there will be two shorter talks followed by discussions digging further into what we are proposing for the next 6 weeks.

As we meet today, immigrant communities around the country are living in terror of having their families and lives torn asunder. Arrests of immigrants are up 43 percent this year. Trump’s Travel Ban is in effect.

Wild fires rage in California caused by almost no rain this year. Three devastating hurricanes tore through this country in 2017, and Donald Trump, with the arrogance of a racist colonialist overlord, threw paper towels at the people of Puerto Rico. Today, months later, most of the island has no electricity. In the face of this and overwhelming scientific evidence of global warming, the Trump/Pence Regime has ripped up every environmental protection regulation they can get their filthy hands on, including pulling out of the Paris environmental agreement, which, weak as it is, is the only international accord to reduce global warming.

Donald Trump has ratcheted up the danger of cataclysmic nuclear war—threatening to rain down “fire and fury” and “totally destroy” North Korea. One year ago, Refuse Fascism’s Call to Action also said that “because Trump has his finger on the nuclear trigger, the Trump/Pence Regime is more dangerous to the world than even Hitler.” This too was true then, and ominously, is truer still today.

Our founding Call to Action also recognized that “Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. All of this has already begun under the Trump regime. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.

Is this not still the case?

Last August, recognizing that millions feel in their bones that this Nightmare Must End, Refuse Fascism called for nationwide protest marches and gatherings on November 4 that would BEGIN a process in which people would continue to protest in different ways everyday, growing and building, so that the thousands who came out on November 4 would draw forward tens, and then hundreds of thousands, and eventually millions of people—determined to not stop until the demand was met: that The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

We based our call on the reality that the situation was (and still is) so extreme, so dire—with tens of millions of people in this country sick at heart because of the grave danger that the Trump/Pence Regime poses to lives here and around the world—that it was, and remains possible that masses of people would reorder their lives and rise to act with the determination to protest day after day and night after night. For only by protesting in a way commensurate to the threat of impending fascism could it be stopped.

On November 4, four thousand people came out in 20+ cities, and did so in the face of fascist threats broadcast on media and the internet. In three cities our marches faced vicious armed fascists who came to threaten and possibly harm those who dared to march with Refuse Fascism.

November 4 was a significant harbinger of what is needed: an inspiring day, the most significant demonstration to demand that the whole Trump/Pence Regime be removed from power. The bravery, conviction and determination of this protest should give every person with a conscience, hope. But, November 4 did not launch the movement of continuing, growing mass nonviolent protest. This was and still is urgently needed if humanity is to stop the consolidation of fascism in the world’s most powerful superpower.

The numbers of people were just not there. There were way too few prominent voices of conscience—people who have the platform to be heard and who are listened to by millions. There were not enough of the organizations who have been fighting against the different attacks of the Trump/Pence Regime representing on the streets. November 4 involved many students, but the schools and colleges did not come out en masse.

We said from the formation of Refuse Fascism that only the people taking to the streets with courage and conviction, acting outside the framework of the normal political processes of this country—elections, hearings, etc., could bring a stop to what is a highly abnormal situation—a full out fascist regime that is shredding norms and remaking society and government. Under the signboard of Make America Great Again, the Trump/Pence Regime is forging an American fascism: Manifest Destiny and American exceptionalism, a fascism wrapped in the Bible taken literally and the American flag, saturated with racism, misogyny, and xenophobia. The Refuse Fascism Call to Action says that fascism is more than a “gross combination of horrific reactionary policies ... [that] What is crucial to understand is that once in power fascism essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights.” At a certain point, which could come sooner than most people recognize, it could become too late to stop—with dissent locked down, and a populace accommodated to the new norm of fascism.

Refuse Fascism recognized that to stop this juggernaut the whole regime must be driven out. With Trump the demagogic ringmaster, and Pence the medieval minded Christian fascist standing beside him, they have assembled a vicious cabal that controls and is remaking every department of the executive branch. The fascist Republican Party controls Congress, two-thirds of the state governments, and is packing the courts. They are shredding norms of truth, science, separation of powers and church and state, and more and worse, all with no serious opposition from the Democratic Party leadership. Even after millions signed a petition for impeachment, even after a Republican senator who is leaving the Congress said that Trump has put the country on a path to World War 3, the Democratic leadership said: impeachment is not on the table—now, and even after 2018.

Refuse Fascism has put forth that it is only the determined mass action of the people that has the potential to stop this. Doing so by ultimately hundreds of thousands and millions engaging in mass protest day after day, growing in numbers and determination, with the aim of creating a nationwide political crisis such that, as the Call for November 4 said: “every force and faction in the power structure would be forced to respond to our demand. The cracks and divisions among the powers already evident today would sharpen and widen. And, that “As we drew more and more people forward to stand up ... all of this could lead to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.”

This we were not able to launch on November 4. This is the mission that remains to be accomplished. So, let’s dig deeper into this.

We must dig into this not for ourselves alone... and not by ourselves, but as an integral part of the struggle to drive out this regime. We must squarely, honestly confront the necessity that bears down on humanity and together carve out the way forward. We do this because “In the name of humanity, we REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.

Stepping back and taking a wide view of what happened and what didn’t on November 4, reveals that people did not take to the streets in massive numbers or with the determination to stay in the streets to drive out the regime because they are used to a certain way of life, a stability that comes from living in a country that hasn’t seen a war on its soil in 160 years and not a major upheaval in half a century.

The reality we confront is that most people in the middle classes, who have been the most vocal in their upset and outrage at the regime, have a mode of living that, as yet, they have been unwilling to disrupt. People have become habituated to having others take care of political and governing matters for them, except for maybe pulling a lever and voting every few years. Even the majority who don’t vote, were not yet ready to cast aside the normalcy of their lives, even as that normalcy is beginning to fray and unravel. This underlies why many people really welcomed the Refuse Fascism basic message, and really hate the Trump/Pence Regime, yet refused at this point to break with the norms and the framework of politics as usual.

We have been and still are working on the contradiction between the relative stability of most people’s lives in this country and their deep and profound revulsion and turmoil over the horrific actions and future of the Trump/Pence Regime. We were not able to move a sufficient number of people to do what must be done. The huge problem for all those who hate the Trump/Pence Regime but aren’t, as yet, willing to break out of the normalcy of their lives and the political framework in which they conceive of affecting politics, is that the world and life as they have known it is coming to an end if the Trump/Pence Regime remains in power.

We must say once more, that because Trump has his finger on the nuclear trigger—without any constraint from anyone else in government or the military—the stakes of people remaining complacent, the price of accommodating to the developing fascism, the going about daily life and effectively normalizing that which is not normal, could well be the future of our species and planet. And, we repeat, this not exaggeration.

People have been trained to see that all that is possible is to cheerlead, hope for, or work with the Democratic Party. Over and over on the media major issues are framed and reframed in terms of Republicans vs. Democrats with eyes focused on the next election even before the previous is over.

We must say to people: Don’t listen to those who tell you that this regime can be dealt with in normal ways—whether through elections, special prosecutors, or a change in Congress. We must say this, and we must make the case.

Does this mean that the situation is hopeless? That people will never move? NO!

There is a sharp contradiction between people’s deep and profound revulsion at Trump and Pence, including all the horrific things they have done, and, on the other hand, people’s illusions that rest on their relatively stable lives, including their experience and belief in the stable functioning of the government, its institutions and processes. Even when people in this country’s personal situation is actually precarious, there is both the actuality of life here being relatively stable, and the illusory belief that it will always be so.

Look, let’s get down on the ground. The progressive and more historically marginalized strata of this country expect that their interests will be taken care of by the Democrats. This is so, perhaps especially so, by those who want to reform the Democratic Party. There is a “faith” that is not substantiated by reality that Trump and Pence and what their regime is doing will be redressed by the Democratic Party. It will not. They, and others in power, will only act if and when they feel that they are losing the allegiance of huge sections of society. They will only act when the turmoil created by the people compels them to act on what is for them their greater interest in maintaining their system.

While it remains true that Refuse Fascism is still not known by all of society, many people did know about November 4. Everywhere we went overwhelmingly people responded with enthusiasm to Refuse Fascism’s slogans and Call—carrying signs in demonstrations, contributing to the New York Times and Washington Post ads, and in many other ways. But, when considering whether or not to risk upheaval in their lives and in their beliefs to really throw in with what is objectively required to stop the unfolding fascist consolidation of the Trump/Pence Regime, they retreated into the illusion of a world that is coming to an end.

We should be clear eyed to the training and, it should be said, indoctrination. Every day people are being told by the Democratic Party leadership and those, such as MSNBC among others in the media, as well as political and service/NGO type organizations, who themselves rely on and in turn promote reliance on the Democratic Party, to NOT do what Refuse Fascism was and still is calling for. To not be in the streets, to not stir the beast of the fascists, to not undermine their electoral efforts to appeal to swing voters, to not think and act outside of the framework of politics-as-usual and, let’s be honest, to perhaps begin to question why the Democrats have conciliated with these fascists over a long period of time, or even begin to question the whole set-up.

They are telling people to deal with this in normal ways—wait for the Mueller investigation, and please, don’t do anything to hurt our chances in 2018 or 2020. Refuse Fascism has truthfully pointed out that (1) this could well be too late to prevent a catastrophic war, environmental devastation, the terror and uprooting of the lives of millions of immigrants, ending the right to abortion and many other horrors, including even more draconian laws shutting down dissent; and (2) these fascists are working overtime to strip away voting rights especially from Black people and Latinos, along with a whole historically based racist rural electoral setup so they have a lock on elections. NO! It is deadly to fall for this when confronting the consolidation of fascism. We have to make the case that the only way forward is TO VOTE WITH YOUR FEET IN THE STREETS.

In sum, we need to discuss why it is that we have to continue and persevere in making the case through what we say, what we write, and most importantly through what we do, so that people confront the necessity that they and all of humanity face with the consolidation of fascism by the Trump/Pence Regime. And, why on that basis, what Refuse Fascism is organizing and building towards is the way to make the change that is necessary—driving out the Trump/Pence Regime from political power.

We should discuss and understand, and we should bring out to people all across the country, that the basis to remove the Trump/Pence Regime ultimately lies with them. Refuse Fascism is prepared to throw its all into this. We are prepared to lead together with others. There is a place for everybody, for diverse organizations with many different purposes and understandings who recognize, or can be won to recognize, that only the people acting together with determination in the streets to compel the removal of the Trump/Pence Regime from power can stop the consolidation of a fascist America.

Before concluding, we believe that this contradiction, between people’s revulsion at the Trump/Pence Regime and their unwillingness at this point to disrupt the relative “normalcy” of their lives, is the main thing we didn’t break through on for November 4 to succeed. There were other factors that contributed as well, such as we needed to get enough of a critical mass of people and organizations so that the audaciousness of our plan and mission felt viable to people. People told us that they were afraid because of all the rumors of what the fascists might do. These are real issues that need to be addressed, but they live in the larger problem of which we have spoken. For there are many times in history when people overcome fear and defy the odds when they recognize the necessity to act in extraordinary ways.

We should discuss and begin this summation at this meeting. It is a summation and process that will continue. And, at the same time, we need to move forward. Our analysis of the Trump/Pence Regime is correct and borne out every day. Our mission and objective of driving the regime from power by the mass nonviolent action of millions of people is what needs to happen.

To that end the National Office is proposing the following plan for the next six weeks, until about the end of January.

There are three prongs to this plan.

# 1: A key element of the next period is one of outreach, active investigation with many different kinds of people and organization; ideological struggle over the necessity humanity faces with the Trump/Pence Regime and what is the way forward; and polemics on social media and our website comparing and contrasting different analyses and solutions. Over the next period we need to be actively struggling and learning—summing up the first year of the Trump/Pence Regime and the resistance and struggle we called for. We should do this not just among ourselves, but together with people very broadly. This should be a period of broad outreach and ideological struggle and learning (in relation to each other). Very important, through this process we need to further build and grow Refuse Fascism and forge principled unity with other organizations and communities opposed to this regime.

# 2. Refuse Fascism needs to continue to lead struggle. Particularly we need to initiate actions that sharply expose the regime and its crimes and why it must go. And, we need to act in ways that sharply expose why that the Democratic leadership provides no answer. Here we should look at how the DACA young people went to Nancy Pelosi’s office and exposed how she was bargaining their families’ and their communities’ lives for their status and they were not having it. In such actions we should learn from the actions of ACT-UP in the early 1990s. And, Refuse Fascism should participate in, work in coalitions, that are consistent with our mission on protests on the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration.

We also need to be involving many new people in spreading the message of Refuse Fascism and raising the funds for this great cause.

___________ will speak after we discuss what I have presented here a vision of this whole point.

# 3: The National Office encourages chapters and people checking out Refuse Fascism to watch and discuss the film of the Talk and Q&A by Bob Avakian, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible.

This talk and Q&A speak to many of the issues that people confront and raise.

So before opening up the discussion, let me close with what we have said for over a year, and remains as true as the day first written:

“Let it not be said that we did not move heaven and earth to drive out this regime. This must be a moment in history when millions stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to resist and say NO! Not just for ourselves, but in the name of humanity.

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

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/521/rf-talk-first-prong-of-the-6-week-plan-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

Speech by Refuse Fascism:

The First Prong of the 6 Week Plan —December 10, 2017

December 11, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following is the text of a second speech prepared by the National Office of Refuse Fascism for the mass meetings this week around the country.

The earlier speaker spoke about how it is true that we are confronting a fascist regime and that the only way to stop it before it becomes too late is for the people in their millions to go into the streets and stay in the streets until this single unifying demand is met: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

What I want to speak to now is: What is to be done? I am going to lay out a basic plan for the next weeks or so, from now until January 20, the anniversary of the inauguration. This is going to be a period of transition, learning and developing a plan for the next phase.

The National Office has proposed three main things that Refuse Fascism should be doing.

(1) First, we need to spread the word about this movement everywhere to friends, family, community groups, and others. We need to be doing active social investigation and outreach.

All this will overlap with the National Tour being planned in January, but also needs to go on throughout the next six weeks and should involve all of us in different ways.

Active social investigation means reaching out to many different people and organizations. This should include people we have worked with before and others we have not yet been able to talk with.

We need to be talking to people, sharing with them the understanding that this is a fascist regime and only the people mobilized in mass, sustained, nonviolent protest eventually involving millions demanding “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” can drive out this regime and end this nightmare—and exploring how others see this. As we do, we need to struggle with people over the differences that truly matter and wherever possible to strengthen our unity to rise to what is demanded of us. This will involve calling on them to join with us, strategizing with those who do see the dangers to actually get with the only program that can end this, and struggling with others who are stuck in a path that can only lead to conciliation and accommodation.

There are many levels and ways of doing this, from getting up signs/posters in storefronts, on lawns or house windows, broad distribution of our Call in the public square, at meetings of social and political organizations, cultural events. There is sharing this with family and friends over the holidays. There is spreading this message on social media: @RefuseFascism, and many other creative ways.

Raising funds is an urgent necessity but also an important form of political work and active social investigation.

It is still the case that most people do not know about Refuse Fascism even after November 4, they are not yet aware that there is an organization that has clarity of what we are confronting and has the plan to fight against it.

(2) The second thing our National Office has put forward is that we need to be taking action in ways that challenge the complacency and normalization of fascism in this society.

Protests and actions that break the silence and bring the noise, that “disturb the air,” draw sharp dividing lines for what people need to confront and act on, and that break people out of complacency. No one associated with the Trump/Pence regime ought to be allowed to appear in public without being challenged and politically confronted over the crimes they are committing. People need to be standing up against the ICE raids, even when they happen in the predawn hours. People need to be sitting-in at the offices of the officials who are packing fascists onto the federal courts. People need to be hounding  every agency and public person associated with throwing away the lives of the Puerto Rican people, with ripping up women’s reproductive rights, with spreading fascist propaganda like Trump’s  anti-Muslim tweets. (And, by the way, protesting places like Twitter for keeping Trump’s account open even when he violates their policy by directly threatening to murder 25 million North Koreans.)

Why is this so important? First of all, if we understand that people have to take to the streets day after day with determination and courage, we have to model that. Actions that break out of the constraints of “acceptable protest and usual channels” and that say, over and over again, not only with our words but with our daring and our bodies and by putting something on the line: THIS IS NOT NORMAL. Don’t sit back, don’t try to wait it out, join in fighting to prevent a fascist America NOW, before it is too late!

Very important: Everyone here should come out and we need to make a big deal and bring out many others to join the protests this Tuesday, December 12, on the day of the Alabama election to say NO to everything Roy Moore represents—all the white supremacy, bigoted Christian fascist theocracy, all the hatred of LGBTQ people and women, anti-science lunacy and more—which is a major part of this Trump/Pence regime and the danger it poses to the whole country and world.

At the same time, we need to take actions against those institutions and “leaders” that concentrate what is standing in the way and opposing people taking this road. That means identifying political forces and institutions like the leaders of the Democratic Party, the liberal major media like MSNBC, the New York Times, who are obscuring the truth and pushing people into the jaws of fascism with their insistence that, “You can’t have fascism in America,” by its very nature, and that the paths for preventing that are open and effective.

Why is it important to expose the leadership of the Democrats? Because they are aggressively channeling people’s desire to act into roads that only strengthen the regime and derail the opposition—telling people that working for 2018 elections or getting more women to run for office will solve the problem when it won’t. Some people think that because these Democrats and liberal media outlets are often targeted by the Trump/Pence regime (think of the chant: Lock Her Up aimed at Hillary, or the way Trump calls the media the “enemy of the people”) that we should not raise criticisms of these institutions or risk appearing like we are joining the fascists by calling them out. But the reality is that people have to be led to reject those paths, to step outside of those channels or else humanity will pay the price. People also have to be led to call out the efforts to “white out” and bury news of the only real path and organization that has any hope of challenging this regime—RefuseFascism.org and the people acting in the streets demanding that this regime must go.

Stepping up all of these kinds of actions will be crucial in drawing forward the people who do see the need to act, who want to put something on the line to fight against a fascist America, and feel stymied and discouraged by what they see unfolding and the way that others around them are turning a blind eye. These kinds of actions are also a key way of jolting those people who have come to accept that this is what we are going to have to live with, to provoke their moral courage and inspire them to become part of the solution. If people don’t see any force that is leading people to call out an emergency and give people a way to act on that, then that reinforces the pull to close their eyes, just hope that they and those close to them will escape the horrors, and all the ways that people are choosing to play it safe.

We have called on our chapters to be creative in finding the ways to take actions that learn from the Act Up orientation of the late 1980s, the way that Larry Kramer roused the people in response to the plague of AIDs affecting huge numbers of gay men and others at that time. There are other examples from history that should be learned from as well. But the point to grasp is that these actions are not gimmicks just to get publicity (though publicity is important), these actions confront society in dramatic ways that concentrate the urgent need to act. Some of these actions will involve nonviolent civil disobedience, risking arrest, like the actions taken in Los Angeles blocking the freeways with our message, not once but twice! and others will be like the actions taken by DACA recipients and those supporting them who sat-in in the U.S. Capitol, or at Nancy Pelosi’s offices when a bunch of DREAMERs took over her press conference and shouted her down, refusing to stop or relent despite all her political maneuvering, demanding that Pelosi and the Democrats not collaborate with Trump by trading away the safety and lives of their parents, families, and other immigrants in the name of getting a DREAM Act passed. This was selfless, courageous, and much, much more like this is needed!

The more this is going on in different and creative ways, the more many people will be both challenged and inspired to join with us. 

In addition to planning mobilizations of our own, we need to be joining with actions others are calling. In particular, we need to build contingents for and join with the organizing for major demonstrations that are being called for the January 20 inauguration anniversary, either the women’s march or others opposing the regime. We should endorse and join in coalition with others, seeking to be part of and have influence on them. And we might want to organize feeder marches in some places. It is not just important to be in unity with those who are stepping out into the streets, it is also a way that we can engage with those who feel compelled to act, giving them leadership and a way to act more effectively with a better understanding of what we are up against.

Last, we need to be tense to the possibility that there are changes that spontaneously cause tens and hundreds of thousands to take to the streets around an outrage. We should be prepared to push such openings as far as they can go.

(3) The third proposal from the National Office is a strong suggestion
that we make a lot of use of the recent talk from Bob Avakian (BA),
The Trump Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America—A Better World
IS Possible!

We should find ways to make this broadly available and encourage engagement with this talk by all those who need to hear a comprehensive argument for why we are in the situation we are in, and what can be done about it.

Talk by Bob Avakian, The Trump Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America—A Better World IS Possible! https://vimeo.com/238240664

This talk, given from the revolutionary communist perspective of Bob Avakian, provides a clear scientific understanding of how this fascist regime has emerged onto the political terrain and into the halls of power in the U.S. today. Everyone, no matter what perspective you are coming from, will benefit from hearing and engaging this presentation and discussion, including in the Q&A where people working on the problem of the Trump/Pence fascist regime are able to pose their questions and frustrations, and get profound answers to them. It can make a huge difference if people who are determined and dedicated to the mission of Refuse Fascism themselves take the time to get into this, and it is also crucial that a much broader audience have the opportunity to hear and learn from this talk. We need to figure out all the ways, via social media and by word of mouth, for many more thousands to be led to this crucial talk that was provided to us at this crucial juncture.

*** ** * ** ***

As a key part of everything we are doing, we have to be raising major funds. This is not a distraction from the other important work that we have to do; it is essential for raising our capacity to build the organization that is needed, to reach the millions and bring an end to this regime. And it is a way that many people can make a contribution. The outreach and struggle with people to donate is no different from the political struggle we have identified that has to inform our work overall. There is no other source of funds—we can only rely on the millions who hate this nightmare and want to be part of bringing it to an end. RefuseFascism.org has a donate page where people can find the materials and the Call for people to donate. Go there and spread this on social media and email to everyone you know. We have set ambitious goals, but they are attainable if we reach out and involve many thousands now.

In everything we do, we should seek to involve as many people as possible, finding the different ways that people can take this up, spread it and act to organize people to do everything in their power to drive out this regime before it becomes too late.

Everyone everywhere who is part of Refuse Fascism and unites with the mission of Refuse Fascism can take up any or all of these three main tasks for this next period in different ways depending on their conditions. Let’s organize them to be part of this great cause.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/thoughts-on-rf-opening-speech-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

From a Reader:

Thoughts on Opening Talk at Refuse Fascism Conferences:
This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

January 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

I have been thinking about this point made in the opening speech to Refuse Fascism meetings from December 10 about the relative stability that comes with living in an imperialist country that “hasn’t seen major war on its soil in 160 years and not a major upheaval in half a century” where people have been trained to leave political matters to be taken care of by others.

I am coming to terms with just how deep a barrier this is and how people have been so trained to see engagement in the overall direction of society through politics as optional. It is true that it has been these same people with these illusions about working through the normal channels who have also been the most vocal in their protest and opposition to the Trump/Pence Regime. The assessment in that speech is correct that we have to make society confront the necessity to drive out this regime, to confront that life as we know it is transforming and will transform further in the direction of the hellish society the fascists are trying to bring into being.

I was watching a video about the J20 trials talking about a guy who is facing charges who didn’t even attend the protest but merely helped plan one of the meetings early on. I turned to the comments section on this and many fascists were arguing that this was as it should be, that they were glad to see the government was stepping up to address the “problems with violent protesters” and that you have to make an example of some people. I think about how unashamed these fascists are to make these arguments and about how there were less extreme comments that were also justifying this. It just makes clear the degree to which this has become acceptable and the potential for it to be the new normal because as outrageous as these trials are, people don’t seem to be following them broadly or recognizing their importance and implications.

We have to do major exposure on the shortcomings of the avenues people are clinging to as forms of resistance that will not be able to deal with the situation, or worse, that are leading people to go along as fascism consolidates.

I’ve also been thinking about the point about the need for a critical mass of people and modeling the kind of bold and determined resistance required to drive out the regime. Many people we have met have told us they have seen the Refuse Fascism signs everywhere and I think about the positive impact this has had, but it isn’t the case that RF is known as broadly as it needs to be. As RF’s existence comes into people’s purview, the character of the resistance also matters. We do have to be modeling what it’s going to take to attract those that recognize that only this character of resistance—independent, massive, sustained, non-violent protest in the streets—is commensurate with the problem we face. We have to be a known presence both for our being everywhere but also for our message and the way we impact society by presenting the necessity.

Briefly, more on students

There are lots of students who have signed up with Refuse Fascism, some of whom have been involved in different ways but not very cohered or well oriented ideologically. I still think there is the need and the great potential for the campuses to be erupting politically. Many students are agonizing about the situation even if not fully making connections about the serious danger this regime poses, and there is a particular responsibility on students to oppose these fascists and recognize the epistemological battle being waged and its strategic importance in the consolidation of fascism. In addition to panels and mass meetings, I think there should be salon discussions to learn from people and make the argument to them about the reality of fascism and the necessity to oust this regime, especially among professors and academics.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/one-hundred-days-after-maria-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

One Hundred Days After Maria: Trump/Pence Regime Continues Its Monstrous Crime Against the People of Puerto Rico

January 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

NOTE: It’s important to state that what we write below about Puerto Rico also largely applies to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). USVI is smaller and has its own particularities, but it is, like Puerto Rico, an oppressed colony of the U.S. that was devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria. And as with Puerto Rico, the ruling colonial power—the United States—has all but completely refused to carry out serious and needed relief, leaving large parts of the population in a disastrous situation for many months.

On November 20, revcom.us wrote: “A monstrous crime continues to be carried out by the Trump/Pence regime against the people of Puerto Rico.” In that article, as in previous ones, we called this out as “genocide.”

Now, six full weeks later, and over 100 days since hurricanes Irma and Maria finished devastating Puerto Rico, what is the situation? Has the Trump regime “got its act together” and come to the aid of Puerto Rico? Has power been restored, homes rebuilt, health care and clean water reestablished, and so on? Is recovery moving along, with brighter days ahead?

The answer to these questions is NO, NO, and fuck NO.

As of December 29, 2017, roughly half of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million people still have no electrical service.

This means no power for life saving in-home medical equipment like oxygen machines, and no fans or air conditioning for infants, the ill, and the elderly who are vulnerable to heatstroke. It means intermittent power for dialysis centers. It means no power to treat or boil water, leading to the spread of water-borne diseases like pinkeye (conjunctivitis), diarrheal diseases, and leptospirosis (a deadly bacterial disease). It means soaring numbers of bone fractures as people stumble around their broken homes in the dark. It means no TV or movies for entertainment, no Internet, and often no cell phone service. It means businesses unable to function, which means no jobs or income to buy food and other necessities, or to pay rent or home mortgages. And on and on.

It is nothing less than a catastrophic breakdown of a modern society.

And it means deaths far, far beyond the lies told by the slavish governor, Ricardo Rossello, who for months insisted that only a few dozen had died... a lie eagerly picked up and celebrated by Donald Trump. No, according to the Center for Investigative Journalism (and validated by other investigators) nearly 1,000 additional people died in the first 40 days after the storm (i.e., by the end of October). And because conditions have not improved substantially in the two months since then, it is a certainty that many more people have died since then.

A great deal of this suffering and death was completely unnecessary... it was NOT a result of the severity of the storm, or “incompetence,” or mere corruption.

What was needed—what was obviously needed—after the storm hit was a massive relief effort on the part of the colonial power, the U.S., which for a century has looted Puerto Rico of billions in labor and resources. What happened was a disgusting display of racist disregard and disrespect. Trump tweeted insults at the Puerto Rican people, claiming they were lazy and wanted everything done for them, just weeks after he had praised—and funneled massive aid to—people on the mainland who had been hit by major storms.

There were no emergency cabinet meetings to mobilize resources, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), underfunded, understaffed, and without any real leadership, floundered around accomplishing little to nothing for weeks. Basic supplies like tarps to cover destroyed roofs were not provided; other aid sat in warehouses or on runways. In the face of an estimated $95 billion cost for recovery, a paltry $5 billion loan was pledged by the U.S. government in October. And according to the mayor of San Juan, even that has yet to be delivered.

The colonial authorities and/or FEMA (blame game is ongoing) actually turned down the offer of help from other utilities in the region which is offered automatically after major disasters. Instead, PREPA (the colonial power utility) contracted for much of the repair work to be handled by a two-person Montana company with political connections to the Republican Party that could not possibly have handled the job (and which in fact failed miserably and was fired after six weeks). And even today, basic supplies, like telephone poles, are not available because they are being used in Texas and Florida—areas that have largely restored power and are not in a state of crisis... and areas that—unlike Puerto Rico—Donald Trump considers to be “American.”

To a very large degree the people of Puerto Rico have been left on their own, with help from private relief agencies and small groups of heroic volunteers. People have done the best they could, organizing distribution of water, sharing generators, tending to the elderly and ill. But the massive aid needed never showed up, and at this point the U.S. is actually scaling down its relief operations, even while half the population is still in a state of acute crisis.

Roughly 200,000 Puerto Ricans have fled the island for the U.S. mainland, where many have found little assistance, work, or means to live. Meanwhile, the economy of Puerto Rico is threatened by complete collapse, with full power not expected to be restored until May.

The vicious, conscious, racist, and genocidal character of all this is further revealed by the fact that the new “Tax Reform” passed and celebrated by the Republi-fascists includes devastating new taxes on Puerto Rico, including a 20 percent tax on goods shipped to U.S. companies from their Puerto Rican subsidiaries. This tax could well drive out the large pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, which currently accounts for 30 percent of Puerto Rico’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and tens of thousands of jobs. Since Puerto Rico is theoretically “part” of the U.S., there is no “rationale” for this, other than to batter the Puerto Rican economy and people.

What we wrote in October is clearer and truer now than ever:

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

And this shines through ever more fiercely as a reason for millions to step up to the struggle to make things right—to carry forward the immediate urgent necessity of driving the fascist Trump/Pence regime from power, and to prepare the ground for a thoroughgoing socialist revolution aimed at putting an end not only to imperialist oppression of colonies like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, but to all forms of oppression and exploitation.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/523/would-trump-need-approval-to-launch-nuclear-strike-against-north-korea-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

Would Trump Need Approval to Launch a Nuclear Strike Against North Korea?

UMass Students Stunned by Right Answer

December 29, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A couple of us took the quiz on the Korean War to the University of Massachusetts, Boston campus. UMass Boston is principally a commuter school, with a very diverse student population, including international students, as well as a higher percentage of vets, older students, and students who work while attending classes. We went on the last day of class. Over the course of two hours, 45 students took the quiz at our table and turned their results in.* Several dozen more took the quiz back to their classes or to the library as they prepared for finals.

Of the 45, only two answered all ten questions correctly with one other getting nine right.  Including questions not answered as incorrect, half of the students scored 50% or worse.

Interestingly, the most difficult question was not on the history of the Korean War, but #10—what approval Trump would need to launch a nuclear strike against North Korea today?  Only seven of the 45 got this question correct. Most students either did not answer this question or answered “d”—“all of the above”, assuming the President would need the approval of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, authorization of Congress, and a review by the Defense Intelligence Agency before being able to launch a nuclear strike.

While many students were upset by their ignorance of the Korean War (with a couple admitting they were not even aware that the war had taken place) and by reading of the reality of what the U.S. had done to the Korean people, the fact that, today, Trump has the freedom to launch a nuclear strike with no constraints was the most disturbing result. Most students had simply assumed that, given the profound implications of unleashing nuclear devastation upon another people, this responsibility would be the most carefully monitored. It hadn’t really been part of their thinking that they could go to bed and wake up with a war being unleashed while they slept.

At one point, some young women selling T-Shirts that read “Build Bridges, Not Walls,” a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., invited us to share their table. They were raising money towards a class project of visiting a town in Mexico, to work with the community and wanted to talk more about the Trump/Pence regime. The women, of different nationalities, had all taken the quiz, with one woman from the Middle East doing the best. They talked about how much they enjoyed going to school but how ignorant they were of the entirety of the history of the United States and how little they learned in school. Even their best professors could only cover so much.  

While everyone was somewhat familiar with the Vietnam War, which was covered in some classes, there was virtually no discussion of Korea—and even with Vietnam, most students had no clue as to the degree of devastation the U.S. had inflicted—the millions of Vietnamese killed in the war, the massacres, and widespread slaughter of civilians. What was on the table was the GTF (Great Tautological Fallacy) that the United States is basically a force for good in the world. While none of these women would have supported that position, they hadn’t really confronted the sheer scope of the horrors the U.S. has and is inflicting on the people of the world.

We were not prepared to show any of the new talk by BA, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible, A Talk by Bob Avakian, which was a shortcoming because some of these women would have been prepared to watch at least part of it on the spot. (LESSON HARD LEARNED—NEVER GO ANYWHERE NOT PREPARED TO SHOW THIS TALK!!!)

Since this was the last day of classes, they were all taking off for the holidays so at the end of the day, we agreed that we would come back the beginning of the next semester and not only take the quiz out in the public areas but bring it into classrooms. We are also planning to screen the film of the BA Talk.  


* The actual results are below:

Question 1: 14 chose a, 4-b, 11-c, 7-d, and 9 got it right
Question 2: 12 chose false and 33 got it right
Question 3: 13 chose a, 9 chose b, 13-c, and 10 got it right
Question 4: 10 chose b, 19 -c, 7-d, and 9 got it right
Question 5: 2 chose a, 4-b, 3-d, 5-e, and 31 got it right
Question 6: 2 chose a, 7-b, 8-c, 9-d, and 19 got it right
Question 7: 18 chose false, and 27 got it right
Question 8: 1 chose a, 8-b, 9-d, and 27 got it right
Question 9: 20 chose true and 25 got it right
Question 10: 5 chose a, 1-b, 3-c, 17-d, and 7 got it right

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/refuse-fascism-fund-drive-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

Refuse Fascism Fund Drive:

At a time when the fascist Trump/Pence regime threatens the future of humanity, your donation to Refuse Fascism makes it possible to change history

January 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

As we go to press, volunteers with Refuse Fascism (refusefascism.org) are reaching out to people around the country to contribute to a goal of raising $250,000. This is the organization with the mission: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! And this great cause requires serious money!

One woman who joined the fundraising effort wrote, in an email to dozens of friends and family:

The resistance movement has worked very hard since even before January 2017. We are definitely making strides. It’s not a lost cause. There have been recent victories that give us hope. The key word here is hope. In reality, however, the restoration of democratic leaders piecemeal, seat by seat, is like carrying an umbrella in the force of a tsunami. It doesn’t hurt but.... ☂️🌪💨🌬🌨🌪💨m

So we need more formidable and innovative action and we need it YESTERDAY!

As you may or may not know I have been active in the resistance movement and have become a participant of a group of activists called REFUSE FASCISM. ❌❗️🚫

We are currently doing a massive fundraiser to finance an effective voice to get the word out and to put pressure on our government to impeach and, more importantly, to remove Donald Trump and Mike Pence from office. This is no small feat but the louder our voices against these two monsters are the stronger our chances are of kicking them the FUCK OUT!!! (Read the entire email at the RefuseFascism.org website)

In several cities around the country, Refuse Fascism chapters gathered together over the long weekend of December 15-18. They called friends, family, and the people who have signed up to be part of or in touch with this movement. They talked to hundreds of people. They learned what was on people’s minds. They engaged or re-engaged people with the movement to drive out the regime. And, with the help of a matching grant from a generous donor, they raised the goal for that first weekend of $25,000 plus several thousands more (follow the fund drive in real time here).

As we post this article, Refuse Fascism volunteers are again on the phones to people in a year-end push. Revolution reached out to a couple of those who did phone banking to share insights from the experience.

One person described their experience this way:

A lot of people were happy to hear from us. Everybody that signed up had signed up for a reason. We weren’t able to reach everybody. We did leave messages. The good sort of thing, that we summed up afterwards, people were donating from the text messages and also from some voice mails that we left. They were happy that Roy Moore lost but they wanted to continue more with like the voting... trying to work on that. But some people were saying like in the beginning, you know, I thought you guys were, you know, exaggerating. I didn’t believe it was fascism. Now I’ve come to understand that this is fascism and it can’t be dealt with in normal ways. Some people were coming on and saying that ... and it’s been really good that like we’re depending on the phone bankers and on the volunteers to take really good notes. And the notes have been helping us a lot because I’m able to go back and you know, all right, this person was interested in the meeting, this person was an interesting conscience. A lot of these numbers, we just kind of collect them, and they add up. This was a really good opportunity not only to fundraise, but actually to engage with some people. That’s actually our goal this weekend as well, was to engage more in their thinking and take better notes and actually look at who are the ones that have a lot of prominence and want to take more of a role.

Accompanying this article is an interview with another person who did phone banking to raise money.

We encourage readers to donate to this fund drive, and to reach out to friends, family, and everyone you know. To quote, again, from the email from one of the Refuse Fascism supporters: “the louder our voices against these two monsters are, the stronger our chances are of kicking them the FUCK OUT!!!

 


Interview about Phone Banking to Raise Money for Refuse Fascism

Revolution: Hi, Luna, this is Revolution newspaper. This Refuse Fascism fund drive has been pretty exciting, and we wanted to ask you a couple of questions to get a feel for what it’s been like doing phone banking, who’s contributing, why, what people are saying. So let’s start with what’s it been like doing phone banking?

Luna: It’s been pretty good. I have been telling people what this is about, and helping explaining to them a contribution is not just like donating to any other organization. I was really able to help them in a significant way, and when I did do phone banking, which was having conversations with people, and learning from what they were thinking and drawing them out. There was a lot of that. And then you would have conversations with people who could only give $10, and that was fine because you could still get a sense of what they were thinking. I learned a lot.

Revolution: Was there anything that struck you as interesting or unusual?

Luna: There was one woman who donated $100. She is a health care provider and she was telling me how her family was socialist from Italy, like when Mussolini was in power. I think that’s what she was talking about. So she was telling me about her family history and how her family really took a big part in fighting fascism in Italy and how she is a medical provider, and she was talking about how she can’t believe what they [the Trump/Pence regime]are doing with the health care thing. She couldn’t believe that this was happening, how they were changing things so rapidly and in the field of taking away people’s right to decent health care and stuff like that. She said she overheard two women before who were defending what Trump was doing and it’s really hard for her to wrap her head around that. She was telling me that and how she really can’t believe how people could defend someone like Trump who is doing all of these things. And she also talked about how they’re really going after intellectuals. She wanted to give as much as she can and, yeah, she was pretty cool.

There was a guy who gave $25. The first time he encountered Refuse Fascism was the full-page ad in the New York Times. I think he said he had donated already but he told me that the first time he wanted to help pay for that ad and pay for ads like that to get out there. Which I know was pretty significant. And as we talked, he’s kind of pessimistic about change, but then he has been reading The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, which is a book written by 27 psychiatrists. And then he was also explaining that there’s a real possibility Trump could be the last president ever in the United States, and how he doesn’t want that to be true. He was also talking about how “Make America Great Again” means “Make America White Again.” He was expanding on how Trump and the regime are actually worse than people think. He doesn’t think that people are actually really grappling with how bad this really is. That he’s not just some president, or a Republican, but he’s worse than most people think. But then [he was] thinking about their whole regime, and there was disagreement about Pence. Pence is not mentally ill like Trump is and he doesn’t have his finger on the nuclear trigger, so it would be kind of like Pence is not worse than Trump, you know kind of like that. And I was like, “No, Pence is worse, and Pence is part of this whole thing about consolidating Christian fascism in the United States. He was talking about how he has lost some friends over this. That fascism is alive and well in this country and it’s very scary. He did have an analogy that fascism has always been here. I said, “What do you mean by that? Do you mean...?” But he was talking about all of the corporations and how exploitation began before the start of or the beginning of the United States. And then he was talking about he used to do civil disobedience, like in the 1960s and stuff like that.

There was a woman... she didn’t donate... but she said she was gonna donate after she gets money. She was gonna donate $10. But she was kind of hesitant about donating, or being involved in Refuse Fascism at first because she kind of has a conception that we are only calling out the Republicans, but it is both parties that are taking part in making things worse, and how we’re not calling out the Democrats enough. That was one of her criticisms. Because she thinks it’s both parties. And because she also thought that [Hillary] Clinton was enabling a lot of these things. And that the Democrats are actually enabling fascism to consolidate. Which I thought was really important. And then I told her I was a revolutionary myself, and I agree with her. Look, I don’t think the Democrats are the answer. They’re not. And then I told her like the Democrats are leading us, or are leading people in the wrong direction, thinking that we can vote this out. And then she was like very excited, like “Yeah! We can’t get rid of Trump and Pence with this system, with these Democrats, they’re not gonna do anything.” She didn’t like Hillary Clinton. She was coming from a three-party perspective. And then how she thinks it’s gonna take people going outside the system, which I thought was very significant. She thinks we need to create a third party, a third political party. She thinks she could share with her friends what she was gonna donate and she was gonna donate $10 within the next week or something... when she had money.

There was another woman who was out in some part of California and can’t necessarily come out to things in Los Angeles. Yeah, she gave $20, that was as much as she could give. She told me she attended an outdoor rally and how she thinks Refuse Fascism is such a great organization. And that, like you know, she said Refuse Fascism is the closest thing she has found that identifies more the general conditions of the time that we are in, and that she majored in sociology, and she has really been thinking about this in a historical context. I asked what compelled her to come and donate, and contribute to this cause. And she kind of said potentially the idea of doing the most on the Earth while she is still here. She said I’m only on the Earth for a short amount of time and I need to be doing as much as possible... you know, she said the very Earth we live on takes care of us, so we need to take care of it. Like it’s not gonna be up to the universe [to take care of us], the universe could care less; you know, it’s really up to us. And she wanted to take more responsibility.

So there was a lot of that, there was a lot of people who are really like, like when I drew out their thinking, it was coming from all different kinds of perspective, which I really appreciated.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/trump-spews-racist-venom-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

Trump Spews Racist Venom, Lays Groundwork for Ethnic Cleansing

January 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In late December, the New York Times reported that at a June meeting with members of his cabinet and staff, an enraged Donald Trump bellowed that the federal government hasn’t limited all immigration and carried out deportation of immigrants vigorously enough.

In the first months of Trump’s presidency, about 15,000 Haitians received visas to come to the U.S., in part because Haiti is still recovering from an earthquake and a subsequent cholera epidemic that devastated the country beginning in 2017. The Times reported that Trump sneered that these Haitian people “all have AIDS.” His slanderous, racist insults continued against the Nigerian people who had legally traveled to the U.S., often on family visas. He said they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa. He complained about the 2,500 people from Afghanistan, which he described as a “terrorist haven.”

Trump is full of shit. A few facts here. For centuries, the United States has inflicted enormous suffering and exploitation on the people of Haiti. (See the “American Crime” article, “The U.S. Invasion, Occupation and Domination of Haiti”.) After the devastating 2010 earthquake, a United Nations “peacekeeping” effort in which the U.S. played a key role brought the first cholera outbreak in its history to Haiti. About 10,000 people died, and 800,000 were sickened. The U.S. has ransacked Nigeria for its oil and left much of its once fertile delta an environmental deathscape of shriveled trees, oil spills and fires. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and has occupied parts of the country since. Over 100,000 Afghans have died in that war, and millions of people have been driven from their homes. And Trump has the fucking nerve to call Afghans “terrorists”!

After the Times story broke, Trump’s staff denied that he used the words “AIDS” or “huts.” But Trump himself has not denied it. And the Times has not retracted its original account, which was picked up by many newspapers and websites. Whether or not Trump said those exact words, there is no doubt that white supremacist, “America First” language is the language Trump speaks; there is no doubt that vicious, relentless assaults on immigrants, especially immigrants who are not white, or whose first language is not English, or who are Muslims, have been at the center of Trump’s program of “making America great.”

Trump’s racist rants are not simply the outbursts of a disturbed and hateful individual. They express an actual fascist program of “ethnic cleansing”: removing “undesirable,” mainly non-white, immigrants from this country in their hundreds of thousands and even millions, and preventing others from coming in. They energize the seething mob of racists that is his base, and help mobilize them to support government attacks on immigrants, and organize “unofficial” assaults and violence.

These attacks must be opposed by people of all nationalities, not just immigrants or the particular nationality affected by any particular attack. They must be defeated.

From the Call of Refuse Fascism: “Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. All of this has already begun under the Trump Regime. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/american-crime-number-49-encircling-threatening-and-attacking-chinese-revolution-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

American Crime

#49: 1950-53— Encircling, Threatening and Attacking the Chinese Revolution

January 1, 2018 | 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.

 

Introduction: On October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong declared “the Chinese people have stood up.”

Indeed they had, waging three decades of revolutionary struggle under the leadership of Mao and the Chinese Communist Party to defeat the Japanese imperialist invaders, and then China’s own U.S.-backed reactionaries.

The U.S. rulers had tried to prevent China’s revolutionaries from taking power. Between 1945 and 1949, the U.S. funneled billions in aid and military equipment to the pro-U.S., reactionary Nationalist Party (Kuomintang/KMT) under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. The roughly 100,000 American troops stationed in China advised, trained, organized, and supported Chiang’s forces, airlifting 500,000 to different battle fronts—all in hopes of stopping China’s revolution. The U.S. failed, but its actions prolonged the war—without U.S. backing the KMT would have quickly collapsed—and greatly increased the toll on the Chinese people. By 1949 an estimated 2.5 million had been killed, millions more were displaced, the economy collapsed, and tens of millions were left destitute.

The new People’s Republic of China immediately took radical, far-reaching steps to liberate the Chinese people on the road to socialism and ultimately communism. It broke over a century of imperialist domination of China, and centuries of feudal subjugation of its hundreds of millions of peasants, so deeply impoverished they were forced to eat tree bark and leaves, even sell their children, during times of famine or face starvation. The new revolutionary state implemented measures to liberate women, build new social relations and a new ethos of “serve the people,” and turned China into a beacon for revolution worldwide.

After 1949, the U.S. realized it couldn’t quickly overthrow the People’s Republic by invading directly or by simply backing the oppressive, deeply hated Nationalists. So the U.S. sought to encircle, contain, and cripple the new revolutionary state, which it refused to recognize. The U.S. surrounded China (and the then-socialist Soviet Union) with a string of military bases and reactionary regimes, from Japan and Taiwan (part of China occupied by the KMT with U.S. backing) to Southeast Asia. Warships from the U.S. Sixth Fleet circled the region and tens of thousands of U.S. troops were stationed on bases throughout the East Asia region, including South Korea and Japan.

THE CRIME: During the Korean War, the U.S. directly threatened China, including with invasion, war and nuclear attack. This U.S. aggression took the lives of nearly a million Chinese volunteers between 1950 and 1953.

Japan first occupied Korea, a country whose existence stretches back some 1,000 years, in the early 1900s. In 1945, after Japan’s defeat in World War 2, the U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to temporarily divide the country with the Soviets controlling the area north of the 38th parallel and the U.S. the area to the south. The U.S. quickly set up a repressive, pro-imperialist puppet government. The Soviet Union backed the formation of a nationalist, pro-socialist Korean government (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and its troops left in 1948.

In June 1950, the U.S. orchestrated a massive United Nations-backed assault on Korea, pushing north all the way to the Chinese border.

 

The U.S. launched a barbaric counteroffensive, creating a wasteland between the war front and the Chinese border. Here troops advance with M4 Sherman tanks painted with tiger faces, February 1951.

When fighting broke out between the two sides in mid-1950, the North’s forces drove south and seemed poised to defeat the U.S. and South Korean forces and liberate the entire Korean Peninsula. In June 1950, the U.S. orchestrated a massive United Nations-backed assault on Korea, involving 342,000 troops, 90 percent American, all under U.S. command. The U.S.-led forces repelled the North Korean offensive, and then decided to push north all the way to the Chinese border, “roll back” the North Korean government, and take control of all of Korea. By late October the U.S. military had reached the Yalu River, which separates China from North Korea, and were directly threatening China.

Under Mao’s leadership, Chinese volunteer armed forces joined North Korean forces in a counterattack to defend China and as an act of internationalism in support of the Korean people. They stunned U.S.-led forces and drove them south past the 38th parallel, and surrounded and threatened to inflict a major defeat on the core of U.S. military forces at Chosin. There was panic in Washington, DC, and intense debate over how to proceed.

At a November 30, 1950 press conference, President Harry Truman said the U.S. was considering attacking Chinese and North Korean forces with nuclear weapons. That same day, an order was given to the Strategic Air Command to “be prepared to dispatch without delay medium bomb groups to the Far East...this augmentation should include atomic capability.”

Some in the government advocated a “limited war” against China, including air attacks, a blockade of the coast and covert introduction of anti-communist forces in southern China. General Douglas MacArthur, who was in overall command of U.S. forces in Korea, argued that China had imposed a “state of war” and the U.S. should respond by dropping 30 to 50 atomic bombs on Manchuria and Chinese cities. Truman and other top officials worried that waging war on China or using nuclear weapons could trigger World War 3 and turn into a disaster for the U.S. (Truman fired MacArthur in the spring of 1951.)

The U.S. launched a barbaric counteroffensive. MacArthur ordered the U.S. Air Force to create a wasteland between the war front and the Chinese border, destroying every “installation, factory, city, and village.” The U.S. used napalm, jellied gasoline, which literally incinerates flesh, for the first time, dropping 32,557 tons on Korea. One official history of the war admitted the U.S. “fired whole villages with the occupants—women and children and ten times as many hidden Communist soldiers—under showers of napalm.”

The U.S. leveled city after city with aerial bombardment, destroyed factories, schools, housing, bridges and other infrastructures and murdered thousands and thousands of North Korean and Chinese troops. They flooded crops and other food supply lines, and bombed huge stretches along the North Korean-China border, including the Chinese city of Dandong on the Yalu River. Historian Bruce Cumings writes that under international law, the U.S. was carrying out genocide in North Korea.

The war remained a stalemate from mid-1951 until an armistice was signed in 1953. By then the U.S. had carried out the mass killing of well over three million people: two million North Korean civilians, 500,000 North Korean soldiers, between 900,000 and a million Chinese soldiers, plus 1.3 million South Korean casualties including 400,000 dead.

THE CRIMINALS

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

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

Bob Avakian, BAsics 4:10

U.S. President Harry Truman, who refused to recognize the People’s Republic of China as a legitimate government, declaring: “As long as I am President, if I can prevent it, that cut throat organization will never be recognized by us as the Government of China.” He approved the strategy of surrounding China, dispatching massive numbers of troops and waging war in Korea, attempting to overthrow the North Korean government, and threatening the use of nuclear weapons.

The U.S. State Department under Secretary of State Dean Acheson who had authored major imperialist strategy documents calling for encircling and strangling the Chinese revolution, and played a key role in launching the U.S. war in Korea. The CIA and its chief Walter Bedell Smith; the U.S.military and its Joint Chiefs of Staff who had readied orders to use nuclear weapons in retaliatory attacks against bases in Manchuria, China.

The U.S. imperialist allied forces in the UN that sent invading forces into Korea: Britain, Canada, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Colombia, Ethiopia, South Africa, New Zealand, Turkey, Greece, Thailand, Philippines and Luxembourg.

The fascistic Syngman Rhee government of South Korea, which pushed for expanding the war into North Korea and overthrowing its government.

The KMT, which served as the key instrument for U.S. imperialist aggression against the communist revolution in China and pushed for war against China.

THE ALIBI

That communism and states like China and the Soviet Union were aggressors and the greatest danger to the world, and that the actions of North Korea and China constituted “naked communist aggression” against freedom-loving South Korea. The U.S. called for the Chinese people to throw off the “foreign yoke” of communism. In December 1950, Truman declared a state of emergency: “Our homes, our Nation, all the things we believe in are in great danger” due to the advance of communism.

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE

Together with the socialist Soviet Union (1917-mid 1950s), the communist-led victory in China posed  defeat for, and shrinkage of, the world capitalist-imperialist system and its “freedom” to exploit and plunder the world. China, with one-fourth of the world’s population, together with then socialist Soviet Union, formed a socialist bloc that posed a threat to world imperialism politically, economically, and ideologically. And the Chinese revolution was an inspiration and base area for national liberation and communist revolution in other oppressed nations and for people the world over.

All this posed an immediate challenge to a key U.S. objective in the post-World War 2 period: cementing American dominance and control of the Asian-Pacific region. The U.S. implemented a strategy (NSC-688) of aggressively “containing” the Soviet Union, China, and the expansion of communist influence. It embarked on a rapid military buildup of conventional and nuclear forces, and greatly expanded military aid to the tyrants, fascists, and butchers it counted as its allies and clients.

The U.S. regarded the southern half of Korea and its puppet regime as a major element in its plans to contain and perhaps wage war against the Soviet Union, and also as a step toward surrounding and threatening the People’s Republic of China. By late 1950, China’s revolutionary volunteers were also threatening to shatter key elements of the U.S. military. And all this was threatening U.S. global credibility—”prestige is the shadow cast by power,” Dean Acheson put it in arguing for the U.S. to intervene in Korea.

Sources

Jon Halliday and Bruce Cumings, Korea: The Unknown War, Pantheon Books, 1988

Bruce Cumings, The Korean War—A History, Modern Library, 2011

Case #93: U.S. Invasion of Korea—1950” in American Crime series and other related articles at revcom.us.

Daniel Ellsberg, The Doomsday Machine—Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, Bloomsbury USA, 2017

Raymond Lotta, You Don’t Know What You Think You “Know” About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future, Revolution newspaper, special edition, November 24, 2013

Selected Works of Mao TseTung (Mao ZeDong) Volume IV: “Cast Away Illusions, Prepare for Struggle”, Farewell Leighton Stuart”. “Why it is Necessary to Discuss the White Papers”, “‘Friendship’ or Aggression?” August 14-August 30, 1949 in response to the U.S. White Papers.

Yves Engler, “The Korean Atrocity: Forgotten US War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, GlobalReseach.ca, May18, 2013.

Robert J Barsocchini, “Endless Atrocities: The US Role In Creating The North Korean Fortress-State,” CounterCurrents.org, April 26, 2017.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/ms-interview-dahr-jamail-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

Michael Slate Interview with Dahr Jamail

Climate Disruption and a Warning to Humanity

January 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following is excerpted from a December 8, 2017 interview with Dahr Jamail on The Michael Slate Show on KPFK Pacifica radio.

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

Michael Slate: I am very pleased to welcome to the show journalist and author Dahr Jamail. Dahr began a recent article in his Climate Disruption series by observing the signs of runaway Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD) continue to mount with each passing month. Dahr, welcome to the show. Let’s begin with what you mean by Anthropogenic Climate Disruption.

Dahr Jamail: That is simply a more scientifically precise wording of climate change and global warming because given the context of this country with how strong the fossil fuel denial movement is and how well funded it is, those of us reporting on it need to be as precise as possible. So, Anthropogenic (Human Cause) and then Climate Disruption is a much more precise description of what is happening than global warming or climate change—because literally the amount of CO2 [carbon dioxide] that we’ve introduced into the atmosphere, it isn’t just literally causing climate change or global warming because in some places things are even far colder. It is essentially throwing the climate into chaos. So climate disruption is just a more accurate way to describe what’s happening.

Michael Slate: So when you are talking about climate disruption, you are talking about a threat to the planet. This is a real threat and we have to do something about it or face the consequences which could be terrible.

Dahr Jamail: That’s right! We’re already in the Sixth Mass Extinction. There are now a couple of different peer-reviewed, scientific reports published in extremely esteemed journals that show that. That’s not news, that’s old news. Those reports... the first was published over a year ago now. So, we’re in the Sixth Mass Extinction. We triggered it by what we’ve done to the planet by pollution, deforestation, etc. but especially with climate disruption.

We’ve literally changed the composition of the atmosphere and the chemistry of the ocean. And so even just last year, we saw last year’s CO2 increase in the atmosphere that we generated was a 50 percent increase over what the average was in the last decade alone. So, we’re looking at a situation where we’re changing the chemistry and the content of the Arctic Ocean to where it’s starting to look more like the Atlantic Ocean. So the food webs are getting completely disrupted. And that is not just in the Arctic, but across the globe. And this year again is on track to certainly be within the top three warmest years in history, which basically just means the top three hottest years ever recorded are the last three years. That’s the trend that we’re on and that’s clearly been the trend that we’ve been on for a while and it certainly looks like it’s not one that’s going to stop anytime soon.

I think this forces us to really look at what are our reactions and what are our emotional responses and are we gonna really take this information and behave accordingly. It’s making the planet change to the point where arable land, season changes, temperature extremes, droughts, extreme weather events, etcetera are going to make it far, far more difficult to feed people on the planet at the rate at which we’re changing things. Simply put, plants and nature and agriculture can’t keep up with the changes that we’re imposing on the planet.

Michael Slate: You say that this could be global mass extinction and that this could be an event that is possible by 2100.

Dahr Jamail: It has already started. The Sixth Mass Extinction, we’re in it; it’s officially begun. So that’s not something that’s going to happen far off into the future. There have been other reports that have come out that have said that it could possibly start by 2100. And again, I would point to reports that have already been published that I cited in earlier climate dispatches. It’s a situation where, again, the catastrophic events are already upon us.

What I’m trying to show in my articles and the book I’m working on now and that will come out next year by New Press, is that there is no more future tense about these worst case scenarios. We’re in it, we’re living in it, this is what it looks like. And it’s going to keep amplifying and intensifying because runaway feedback loops are non-linear. And if you look at the graph and the visualization, there’s some brilliant ones that have been produced by Climate Central and other groups that literally show these visuals of the temperature increase since the advent of the Industrial Revolution [1800-1850]. And if you look at literally in just the last few years they start to go exponential. They start to go non-linear whereas before that there had been sort of a linear progression.

Again, it doesn’t mean that there’s going to be some Hollywood version of all of a sudden tomorrow we wake up and all the animals are dead. But again if we look at it through the human time frame at which this is unfolding compared to a geological time frame... again, let me give you an example. The worst mass extinction in the history of the planet is the Permian Mass Extinction 253 million years ago—over 90 percent of life on Earth was annihilated. Now, most scientists believe that was caused by a giant volcanic event in the traps in Siberia that over 80,000 years released enough CO2 into the atmosphere to warm that planet enough to where the Arctic melted enough that the methane trapped in the permafrost there was released and that really kicked it into overdrive and that was the death knell of that mass extinction event. We’re literally replicating that process. We’ve released enough CO2 into the atmosphere already that we’ve warmed temperatures a little bit more than 1 degree Celsius [roughly 2 degrees Fahrenheit] since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution....

Michael Slate: When you we talk about 1 or 2 degree Celsius rise—just so people can be clear here, what exactly does that mean?

Dahr Jamail: When we talk about climate disruption and temperature increase and CO2 increase, it’s always compared to pre-industrial revolution baseline levels. So we’re comparing it to what was going on in the planet temperature-wise and CO2 [carbon dioxide] content before the Industrial Revolution began and before we began injecting large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. So when we say there’s been a 1 degree C rise—when I write about it, I generally write about it from the perspective of when the Industrial Revolution began. So essentially it meant that this is how much we’ve warmed the planet since we started burning fossil fuels. So that gives you some idea of a time frame and that we generally mean somewhere around 1800 or 1850. Again, it’s arguable when the Industrial Revolution actually began. Some people say it began with the advent of agriculture. But we’re talking about essentially machinery and burning fossil fuels when it comes to climate disruption. So generally between 1800 and 1850, that’s the baseline that we talk about. So, we’re raising temperatures and CO2 content starting at that baseline.

Michael Slate: When you write about the situation today, you paint a very powerful picture of the overall situation. But you also then dig into some of the particular way things are developing today as a result of what is happening overall. So let’s talk about some of the particulars that can be seen today, the things that people can look at as real physical evidence. For example, let’s talk about trees. There’s a general importance to the existence of trees on the planet and you put what’s happening to trees in an overall worldwide context, and what’s happening to forests and their relationship to the ability of the human species and other species to survive.

Dahr Jamail: That’s right. And again this should have been something I mentioned when giving the broad brush strokes about context and everything and there’s also sort of a disclaimer. When we talk about these changes, and I’m bringing this up about trees for a reason. When we talk about trees we can’t ever attribute everything that’s happening to them only to climate disruption. Climate disruption might just be playing a role in a portion of it or it might be by far and away the biggest factor. You can never say that one single event is only attributable to climate disruption. So we talk about trees, deforestation—intentional deforestation, burning down forests, chopping them down to turn them into fields for agriculture or just for human encroachment, people wanting to develop land there, put houses there and so on. But certainly climate disruption is always a factor and in some areas it is the leading factor.

Forests usually exist in equilibrium with the area where they live, or always exist in that equilibrium. But when we start ramping up temperatures and bringing in droughts and there’s catastrophic flooding events, that’s going to start wiping out forests at an unnatural rate and that’s what we’re seeing too. That, coupled with human deforestation. Just last year the total amount of global tree cover loss was an area the same size as the country of New Zealand. That’s a little bit more than 73 million acres, which was a 51 percent increase over just the previous year. And when we talk about losing trees, this is also critical—that’s habitats for birds, insects, and wild life.

Trees play an iconic role. It’s almost like the polar bears, if you want to save the planet, plant a tree. It’s an iconic symbol of the environment. Trees sequester carbon, they release clean oxygen into the atmosphere. They store water, their roots help store more water in the ground, not just for them but for everything in them, meaning insects, birds, animals, other shrubs, other vegetation in the forest. They play a critical component. And then in the mountains, this is why mountains are considered water towers, because trees keep all that moisture in the mountains. They keep the soils moist. They help store water. They shade snowpacks so the snowpacks can last longer. And all of that benefits us, living downstream of all that, an entire eco-system is reliant upon trees. So when we’re wiping out trees at this staggering rate; again, it’s an extremely alarming situation that people need to pay attention to.

Michael Slate: Continuing along with some of the particular manifestations of this planetary crisis, you talk about the heat and a baking planet and at the same time you talk about apocalyptic rainfalls and rising sea levels posing a danger to the planet. How do these two things come together as part of the crisis?

Dahr Jamail: That’s a really good point and that’s again why we use climate disruption instead of just global warming. Global warming kind of makes it sound more linear whereas disruption means more chaos. The water realm is where the chaos comes to the fore, so when we warm the atmosphere it can hold more moisture and that’s one of the key factors as to why we are having such incredible rain events like what happened with Hurricane Harvey down in Houston this summer, by far the single largest rainfall event in the history of this country. And so we had these catastrophic floods and then because of heat and because of shifting weather patterns and disruptive weather patterns we’ll have these long extended droughts.

For instance, I live up on the Olympic Peninsula and there’s literally a temperate rain forest out here in Olympic National Park and two or three years ago we had a severe drought in a couple of the rain forests and even wild fires in one of the rain forests and this is in an area that pre climate disruption would typically get 200 plus inches of rainfall in one year. And so it’s caused this tremendous imbalance where the heat is melting out glaciers and snowpacks in the mountains. So then with the advent of warmer and earlier springs, all that water is released. We have floods happening down river that certainly are out of the bounds of normal record keeping, meaning breaking records. And then of course that snowpack is gone and that leads to these intense droughts through the summer that we’re becoming very acquainted with out here on the West Coast and in the general western U.S., from Colorado on out in our direction. And then of course, we have these extreme droughts persisting and look at what’s happening in California as we speak. Here we are in the middle of December and we have these incredible wildfires down in Southern California....

Michael Slate: Let’s talk about ocean acidity and sea life as part of this overall crisis.

Dahr Jamail: What water acidification is... the broad brush explanation is that when we introduce as much CO2 concentration into the atmosphere as we have, which is now 130 parts per million greater than it ever was prior to the advent of industry and us burning fossil fuels, then a huge amount of that CO2 is going to be absorbed into the ocean. And then that literally is changing the chemistry of the oceans and causing them to become more acidic. Obviously that’s going to affect sea life and have huge impacts on corals. So anything with a calcium shell, like crabs and shrimp and sea life such as this as well as coral and its ability to continue to exist. It’s going to have obvious detrimental impact on all those organisms and it already has....

Michael Slate: As we move to a conclusion let’s talk about something that you speak to a lot: the need for people to have a reality check and that being that the dominant cause of all this, the dominant cause of Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD) is in fact human activity. I want to talk about that and particularly in relation to the denial and reality of all this and Trump and what he has done in relation to all this.

Dahr Jamail: That’s right, I always conclude my dispatches with the Denial and Reality section. And with the Denial section I could do dispatches only on denial given the Trump administration and that he has populated it with these advocates of the fossil fuel industry. You have people like Scott Pruitt, the former attorney general of the State of Oklahoma who has sued the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) numerous times and who is extremely pro fracking and pro fossil fuel as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. It would be funny if the consequences weren’t so dire.

[Government] scientists are prevented from going to conferences if they are going to be talking about climate disruption. They’re scrubbing government websites of the words “climate change” and “global warming,” literally scrubbing them. This is happening with the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and several other places. The National Institutes of Health and all of these other websites are being scrubbed, budgets cut, research cut, and scientists being prevented from doing their jobs.

It’s an extremely worrisome situation. And it’s really a worst-case scenario in a sense because at this time if we were to have any hope of... not of stopping climate disruption, that went out the window a long time ago—but doing something to seriously try to mitigate impacts, meaning that if we made some dramatic changes on a global level, with governments coordinating the actions, maybe we could mitigate it. Maybe we could keep from getting into the higher ends of the worst-case scenario. I think we’re already locked into the worst-case scenario but maybe we could take the edge off. Instead we’ve got this maniac, lunatic administration that is just stomping on the gas accelerator across the board. And that’s the last thing we need to be doing right now.

Michael Slate: You spoke about this new development of 15 thousand scientists who recently issued a catastrophic warning to humanity about this situation.

Dahr Jamail: Right! 15,000 scientists wrote what they called a letter to humanity. And they were basically calling it a warning to humanity. It came from the Union of Concerned Scientists and basically talked about if we don’t get our act together immediately and promptly and start having that widespread, globally coordinated action that I was just talking about, then it’s going to be too late to change our course from basically wiping ourselves out. They don’t put it that dramatically, but they call it a failing trajectory that we’re on and time is running out. Stating the obvious, they say that the Earth is our only home and that we are making it an unlivable place. And without immediate, dramatic changes it is going to be too late to do anything. That just came out within the last month signed by 15,000 scientists. And they say that we have given this notice before, back in the late 1990s the Union of Concerned Scientists did a similar thing and now they have issued an even more dire warning.

Dahr Jamail writes regularly on the climate and the destruction of the planet and every living thing on it. His monthly Climate Dispatches can be found on Truthout.org.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/523/erica-garner-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

Erica Garner, Fearless Fighter Against Police Murder

December 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Erica Garner, eldest daughter of Eric Garner, passed away on Saturday December 30 at the age of 27.  Her family sent out the following tweet:

 

 

Erica saw her father murdered by the NYPD. Like millions of us, she heard him say, "I can't breathe," over and over again. In response, she became a tireless fighter against police terror, speaking truth to power, no matter who liked it or who didn't. She will be missed.

Erica Garner—Presente!

 

Erica Garner leads protest in 2014 on Staten Island

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/523/alabama-police-brutalize-black-youth-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

Enforcing White Supremacy: Alabama Pigs Brutally Beat 17-Year Old Black Youth

Updated January 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Ulysses KeAndre Wilkerson, a 17-year-old Black youth was savagely beaten by Troy, Alabama, cops on Saturday night, December 23. These pigs inflicted Ulysses with trauma to the brain, swelling of the brain, massive swelling and bruises on his face, and an eye socket broken in three different places.

After the police were done assaulting the teen, he was first taken to a regional facility in Troy, then to the University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham. When Angela Williams finally got to see her son in the hospital, handcuffed to his bed, she said “I was shocked, horrified, and devastated to see my son this way.” Williams posted horrific photos of her son’s swollen and bloodied face on Facebook, which soon went viral. People in Troy and everywhere that the photos of Ulysses Wilkerson have been seen are outraged, and demand justice and an end to this kind of police brutality. One message on Angela Williams’ Facebook page read: “As a mother, I feel your anger and pain. His crime is evident on his face, He is a young Black man. Nothing he could have done earned him this terrible beating. I pray you get justice for your son. The ‘officers’ who committed this attempted murder should rot in Hell!”

Police claim they approached, chased, and nearly beat the life out of Wilkerson because he was walking out from behind a downtown business Saturday night, and ran when he saw them. Even if this is true, what fucking reason, or right, did they have to approach him, stop him, or chase him? Even they don’t claim he was doing anything wrong. Yet he is referred to by the police chief as “the suspect.”

The Troy police chief said Wilkerson resisted arrest and refused to comply with commands to put his hands behind his back, so “officers had to use physical force to affect the arrest. The force used was reasonable and necessary.” Reasonable to whom? Necessary for what? Reasonable to the enforcers of a system that has enslaved, raped, segregated, lynched, beaten, murdered, and incarcerated Black people since they were dragged to these shores, and while the forms have been “modernized,” the oppression, degradation, and inhumanity have never ceased. Necessary because the message has to be delivered over, and over, and over again—don’t even think about resisting, let alone finally putting an end to this nightmare.

The Pike County district attorney told CNN a different story; that “police said they used force after Wilkerson reached into his waistband for what they feared might be a weapon.” The phrase “reached into his waistband” is pig-speak, used over and over to claim they “feared for their lives” whenever these killers are caught brutalizing or murdering their unarmed target. In this case, the family is supposed to be “grateful” that their son was only beaten bloody—the pigs could have just killed him.

Ulysses Wilkerson is being charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental operations, both misdemeanors. The pigs who left him in a hospital have not been charged with anything.

In the face of community outrage, the Alabama State Bureau of Investigations is now looking into the case, but said they will not release any information about the investigation, nor release the body camera footage of the police attack, until their investigation is finished—sometime in February!

At a press conference held by the family on Friday, a pastor and local activist reported that the teenager, who’s been released from the hospital, has few memories about what happened. “He remembers one thing, a big tall white officer kicking him in the face. He remembers that.”

Hundreds Rally to Condemn Brutality Against Black Teen by Alabama Police

Hundreds of protesters rallied in front of the Troy, Alabama Police Department on Saturday, December 30, to condemn the savage beating of 17-year-old Ulysses Wilkerson by two pigs the previous Saturday night. Troymessenger.com reported that nearly a dozen organizations, including Black Lives Matter groups from Montgomery and Birmingham and a local elected official, spoke at the two-hour rally.

Speakers demanded answers to this horrific beating, including release of the video and audio evidence of what the pigs did. One of the rally organizers said if the family does not have answers by Friday, he would call for a “national rally.” Angela Williams, Ulysses' mother, said, “We will not settle until we know the truth behind the brutal beating of my dear son and these police officers are held accountable for their crime.” Earlier that morning a “Community through Unity” prayer service was held, organized by half a dozen local pastors.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/the-crisis-they-havent-faced-yet-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

Reprinted from RefuseFascism.org:

The Crisis They Haven't Faced Yet

January 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

By Coco Das – Refuse Fascism

How many of us wish we were going into 2018 without Trump and Pence in the White House?

In its first year, the Trump/Pence regime has proven its resilience, bouncing back from crisis after crisis, shock after shock. The regime has withstood protests, petitions, legal challenges, mockery, twitter storms, and a potentially damning investigation.

But they have not yet faced their biggest challenge, a challenge that could actually stop fascism in its tracks and drive out the whole regime. They have not faced a critical mass of people in the streets day after day declaring them illegitimate and demanding their removal.

Yes, this regime with its eyes on cementing white supremacist, Christian theocratic rule and its finger on the nuclear trigger is still in power. But the potential remains for millions of people to stand on the right side of history, clogging the streets and disrupting business as usual, refusing to allow them to destroy humanity in our name. Over and over again we have seen how swiftly the determined power of the people in the streets can cause a political crisis that forces tyrants to step down. What happens after is not the right question. What happens after is unknown, but what this regime is doing now, and what it plans to do as quickly as possible, is a known horror.

What the Trump/Pence regime has survived thus far is the turbulence it promised, a turbulence necessary for tearing up the existing norms and bringing about a qualitative change in how society is governed. This turbulence will give birth to a new order, the order of fascism, where everyone in society knows their place and doesn't dare step out of it.

Our movement, aimed at mobilizing the millions of people who can stop this, has faced its own challenges this year, from fascist lies and threats to media white-outs to dismissive shrugs from forces that could play a crucial role in leading us out of this mess but have chosen a different road, a road that leads to accommodation and conciliation even despite their best intentions. Going outside of the normal channels to drive out a fascist regime, in the name of humanity is not an easy path, but it is the right path. As long as fascists remain in the executive branch, with the freedom that gives them to shape the law of the land, the terms we must work with are set by them, and what becomes the norm is the unconscionable.

This opening talk of the Refuse Fascism December conference carefully analyzes the past year of the Trump/Pence regime, as well as the achievements and shortcomings of the movement to drive them out. All of us looking at this reality together, discussing and debating in the spirit of unity, and acting on our shared understanding is crucial to building a sustained political movement that can deal with the crisis at hand. Now is not the time to withdraw and retreat. Now is the time to engage and commit.

There is a world of possibility in the word "yet." As we move into a new year, whether it is with despair, disbelief, or even some hope that the end of this administration is near, let's remember that this regime has not yet faced its biggest challenge, a crisis brought about by the people refusing to accept its rule, voting with their feet in the streets, and becoming, en masse, ungovernable.

The power of "yet" is a future still unwritten.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/refusefascism-open-letter-to-people-of-conscience-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

From RefuseFascism.org

An Open Letter to People of Conscience, Organizations and All Who Abhor the Trump/Pence Regime

January 3, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

January 2018

We write to you with a shared and urgent concern for the future of humanity.  People all over the world are counting on all of us to act to stop a rapidly unfolding catastrophe that confronts the planet and its people because of the Trump and Pence regime.  We write to invite you to meet and engage with our organization and others about what is the scale, scope and nature of the problem we face with this regime?  What can and must be done to stop it? We can and must find the ways to work and struggle together to stop this regime as soon as possible.

One year of the nightmare of the Trump/Pence regime: the damage done already digs deep and wide, with far worse to come if it is not stopped.  The environment; the very present danger of nuclear war; the terror in which millions of immigrants now live; the aggressive assertion of white supremacy, misogyny, anti-LGBTQ, and American supremacy in every dimension; the demonization of Muslims; the list goes on.  Meanwhile, basic civil and democratic rights, as well as the very concept of evidence and objective truth, are under relentless assault.

Every agonizing and infuriating day since the Trump/Pence inauguration, the fascist nature of this regime has been borne out.  Yes, they have faced resistance and had occasional setbacks.  But it must be faced, their regime has been resilient, bouncing back from crisis after crisis, shock after shock.  They have withstood protests, petitions, legal challenges, mockery, international scorn, twitter storms, a few electoral defeats that were exceedingly close, and damaging investigations.  The regime’s support from one third of the country has hardened with thugs emboldened.  Fascists can and often have tightly ruled from the position of being an aggrieved minority.  Simultaneously, all too many people in this country adjust to a new normal.

RefuseFascism.org has analyzed and said since its inception that “The Trump/Pence Regime is a Fascist Regime. Not insult or exaggeration, this is what it is.”  We have set forth our determination that “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.” 

We wrote that: “Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors.”  Doesn’t this describe what has gone down in year one?

If we understand and come to grips with the character of the problem we face, we can find and work on the solution. We will have our differences, which we should acknowledge and engage; such differences, however, can NOT prevent us from uniting and acting together in the larger interests of humanity.

There are those who say that this is not full out fascism yet.  Precisely the point: not yet.  It is, however, a regime that everyday shreds political and civil norms, remaking society and government, moving to consolidate fascism under the signboard of “Make America Great Again.”  Is there not sufficient evidence that this is the direction and momentum of what is unfolding?

Fascism is more than a “gross combination of horrific reactionary policies …[that] what is crucial to understand is that … fascism essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights.”  At a certain point, which could come sooner than you think, it could become too late – there could be a political or international incident that results in a lock down on dissent, with a populace that has either accommodated to the new norm of fascism, or is politically passive expecting that the normal electoral processes of government will prevent the worst from happening.

With such stakes for people here and around the world, how can we fail to make the time to talk and find the ways to seriously work together to stop this? 

There are related important questions to dig into:

* There has been inspiring protest and resistance against the attacks on the people by the Trump/Pence administration. This must grow broader, deeper, and more determined.  We can not continue to have a situation where aside from legal support, the immigrant community is nearly alone in protesting deportations and arrests — including when the Dreamers confronted the top Democrats who conciliate with Trump.

At the same time, we must recognize that the character of fascism is that it can absorb separate acts of resistance while continually throwing the opposition off balance by rapidly moving its agenda forward. The Trump/Pence regime will repeatedly launch new highly repressive measures, eventually clamping down on all resistance and remaking the law… IF THEY ARE NOT DRIVEN FROM POWER.

So how do we strengthen this resistance, while more consciously forging the links to a movement  demanding that the whole illegitimate regime must go?  

* What kind of  struggle and movement is required to drive out a regime that controls almost all the branches of government?

We confront a regime that wields a thuggish fascist mass movement as well as all the governmental instruments of repression and control.  Defeating this requires an extraordinary struggle of millions of people protesting in a sustained way – day after day.  If the whole regime is not removed (even if in stages) then, the danger will persist potentially in even more virulent form.

So how would such a struggle be built, and how would this actually work?

As you may know, Refuse Fascism called for mass protests nationwide on November 4, 2017 to launch such a movement.  4000 people came out in over 20 cities, and did so in the face of unrelenting fascist threats broadcast on mass media and the internet, including vicious armed fascists who showed up in 3 cities to threaten. November 4 was an inspiring day, a harbinger of potential, but it did not launch the movement of mass continuing growing non violent protest that was, and still is, needed.

We have begun a process of figuring out why, and we invite you to read some of what we’ve been wrangling with.  The point for now is that we are working on the contradiction between the relative stability of most people’s lives and reluctance to upend that, on the one hand, and their deep and profound revulsion and turmoil over the horrific actions and future of the Trump/Pence Regime on the other: in brief, how does the latter come to the fore?

Part of the problem is this: people have been told by the leadership of the Democratic Party to rely on them, to wait and work for normal process of electing them to office.  People have been instructed that mass protest will only stir the beast of the fascist forces, that it will undermine the Democrats chances to win over “swing voters,” to be “realistic,” and not think and act outside the framework of politics as usual and perhaps see the role of the Democratic Party leadership’s conciliation with the fascists over a long period of time, or even to begin to question the whole set up.

The question, then, is how essential is defiant, non-violent, mass struggle in the streets to driving out this regime and preventing the full horror of fascism? And what is the basis for such a struggle to take place?

* * * *

There is a great responsibility that falls to people in this country to act to prevent the consolidation of fascism in the world’s most powerful nation.  It is with deep conviction and determination that we say “In the Name of Humanity” We REFUSE to let this happen.

As we head into year two of Trump/Pence there are some who are euphoric over a few electoral wins, others who despair of potential to actually remove the regime and are burrowing in to “movement building,” choosing to ignore the reality that with fascism, the rules of the game can radically change overnight, and it can become too late.  And there are some desperately and bravely struggling against the monster.

If you are reading this you are one of millions who wants the nightmare of the Trump/Pence regime to end.  The people can drive it from power.  Refuse Fascism has made a start. Many have resisted and there is a broad reservoir of people who deeply abhor the regime.

Now it depends on you and us together finding the ways and the means to unite to struggle to drive it out.  To do anything else, or less, is to put humanity’s future in peril. That we must not and will not do.

To that end, we invite you to talk with national and local leaders of Refuse Fascism in the next two weeks, as they tour New York, Los Angeles, the SF Bay Area, and Chicago.

RefuseFascism.org

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/check-out-how-that-worked-out-last-time-around-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

The Democratic Party Is Telling You to Throw Yourself Into the 2018 Elections If You Really Want to Stop Trump.

Before You Do, Check Out How That Worked Out Last Time Around.

January 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

George W. Bush began his second term as president in 2004. In 2006, as Congressional mid-term elections loomed, millions of people rightly saw the danger presented by the administration of Bush and his partner in crime, Vice President Dick Cheney, and wanted it removed from office.

Among Bush’s crimes:

Millions of people were sickened and angry at this. They were told to vote for the Democrats as the way to stop all these horrors, and they did.

So what happened?

The weekend after the Democrats took back Congress, Nancy Pelosi, then the Speaker of the House, went on TV and ruled out impeaching Bush, saying it was “off the table.”

Bush escalated the war in Iraq, and the Democrats went along. They had a majority in the House of Representatives, and they assisted Bush & Co. in normalizing the “enemy combatant” status. Congress passed and Bush signed the “Military Commissions Act,” which essentially embedded “enemy combatant” status in law, and allowed imprisonment in the U.S. torture chamber of Guantánamo to continue, without the right to habeas corpus.

With a majority in Congress, the Democrats did nothing about torture, Guantánamo, the meaningful rebuilding of New Orleans, the steady assault on the barrier between church and state launched by Christian fascists associated with or in the Republican Party, or the continuation of virtually all of the PATRIOT Act, in a slightly modified form.

Then Obama came in. Deportations soared to all-time highs. Detention centers for infants and children were authorized. Assassination by drone became government policy. The U.S. military carried out occupations and bombings in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, the Sudan, and other countries. Relentless attacks eroding women’s right to abortion went unopposed by the Democrats. Government spying powers increased under Obama—in his final days in office he signed an executive order handing the Trump/Pence regime expanded powers to collect massive information with little oversight.

And why? Because, as Obama said after Trump was elected, the Democrats and Republicans are all on the same team. Their uppermost concern is the stability and survival of that team and the system it defends. They will do all they can to prevent and contain any turmoil, at most utilizing it for their narrow advantage in disputes with each other ... unless there is upheaval from below that they can not contain and must maneuver some cosmetic changes, in some fashion ... in order to “preserve the team.”

In 2006, the Democrats thought they could best advance their interests by further silencing the masses they had corralled into the electoral cattle pen, even though this meant effectively forcing those masses to go along with the very horrors they wanted to end by voting Democrat. The consequences of masses of people not mounting meaningful opposition outside the electoral framework were catastrophic for humanity, and for the planet.

In 2018, a fascist regime is rapidly consolidating power. The consequences of containing opposition to this within an electoral framework because of the illusory wisp that the Democrats will change things if they “control Congress” will bring incalculable and lasting damage to all humanity and the earth we share.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/are-you-on-the-same-team-as-trump-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

Are YOU On The "Same Team" As Trump?

Do YOU Want To Find "Ways to Work Together" With Him As He Installs Fascism? 

This Is What The Top Democrats Say, And Here's Why.

January 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The day after Trump was elected president, Barack Obama said that he and Trump were members of the “same team.” He said they were running a “relay race,” and the election was an “intramural scrimmage” to see who could best represent that team. And now that Trump won “we are all rooting for his success.” 

Why did Obama say this? And why do Democratic Party leaders like Schumer, Pelosi and “Saint Bernie” Sanders, as well as “flavors of the month” like Doug Jones, keep talking about how they’re willing to work with Trump? 

Because they are on the same team. They’re telling the truth about this.  It’s one of the rare cases when they do tell the truth. So people need to face what this means—and its implications for society. 

First, what team are they talking about? It’s “Team America.” It’s the team made up of those ruling and representing America’s capitalist-imperialist system. Let’s not forget that “Team America” founded itself on the genocide of Native peoples and the enslavement of millions of Black people. Team America to this day has white supremacy, male supremacy, and American global supremacy knitted into its very core—it is a capitalist-imperialist system that cannot do without any of that.

And what kind of “work” is it that they’re talking about doing together?  Making sure their “team” and its murderous, oppressive system “succeeds in today’s world.”

The top Democrats do have sharp differences with Trump and the Republicans—but they’re not over how to best serve the interests of humanity; they’re over how to best run their empire and maintain the stability and coherence of their oppressive society at home. 

That means that no matter how sharply the Democrats disagree with this or that Trump policy, they are doing so from within that framework.  So one of their core goals is keeping people loyal to the “team”—their system and working through its social and political channels.

This is why the only thing you can “rely” on these Democrats for is to keep the struggle within the narrowest possible bounds and to use whatever credibility you lend them to suppress those people who DO take this fascist threat seriously—people who do NOT feel as if they are on the “same team” as people trying to restore open white supremacy, people directly threatening nuclear destruction, people unapologetically bragging about sexual molestation and assault. 

Don’t believe it?

What about racism and white supremacy? The Democrats talk of inclusivity and equal right, but in Alabama, Doug Jones didn’t call out Roy Moore’s pro-slavery ravings. He mobilized Black voters on the down-low, while reaching out to Trump’s fascist base. Squarely confronting and challenging the racism and white supremacy at the core of Trump’s fascism has the potential to mobilize millions to become part of driving this regime from power. But the Democrats refuse to do so because they understand white supremacy is woven deeply into the fabric of America and unleashing millions to take it on could threaten or call into question their whole system.

#MeToo and women’s oppression? The Democrat’s quickly ran Al Franken out of the Senate after he was accused of harassing several women. Some Democrats have issued statements against Trump for his sexual predation, but the Democrats have refused to call out people like theocrat Roy Moore and the whole misogynist, Christian fascist agenda at the core of the Trump/Pence regime which aims to strip women of their most basic rights and reassert open patriarchy with a vengeance—much less mobilize the millions awakened by the #MeToo movement to take on this whole regime. Just compare how the Democrats still tolerate and only very mildly and intermittently bring up Trump’s admitted molestation of women to the kind of all-out struggle waged by the Republicans over Bill Clinton’s crap.

Trump’s ugly fascist program has been clear from the day his campaign began and has become uglier, and more apparent and dangerous since.  Yet the Democrats continue to counsel patience and working through the same channels that brought Trump to power in the first place—even muzzling talk, repeat talk, of things like impeachment as a “distraction” from the 2018 elections. 

Given all this, how, in good conscience, can you rely on the Democrats to STOP this monster before he drags down the entire globe in flames?     

So the real question is, which team do you want to be on?  It depends on what you’re trying to do.  If you want to advance and maintain capitalism-imperialism, making some criticisms of Trump where you think he is harming imperialist interests but you don’t want to call out or take on fascism per se, then clearly—the Democratic Party is the thing for you. 

However, if you want to not just criticize and call out, not just take on, but seriously set about preventing the consolidation of fascism and DRIVING OUT this fascist regime, then you need to be on a different team.  Don’t be on Trump’s team; don’t be on the intramural squad that’s scrimmaging against Trump; be on a team that’s trying to really STOP him.

Vote In the Streets With Your Feet! 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/524/time-running-out-for-non-military-resolution-to-clash-with-north-korea-en.html

Revolution #524 January 1, 2018

A “Sane” Voice in the Trump/Pence Regime Says Time “Running Out” for Non-military Resolution to Clash with North Korea

What Will YOU Do in the Face of This Horrific Threat to Humanity?

January 6, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In mid-December, H.R. McMaster—Trump’s national security advisor—said in an interview with the BBC that “we’re running out of time” for a non-military “resolution” to the confrontation with North Korea. Asked whether he was committed to a “peaceful resolution,” McMaster said, “We’re committed to a resolution. We want the resolution to be peaceful, but as the president has said, all options are on the table. And we have to be prepared if necessary to compel the denuclearization of North Korea without the cooperation of that regime.”

Note well several alarming points here. One, when McMaster says that “all options are on the table” and that the U.S. is prepared to “compel the denuclearization of North Korea,” that is an unequivocal threat of war. A war by an imperialist superpower armed with thousands of nuclear weapons against a small country whose leadership has developed a few nukes in the hopes of deterring such an attack. A war certain to cause enormous destruction and loss of life in the Korean peninsula and the whole region, with hundreds of thousands killed quickly and possibly millions more, especially if nuclear weapons are used.

Two, McMaster warns that the U.S. may launch this war in the near future—“we’re running out of time.”

Three, this blood-curdling war mongering is coming from one of the supposedly “sane” voices in the Trump/Pence regime, a general with credentials as a “warrior scholar” in establishment circles. McMaster’s “sane” threats go hand in hand with Trump’s incendiary rants, like his tweet on the second day of the New Year that he had a “much bigger & more powerful” nuclear button than Kim Jong-un of North Korea.

What all this adds up to is that the U.S. is clearly preparing to move, possibly soon, against North Korea in ways that would be a towering injustice and horrific crime, of such a character and magnitude that words cannot do justice in capturing it. But beyond that, such a move by the U.S. would throw the very survival of humanity in the balance—an American attack could quickly spiral into even larger warfare across Asia and beyond.

Counting on the Democrats to stop this horror is willful ignorance of reality—and an immoral refusal to act in the interests of humanity. The Democrats have done nothing to prevent the Trump/Pence regime’s increasingly belligerent moves toward war, and in fact have egged on such moves in some ways. Asked in November whether she would support a U.S. ground invasion of North Korea, Nancy Piglosi (aka Pelosi) said, “We have to exhaust every other remedy. North Korea’s behavior has to be stopped, reversed—they cannot have a nuclear weapon.” Shmuck Fumer (aka Chuck Schumer) has pushed Trump to block Chinese investments in the U.S. to pressure China “to help rein in North Korea’s threatening and destabilizing behavior.”

How are these statements by top Democrats any different in substance from McMaster’s cold-blooded threats against North Korea? The powers that be on “both sides of the aisle”—from the Trump/Pence regime to Obama and the Democrats to the military and the “national security” establishment—all deem as unacceptable the development of nuclear capabilities by the North Korean regime. They fear it is changing the “balance of power” in this critical region of the world and constraining the ability of the U.S. to exercise imperialist domination. (See “Why Do the U.S. Rulers Consider North Korea ‘Dangerous’—and What Does That Say About the Danger of the Trump/Pence Regime to Humanity?”.)

The nightmarish trajectory plunging the world toward a criminal war with horrific consequences for humanity will not be stopped by “sane” voices in the regime or by the Democrats, and certainly not by any god up in the skies. It is on us—those in this country who are aware of the huge and urgent stakes for humanity involved here—to go far and wide to bring to people the real nature of what is going on (through things like taking out the revcom quiz on North Korea to campuses and elsewhere) and to win people to ACT on this.