Revolution #527, January 22, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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

Revolution #527 January 22, 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/526/year-end-gathering-to-watch-film-of-Bob-Avakian-talk-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

A year-end gathering to watch the film of Bob Avakian's talk: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible

January 15, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On the day before New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles, 30 people gathered to watch the film of a 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.

The Bob Avakian Institute sponsored the event, which brought together a diverse group. Students home for the holidays heard about it on Facebook and a number of activists with Refuse Fascism attended. Several people came off of hearing an announcement on The Michael Slate Show on KPFK. In the mix were members of the Revolution Club who had spent time with the talk and wanted to get more deeply into it with others.

After watching the talk and one of the Q&As, a representative of The Bob Avakian Institute asked: Why does BA begin the talk the way he does, where does he go and what do you think?

What followed was a rich and lively discussion on how this fascist regime came to be and the particular history of this country from its founding through to today, saturated with white supremacy, patriarchy and American exceptionalism. People dug into how all of this is rooted in the development of class society and the history of capitalism itself, including the dominance of Western “civilization” throughout the world, how tens of millions of people in this country came to support a fascist regime, and what fascism is and the real danger this poses to humanity and to any effort to get to a better world. We also got quite deeply into some big ideological questions about how we look at our own role in stopping this.

Here are some of the highlights of the wide-ranging discussion:

A woman who opened the discussion said she thought BA began with the exposure of how the U.S. Constitution legalized rape, because you had to have your own thinking challenged about how horrific things couldn’t happen in this country. In this opening, BA explains that while rape wasn’t actually legalized, slavery was and rape was a central part of the functioning of slavery—slave masters systematically raping enslaved women. She said that she had never heard a critique of the U.S .Constitution like this, showing how embedded oppression is in the very founding of this country, and that she was really quite challenged by it. She talked about the concept that BA gets into of The Great Tautological Fallacy (GTF), the circular argument that because America is a force for good in the world, everything it does is by definition good and must be defended. Again, she’d never considered this before and it has really challenged her to look at how this country justifies what it does to the people of the world, but also what it makes possible in terms of a fascist regime.

Two points were raised from the audience about why slavery was an important theme in this talk. One had to do with breaking the disbelief that fascism could not happen in this “democracy,” that there are illusions people have about how the level of repression in fascism is somehow antithetical to the founding principles of this country. But you can see how this is not true when you understand that the roots of America are genocide and slavery. The other point had to do with how the oppression of Black people is woven into the whole fabric of this country to this day. It is crucial to understanding why it is that white supremacy is so core to what is being cohered through the Trump/Pence fascist regime. One person talked about Adam Serwer’s article in the November 20, 2017 issue of Atlantic magazine, “The Nationalist’s Delusion,” which presents this with compelling evidence and really puts to rest that false notion that the 2016 election was mainly an expression of economic distress among the working class.

There was some struggle about this as some people—despite the evidence—kept wanting to chalk it up to white people’s economic distress. Someone marshaled the evidence in BA’s talk to speak to why this was untrue.

People also dug into why BA went back to talk about the development of class society thousands of years ago, and how capitalism developed in Europe, the massive changes that this unleashed with its expansion throughout the world, its rosy dawn dripping in blood, built on the enslavement of millions of people from Africa and the working to death of indigenous people in the gold and silver mines in the new world. A couple people commented on how important that is to understanding the roots of what we are seeing now—about the white Christian supremacy that is woven into the fabric of this country and is finding extreme expression in the current rise of fascism. Someone else brought it back to how this is rooted in the workings of the system of capitalism and why this is so important to understand. A student who had recently read Bob Avakian’s THE NEW COMMUNISM talked about fascism as a response to the needs of this system, the situation that U.S. imperialism is facing today and why American exceptionalism and chauvinism are integral to all of this.

A person very new to BA and this kind of discussion talked candidly about what held him back from going to the recent protests against the Trump/Pence fascist regime. He talked about his personal fear of the violence of the fascists. And then he would hear people he knew talk about what they would do if they were confronted by the fascists and his fear that things could quickly get out of control.

This opened up a whole discussion on how we should understand what we are confronting—how the regime is moving to consolidate fascism in terms of the kinds of changes occurring in every section of government and society; the impact of the Christian fascists, the attacks on the very notion of truth and evidence, and so on; what fascism is and what it would mean for humanity, the great harm it is already doing, but also what it would mean if it was able to make the all-out leap into a society where resistance, as in Germany, was made immeasurably more difficult.

One person talked about how BA spoke to this in one of the Q&As, referring to a second statement from Pastor Martin Niemöller, who is famous for saying in a first statement that he did not speak up as the fascists in Germany came for the communists, then the Jews… because he was not one of them, and when they came for him, there was no one left to speak up. Niemöller spoke later after coming out of the concentration camp that if he and others had spoken out at the beginning, that, yes, there would have been sacrifices, but this could have saved millions from the hell that came after.

This was a deep moment as people reflected on the challenge that the current situation is putting on all of us, and the need to rise to that. Someone else brought in the answer to the Q&A that we did watch all together, where BA talks about how important it is for people to really understand the stakes of what we are facing—and the necessity to act in the streets. This is what will enable people to overcome fear and uncertainty, and to stop putting themselves first—acting in the name of humanity to prevent the consolidation of a fascist America.

A woman from the Revolution Club and one of the main organizers for Refuse Fascism talked about her own education and the impact of the lies told around U.S. history. First, that many people like herself were deprived of an education, having been discouraged to the point of dropping out at a young age, but also the fact that slavery was straight-up justified in what was being taught in her school. She was told that slaves were taken care of by their masters and were happy under their conditions of enslavement. And how people need to understand how these ideas have become acceptable and are being taught as the truth and the consequences of this on the lives of millions of people. Immigrants are called rapists and are being rounded up. This is not something far off in the distant future: these lies are being spread today and this has a dangerous impact in terms of justifying horrors. She argued that the resistance we need is not for later or under some future abstract favorable conditions that won’t exist. She spoke to why this has to be fought now with the goal of bringing millions into the streets to drive out this whole regime.

The discussion was very rich with people continually weighing in and getting deeper into the importance of this talk to understanding what it is we are facing and how this fascist regime will be stopped. People were raising important points to the very end, and many stayed to talk and to connect with the movement that is out to stop all of this.

A number of people wanted to know much more about Bob Avakian, his history and the New Synthesis of Communism he has developed, and purchased books and signed up to learn more about and be involved in future work of The Bob Avakian Institute.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/womens-march-2018-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

Women's March 2018: Hundreds of Thousands in the Streets Across the Country vs. the Trump/Pence Regime—We Need a LOT MORE of This!

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

People took to the streets across the U.S. on January 20 in Women’s Marches in over 250 cities—from 500,000 in Los Angeles, 300,000 in Chicago, and 200,000 in New York City to tens of thousands in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Philadelphia, Denver, and Washington, DC. And people marched in their hundreds and thousands in many other cities and towns from coast to coast, the north and the south.

These Women’s Marches are very welcome and positive—making clear to the world the deep and widespread revulsion and anger of large numbers of people in this country at the criminal actions of the Trump/Pence regime in the year since it rose to power—especially, but not only, its attacks on women. Coming in the midst of the outpouring that has broken out against sexual harassment and sexual assault of women and the whole putrid culture spawned by the male supremacist system…and after months of relentless attacks by the Trump/Pence regime on women’s right to abortion and other fronts…the Women’s March protesters expressed their determination, often in creative ways, that these outrages against women, and a government headed by a man who’s bragged about how he can “grab them by the pussy,” are unacceptable.

There was also a breadth to people’s concerns. Along with signs and chants against the oppression of women, the protesters made important linkages to support for immigrants, Muslims, Black people, and other groups under the gun of the fascists. Many people turned Trump’s racist “shithole” insult back on him, calling him out as “Shithole-in-Chief” and in other ways. There was a sense among the crowds that “we’re all in this together,” that there is a common fight. As one home-made sign in the New York City march said, “We Stand with Refugees, Puerto Rico, Dreamers, Immigrants, People of Color, Trans People, the National Park Service, the LGBTQ Community, the Free Press, Planned Parenthood, Healthcare for Everyone.” One notable downside—reflecting the situation in society overall—was lack of clear, strong opposition to the Trump/Pence regime’s war threats against North Korea and Iran and the overall “America First” chauvinism and aggression around the world, which are bringing humanity to the precipice of nuclear war.

Much of the leadership of the marches was focused on building up hope for Democratic Party victories in this November’s elections and beyond and channeling people into this road. And not surprisingly, there were a lot of spontaneous pulls among the people to look to those elections and the Democrats—with signs like “grab them by the midterms” (referring to the November elections) and the “blue wave.” But let’s look at what was happening on the ground at the Women’s Marches—the way that marching by the hundreds of thousands in hundreds of cities and towns gave people a sense of their collective power… the exuberance and the determination to resist that were both on display… the real sense that people coming out like this could put their imprint on society and collectively change the terms of what is going on, in a way that nothing else can.

All this was crucial in its own right—and also sparks important questions. Like, what if we did this for more than one day? What if this spread and stretched into even more sectors of society, doing it in a way that the impromptu speak-outs and debates that sprung up at the marches became more organized and became a big part of this? What if these upsurges did not just register protest at the different outrages committed by the Trump/Pence cabal but demanded that the whole regime must go?

It’s often said by politicians, and repeated by way too many regular people, that “demonstrations are okay, but the real deal is elections.” Yet a real reading of history shows that the most decisive thing of all in any struggle—even struggle for reforms—is mass action from below. This is true, for instance, in regard to Vietnam, as gone into in the accompanying excerpt from Bob Avakian’s Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy. (See below.) And it holds true for virtually every other significant victory for the people in U.S. history. What’s most needed right now is MORE people in the streets, both around the particular outrages being perpetrated by this regime and against the regime overall.

In other words, rather than the notion that “demos are good but they don’t really accomplish anything fundamental”—don’t we actually need a LOT MORE of massive numbers of people out in the streets, with an even more uncompromising spirit?

There is an organization that has taken on the responsibility to bring about such a movement—RefuseFascism.org, which was actively part of the Women’s March. RefuseFascism.org sets forth the stand “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!” And it unites people of many different viewpoints to act around the demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! We call on everyone who came out to the Women’s Marches—and many others who weren’t there but who want to see an end to the nightmare that we are facing—to check out and join with RefuseFascism.org.

From Bob Avakian’s Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy:

What does—and does not—happen through elections...
what is—and is not—meaningful political activity

The following is an excerpt from Bob Avakian’s Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, first published in 2008. It is taken from the section “‘Competing Elites’—and Moving Beyond ‘Elites.’”

It is not just experience in this immediate period, but experience throughout the history of this country that has illustrated time and again the following essential truths:

1) There is, in the U.S., a ruling class that has interests which are very different from and fundamentally in opposition to those of the masses of citizens.

2) This ruling class in reality exercises a dictatorship—that is, a monopoly of political power backed up by and concentrated in a monopoly of armed power over the rest of society—and those who at any given time are administering that dictatorship will continue to pursue policies they are determined to carry out, even in the face of massive popular opposition, unless and until the larger interests of the ruling class dictate that it modify or even abandon a particular policy—or until that ruling class is overthrown.

3) Elections do not provide an avenue for the realization of the desire of masses of people to see these policies and actions of the government change—although mass political resistance can, under certain circumstances, make an important contribution to forcing changes in government policy, especially if this takes place in a larger context where these policies are running into real trouble and, among other things, are leading to heightened divisions within the ruling class itself.

If we step back a few decades from the present, we can see how the experience around Vietnam provided a concentrated example of all this. As I have pointed out before, there were two elections in relation to Vietnam which involved significant contention and “soul searching” particularly among people strongly opposed to the Vietnam war, and which illustrate the basic point I am making—and debunk the notions that Dahl is putting forward.

First, there was the election in 1964 when the U.S. began to significantly escalate its “involvement” in Vietnam. To inject a personal element into this—but something which touches on a more general phenomenon—this is one of the two elections for president of the United States in which I actually voted. It was the first election in which I was eligible to vote, and after some agonizing I decided to vote for Lyndon Johnson in that 1964 election (I voted for Eldridge Cleaver in 1968, but that was a very different story). At the time of that 1964 election, there was a very intense debate in the “movement” about whether or not to vote—that is, whether or not to vote for Johnson. Johnson was coming out on behalf of civil rights, making concessions to the massive struggle around that, and at the same time, even while as president he was carrying out an escalation of the Vietnam war, he was not openly talking in the crazy and extreme terms that his rival, the Republican candidate Barry Goldwater, was. Goldwater was famous—or some would say infamous—for his statement, at the time of his nomination at the Republican Convention in 1964, that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. Of course, Goldwater conceived of liberty and justice in bourgeois and imperialist terms, and he saw the Vietnamese people’s resistance to U.S. domination as a vice—a violation of and interference with imperialist liberty and justice. So Goldwater was talking in extreme terms about Vietnam—bombing the Vietnamese back to the Stone Age, or language similar to that. Many people in the broad movement of that time were arguing that, with all this in mind, you had to vote for Johnson—that it was absolutely essential, in terms of Vietnam as well as other key issues, to vote for Johnson—and I, along with many others, was influenced and finally persuaded by this. So we went and held our noses, as people often do these days, and voted for the Democrat, Lyndon Johnson.

Well, after the election was over—during which Johnson had run campaign ads talking about the extreme danger of what Goldwater would do in Vietnam—Johnson himself proceeded to massively escalate the war in Vietnam, both in terms of bombing that country and in terms of beginning the process of sending wave after wave of U.S. troops to Vietnam (which, by the late 1960s, reached the level of 500,000). And, of course, those of us who had been persuaded and cajoled into voting for Johnson felt bitterly betrayed by this. This provided a very profound lesson.

By the time the 1972 elections came around (and I spoke to this somewhat in my memoir, From Ike To Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist, Insight Press, Chicago, 2005), once again there was, even within the Revolutionary Union (the forerunner of our Party) as well as more broadly among those opposed to the Vietnam war, a big debate and struggle about whether it was necessary to support the “anti-war candidate,” George McGovern—or, to put it another way, to vote against Nixon. Within the RU itself, arguments were made that it was “our internationalist duty to the Vietnamese people” to vote for McGovern and get Nixon out, because otherwise Nixon would escalate the war in Vietnam again, but McGovern would bring an end to the war.

Well, in the end, I (and the leadership of the RU overall) didn’t go for this. We did examine the question seriously—we didn’t just take a dogmatic approach. I remember being up many nights wrestling with the question: Is this a particular set of circumstances which requires an exception to the general approach of not supporting, not even holding your nose and voting for, bourgeois electoral candidates? But I came to the conclusion—on the basis of a lot of agonizing and of wrangling with others—that, no, it was not “our internationalist duty to the Vietnamese people” to support McGovern, that instead our internationalist duty was better served by continuing to build mass resistance against that war and the overall policies of the government—and, more fundamentally, opposition to the system as a whole—which is what we set out to do.

But there were many who did get drawn into the whole McGovern thing. It might be very interesting for those of you who weren’t around at the time (or were not yet politically conscious and active) to go back and look at films, if they are available, of the 1972 Democratic Convention. There was Jerry Rubin, and many other “movement people,” who were being welcomed into the killing embrace of “mainstream” bourgeois politics, and specifically the Democratic Party—back within those suffocating confines. And, in truth, some of them were feeling a certain sense of relief in believing that, after years of struggling to change things from outside those confines—with all the difficulties, sacrifices, and, yes, real dangers, bound up with that—maybe there could be an avenue for changing things “from within.” But, of course, what happened in reality is that Nixon trounced McGovern in the elections. Through the machinery of bourgeois electoral politics, and the dynamics of bourgeois politics in a more general sense, things were more or less set up that way. Without going into too many particulars here, it is worth noting that McGovern was barely out of the gate campaigning, after the Democratic Convention, when his running mate (vice presidential nominee) Thomas Eagleton was exposed as having been a “mental case,” as it was popularly conceived at the time. Eagleton, it turned out, had at one point sought psychiatric help, and this made him “unfit” to be vice president and next in line as head of state. So they had to replace him with Sargent Shriver (of the Kennedy clan). And more generally, the whole McGovern campaign was a debacle, right from the beginning. Nixon ended up winning almost every state in the presidential election that year.

Many people were demoralized by this—essentially because they had accepted, and confined themselves within, the terms of bourgeois electoral politics. Yet a few months after the 1972 election, Nixon was forced to sign a “peace agreement” on Vietnam. While this took place in the context of larger international factors—including the contention between the U.S. and the Soviet Union (which was then a social-imperialist country: socialist in name but imperialist in fact and in deed), as well as the international role at that time of China, which was then a socialist country but was adopting certain tactical measures, including an “opening to the west,” as part of dealing with the very real threat of attack by the Soviet Union on China—it was, to a significant degree, because of the continuing struggle of the Vietnamese people, and massive opposition within the U.S. itself to U.S. aggression in Vietnam, that Nixon was forced to sign this “peace agreement.”

This agreement led, first, to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam—and an attempt by Nixon to carry out “Vietnamization” (getting the army of the U.S.-dependent South Vietnamese government to more fully fight the war, backed up by U.S. air power)—and then led, only a couple of years later, to the ultimate and very welcomed defeat of U.S. imperialism and its puppet government in South Vietnam. You all have seen the scenes of people scrambling to get on the helicopters leaving the U.S. embassy in 1975, as the National Liberation Front troops (the so-called “Vietcong”) knock down the gate to that embassy.

Now, the important lesson for what we’re talking about here is that in neither case—neither in 1964 nor in 1972—were the decisive changes that occurred brought about by the elections. Quite the contrary. In 1964 people massively voted for someone who supposedly wouldn’t escalate the Vietnam war—and then he escalated that war on a massive scale. In 1972 many people voted against Nixon because he was going to escalate the war further—but he was forced to pull out U.S. troops, and that led to the ultimate defeat of the U.S. and its puppet government in South Vietnam.

In both cases, the compelling pull and the seeming logic that it was crucial to vote for a Democrat—or at least to vote against the Republican—in order to avert real disasters, was not borne out at all in reality. And the reason for that is very basic: Elections are not the actual dynamics through which essential decisions about the policies of the government, and the direction of society, are made—the votes of the people in elections are not the actual forces compelling changes of one kind or another. This is what is dramatically illustrated if you examine—and in particular, if you examine scientifically—these two elections, which in effect bracketed the heavy involvement of the U.S. in Vietnam (the 1964 election toward the beginning, and the 1972 election toward the end, of that involvement).

So, let’s issue a challenge: Let anyone explain how holding your nose and voting for the Democrat (or enthusiastically voting for the Democrat) in either or both of those elections led to, and was responsible for, changes of the one kind or the other—negative changes in 1964, with the escalation by the U.S. of the war in Vietnam, and 8 years later the positive change of U.S. imperialism heading for decisive defeat in its attempt to impose its domination on Vietnam through massive devastation of that country and the slaughter of several million of its people. No, none of this happened through elections, because elections are not the actual basis and the real vehicle through which truly significant changes in society (and the world), of one kind or another, are brought about.

This is obviously extremely relevant now, when there is a widespread hatred, in certain ways unprecedented in its scale and in some senses in its depth, for the whole regime associated with George W. Bush, and yet people have great difficulty rupturing with the notion that the only possible avenue for changing the course of things is to get sucked once again into the dynamics of bourgeois politics—which are set up to serve, and can only serve, the interests of the ruling class, and which have not and do not provide the means and channels through which changes in the interests of the people can be brought about.

In light of all this, we can see the fundamental error reflected in Dahl’s assertion that “the capacity of citizens to exercise a veto over the reelection and policies of elected officials is a powerful and frequently exercised means for preventing officials from imposing policies objectionable to many citizens.” In fact, the means through which that happens is massive upsurge and resistance, in combination with other factors—including resistance, struggle and revolution in other parts of the world, as well as other contradictions that the imperialists are running up against, even short of revolution to overthrow them. That is the basis on which, and the means through which, officials are prevented from continuing to impose policies objectionable to large numbers of people.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/526/january-20-emancipation-of-women-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

January 20, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

One year after the inauguration of Trump/Pence, people took to the streets again for Women’s Marches in hundreds of cities across the U.S. and around the world. In the slide show on this page, we are presenting just a sampling of pictures of protesters who were out in the streets from the largest cities in the U.S. to the smallest. Over 500,000 marched in Los Angeles; 125,000 in New York City; 300,000 in Chicago, and tens of thousands in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington, DC., and Denver, Colorado. And people in hundreds and thousands marched in, just to name some of the other smaller cities, Juneau, Alaska; Riverside, Sacramento, Orange County, and San Jose, California; Augusta, Georgia; Iowa City, Iowa; Indianapolis, Indiana; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Annapolis, Maryland; St. Louis, Missouri; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Morristown, New Jersey; Albany and Seneca Falls, New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; Tulsa, Oklahoma; State College, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; Sioux City, South Dakota; Nashville, Tennessee; Austin and Ft. Worth, Texas; Richmond, Virginia; Bellingham, Washington...and others too many to name.

  • New York, New York.

  • Los Angeles, California. Credit: Twitter/@Rshehee

  • Madrid, Spain. Credit: Twitter/#womensmarch

  • Los Angeles, California. Credit: Twitter/@baby_boomster

  • Boston, Massachusetts. Credit: Twitter/@_redheadmeg

  • Kolkata, India. Credit: Twitter/#womensmarch

  • New York City, New York. Credit: Special to revcom.us

  • Seneca Falls, New York. Special to revcom.us

  • Los Angeles, Revolution Club. Credit: Special to revcom.us

  • Helsinki, Finland. Credit: Twitter/#womensmarch

  • Asheville, North Carolina. Credit: Twitter/@EdKrassen

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Credit: Twitter/@USseriously

  • Houston, Texas. Credit: Special to revcom.us

  • Los Angeles, California. Credit: Twitter/@refusefascismLA

  • Washington, DC. Credit: Twitter/@gimomma65

  • Austin, Texas. Credit: Twitter/@sirbabsalot

  • Chicago, Illinois. Chicago Revolution Club organized a speakout on the spot. Credit: Special to revcom.us

  • San Francisco Bay Area. Credit: Revolution Books Berkeley Instagram

  • New York, NY

  • San Francisco, California. Credit: Special to revcom.us

  • Indianapolis, Indiana. Credit: Twitter/@warvvely

  • Albany, New York. Credit: Twitter/@michaelOstevens

  • Greenville, South Carolina. Credit: Twitter/@Teddifish

  • San Francisco, California. Credit: Special to revcom.us

There were a wide range of signs, calling out Trump and the regime on their attacks on women as well as on immigrants, Black people, and others. In a number of cities, revcom.us banners with “Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution” attracted the attention of many people. Some of the signs carried by people, to give a very small sample: “Our Rights Are Not Up for Grabs, Neither Are We”; “Public Cervix Announcement: Fuck You”; “I’m Not Mindlessly Marching to the Polls, I’m Fighting for Real Change”; “Get the White ’Hole Out of the Shithouse”; “Terrible Racist Unfit Misogynist Pussy-grabber” (with the initial capital letters highlighted); “Destroy the Patriarchy, Not the Planet”; “Mother Earth Says #MeToo.”

The marches last year were an expression of people’s deep horror at what Trump and his whole regime would bring down on women and broad sections of people here and around the world. In this urgent situation, the outpouring on the streets today is welcome—and a glimpse of the importance and potential for millions to take to the streets and resist. The energy and creativity of people in denouncing Trump and the whole regime are being expressed in thousands of ways.

The last year has shown even more clearly how sharp and dire a threat the Trump/Pence regime is to humanity. This regime is working furiously to lock down a fascist form of rule in the U.S. It is preparing to bring down even greater horrors that could well mean the end of humanity and that would, in any case, foreclose the possibility for any change for the better for a long time to come.

Let’s go forward, in the name of humanity, to build a massive movement united and acting on the demand that “NO! This Nightmare Must End. We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America. The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!”

And we invite everyone to get into the works on this page from Bob Avakian, BA, on the source of the oppression of women, and how this oppression must and can be uprooted and eliminated as part of an all-around revolution.

BA has brought forward a new synthesis of communism that analyzes the truth as it is, digs deep into the underlying dynamics and patterns, and applies this, as he 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.” Nobody else has done the work Bob Avakian has done in further developing the theory on the “crucial role—and the even further heightened role in today’s world—of the struggle for the emancipation of women and its relation to the proletarian revolution and its goal of emancipating all humanity through the advance to a communist world” (from “The New Synthesis of Communism: Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach, and Core Elements—An Outline”).


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

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

Bob Avakian
Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution

A Question of Basic Stand and Orientation

By Bob Avakian

SUPPORT AND SPREAD
THE FURY AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE

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

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

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

“Can This System Do Away With, or Do Without, The Oppression of Women?—
A Fundamental Question,
a Scientific Approach to the Answer”

by Bob Avakian

Through which mode of production will any social problem be addressed?

That is the most fundamental question that must be asked, in regard to changes in society. And the answer to that question will be decisive in determining what must be done to bring about the changes that are understood to be necessary and desirable. Why? Because the mode of production—the basic economic relations and the basic dynamics of the economic system—is the decisive factor in determining what the character of a society, and its dominant social relations, politics, and ideology, will be.

To apply this to the particular question of whether this capitalist-imperialist system can do away with, or do without, the oppression of women, it is necessary to pose, and answer, some essential questions that need to be addressed in determining this, including:

How, under this system and given its fundamental relations and dynamics, would the role of women in childbirth and the rearing of children, the character and role of the family, and the system of commodity production and exchange that characterizes capitalism—how would all this, and the many direct and indirect expressions and manifestations of this in the superstructure of politics and ideology, be radically transformed in a way that would lead to abolishing the oppression of women?

How would the putrid social relations and culture that dominate in this society—which oppress and degrade women in a thousand ways, including the most vicious and violent—be actually transformed, within the confines of this system, in a way that would contribute to doing away with all the oppression and degradation of women?

How would all this be achieved, not only within a particular country, such as the U.S.—and not just for a section of people, particularly the more well-off and privileged—but for human society as a whole, on a global scale, especially given the highly globalized nature of this system, and its fundamental relations and dynamics?

There is much that has already been brought to light which demonstrates how the oppression of women has been historically, and today remains, completely and integrally bound up with the division of society into masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited. At the same time, there is further analysis and synthesis that needs to be done—in regard to the situation of women in the world and how this relates today to the fundamental relations and dynamics of the dominant system in the world, capitalism-imperialism. But this needs to be taken up with a thoroughly and consistently scientific method and approach. And I am firmly convinced that such a scientific analysis and synthesis—including with regard to the basic questions that have been posed here—will reinforce, and further deepen, the fundamental understanding that it is impossible to achieve the emancipation of women under this system, and that this emancipation can only be fully and finally achieved through, and as a key part of, the revolutionary advance to communism throughout the world.

If someone wishes to argue that it could be possible to do away with the oppression of women under this capitalist-imperialist system, then let them make that argument, but that argument must include an answer to the kinds of essential questions I have posed here.

(Published in Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution)

Full edition | Sampler edition

See Table of Contents

Read full book (PDF)

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Excerpt from the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)

Authored by Bob Avakian

Adopted by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Compare this Constitution—both the passage below and the entire document itself—with any other constitution on the planet! And after doing so, tell us why we should not fight for such a society.

Eradicating the Oppression of Women. (Article III. Section 3.)

The oppression of women emerged thousands of years ago in human history together with the splitting of society into exploiting and exploited classes, and this oppression is one of the cornerstones of all societies based on exploitation. For the same reason, the struggle to finally and fully uproot the oppression of women is of profound importance and will be a decisive driving force in carrying forward the revolution toward the final goal of communism, and the eradication of all exploitation and oppression, throughout the world. Based on this understanding, the New Socialist Republic in North America gives the highest priority not only to establishing and giving practical effect to full legal equality for women–and to basic rights and liberties that are essential for the emancipation of women, such as reproductive freedom, including the right to abortion as well as birth control–but also to the increasing, and increasingly unfettered, involvement of women, equally with men, in every sphere of society, and to propagating and popularizing the need for and importance of uprooting and overcoming all remaining expressions and manifestations of patriarchy and male supremacy, in the economic and social relations and in the realms of politics, ideology and culture, and to promote the objective of fully emancipating women and the pivotal role of the struggle for this emancipation in the overall transformation of this society and the world as a whole. This orientation, and policies and laws flowing from it, shall be applied, promoted, encouraged and supported with the full political, legal and moral force, authority and influence of the government, at all levels, in the New Socialist Republic in North America.

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/519/a-righteous-upsurge-against-sexual-assault-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

Updated March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

 

A Question of Basic Stand and Orientation

By Bob Avakian

SUPPORT AND SPREAD THE FURY AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE

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

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

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

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

By Bob Avakian

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

Read more

The #MeToo Movement: Keeping Our Eyes On The Prize

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

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

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

What Should Be the Aims of This Struggle?

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

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

Read entire article

Sri Lanka, 2004. Photo: Mukai

Sri Lanka, 2004. Photo: Mukai

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

—Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:10

Other Key Works:

Click HERE to download the PDF

Excerpt from:

BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

Watch entire talk online at revolutiontalk.net

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

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/a-broad-outpouring-in-support-of-immigrants-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

Urgently Needed—A BROAD Outpouring in Support of Immigrants!

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In recent months, weeks, and now practically every day, our immigrant brothers and sisters have been going into the streets and into the halls of Congress, risking arrest and deportation to challenge “business as usual,” and resist the most vicious, blatant, and criminal assault on the rights, the dignity, the humanity, and the very lives of immigrants in this country in their millions. All of those who are NOT immigrants must stand shoulder to shoulder with these courageous immigrants, pour into the streets and find every other possible way to actively refuse and stand up against this fascist regime’s advancing assault on immigrants.

The Trump/Pence regime is a fascist regime. It is creating laws and whipping up an ugly nativist sentiment and atmosphere hostile to immigrants to drive immigrants out of this country. This has become one of the cornerstones of their Make America White Again program. Trump’s use of the word “shithole” to describe the countries of Africa, Haiti, El Salvador, and others has spread everywhere. This is nothing less than cementing openly NAZI norms. Together with their Republi-fascist cohorts in Congress, and their violent police and ICE enforcers, this regime is escalating an all-round offensive aimed at ethnic cleansing. On top of their relentless search to deport undocumented immigrants across the country, they have moved against over a million immigrants who have been in this country legally, who now have had their legal status ripped away by the Trump/Pence regime.

The March 5 deadline set by the shithole in the White House is closing in on nearly 800,000 young people, known as Dreamers; the day when they could begin receiving their deportation orders. Brought here as children, the Dreamers had the right to go to school, hold jobs, and raise families, while renewing their permits every two years. But in September the white-supremacist-in-chief killed the Dreamers’ deferred status. We are now witnessing the prolonged public toying with and torture of the DACA youth, as they are threatened with being robbed of everything they have achieved, and were hoping to accomplish in their lives. This means families being ripped apart and left behind as Dreamers are sent to countries most know little or nothing about. The confrontation in Congress that has triggered the current government shutdown is about using the future of the Dreamers as a “bargaining chip,” arguing over how many other immigrants will be thrown to the wolves in “exchange” for some form of extension of DACA.

In addition, in the past two months this fascist cabal has ordered the removal of over 300,000 Haitian, Salvadoran, and Nicaraguan immigrants who had been granted temporary legal residency and the right to work in the U.S. after hurricanes and earthquakes ravaged their home countries. The message has been delivered—your “temporary protected status” is over; get out! Put yourself in the position of these immigrants, and imagine being forced to decide whether you’re going to leave your U.S.-born children behind, or make them leave the place where they were born. Many forced out are being deported to death, as documented in a January 15 New Yorker article by Sarah Stillman ("When Deportation Is a Death Sentence").

On January 10, ICE agents opened up another front in their war on the undocumented when they carried out coordinated raids targeting over 100 7-Eleven stores nationwide. This is only the beginning, with a top ICE official calling the raids “the first of many” and “a harbinger of what’s to come”—meaning the scouring of workplaces large and small in the hunt for undocumented immigrants.

And now this regime is taking another serious and major step toward fascism by using ICE agents the way Hitler used the Gestapo—as a political weapon against those standing up against their intolerable treatment of immigrants. In New York ICE just carried out the politically targeted arrest and detention of two prominent immigrant leaders, and ICE is also targeting another leading immigrant activist in Seattle, Washington.

In addition, ICE is being used to crush the sanctuary cities and states* as the sanctuary movement is spreading around the country. Testifying before a Senate committee January 16, the new head of Homeland Security declared: "To further protect our communities, we must end so-called 'sanctuary' jurisdictions." ICE has announced that it is mobilizing ICE agents from around the country to descend on the San Francisco Bay Area to enforce a reign of terror against the undocumented, explicitly to pressure the politicians in these cities and states to cease their resistance and agree to have their state and local police become enforcers of immigration law

And in an open declaration that they intend to use ICE as a national force for the political repression against its opponents, Homeland Security has threatened to bring charges against elected officials who continue “refusing to implement immigration law.” This is completely contrary to the law, and represents a rupture toward new, fascist norms in how political disagreements are resolved. It represents a dangerous advance in consolidating fascist norms.

Stop thinking like an American, and start thinking about humanity

Action is urgently needed, by thousands, and then millions, of native-born Americans and citizens—including especially but not only white people—through active refusal and in every other way to stand with our sisters and brothers in demonstrations and other forms of solidarity. Such solidarity is critically important—it is life-and-death, right now, for millions—and it can play a critical role as well in building the spirit and organization needed to drive out this whole wretched and extremely dangerous fascist regime.

It is time for the people of this country to stop thinking like Americans, and start thinking about humanity. Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party and architect of a new synthesis of communism has said:

American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives.
BAsics 5:7

Following the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in World War 2, every Jewish person was ordered to put on a yellow star so they could be publicly identified. In defiance, many, many people in the Netherlands who were not Jews responded by wearing a yellow star as a show of defiance of the decree—fully aware of the risk they were taking. It is on us—people of all nationalities—to learn from and wholeheartedly take up their example. The time is now.

 

* Sanctuary cities and states are those limiting their cooperation with the Trump/Pence regime's effort to hunt down undocumented immigrants in their jurisdictions. Since the Trump/Pence regime took power, the number of sanctuary cities has dramatically increased, joined by colleges and others who have also announced that they are sanctuaries. [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/resisting-trump-attacks-on-immigrants-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

Resisting Trump Regime Attacks on Immigrants: "This is no time for business as usual"

New Coverage March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Urgently Needed—A BROAD Outpouring in Support of Immigrants!

January 22, 2018

In recent months, weeks, and now practically every day, our immigrant brothers and sisters have been going into the streets and into the halls of Congress, risking arrest and deportation to challenge "business as usual," and resist the most vicious, blatant, and criminal assault on the rights, the dignity, the humanity, and the very lives of immigrants in this country in their millions. All of those who are NOT immigrants must stand shoulder to shoulder with these courageous immigrants, pour into the streets and find every other possible way to actively refuse and stand up against this fascist regime's advancing assault on immigrants...

Read entire article

From RefuseFascism.org, A Letter to Chapters:

The Trump/Pence Ethnic Cleansing Attacks on Immigrants and Immigration: Qualitative, Comprehensive, and a Linchpin in Forging a Fascist America— The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

February 12, 2018

Read more

From RefuseFascism.org:

FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE MUSLIMS, THEN THEY CAME FOR THE IMMIGRANTS
Not This Time...
Stand Up Now with the Immigrants
This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

January 26, 2018

Read more

Chicago Clergy’s Protest Calls on People to “Stand with the Dreamers”

February 7, 2018

Chicago clergy rally for Dreamers

On Monday, February 5, in 1 degree weather, almost 100 clergy and members of faith communities and organizations gathered at Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago to demand protection for the Dreamers. The call for the rally said, “100 clergy from across the Chicagoland area will join together to call on Congress to protect DREAMers. February 5th marks one month before the March 5th DACA deadline, after which, over 900 DREAMers will lose their protection from deportation and their ability to work in the U.S. every single day.”

Read more.

San Francisco: Protests Target ICE and Their Immigrant Round-Up Plans

February 5, 2018

Projection of “GESTAPO” on the ICE building in San Francisco, January 29

There have been recent reports in the press that ICE is preparing major raids in the San Francisco Bay Area, aimed at hunting down and deporting more than 1,500 immigrants. San Francisco is one of the sanctuary cities—and the Trump/Pence regime has been stepping up threats and moves against those cities and officials responsible for sanctuary policies. In response, Refuse Fascism, immigrant rights groups, religious forces, and others have been protesting at the ICE facility in San Francisco, including blockading the gates and projecting “GESTAPO” on the building.

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West Los Angeles: Hundreds March for Dreamers and All Immigrants Under Attack

February 5, 2018

On Saturday, February 3, several hundred people rallied and marched in West Los Angeles in the Keep the Dream Act Alive March. This action called for “organizations [to] join forces and ask for the Dream Act, a permanent solution to protect the more than 800,000 immigrant youth protected by DACA. Every day without a clean Dream Act in Congress an estimated 122 DACA recipients lose their protection from deportation and their ability to work and drive legally in the United States. That’s 5 every hour and 851 every week. Millions have categorically rejected Trump’s ‘DACA Fix’ proposal which shamelessly uses young immigrants as the bargaining chips to get $25 billion for the border wall, more enforcement and deportations, destroys family unity, and ends diversity visas. We want a humane, moral, practical solution that protects young immigrants from being arrested, detained, and deported.”

Coming in the context of a serious, comprehensive, and escalating assault on immigrant people, this was a welcome action in West LA. There need to be many more of these actions all across the country! Overwhelmingly, those at the march were immigrants, and most of them were young—in their teens and 20s. Many others need to step out now to march and resist in many other ways to act together to stop the Trump/Pence regime’s attacks on immigrants.

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NYC March to Trump Building on Wall Street Denounces Attack on Haitians and Others: “Donald Trump, Donald Trump, When We’re Mad, We’re Not Playing”

January 20, 2018

Marching over the Brooklyn Bridge, January 19, 2018

 

January 19—Hundreds of people, overwhelmingly Haitian immigrants, marched for miles from central Brooklyn, across the Brooklyn Bridge, through lower Manhattan and to the Trump Building on Wall Street, in angry and spirited denunciation of Trump’s racist attack on Haiti and African countries as “shitholes.” In November last year, the Trump/Pence regime cancelled the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under which about 60,000 people from Haiti, many who came here after the devastating earthquake eight years ago, had been able to live and work in the United States.

There was a palpable sense of determination among the Haitians (and children of Haitian immigrants) in the march that Trump’s assault on them must not stand. Two young women—a Fordham University student and a pediatrician—both said that they were opposed to Trump before, but they took the “shithole” insult “personally” because of their family backgrounds and heritage. Many protesters brought out how the poverty and misery plaguing Haiti today have everything to do with the actual history of domination, invasions, predatory acts, and backing of oppressive regimes by the U.S. and other powers (see the revcom.us article that brings this history alive). And a major theme in the protest was the proud history of Haiti where the first and only successful slave revolution in history took place in 1804.

At points in the march, people broke into exuberant and deeply felt singing of lines in Creole that translate as “Donald Trump, Donald Trump, when we’re mad, we don’t play.” This was to a danceable beat provided by a group of musicians that joined the march with drums and homemade horns.

The organizers of the march, the 1804 Movement for All Immigrants, brought out the common fight of all immigrants and others against Trump. Among the 1804 Movement’s demands are “permanent US residency for all holders of TPS” (aside from Haitians, people from El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, among other countries, have had their TPS revoked or threatened) and “an end to all forms of racial profiling and police terror in the US, above all against black and brown people.” Among the chants was a call-and-response saying “Haitians, Mexicans…one fight, one struggle,” repeated with naming Salvadorans, Africans, etc. The rally at the Trump Building included Puerto Rican and Filipino activists and Carl Dix, co-initiator of Refuse Fascism and a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, along with Haitian activists.

 

Carl Dix speaks on January 19 during 1804 Movement for All Immigrants protest.  "These vile comments by Donald Trump calling countries around the world shitholes have a genocidal logic."

 

There was a strong presence of activists from Refuse Fascism (which is a part of the 1804 Movement coalition) in the march, with many in the march taking up “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA” and other Refuse Fascism chants. A Haitian woman artist came with a handmade poster showing a photo of a pig with the face of Trump and the words “Guess Who?” Later in the march, her sign had a sticker on it saying “NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!”

On Martin Luther King Day 2018, more than 1,500 immigrants largely from Haiti but also Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic as well as from Africa rallied in Times Square. The high point of the day was the march of over 500 Haitian immigrants and Haitian Americans to New York City’s number one Shithole—Trump Tower. The march was spirited, it was angry, it was rhythmic, and it was beautiful. The night air was filled at times with resounding chants: “FUCK YOU TRUMP!” and “Haitians Are Here to Stay!” There was a sense that people felt this was the last straw. That in the face of Trump’s latest white-supremacist outrage—and threat—the people have had enough. Someone described it as: “You fucked with the wrong people!” There was pride and determination—Haitians standing up and liberating themselves and their humanity from the filth that the Shithole-in-Chief had hurled on them.

Dozens of Jewish Clergy and Activists Arrested in Capital Protest for Dreamers

January 21, 2018

Washington, DC, January 17—More than 80 protesters, many of them Jewish clergy, were arrested in an action demanding protection for some 800,000 young immigrants covered under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). These immigrants, known as Dreamers, are under threat of deportation as soon as March because of the Trump/Pence regime’s cancellation of DACA.

Activists from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, the Anti-Defamation League, T'ruah and other Jewish organizations sat in concentric circles at the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building in a civil disobedience protest, until they were arrested and moved away by police. The activists sang protest songs in Hebrew and English.

A statement from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism said in part: “This is no time for business as usual. In the Torah, we are called 36 different ways to love the stranger, the orphan, and the widow. We were strangers in the land of Egypt, and know what it means to be turned away from places we thought of as home.”

One of those arrested, Rabbi Sheldon Lewis from Palo Alto, California, said, ““We spoke up for compassion for the Dreamers, especially out of our own core values and experience. Caring for the marginalized is central for our people.”

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ICE Van Blocked by Defiant Protest in LA

February 19, 2018

February 15—Immigrant rights protestors from several groups joined "Koreatown Popular Assembly" in protest of the ICE raids taking place throughout Los Angles, and the nation.

Refuse Fascism's Michelle Xai rallied the group just prior to the march and subsequent blocking of a Homeland Security van, keeping it from entering the Detention Center in Downtown Los Angeles, California USA.

Hundreds of Students Walk Out of Houston High School to Demand ICE Release Their Classmate

February 16, 2018

Several hundred students walked out of Stephen F. Austin High School in Houston, Texas, February 14, demanding that immigration authorities release Dennis Rivera-Sarmiento, a senior at their school, now in ICE detention.

Read more.

Immigrant Prisoners and Supporters at Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma on Hunger Strike to Demand End to Inhumane Conditions

February 14, 2018

Immigrants inside ICE’s Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington, are on hunger strike—and people outside are also staging hunger strikes in support! This action is to stand against the ongoing extreme conditions of isolation, uncertainty, and injustice there against the immigrant prisoners. Those inside report they have been beaten and abused in attempts by authorities to stop the strike.

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Hundreds Come Out to Support Sanctuary Movement Leader Ravi Ragbir

February 12, 2018

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Lawsuit Demands an End to ICE Targeting of Immigrant Rights Movement Leaders

February 12, 2018

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From a reader:

ICE to Use License Plates to Track Down Immigrants
"Never Again" Is Now!

February 5, 2018

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Michael Slate Interview with Ravi Ragbir, Immigrant Activist Leader:
"There is a warfare against the immigrant community"

February 5, 2018

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Hundreds Protest at U.S. Capitol to Demand “Clean” Dream Act

February 7, 2018

Protest in Capitol Building, Washington D.C., February 7  Credit: Twitter/@Altochulo

February 7—Hundreds of immigrants and others from different immigrant rights groups filled the rotunda of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC in a civil disobedience action to demand a “clean” Dream Act—protection for young immigrants covered under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and for all immigrants. About 100 protesters were arrested. Trump’s cancellation of DACA threatens deportation of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented people (“Dreamers”), who were brought to the U.S. as children. The Trump/Pence regime is now dangling possible legalization for these immigrants years down the line, in return for the border wall and stepped-up immigration enforcement, which will further intensify repression against millions of undocumented and all immigrants—and Democratic leaders may agree to this “deal.” The demand for a clean Dream Act opposes such a reactionary “deal.” The protesters raised signs reading “OUR LIVES ARE IN DANGER. PASS THE DREAM ACT NOW.”

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Tacoma, Washington: People's Tribunal Against Persecution of Immigrants

February 5, 2018

Tacoma Washington, February 4Photo: Refuse Fascism Seattle

On Sunday, February 4, there was a People’s Tribunal held at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington. It was aimed at the ongoing persecution of immigrants carried out at this institution, with a related important issue at the forefront being the threatened deportation of local immigration activist Maru Mora-Villalpando.

About 200 to 300 people were there, some coming from as far away as Salem, Oregon, and Bellingham, Washington, including college students and other youths.

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Harvard Students Protest Top Democrat for Making Immigration "Deal" with Republican-fascists

February 5, 2018

On February 1, around 100 Harvard University students protested against Dick Durbin, one of the top Democratic senators, when he spoke on the campus. Durbin was one of the Democrats who voted in December to end the government shutdown in return for a “promise” from the Republican leadership that the issue of protection for recipients of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)—undocumented youth who were brought to the U.S. as children—would be taken up at some point. Trump cancelled DACA last year, and hundreds of thousands of “Dreamers” are under threat of deportation. Durbin is co-sponsoring with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham an immigration “reform” bill that would make DACA permanent in return for new attacks on immigrants, like eliminating the visa lottery, and limiting the ability of immigrants to sponsor family members for immigration to the U.S.

According to the Harvard Crimson, protesters carried signs like “We Are Not Your Bargaining Chip” and “The U.S. Government Has Never Protected Us,” and chanted slogans like, “Say it loud, say it clear—immigrants are welcome here!” Some demonstrators “infiltrated” the room where Durbin was speaking and held up protest signs as he spoke. The protest was co-sponsored by some 20 student organizations including Act on a Dream, the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Women’s Association, and the Harvard College Democrats.

Houston DACA March to "Reclaim Our Humanity"

Houston DACA March to “Reclaim Our Humanity”

January 19—Tonight in Houston, 80 people marched through the streets of downtown chanting “Save DACA, No Deal!” and “¡Sin papeles, sin miedo!” (“Without papers, without fear”). The DACA March to Reclaim Our Humanity was organized by FIEL (Familias Inmigrantes y Estudiantes en la Lucha). DACA is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which was canceled by the Trump/Pence regime, putting 800,000 immigrants who were brought into the U.S. without documents at a young age (known as “Dreamers”) under threat of deportation.

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/government-shutdown-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

Government Shutdown: Democrats Collaborate... Shithole Trump Fascists Roll Over Them Anyway

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Major parts of the government are now shut down because the Democrats and Republicans didn’t have full agreement on immigration, in particular the fate of 800,000 Dreamers (immigrants covered by DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). So they couldn’t pass a bill funding the government.

Does this prove the Democrats are finally standing up to Trump and carrying through on their promises to defend the Dreamers, immigrants, and other oppressed people? No! It proves that the Democrats are willing to stab millions of immigrants in the back to cut a deal with Trump. And it proves even this effort at collaboration wasn’t enough for this bloodthirsty, white supremacist, fascist regime which is hell-bent on making America White Again and persecuting tens of millions of immigrants!

Last Friday, Senator Chuck Schumer (aka Schmuck Fumer) sat down for cheeseburgers with Trump to try and cut a deal, which the Democrats were bending over backward to do. (Later he complained that “Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jello.”)

Schumer and the Democrats shamefully and criminally did NOT make clear that they consider immigrants—all immigrants—to be fully human beings. They did NOT insist immigrants should NOT be insulted, demonized, spied on, lied about, hounded, harassed, arrested, abused, and have their families split up, simply because they were not born in the U.S. They did NOT speak the truth: that many, if not most immigrants have come here because this country’s imperialist system had turned their home countries into living hells that are impossible for many to live in.

No! Instead Schumer offered to fully fund Trump’s border wall, and increase funding for the U.S. military to rain death and destruction across the planet—including on the very countries many immigrants are fleeing from. In return, Schumer hoped to get some kind of deal granting legal status for the 800,000 Dreamers—while basically throwing 11 million undocumented immigrants and millions more legal immigrants under the bus—plus a few concessions on aid for Puerto Rico and on health care.

As revcom analyzed earlier this week:

The Democrats claim to be the champions of the immigrants while they hinge everything on how much they will concede to Trump... while the persecution of immigrants and their leaders becomes more blatant, intimidating, and unapologetic every day. They are more concerned with working out a deal with fascists who get more aggressive and open about it every day than they are about actually defending in the concrete the masses of people suffering this...

The Democrats differ with the fascists over how best to exploit, control, and—when they deem it necessary—drive out the immigrants, and not whether to exploit and control them. They will make whatever compromises they think serve their larger interests—which at the end of the day is the preservation of the capitalist-imperialist system—which they share with the fascists, even as they differ (sometimes sharply) over how. They pose as friends and call for some reforms in large part to try to control and derail battles waged by immigrants, and other groups fighting oppression; they will not hesitate to sacrifice those fights when they see it is in conflict with what they deem to be “larger” interests. Even now, we hear talk of going along with Trump’s demands for the sake of the elections for the Senate and for the House of Representatives in “the Republican states.”  (Why It Is Suicidal To Rely On the Democrats To Fight For Immigrants)

Democrats’ Collaboration Doesn’t Bring Back “Politics as Usual”; Fascists Barrel Ahead

The Democrats had reportedly banked on Trump being chastened by the public shit storm over him calling Haiti and Africa (and by implication all non-white peoples) “shithole” countries and calling for more immigrants from nearly all-white Norway. Surely, they thought this openly Nazi rhetoric would put these fascists on the defensive.

But this was not to be—just the opposite. Schumer’s concessions on the wall weren’t enough for the Trump/Pence regime and the Republi-fascist Congress. Within hours of the meeting, the Trump/Pence regime demanded harsher treatment of immigrants across the country, stepped up ICE raids and deportations, and much, much more.

Then the fascists started drawing even more public lines in the sand, trying to pound into place new fascist, America First terms around immigration—saying the Democrats were putting a few “illegal immigrants” (which in the fascists’ view includes DACA recipients) ahead of the needs of “real” (i.e. white) Americans and their “safety.” This is a blatant appeal to the racism and chauvinism of native-born people, especially white people, whipping up supposed threats from those who have been kept at the very bottom of society, super-exploited, and persecuted.

Trump’s campaign released an ad on Saturday declaring that the Democrats “will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants” because they’re refusing to crack down on immigration. And the White House is refusing any negotiations on immigration—including DACA (despite Trump’s lie that he “cared” about them) while the government is closed—i.e., the fascists were going to set the terms and only their terms.

This makes clear that criminalizing immigrants and immigration—putting the lives of millions and million in peril, is at the core of the Trump/Pence fascist agenda, and drawing a line in the sand around it has everything to do with consolidating the fascist regime (while consolidating and unleashing its core fascist/white supremacist supporters—and trying to get broader sections of society to go along on the basis of American chauvinism and American lives come first). The Republicans are using this shutdown crisis to advance their agenda, consolidate their power, and enforce terms in which they can rule without even bothering with the Democrats.

Now the Trump/Pence regime is hammering the Democrats for hurting the military and the troops.  Trump tweeted “Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border...”  This too is part of the regime’s campaign to crush their ruling class opponents, and enforce blind, unquestioned support for America’s killing machine.  And how have the Democrats responded?  Not by unequivocally condemning Trump’s rancid anti-immigrant, America First militarism and xenophobia, but first by agreeing to Trump’s demands for a massive increase in military spending, and now by claiming they’re the ones who really support the military and the troops.

In the Fight Against Trump, the Democrats Are Part of the Problem—Not Part of the Solution!

This episode shows that the Democrats’ efforts at compromise and “reaching across the aisle” are not only ineffectual, they’re criminal and extremely harmful! While they’re busy kissing Trump’s ass and normalizing his fascism, they’re setting terms that it’s OK and “realistic” and the “politics of the possible” to throw millions of immigrants into the maw of this fascist regime. Meanwhile, these Democratic leaders are working overtime to keep the millions and millions of people who hate Trump loyal to them and trapped in the killing confines of electoral politics as usual and the current political terms, fighting to prevent them from taking the kind of independent action that could change the whole terrain, as the Trump fascists viciously target immigrants, as they threaten the whole planet and the future of humanity.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/how-democratic-party-carried-out-slaughter-around-world-and-within-US-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

How the Democratic Party—the Supposed Vehicle for the Oppressed—Has Carried Out Vicious Slaughter Around the World AND Within the U.S.

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Democrat Party paints itself as a party that fights for the interests of oppressed and disenfranchised peoples, a party that’s a vehicle for their struggles. But what have the Democrats actually done to oppressed people around the world, and right here “at home”? 

Here’s just a few of those actions: 

 

Barack Obama Launched 10 Times More Killer Drone Strikes Than Bush Did. From 2009 through 2015, Barack Obama launched 563 drone strikes, 10 times more than Bush’s 57 strikes. In Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, these strikes killed between 384 and 807 civilians and several thousand other alleged enemy combatants. Obama’s first strike on Yemen massacred 55 people, including 21 children and 12 women. Obama’s team acted as judge, jury, and executioner—targeting anyone they deemed an enemy without any legal or due process. Some were targeted simply because they fit the U.S. profile of a militant, like living in a particular village, or associating with certain people. Obama personally went over the “kill lists.” 1

 

In 2011, Obama and Clinton Attacked Libya, and Libya’s People Are Still Paying a Horrendous Price. In March 2011, Obama, acting at the urging of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the British and French imperialists launched a massive air war against the Qaddafi regime in Libya. They claimed it was a “humanitarian” mission, but they were really trying to take control of this oil-rich country. Qaddafi was overthrown and Libya was turned into a hellish battleground between warlord militias and reactionary Islamic jihadists. Thousands were killed and 2.44 million people—a third of Libya’s population—was displaced or terrorized by the fighting. Food, water, and electricity became very scarce and suffering increased dramatically. Today, desperate migrants fleeing across Libya are being starved, tortured, and held hostage by traffickers. Some are even being sold as slaves at public auctions. 2

 

The Democrats Backed, Carried On, and Escalated Bush’s Criminal Wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. Shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, every single Democrat in Congress except one voted to give Bush what amounted to a blank check to launch the U.S. “war on terror,” a murderous war of empire that began with the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. In 2002, the Democrats controlled the Senate and could have voted down a resolution authorizing war against Iraq. Instead, most Senate Democrats joined the Republicans to pass it, supporting Bush’s illegal and unjust invasion of Iraq in 2003 based on the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. When Obama took over in 2009, he escalated the Afghanistan war, initially tripling the number of troops there, and later greatly escalating airstrikes. In Iraq, Obama carried out Bush’s agreement to end the U.S. occupation in 2011, but then brought U.S. ground and air forces back in 2014 after the rise of ISIS Over these years, some 1.3 million people have died because of America’s wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and its attacks in Pakistan. They’ve turned millions more into refugees, installed reactionary religious fundamentalists and gangster warlords in power, and poured jet fuel on barbaric Islamic jihadism.  

 

Vietnam, 1961-1968: “Hey, Hey, LBJ, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?” The U.S. launched the Vietnam War in 1961 when Democratic president John F. Kennedy sent hundreds of advisers to help crush the Vietnamese struggle for national liberation, contain communism, and dominate Asia. His Democratic successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson (“LBJ”), massively escalated the war, attacking North Vietnam in 1965 and deploying 500,000 troops by 1967. By the time the war ended in 1975, the U.S. had dropped seven million tons of bombs, 20 million gallons of the toxic chemical defoliant “Agent Orange,” and 373,000 tons of flesh-burning napalm on Vietnam. All told, some two million civilians and a million Vietnamese fighters were killed. In 2013, Obama praised the soldiers who carried out this criminal mass murder for writing “one of the most extraordinary stories of bravery and integrity in the annals of military history.” 3

 

Massacring 500,000 in Indonesia in 1965. Lyndon Johnson and his CIA and State Department set in motion, backed, and orchestrated the slaughter of at least 500,000, perhaps more than a million, Indonesians by the Suharto regime. Members of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), trade unionists, intellectuals, teachers, land reform advocates, ordinary peasants, ethnic Chinese, women, and children were all targeted for death with bloodthirsty abandon. Johnson’s administration had given Suharto equipment, weapons, tens of billions of dollars, and hit lists of thousands to carry out this enormous massacre.4

 

Nuclear Incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1945, Murdering Over 200,000 People. Democratic president Harry Truman ordered the dropping of nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, at the end of World War 2. Over 200,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, were killed, and hundreds of thousands more were injured. Before the atomic bombs were dropped, Truman and others in the U.S. leadership knew Japan was already close to defeat and attempting to negotiate its surrender. The nuclear horror was meant as a warning, written in hundreds of thousands of incinerated human lives and mounds of charred flesh, against any challenge to American imperialist domination of Japan and the world.5

 

Mass Murdering Over Three Million in the 1950-53 Korean War, Threatening China with Nukes. Under Democrat Harry Truman, the U.S. took control of half of Korea following World War 2 and installed a fascistic puppet government. This was part of a strategy of containing the Soviet Union and revolutionary China and dominating the Asia-Pacific region. When North Korean forces were poised to defeat the U.S.-backed government, Truman launched a massive invasion and genocidal war. U.S. bombers flattened every building over one story high in the north and dropped 37,000 tons of napalm. The U.S. killed over three million Korean people and Chinese volunteer fighters before being pushed back to the current cease-fire line between North and South Korea. At a November 1950 news conference, Truman said the U.S. was considering attacking Chinese and North Korean forces with nuclear weapons. On the same day, an order was given to the U.S. Strategic Air Command to “be prepared to dispatch without delay medium bomb groups to the Far East … this augmentation should include atomic capability.” 6

 

Democrats Blocked Anti-Lynching Laws for Decades. Between 1877 and 1950, over 4,000 Black people were lynched in America, overwhelmingly in the South. Every African-American lived under the terror of lynching. Over those years some 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress. All were blocked by filibusters and other maneuvers by one party: the Democrats, in particular the “Solid South” block of southern Democrats. They were a powerful core in the party, supported by Democratic presidents including Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson. “Whenever a Negro crosses this dead line between the white and the Negro races and lays his black hand on a white woman, he deserves to die,” one senator—a Democrat—declared in 1930. (To this day Congress refuses to pass anti-lynching laws or even apologize for slavery!)7

 

Kennedy and Johnson Back the FBI’s War on Civil Rights and Antiwar Protesters. During the 1960s, the FBI devoted more effort to attacking the civil rights and Black liberation struggles, as well as the antiwar movement, than anything else. And it did so with the leadership and full backing of Democratic presidents Kennedy and Johnson. This included the FBI’s covert COINTELPRO program to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and neutralize” targeted organizations. The head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, told Johnson, “we wouldn’t have any problem if we could get those two guys [Malcolm X and Martin Luther King] fighting, if we could get them to kill one another off…” COINTELPRO used informants, agent provocateurs, infiltrators, illegal surveillance, false correspondence, and psychological warfare against these movements. There is evidence that under Johnson, the FBI may have been directly or indirectly involved in the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X.8

 

LBJ Calls Out Troops to Suppress Uprisings Against Police Terror and Segregation. Between 1964 and 1968, Lyndon Johnson repeatedly deployed federal troops and the National Guard to put down the just uprisings of Black people against decades of police abuse, segregation, poverty, and oppression. Johnson sent troops to crush the Watts rebellion in 1965. In 1967, he deployed over 4,700 federal troops to put down a massive five-day uprising in Detroit. Over 7,000 were arrested, 400 injured, and 43 killed. In 1968, over 100 cities exploded with rage after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Johnson deployed troops across the country, including 13,500 to Washington, DC, where Marines mounted machine guns on the steps of the Capitol. All told, some 45 people were killed, 2,500 injured, and more than 15,000 arrested to put down this nationwide mass outpouring.9

 

Lyndon Johnson Launches Mass Incarceration Targeting Black Youth. In 1964, Johnson launched his federal “War on Poverty,” which included food stamps, Head Start, Medicare, and Medicaid. This was part of his “Great Society” that was supposedly going to end poverty and other social ills. But meanwhile in 1965, he launched a “War on Crime” targeting Black people. The federal government was given a direct role in local policing for the first time. Johnson and the U.S. rulers saw African-American youth as social dynamite, and enacted measures to target, criminalize, and control them. These actions laid the basis for a system of mass incarceration that over the following decades locked up millions of people, disproportionately Black and Brown youths, criminalizing them and unjustly destroying countless lives.10

 

THIS is the real record of the Democrats. THIS Is What You’re Relying On to Stop Trump-Pence Fascism?!?

 

1. Obama’s Covert Drone War In Numbers: Ten Times More Strikes Than Bush; Drones may predate Obama, but his resolute use of them is unmatched [back]

2. U.S. & European Allies Attack Libya: Imperialist Aggression Under Cover of “Humanitarian Intervention”; “Revolution Interviews Raymond Lotta: The Events in Libya in Historical Perspective... Muammar Qaddafi in Class Perspective... The Question of Leadership in Communist Perspective; The 2011 U.S.-NATO War Helped Turn Libya Into Hell on Earth: Now the Imperialists Are Preparing to Wage War Again [back]

3. American Crime Case #96: Vietnam, March 16, 1968—The My Lai Massacre; The My Lai Massacre – “Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam” [back]

4. American Crime Case #100: 1965 Massacre in Indonesia [back]

5. American Crime Case #97: August 6 and 9, 1945—The Nuclear Incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [back]

6. American Crime Case #49: 1950-53—Encircling, Threatening and Attacking the Chinese Revolution; American Crime Case #93: U.S. Invasion of Korea—1950 [back]

7. Wikipedia: Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill; A Senate Apology for History on Lynching [back]

8. The FBI’s War on Civil Rights Leaders [back]

9. 50th Anniversary of the Detroit Rebellion; Wikipedia: 1967 Detroit riot [back]

10. From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime review – disturbing history; Think We Should Go Back to the “War on Poverty”? This Book Shows How It Was A War All Right—On the Poor [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/houston-daca-march-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

From a reader:

Houston DACA March to “Reclaim Our Humanity”

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

January 19—Tonight in Houston, 80 people marched through the streets of downtown chanting “Save DACA, No Deal!” and “¡Sin papeles, sin miedo!” (“Without papers, without fear!”). The DACA March to Reclaim Our Humanity was organized by FIEL (Familias Inmigrantes y Estudiantes en la Lucha). DACA is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which was canceled by the Trump/Pence regime, putting 800,000 immigrants who were brought into the U.S. without documents at a young age (known as “Dreamers”) under threat of deportation.

Most people protesting were Dreamers and other Latinos. There were high school and college students and teachers. For many of them, this was their first time protesting. As Dreamers shared their stories over a bullhorn, there was a spirit of “we are not going to let them do this, we have done nothing wrong.” One person said, “I am undocumented and unafraid. I have nothing to lose. I am here to stay.” A couple of young women said that we are all dreamers, we all have dreams, and everyone needs to come out together to protest to keep DACA, and then we all will need to come out to protest to make sure all people can keep their dreams.

As we marched by restaurants and clubs, some people came out to watch, and several people joined in. A young architect said that he is outraged by what Trump is doing to immigrants, and that he and his colleagues have been speaking out about what the government is doing to the environment. A young Black man, who had just got off work and joined in the march, said that several of his friends are immigrants and that he was glad to see people fighting back.

For many people, driving out the Trump/Pence regime was a new idea. Several people said they really agreed with the vision, but asked how that can happen. A young Latino said that people need to come out to protest and take control because all that the government is doing is attacking the people.

The organizers said they will continue to call people out into the streets if a “clean DACA” bill (that is, without Democratic deals with Trump giving the OK to the border wall and other anti-immigrant measures) is not passed.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/ten-reasons-not-to-focus-on-november-elections-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

Ten Reasons Why It’s Immoral, Delusional, and Cowardly to Listen to People Telling You to Focus Your Efforts on the November Elections

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

North Korea—From his first days in office, Trump has issued a crescendo of threats against North Korea, including the threat to use nuclear weapons and trigger an unimaginable calamity that could kill millions of people. Last month, H.R. McMaster, Trump’s National Security Advisor, said in a BBC interview that time for a non-military resolution to the U.S. confrontation with North Korea is “running out ... and ... we have to be able to compel [emphasis added] the denuclearization of North Korea without the cooperation of the regime.”

Is it really ACCEPTABLE to place all your hopes on a Democratic election victory 10 months away, and a calm and orderly transition a few years down the road?

Iran—With no evidence, Trump condemns Iran for supposedly violating a nuclear agreement it signed with the U.S. and other world powers, and in October he announced his refusal to re-certify that agreement. A short time later, the Pentagon said it is reviewing the “full breadth” of its options in the Middle East, one of the most volatile and contended regions of the world. One Iran expert told a reporter that “the buzz ... is that there’s going to be a very significant ... escalation against Iran.”

Is it really ACCEPTABLE to place all your hopes on a Democratic election victory 10 months away, and a calm and orderly transition a few years down the road?

Immigrant Youth—Trump is threatening to completely end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that has temporarily prevented almost 800,000 immigrant youths (“Dreamers”) who came to the U.S. as infants or children from being deported. Trump claimed to extend DACA protection from deportation to March 5 this year. But, in fact, time had already been running out every day on an average of 120 Dreamers who were losing their status—until a federal judge ordered a stop to this, for now. And now Trump is using hundreds of thousands of young people as human bargaining chips during negotiations with Democrats in his move to build a border wall. Now, with the government shut down, DACA is “off the table” even as the Democrats have conceded on the border wall, more money for the military, and other reactionary measures.

Is it really ACCEPTABLE to place all your hopes on a Democratic election victory 10 months away, and a calm and orderly transition a few years down the road?

The Environment—Trump and his fascist entourage are aggressively endangering all life on planet Earth, and mock the very idea of environmental protection—Trump has declared the well-established fact of human-caused climate change to be a “hoax.” They have opened up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, announced plans to expand offshore drilling to almost the entire U.S. continental shelf, slashed 1.9 million acres of National Monument lands from environmental protection, rescinded key restrictions on fracking, and removed dozens of federal environmental regulations.

Is it really ACCEPTABLE to place all your hopes on a Democratic election victory 10 months away, and a calm and orderly transition a few years down the road?

Racist Attacks on Black People—Trump has unleashed an endless barrage of racist insults and threats against Black people; calling NFL players who refused to stand for the U.S. national anthem in protest of rampant police brutality ungrateful “sons of bitches” who should be fired, and belittling other Black athletes, political figures, and artists. He has sent “the Feds” to occupy Chicago, said he approves of police being “rough” in their treatment of “thugs,” and his “Department of Justice” has undertaken initiatives (including the federal criminalization of marijuana) to intensify the mass incarceration of Black and Brown people.

Is it really ACCEPTABLE to place all your hopes on a Democratic election victory 10 months away, and a calm and orderly transition a few years down the road?

Promotion of White Supremacy—Trump has filled his cabinet and close entourage with unabashed racists and white supremacists. He has stated his support for and repeatedly re-tweeted statements from open racists and Nazis. He recently endorsed the Alabama campaign for the U.S. Senate of Roy Moore, who thinks America was “great” when slavery existed. He called Haiti and nations of Africa “shithole” countries, and the regime has cancelled Temporary Protection Status for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and other countries, threatening them with deportation.

Is it really ACCEPTABLE to place all your hopes on a Democratic election victory 10 months away, and a calm and orderly transition a few years down the road?

Attacks on Abortion in the Name of “Religious Freedom”—Since taking office, Trump—the predator who has boasted of his repeated sexual assaults upon women—has presided over 63 abortion restrictions in 19 states and laws in 15 states taking aim at funding of family planning programs and providers. On this year’s anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision giving women the right to abortion, Trump hailed these attacks and rescinded guidelines aimed at keeping states from defunding abortion services including Planned Parenthood. He promises more aggressive attacks on abortion. His Department of Health and Human Services just decreed that entities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funds must allow their employees to refuse to do medical procedures like abortion for what they claim are religious or moral reasons.

Is it really ACCEPTABLE to place all your hopes on a Democratic election victory 10 months away, and a calm and orderly transition a few years down the road?

Transformation of the Judiciary—Trump appointed to the Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch, a Christian fascist who has issued rulings supporting police murder and government sponsored torture, who is opposed to all abortion and has equated it with polygamy, duels, prostitution, and illegal drugs, and who is against the separation of church and state. Trump is stuffing federal courts with scores of Christian fascist judges, with the intention of solidifying their fascist enforcement and interpretation of law for decades.

Is it really ACCEPTABLE to place all your hopes on a Democratic election victory 10 months away, and a calm and orderly transition a few years down the road?

Destroying Barriers Between Church and State—Trump has repeatedly said that in the U.S. people “don’t worship government, they worship God,” and he has given unprecedented access to his White House to Christian fundamentalists, while retweeting utterly vile and hateful anti-Islam messages. He signed an executive order on “religious liberty” that aims to allow religious institutions to participate openly in electoral activity without losing their tax-exempt status as they would have under previous federal rules; his “Justice” Department backed a bigoted baker who refused to serve a gay couple on religious grounds, and the tax bill he signed in December provides extraordinary breaks to people who send their children to religious schools or provide them home schooling, while undermining funding for public education.

Is it really ACCEPTABLE to place all your hopes on a Democratic election victory 10 months away, and a calm and orderly transition a few years down the road?

Promoting Anti-Scientific, Anti-Rational Thinking—From the day he lied about the size of his inauguration crowd to today, Trump’s attacks on the concept of truth and the ability to understand reality is central to his entire program. Not only does he lie about everything to serve the promotion of his fascist agenda, he attacks and denies the scientific method and truth itself.

****

So we ask again, is it really ACCEPTABLE to place all your hopes and bets on an election victory in 10 months and a calm and orderly transition a few years down the road? How much damage to the people and the planet will have been done by that day—if it ever comes? How much more firmly will the machinery of fascism be erected, and how much more empowered would the regime be to foreclose any such “orderly transition”?

Vote with Your Feet, Vote in the Streets!

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/trumps-nuclear-posture-report-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

Trump's “Nuclear Posture Report”: Unrestrained Expansion of Nuclear Threats Against Entire World

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Trump regime recently issued a major document for expanding and developing its nuclear arsenal, and for widening the conditions under which the U.S. will hurl nuclear bombs at its adversaries. The “Nuclear Posture Review,” written at the Pentagon under the direction of “Defense Secretary” James Mattis, is still in draft form for review by Trump’s White House. But this draft already indicates a willingness to utilize the unimaginable destructive horror of nuclear weapons in response to what U.S. political and military leaders consider to be “threats” from a wide range of circumstances, many of them non-nuclear.

An Intolerable Situation

The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is a strategic document for the political and military leaders of the U.S. It analyzes developments and changes in the global environment of rivalries among capitalist-imperialist powers, emerging economic and military powers, regional conflicts, and the rise of heavily armed “non-state actors.” It envisions possibilities of confrontations and struggles that arise in many spheres of society that it thinks could pose a threat to U.S. global domination.

As it states, “There now exists an unprecedented range and mix of threats, including major conventional, chemical, biological, nuclear, space, and cyber threats, and violent non-state actors. These developments have produced increased uncertainty and risk.” The NPR threatens a magnitude of destruction a mafia capo could only dream of: U.S. opponents “… must understand that there are no possible benefits from non-nuclear aggression or limited nuclear escalation. Correcting any such misperceptions is now critical to maintain strategic stability in Europe and Asia.”

One of the most significant, and ominous, themes of the NPR is its threat to use nuclear weapons, supposedly in response to non-nuclear threats. This represents an overt departure from a longstanding U.S. policy. The disarmament director at the Arms Control Association said this measure “expands the scenarios under which the United States might use nuclear weapons and therefore increases the risk of nuclear weapon use.”

Specifically, the document states that the “extreme circumstances” that could bring about a nuclear bombing by the U.S. military include “… significant non-nuclear strategic attacks … on U.S. or allied … command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities.”

In plain English, the U.S. is giving itself the “right” to use massively destructive nuclear bombs upon states it accuses of making cyber-attacks on its command and communications abilities. The U.S. has already accused both North Korea and Iran of waging “asymmetrical warfare” by launching cyber-attacks against American financial networks and political officials.

The U.S. has, by its own admission, waged and is waging cyber war against both these countries –like the Stuxnet computer worm the U.S. used in a massive assault on Iran’s air defenses, communications systems, and power grid; and has denied a massive assault on key elements of North Korea’s communications systems last fall. And now these international gangsters are claiming their “right” to obliterate with nuclear bombs those it claims attempt to interfere with their computer systems!

Immediate Threats on North Korea

These threats are not abstract possibilities. In 2014 the computer systems of Sony Pictures were broken into. The U.S. accused North Korea of being “centrally involved” in the hack, and said it was treating the episode as a “national security matter.” The FBI made a formal accusation against North Korea, and the National Security Agency supported the FBI’s claim. Jeh Johnson, who was Homeland Security director under Obama, claimed the cyber assault on Sony was “… not just an attack against a company and its employees. It was also an attack on our freedom of expression and way of life.”

More recently, Donald Trump has issued a steady stream of threats against North Korea. He went to the UN and threatened to “totally destroy” the country of 27 million people.

Secretary of Defense H.R. McMaster has said that the possibility of war with North Korea “is increasing every day.”

This is intolerable! These monsters actually have no such right to threaten humanity like this. The NPR document, with all its dry, emotionless language, attempts to create in advance a legitimization for what is in reality utterly illegitimate, and thoroughly criminal. It conceivably could be used against North Korea in a real or fabricated incident like that involving Sony. Carrying through with the threats stated and implied in its every sentence would result in perhaps the greatest crime against humanity these imperialists who run the U.S. have ever committed. It is completely unacceptable.

There is an urgent need for anyone with a heart, a conscience, and a sense of a humanity shared with other people who exist on this planet, to build massive, visible opposition in the streets to U.S. threats against North Korea and Iran. More deeply, there is a great and pressing need to work towards building a movement for revolution that can overturn the system that even considers such horrors, and advance humanity to a world where its creativity and the resources of the planet are put to use in building a world where these horrific weapons of annihilation are remembered only in history books.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/525/what-you-can-do-now-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

What You Can Do Now

January 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

In the face of the white supremacist attacks by Donald Trump on immigrants from Haiti, Africa, El Salvador and elsewhere, here's what you can do now to spread the word about the very timely and relevant works from Bob Avakian (BA), and to resist this foul, racist shit.


1) Spread the clip from Bob Avakian: Why Do People Come Here From All Over the World? Send it to your friends and email lists, post it on Facebook and Instagram, tweet it out, send text messages: "Why DO people come here from all over the world? Bob Avakian answers @ youtube.com/revolutiontalk." Watch this clip, FWD this text. Get the clip up on blogs and into internet discussions.

Bob Avakian, "Why do people come here from all over the world?"

 

 

2) CONTRIBUTE to our coverage. Write to revolution.reports@yahoo.com with your comments. People need to know the history of US domination and crimes in Haiti, Africa, El Salvador and countries the world over. Write to us about what you know, and about your experience and the experiences of your friends and family.

 

3) Get the memes out all over.

Share on social media

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4) Get into BA—and right now: Watch and share BA’s talk “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!”; listen to or read the talk “The Problem, the Solution, and the Challenges Before Us”; and read “A Country Ruled By White Supremacists—Since When Is That Acceptable?”

Bob Avakian, "The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!"

 

 

5) Check revcom.us every day for breaking news and crucial analysis.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/508/bob_avakian_a-country-ruled-by-white-supremacists-since-when-is-that-acceptable-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

September 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A Country Ruled By White Supremacists—Since When Is That Acceptable?

by Bob Avakian

 

This article was originally published at revcom.us in September 2017. In light of Donald Trump's rants about "shithole" countries, we are re-posting this sharp and timely piece and urge readers to spread it broadly.

 

Jemele Hill, a commentator at ESPN, tweeted that Donald Trump is a white supremacist, whereupon White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders called for Hill to be fired. (She has not been fired but had to issue an apology, saying she should not have implicated ESPN in her comments.) And then there is the comprehensive and compelling case made by Ta-Nehisi Coates, in the current issue of the Atlantic, that Trump’s defining ideology is white supremacy. Here it must be sharply raised:

What does it mean, and what does it require people to do, if an overt white supremacist is sitting in the White House, if this whole administration (regime) is based on white supremacy, if not only Jemele Hill’s comments, but Ta-Nehisi Coates’ argument in his Atlantic article, is accurate—which is the case? Is this something people just have to accept—that overt white supremacists are now ruling the country? Is it something that can, or should, wait until some future election (2018 or 2020) to see if it gets “worked out”? And who will cause this to “work out” in a good way, if their moral and political standard is that it is alright, or something people just have to accept, that the country is being openly ruled now by white supremacists?!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/525/bob_avakian-on-winston-churchill-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

 

Winston Churchill—The Ugly Truth

by Bob Avakian

January 10, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Winston Churchill was a blatantly racist imperialist, who regarded the people colonized by Britain—in India, the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere—as subhuman savages. He subjected millions of them to torture, mass slaughter and deliberate starvation. And Churchill is celebrated in the West as a great hero, by liberals as well as conservatives. Think about it...

 

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/appreciation-of-primeval-steps-future-leaps-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

From a Reader:

An appreciation of Ardea Skybreak’s Of Primeval Steps & Future Leaps:
Answers… and Pathways to Answers… To Burning Questions

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Right now the depth and breadth of women’s oppression is very much on people’s minds. The outrage and anger being expressed by women is mainly very good and certainly long overdue. And it raises big questions. Why does this happen to women, in every sphere, time and time again, here and around the world? Is this just human nature, or rather the nature of men, or is there another explanation? Could this ever change? And if so, how?

In wrangling with these questions I went back to reread Ardea Skybreak’s book, Of Primeval Steps & Future Leaps, An Essay on the Emergence of Human Beings, the Source of Women’s Oppression, and the Road to Emancipation. I found this book a very good place to dig into these questions, starting with what does it even mean to be human. In this book, Skybreak starts out with examining the theories of Elaine Morgan (The Descent of Woman) and then Nancy Makepeace Tanner (On Becoming Human) on how human beings evolved and how, in that context, the oppression of women arose. In the course of this, Ardea Skybreak goes deeply into her scientific understanding, based on evidence, of how and why human society developed the way it did. She goes on to appreciate the pioneering work Engels did on this topic.

I found much to learn from Skybreak’s method throughout the book. She recognizes that both Morgan and Tanner want to take on the reactionary mainstream “Tarzan” theory of the development of human society—strong men taking initiative and passive women being protected by them. And she unites with elements from both authors, which can be proved to be true, even from Morgan’s work, which she sees as deeply flawed. “Unlike Morgan, however, Tanner seems to understand that in order to deal serious blows to long-enshrined icons, one has to thoroughly and rigorously go after the truth” (p. 67)—a task which fundamentally Skybreak assesses as what Tanner is doing and on that basis upholds much of what Tanner puts forward.

Skybreak models a method that is very clear and firm on key points of epistemology and scientific method and from that basis sharply criticizes Morgan’s lack of evidence. She also points out where Tanner needs to go further up against sociobiology and in the process really analytically eviscerates sociobiology. She concludes: “[T]he Achilles’ heel of this reactionary school of thought is that it consistently takes as its starting point a notion for which there is no evidence, which is biologically extremely unlikely, and which, as a general explanation of human social behavior and as a basis for theories of ‘human nature,’ is completely erroneous: the assumption that complex human social behaviors can be tied to specific genetic programs.” (P. 19)

Just to give a taste of some of the big questions she digs into:

Women were naturally more involved in the bearing and raising of children than men. “But why would this natural division of labor which would benefit both sexes in itself be the source of incipient inequalities?” (P. 134)

What are the various different elements of the process by which we became “human”?

How were primitive societies organized, including the relative importance of gathering and hunting, and why does that matter?

Aren’t these things that, once you stop to think about, are the fascinating topics you would really like to know more about? And don’t we need to explore and know these if we are going to transform the whole world and emancipate humanity? Then there is the challenge, and invigoration, of walking through different theories and approaches outlined above with her guiding the way and learning from her method as you do.

Ardea Skybreak closes with these sentences:

The basis for the elimination of exploitation and oppression among human beings is now in sight, although this leap will require a total upheaval of prevailing economic and political relations and a thoroughgoing revolutionization in the realm of ideas. This leap would be as significant and defining to all future human life as that represented by the first emergence of the capacity to gather a surplus of food was to all human history up to this point. This time also, the female of the species would play a crucial, in fact essential, role in effecting the leap, but with the result this time being her complete emancipation along with that of humanity as a whole from all forms of oppression and social inequality. (p.151)

Unfortunately Of Primeval Steps & Future Leaps is out of print, but it is available on Amazon. I would definitely recommend getting your hands on this book, and perhaps read and discuss it with a group of friends. It is very timely and an approach that is urgently needed to understand the sharp question of the oppression of women and all of humanity.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/nba-player-jaylen-brown-on-racism-trump-and-kaepernick-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

“He’s too smart for the league”

NBA Player Jaylen Brown on Racism, Donald Trump, and Colin Kaepernick

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

Jaylen Brown who plays for the NBA Boston Celtics gave a wide-ranging interview to The Guardian before leaving for London with his team to play a game there. Brown, who is Black, was the third pick two years ago in the NBA draft, and starts for the Celtics.

He recounted racism in Marietta, Georgia where he grew up. Brown said, “I’ve experienced it through basketball. I’ve had people call me the n-word. I’ve had people come to basketball games dressed in monkey suits with a jersey on. I’ve had people paint their face black at my games. I’ve had people throw bananas in the stands.”

He went on to say, “Racism definitely exists across America today. Of course it’s changed a lot—and my opportunities are far greater than they would have been 50 years ago. So some people think racism has dissipated or no longer exists. But it’s hidden in more strategic places. You have less people coming to your face and telling you certain things. But [Donald] Trump has made it a lot more acceptable for racists to speak their minds.”

He said that when he was 14, “[racism] wounds you. But when I got older and went to the University of California (Berkeley) I learnt about a more subtle racism and how it filters across our education system through tracking, hidden curriculums, social stratification and things I had no idea of before. I was really emotional—because one of the most subtle but aggressive ways racism exists is through our education system.”

When Brown attended Cal Berkeley as a freshman he took a graduate class. He wrote a thesis about how institutionalized sport impacts on education. “There’s this idea of America that some people have to win and some have to lose so certain things are in place to make this happen. Some people have to be the next legislators and political elites and some have to fill the prisons and work in McDonald’s. That’s how America works. It’s a machine which needs people up top, and people down low.”

In speaking about Colin Kaepernick, the NFL player who led a movement in the league of refusing to stand for the national anthem in protest against police brutality and murder of Black people and who is now blackballed from the league, Brown said, “It made people think. It made people angry. It made people want to talk. Often everybody is comfortable with their role in life and they forget about the people who are uncomfortable. So for Colin to put his career on the line, and sacrifice himself, was amazing. But Colin was fed up with the police brutality and pure racism. He speaks for many people in this country—including me….”

“We’re having some of the same problems we had 50 years ago. Some things have changed a lot but other factors are deeply embedded in our society. It takes protests like Kaepernick’s to make people uncomfortable and aware of these hidden injustices. People are now a lot more aware, engaged and united in our culture. It takes a special person like Kaepernick to force these changes—because often reporters and fans say: ‘If you’re an athlete I don’t want you to say anything. You should be happy you’re making x amount of money playing sport. You should be saluting America instead of critiquing it.’ That’s our society.”

When asked about Trump, Brown said, “I just think Trump’s character and some of his values makes him unfit to lead. For someone like him to be president, and in charge of our troops? It’s scary to be honest.”

Before the 2016 NBA draft, The Undefeated wrote an article about Brown calling him “the 2016 NBA draft’s renaissance man.” During his first year at Cal Berkeley, Brown taught himself Spanish.; He is a self-taught pianist, and has now learned the Arabic alphabet including its pronunciation. His favorite sport is soccer. He talked about missing the intellectual atmosphere at Cal, where he said he was learning something new every day.

During his freshman year at Cal he took classes on global poverty and practice, theoretical studies, and student activism. He said that he wanted to be able to debunk “a lot of misconceptions about people who are poor, homeless or etc.” He also took a class on chess as an elective.

Brown’s intellectual pursuits led an unnamed NBA executive to say that he was “too smart for the league.” Another NBA general assistant said, “…Because he is so smart, it might be intimidating to some teams. He wants to know why you are doing something instead of just doing it. I don’t think it’s bad, but it’s a form of questioning authority…”

Brown told the Guardian, “…I disagree that an athlete can’t be intelligent. Some people think that, in basketball, we have a bunch of masculine adults who don’t know how to control themselves. They’re feeble-minded and can’t engage or articulate ideas. That’s a narrative they keep trying to paint. We’re trying to change it because that statement definitely has a racist undertone.”

Brown is concerned that the youth today do not have an understanding about the world they live in. He says that, “Even though I’ve ended up in a great place, who is to say where I would’ve been without basketball? It makes me feel for my friends. And my little brothers or cousins have no idea how their social mobility is being shaped. I wish more and more that I can explain it to them. Just because I’m the outlier in my neighborhood who managed to avoid the barriers set up to keep the privileged in privilege, and the poor still poor, why should I forget about the people who didn’t have the same chance as me?”

In the past few years, athletes like Jaylen Brown and Colin Kaepernick have made a break from the stereotypical jock culture of being an uncritical athlete. They are seeing and learning about the “bigger world.” They are questioning it, speaking about it, and acting on it in a positive way.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/526/RBNYC-solidarity-with-people-from-shithole-countries-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

Revolution Books:

Evening in Solidarity with People from “Shithole Countries” Gives Voice to Hopes and Possibilities for a Whole Different World

January 18, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Staff of Revolution Books, NYC:

On January 11, Donald Trump called Haiti, El Salvador and the entire continent of Africa “shithole countries.” We knew that Revolution Books, as the bookstore where the whole world comes first … as the place that opens the door to a radically different world … had to host a beautiful, stirring and challenging response. And it needed to be NOW, before the world moved on to the next bloody outrage sure to come from a fascist regime igniting and legitimizing genocidal measures. 

So, with two days’ notice, we invited artists, people of conscience, the Revolution Books community and beyond:

An evening of readings, performance, and solidarity with people from countries Trump calls “shitholes”

No to White Supremacy
No to Empire
No to the Shithole-in-Chief Trump

And on Monday night, January 15, Revolution Books filled up and it was on. Battle cries, lived history, love poems, and song from around the world poured from the stage and captured the room. 

Forty people came from Harlem, the Bronx and beyond—professionals, students, educators; RefuseFascism activists and national leaders in New York for their current national organizing tour. The evening’s hosts were Carl Dix, representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Vietnam War refuser, and co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org, and At-ta, member of the Revolution Club. Kia Corthron, award-winning playwright and novelist, author of The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter, and members of the Revolution Books volunteer staff and the Revolution Club introduced and read powerful works of artists from Haiti, Puerto Rico, Ghana, Nigeria, Argentina, Palestine, and more. 

Early on, the audience saw a film of Bob Avakian delivering his biting piece, “Why Do People Come Here from All Over the World?“ Why? BA says, “Because you have fucked up the rest of the world even worse than what you have done in this country” … and then draws the thread of centuries of empire driving people from far corners of the globe to live next door to each other in the cities and towns here, not even knowing each other’s common history. It was powerful to hear this at Revolution Books, with people and voices bringing vibrant culture and experience of the hell of American empire from around the world. And in this moment, feeling together the possibilities for a world that will appreciate and foster, and not denigrate and destroy, the amazing diversity and human potential that could be.

Film was also played of Yaa Gyasi reading at Rev Books from her novel Homegoing and of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, the extraordinary Kenyan scholar, novelist and former political prisoner, reading at Revolution Books’ one-year anniversary in Harlem in 2016. Members of the Revolution Club performed a beautiful cover of the Outernational song “Que Tenemos Nada, Que Queremos Todo El Mundo (We Have Nothing, We Want the Whole World).”

Other artists whose work was read included Ghanian poet Atukwei Okai and John Pepper (JP) Clark from Nigeria. Carl Dix read from Edwidge Danticat’s novel The Dew Breaker about torture in Haiti and its reverberations through the Haitian diaspora in the U.S., and he read from Edwidge’s comments about the current moment, describing the courageous history of the Haitian people and how, “If we are a poor country, then our poverty comes in part from pillage and plunder.” We felt just a small part of the beautiful and vast contributions to human knowledge in many spheres from these so-called “shithole” countries this evening.

Novelist Kia Corthron read from Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh, who was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia in 2015 for apostasy (the so-called “sin” of rejecting religious faith). After an international outcry, the death sentence was reduced to an eight-year prison term with 800 lashes. Kia read Fayadh’s first poem written in prison, “Tense Times,” penned after his father had died, believed by the family to have suffered fatal grief over Ashraf’s death sentence and imprisonment.

The celebrated poet Martín Espada, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award recipient, sent us his greetings for the evening and his deep verse of outrage and imagination, “Not for Him the Fiery Lake of the False Prophet,” which narrates the brutal 2016 Trump-inspired attack in Boston on homeless immigrant Guillermo Rodriguez and then “leaps,” as the Revolution Club reader later commented, to the beautiful and urgent envisioning of beating down walls and borders built on the blood and bones of the people of the Global South. 

Another Revolution Club member read “No Te Salves (Do Not Save Yourself)” by the beloved Uruguayan poet Mario Benedetti in Spanish and told the audience in English how this love poem and challenge, “If you want to save yourself, then do not stay with me,” resonates today.

By the end of the evening, the lyrics from “Que Tenemos Nada, Que Queremos Todo El Mundo” were alive; “the ones you don’t see” and hopes and possibility for a whole different world given voice and urgency:

 

Cook, clean, make, slave, who feeds whom? 

Dirty pretty things who are you? 

The ones you don’t see, the fact to your truth 

The ones you don’t see, the ones you don’t see 

Que tenemos nada, que queremos todo el mundo 

Que tenemos nada, que queremos todo el mundo 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/louis-farrakhan-to-donald-trump-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

Louis Farrakhan to Donald Trump:
Make A Deal with Me or I’ll… I’ll… I’ll... Get My Imaginary Friend to… Do Something to You

Part 1.

By Joe Veale

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Recently Louis Farrakhan held a press conference in DC at the Watergate Hotel. This was advertised as a major address—a major message—to Trump.

What was that message...? —wait for it… “Let us go.” That’s right. “Let my people go…” “If you do not, watch what God brings down.” As he huffs and puffs, Farrakhan thunders that Trump better listen to him because he has the powerful backing of an imaginary—yet ALL powerful… friend.  

Consistent with what he has said in earlier talks this past year, his imaginary friend is omnipotent—ALL powerful. He is supposedly responsible for snow falling in places on Earth that has no record of snow having ever fallen before. His imaginary God is responsible for the destructive fires and now floods that are destroying ecosystems and ruining lives in California.

These events—to which climate change is a major contributing factor—can all be understood through science. But in the worldview of Farrakhan these are signs that his imaginary God is angry with white people—angry with America—for its treatment of Black people.

Farrakhan Asks Trump for the Same Deal the Zionists Got—to Become an Assistant Oppressor

In his press conference at the Watergate he says to Trump: “Read the letter I have sent you. Give the Nation of Islam (NOI) some land where we can establish a state of our own—similar to how the state of Israel was set up on the homeland of the Palestinian people.”

It should be noted that setting up the state of Israel was a criminal enterprise of ethnic cleansing—a genocidal undertaking against the Palestinian people. This criminal enterprise got backing from the very powerful—and in no way imaginary—imperialist power of the U.S., as well as others, following World War 2.

“We will take eight states,” Farrakhan says. “Kick out some of your own people and give the land to us. We will take the Caribbean Islands.”

My ALL powerful God, he says, “sent Hurricane Irma and Maria through there, showing you he does not want you there vacationing and sunning yourself. We will take it.”

Farrakhan did NOT ask the people of the Caribbean Islands if they wanted his brand of Black capitalist, neocolonial, patriarchal, ignorance-enshrouded society forced upon them—instead he is relying on imperialism to implant him and the NOI there, just as the Zionists did with Palestine.

For someone who claims to be an enemy of Israel—Farrakhan sure does borrow a lot from their playbook.

Farrakhan Sounds Alarms, Then Calls His Imaginary Friend to the Rescue—and Maintains His "Clean Record" of Never Mobilizing Masses to FIGHT

Yes, in his press conference, Farrakhan warned against war in North Africa, the Middle East, and North Korea. He also spoke of genocidal assault against Black youth in the U.S. He did point to some reality.

However, when it comes to what to do about any of this—he tells people to wait for more signs of anger from his ALL powerful God.  

Here once again—Farrakhan and the NOI maintain their “clean record” of huffing and puffing, threatening to…to…to… but never ever doing a damn thing when it comes to concretely standing up against the powers. When has NOI or Farrakhan ever mobilized people to stand up against the system of capitalism-imperialism which the U.S. sits at the top of? This system that is responsible for the genocidal oppression of Black people; xenophobic and genocidal oppression against immigrants, Muslims and other oppressed people in the USA—not to mention other human beings in places like Yemen, Haiti, El Salvador, Africa and other parts of the world. This system that today has brought us fascism, complete with nuclear warmongering.

Farrakhan, don’t tell us about that million man march—that was a march of “atonement”—of Black men being led to blame themselves for the conditions this system has cast Black people into. And that “Justice or Else” farce in DC two years ago was just another instance of you posturing—once again huffing and puffing—while you and the NOI hijack the desire of the masses of people to fight back against their oppression.

Instead they had to listen to you run some shit…about getting themselves together so that you can lead them. Lead them where, to do what?!

Farrakhan Warns the Masses Not to Pull Down Monuments to...Those Who Fought for Slavery!

Farrakhan even warns people not to pull down the monuments to slavery.

Monuments to the Southern Confederacy.

“Robert E. Lee was a great general,” he says. “He should be shown respect.”

Lee—like Trump and the rest of his fascist cabal—was/is a white supremacist pig who thought it was natural—a “God-given right”—for white people to own Black people. To whip them. To rape Black women.

Lee was a general who led armies to expand the slave system. From its very beginnings up to today Amerikkka was born in and thrived on denying the humanity of Black people… genocide and theft of land from indigenous people—war and theft of land from Mexico—brutal, savage oppression of other people of color.

Farrakhan says, “Do not pull down these monuments because it brings pain to those who lost their property—who lost their way of life. It angers them and their descendants."

Good. All such monuments should come crumbling down.

Further, any system that needs such monuments—that needs to show respect for that “Southern way of life”—demands…urgently cries out to be overthrown.

The Only "Deal" That Trump Will Offer—and the Real Deal That Farrakhan Is and Has Been Auditioning For—Is To Be an Enforcer for the Trump/Pence Regime

Repeatedly Farrakhan grovels before the fascist Trump. Constantly referring to him as “Mr.”—as someone he can make a deal with.

The only deal these fascists will make with you is for you to be their police.

This is something that Farrakhan and the NOI have been auditioning for. 

The NOI auditioned for the role of police during the protest and rebellion in Ferguson after the police murder of Mike Brown. There they attempted to hold the people back and protect the pigs who were brutalizing protesters with tear gas, tanks, assault weapons, concussion grenades, batons. Beating and arresting people. They even slandered genuine revolutionaries, including in their newspaper!

Farrakhan called for a march in 2015—he wanted 10,000 Black men to stand between the masses and the police. The masses of people, Black and other nationalities/races—were protesting and rebelling against the murder again, again, and again, of Black and Brown people by the police and vigilantes (unofficial police)—and here was Farrakhan calling for 10,000 Black men to police the people. This was NOT to STOP the police from murdering the people. Instead, he said he was doing this to stop the people from giving the police “an excuse” to do their brutality—as if these pigs need an excuse—but really the point of this would be to STOP the people from “getting out of control” in protesting this. Stopping the people from demanding justice—from holding these murdering pigs accountable—the NOI stood as a barrier to prevent people from following where this righteous demand was leading them to go.

“Deputize us as your police force” is the deal they are offering the fascist Trump.

End of part I.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/16-year-old-joseph-haynes-murdered-by-pig-in-courtroom-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

16-year-old Joseph Haynes: Shot Dead
by a Pig in an Ohio Courtroom

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On the 17th day of this new year, 16-year-old Joseph Haynes became the 55th person killed by police in the U.S. in 2018.

Joseph Haynes had just appeared for a hearing about a firearms charge against him in a courtroom in Columbus, Ohio, when deputy Richard Scarborough shot Joseph in the stomach, ending his life. Cops, of course, say the deputy “feared for his life.” But Joseph’s grandmother, Geraldine Haynes, says, “There was no reason why that cop would have been terrified of Joey.” Fighting back tears, she described what happened:

“They had an altercation in the courtroom and the judge gave us another court date and we was leaving. And the cop told Karen [Joseph’s mother]to get out of the courthouse, wouldn’t let her get her stuff or nothing. And then he started going over and pushing her up against the wall and stuff.... So Joey told him to leave his mom alone, leave my mom alone and he wouldn’t leave his mom alone so Joey went over there, ran over there and grabbed a hold of his shoulder and then the cop let loose of Karen and he slung Joey to the ground. And when he slung Joey onto the ground, Joey just quit, he just through. Then all of a sudden the cop reaches for his gun and shoots him.... Joey didn’t move once he was on the ground. I seen it happen, I was standing right next to him. All I know the cop had his hand underneath his thing [on his gun] and he shot him for no reason. Joey’s hands were up, like that [up in the air]... just one shot, you could smell the gunpowder and everything and I said, ‘You shot my grandson, you shot my grandson.’ And they told everybody to get back and then they took us into a room and wouldn’t let us into a room and wouldn’t let us see him or nothing.” 

This killer cop should be facing murder charges. But instead he’s just been put on administrative leave and the Fraternal Order of Pigs quickly jumped to defend Scarborough. FOP spokesman Keith Ferrell, who did not witness the murder and says most of his information about what happened is from media reports, said, “It’s very clear to me and my experiences that he was attacked and that this was a fight for his life at some point.” 

The murder of 16-year-old Joseph Haynes happened right in the system’s courtroom of [in]justice. And once again, all a pig has to say is “he feared for his life,” the ticket to get away with murder. Once again, it’s perfectly legal for a cop to shoot and kill an unarmed person.

As Bob Avakian has said:

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness. (BAsics 1:24)

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/526/check-it-out-ai-weiwei-human-flow-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

Check it Out: Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow

January 17, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

(Available now for viewing online)

Filmed in 23 countries over two years the dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei brings to the big screen the immense human scale of the worldwide refugee crisis.  Sixty-five million people at the time the film was made, are fleeing war, ethnic cleansing, environmental catastrophe, and that number is rising.  The film begins photographed from the air as a raft, floating through the blue of the Mediterranean sea and then crashes to earth, in a hand held camera moment of people tumbling wet, hungry, and shaken from dangerously overcrowded rafts.  Their sense of relief turns to a 60-day walk across Europe and a journey into statelessness, razor wire, rain, misery, loss, and the shelter of tents, makeshift camps, cubicles built in airport hangers and finally, for those turned away, expulsion into the permanent camps in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon where the average stay for a refugee is 26 years.

The film began in 2015 when Ai Weiwei was finally granted a passport.  In 2009 he was arrested and beaten and held for 81 days for creating art that put the names and faces of the over 5,000 school children who died in the Sichuan earthquake, mourning their loss and giving an international platform to the parents who were protesting shoddy government construction in a region where 7,000 classrooms collapsed.  After a four-year battle he was granted a passport and just happened to be on the Greek island of Lesbos at the start of what would become the exodus of a half million people.

Interviewed by Canadian TV, Ai Weiwei spoke to why he made this film, “It’s very hard not to act in such a crisis. As an artist you have to find your own way and your own language to respond to the situation. I always have to try and find a language to build up this kind of communication between people who are desperate and have no chance for their voice to be heard and then the people who are privileged and think this has nothing to do with our real life and turn their faces away. So as artist I always have to make this kind of argument and find a language to present my ideas.” (CBC News, September 27, 2017)

The film’s aerial photography gives witness to the destruction of Mosul by the U.S. in Iraq, to the journey of the Rohingya from Myanmar walking across the fields and rivers of Bangladesh, to sub-Saharan Africa where 26 percent of the world’s refugees are presently located, to the vast network of permanent camps stretching across the Middle East, and finally to the open-air prison of Gaza and the U.S.-Mexican border.  On the ground Ai Weiwei gives voice to the people living through this and to their hopes and their dignified determination to be treated as human beings.  Last year in New York City he premiered an installation where the middle class clothes of the Syrian refugees that were collected from the belongings left on the shores of Lesbos, were washed, dried, ironed, displayed, and preserved for New Yorkers to experience the obvious connections to life they recognize in their own city.

Ai Weiwei’s humanitarian vision has implicit criticism of the West. His work is not intended to offer causes or solutions but this crisis is examined with an ability to show his audience the magnitude and scale of what is taking place in a very short period of time as well as an intimate look at what it is like to be someone living through this. As a reviewer in England put it—it sits like a cannon ball on your heart.

As someone watching this with Bob Avakian’s words “Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First” ringing in my ears it rips you away from the 24-hour news cycle where events of such magnitude are quickly buried—allowing you to take in the ramifications of a world where the whole post-World War II world is unraveling, where the crimes of what your country is doing to the planet and the scale of human misery it is creating are brought home. This film is witness to a few short years from 2015 to 2017, only a few of the opening pages of what climate change and the unending wars for U.S. and its Western allies’ domination of the world have already wrought.

A crisis of this magnitude, a crisis as existential as this cannot be understood much less solved without another kind of lens that zooms in and zooms out being used.  Ai Weiwei went from being the darling of those who tore down the Cultural Revolution and restored capitalism in China to being a public enemy because he persisted in honestly examining what capitalism was doing to China. People who truly want to stand with the people also have the responsibility to look squarely at the system that is causing this, and both the reality and the morality of persisting with such a moribund way of life, when that system and that way of life is not just holding humanity back but threatening its very existence. This too often goes unexamined because the first wave of communist revolutions has been dismissed and put aside—leaving people to see no other option when there is another way the world COULD be. There is no one else—anywhere on this planet—who has done the work that Bob Avakian has done on this, no one else who has laid the basis in theory and in strategy for a whole new wave of revolution to transform the world towards the goal of eliminating all exploitation and oppression. Watching this film makes you appreciate through the eyes of an artist like Ai Weiwei just what we have in a communist leader like Bob Avakian. It makes you feel both the imperative and the reality that this cannonball COULD be and MUST be lifted from the hearts of humankind.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/revolution-club-at-the-chicago-womens-march-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

Revolution Club at the Chicago Women’s March 2018

Joining with the Great Outpouring, Letting People Know About Bob Avakian and the New Communism

From Noche for the Revolution Club, Chicago

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Streams of people flowed into the main area of the rally for the Women’s March in Chicago. At its height you couldn’t see an end in any direction. As of this writing, early reports from the Chicago Tribune say as many as 300,000 people filled the streets of Chicago. This would be a larger turnout for the city than the estimated 250,000 for last year’s Women’s March. The crowds held all manner of creative home-made signs, as well as groups of people with signs of their organization, school, or union. Many of the hand-made signs had creative and often funny messages calling out the dehumanization of women generally, but also the overwhelming sentiment was in calling out and rejecting Trump. And it was heartening to see this expressed even in ways that were not just tied to the horror this regime means for women, but also things like calling out "Shithole-in-Chief" expressing unity with immigrant people coming under attack as well as some people who had shirts and signs defending science. And the spirit was overwhelmingly of people finding strength and joy in coming together to oppose the truly horrific oppression of women, and an element of celebrating the battles to break the silence on sexual assault concentrated in the #MeToo/#TimesUp movement.

The Revolution Club entered into the day with the guidance from revcom.us in mind. We aimed to really join in and unite with this great outpouring, while making it known to people that there is a leader, Bob Avakian, with a new communism and a movement for revolution for people to join with now. We had a stunningly beautiful handmade 12-ft banner which cohered our theme for the day with the slogan "Unleash the Fury of Women as a Might Force for Revolution" and "Revcom.us" painted on it. We had with us many of the materials suggested by revcom, and we were able to distribute many copies of Revolution newspaper, and many copies of the sampler compendium Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution also got out.

As the rally was still gathering throughout the early hours of the day, the Revolution Club started first speaking to people and engaging waves as they came in and then going into the main rally—getting to a point when a crowd had surrounded our scene with the banner and the table with materials and the contingent of people who came (or joined on the spot). And the scene transformed into the Revolution Club hosting a speak-out, and continuing to return people to the message of the banner and inviting people to learn more about and get with Bob Avakian and the Revolution Club. A few dozen people ended up speaking before all was said and done—a majority of them young people from high school through college age. Most people had not been expecting to speak, and what came forth ranged from those who had very simple but heartfelt messages to the crowd about why they were there, and others who told their stories of being abused and violated, sharing their outrage and their determination to bring about real change. This was a beautiful scene of people who would otherwise have been standing around waiting for a march to start at some point (we were too far to hear most of the rally), who were meeting each other and finding their voice. This also made many people curious to know more about the Revolution Club, to sign up with the club, to get some of the materials we had, and to support what we were doing by helping spread things and giving donations.

Unleash the Fury of Women banner at the Chicago March

As the march took off, again it was a sea of people filling the streets. It seems that many or most people who came were not people who come out to protests all the time—many people, at least where we were, did not even know to chant and make noise during the march. We changed that. The two chants we used most were "BREAK, the Chains. BREAK, BREAK, the Chains. Unleash the fury, of women, as a mighty force for REVOLUTION" and "No Pussy Grabbing, No Patriarchy, No Fascist USA." At several times during the march we had circles of youth not only chanting along but dancing in the streets either while marching or just in a circle to the beat of the chant, which was helped by having a big drum on which to pound out the beat. Along stretches of the march we involved young people in getting on the mic to help keep the chants going and some really young kids marched with us a long time and really came alive helping to do the chants.

At the end of the march, we set up with our banner and made sure as many people as possible got their hands on Revolution newspaper and the cards telling them about the film of the BA talk THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible, while we also gave them the opportunity to sign up or donate. After some time as we were doing this, much to our delight, a contingent came marching down with RefuseFascism.org—and we joined together to hold a closing rally where a number of people spoke from different perspectives of the need to come together to build a movement to drive this fascist regime from power before it is too late.

 

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018


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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/482/skybreak-a-communist-statesman-modeling-communist-leadership-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

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

A Communist Statesman, Modeling Communist Leadership

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

This excerpt from the interview, “A Communist Statesman, Modeling Communist Leadership,” is a ‘must-read-and-review’ for all those concerned with making revolution and bringing into being a radically different and far better world.

Q: I think that that’s a really important point, and it relates to something you said a minute ago, that you felt BA really came across as a statesman in this Dialogue1. And maybe you could explain that a little bit more, because I think that’s a really important point and I know you were saying earlier that you felt like you really got a sense being at this Dialogue, experiencing it, that this is the leader of the revolution, this is somebody who could lead the future society. So I don’t know if you wanted to speak a little more to that.

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

AS: Yes, the reason I felt the statesman aspect, too, is that I think we live in a complicated period, that there are a lot of challenges in this period to actually advance the revolutionary struggle, to deal with the actual fight–the “fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution” aspect of things is going on right now in a way it hasn’t for some time, in particular around the police murders. And, look, BA leads the work of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and there’s not a single initiative, I’m sure, of the Revolutionary Communist Party, that doesn’t have the stamp of leadership of BA and of the top leadership of the Party on it, in terms of how it’s unfolded. As you can see from the diversity of things that are taken up by this Party, and as reflected in the website revcom.us, there are a lot of very challenging contradictions to deal with. And that gives only a hint of what this leadership involves.

I don’t think most people have any idea what revolutionary leadership is about. A lot of people think that a leader of revolution is kind of like an “activist” leader, sort of like a leader of a demonstration, what I think of as tactical leadership. But overall revolutionary leadership is not just tactical. Of course there does need to be tactical leadership in various dimensions, and I’m not trying to devalue that. There is very much a need for the kind of person who might be agitating in a demonstration, for instance, helping to put forward a better understanding of what people are fighting about, and leading people, even tactically, in the streets, for instance in a demonstration. But there’s an important point to be made about how the leader of a revolution and the leader of a new society has to be an all-round statesman and has to be more like a strategic commander of the revolution as a whole. And there’s a formulation that’s been put forward recently that a communist leader–and not just the top leadership, but every single revolutionary communist–has to think of themselves and strive to be a strategic leader of the revolution, “a strategic commander of the revolution, not just a tactical leader, and not just a strategic philosopher.” This is very important. In other words, if you’re going to lead a revolution, lead the seizure of state power and become a leader of a new society–and that’s what I mean by statesman–you have to fully recognize and grapple with the complexity of what you’re doing and the many different levels and layers of it, and the many different contradictions among the people. You have to deal with the fact that you don’t have absolute freedom at any given time, and yet you’re trying to move things in a certain direction. You’re trying to be true to your principles, and you’re promoting that openly, but at the same time you’re dealing with the people you’re leading, who often don’t understand, at least not with any depth, what you’re putting forward in leading them, or who tend to distort what you’re putting forward, because they don’t understand things well enough or because they’re being shaped and influenced by other programs, other outlooks and methods.

So strategic leadership is a very, very complex task, and that’s also involved in why, as I mentioned earlier, so many natural scientists are at a complete loss when they try to address social transformations and they suddenly seem to forget everything they ever knew about basic scientific methods! Part of that is also because so many people have a completely wrong view of what actually constitutes overall leadership in the social arena, especially as pertains to revolutionary change. Much of the time they seem to think a political leader is just somebody with a bullhorn in a demonstration. But that’s tactical leadership, that’s not the overall strategic commander type of leadership that can guide an actual overall radical transformation of a whole society through revolution and the building of a whole new kind of society on a fundamentally different economic basis, with everything that flows from that. That kind of multi-faceted leadership is a much more complex task, and most people today frankly have little or no conception of all that it involves.

And there’s the question of dealing with the audiences–if you wanna put it that way, there are many different audiences. You’re not trying to be all things to all people. You are actually trying to meet the objective interests of the international proletariat, by which I mean–it’s not any individual proletarian that’s the question–there’s an international, world-wide class of people who don’t own the means of production, who have no ability to run society under this system, who can really only sell themselves basically, under this capitalist-imperialist system. They have the greatest interest–whether they know it or not as individual proletarians–as a class, they have the greatest interest of any class in actually going in the direction of communism and getting beyond all these class divisions and relations of exploitation and oppression. But is that the only class that’s going to be part of the process? No. The capitalist-imperialist ruling class is a very small segment of world society, or of any given society, but you do have all these other forces that kind of have one foot in one system, while one foot may be aspiring to something better. And those more “intermediate” strata, they tend to not be very constant, they tend to flip from one side to the other on any given day! Add to that the fact that hardly anybody has been given any scientific training, so hardly anybody tries to approach problems with any kind of consistently systematic and rigorous method. So you’ve got people going all over the place, you know, both in their thinking and in their actions. Bob Avakian’s talked about the challenge of “going to the brink of being drawn and quartered,” both in terms of getting to the revolutionary seizure of state power, and in terms of building a new society–that there are so many different kinds of people pulling in different directions, with different and opposing ideas, and so on.

And here’s another reason you need science. How can you know what’s best for society? How can you know what’s best for the majority of humanity? The capitalist-imperialists, they are proceeding on the basis of what’s best for their system. It’s not just a question of corporate greed, it’s not just that. It’s much more than that. They have a system that they need to maintain, a system that is based on profit, and we can talk about the fundamental contradiction of capitalism-imperialism, it might be worth touching on that a little bit. But the point is that they’re trying to keep their system going, but they don’t understand–even the people running this society often don’t even understand the deeper laws of their own system. But if you’re trying to bring into being a whole new kind of society, one that actually more fully meets the objective interests and needs of the vast majority of humanity, you’ve gotta do a lot of work, and you’ve gotta go up against a lot of misconceptions and prejudice and anti-scientific views. You have to deal with that diversity of views and opinions and with people pulling in all sorts of different directions, while at the same time not losing the reins of the process itself. That’s where the strategic commander role comes in. If you are confident in your scientific approach, then you can say with a quite a bit of certitude that you think it is possible to determine what is in fact in the objective interests of the majority of humanity, and what it would take to move in that direction. It’s like if you’re riding a horse. You’ve got your hands on the reins, so you’re not just going to let the horse run to any old place–the horse here being the process, not the people, but the process, right, the revolutionary process. But if you ride a horse and you pull the reins in too tightly, and you pull the horse’s head too hard, and the bit cuts into the horse’s mouth, and you’re not allowing it any kind of free rein, then that horse is going to stop dead in its tracks, or it’s going to buck, and in any case it’s not going to be able to be part of freely moving forward and advancing the process.

So there’s always a tension–the reason there’s a need, as BA has stressed, for “lots of elasticity, on the basis of the solid core” is not, as some people have incorrectly argued, just because the middle strata of people are going to “buck” and cause problems for you, are going be resentful, and so you’ll have to give ’em a bone here or there, to keep ’em from fighting you, or something. No! That would be disgusting. The real reason that you need to build in and allow for some genuine elasticity, on the basis of the solid core, is because society needs it, the process needs it. The revolutionary process itself needs to breathe, the revolutionary society needs to breathe, or it won’t be any good. Both the process of getting to the revolutionary seizure of power, and then the process of building the new society needs to breathe. And if you try to control it all too tightly and too rigidly–even if you happen to be right in what you’re doing at any given time, if you’re too tight and controlling, it’s just going to be discouraging and demoralizing to people, and people are not going to be given the scientific tools to figure it out enough themselves, and you’re going to end up with a repressive society, a rigid society and a rigid process.

And Bob Avakian really understands that, because he’s a good enough scientist to understand the material tension that exists, objectively, between what’s called the solid core, the certitude, the elements that you can actually be confident of, in terms of what’s wrong with the current society and what’s needed in a future society to benefit humanity, while at the same time understanding the need to sort of shepherd the process in such a way that it can encompass and incorporate the widest possible diversity of views and approaches from among the different strata of the masses in society.

I don’t know if I’m expressing this well enough, but he has certainly expressed this very well in many of his writings and talks, and I would encourage people to dig into this whole aspect of solid core with lots of elasticity on the basis of the solid core. And that last part–on the basis of the solid core–is very important to understand. You couldn’t have the right kind of elasticity without the solid core. You don’t wanna end up like you’re trying to herd cats, with everything and everybody going all over the place. There does need to be a solid core. In fact, the more you’ve got a firm handle, a rigorous scientific handle, on that solid core, on that core scientific theory, on that core accumulated knowledge and experience and on that core certitude, the more it should actually be possible to unleash and encourage broad elasticity and initiative among the people, both in the current revolutionary process as well as in the future socialist society, including in relation to the kind of dissent and broad societal ferment which can actively contribute to further advancing society in a good direction.

Q: As you were talking, one thing that is posed is that there is a unity, there is a connection between what you’re saying about the approach of solid core with a lot of elasticity, both in the process of making revolution to get to a future society on the road to communism, and then in that future society itself–there’s a connection between that approach all the way through the process of making revolution and getting to communism and your point about how you could really get a sense in this Dialogue of BA as the leader of that future society. And then there’s the point that you were making earlier, about why would BA do this Dialogue with Cornel West, if he weren’t actually applying and modeling that approach of solid core with a lot of elasticity? And so something I wanted to probe a little further is this point about how BA, in this Dialogue and in his whole body of work, he’s very much pulling no punches, he’s very much putting forward his understanding of the science of communism and of reality, and he’s not trying to finesse or smooth over differences, including with Cornel West, while at the same time he’s also very much recognizing the unity that they have, and the unity that needs to be forged broadly. And he’s taking the approach that there’s a lot that somebody like Cornel West–he has a lot of insights, there’s a lot that he can contribute to this whole revolutionary process, even while they’re very much getting into their differences. So, is there more you wanted to say about the application of solid core with a lot of elasticity even in terms of how BA was relating to Cornel West in this Dialogue?

AS: Well, I think you can see the application and modeling of “solid core with lots of elasticity on the basis of the solid core” in what BA does, both in relation to Cornel West on the one hand, and also what I was trying to say before in relation to the audience–or audiences, plural, because there are many different strata and different viewpoints represented in the audience–and what you see is, you see the certitude based on experience and knowledge. Look, think about in the natural sciences: If somebody happens to emerge who is the most advanced in their field of science, or in a particular development of the natural sciences, at a given time–somebody who is really advanced and really visionary and really is playing a leading role that way–it would be ridiculous for them to come out and just kind of act as if they don’t know what they know, or not struggle with people and not provide the evidence that they’ve accumulated and analyzed over, literally in this case, decades. Right? So even as he’s working with Cornel, he’s also not pulling any punches because, first of all, he respects people enough not to pander or condescend or pretend he doesn’t know what he actually knows. The only people he doesn’t respect are the exploiters and oppressors at the top of society. But he has enough respect for people, even people who might disagree with him in some important ways, to be honest and to explore differences with principle and integrity instead of condescending or pandering to people or pretending to have more agreement than he does.

He’s gonna call it like it is. He’s gonna tell people, including the audience...he knows this audience is holding on to a lot of different views and misconceptions that he thinks are very harmful. Like a lot of these religious views that are holding people back from understanding reality the way it actually is, and from seeing how it could be changed. His position is definitely not neutral–with religion, he’s not just saying look, that’s not where I’m at, but it’s all good, go ahead and believe whatever you’re gonna believe. He’s definitely not saying that. Instead, he’s really struggling with the audience, right down on the ground–he’s saying, you gotta give up some of this religion stuff, because it is actually harmful; it is clouding your understanding of the way reality really is; and, because it’s doing that, it’s actually making it harder for you to see the way forward, and to see how to transform society in a good direction. So you gotta get off this stuff! And he’s saying that to an audience of people, most of whom are religious, especially among the most oppressed–the very people who are most important for, and who most need to step forward to take up, the revolutionary process. He’s got enough respect, enough strategic confidence in people, to tell it like it is.

Now, in the situation where he’s working with Cornel, he’s working with a developed intellectual who’s also got a lot of experience in life, and who has studied many different things himself and analyzed many different philosophies. And BA’s got respect for that process, too. But he’s still going to call it like it is, and he’s going to bring out the evidence. What does it actually say in the Bible? What is the role of religion? Let’s get into it!

Some people might say, Well, I don’t need to hear all this, because I already don’t believe in God. Well, yes, you do need to hear all this, and do you know why? Because billions of people around the planet are deeply influenced by one or another religion, and they approach all of reality through the prism, through the lens, of their particular religion. This is the framework, this is the theoretical framework, if you want to call it that, that most people on this planet apply to try to make sense of the world, and of what’s wrong with it, and what could or couldn’t be done about it. Religion is a very major question, in the United States and all over the world. So Bob Avakian, on the one hand, in the Dialogue, you see him struggling with Cornel, but with a good method, a good warm method, because these are two people who do respect each other and who do like each other but who are just going to honestly tell each other and the audiences where they have some significant differences. And because they have principle and integrity, they’re able to put forward and clarify those important differences, so that the audiences will be better able to grapple with these questions themselves, when they go home and in an ongoing way.

At the same time, what I think Bob Avakian is modeling, with the elasticity part, is: Listen, this revolutionary process, it’s a very rich and complex and diverse process, which does have to involve a wide variety of people. In fact one of the points Bob Avakian has made repeatedly is that, at the time of the revolution and the actual seizure of state power, most of the people involved in the revolution are still going to be religious! In a country like the U.S., there’s no question that this is true. Most people won’t have given up their religion–even if they’ve decided to join in to be part of fighting for revolution and for socialism in different ways, most still won’t have completely broken with all that. And that’s just one example of having a materialist scientific understanding of reality, understanding just how complex it is, how complex the process is. But you’re not going to try to trick people who disagree with you into walking alongside you in the revolutionary process by concealing your views. No, that’s not what you should do. Instead, as a revolutionary communist, you’re going to be honest about those differences. But, if you’re serious about wanting to transform society in the interest of humanity, you’re also going to recognize that the process that you are arguing for, and that you are helping to give strategic leadership to, has to be able to encompass quite a diversity of people, who are not all going to see eye-to-eye with you on a number of different and important questions. And that this will be the case all along the way, even as people increasingly unite together to fight the common enemy, to seize power, and to build the new institutions and organs of a new society.

It’s because he really understands all this that Bob Avakian can, at one and the same time, genuinely and sincerely embrace and feel very warm towards someone like Cornel West (and I believe those feelings are very much reciprocated), and at the same time remain very clear about the importance of speaking to the differences, and speaking to why you need to take up a consistently scientific method and approach if you really want to change society for the better. And so yes, he’ll tell people bluntly why they should give up religion–all religions–because they get in the way of moving forward. It is a fact that all religions all around the world were invented long ago by human beings, to try to explain what they didn’t yet understand and to try to meet needs that can be transcended now. All around the world people invented different sets of supernatural beliefs to try to fill gaps in their understanding of things, in both the natural and social world, and as a mechanism for dealing with such things as death and loss. If you don’t yet have the scientific knowledge to understand how all life evolves, and how there is clear evidence that human beings themselves simply evolved from a long series of pre-existing species, you’re probably going to want to involve some kind of higher supernatural power to explain how we got here! [laughs] Every religion in the world has some of those commonalities. At the same time, they all have their different particular creation myths, and so on. And they have their different holy books, and prophets and stuff like that. And Bob Avakian is saying, Come on now, let’s get serious, let’s actually open up the Bible and see what it says. See, a dogmatic revolutionary might have said, Well, I don’t believe in god, and I think religion’s bad for the people, so I’m not even gonna pay any attention to it. But instead BA’s saying, religion’s a very important problem in the world, it’s a very important question, billions of people believe in some kind of god or some kind of religion, so we have to address this. And he did some homework, too. He did the work. He read the Bible, in its entirety. He knows the Bible. Unlike many people, he can tell you what’s in it. And he can tell you what these religious forces have argued. He can tell you something about the history of how human beings invented a lot of these religions. He can also speak to why people might be motivated to have a moral conscience on the basis of some of the things they learned in church or mosque or temple or whatever. At the same time, he can also show you, scientifically, the harm that it does to cling to this. And that it is not necessary. You can leave that stuff alone. You can just let it go. You can leave those old ways of thinking behind, and you can take up a philosophy and scientific method about transforming the world in the interests of all humanity, which is full of life, full of joy, full of spirit, full of art and culture, and not dead and cold in any way, but that doesn’t have to have these religious and supernatural trappings and all the old stuff that goes along with it.

 


The "Dialogue" referred to here is an event that took place in November 2014 at New York City's historic Riverside Church and was attended by 1900 people: REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion--A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST and BOB AVAKIAN.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/avakian/science/01ba-science...revolution-foolish-victims-of-deceipt-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

Download PDF of entire work

Editors' note: The following is an excerpt from the new work by Bob Avakian, The New Communism. In addition to excerpts already posted on revcom.us, we will be running further excerpts from time to time on both revcom.us and in Revolution newspaper. These excerpts should serve as encouragement and inspiration for people to get into the work as a whole, which is available as a book from Insight Press. A prepublication copy is available on line at revcom.us.

This excerpt comes from the section titled "Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit."

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Now, let’s move right into the substance of this presentation. Let’s begin with a statement by Lenin which not only has great importance in an overall sense but is also highly relevant in today’s world. Lenin said:

People always were and always will be the foolish victims of deceit and self-deceit in politics until they learn to discover the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises. The supporters of reforms and improvements will always be fooled by the defenders of the old order until they realize that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is maintained by the forces of some ruling classes.4

This is a very important statement by Lenin, so let’s dig into it. Let’s begin with the first sentence: “People always were and always will be the foolish”—notice what he says—“victims of deceit and self-deceit in politics...” In other words, people get fooled, and they fool themselves, “until they learn to discover the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises.”

Now, you can see this right around you in the electoral process—the whole circus around the bourgeois elections that is being promoted now. You can’t even turn on the news without having someone like Donald Trump stuck in your face. And then here comes Hillary Clinton. Will Joe Biden run or not? And what about Bernie Sanders? You can’t get away from it. You’d think the election were next week—and it’s more than a year away. But they want you to focus on this, and they want you to think that this is about you—that somehow these people represent you—when in fact they represent what? A ruling class that’s ruling over you and ruling over the masses of people. Beyond just the relentless hype, even the serious contention that goes on through this bourgeois electoral process is contention among candidates for the position of presiding over a literally, and massively, murderous system of exploitation and oppression, on a world scale. To the degree that people do not recognize this, it is not because it is not true, but because, to invoke again Lenin’s critical insight, they have not learned to recognize the interests of the ruling class behind all this, and they remain the foolish victims of deceit and self-deceit.

There is this old saying that George W. Bush couldn’t get right. The actual saying is: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” But this goes even further, because not only do they fool people over and over again with this electoral process, but they often fool you while they’re telling you they’re fooling you. I was watching this commentator, this guy named Jonathan Alter, who was on MSNBC the other day talking about the elections, and he said Bernie Sanders, everybody knows he’s not really gonna be the candidate, but he can generate a lot of enthusiasm and momentum, and then that’ll be very helpful to Hillary Clinton when she runs. They’re telling you what they’re doing, how they’re manipulating you. They’re manipulating you right now and telling you, “Hey, by the way, we’re manipulating you.”

So shame on you, if you don’t get it. But then there’s the self-deceit, where people don’t want to get it to a certain degree. I made the statement one time about liberals, that liberals have an oedipal complex. Now, Oedipus was this character in Greek mythology who ended up, unknowingly, sleeping with his mother; and then, when he found out that that’s what he’d done, he stabbed his own eyes out. So I said, liberals have an oedipal complex: It’s not that they want to sleep with their mother, it’s that they deliberately blind themselves—blind themselves to the reality of what’s going on in the world. This is a real problem with liberals.

And there’s the phenomenon I call “Fisher-Price ruling class.” Now maybe you all are familiar with Fisher-Price—they make toys for kids, right? They have a little tea set, and kids can come out and pretend—there’s no tea in there, but they can pretend they’re having a tea party. Or they make little trucks and kids can pretend they’re driving on a highway, while they’re puttering around in their little trucks. Well, now you’ve got what I call “Fisher-Price ruling class,” where you turn on something like Bill Maher on TV, and here’s Alec Baldwin, the actor, talking about, “This is what we ought to do in Iraq.” What do you mean “we,” white man? You’re not running the fucking country. But they’ve got these people—you know, Hollywood people, “Meathead” Rob Reiner and the rest—trying to act like they’re gonna shape what the politicians do, ignoring—or being ignorant of—the fact that the system is gonna dictate what the politicians do. People like that are just playing around with little Fisher-Price toys, pretending like they have some role in the running of the government.

And then there’s the role of the media, and in particular the “news” media. These are not vehicles for providing people information about important things in society and the world—and they are certainly not “objective,” if that means presenting reality as it actually is, nor are they a “free press,” in the sense of not being beholden to and controlled by powerful interests. They are in fact the propaganda machinery of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class. This is not “rhetoric,” but something which can be, and has been, clearly demonstrated on the basis of scientific analysis of these media: who owns and controls them, how they “manage” and distort what information they provide (and don’t provide) to people, and what this has to do with the basic relations in society. But people will not see this—and see through the ways these media operate to shape and manipulate their understanding of things—until, again, they learn to recognize the interests of this ruling class behind these media, as well as all other major institutions in society.

You can see this same kind of phenomenon with things like the environment. You’ll see people do really good exposure, deep and all-around exposure, of the desperate situation with the environment, where things really are on the precipice of going over to where it will be very hard, if not impossible, to reverse the damage to the environment; these people go through all that, graphically bringing this alive, and then they get to the end and they act as if everything they just said had no meaning. They start talking about, “If you recycle this, or you get a hybrid car, that is gonna solve the problem”—a problem they just described as so enormous that it would be impossible to solve it in that way. But they’re deceiving themselves because they can’t see beyond the confines of the existing system, or they resist seeing beyond the confines of the existing system. So, as Lenin so sharply characterized it, they remain supporters of reforms and improvements who are always the foolish victims of deceit, and self-deceit. As long as they stay within this framework, they’re always fooled by the defenders of the old order, because they haven’t yet realized that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is maintained by the forces of some ruling classes.

Or think of what some people say about police murder: put cameras on the police. Well, I think we know that there was a video of what happened to Eric Garner! They have had cameras taking pictures of many other people murdered by the police, but the idea is that, somehow, if you record it, that’s gonna change things. Or if you have “sensitivity training” for the pigs—you know, let’s get the pigs to be more “sensitive”—so now, instead of oinking when they murder someone, they first say, “Excuse me sir, may I shoot you?”—BAM! All these illusions, because people don’t understand that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is maintained by the forces of some ruling class. The police are part of the forces of the ruling class and its state apparatus of repression. They’re part of the machinery that enforces, on behalf of the ruling class, and with all the violence they deem necessary, the existing system of exploitation and oppression. And you cannot reform that away. Now, it isn’t enough to just say that; if you can’t make the case, then you might as well not bother to say it, because you’re not going to convince anybody. So, we need to get into that more deeply, to the scientific basis for understanding why this is so.

But we have the problem, which I pointed to in Ruminations and Wranglings5 that every class wants to “remake the world in its image.” In other words, you’ve got people in the middle class who are always promoting reforms and things like that, because they don’t want things to “get out of control,” they don’t want the conflicts in society to become really sharp, because then they’ll be caught where? Right in the middle. They have a sort of privileged position, even as many of them don’t like a lot of abuses that are perpetrated under this system. This is something spoken to very powerfully in the Interview with Ardea Skybreak that you have all read (SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian).6 So, people like this are strongly inclined toward the sentiment: “Let’s not have things get extreme.” As if it’s not extreme what’s happening with the environment. As if it’s not extreme what’s happening to women all over the world. As if it’s not extreme what’s happening to people in the inner cities, with the police and with their conditions overall. As if it’s not extreme what’s happening with immigrants, being driven thousands of miles from one part of the world to another because of wars and overall desperate conditions. As if it’s not extreme with people being blown apart by bombs in all these different countries where wars are going on. “Oh no, let’s not have things become too extreme,” say people in the middle class because, even though they can’t do it, in their minds they’re constantly trying to remake the world into one where all these conflicts can somehow be resolved without a lot of chaos, upheaval and destruction.

Here is something important to understand: The way people look at things is a reflection—not in a mechanical one-to-one sense, but in a fundamental sense it is a reflection—of the position and inclinations of some social group or some class of people in society. Now, why am I emphasizing that we shouldn’t approach this in a mechanical way? Because people can and do take up the viewpoint of a social group or class other than the one that they themselves are part of. For example, basic masses, who are not in the middle classes, can take up the outlook that’s common among the middle class. They can get influenced by that. Or they can get influenced by ideas that come directly from the ruling class: “Well, you can’t do anything about this or that problem because it’s all human nature.” Who hasn’t heard that? Or: “Nothing can be done about that because it says right in the Bible that nothing’s gonna happen until the book of Revelation is fulfilled.” These are ideas that are pumped at people by the ruling and dominant institutions; and, in a fundamental sense, these ideas represent the viewpoint of a class of people that wants people to believe that you can’t do anything about the problems of society and the suffering of people—or that the most you can hope for is a few petty reforms—because this class, this ruling class, wants to keep the existing system going the way it is. In a basic sense, we can say that every class either wants to keep the world as it is, or to remake it in line with what it would like it to be, whether there’s actually a basis for that in reality or not.

But we have to go further. It is true—a very important truth pointed to by Lenin—that all these outmoded institutions are maintained by the forces of some ruling class; and it is also an important truth, understood correctly and not mechanically, that every way of looking at the world reflects the viewpoint, or the approach, of one class or another; but if you stop there, you could still be trapped within the confines of going for reforms: “This ruling class is dominating things too much, so, like Bernie Sanders says, let’s take away some of the power and some of the wealth from those people, and spread it out more in society.” You could still look at the existing framework and just try to rearrange things so they wouldn’t be so dominated by one class, or so that things wouldn’t be so prejudiced toward the middle classes, or however you look at it. We have to dig deeper. We have to ask the questions: What are classes rooted in? And can you change the system of class relations, the system where some classes dominate others, within the existing system—or does it require a complete break with that system in order to change this?

 

4. V.I. Lenin, “The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism” (March 1913, Collected Works, Vol. 19 pp. 23-28, Progress Publishers) as cited in Bob Avakian, Phony Communism is Dead...Long Live Real Communism! Second Edition (RCP Publications, 2004) and Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity, a talk by Bob Avakian, serialized in Revolution beginning October 21, 2007, in issues #105 through #120, available at revcom.us and also contained in Revolution and Communism: A Foundation and Strategic Orientation, a Revolution pamphlet, 2008. [back]

5. Bob Avakian, Ruminations and Wranglings: On the Importance of Marxist Materialism, Communism as a Science, Meaningful Revolutionary Work, and a Life with Meaning. From a talk given in 2009. Revolution, May-September 2009. Available at revcom.us. [back]

6. Ardea Skybreak, SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, an Interview with Ardea Skybreak (Insight Press, 2015). Also available at revcom.us. [back]

Contents

Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

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

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

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

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

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

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

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

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

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion

Notes

Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/democrats-betray-dreamers-and-humanity-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

 

 

News Flash:

Democrats Betray Dreamers and Humanity... Again!  800,000 DACA Recipients and Millions of Other Immigrants Remain Under Assault, In Hellish Limbo

January 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Millions of immigrants, including 800,000 DACA recipients (“Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought here as children), were betrayed and dealt a very serious blow today when the Democrats caved in to the Republicans and voted to reopen the government.

Already last Friday, top Democrat Senator Schumer, in trying to make a deal with Trump, agreed to link the fate of Dreamers (threatened with deportation because of Trump’s cancellation of DACA) to support for Trump’s border wall. This was conceding that Trump’s wall, and all the associated “security measures”—that is, viciously repressive anti-immigrant actions—are valid, without getting anything in return. (See “Government Shutdown: Democrats Collaborate... Shithole Trump Fascists Roll Over Them Anyway”)

Now, Schumer and the Senate Democrats have given away the one tool they had—forcing a federal government shutdown—by capitulating to the fascist Trump/Pence regime and the Republican-controlled Congress. Today (Monday) they voted to approve virtually the same bill to fund the government for three weeks that they’d rejected a few days ago in a hollow, duplicitous show of support for DACA. The House approved the funding bill, and Trump signed it, so the government will be fully “back in business” on Tuesday.

And what did the Democrats get in return for this betrayal? A promise from the lying, double-dealing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will put DACA up for debate and a vote between now and February 8. This is the same Mitch McConnell who has already stabbed fellow Republican senators Jeff Flake and Susan Collins in the back when he promised to back a healthcare bill they supported if they voted for the Trump/Pence tax bill, and then did nothing. 

Even if McConnell does allow a bill granting legal status to DACA recipients onto the Senate floor for debate and a vote, it could be tied to all manner of further harsh attacks on immigrants. And if such bill isn’t loaded with such poison—perhaps even if it is—the House would be almost certain to vote it down. Meanwhile, the Trump/Pence White House is already claiming victory and declaring its intention to fight for its full fascist anti-immigrant agenda, including ending the visa lottery, ending Temporary Protective Status (TPS) programs for more groups of immigrants (Trump has already done that for TPS recipients from Haiti, El Salvador, and Nicaragua), ending “chain migration” (an ugly term used by the fascists to refer to the legal practice of family reunification of immigrants), and stepping up deportations and raids. The Trump/Pence regime may offer some small concession for a portion of the DACA-eligible people—OR they may very well not even do that.

At that point, what would the Democrats do? They’d be even less able to shut down the government again in protest, because they’ve already ceded so much ground. In fact, Trump could well say to them: You already agreed to the wall and other measures, so why not just vote in the whole package, and maybe we’ll do something about DACA later.

All of this is further proof that when it comes to driving out the Trump/Pence FASCIST regime, the Democratic Party is part of the problem and NOT part of the solution. 

And it underscores the reality, deeply analyzed and exposed in Bob Avakian’s most recent talk—THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible”—that nothing good can or will come out of working within the system’s political framework or by accepting and bowing down to current “political realities.” Only the actions of millions, acting independently in sustained, determined, and massive non-violent political protest demanding this whole regime be gone, can shift the whole political landscape and drive this fascist regime from power.

Make no mistake. The fate of the Dreamers and millions of other immigrants is hanging by a thread. The battle to win legal status for Dreamers and to protect ALL immigrants, and to stop Trump’s Nazi-like assault on immigrants, is a key part of stopping this monstrous fascist regime from carrying out ever greater, unimaginable crimes against humanity and the planet. This makes standing with immigrants all the more urgent now. As Revcom.us wrote, “All of those who are NOT immigrants must stand shoulder to shoulder with these courageous immigrants, pour into the streets and find every other possible way to actively refuse and stand up against this fascist regime’s advancing assault on immigrants.”

The point now, clearly, is this: cast away illusions, prepare for struggle!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/527/RefuseFascismOrg-first-they-came-for-the-immigrants-en.html

Revolution #527 January 22, 2018

From RefuseFascism.org

FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE MUSLIMS,
THEN THEY CAME FOR THE IMMIGRANTS
Not This Time...

Stand Up Now with the Immigrants
This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

January 26, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The gloves are off.  The Trump/Pence Regime has launched an all-out comprehensive and qualitative leap in the implementation of a program of genocidal ethnic cleansing of immigrants – particularly targeting Black and Brown peoples.

This is a monumental horror in its own right, creating terror and untold suffering.  At the same time, it is a major escalation in the consolidation of a fascist America.  From Trump’s election campaign to the opening days of the regime, anti-immigrant, xenophobic nationalism has been the battering ram and lynchpin of the Trump/Pence Regime.  Trump’s “Wall” is a potent symbol and instrument of terror that concentrates the shattering of old norms and cementing Trump’s new order of: America First...Make America Great White Again.

This assault on immigrants must be stopped and the Trump/Pence Regime that is responsible  must be driven from power by the only force that could do this: the united nonviolent mass sustained struggle of hundreds of thousands and millions voting with their feet in the streets.

Now is the time for everyone to come to the defense of those first and most viciously under attack and strengthen the movement to drive the fascist Trump/Pence regime from power.

***********

This comprehensive and qualitative leap in the ethnic cleansing of immigrants is comprised of  these five major moves made in the last two weeks:

  1. Further moves to end DACA protections for 800,000+ Dreamers (immigrants brought to this country as children) while cruelly bargaining their future in exchange for the lives of millions of other immigrants. Ending DACA would destroy the lives of nearly a million young people, shatter their families, and instill even greater terror among all immigrants. The Trump/Pence Regime threatens the sword of deportation over the Dreamers in order to drastically cut legal immigration and institute even more draconian military and vigilante terror against all immigrants.  Heartlessly, they seek to end immigration that reunites families. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party leadership acts like horse traders, only with human lives, collaborating and capitulating.  Any “deal” that trades the security of a section of the Dreamers for heightened terror and ethnic cleansing against other immigrants is not only immoral, it would feed the anti-immigrant juggernaut that would sooner or later come for all immigrants.
  2. Targeted detentions, deportations, and threats of the same against outspoken immigrants rights leaders, including Ravi Ragbir, Jean Montrevil, and Maru Mora-Villalpando. The targeting of courageous leaders is a calculated tactic of the United States political police aimed at breaking the movements of the people. This must not be allowed.  These leaders must be defended and many more must step forward to fight right now.  Also, nine members of No More Deaths, an Arizona group that leaves water in the desert where thousands of immigrants have died, were arrested in recent days.
  3. The looming threat of a major ICE raid in the Bay Area aimed at breaking the sanctuary city/state movement nationallyReports state that U.S. immigration officials are preparing a major sweep in San Francisco and other Northern California cities aiming to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented people. The goal is not only to destroy the lives of countless immigrants and their families, but also to break any legal opposition from state and city officials anywhere.  This follows vicious coordinated dawn raids on immigrants working at 98 7-Elevens nationwide. Homeland Security said this was a “harbinger” of what is to come.
  4. Ending of Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for 200,000 Salvadorans, 60,000 Haitians, 5,300 Nicaraguans, 1,000 Sudanese, and the threat/likely ending of TPS for 57,000 Hondurans very soon. Over a quarter of a million immigrants will face deportation or life in the terror of the shadows under Trump, families will be shattered, and deportation or “voluntary” departure will send these human beings into conditions of intense deprivation, violence, and in many cases certain death.
  5. The racialization and white supremacy of this anti-immigrant program. This has been clear from the beginning, but took a leap when Trump viciously called for shutting down immigration from the Black and Brown nations of Haiti, El Salvador, and the continent of Africa – calling them “shitholes” – while welcoming more immigrants from (white) countries like Norway. This is a rallying cry to Trump’s fascist social base, a signal to the rising white-euro fascist nationalism around the world, and an actual genocidal program being concretely advanced with the full force of the most powerful state in the world.

*****

Is calling this the beginning of genocidal ethnic cleansing of Black and Brown immigrants too extreme?  Look at the numbers.  Look at children torn from parents. People sent to countries where they may face death.  What else do you call the criminal notion that where you were born, the color of your skin, and the language you speak should define whether you are regarded as human or not, whether you live or die?  What else do you call the view that any crime can be committed against those who are deemed “less than human” in the name of protecting the “real (ie: white, native-born) Americans,” meanwhile the U.S. can invade, torture, and even nuke other countries at will?

This MUST not be allowed.  It must be actively and effectively resisted in order to prevent the enormous suffering, terror, and advancement of actual genocide and ethnic cleansing against millions of immigrants and their families.

And, this must be resisted in a way that strengthens the movement to drive out the whole fascist Trump/Pence Regime through mass, sustained, nonviolent political protest.

Any attempt to wait it out, or to “save one’s fight” for some imagined bigger battle to come, is immoral delusion – it is trading away immigrants and losing one’s own humanity, and will put you in a worse place to fight the next attack.  It is imperative for everyone to come to the defense of those first and most viciously under attack. Now is the time for everyone to find the ways to show – in word and deed – that: In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.

Everywhere, people need to meet, to plan and to ACT together – on campuses, among the faith community, by prominent artists and musicians, and all throughout society.  We need symbols of defiance taken up by hundreds of thousands and even millions, and protests, marches, and other acts of political resistance. Over the next weeks the world must see, the powers-that-be must feel, that people in this country will not allow them to take our brothers and sisters.

Refuse Fascism is calling on people to get organized to resist and for diverse organizations to talk to and really work with each other, to build much needed unity to stop this terror.  We, as RefuseFascism.org, invite and urge everyone who is outraged and concerned to reach out to us, strategize with us, and make big plans to STOP this nightmare and get organized to drive out the Trump/Pence Regime.

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

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