Revolution #530, February 12, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/529/bob-avakian-talk-critical-answers-for-urgent-times-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Taking out Bob Avakian's Talk on Fascism

Critical Answers for Urgent Times... and a Doorway to a Better World

February 10, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“We are confronted by—we are now being ruled by—a fascist regime.” This basic point begins Bob Avakian’s October 2017 talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. Since then, the regime has continued to move relentlessly ahead. Normalization solidifies with each passing day. Meanwhile, the “demented bully with his finger on the button” carries out war threats, provocations, and active planning for a “first strike against Korea,” as well as threats against Iran, and calls into question the very future of humanity. Within the U.S., the regime isolates and criminalizes immigrants, openly ranting white supremacist justifications as it picks off leaders and prepares for a major move in early March. Meanwhile, attacks on every other front—the environment, women, Black people, LGBTQ people, Muslims, and the very concept of truth itself—so much so that you cannot keep up—which itself is part of their strategy. What happens this next month may well be critical, one way or the other.

Up against this, there is anguish and revulsion, and there are actions on the different fronts—a few mass and many brave. But there is not yet a sustained movement that calls the Trump/Pence regime what it is—FASCIST—and mobilizes people accordingly, to DRIVE IT OUT.

Yet, if we do not know the nature of the enemy, we cannot defeat it. If we do not come to grips with the depth and root of the problem, we cannot solve it. Even as the struggle on every front must accelerate, there is right now an urgent need for thousands and then millions to much more clearly understand the nature of the extreme threat posed by the regime as a whole and to much more deeply grapple with HOW it can be defeated... driven out... before it is too late.

The single best tool for that is BA’s speech. This next month must be a time when thousands see this speech and the question/answer session that follows and get to grapple with this understanding.

Focusing for Concentrated Impact

This speech must reach those who are already active, as well as those who are agonizing and should be active. This means students, high school, college, grad students... this means immigrants’ organizations and immigrant communities... this means writers, artists, clergy, thought-leaders of all kinds. It means getting to the many groups that have come together to oppose this regime in myriad ways but are still restlessly searching for a better way forward and open to talking... and to all the communities under attack. This speech would make a major difference in how people see the situation, what they see as needed and possible, and the ways in which they move, including in the next crucial month. Reaching a “critical mass” of groups and people with the film, encouraging those who see it to spread it whether by hand or, more important, through social media, can then have a chain reaction out into the broader society. Those who are reading this site need to be the strategists of that.

Opening Doors to a Whole New World

So, this speech, getting out there, can reverberate. It can and must make a huge difference at what could be a tremendously crucial juncture. But there is a bigger reason as well—this talk can introduce people to Bob Avakian, BA, the most important revolutionary and thinker of our time. BA has qualitatively developed humanity’s ability to scientifically understand the world and, in particular, human society; he’s shown how humanity can emancipate itself, through revolution, from today’s insanity and all oppressive relations beyond. As the title of the talk says, “A Better World IS Possible”... and the proof of, and path to, that better world is in BA’s whole body of work and his overall leadership! So the powerful talk on the Trump/Pence regime can be a doorway to BA’s new communism, and there is nothing more important than increasing numbers of people walking through that door.

Speaking of opening doors... HOW we take this talk out to people makes a lot of difference. We should use the clips from the talk to promote and draw people into the talk as a whole. Proceeding from a shared revulsion at this regime, we’re launching with them a process of discovery. This means getting deeper into things and at times it’s gonna mean struggle. Both sides of that relationship mean taking people back to BA—whether the question is the Democrats and why they act as they do, or how to weigh the risks in going up against the regime, or whether at least in some way America really is a “force for good” in the world (or could be, if it weren’t for Trump). There are clips from the talk, up on line as clips, that can be marshaled—not in a chopped-up way as a “set of answers,” but as a unified whole that pulls the lenses back on everything, and opens up a different way to approach, and transform, reality.

This is a process—and it takes place in a context. People have thinking, they are doing things or seeking to do things. The recent article on taking the talk to students talked about “understanding the lay of the land.” This is right, but it can’t just—or mainly—mean the physical terrain of a campus! Right now, at any given time, there are people writing articles and giving talks, there are groups doing things, there are controversies happening... the most critical of which are addressed in this talk. What are the big political, ideological, epistemological, and cultural debates on campus? Where are these getting struggled out? What do students think of the Trump/Pence regime and where it’s come from? How do they see their responsibility to fight this and in what ways? What about the struggles over epistemology—the methods that people use to understand the world and sort out right from wrong?

More broadly, in society overall, huge questions are being debated, including, to name just a few: the role of women, what it will take to root out misogyny, and how Trump and Pence relate to that; the historical and present-day situation of Black people in America, what the elections of first Obama and then Trump mean in that context; the viability of liberal democracy itself; the root causes of the fascist wave now crashing across Europe and the U.S.; etc.

This is a process—and it takes place in waves. We have to have a strategic view of following up a real intense effort with the talk—say on a campus during student week, or in a particular community, or among a group—with regularly going back and continuing and developing the relationship. We are inviting people, as BA’s Invitation puts it, on a crucial journey—and journeys happen over time. What can we learn from people, even where we may differ or where they may be outright wrong on one or another important question? Where do we have to struggle with people, and how?

We should be going far and wide with this. On a campus—this means going to students and faculty already in motion, and it also means sitting down with students at a cafeteria table or knocking on faculty doors of people we don’t know. In a community—going to ties we have, and also going into the barbershops and beauty parlors and other places people gather. Everywhere, playing clips for people and letting them respond directly to what they hear... and then getting them to watch the whole thing, where—again—the lens is pulled back on the whole thing... having ways that people can spread this, even simple ways... and through all this, getting into deep discussions, learning, and forging real relationships.

Get Organized

Finally, the degree to which this talk gets out will make a serious and potentially decisive difference in how people see things. This means we must be organized commensurate with that—developing teams with real responsibility for setting goals, meeting and then surpassing them.

Teams which can go out and show the film everywhere, get it into people’s hands [click here for instructions to download and duplicate the film] and from there, their social networks, and draw people into the work of doing this and the collectivity of the team itself. Teams that keep tabs on and foster the new relationships we develop (based on the process described in the Invitation). Teams that learn all they can each step of the way and share lessons with others.

People need this talk. People need to be introduced to BA. It is on us—and this month is a time, indeed perhaps what will turn out to be a crucial time, to make a big advance in that whole process, setting a different dynamic in motion.

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #530 February 12, 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/528/comments-on-film-of-ba-talk-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Comments on Film of BA’s Talk: “Avakian explains and keeps refocusing your attention to the system that enabled the ascension of this regime”

January 29, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From staff of Revolution Books, NYC:

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 was shown this past Sunday at Revolution Books in Harlem, New York City. Ten new people attended—including a librarian from Queens; a ninth-grade public school teacher from the Bronx; two post-doctoral fellows at Columbia University (one from France and the other from England); a young African-American from the neighborhood (living in a homeless shelter) who has hooked up with the Revolution Club; and a young woman from Brazil active in social movements there. We showed the film and followed it with a clip from REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! posted on revcom: “Resisting the Brainwash—A Radical Revolt Again a Revolting Culture.”

After the showing, we asked people what struck them most about the film, what they got most out of it... and people got right into it. Here are three comments. (The French visiting fellow plans to come by the store to discuss the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by Bob Avakian, which she dove into after the showing.)

Young homeless person: “This is the second time I’ve watched this film. I never understood the role of religion in enslaving people, and this Christian fascism justifying greed and the degradation of women. We’re supposed to put our fate in God’s hands, and not face things ourselves but wait for heaven and angels. But breaking with God is so hard.”

Teacher: “I have to say what struck me most was how Bob Avakian makes you face and recognize America’s past, that you can’t get away from slavery and the injustices done to Black people. He explains how we became the nation we are in a way I never experienced before. And that we have to face that history.”

Librarian: “One of the problems we have in understanding what’s going on, with the terrible direction things have been going in, with Trump and Pence... is that there is so much focus on individuals. But Avakian explains and keeps refocusing your attention on the system that enabled the ascension of this regime.”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/529/make-a-splash-with-social-media-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Make a splash on social media with

THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!
In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America
A Better World IS Possible

February 10, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

There are LOTS of ways you can be part of having an exponential impact via social media to put this needed talk before people throughout society. Be part of challenging and changing people’s thinking through the direct engagement with this important talk. And integrate social media into all of our plans.

Volunteer to be part of this and share your ideas... big and small. Write to us at revolution.reports@yahoo.com

This is going to be a big part of what we’re doing throughout the month and beyond.

» follow @tuneintorevcom on twitter, FB and IG

» upload clips onto your social media accounts (downloadable at https://vimeo.com/channels/batalktrumppencemustgo) and tag @tuneintorevcom

» post links with your own personal commentary and tag @tuneintorevcom

» ask 25 followers and friends to do the same. Think about people who have a larger following, contact them directly, think about whether a particular clip might resonate. For some people, it makes a difference to provide sample posts. You can draw from any that will be up @tuneintorevcom

» Engage in the ongoing discussion on social media...

» When you’re out this weekend in neighborhoods, busy transit hubs, busy downtown areas etc., carry a sign that tells people to follow us @tuneintorevcom. In everything we’re doing, help build the following of these accounts. Any time you’re watching the film with others: out on the street, hanging in the dorms etc. take a picture, record a comment from someone and post on social media (tag us @tuneintorevcom).

All the engagement that goes on should be maximized, learned from and spread via social media.

We look forward to hearing your ideas!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/529/volunteer-for-join-in-a-month-long-special-effort-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Volunteer!

Join in a campaign to promote the talk and Q&A's from Bob Avakian

Updated March 19, 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.

 

 

THE NEW COMMUNISM COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING—IF...

March 15, 2018

Read more

Donate towards promotion of this film:

On this page find out how you can be a part of this effort.
And bring us your ideas!

Write to us at revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

 

More on Making a Splash on Social Media with the BA Film

February 19, 2018

This coming week, the coordinated effort to get the new BA talk in front of millions focuses on students and college campuses, and the need for students to both take up the fight to end the Trump era through mass resistance, and to begin a process of engagement with the new communism and the movement for revolution that BA is leading.

Here are some additions to the Make a Splash on Social Media article, ways that anyone moved by this film can help make an impact on the campuses this week.

Read more

Make a splash on social media with this film

There are LOTS of ways you can be part of having an exponential impact via social media to put this needed talk before people throughout society. Be part of challenging and changing people’s thinking through the direct engagement with this important talk. And integrate social media into all of our plans.

Volunteer to be part of this and share your ideas... big and small. Write to us at revolution.reports@yahoo.com

This is going to be a big part of what we’re doing throughout this month and beyond...

Read more: about how to take part; and for some sample tweets

Join in coordinated efforts to promote this film

Announcing coordinated efforts for the campaign to promote the talk and Q&As from Bob Avakian. We also look forward to hearing from you on scheduled screenings, all the other aspects of the plan... and your ideas, experiences, and questions.

The following national pushes should be seen as nodal points in a month of overall activity and outreach. Think big and broad... what BA speaks to in this compelling and substantive talk and in the Q&As are the most serious answers to the most urgent questions.

Read more about the plan, and how to connect with the coordinated efforts

Taking out Bob Avakian's Talk on Fascism

Critical Answers for Urgent Times... and a Doorway to a Better World

Read more

 

Showings, Discussions, and Where to See the Film (frequently updated)

Read more

Sample graphics to use with film promotion on social media (find more HERE):

When sending out these images, include the link to the film
(http://revcom.us/a/512/see-and-share-this-talk-en.html)

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/529/showing-ba-film-at-an-immigrant-community-in-nyc-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Showing The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go... to Immigrants in NYC

February 10, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

A showing of the BA film was held at a small business in a largely immigrant community. This was the second showing at this business in recent weeks. It followed Trump having called Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa “shithole countries,” and after hundreds of Haitians and others marched across the Brooklyn Bridge and rallied on Wall Street to defiantly reject the Trump/Pence regime’s attacks on immigrants. People’s bitterness at these comments and attacks ran through the discussion following watching the film.

The discussion was very lively. One person said this film told the truth and people really needed to see it. He said people need to be educated about what was really going on, that this had to happen before they could be mobilized to do anything about it all, and this film could be part of giving them that necessary education. (This person took a lot of notes while watching the film, and he bought Bob Avakian’s book The New Communism, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, and the Revolutionary Communist Party Central Committee statement, “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” before the showing.) Another person said it was necessary to mobilize a lot of people to take to the streets to stop the regime before it could cause more horrors for the people, but he felt it had been premature to set a specific date for people to start the demonstrations. Instead we should do it like Occupy (Occupy Wall Street) had done it—occupy somewhere, be in the street ongoing and build it up till you could reach the necessary stage.

Everyone was struck by the enormity of what we were up against, in the different ways they understood that. They saw the attacks on immigrants today as a dramatic escalation on an already horrible situation. People felt that Haitian immigrants and Haitian people in general were special targets of this assault by the regime. One person who was watching the film for the second time said, “We’re being targeted because of how Haiti represents the essence of Africanity.” I had never heard this term before, and asked him to explain what it meant. He said Haiti was the first place where Africans had successfully revolted and ended slavery, and they (the colonialists and imperialists) felt Haiti had to be punished for having done that. Several people also spoke to the way ICE was going after Latino immigrants. They described how places where Latinos used to gather in neighborhoods they were familiar with were now deserted. One woman asked, “What can they do? They might get picked up if they go to work, to school or anywhere.” (They said this about Latino immigrants, but not Haitian immigrants, which may mean, that at least in the NYC area, ICE isn’t yet carrying out massive sweeps aimed at Haitians.)

These people had no love for Obama. One of them recalled that he was called the “deporter in chief” who targeted immigrants for massive deportations while talking about inclusion. They also cited the way police terrorized Black communities during his presidency. But they viewed this regime as something different, as something worse than Obama. One woman said, “Who’s protecting them [immigrants]? Where’s the American Dream?” And, “There’s no home for us anymore. They mistreat us here, and they’ve terrorized our countries.” She also said this was tied to how they dealt with Black citizens—stop-and-frisk—people getting arrested for not having their IDs on them. Another person said Trump represented “them” using a new strategy to keep the power. Overall the idea of driving the regime from power struck a chord with people.

A man who was quiet for most of the discussion broke in to say, “They [white people] think immigrants are taking something away from the U.S.” and that “Trump is trying to bring back slave-like conditions in the U.S., and this is forcing people into hiding.”

There was some back and forth over what was the aim of these escalating attacks on immigrants. One person said, “They can’t deport everybody because they need them to do the work that no one else will do.” Another said they want to create a Bayakou status among immigrant workers. (Bayakou are people in Haiti who clean the toilets.) She said, “They want to force people into position of being shit on in this country, while the U.S. shits on their countries.”

Everybody also saw the enormity of trying to drive the regime from power. They wanted to hear what our plan for doing that was, and one guy opened the discussion by commenting on the Call for November 4 that BA had spoken to and promoted in the film.

One person asked what would come after Trump. Here he meant that we could be stuck with Pence who could be even worse. People went back to speaking about the difficulty of mobilizing people to do something as big as trying to drive Trump and his people from office. And to the need to educate people to what’s going on before they could be moved to do something like that.

They also felt the film and getting it shown to many more people could be part of that kind of education. We had opened the discussion after the film by talking about the month-long campaign to spread this film and get many more people to see it, and we went back to that. People began talking about what groups of people they could get together to see the film. The person who ran the business where we had just watched the film offered his place for other showings. We had copies of the DVD of the talk there, and a woman who had missed the beginning of the film got one so she could watch it all when she got home.

This showing happened off of having had an earlier small showing of the film at this business. The positive response to the film points to the potential among these immigrants to bring the film to many more people. This would be a strategically important section to get to engage this film and to get to know who BA is and what he’s all about. Off of thinking about this showing, we are working to set in motion organizing a larger showing in this neighborhood, building it through getting the word out and getting clips played on Haitian radio stations, and involving those who were at these showings in making this happen.

We were ending the discussion when a woman asked, “How do we use Trump and all the crazy stuff he does to make revolution?” She felt that Trump should be a wake-up call for us all. Another person said they’re “doing away with bourgeois democracy and breaking through the norms.” He felt this was bigger than Trump and that the system was trying to come back with slavery. These are things that we need to go deeper into with these people.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/529/on-bob-avakians-talk-on-the-trump-pence-fascist-regime-wow-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

On BA’s Talk on the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime:

“Wow!”

February 8, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader

[This talk] is a truly masterful concentration of both current conjunctural (fascism on the rise) and deeper historical roots analyses (how did we get to this point and why?), along with leadership being given to what to do about all this, all while never failing to reveal and confidently proceed back from the largest and most strategic objectives of the New Communism, while also providing a school of method and principle, plus an outlining of the basic pathway forward in practice for those with whom unity can be forged in the current conjuncture even if they don’t yet share (and might never share) those ultimate communist objectives. A model of solid core, with lots of elasticity based on the solid core. A model of unite all who can be united, on the right basis and with the right methods. A model of calm confidence and certitude based on science. A model of decency, of morality, of approachability, of humor and compassion, and yes of hope, all the while not falling into the slightest bit of tailing or ass-kissing and instead waging ferocious polemical struggle with the masses of different strata to work on those living contradictions and challenge and bust through the obstacles and the confining and paralyzing frameworks of this period. And all in an hour. Wow! And then with it the Q&As, with all its intangibles, substance, remarkable scientific ease and liveliness on full display "off the cuff"—Wow yet again!

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/winter-olympics-and-us-war-threats-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Trump on Korea

“We Think the Olympics Will Go Very Nicely, and After that, Who Knows?”

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Winter Olympics are underway in PyeongChang, South Korea—a two-week spectacle of grace and strength, endurance, skill, and stamina by athletes from across the globe. The eyes of the world are on PyeongChang.

Tension has been building between the U.S. and North Korea for months. And Vice President Mike Pence, the highest-ranking U.S. official at the Olympic Games, was in Korea to let the world know who’s calling the shots. Just before his arrival at the games, he warned that the U.S. is keeping “all options ... on the table” (imperialist-speak for the U.S. not ruling out the use of nuclear weapons) in its conflict with North Korea.

Preparing, Positioning a Strike Force

While the world’s attention was on the Olympic Games, the U.S. was threatening North Korea with far more than Pence’s icy stare at the opening ceremony. Just before the Olympics began, the U.S. deployed “at least one extra aircraft carrier [in addition to two already there] ... to the region.” Each carrier holds 60 warplanes and helicopters, as well as thousands of sailors, Marines, and pilots. Alongside the carriers are “carrier strike groups” of missile-armed destroyers and stealth submarines. Assault vessels carrying Marines and fighter jets were sent to provide amphibious support.

In late January, the U.S. Air Force transferred three B-2 “stealth” bombers and 200 personnel to maintain them from Missouri to the Pacific island of Guam—a base from which they can easily reach Korea. A February 11 Associated Press article described the B-2 as the “most advanced bomber in the Air Force [which] ... can carry nuclear weapons. It’s also the only known aircraft that can drop the Air Force’s biggest bomb, the 14,000-kilogram (30,000-pound) GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator [the ‘MOP’]. The ‘MOP,’ capable of penetrating deep into the ground to destroy reinforced tunnels and bunkers, was explicitly designed with North Korea in mind.”

Perhaps most ominously of all, the Pentagon announced that U.S. and South Korean forces will hold massive naval, land, and air “war exercises” shortly after the Olympics and Paralympics end. In late January, Secretary of “Defense” James Mattis told reporters, “We could fight tonight, shoulder to shoulder with the ... South Koreans, if they’re attacked. An attack [by North Korea] ... will be severely rebuffed if it’s attempted.” As we have previously pointed out, the U.S. has ratcheted up its war preparations in and around the Korean Peninsula to such a degree that a major war—even one that began "accidentally" could quickly escalate to global conflict involving nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons—could be triggered by a “mistake” like the false alarm of a ballistic missile strike in Hawaiʻi several weeks ago.

There is nothing socialist or liberatory about North Korea. And U.S. political and military leaders know that North Korea’s few nuclear weapons pose no “first strike” threat to the U.S. But they also think that stopping North Korea’s nuclear program is essential to removing an obstacle to their unfettered domination of East Asia, and in fact to their entire global power.

The Threat Is Real... the Future Is Unwritten

While the U.S. complained about North Korea holding a military parade in its capital and sending some athletes to the Olympics, it was sending weapons capable of killing tens of millions of human beings across the Pacific Ocean, preparing its forces for significant military action, and tightening an economic chokehold on North Korea.

Look at what these war mongers are doing. Listen to what their Fascist-in-Chief is saying.

At the beginning of February, Donald Trump was asked if he expected a war with North Korea soon. He replied, “We think the Olympics will go very nicely, and after that, who knows?”

In no way should anyone accept this! Political protest and mass opposition in the streets to U.S. threats on North Korea are urgently needed. This fascist regime must be driven from power before it inflicts irreparable damage upon the people of Korea, and all of humanity.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/courageous-women-gymnasts-expose-systematic-sexual-abuse-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Courageous Women Gymnasts Expose Systematic Sexual Molestation and Abuse…
WHY Hadn't Anyone Listened to Them? HOW Did It Go On So Long?

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In mid-January, over 150 women testified about the sexual abuse they said they had suffered at the hands of Dr. Larry Nassar, the USA Gymnastics national team doctor. They had been young women and little girls with big dreams, setting out with determination to soar in athletic achievement and competition. In this pursuit, they and their families turned to a man sold to them not only as a healer but a “miracle worker.”

Instead, he betrayed their trust, manipulated their innocence, and violated their young bodies. He lied—convincing them that his sexual violations were necessary “medical procedures.” He shamed them into keeping his horrendous secret as if they had done wrong, not him. Some were driven to abandon their deepest passion for athletics. Others compartmentalized and soldiered on, enduring abuse as the “price” of pursuing their dreams. All of them carry scars that reverberate still.

Violated, manipulated, preyed upon, and tossed aside as disposable little girls by Nassar and those who protected him, they had become an army of women standing strong, shattering the silence, and righteously demanding justice.

It was a powerful moment and needs to be a rallying cry to many more: THIS ABUSE MUST STOP!

But the questions cry out: How and why was all this allowed to go on for so long? And what will end this?

Women Ignored, Warning Signs Dismissed, Abuse Covered Up

Nassar preyed on young girls and women for over two decades. Charges of abuse were ignored, covered up or suppressed. Michigan State University, where Nassar worked, finally conducted an investigation in 2014, but it went nowhere. USA Gymnastics has admitted it knew of Nassar’s abuse in 2015, but instead of alerting the other institutions he worked for so he’d be stopped from continuing to damage or destroy young girls’ lives, they kept it quiet and paid Nassar’s victims to stay quiet as well!

Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander writes:

[V]ictims began to come forward who had tried to sound the alarm years before I walked into that M.S.U. [Michigan State University] clinic to meet the celebrated doctor. Not only were they suffering the devastation of sexual assault; they were suffering deep wounds from having been silenced, blamed and often even sent back for continued abuse ... at least 14 coaches, trainers, psychologists or colleagues had been warned of his abuse. What is truly stomach-turning is the realization that a vast majority of those victims were abused after his conduct was first reported by two teenagers to M.S.U.’s head gymnastics coach as far back as 1997.

Denhollander recounts that she lost friends, her church, and her privacy after publicly exposing Nassar in 2016, and was subject to attacks, insults, and slander. She concluded, “Yet all of it served as a reminder: These were the very cultural dynamics that had allowed Larry Nassar to remain in power.” (New York Times, January 26)

She’s right.

What About the Roots of Abuse?

Let’s face it, Larry Nassar’s abuse was extreme, but it’s not some bizarre exception. Sexually dominating, using, and exploiting women, seeing them as less than and subordinate to men, is how this whole society trains men—and women—from family relations, to mainstream TV, movies, and song, to schoolyard culture, to raw pornography.

Ask yourself why this same kind of predation happened to both boys and girls in the Catholic Church for decades (and no doubt centuries), continually covered up with priests being allowed to continue their crimes elsewhere (while priests who dared to defy the Church’s political stances in even the slightest ways were often, by contrast, driven out)?

Why was this same kind of predation, in this case done to young boys, done at Penn State University and again, covered up for years? Why, as well, is sexual abuse pervasive—and protected—in the armed forces at every level? And countless other examples could be given.

Ask yourself why even women in positions of authority participated in the coverup. Ask yourself why those who initially exposed this were stigmatized and ostracized.

While all this predation is bestial and while many can see this clearly after the fact, why does this go on, year after year, and in one realm after another—if not for the deep social relations of the oppression of women built into this society’s economic and political relations and functioning, and the cultural reinforcement and normalization through things like pornography and the even more widely spread pornification of the culture, including in advertising?

Most of all: What kind of society and what kind of system are we living under that produces and maintains such institutions and such a culture? And what kind of change is needed—and how deep must it go—to really put an end to this once and for all?

These questions demand to be asked—and answered. It is very important that, in the context of the overall current upsurge around #MeToo and against sexual assault and predation, many more people are beginning to search for these answers. There was a beginning to this kind of oppression, in the rise of class-divided societies roughly 10,000 years ago; and there can be an end to it as well, as part of getting rid of all relations of exploitation, all forms of oppression, and all the institutions and ideas that reinforce that exploitation and oppression. We, here at revcom.us, urge people to dig into the important writings from Bob Avakian, the architect of a whole new synthesis of revolution and human emancipation, as a crucial part of this. This is a very good place to start: Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution.

No, Judge Aquilina—Extra-Legal Vengeance Is NOT the Answer!

However, rather than open up these questions, reactionary forces in society are telling us instead to celebrate Judge Rosemarie Aquilina as a great advocate for victims.

Why? Because, during sentencing, she lashed out at Nassar, boasting that she had essentially signed his “death warrant” and bemoaning the fact that, “Our Constitution does not allow for cruel and unusual punishment.” She even made clear that, if not for that constitutional prohibition, she “might allow what he did to all of these beautiful souls—these young women in their childhood—I would allow someone or many people to do to him what he did to others.” In other words, sitting on the bench, robed with the full authority of the state, she wished for Nassar to be raped—something he knows, something everyone knows—is widespread in prison, and now all the more likely because of her words. In this way, she is training people in and fostering blood revenge. Imagine if this “standard of justice” were applied to other crimes—if everyone who beat someone up were then beaten by the state, if people who accidentally killed a child while driving drunk had their child killed in retribution.

While it can be understood why so many are pulled toward revenge, indulging that feeling—even in the case of horrendous crimes—is extremely harmful. Revenge degrades those who engage in it. It may temporarily salve the feelings of those who commit it, but it leads away from tearing open the deeper and urgently posed questions about the institutions and wider culture that need to be dug up from their roots. This makes the problem worse—as the system grinds on, regenerating the same social antagonisms that gave rise to the initial horror, masses of people get caught up in fighting and even killing each other in a worsening spiral. Think of the nightmare of mutual killing and genocide in Rwanda between the Tutsis and the Hutus in the 1990s and the reverberations that played out in Central Africa over the next decade, with millions dying. Think of the Hindu/Muslim bloodletting during the partition of India in 1947. Think of the thousands of Black youths who have been turned against each other in retributional warfare rooted in gang conflict in places like Chicago. In every case, the system that set the conditions for people’s suffering continued unchallenged, while the people paid an ever-higher price. This is not something we should want! Ultimately, you can become what you say you hate—Aquilina, the supposed avenger of the rape victims, effectively sets up the man she sentences... for rape.

To be clear: It is absolutely necessary that a proven, serial sexual predator like Nassar spend many years in prison. Justice demands it—but it also demands much, much more.

The goal, after all, should be—and is—ending the oppression of women and all forms of oppression, and getting to a world where people will shake their heads in wonder and pity that humans ever lived in a society such as this.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/529/sorting-out-the-controversy-around-aziz-ansari-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Some Thoughts on Sorting Out the Controversy Around Aziz Ansari, Sexual Relations, and Getting Beyond Both Patriarchy and Revenge

by Sunsara Taylor

February 8, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Recent months have seen a righteous outpouring against the pervasive abuse, harassment, sexual assault, discrimination, humiliation, and degradation women are forced to endure in every realm of life. This is extremely positive and takes on heightened importance in light of—and, no doubt, is fueled by—the ugly shock of Trump, a bragging sexual predator, assuming the presidency and using the world’s largest bully pulpit and the power of the state to mainstream vile misogyny (woman-hating).

At the same time, when you have an upsurge like this a lot of different trends emerge and there is a need—sometimes an urgent need—to sort out goals and, relatedly, how to fight. It is in this context that the recent controversy that has erupted over comedian, actor, and writer Aziz Ansari is worth examining.

An Anonymous Exposé Against Aziz Ansari Hits a Deep Nerve, But Also Concentrates Real Problems

A few days after he appeared at the Golden Globes wearing a #Time’sUp button, an exposé accusing Aziz Ansari of pressuring a young woman into sex acts that she did not want took the Internet by storm. This exposé—and its reception—is extremely contradictory.

On one side, the kind of sexual relations described in the piece reflect a whole set of sexual and social relations that oppress, commodify, degrade, and dehumanize women, which dominate the whole society and culture, and which must be radically changed! The criticism of what has been part and parcel of the hook-up culture, and way too long just accepted, is long overdue and a very welcome, if still just beginning, part of the reckoning.

On the other side, however, the method of the article—filled with salacious, subjective, and selectively rendered detail—and the method with which it has been largely received, feeds a very dangerous culture of humiliation, revenge, and the promotion of rumors and accusations as the standard of guilt. At the same time, some of the people who have correctly and insightfully criticized this shortcoming have in some ways trivialized the harm of the sexual relations described and downplayed the depth of the change needed.

Sorting this out requires pulling back the lens and understanding much more deeply the real roots of the problem we face and what must be done about it. The point is not to try to navigate this on the terms on which it is currently being posed.

Instead, we need to collectively dig deeper, going to the roots of what underlies all this, and on this basis, imagine and think far beyond what already exists, to radically different relations, a far better world, and what it will take to get there—a point to which I’ll return.

We Need a Radical Revolt Against This Revolting Culture

There is a reason this exposé struck such a chord. From a very young age, women and girls are shamed about their bodies and sexual desires, taught that their value lies in being sexually “pure” as well as sexually attractive, and socialized to prioritize men’s egos and sexual desires above their own. Men and boys are also socialized in how to view women and sex through the dominant institutions and culture, including the widespread violent degradation of pornography which has gone almost entirely unmentioned in the entire #MeToo discussion. Men are trained to see women as less than human, to see sex as conquest, to take pride in overcoming a woman’s objections to sex, to strip sex of all intimacy, to even be turned on by the humiliation of women.

All this combines to create a culture where not only rape and sexual assault are epidemic, but—as portrayed in this anonymous account—even sex that is technically consensual takes place embedded in dynamics that all too often result in very degrading and dehumanizing experiences for women. All of this must be challenged and changed—and it can be.

Men need to stop reveling in the sexual degradation of women and women need to break with any attempt to “own” or “market” oneself as a sexual commodity. Sex should be based on equality and mutual respect, on appreciating the other person’s humanity, on a shared desire. We need to call out the culture of misogyny and rape, and the hook-up culture that strips sex of real intimacy, equality, and respect. AND, we need as part of this “reckoning” to also reckon with the degradation and objectification of women that is intrinsic to pornography—again, something which thus far has not received anywhere near the attention required.

Right now we need a radical and growing culture of revolt against today’s revolting culture.

Most of All: We Need a Radically Different—and Far Better—World

It is a very positive feature of the current upsurge that people are not only fighting against explicit violations of women’s consent, but also some are beginning to interrogate the content of sexual and intimate relations. However, all this is still far too constrained—too much attempting to find equality for women in the bedroom and the boardroom, in mainstream politics and on screen. Even the best of the discourse and discussions are far too hemmed in by the horizon of “what is,” and fighting for the best terms within that, for equality within existing social and economic relations. But humanity can do so much better.

What has become clear to me through a lifetime process of fighting and learning is that in seeking to uproot these inequalities there is a crying need to bring forward, and a real possibility of forging, radically different social relations as part of a radically different and far better world. Envisioning this, however, requires being radical—as in radix, going to the root of all this—and imagining beyond the horizons of “what is.” And this entails transcending the very limited goal of attempting to achieve equality within—while leaving fundamentally intact—the existing global framework of social and economic relations.

Fighting to eliminate and really uproot these inequalities requires scientifically probing:

What are the relations and culture which underlie and reinforce the toxic ways in which women are demeaned?

How is all this linked to the larger system, the underlying “mode of production” through which we as a society produce the necessities and wants of life, and which sets the context and terms for how we bring forth and rear the new generations?

What is the relation between the way capitalism turns everything into commodities to be exchanged for profit and the commodification of women’s bodies through things like the sexualized degradation of the massive porn industry, the global sex slave trade, and even most advertising?

Specifically, what is the relationship between the system of capitalism-imperialism and all these patriarchal institutions, relations, and culture?

What is the relationship between all of this and the most intimate interpersonal relations and sex?

Is it enough to “equalize” women’s position within this society and system, or is more required? Can humanity get beyond all this, and what will it take?

There are answers to these questions, but they require work—and grappling. They require science—that is, on the basis of evidence, digging into the underlying and driving dynamics that have shaped the origin and historical development of the oppression of women and that, on the basis of correctly grasping those real dynamics, indicate the possible pathways to change it. They require engaging with the work—and the method—of Bob Avakian and the New Communism, a whole new framework of human emancipation.

Avakian has built upon the profound advances of previous communist theory and revolutions, but also learned from their shortcomings, including criticisms raised about how these previous revolutions approached (or at times actually neglected or seriously underestimated) the necessary struggle to transform sexual and gender relations. Avakian’s New Communism scientifically comprehends insights and criticisms of feminists, and developments in other streams—in science, history, art and culture. This means that, for the first time, there is a thoroughly scientific understanding of how an actual revolution can be undertaken that fully unleashes the fight against all forms of oppression of women and does so in the context of putting an end to the long darkness of humanity divided into masters and slaves—which is the only way it can really succeed.

This work is tremendously illuminating—see for yourself!—and a great thing for humanity’s struggle and chances to prevail. I urge everyone to get into this, and if you are getting the importance of this moment and this movement, then there is no better place to start than by digging into the compilation, Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution.

Rumors and Guilt upon Accusation Work Against Liberation

Having gotten into what is very positive about this current upsurge and having pointed to some important ways this must go even further—by going even harder at the culture and institutions that give rise to this degradation and digging into the new work done by Bob Avakian on the emancipation of women and the communist revolution—it is necessary to examine some real problems that have emerged which lead away from liberation. Some of these problems are pronounced in the debate around Aziz Ansari.

First, the standard of “truth” that the Ansari exposé relies on and with which it has largely been met is extremely destructive, contributing to the growing culture of rumor, smear, and “guilt upon accusation” (and in this case, accusation of something that is not and should not be criminal). Truth is objective and must be determined by evidence, not rumor, accusations alone, subjective feelings, or the unfounded principle of “always believe the woman.” While most accusations from women are truthful, it is simply a fact that not all of them are, and the truth of any one claim has to be assessed against the evidence, subject to examination and challenge, and not merely attributed or derived from the overall veracity of the phenomenon as a whole. The long and brutal history of mere accusations against Black men by white women leading to terror, imprisonment, and outright lynchings serves as bitter lessons of the harm of allowing mere accusations to be treated as proof of guilt.

Tear Down Patriarchal Culture and Institutions, Not Individual Men

Ansari is not accused of anything criminal and yet his entire persona and career, including what by any reasonable inference based on available information appears to be genuine concern with the degradation faced by women, is being eclipsed by this accusation. Some say that Ansari hasn’t suffered through this, but this is disingenuous. If we recognize that the humiliation and social isolation of public shaming that is most often visited upon women constitutes actual harm, we cannot pretend this means nothing when visited upon men. To say this out loud these days is to be accused of normalizing sexual assault, i.e.: “Why so much concern for these men, what about all the women whose lives have been destroyed?” This is wrong; it is not a zero-sum game. We should not be choosing sides between women and men while accepting the world as it is, we should be fighting to radically change the world to get rid of injustice and oppression of all kinds.

Some justify this destruction by saying that men will never learn unless there are consequences. But this is premised on the very wrong assumption that you change social and sexual relations by frightening and punishing men. All this takes as a given the notion that men will want to degrade and objectify women and sees, therefore, the need to punish and frighten men out of acting on those impulses. However, these are not innate impulses and we must fight to end the culture and the institutions—and most fundamentally the system—that has given rise to all the degradation and misogynist revenge that is such a part of the world today.

A Challenge

It is very positive that so many are raising their heads and voicing their outrage against the widespread oppression and degradation of women that has been accepted for far too long. This fight must be taken up by even more people (including men!) and it must go even further and become even more determined. At the same time—and this will, in fact, strengthen this fight—people must strive to apply the right methods, not merely to tear down individuals, but to radically change the culture, as part of bringing about a whole different world.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/due-process-and-the-horror-visited-upon-women-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Two Points on Donald Trump, Due Process, and the Horror Visited Upon Women

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

After two men in his administration were accused of battery and abuse against their wives, Donald Trump decried the lack of due process. On this, two points:

One: Due process for those accused but not yet convicted of crimes is indeed extremely important—so important that it must not be selectively and demagogically applied. Yet Donald Trump rushed to take out full-page ads demanding the execution of five Black and Latino teenagers (who came to be known as the “Central Park 5”) accused of the rape of a white woman in New York in 1989 well before their trial. Trump’s ugly stunt was part of one of the most notorious examples of a trial perverted into a media circus in modern times. When that trial was shown to be a travesty of justice, complete with police cover-up of the actual rapist, and the convictions were reversed—long after the men had served years in prison—Donald Trump still to this day demands their re-imprisonment. Donald Trump has blithely accused entire sections of people of crimes and openly called for police to brutalize people they arrest. Nobody should listen to a word Donald Trump says when he drapes himself in the mantle of due process. His purpose is twofold: to defend his minions; and to muddy the waters of discussion.

Two: Women who raise accusations of abuse by their husbands must be taken seriously; all too often, law enforcement and family brush these off, and lives have been lost—and many more destroyed—for this reason. In the U.S., more than 11,750 women were murdered by their current or ex male partners between 2001 and 2012; one in four women have been victims of severe physical violence by husbands or male partners in their lifetime. These stakes are too high. This does NOT mean violating due process; it MUST mean setting in motion a procedure where the woman can be protected until the facts are ascertained, while the rights of the accused are also protected.

We need a whole new society, one where women need never more fear the beatings, rape and murder—by those who claim to love them—that prevail in this society as part of a whole societal-wide effort to overcome and transcend all the ages-old inequality and oppression of women. That will take a revolution, nothing less. Right now, we need to transform the culture we live in into one in which the abuse and murder of women is NOT swept under the rug and the women who face this are NOT alone, but are afforded support; in which those accused of crimes—without regard to their “race” or nationality—are granted full rights and means to defend themselves against such accusations; and in which “trial by media” is not the way in which verdicts on anyone are dispensed.

 

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #530 February 12, 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

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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/530/refuse-fascism-on-fight-against-anti-immigrant-attacks-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

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 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following is an excerpt from a letter that recently went out from the Refuse Fascism national team to Refuse Fascism chapters and organizers, posted here with permission. The letter makes important points that we felt should be shared with revcom.us readers.

****

[1] There is a qualitative and comprehensive nature to the major escalation now afoot in the savage attacks on immigrants and immigration. These are not just a series of horrific outrages against immigrants that continue in the wake of a whole series of horrific outrages perpetrated against immigrants for some time now. Rather, this is a pivotal moment of escalation in a key plank of the fascist program.  Our assessment is that the vicious assault on Dreamers (and, the corollary attempt to force a “deal” that tightens the noose around all immigrants) is the leading edge of a comprehensive attack on immigration, which includes the political targeting of leaders, the moves to break sanctuary efforts, the ending of TPS, as well as much more draconian enforcement of border terror that is both symbolized and enforced through a wall. All of this undergirded by and unleashed with open white supremacist ideology. Taken as a whole this program marks a major leap in an actual program of genocidal ethnic cleansing. Further, it is our assessment that most people are not yet recognizing the qualitative and comprehensive nature of this escalation. A great part of our responsibility is to wield the statement—and engage in deep unity-struggle-unity with other forces (inside as well as far, far beyond the immigrants rights movement)—that enables more people to recognize this moment of escalation for what it is—a key component in the fascist program that must be resisted as part of the struggle to drive out the whole Trump/Pence regime.

[2] Most important, it is necessary to more keenly recognize and more sharply emphasize this from our statement:

“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 linchpin 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.”

The assault on immigrants is exactly that: “a linchpin and battering ram” of the whole fascist program.

“Make America White Again” is a cohering and defining element of the whole Trump/Pence fascist program, giving full expression to old-fashioned brutal white supremacy, unleashing it first most viciously with xenophobic white nationalism against Black and Brown people from around the world.  Recall that Trump's “Birtherism”—his insistence that Obama was illegitimate which combined traditional anti-Black racism as well as anti-foreign/anti-Muslim nationalism. Note, as well, how a major stream of the fascism that has metastasized into the Trump/Pence Regime is the Tea Party and Brietbart revolt against even the anti-immigrant policies of the traditional Republican Party, which themselves were already more extreme than those of Obama who was correctly dubbed the “Deporter-In-Chief.” Recall how Ann Coulter emphasized that she got behind Trump's campaign the moment he called Mexicans “rapists” and demanded a Wall. These fascists see the “browning” of America as an existential threat to America and its ability to remain on top of the world. They mean to follow through on extreme ethnic cleansing of this country and have built up a heartless social base that is demanding this now.

Most important, his attack on immigrants is a key part of how an overall fascist program gets implemented. First they came for the Muslims... Then they came for the immigrants... If this attack on immigrants is not strongly resisted, it will not only lead to untold suffering and horror, it will make it far easier for the next group to be singled out and targeted, along a trajectory that threatens humanity all around the world. For this reason, it is not only morally imperative that everyone outraged by other elements of the Trump/Pence nightmare (the threats of nuclear war, the attacks on reproductive rights, the threats against the media, etc.) stand against this qualitative assault on immigrants, it is a practical necessity—if they are not opposed now, it becomes more difficult to oppose later (and the converse is also true).

The point is NOT to collapse our work into the fight against this escalation on immigrants, but to TAKE UP THIS FIGHT IN A WAY THAT DRAWS PEOPLE'S ATTENTION TO—AND DRAWS IN ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT WALKS OF LIFE TO—THE WHOLE FASCIST PROGRAM AND DEMANDING THAT THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!

We should be very clear in our thinking and what we are putting forward that while they are moving on this front, they are also preparing for war, they are also moving on each and every front of their agenda.  

[3] Flowing from the above, yes, there is an urgent need for the level of opposition to these attacks to become much broader, much deeper, and much more determined—and what is decisive overall is for this battle to be much more consciously linked to the demand: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! That is what Refuse Fascism exists to do. Without driving out the regime, this and other attacks will go forward. There are millions and millions who are outraged by—or who could be won to be outraged by—the vicious attacks on immigrants and the whole fascist program, but they are not yet being called forward and challenged and inspired with a meaningful way to oppose this.

We cannot solve this on our own, but we should take responsibility for solving it with others. We urge chapters to work and struggle for real and substantive engagements with other organized forces and people with disproportionate influence over our statement on immigrants (emphasizing the two above points)…

[4] Finally: RAISE FUNDS! RefuseFascism.org is the one national organization that is fighting to draw forward and mobilize millions to drive out this regime which is the only way it can be stopped, this organization needs major funds!... 

At the end of last year, we launched a $250,000 fund-raising campaign and got off to a good start, raising about $88,000 by the end of the year. This, however, tapered off during the National Tour and this must be re-invigorated and the full amount won by March 15 and we must make weekly progress. We are serious about driving out the regime. That requires millions of dollars. $250,000 is just a start. This is everyone's responsibility and must be woven into everything we do—from shaking the can while doing outreach, to asking for funds during strategizing meetings, to holding fundraising gatherings like our Chicago chapter just did (!!), to phone-banking, to seeking out new potential donors—especially people in position to give significant funds. Giving money is one of the most meaningful ways people can strengthen the movement to stop a fascist America. Asking for money is one of the most important ways of organizing people into this movement….

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/fascism-can-absorb-separate-acts-of-resistance-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

From RefuseFascism.org:

Fascism Can Absorb SEPARATE Acts of Resistance

By Coco Das (with contributions from Sarah Roark)

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The “wars” of the Trump/Pence regime dominate the headlines. Google “Trump’s War on...,” then pick a topic that you care about, and you will find out what the agenda of the fascist Trump/Pence regime is, cruel America first chauvinism, white supremacy, a return to oppressive patriarchal control of women, a culture against diversity, truth, and critical thinking. Trump is Quietly Winning His War Against Refugees, How Trump Can Win—and We Can Lose—the Media War, Trump Escalates the War on Women, President Trump’s War on Science, Trump’s War on Immigrants, Immigration Arrests of Noncriminals Double Under Trump.

In each of these, to varying degrees, there has been resistance. People have been protesting in courageous, determined, and creative ways, especially most recently to defend immigrants from the all-out vicious assaults by this regime and its enforcers. This is vitally important. We must not allow this regime to get away with its crimes, and each outrage must be met with greater and greater resistance. The resistance must go broader and deeper, bringing in more people from every part of society to stand up and say no.

How big is the leap from the protest people are doing now to actually driving out the regime that is initiating and escalating these wars? If we have greater occurrences of protests, with bigger numbers, will that help create a sustained movement and a political crisis that can drive out the regime, even without a specific demand that Trump and Pence must go?

To answer this, we have to deal with the full picture of what this regime is doing, not what we hope is true. There is a key statement in Refuse Fascism’s founding call that is worth going back to:

We must recognize that the character of fascism is that it can absorb separate acts of resistance while continually throwing the opposition off balance by rapidly moving its agenda forward.

This crucial understanding of how fascism consolidates leads to the conclusion that we must mobilize millions to drive out the whole fascist regime. So, why do we say that fascism can absorb separate acts of resistance? And how does that contribute to the analysis of what fascism is, what it means for humanity, and what we must do to stop it?

Fascism can absorb separate acts of resistance because it wages battles on many fronts, with the aim of entirely remaking society and government. These attacks are fast and furious and shocking, trying to wear down our opposition and build up our tolerance. And while fascists cannot implement their whole program at once, these attacks do happen on many fronts simultaneously and are carried out by different parts of the regime and their collaborators. If it encounters a setback on one front, it can go forward on another aspect of its program while it regroups and comes up with another strategy. Look at the different iterations of the Muslim Ban. The first one was met with fierce opposition, but the last one, even while encountering some challenges in the courts, has effectively banned travel from several Muslim majority countries and controls the number of Muslims coming into the country, especially refugees fleeing desperate violence. In the meantime, the regime marched on with its war on immigrants, on science, on the environment, on women, and the reality is that they are not losing any of these wars.

Fascism can absorb separate acts of resistance because it is not beholden to the rules and constantly changes the rules. Trump was chosen to lead the fascist Republican party, and was elected through the electoral college, based on a promise to tear up the norms of politics. Even mild opposition at the top levels of government are thrown off balance by the chaos, instability, and seeming lunacy of this presidency. There is a madness to it, but there is a method to the madness, allowing the regime to go forward with its violent reassertion of white and male supremacy and tyrannical threats to the rest of the world. And from the top to the leadership to the street-level vigilante thugs, nothing is really out of the question, not violence, terror, or even nuclear weapons. When we listen to accounts from people who have been targeted by the regime, (as in this interview with immigrants rights activist Ravi Ragbir), we hear again and again that basic principles that were once barriers to detention and deportation are no longer honored, lines that were once not crossed are erased, and rules that were once adhered to no longer matter. In the end, what most strategically becomes the new norm is a pervasive culture of cruelty and a tolerance for genocide. Along the way, resistance is not only absorbed but crushed.

In some of my conversations in the past few months, people have brought up the point that there is resistance, that people have been protesting. Depending on the context of our conversations, they might bring this up for different reasons. With further probing, some version of the following comes out:

People have been protesting. Other people are already doing what you’re calling for.

People have been protesting. We should join up with them until they’re ready to drive out the regime.

People have been protesting, especially people who are most under attack. We should listen to those organizers on the ground fighting for their communities and be good allies.

There does not need to be a separation between these protests and a movement of millions to drive out the regime. We must keep protesting each outrage, and we must see how each of these attacks fit into the overall consolidation of fascism. But behind this point—people are already protesting—are more questions that don’t always get voiced. Isn’t what we’re doing enough? Can’t we win this way? Shouldn’t the communities under attack lead their own movements? Is driving out the regime really necessary, really possible, and is it really our responsibility? There is only one answer to this. If we do not drive out this regime, we will be crushed, and millions, perhaps even billions of lives will be destroyed. What are we giving up in our solitary fights, and what prevents us from uniting?

Imagine if at every protest, for immigrants, for women’s reproductive rights, for impeachment, for Black lives, there was a resounding call for an end to these attacks and an end to the regime that is escalating them? What if all of the social justice groups called their supporters out for two weeks of strategic, sustained protest against all of the wars this regime is waging, finding ways for thousands and tens of thousands more to join up in the struggle? There are many ways this leap, from separate acts of resistance to a mass movement and political crisis to drive out the whole regime can happen. It isn’t that big of a leap, because there are millions of us who care about humanity and don’t want a nightmare, fascist future. We don’t know how long we will have this opening, but for now, we have the means and the knowledge to create a leap in the resistance and win a victory the whole world will celebrate.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/lawsuit-demands-end-to-ICE-targeting-immigrant-rights-leaders-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

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

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Trump/Pence regime is using the immigration police the way Hitler used the Gestapo—as a political weapon against those standing up against the intolerable treatment of immigrants. And in particular, there is stepped-up repression against leaders of the immigrant rights movement, in an attempt to sow terror among immigrant communities and to crush the resistance. A federal lawsuit filed on February 9 by Ravi Ragbir, executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, and a number of immigrant rights groups, sheds important light on these fascist attacks: “Since January 2017, federal immigration authorities across the country have engaged in a pattern and practice of targeting outspoken immigrant-rights activists who publicly criticize U.S. immigration law, policy, and enforcement.”

The lawsuit charges that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is unlawfully suppressing political dissent by targeting outspoken immigration activists for surveillance and deportation. The plaintiffs (those bringing the suit) are Ravi Ragbir, executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, and a number of different immigration rights groups. In January, Ragbir, a nationally known immigrant rights leader, was arrested at a regularly scheduled check in at the ICE office in New York City, taken to the notorious Krome Detention Center in Florida, and nearly deported to Trinidad (See interview with Ravi Ragbir on The Michael Slate Show). Ragbir was released from detention but had been threatened with deportation on February 10. As we post this, he received a stay of deportation but is being required to check in at the ICE office on March 15.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are ICE and its acting director, the director and assistant director of ICE’s New York Field Office, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS, which ICE is part of) and its head, the Justice Department and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The lawsuit charges: “Defendants have investigated, surveilled, harassed, raided, arrested, detained, and even deported these activists in order to silence them. They have arrested activists immediately following press appearances and news conferences. They have detained spokespeople and directors of immigration advocacy organizations. They have surveilled the organizations’ headquarters and targeted their members. And they have targeted communities identified by the federal government as ‘sanctuary cities’ to punish those communities for taking legislative, municipal, and political action to limit official cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

 

Photo: Peter Switzer

 

“This sharp spike in immigration enforcement specifically targeting the most vocal immigration activists is intended to stifle dissent.”

The lawsuit focuses on Ravi Ragbir’s case, pointing out: “Since his release from immigration detention with a final order of removal over a decade ago, Mr. Ragbir has dedicated his professional and personal life to speaking out against immigration policies that he considers unjust. He has been a vocal critic of ICE and other components of DHS. His work and his views about immigration policy and enforcement are frequently profiled in local and national media.” The suit presents facts on how ICE has targeted Ragbir for surveillance, harassment, and threats of deportation because of his political outspokenness and activities.

The suit also raises the ICE repression against others, including:

These outrageous political police attacks on immigrant leaders and those speaking out against anti-immigrant attacks are part of the overall moves by the Trump/Pence regime to consolidate fascist rule. This is intolerable—and must NOT be allowed!

As revcom.us has said: “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.”

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/hundreds-support-sanctuary-movement-leader-ravi-ragbir-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Hundreds Come Out to Support Sanctuary Movement Leader Ravi Ragbir

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Hundreds came together to protest outside the U.S. Customs and Immigration office in Lower Manhattan Saturday, February 10, expressing their support and solidarity with prominent immigrant activist and leader Ravi Ragbir, and celebrating the last-minute stay of his deportation order.

Speakers included Ragbir and Amy Gottlieb, his wife, as well several public officials, including two U.S. congresspeople. Among the signs that protesters carried included: “Black & Brown Skin is the new [Jewish Star]—Mass Deportation is Nazi-esque Racial Profiling;” and “Shut Down White Supremacy.” Many in the crowd marched with the Refuse Fascism poster: “NO! Ravi Ragbir & All Immigrants Must STAY! Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!” And there were many with hand written signs pinned on their packs; #YouCan’tDeportAMovement.

Ravi Ragbir is executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, an interfaith network of congregations and organizations that publicly stands with families and communities resisting detention and deportation. His arrest by federal agents during a routine check-in January 11 sparked immediate outrage, protest, and arrests, with police brutalizing demonstrators and a New York City Councilperson. Since then, there has been growing protest and the demand that the political attacks against Ragbir and other immigrant rights activists stop.

The stay of the deportation order came Friday, after lawyers representing Ravi filed a federal First Amendment lawsuit that accuses the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department of “targeting outspoken immigrant-rights activists who publicly criticize U.S. immigration law, policy, and enforcement.” (Read more here about the lawsuit.)

A protester who has been working with Ravi as a volunteer said, “I see the escalating attacks on the undocumented, and it’s horrifying. Trying to make people afraid, and unwelcome. It’s dehumanizing, and unnecessarily cruel.” Juan Carlos Ruiz, a cofounder locally and on a national level of the New Sanctuary Movement, told revcom.us: “We do feel there’s a shift, given the intensity of the attacks, and the escalation by the government against the visible voices in our movement ... unleashing this repressive, consorted, systematic targeting of the people in our movement who are in front.”

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/reflections-on-book-by-cesarani-final-solution-the-fate-of-the-jews-1933-1949-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Letter from a Reader:

Reflections on the Book by David Cesarani: Final Solution:
The Fate of the Jews 1933-1949

Twists and Turns, and Deadly Illusions... On the Road to the Death Camps

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

I recently read David Cesarani’s 2016 book, Final Solution: The Fate of Jews 1933-1949, particularly focusing on chapter 2, “Judenpolitik 1934-1938.” Some readers of Revolution might be aware that the Holocaust—the genocidal mass murder of six million Jews along with communists, Roma people, gay people, others—didn’t just come out of nowhere. But what a lot of people don’t know is that the period leading up to and setting the stage for the Holocaust was marked by zigs and zags, twists and turns. Cesarini shows how those twists and turns over and over led people who were outraged by Hitler to misread that pattern as proof that the worst was behind them. In reading this, I could not help but think about the current situation we face in this country.

To Hitler and the Nazi core, the Jews within Germany and “international Jewry” were, along with the communists, the existential enemy. To them World War 1 wasn’t lost on the battlefield, but because of betrayal by the enemies within. Expelling the Jews from Germany became a centerpiece of the Nazi program.

While this was their goal, on coming to power they had not developed a concrete plan for how to achieve it. “Anti-Jewish policy in the first years of the Nazi regime was marked by improvisation and muddle,” Cesarani writes. Hitler’s overarching concern was restoring Germany to its rightful place—Deutschland Über Alles—(Germany Above All Else). Germany faced enormous problems; number one was an economy that had been devastated by the worldwide depression, made worse by the punishing reparations as a result of its defeat in the war. This intersected with the Jewish policy and the moves Hitler made to implement it.

Driving the Jews from Germany, and Its Contradictions

The overall approach the Nazis took was to make the conditions for Jews within Germany so intolerable they would realize they had no choice but to leave the country. Just one month after the Nazis took power, the first major laws were passed to take rights away from “non-Aryans”—principally Jewish citizens. Jews were banned from holding civil service jobs, and from admission to the bar. This was the first use of what came to be known as the “Aryan paragraph.” As it was applied across civil society, “non-Aryans” (Jews) were expelled from sports clubs, recreational associations, professional networks, and cultural organizations.

But the Nazi strategy for the Jews came into conflict with other parts of their program. While the new government was removing Jews from political and cultural life, Jews were still permitted to own and operate businesses, because they were essential to Germany’s economic recovery. In this period Jews in the cities were benefiting from the economic revival. This both incensed the Nazi rank-and-file and persuaded some Jews who had emigrated right after the Nazis took power that things had stabilized, and would not get worse—and so many returned.

Cesarani quotes a New York Times correspondent who saw the situation much more soberly: “Whatever lull follows will be only temporary. Moreover, each new attack begins from where the last one left off.”

“Educating” Germans of the Evil of Jews

The level of anti-Semitism varied significantly in different parts of the country. In the countryside almost every village had a sign—“Jews not wanted here.” At the same time, the Catholics in these areas generally opposed these attacks on the Jews. In major cities like Berlin, where nearly a third of all Jews lived, while violence and boycotts of Jewish shops did not disappear, Jewish businesses and Jewish life went on. This was becoming intolerable to the most rabid anti-Semitic sections of the Nazi party.

Enter the Gestapo—the Nazi secret police. With their encouragement, violence against Jews escalated. A campaign was launched in late 1934 to “educate” Germans about the evil of the Jews. Lurid tales appeared in Der Sturmer, a Nazi propaganda paper, of the defilement of “Aryan maidens” by Jewish men. Waves of anti-Semitic violence were whipped up; Jewish shops were attacked, and Jews were brutalized in the streets, while police and onlookers did nothing.

With the violence by the party rank-and-file mushrooming, Nazi leaders met, convinced for pragmatic reasons that something had to be done. Some were concerned that it was threatening the economic basis for rearmament. Others blamed the Jews, and insisted that the “anti-Semitic mood” of the people demanded that Jews had to be eliminated from the economy immediately.

The Nuremberg Laws

Hitler intervened, searching for a course that would give the Nazi faithful something “spectacular,” but that didn’t provoke an international boycott of the approaching Olympic Games, scheduled to be held in Germany. In September 1935, the Nuremberg Laws were passed: intermarriage was outlawed, and Jews were stripped of German citizenship. Hitler then warned that random acts of revenge by “party zealots” were no longer acceptable. Many Jews and their sympathizers were actually relieved, feeling that at least the new laws held out the promise of stability and an end to random abuse. Jews had now lost their political rights and even more social rights, but the economic rights of those still in business were not affected.

W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the foremost Black intellectuals of the early 20th century and fighter for decades against the oppression of Black people in the U.S., captured the painful new world of Jews in Germany. On his return from a visit to Germany around this time, he wrote that the Nazis’ “campaign of racial prejudice” against Jews “surpasses in vindictive cruelty and public insult anything I have ever seen; and I have seen much.”

Du Bois, with a breadth of historical knowledge and personal experience, could see more clearly than those directly embroiled in the situation.

The 1936 Berlin Olympics... and War Preparations

For Hitler, 1936 was the year of the Olympics, with both the winter and summer games to be held in Germany. This was a unique opportunity to project his powerful and self-confident “Aryan nation” on the world stage. But the anti-Semitism would have to be somewhat toned down to do so. Anti-Semitic signs and banners were removed from areas where international visitors would go, and Der Sturmer was removed from newsstands during the Games.

Judging from the aims of the regime, the Olympics were a smashing success. But the illusion created in this period that Jewish life could be maintained in this “new normal” quickly came to an end.

Only weeks after the1936 Berlin Summer Games, Hitler circulated a secret memorandum among top Nazi leaders arguing that Germany had to prepare for war within four years. This would have profound implications for the Jews in Germany. Hitler had always seen “international Jewry” and the Soviet Union as profoundly linked. The Soviet Union would be Germany’s principal foe in that war, and in the Nazi view this war could not be fought without intensifying the forced removal of the Jews from Germany and the increased suppression of those who remained.

Those within the regime holding out for some role for Jews in the economy were removed. Major measures were taken by the Nazi government forcing Jewish businesses to close, or to transfer ownership to Aryans at a fraction of their worth. Doctors, lawyers and other professionals were no longer allowed to practice their professions. Restaurants and other public facilities refused to serve Jews. The basis for Jewish economic and social life was being destroyed, with the message—Jews out of Germany.

Over the next two years, Jewish sentiment toward emigration fundamentally turned toward leaving. But by this time many could not afford the cost of emigrating, while more and more countries were closing their doors to Jews. (In a disgraceful 1939 incident, the U.S. turned away 900 Jewish passengers fleeing Nazi Germany aboard the St. Louis, seeking refuge in Cuba and then Miami. The ship was forced to return to Europe, and more than 250 of its passengers died at German hands.)

On November 9-10, 1938, would come Kristallnacht—the “Night of Broken Glass”—when Nazi paramilitary mobs torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools, and businesses throughout Germany, Austria, and other areas occupied by German troops. Jewish women were raped; over 100 Jews were murdered; and 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps. Kristallnacht marked a turning point in the scale, the organized character, and the horror of what was done.

Now the virulent anti-Semitism and the complete demonization and exclusion of Jews had become utterly normalized. Cesarani refers to a professor who described how the Nazi appeal to their racially unified community “had become common sense, bringing with it the exclusion of certain groups without the need for conscious hatred.”

Through repeated zigs and zags, the Nazis carried out their program for eliminating the Jews from Germany, and from the countries it conquered. Hitler and the Nazis improvised as they consolidated fascism, and the best of people convinced themselves that each change in the situation could be an indication that “it can’t happen here after all,” that “the worst is past,” that “the international community won’t allow this,” or that “more rational voices in the regime will prevail.” Yet none did. Two and a half years later, with the war now begun and millions of Jewish people under direct German military rule, the Nazi leadership came up with the plan for the “final solution to the Jewish question”: the complete eradication of the Jewish people.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/trumps-immigration-crime-stories-round-up-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Trump’s “Immigration Crime Stories Round Up”: Copying from the Hitler Playbook

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The White House is now issuing a weekly “Immigration Crime Stories Round Up”—to highlight alleged crimes committed by immigrants. Right after taking power, Trump ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an “office to serve American victims,” or VOICE—Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement. Its aim—“To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions.”*

In a piece in the February 9 Washington Post, Philip Bump describes an email to reporters from the White House featuring the most recent weekly “Round Up.” It contained nine clips from news articles claiming to show evidence of criminal behavior by immigrants in the U.S. Bump dissects the Round Up, showing that in only two of the cases were undocumented immigrants charged with crimes. The rest of the articles either didn’t identify crimes, or those accused were not undocumented immigrants. Bump points out the irony that on average, 23,077 violent crimes are committed per week in the U.S.—if two were committed by undocumented immigrants, the other 23,075 were committed by native-born Americans or legal residents.

This fascist operation mirrors the way that Hitler used Nazi propaganda for the same purpose—to convince Germans that all Jews were “criminals” who must be forced to leave Germany. Bump describes a 1935 article from the Nazi periodical Neues Volk, titled “The Criminal Jew,” which included photos of Jews alongside text about their alleged crimes.

The Trump/Pence fascists know that immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than citizens, but facts are not important to them. Today vilifying immigrants, and those who would stand with them, plays a crucial role in the regime’s program for “Making America White Again.” At this moment, Trump’s cronies in Congress are rewriting the current immigration laws with the goal of dramatically reducing the overall number of immigrants admitted; restricting immigrants from bringing all but the closest family members to join them; and allowing far fewer immigrants from non-white areas of the world such as Africa and the Caribbean that Trump has called “shitholes” while increasing those immigrants “more qualified,” and white.

To serve these ends, the official machinery of government is cranking out anti-immigrant propaganda to whip up hysteria and poison the atmosphere to such a degree that the lives of immigrants are put in even greater danger than they are already.

* “Sanctuary jurisdictions” refers to cities or other jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with the federal government’s enforcement of immigration laws. [back]

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/529/us-gears-up-for-possible-nuclear-assault-on-north-korea-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Is the U.S. actually preparing for a war—possibly a nuclear war—with North Korea?

What is driving this conflict, what is the history between the U.S. and North Korea?

What can be done to protest and prevent such a war?

Virtual Teach-in

February 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

As opposition to the U.S. war in Vietnam began to develop in the 1960s, “teach-ins” were held on campuses throughout the country. Students, professors, and others came together; they learned about and taught each other the history and culture of Vietnam, what the U.S. government and military were doing there, the reality behind the platitudes and outright lies the government used to get people to go along with its unjust war. The teach-ins were important in shaping the understanding of many people about the war, and compelling them to act in protest against it.

The materials on this page provide a foundation for “virtual teach-ins” on the conflict between the United States and Korea. Explore this material, use it to dig into the questions posed above.

 

Start by watching the video clip of Bob Avakian slamming the “Great Tautological Fallacy”this is KEY to understanding how to assess what is actually happening in the U.S. threats against North Korea, and how in that light people are being normalized into accepting the unacceptable. Watch it with others, show it in classrooms and meetings; get it out widely on social media.

And for a fundamental orientation, together with this clip, get into and spread these passages by Bob Avakian from his book BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian.

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

“Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First.” BAsics 5:8

“These imperialists make the Godfather look like Mary Poppins.” BAsics 1:7

Is the U.S. actually preparing for a war—possibly a nuclear waragainst North Korea?

 

Check out these recent materials from Revolution:

The Dismissal of Victor Cha: Trump Moves Closer to Military Attack on North Korea

Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review: Expanding and Strengthening the Imperial Death Machine

Trump’s State of the Union Address... a Nazi-Like Rally

False Alarm of “Missile Threat Inbound” on Hawai`i—and the Very Real Danger of a Criminal U.S. War in Korea

 

A broad range of forces are sounding the alarm. These articles also speak to the potential for war with North Korea:

The Military Has Seen the Writing on the Wall,” by Uri Friedman, in The Atlantic

We Are Sleepwalking Toward War with North Korea,” by Zack Beauchamp

It Is Now 2 Minutes to Midnight” Press release from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, January 25, 2018

What are the root causes of this conflict?

 

Check out these articles from Revolution:

American Crime: U.S. Invasion of Korea - 1950

Michael Slate Interviews History Professor Bruce Cumings
What “Everybody Knows” about North Korea—and the Real History of U.S. Aggression

These articles also speak to the roots of this conflict:

 “The Long, Dirty History of U.S. Warmongering against North Korea,” by Christine Hong, in The Progressive

Americans once carpet-bombed North Korea. It's time to remember that past,” by Bruce Cumings, in The Guardian

In Their Own Words:

See what Trump and others in his inner core say about attacking North Korea.

Donald Trump "[North Korea] will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before."
(Speaking to reporters, August 8, 2017)

"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime" (Speech to the United Nations, September 19, 2017)
Defense Secretary
James Mattis
"I cannot imagine a condition under which the United States would accept North Korea as a nuclear power... make no mistake, any attack on the United States or our allies will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons by the North will be met with a massive military response that is effective and overwhelming."
(October 27, 2017, in Seoul, South Korea)

"We're doing everything we can to solve this diplomatically—everything we can ...Ultimately, our diplomats have to be backed up by strong soldiers and sailors, airmen and Marines, so they speak from a position of strength, of combined strength, of alliance strength, shoulder to shoulder.
(October 26, 2017, to U.S. troops in South Korea)
H.R. McMaster, National Security Advisor "I think it (the possibility of war in Korea) is increasing every day, which means that we are in a race, really, we are in a race to be able to solve this problem."
(Speaking to the National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, December 2, 2017)

"We're not committed to a peaceful resolution (with North Korea). We're committed to a resolution."
(December 18, 2017, BBC interview)
Mike Pence, Vice President "Our enemies should never doubt the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the United States of America ...America always seeks peace, but if we are forced to defend ourselves or our allies, we will do so with military power that is effective and overwhelming... Now, more than ever, your commander in chief is depending on you to be ready."
(October 27, 2017, speaking at Minot Air Force Base, home to 26 B-52 bombers and 150 intercontinental ballistic missile sites.)

"Under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready."
(April 18, 2017, speaking aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan in Japan)
Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina "If there's going to be a war to stop [Kim Jong Un, leader of the North Korean regime], it will be over there. If thousands die, they're going to die over there. They're not going to die here. And (Trump) told me that to my face."
"There is a military option: to destroy North Korea's nuclear program and North Korea itself."
(Interviews on CNN and NBC, July and November 2018)
Donald Trump "We think the Olympics [in South Korea in February] will go very nicely and after that, who knows?"
(February 1, 2018, when asked if there will be a U.S. war with North Korea soon.)

Clip: "Free Yourself from the GTF!"

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 5:7

Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 5:8

These imperialists make the Godfather look like Mary Poppins.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:7

How can we begin to build resistance and protest?

 

As you watch and read this material on this page—take the Korea quiz and print it up and take it to classrooms, take it out to malls, public transit, union meetings, churches and other religious institutions. Take it to meetings of Indivisible and other groups expressing opposition to Trump.

KOREA QUIZ

Before You Go Along With and Give Your Silent Approval to the Murder of Tens of Millions Koreans, Take This Quiz and See How Much You Really Know!

 

Learn from the people in Honolulu who held an emergency protest immediately after the false missile alert. Call for protests in your area—even a few people taking a principled stand for the interests of humanity can make a huge difference in times of crisis, and can grow quickly.

 

Print and distribute Carl Dix’s challenge to debate anyone over the U.S. threats of war against North Korea.

 

Share and spread the images below on social media.

Send reports, images, and videos to revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

Share with social media.

Share with social media.

Share with social media.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/american-crime-number-45-bay-of-pigs-invasion-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

American Crime

Case #45: The Bay of Pigs Invasion, 1961

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

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

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

THE CRIME:

On April 15, 1961, a mercenary army of Cuban counter-revolutionary exiles (often referred to as “gusanos,” “worms” in Spanish) launched an attack on Cuba with the intent of overthrowing the Cuban government of Fidel Castro. They were organized, armed, and led by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The operation’s first phase was a surprise attack on Cuban airports by CIA-trained pilots. The goal of this aerial attack was to destroy Cuba’s small air force as a prelude to a sea invasion by 1,300 CIA-trained Cuban mercenaries. It destroyed about half of Cuba’s planes, but not all, a fact that became important in the days that followed.

After the attack, a flotilla of chartered commercial freighters, carrying the 1,300 soldiers of “Brigade 2506,” left a port city in Nicaragua and made its way toward the coast of Cuba—escorted by a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier and five destroyers.

The invasion plan, written by top brass of the CIA and approved by the U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, the U.S. military Joint Chiefs of Staff and President John Kennedy, called for the heavily armed mercenaries to establish a beachhead in the relatively remote coastal area around La Bahia de Cochinos, the Bay of Pigs.

Once established with the help of CIA supplied air cover, the three landing groups would link up. The U.S. Navy would supply them with heavy equipment, including battle tanks and earth-moving equipment. Then a “Cuban Revolutionary Council” would be flown from Florida to the Bay of Pigs and recognized by the U.S. government as Cuba’s new, legitimate rulers. This would, according to the CIA, give the U.S. the legal right to intervene directly.

The plan began to unravel even before the first invaders reached shore. The landing groups were thrown off by coral reefs that rimmed the shore around the Bay of Pigs and other unexpected obstacles. The CIA expected the invasion to set off protests or uprisings against the Cuban government. Instead, in the days following the invasion, Cubans came out in large, angry demonstrations against U.S. imperialist aggression and in support of the Castro government. Tens of thousands of Cuban soldiers and militia set out to confront the invaders, which included mercenary paratroopers dropped to block roads to the landing beaches. Armed clashes took place on these roads with the mercenaries using terror weapons like phosphorous shells and air-dropped napalm. But these CIA mercenaries were overwhelmed by the Cuban army and militia. Meanwhile, pilots of the few planes left in the Cuban air force were able to destroy two of the chartered freighters loaded with ammunition and other supplies. Fearing a similar fate, other freighters fled the scene, leaving the CIA army stranded with little food and dwindling supplies of ammunition.

Angry demonstrations erupted around the world at U.S. embassies protesting this naked aggression against Cuba. The Kennedy administration realized the invasion was turning into a bloody and politically damaging debacle, and prohibited direct U.S. military involvement in the fighting.

Some 2,000 to 6,000 Cuban soldiers, militia personnel and others were killed, wounded or went missing in the first days of this U.S. organized assault. But by the evening of April 18, barely three days after they landed, the CIA’s invading force was falling apart. Soldiers of the mercenary Brigade 2506 tried to escape the beaches, and when that failed they surrendered to the Cuban revolutionary army and militia and were taken prisoners.

THE CRIMINALS:

President Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1960): Approved plan, written by the CIA and presented to him on March 17, 1960, to overthrow the Cuban government and assassinate its top political leadership, titled “A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime.”

President John Kennedy (1961-63): After assuming the presidency, Kennedy approved the CIA Bay of Pigs invasion plan. His biggest concern was that the U.S. hand in the operation be hidden as much as possible from public view and that it would allow his government “plausible deniability.” After the invasion fell apart, Kennedy, and his brother Robert, initiated Operation Mongoose, a sustained effort to assassinate Fidel Castro.

Allen Dulles, director of the CIA (1952 to November 1961). After overseeing the 1953 U.S. coup against the Mosaddegh government in Iran and the 1954 coup against the Árbenz Guzmán government in Guatemala, Dulles helped plan the Bay of Pigs invasion. He assumed the U.S. could not fail.

Richard Bissell: Bissell, a former professor of economics at Yale University, was put in charge of planning the Bay of Pigs invasion. Bissell chose veterans of the Guatemala coup to help with the Bay of Pigs. CIA radio broadcasts and anti-Castro newspapers and leaflets were part of the psychological and political preparation. Bissell believed the Cuban government would collapse under psychological stress of the invasion. He later wanted to enlist the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro, keeping the CIA’s hands “clean.”

U.S. military Joint Chiefs of Staff: The Joint Chiefs of Staff approved the Bay of Pigs operation. They supplied logistical support and weapons, including tanks, jeeps and trucks. A U.S. Navy ship supplied landing craft for the invasion and others were on hand to support the operation if necessary.

Cuban counter-revolutionary exiles (“gusanos”): These exiles, who fled Cuba after the 1959 revolution, were heavily recruited by the CIA for its invasion force. They included all manner of thugs and reactionaries: former military, police and political officials from the brutal, pro-U.S. Batista regime. They also included businessmen, officials of U.S.-owned companies, gangsters and other exploiters from the old regime, who aimed to recoup their lost fortunes and restore the U.S. stranglehold on Cuba.

THE ALIBI:

The U.S. claimed the Bay of Pigs invasion was the work of disaffected Cubans, who represented the feelings and aspirations of millions of Cubans, and made elaborate efforts to make the invasion look that way—with no U.S. involvement. For instance, the CIA trained its Cuban brigade on a remote base in Guatemala. The initial CIA air assault on Cuba’s Air Force was carried out using World War 2 vintage B-26 bombers like those used by the Cuban Air Force, with Cuban air force markings on their fuselages. When the bombing began, one pilot flew his B-26 to Miami and asked for asylum. He claimed to be part of a Cuban rebellion against Castro’s “communist” policies. U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson displayed pictures of this CIA fabrication later that day at the UN General Assembly in an attempt to prove the U.S. wasn’t involved.

Three days before the attack, President Kennedy told the media, “This government will do everything it possibly can . . . to make sure that there are no Americans involved in any actions inside Cuba.” Kennedy was worried that the U.S.’s hand would be exposed, but, if that happened, he could still say that no U.S. military personnel were involved. That was also a lie. Two CIA agents joined the invasion and crews of four of the six B-26s that flew air cover for the invaders were members of the Alabama Air National Guard recruited by the CIA.

THE REAL MOTIVE:

On January 1, 1959, a victorious army of rebels under the leadership of Fidel Castro rode into Havana, Cuba and declared the beginning of a new government. It was the culmination of a guerrilla war begun two years before against the regime of Fulgencio Batista, the latest in a long string of brutal, corrupt, pro-U.S. Cuban rulers.

The U.S. at first believed the Castro government would do as other regimes had done throughout the 60 years the U.S. dominated the island—capitulate in the face of its political, economic and military strength. Castro also sought to maintain normal relations with the U.S., but while he was not a revolutionary communist, his program of economic and political reforms alienated the U.S. These included increasing the wages of plantation workers and confiscation of land monopolized by U.S. owners, which were opposed by U.S. business interests. These moves, as well as the example of a successful revolution against a pro-U.S. regime, clashed with the U.S.’s strategic interests in the region. By late 1959 a consensus emerged among U.S. imperialists that the Castro regime had to be destroyed.

At that time the U.S. was the dominant power in the world but the Soviet Union, formerly a revolutionary socialist country, was a newly emerging capitalist-imperialist power beginning to challenge the U.S. all over the world. The Soviet Union used its reputation as a former socialist country, together with anti-colonial and anti-imperialist rhetoric to mask its real goals. With the growing hostility and threats to Cuba from the U.S., the Cuban government turned to the Soviet Union for help, increasing U.S. hostility. Such were the motivations and necessities behind the U.S.’s catastrophically unsuccessful, and thoroughly bloodthirsty, “Bay of Pigs” invasion.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_of_Pigs_Invasion

Bay of Pigs Declassified, edited by Peter Kornbluh, The New Press, 1998

Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro and America’s Doomed Invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs, Jim Rasenberger, Scribner, 2011

Playa Girón: Bay of Pigs: Washington's First Military Defeat in the Americas, by Fidel Castro and José Ramón Fernández, Pathfinder 2001

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/michael-slate-interview-with-carl-dix-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Michael Slate Interview with Carl Dix:

Attacks on Immigrants: A Step in the Consolidation of Fascist Rule

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following is from an interview with Carl Dix, February 2, 2018, on The Michael Slate Show, which airs every week at 10 am Pacific Time on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, a Pacifica Network station. The show is archived here.

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

Michael Slate: I want to welcome to the show Carl Dix. Carl is a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party. He’s also one of the initiators of Refuse Fascism. Carl, welcome to the show.

Carl, just a few weeks ago you attended a demonstration around Haitians who are being threatened with being removed from the country. There’s a massive ramping up of the overall assault on immigrants that was being demonstrated against in this march—tell us about it.

Carl Dix: The 1804 Movement for All Immigrants came together in the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s “shithole” comments. People were outraged at that on top of the removal of the temporary protective status for Haitian immigrants, but they were also motivated to reach out to other immigrants who were under attack, and that’s what brought mostly Haitian people but also others into the street. I believe it was January 19, we marched across the Brooklyn Bridge over to Wall Street and rallied in front of a building with Trump’s name on it. People spoke bitterness but also really exposed the venom of these attacks on immigrants and I was among the speakers at that rally.

Michael Slate: One of the important things about that rally is that there’s an onslaught against all kinds of immigrants—people from every part of the world, from the nations of the world that are most severely oppressed and depressed by the imperialist system. There is the need for people to stand up and fight against this. And I know this is something you’ve been wrestling with for quite some time.

Carl Dix: Yeah, because look, people have to really look at what’s going on. There is an intensifying war on immigrants and especially Black and Brown immigrants. People are literally being forced further to the margins of society. You go to work at 7-Eleven, you go for your regular check-in with the immigration services, you go to court to clear up traffic tickets, you go to school and all of this puts you at risk of being swept up, detained, and on the way out of the country. Frankly, for some people it’s on the way out of the country to countries that they have no knowledge and experience of because they were brought here as young children. There was a story about a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient whose DACA ran out the day before yesterday—and then yesterday was picked up by ICE and is now fighting deportation.

This is what’s going down and people have to look at this because it’s an important assault in its own right—no human being should fear being torn from their family, from their loved ones, from their lives because they happen not to have been born in this country. That should not be a threat hanging over human beings.

But the other thing about this is that this is a big step in the consolidation of fascist rule in this country and if you look at it for what it really is, it could’ve been taken out of Adolf Hitler’s playbook. A lot of people are saying well, Trump says some nice things and he put out a plan that could be a workable compromise around the immigration questions, and that is exactly not true. What he did in that was he went way out there on demonizing and criminalizing immigrants, going against the reality that immigrants commit less crimes than citizens.

What did Hitler do when he came to power? He actually started spinning out the lie that Jews were a criminal element. And he had to do that because the reality was the Jews committed fewer crimes than other Germans. But that demonizing and criminalizing was a beginning step in a process of carrying out genocide, and these attacks on immigrants have the same genocidal logic and genocidal direction and people need to see that. And it’s not just that the immigrants need to see that. Everybody needs to see that because no one should be willing to live in a society where these kinds of attacks can be brought down on people—and especially on people who have mostly been driven here in search of work and survival by the ways in which the U.S. and other imperialist countries have dominated and devastated their homelands. People should not have to put up with this and deal with this.

Michael Slate: There’s much more going on here which dictates that people go up against this—not just immigrants going up against it but non-immigrants standing with them and recognizing that this is actually the product of a fascist regime. And that’s not name-calling, that’s just reality and that has meaning for what the future of the world looks like.

Carl Dix: Yeah, exactly. This is something that everybody needs to take up; not just the immigrants but everybody. You can’t look at this like, oh, they’re going for somebody over there, that’s not me because we’ve seen this before, as well.

“First they came for the communists and I wasn’t a communist so I did nothing. Then they came for the trade unionists but I wasn’t a trade unionist so I did nothing. Then they came for the Jews but I was a Christian so I did nothing.” [I'm paraphrasing] the famous quote from Pastor Niemöller and it spoke to facing a fascist regime that demoralized and criminalized different sections of people, one by one, and cowed others to be paralyzed to stand aside while it went down and went forward with a direction and a logic that ended up crushing everybody.

We have to respond to this: you move first for the Muslims and the immigrants? No, not this time. You have struck us and we will stand up against you. And that’s got to be citizen, non-citizen, Black, Brown, white—everybody has to stand up on this. It is especially important for people who are being beckoned to go along with this talk about an “acceptable deal.” This deal is conciliating with the imposition of fascist rule. That’s all you can call this because what they’re trying to work out—it’s like they kidnap the Dreamers with Trump rolling back the DACA protections. It’s like he kidnapped them—then his ransom demands are $25 billion for the wall, new policies to intensify the targeting of other immigrants, cutting off even legal immigration and then you throw in the shithole comment and it is “Make America White Again.”

What goes along with this is more tightly enforced white supremacy and going back to the days when Black people could be lynched, Black women could be raped, with no recourse. You could not protest this; you couldn’t stand up against it. But not just for Black people again. You’ve got to look at this as a whole thing that’s coming down and people have to stand up, they have to stand up now. That’s why Refuse Fascism issued that statement:

“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!”

Because all of these assaults, and especially this one which is a major front in the advance the fascist regime is making—this has to be met with massive and determined resistance, again like I was saying by everybody, not just by those being mainly targeted. It also has to become a building block in bringing forward a movement that can drive out this regime before it’s too late.

Michael Slate: You know as I was preparing for this discussion I kept thinking about how they’re going after a lot of the leaders in the immigrant movement and they’re going after sanctuary cities as. It does hearken back to ethnic cleansing, Nazi norms and all that comes with this. I thought what you just said is extremely important. When you listen to Trump’s State of the Union, it says a whole hell of a lot about now, and what time it is and what it portends for the future. I think it’s really important—the point you were making about people need to get up and get out there to take this on. Really, there’s got to be a break here where people actually recognize what is going on. When I say break, I mean an opening up, a cracking open, and looking at what’s really at stake and what are they willing to do to stand up against this.

Carl Dix: Yeah and part of that is recognizing what we’re actually up against. Too many people are holding faith that this can’t really happen here because we have these “checks and balances,” because there’s this legacy of democracy. And the thing that they refuse to acknowledge is that this has happened here and it is happening right now and the direction of things right now is headed to far, far worse conditions. Because if you want to say that fascism can’t happen here how do you explain Jim Crow segregation and lynch mob terror? How do you explain the rape of Recy Taylor, a Black woman who was gangraped at gun point by six white men and who, when she complained, got no justice at all and not because the rapists denied it but because white men had the power and privilege to rape Black women at will, not only under slavery but under Jim Crow segregation.

Don’t tell me it can’t happen here because it already has and it is happening right now and it can be and it will become far, far worse if we don’t recognize it for what it is and stand up against it. And also, I don’t want to hear that it’s somebody else’s fight. I was at a program last night where people were talking about, saying, well, Black people, we’ve been through this. Look, Black people have suffered horrific abuse and terror but that is no reason for standing aside from a fascist regime moving to consolidate itself. One, because you don’t want to see this inflicted on other people but two, it’s very shortsighted to say we’ve been through this before so we’re going to stand back because you may not be number one or number two target but when the “shithole-and-chief” talks about shithole countries he’s not going to stop at well, you have citizenship now, yeah your ancestors came from that country but you’re a citizen now so you’re cool. You’re on the list, you’re going to get come after and we have to not wait for it to get to us but stand up and stop it before it can devastate any more lives.

That’s what we’re up against and that’s what needs to go down. I say that as somebody who knows none of these horrors started with the shithole that’s in the White House right now but that it’s all being intensified and if we allow the direction and momentum of this regime to go to where it’s heading—to the imposition of all-out fascism—it would be far, far, far harder to do anything about it.

I’ve dedicated my life to making revolution to end the horrors that this capitalist-imperialist system brings down on people and I promote the leadership of Bob Avakian because he’s pointed the way out of this. But at the same time the revolutionary movement is throwing all-in to stop the imposition of fascism because that is a phase that the revolution has to go through and anybody who has any other progressive plan for how society should be has to understand we have to stop this imposition of fascism and drive this regime out. We can debate and discuss what the vision of the future needs to be. But we’ve got to drive this regime out, this nightmare must end. The Trump/Pence regime must go.

Michael Slate: All right Carl... how can people get in touch with you if they want to talk with you about what you said?

Carl Dix: Well, three things. RefuseFascism.org—go to the website, stay up on the plans. Also go to revcom.us and if you want to hit me in particular, hit me on Twitter. That’s @Carl_Dix.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/pence-ratchets-up-american-threats-at-winter-olympics-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Mike Pence Disrespects Koreans and Ratchets Up American Threats at Winter Olympics

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

One of the most beautiful and moving Olympic opening ceremonies I can remember began in PyeongChang, South Korea, with the united Korean (North Korea and South Korea) Olympic athletes entering the arena together.

A united Korean Olympic team was a show of unity between the two adversarial countries. The Korea Times described it this way:

It was the unrehearsed joint parade of the two Koreas that possibly best expressed the theme of South Korea’s first Winter Olympics....

The joint delegation of 46 North Koreans and 219 South Koreans received thunderous applause from 35,000 spectators as they marched together inside the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium under a unified flag.

Among the athletes were 35 women’s ice hockey players—23 South Koreans and 12 North Koreans—from the first unified Korean Olympic team.

The athletes mingled together, smiling and waving blue-and-white Korean Peninsula flags as they paraded to “Arirang,” a popular folk song in both Koreas, behind joint flag bearers (one from North Korea and one from South Korea).

As the united team marched in, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence refused to stand to honor the athletes of the host country, while it appeared that the rest of those in his VIP box stood. Pence and his wife were seated in the box with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s younger sister, Kim Yo-jong; South Korean President Moon Jae-in and wife, Kim Jung-sook; along with other high ranking IOC (International Olympic Committee) members and VIPs from 21 countries. Later reports stated that Shinzo Abe also did not stand.

Two hockey players, one from North Korea and another from South Korea, took the Olympic torch to South Korean figure skating superstar Yuna Kim to light the Olympic cauldron.

Through all this, Mike Pence sat. Pence’s refusal to stand for the united Korean Olympic team was a show of disrespect for the Korean people. Even more, it was a message to South Korea, the host country, that they better get in line with how the U.S. wants to deal with North Korea.

It has been obvious that Mike Pence’s role at the Olympics was to ratchet up America’s dangerous assault on North Korea. He said he was going to announce the harshest economic sanctions against North Korea. He brought Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, who died after his release from imprisonment in North Korea, as his guest to send the message that North Korea is a villainous state. On the opening day of the Olympics, Pence denounced North Korea for holding a military parade the day before the games opened, calling it “an ongoing provocation”—this as the U.S. continues to amass a genocidal arsenal on North Korea’s doorstep (see "Winter Olympics: Trump: 'We Think the Olympics Will Go Very Nicely, and After that, Who Knows?'"). All of this was part of the Trump/Pence regime’s ongoing preparations for a possible war, and its stand that the total annihilation of North Korea is “one of the options that is on the table.”

As the opening ceremonies came to an end, four Korean singers took center stage and sang John Lennon’s “Imagine.” At the end, they sang the last verse over and over again:

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.

Mike Pence’s spirit and actions at the Olympics ran directly counter to these sentiments and point to the grave danger the Trump/Pence regime represents to the billions who share those hopes for global peace and understanding—not war!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/awtwns-debate-about-polish-death-camps-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

From A World to Win News Service

The Weaponization and Targets of the Debate About "Polish Death Camps"

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Revcom.us editors’ note: This article came out shortly before the bill discussed here, criminalizing the use of the term “Polish death camps,” was signed by the president of Poland on February 6.

 

February 4, 2018. A World to Win News Service. Poland’s parliament has passed a bill criminalizing the use of the term “Polish death camps” to refer to Auschwitz and other concentration camps located in Poland where about three million Jews and as many as three million other people were killed during World War 2. This law is a serious step in Poland’s march toward implementing fascism. At the same time, the widespread condemnation of this law has been marked by falsification and hypocrisy on a grand scale.

The bill, now awaiting the Polish president’s signature, threatens up to three years in prison for “whoever accuses, publicly and against the facts, the Polish nation, or the Polish state, of being responsible or complicit in the Nazi crimes committed by the Third Reich.” People engaged in “artistic or scientific activities” could be exempted. But their fate would be up to a court system increasingly under the control of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS),* whose Interior Minister notoriously called a neo-Nazi march of tens of thousands last November a “beautiful sight.”

The law is a provocation, deliberately inviting criticism by the European Union and Israel, so as to paint Poland a victim. It was carefully written to withstand legal challenges. Narrowly considered and taken without context, it does not trample on the facts. It is incontestable that there was no Polish state at the time of the Holocaust. Unlike other countries that were invaded or otherwise dominated by Germany during the war, like Hungary, France, Norway, etc., the Nazis smashed the existing state and ruled Poland with no local collaborationist government. They considered Poles and all Slavs an inferior “race” only slightly better than Jews. Auschwitz-Birkenau and other death camps on Polish soil were entirely German operations.

As for the part about “the Polish nation,” while it might be arguable in court, the use of “nation” is mystical (implying that Poles who aided the Nazis should not be considered truly Polish), and leaves out the following basic facts.

Anti-Semitism played a basic part in the construction of Poland’s identity as a Catholic nation—an identity revived by its current government. Somewhat like white supremacy in the US, the exclusion and oppression of Jews were built into the structure of Polish society. Ordinary Poles committed mass violence against Jews long before the Nazi invasion, during the occupation, and even after the defeat of the occupying German army.

Accounts of Jews who survived the genocide describe the dilemma of desperately needing help to hide or flee, and yet not being able to trust the Poles around them. The problem was not that all non-Jewish Poles were anti-Semitic but there was usually no way of knowing in advance what any particular Polish person would do. Many betrayed Jews to the Nazis, some out of fear, others out of prejudice or greed. In one notorious case (Jedwabne, 1941), more than three hundred Jews were rounded up, locked in a barn and burned to death by their own neighbours without Nazi intervention.

Yet many Poles risked their lives or died to defend victims of the Nazis. For instance, the revolt of Jews imprisoned by the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto would not have been able to hold out as long as it did without weapons and medical supplies smuggled in from the outside by some Polish underground forces and ordinary civilians. Polish families welcomed escapees from the ghetto into their apartments, taking care of them until they could recover from starvation, illness or wounds and resume their flight. If the Germans found them in someone’s home, all the family members and often the building concierge would be shot. To take one example, the Iwanska family living outside the ghetto walls was in charge of the sewer that was a main conduit for people and supplies. They also set up an infirmary in their flat. The parents learned that their young son had joined the Jewish resistance only when they found his corpse among the bodies of other fallen fighters they were helping bring out for burial. While one-sidedly absolving the “Polish nation”, the Polish government does not honour such heroes.

       

It’s right to put the main blame on the Nazis. But there is a great deal of hypocrisy on the part of the reactionaries criticising Poland for all this. The founders and early leaders of today’s German state included many people who had been complicit in the Nazi regime. Moreover, the US and UK refused to take action to stop the functioning of the death camps. Survivors of Auschwitz recount their feeling of utter abandonment when they saw British and American bombers flying overhead to hit targets considered strategic for the US and UK’s war aims. Those aims did not include saving lives by destroying the railway system carrying people to their death at the rate of tens of thousands a day. In ignoring these facts, most of the international condemnation of Poland for avoiding responsibility for the genocide is profoundly self-serving and dishonest.

The Polish government’s stance towards the Holocaust is the opposite of “Never again.” The point of this law is to wipe the slate clean and start out all over, exalting the unstained “Polish nation”—“Pure Poland, white Poland” as the neo-Nazi marchers in November chanted—burnishing the image of the Catholic fascism that is its ideology, and embracing calls for “a Muslim Holocaust” this time. Criticizing this regime for distorting history cannot evade the question of why this is happening now. Further, Poland can’t be treated as just an odd case, intrinsically and uniquely flawed. Its government is very conscious of its role as a spearhead of the fascist trend in Europe, now in power in Ukraine, Poland, Hungry, Slovakia and Austria, and strongly influencing “mainstream politics” in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy and other countries, including the UK. Perversely, the Trump administration has joined in criticizing this Polish law to advance its own fascist agenda and ideology. Like the new law itself, this requires explanation and context.

Trump has particularly close ties with the Polish government. His first overseas visit was to Warsaw, where unlike previous US presidents and other heads of state, he skipped the formality of visiting Auschwitz. Poles understood his speech calling on them to “defend with your life” the fight for “family, for freedom, for country, and for God” as an encouragement of the fascist project. Why would the US regime, headed by someone infamous for saying there are “fine people” among Nazis and other white supremacists, be bothered by this new law?

The reason was revealed by his vice president Mike Pence in a speech on Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, around the same time that Poland’s parliament passed the bill. Pence...frankly put forward the religious fundamentalist vision shared by Trump’s evangelical “base” as a whole, sanctifying Trump’s programme for a fascist country seeking to become “great again” on a world level even at the cost of nuclear war and the genocidal slaughter of millions, starting with Koreans. These “Christian Zionists,” as many call themselves, believe that we are entering the “end-times” of history, the second coming of Christ, soon to occur when Jews take over all of Jerusalem and accept him as their saviour. (At that time, those Jews who fail to convert to Christianity will be consigned to eternal flames like all other non-believers.) This ideology, with the apocalyptic wars it welcomes, is no less potentially genocidal in its implications than Nazism.

Of course, until that day, these people and their führer Donald Trump will back the state of Israel, a key outpost needed for the US’s world-crushing project. Christian and other varieties of fascism, and Zionism, are bound to be embroiled in doctrinal conflicts, but they are celebrating a marriage made in hell. Israeli leaders criticized the Polish law for criminalizing political and historical debate. But what are the chances that this argument will be applied to their own government for criminalizing debate about the origins of Israel, built on the expulsion and subjugation of the Palestinians!? And how can Israeli politicians scold Poland on free speech grounds when they recently made it illegal for anyone anywhere in the world to support the boycott of the Zionist state? (A position shared by the US and France.)

People need to realize what’s going on with these supposedly “historical” debates. The point is not that history necessarily repeats itself, nor that we can understand our world today by searching for analogies from the past. But events in recent memory show what could happen—that the kind of things that at one moment seem unthinkable can, as contradictions tighten, come to pass. Looking at the aims behind today’s “historical” debate, we can see where the rise of fascism could take humanity. That’s how history will judge us—and what should determine our course of action.


* Note from revcom.us: For more on PiS, the ruling party in Poland whose initials stand for “Law and Justice,” see “Fascists on the March in Poland.” [back]

 

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

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/awtwns-art-from-guantanamo-prison-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

From a World to Win News Service:

"Ode to the Sea"—Art from Guantánamo Prison

February 9, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

February 4, 2018. A World to Win News Service. This was an unusual art exhibition in many ways.

For one thing, the paintings, sculptures and installations made by Guantánamo prisoners were not on view in a gallery or museum. They were hung in a corridor in New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which unlike other art venues has neither an exorbitant admission fee nor an unspoken dress code, but does require visitors to have their ID details recorded. A policeman was posted at the show entrance. (The exhibition closed January 28, but the visuals and texts can still be accessed at www.artfromguantanamo.com and www.postprintmagazine.com)

For another thing, as curator Erin Thompson points out in the catalogue, “Some of the detainees’ works look like art exercises produced by students anywhere—but they were made by men shackled to the floor of the art classroom.”

Further, for the eight artists included in this show, the sea means something very different than the kind of picturesque setting some people seek out as a suitable subject for open air painting. They didn’t seek their sea-side location at all. They were brought to Guantánamo in chains, some after months and even years of torture and solitary confinement, often beaten along the way, and when they got there, threatened with drowning. And despite the fact that since then they have spent 10 to 16 years in cells only a few meters from the water’s edge, they are not allowed to see the sea.

Their view of the bay is deliberately obstructed by fences covered with canvas. A prisoner quoted in the show texts says that when holes appeared and men tried to see through them, they saw more rows of covered fences. Only once, for a few days when a hurricane approached, were the tarps removed. For the most part, curator Thompson writes, these prisoners paint not what they see but what they wish they could see.

Thompson discusses why the sea—its waters and shores, sometimes soothing and sometimes devouring, and boats, sometimes nostalgic and sometimes terrifyingly empty—is such a major theme here, although not the only one. Seldom are there people in these works. We see hands and eyes, but rarely are full faces depicted.

One reason, of course, is that human portraits take more skill and imperfections ruin them. All the more because these prisoners most often work with brushes or their hands, not allowed to use pencils, palette knives or any other hard object. Thompson mentions that Islamic thought—all of these men are from Muslim-majority countries—often forbids human representation. She also says that many of the prisoners, particularly from Afghanistan, have never seen an ocean, and wanted to be shown what one looks like.

But the most striking reasons, she concludes, have to do with the conditions of their confinement. The U.S. military scrutinizes and scans every piece of paper leaving Guantánamo, supposedly to check for hidden messages. Any artwork considered to have political or ideological content is not allowed out. That means it’s forbidden to depict suffering. Prisoners understand that their artwork will be examined to determine their state of mind. Any display of anger—or any emotional expression the authorities deem a sign of a dangerous disposition—will be held against them. The majority of the 41 men remaining in Guantánamo have never been charged, and five have been “cleared for release” but remain imprisoned, so that any hope that they will not die there depends on the pleasure of the authorities.

No matter where any of these men may stand in relation to jihadi groups or Islamic fundamentalism in general, trends contending with Western imperialist domination with the goal of establishing extremely oppressive states and societies, that is not an apparent issue in any of the 36 pieces in this show. The underlying theme is how the criminal treatment inflicted on these prisoners has shaped how they see the world. For them the sea is a safe subject—and can serve as a screen on which their feelings, however deliberately muted, can be projected. Some of the pieces in this show are moving even if you didn’t know much about the context in which they were produced. A few are memorable.

One is by Ammar Al-Baluchi, a Kuwait-born Pakistani citizen held and tortured by the CIA for three and a half years before being brought to Guantánamo, where he is still being tortured, according to the UN Human Rights Office (Independent, December 14, 2017). His Vertigo at Guantánamo is an abstract drawing meant to show the sensations that have afflicted him since suffering brain damage during “enhanced interrogation”.

Ahmed Rabbani’s non-representational work is also powerfully evocative. A taxi driver from Karachi, he says, he has spent almost 13 years in Guantánamo after being detained and tortured by the CIA. He has gone on several hunger strikes to proclaim his innocence, and endured force-feeding through tubes inserted in a way meant to be very painful. He describes his Untitled (Binoculars Pointed at the Moon) as a response to his “infatuation” with the November 2016 “strange event where the moon was at its closest point to the earth since 70 years ago.” The catalogue adds, “The countless unseeing eyes at the end of binoculars seem to represent the authorities who have scrutinized every aspect of Rabbani’s life without, as he claims, understanding it at all.”

The show also includes more conventional but still effective work. Ghaleb Al-Binhani’s lighthouse has gone dark. Djamel Ameziane, a refugee from Algeria, made the watercolour Untitled (Shipwrecked Boat) after being held for five additional years, even though “cleared for release”, before being sent back to the country he had fled. He told his lawyers that at the time he felt like the empty, battered, storm-driven ship it depicts. Muhammad Ansi, the artist most represented in this show, also paints the sea as an all-consuming monster in Untitled (Storm at Sea). In Untitled (Alan Kurdi), after the famous photos of the drowned Syrian refugee child lying on a beach, the seething sea is not so much a force of nature as the tormented world where he and Alan and all of us live.

One last reason why this show was unique: Obama’s policy toward Guantánamo (and torture) was carefully ambiguous, as if it were an embarrassment and it would be best if the public didn’t think about it. Trump, the banner of Muslims and an extremely loud advocate of torture, has promised to “load it up”—making it emblematic of the way he intends to run the country and the world. Maybe that’s what this powerful exhibition was meant to warn about.

The show so enraged the U.S. military that it announced that from now on all art produced in its Caribbean hellhole would be considered government property. None of the art that has escaped can be sold, and no more will be allowed out. Journalists have been told that the U.S. government intends to burn it all. A few days after the exhibition closed, Trump announced the prison will be kept open for new arrivals

 

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

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/cheers-for-guggenheim-gold-toilet-for-trump-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Cheers to Guggenheim Museum—for Offering a Gold Toilet in Response to Trump's Request for a Van Gogh Painting

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

After Trump became president, the White House sent a request to the prestigious and world-renowned Guggenheim Museum in New York City, asking to borrow a painting for the private living quarters of Donald and Melania Trump. The painting they wanted was a 1888 work by Vincent van Gogh, Landscape with Snow.

Nancy Spector, the Guggenheim’s artistic director, emailed back on September 15, saying the request could not be accommodated and offered another piece: an 18-karat solid gold toilet, titled America. The fully working toilet—which visitors could use—had been on exhibit at the Guggenheim for a year in a public bathroom. Spector wrote that the artist of the piece, Maurizio Cattelan, “would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan” and that “It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care.” Cattelan, well known in the art world for satirical and provocative works, has described the golden toilet as “1 percent art for the 99 percent.”

Spector’s email to the White House, which included a photograph of the toilet “for your reference,” ended by saying, “We are sorry not to be able to accommodate your original request, but remain hopeful that this special offer may be of interest.” On the day after Trump was elected, Spector wrote on Instagram: “This must be the first day of our revolution to take back our beloved country from hatred, racism, and intolerance. Don’t mourn, organize.” Back in August, near the end of the museum’s exhibit of Cattelan’s America, Spector wrote that Trump’s term has been “marked by scandal and defined by the deliberate rollback of countless civil liberties, in addition to climate-change denial that puts our planet in peril.” And in a piece on the museum’s website titled “Creativity Has No Borders: Art Against the Immigration Ban,” Spector wrote, “In Trump’s America, the sustained assault on basic human and civil rights—the travel ban being only one example—calls for a decisive and unflinching response from the art community.”

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/antifascist-stanford-professor-accused-of-being-terrorist-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Antifascist Stanford Professor Accused of Being a Terrorist by a Right-wing Campus Publication

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

In an op-ed piece in the Guardian, Stanford Professor David Palumbo-Liu says he has come under attack for being a member of the Campus Antifascist Network. Palumbo-Liu states, ‘Last month, the Stanford Review, a rightwing publication co-founded by Peter Thiel [a billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist who supports Donald Trump] and based on my university campus, wrote that I have helped set up an “organization [that is] undeniably a chapter of a terrorist group’ and demanded my resignation. Their article was picked up by groups like JihadWatch, Campus Fix, Campus Reform, Fox & Friends, and other rightwing media outlets.”

Palumbo-Liu writes, “The attack on me is part of a broader phenomenon noted by the American Association of University Professors, which claims that college campuses are the new battleground for conservative groups, far-right organizations and white supremacists. These groups are all trying to intimidate faculty and students, to recruit members, and to attract publicity. Not just careers and reputations are on the line—often personal safety is as well.”

He goes on. “Today, we are seeing the resurgence of a wretched phenomenon we thought we had put behind us—McCarthyism, which involves ‘the use of tactics involving personal attacks on individuals by means of widely publicized indiscriminate allegations especially on the basis of unsubstantiated charges.’”

Besides combating fascism, Palumbo-Liu has been involved as a scholar-activist working on issues such as sexual assault and Palestine. Palumbo-Liu has received threats, like other professors who are opposing the fascist Trump/Pence regime.

Palumbo-Liu says that Stanford University administrators have done nothing to come to his defense. Sev­­­en hundred members of the Stanford community have signed a letter in support of Palumbo-Liu, and seven Stanford Law School professors who teach classes on constitutional law sent a letter to the Stanford Daily supporting Palumbo-Liu stating, “We are concerned that the article (in the Stanford Review) advocates for the resignation of a professor based on his constitutionally protected speech regarding issues of public concern. Free expression of ideas is the lifeblood of an open society as well as a university. We are concerned that these values of open discourse and free debate be preserved and defended.”

As Raymond Lotta said in his January 2017 speech (“It IS Fascism—and the University Must Be a Zone of Resistance”) at the Social Emergency Forum at the Massachusetts Institution of Technology:

But now the stakes and challenges are raised qualitatively. Because of what this (Trump/Pence) regime represents AND the fact that the university will be targeted on a whole other scale: for educating and protecting undocumented immigrants... for facilitating scholarship that challenges the official narrative of “America’s greatness” and Trump’s sick vision of making “America great—read that as ‘white’—again”... for granting academic positions to professors from “suspect” countries and cultures.

The university must be turned into a zone of resistance. Not sealed off from but opening into society—setting an example and inspiring others to act—and joining with others in mass resistance. People cannot fall into—and it behooves everyone to follow out—the logic of “preserving” what we have or “my work.” That is the politically and morally unacceptable logic of turning inward and turning your back on what is demanded of us at this perilous time. It is the logic, whatever one’s intentions, of complicity, of going along with horrors you never imagined possible but helped make possible—because you didn’t raise your head and you didn’t raise your voice when the costs were high.

Defending David Palubo-Liu and other professors who are under attack by the fascists is an important element of opposing the fascist Trump/Pence regime on the campuses and building a mass movement to drive these fascists out of power.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/agents-of-change-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Check It Out:

Agents of Change

February 13, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“As the Trump administration continues to promote racist anti-immigrant policies, this film serves as a reminder of how college students have been at the forefront of protests for inclusion and diversity for the past 50 years. The film highlights the events which took place at SF State [San Francisco State University] and Cornell University in 1968 to 1969 and reveals how far we have come and how far we have yet to go as a society that proclaims equality but fails to implement it.”
(From AFAM Point of View)

 

On the day this film was shown at Harvard University, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois was speaking at the Kennedy School of Government. In the Q&A at that event, several students rose to challenge Sen. Durbin on the inaction of the Democratic Party around the fate of not just Dreamers, but of immigrant communities as a whole. Over and over Sen. Durbin answered their challenge with, “Do the math, we don’t have the votes.” Agents of Change is a film about a time where an entirely different kind of math was in use. The film examines the four-month long San Francisco State strike and the occupation of Cornell University when students demanded that Black studies and ethnic studies be added to the school curriculum. It shows students who were not counting on votes of an establishment vested in the preservation of white supremacy and the elite institutions of education. In contrast there was a generation willing to take on the establishment and demand change—by organizing and mobilizing the minority in those institutions to take determined direct action.

Through archival footage and interviews with student leaders at the time, the film depicts the process through which those who had justice on their side rebelled because they had had enough, and they wanted to make a statement that no one could miss. And by taking this stand, they compelled the entire university and the broader society to take a side. In San Francisco, the students who went on strike were joined by faculty and then by the broader community who defied the clown puppet university president S.I. Hayakawa (who had been installed by then Gov. Ronald Reagan) to crush the strike. At Cornell University a conservative faculty and broadly clueless white student body were convulsed into months of mass teach-ins which transformed into a more positive polarization—due to the uncompromising and determined actions of Black students who were responding to a cross burning in front of the dorms housing Black female students recently admitted to the university. After facing threats from the Klan, students occupying the student activities center felt they needed to arm themselves in self-defense.

Both student actions were seminal events in the late 1960s that sparked and inspired literally thousands of similar demands and actions across the country. Real changes were not made by orderly attempts to work within the system. Change happened when people stepped outside those dead-end confines and when they did, they actually challenged the way millions of people think. While they met stubborn opposition and ruthless repression from those who ran the system and those who liked and wanted to defend that old-time white supremacy... millions more were changed through those societal convulsions and won to stand with the oppressed who were rebelling.

At a time when those gains are now under fascist assault it’s good to learn how they were won in the first place. This film can help in opening up some needed and renewed ways of thinking about the horrible present and how to transform it, and in wrangling with the process of repolarizing society for revolution. It’s worth checking out, watching together with other people and discussing.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/jeff-sessions-addresses-sheriffs-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Jeff Sessions Addresses Sheriffs...Goes Full KKK Grand Lizard

February 15, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions left his white hood and robe at home when he addressed an association of U.S. sheriffs on Monday in Washington, DC, but that didn’t stop him from going full-on Klukker and praising the single law enforcement institution most connected to America’s history of brutal oppression of Black people, Mexicanos and Native Americans:

I want to thank every sheriff in America. Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people's protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elected process... The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement...We must never erode this historic office.

Grand Lizard Sessions says that the sheriff has been “the people’s protector.” NO—it has been the protector of those with power and privilege and an instrument of terror against the oppressed, while drawing backward sections of the people into carrying out that terror. But it sure as hell is part of the “Anglo-American heritage”—the white supremacist history—of this country, which was founded on enslavement of Black people and genocide against Native Americans, justified by the supposed “superiority” of white people, and enforced by whips, chains, and guns, by rape and murder. This “Anglo-American” heritage continues and is viciously carried out to this day.

In the U.S., the forerunners of the sheriffs were slave patrols. First set up by the county courts in South Carolina in 1704, these were “roving bands of armed white citizens who would stop, question, and punish slaves caught without a permit to travel.” In 1850 the federal Fugitive Slave Act gave sheriffs the authority to hunt down runaway slaves in the free states and return them to the slavemasters.

In the U.S., sheriffs have a very important power—known as posse comitatus—to “deputize” and arm civilians to hunt down “criminals.” Those “deputized” were often racist whites, and these posses often targeted Black, Latino or Native American people, as happened in 1919, in Elaine, Arkansas, when Black sharecroppers attempted to organize a union:

The planters also mobilized. Sheriff Frank Kitchens deputized a massive white posse ... Hundreds of white veterans, recently returned from military service in France, flocked to the courthouse. Dividing into small groups, the armed white men set out into the countryside to search for the sharecroppers. The posse believed that a black conspiracy to murder white planters had just been begun and that they must do whatever it took to put down the alleged uprising. The result was the killing of 237 African Americans.

The racist reactionary role of sheriffs continued into modern times. In vast rural areas, sheriffs are a law unto themselves, often meting out “rough justice,” or letting people off for a bribe.

In the cities, no better.  It was Sheriff Jim Clark who organized the mob that, together with police, savagely beat civil rights marchers crossing Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma Alabama in 1965. It was Sheriff Joe Arpaio who for decades carried out massive racial profiling of Latinos in Arizona, even setting up what he proudly called a “concentration camp” for immigrants, where many died. And it was the fascist Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke who called for intensified surveillance of Muslim people and spoke at the Republican National Convention that nominated Trump.

In the middle of Black History Month, Grand Lizard Sessions spoke to an audience of swaggering pigs (a.k.a. sheriffs). He drew upon a past of legalized racist brutality to point to the future he and the rest of the fascist Trump/Pence regime are intent on bringing into being: making American White again. They must not be allowed to do so.

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018


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

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018


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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/hunger-strike-at-ice-detention-center-in-tacoma-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

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

February 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From readers in the Northwest:

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.

The NWDC is a battleground in the Trump/Pence fascist regime’s advance toward ethnic cleansing. It is privately owned and run for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). And it is part of a national network of immigrant detention centers which Trump plans to double in size. 

On February 4, a People's Tribunal was held by NWDC Resistance outside the NWDC’s walls and barbed wire fences, exposing the ongoing inhumane conditions inside and demanding they be ended. A Refuse Fascism contingent was part of the 200 to 300 people at this tribunal.

On February 7, NWDC Resistance issued a press release saying at least 120 detained migrants had begun on a hunger strike, coming on the heels of a work stoppage by detainees working in the kitchen. The strikers are demanding an end to these conditions: food is not edible; food in solitary confinement is not enough; the use of solitary confinement, especially as retaliation, is widespread; guards constantly search beds and cells without reason; and unfair hearings and increasingly high bonds ($35,000) cause indefinite detention, as do long delays in carrying out any deportation orders.

On February 10, NWDC Resistance shared reports that at least two people had been assaulted and injured by guards for refusing to eat, and on February 11 people came and protested outside. Activist Maru Mora-Villalpando, who in an effort to silence her was recently placed under threat of deportation by ICE, spoke. She said that solitary confinement is full. One of the two men beaten for hunger striking has an eye injury, is in solitary, and has been refused medical attention. Another person who had a stroke and was refused proper medical care now has further visible injuries as a result (bruised around the arms, neck, and head).

Based on what is known at this time, there are 150 still on strike. NWDC Resistance reports that they are hearing from others inside saying they are joining, while some are ending the strike because of retaliation and abuse. Immigrants at NORCOR jail, used by ICE to detain people in Oregon, are reportedly also planning on striking, in solidarity.

Maru Mora-Villalpando said, “When you talk about hunger strikers, remember the people inside are activists, and are being retaliated against because of that. We are going to continue to go against those that put their hands on these people until they are brought to justice.”

On February 12, NWDC Resistance called on supporters outside to: “Join us for a week of hunger strike solidarity by observing a one day hunger strike anytime today, Monday, February 12 to Sunday February 18. For one week we will do a rolling hunger strike in solidarity with the hunger strike and work stoppage currently happening in the Northwest Detention Center...”

We will keep you updated on this situation.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/refusefascism-org-january-2018-national-tour-summary-of-findings-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

RefuseFascism.org,
January 2018 National Tour:
Summary of Findings

by Refuse Fascism, February 13, 2018

February 15, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Background:

RefuseFascism.org is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in our recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power. This means working and organizing with all our creativity and determination toward the time when many thousands of people will fill the streets of cities and towns in nonviolent protests that continue day after day and night after night, growing in numbers and spreading throughout the country to force those in power to meet our single unifying demand: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

On November 4th, 2017 Refuse Fascism (RF) began a serious first attempt at this by mobilizing four thousand people to protest with courage and conviction in more than 20 cities in defiance of a wave of fascist lies, threats, and armed Nazis. People were not yet ready to engage in continuing sustained protest. Nonetheless, November 4 was a harbinger.

We pledge to follow through on our mission to mobilize the people to vote with their feet in the streets to drive out the Trump/Pence Regime—to act with courage and conviction embodying the morality and stakes of this moment: In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.

Refuse Fascism National Tour: January 2018

In early January, RefuseFascism.org launched a national tour to build on what we have accomplished and to go to work on fulfilling our mission. Members of Refuse Fascism’s national and local leadership traveled to Chicago, the Bay Area, New York City, and Los Angeles and teamed up with the steering committees of local chapters. We met with hundreds of people, representatives of 20 organizations, and initial gatherings of faith and student task forces. Substantial discussions were held with Refuse Fascism activists and organizers. There were also important national fundraising meetings.

Tour Goals:

[1]The main purpose of this tour was to conduct outreach, “active investigation,” and on that basis to forge unity and strategic working relations with organizations and community leaders towards the objective of driving the regime from power. Active investigation is a way of engaging, struggling, and uniting with others about how to understand the problem that humanity confronts with Trump/Pence Regime and what must be done to stop its drive to consolidate fascism in this country with potentially existential stakes for humanity.

[2] To forge and train wider rungs of national leadership of Refuse Fascism, as well as to strengthen the chapter leading groups and our broader membership. This included beginning work to establish religious and student task forces. It also included holding mass invitational meetings in each city to involve new people in Refuse Fascism.org.

Main Findings

The following are two main themes of analysis that the tour consistently returned to and deepened.

[1] In its first year, the Trump/Pence Regime has made significant strides in imposing a fascist remaking of society, shattering the political, social and cultural norms of U.S. society and international relations.

At the same time, the regime has been increasingly normalized, accommodated, and conciliated with, including among those who are outraged.

There continues to be a very deep and wide reservoir of people numbering in the tens of millions who are profoundly disturbed and angered by the Trump/Pence Regime and who continue to want to act on this, even if not yet in ways commensurate with stopping a fascist regime. In January people were preparing to go out for the anniversary of the Women’s Marches which this year drew a still very significant 1.5 million people compared to 4.5 million the day after the inauguration in 2017. And, it is significant that there have been over 8,000 protests in the past year, including many small protests with civil disobedience around immigration.

We confirmed and deepened our sense going into the tour that the principal contradiction we face in seeking to mobilize these millions in sustained day after day political protest is between people’s continued deep revulsion at the regime on the one hand, and, on the other hand, their unwillingness as yet to break out of the comfort zone and relative stability of their lives which combines with their expectation and hope that others (the Democratic Party, the courts, other institutions of society) will solve the problem of this regime for them.

People see the abnormality of the regime, but continue to think and act within normal channels. This basic assessment was deepened through all the interactions we had. Key political and ideological questions that contribute to this, and which pose pathways for transforming this through struggle, were more keenly identified, as delineated in a concentrated form in this report, and which will be further developed on our website, RefuseFascism.org.

Normalization among the more politically engaged people often takes the form of fatigue with the relentless pace of the tearing up of governing and civil norms. There has been attrition and demoralization in many of the activist groups who have been pressuring Congress, with people returning to their lives and hoping that somehow the nightmare will end. Despite proclaiming “a year of victories” by many national leaders of grassroots electoral groups such as Indivisible, we found that the mood or reality at the base of these organizations is highly contradictory with significant attrition. The passage of the tax bill demoralized those who expected quick victories. Many who are outraged are also rendered passive spectators by the nightly breathless revelations by Rachel Maddow and the anticipation she builds that Mueller’s investigation or some other scandal will spell the regime’s undoing – all while more horrors are locked into place.

In this context, it is important that we found an increased openness to meet with Refuse Fascism and to listen to and engage a serious analysis of the regime and our program and plan for driving out the regime compared to six months ago.

[2] There is a profound need to continuously wage the fight for people to grasp that the Trump/Pence Regime is fascist and that they are in the process of consolidating fascism. And, that fascism is a game-changer which poses an existential threat to all of humanity. More people are willing to call the regime fascist, yet for most people this is more of a curse, and the reality of what this means is not well understood.

We had to make the case for [a] what is fascism and [b] why it could and is happening here–going into its roots as well as the program put forth and implemented by the regime.  We had to counter the argument that RF calling this fascism is bad “branding” and/or “too negative,” including our ubiquitous “NO!” signs, to which one of the youth organizers responded: “Saying ‘NO!’ makes possible a thousand Yes’s.” We had to make the case that knowing the nature of the disease or problem you face is essential to working on a cure.

To make the case that this is fascism we brought out that the Trump/Pence Regime has made significant reactionary progress in every aspect of their fascist agenda. To date, they have prevailed in establishing what amounts to a Muslim Ban; packed the federal courts with fascist judges; ripped up more than 30 environmental regulations; dramatically escalated the ethnic cleansing of Black and Brown immigrants; attacked the media, science and truth itself; relentlessly undermined the separation of powers and rule of law; normalized an ugly misogyny and white supremacy; and dragged the world dangerously close to nuclear war. A very powerful strain of this overall fascist regime is the role of Christian fascism, concentrated in Mike Pence but also reaching into every major institution, which is increasingly utilizing the power of the state to impose Dark Ages fundamentalism on society. And there are the fascist extralegal forces who have exerted a chilling effect on society and resistance. Charlottesville reverberates. While many see elements or even most of this, most are ignorant of – or resistant to confronting – the implications of all of this taken as a whole.

To enable people to more deeply grasp the fascist nature of the regime, we promoted the extensive source material on the RefuseFascism.org website, highlighting the Indictment panels1 as well as 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.

Another major factor standing in the way of people recognizing the full danger of the regime is not only Trump’s grotesque “America First” but the way that the leadership of the Democrats and much of the so-called #Resistance ignores and erases any recognition of the horrors being threatened for people all around the world (not just Americans). In this way, our insistence that we must drive out the regime in the name of humanity (which comprehends the regime’s threats of war, including nuclear holocaust, as well as the danger posed to global humanity by their destruction of the environment), both challenges unconscionable American chauvinism and is a powerful attractive force.

From RefuseFascism.org’s initiating Call to Action: “Fascism is not just a gross combination of horrific reactionary policies. It is a qualitative change in how society is governed. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive re-institution of oppressive ‘traditional values.’… What is crucial to understand is that once in power fascism essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights.”

People were largely ignorant of, or had not put together, the scale and scope of the limitations already posed on basic democratic rights and where this is heading–which is leading to a situation where protest and even dissent could effectively be silenced.

There was serious engagement and consideration of this, even as most people are not yet willing to fully confront and act accordingly. Two ironies with heavy consequence: First, after considering and engaging the fascist nature and trajectory of the regime and coming to some agreement, very often people would say that its “not fascism yet.” To which we said, “Precisely the point: We have to prevent these fascists from fully consolidating fascism.” But then, they would often back away from the kind of implacable struggle necessary to deal with that. Second, especially among prominent people, after denying it’s as bad as we say, they would often not “sign on” because (unsaid) doing so poses risks and could have real consequences (because they know it really is that bad).

Transforming this will require even more struggle in word and through action, that Refuse Fascism will take responsibility for.

Five Key Lessons from the Tour:

1. Refuse Fascism must constantly reground our thinking and the struggle to end this nightmare in what it will take to create a political situation where the Trump/Pence Regime is removed from power, and to proceed in everything we do from that perspective. Organizing, strategy, tactics, uniting with particular struggles, uniting with other organizations, fundraising, slogans and educational materials all must be aimed at and serve to advance this single unifying objective.

2. The importance of the correct relationship between resistance against each major front of the Trump/Pence Regime’s attacks on the people and the need to remove the whole Trump/Pence Regime from power to stop the consolidation of a fascist America.

While it is necessary that resistance to the major outrages perpetrated by the regime grow stronger, deeper, and more determined, WHAT IS ESSENTIAL IS THAT THIS RESISTANCE BE LINKED TO – and work undertaken in its own right to build towards – THE MOVEMENT TO DRIVE OUT THE WHOLE REGIME.

Fighting against key fronts of the regime’s attacks on the people is essential because of the real damage these attacks do and because this is part of how people build strength to wage the larger fight. This is why this resistance must grow broader (involving more and more sections of the people), deeper (where people understand more clearly the scale and scope of these attacks and where they are headed), and more determined (with people understanding the life and death nature of the stakes for millions of people and the planet itself and willing to put themselves on the line). This is especially so when particular attacks come to concentrate the frontline of the overall struggle against the regime. At the same time, what must be grasped clearly is that: Fascism can absorb many different acts of resistance…and sweep them all aside at a certain point, unless it is driven from power.

This is the lesson of history, poetically captured with incalculable current relevance by Pastor Martin Niemöller: “First they came for the communists and I wasn’t a communist, so I didn’t speak up….”

3. The Tour underscored the importance of devoting systematic attention to forging and deepening strategic relations with other organized forces and people of disproportionate influence. A process must be further developed and unfolded where people and organizations with very different philosophies, goals, and analyses are working together to stop this regime. We must unite all who can be united with a method of unity-struggle-unity.

The process we put forth: Begin with a shared common objective in stopping this regime. Recognize that there will be disagreement and struggle over ultimate goals, ideologies and politics and that principled ways should be fostered for discussion and engagement without making these differences reason to not work together to stop this regime. Then, we must all consistently return to the serious necessity we face with the horror of the Trump/Pence Regime and our responsibility to humanity to struggle together so that they are removed from power. History has shown the failure to achieve this unity to stop fascism before it is consolidated has had a heavy cost.

By continuing to return to the stakes of the reality we face, not just for people living in this country, but in the name of humanity, there is the basis to rise up above secondary differences and to unite in this great cause.  Refuse Fascism will convene continuation groups to develop common discussion and practice in a couple of cities as well as nationally.

4. We learned that a key lesson from history must be fought for: there has never been a substantial change in the direction of the history of this country that has not been achieved through mass determined struggle. For many this was new, for others, forgotten – which must be revived.

We had to make the case with substance for why only mass struggle from below could create a profound enough political crisis that could compel sections of those in power to act on our demand for the regime to be removed. It became evident that it is essential that we break down the following from the Refuse Fascism’s Calls to Action:

“Our determination to persist and not back down [from nonviolent protest that continues day after day] will compel the whole world to take note. Every force and faction in the power structure would be forced to respond to our demand. The cracks and divisions among the powers already evident today will sharpen and widen.  As we draw more and more people forward to stand up, all of this, could lead to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.”

Bringing this alive required vividly painting a picture of what kind of political crisis it would engender if we began with even tens of thousands protesting continually for a week in several cities.  How an act of repression against one of these protests, if people came back the next day everywhere in large numbers, could electrify, inspire, and call forth the actions of hundreds of thousands more people and eventually millions deciding to join in and take to the streets. Imagine what the national and the international repercussions of that would be. How those in power (some Democrats, some Republicans) would then feel compelled to act for their own reasons to remove the Trump/Pence Regime in the larger interests of their whole set up.

Many of the people and organizations we met with were actively involved in impeachment efforts including electing Democrats as the road to do that. At the same time many were pressuring the Democrats on particular bills – trying to hold them “accountable.” Or, if they were not actively doing these things their hope is that the Democrats and/or investigations will lead to Trump being stymied until voted out, while they are active around particular issues.

It was crucial to expose how and why the Democratic leadership has taken impeachment “off the table,” revealing that even the liberal Rep. Jerry Nadler has said: “If we were in the majority and if we decide that the evidence isn’t there for impeachment — or even if the evidence is there we decide it would tear the country apart too much, there’s no buy-in, there’s no bipartisanship and we shouldn’t do it for whatever reason … ” then they would not impeach and would explain why not. Translation: for the Democratic Party leadership, maintaining “order” – even if it means order with fascists who will stop at nothing to impose their nightmare on the world – is preferable to stopping fascism.

We brought out how in 2006, many people thought that electing a Democratic congress would be the road to impeach Bush. However, when a Democratic Congress was elected, they didn’t move to impeach. We went into how and why the Nixon/Agnew administration was removed from power in the context of massive society wide struggle.  And, we brought in examples from other countries.

Through this tour it became much clearer that [a] only nonviolent, mass sustained nationwide protests can create the kind of political situation where the demand that The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go could be achieved and [b] that Refuse Fascism will need to continue to write and speak on why this is so, why relying on the mid-term and the 2020 elections as the means to unseat the fascist regime of Trump and Pence is not a winning strategy.  And, win we must or there will be horrific consequence.

5. Contributing significant funds to – and joining in raising significant funds for – RefuseFascism.org is one of the most critical and meaningful ways for people to refuse to accept a fascist America and the catastrophic horror this would mean for all of humanity.

The analysis and road forward that has been developed by RefuseFascism.org is unique. It is the only realistic solution to the horrendous danger posed by the Trump/Pence Regime and it speaks to the deep yearnings of many millions in this country who could be mobilized to act to make this real. Where we have been able to reach, people have been impacted by our analysis, moved by our argumentation, and inspired by – and often moved to join in with – our actions. Yet, most in this society still do not know of this organization, so our impact is far short of what is needed and this undermines people’s willingness to step out (or continue to step out) and act in the ways necessary to drive out the regime. What is urgently needed is to be able to project the analysis and mission, the concrete organizing and plans of RefuseFascism.org to millions throughout society – on the campuses, among faith communities, in the media and social media, through advertising, through poster campaigns, stickers, t-shirts and hats, and through a greatly heightened organizing infrastructure.

It is not possible to overestimate the difference it would make if Refuse Fascism had the funds to free up more people to work full-time on spreading and organizing this movement. It is impossible to conceive of a movement that succeeds in drawing forward the millions who hate what this regime is doing to become an unrelenting political force that drives them from office, without RefuseFascism.org becoming qualitatively stronger in many ways. All of this will require serious money – ultimately millions of dollars.

Raising funds is everyone’s responsibility and must be woven into everything we do – from shaking the can while doing outreach, to asking for funds during strategizing meetings, to holding fundraising gatherings, to phone-banking, to seeking out new potential donors (especially people in position to give significant funds). It is essential that we succeed in the $250,000 fundraising campaign now underway, as a first leap in getting to the needed level.

CONCLUSION:

The January Tour deepened our understanding of the stakes of Refuse Fascism achieving its mission. The Trump/Pence Regime is fascist. There are tens of millions of people anguished and still angry over its course. There are people and organizations that have been resisting but doing so by relying on the same processes that led to Trump and Pence coming to power. The January tour enabled Refuse Fascism to identify important strategic focuses and pathways for advancing this mission, we developed new relationships and networks of people and organizations opening up the potential to work together to fulfill the great need of driving the Trump/Pence Regime from power at the soonest possible time.

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


1.  Refuse Fascism published seven Indictments of the Crimes of the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime focused on: immigrants; Muslims; civil liberties; women and LGBTQ people; the people of the world; white supremacy, police brutality and mass incarceration; the environment. [back]

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/416/gun-violence-as-american-as-apple-pie-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Gun Violence: As American as Apple Pie

Updated February 16, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Editors’ note: On February 14, 2018, 17 people were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida by a gunman wielding a semi-automatic rifle. The victims were students and a teacher, a football coach and an athletic director. It is horrifying to see the lives of these young people, and others, cut down in such a way--this should NOT be happening! There is widespread shock and outrage at yet another mass shooting in the U.S., including anger at Trump and other politicians, largely focused on the need for gun control. In light of this, we are re-posting this letter from a reader written shortly after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California in December 2015. As this letter gets into, there is a system that is the source of the problem, and we can’t rely on that system to solve it. What is needed is a radically new and better world where people aren’t raining down violence on each other but learning about and changing the world together, for all humanity. Such a future is possible, and revolutionary leader Bob Avakian has charted the way. We urge everyone who is grappling with big questions raised by this latest mass shooting and other horrors raging in the world today to get into the work and leadership of Bob Avakian.

 

From a reader:

Look up mass shootings in America on the Internet and you see picture after picture of people of diverse nationalities holding each other, eyes wet with tears over the loss of loved ones, and a painful loss of life. Americans shoot each other far more than in any other “advanced” country. While the recent horrific shooting in San Bernardino—leaving 14 people dead and 21 wounded—is also throwing up big questions about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the world (however that did or didn’t play a role in this as a motive), this is giving rise to many asking why these mass shootings keep happening on American soil and why there is such a high level of gun violence in the U.S.

But to really understand this, you can’t just look at the question of guns; you have to look more deeply at the character of the society that is shaping the people who are turning those guns on each other.

American Massacres Founded American Society

The U.S.’s particular relationship with violence in “the homeland” has everything to do with slavery, genocide, and the theft of land from Mexico. The idea of the “rugged American individual” or being a “self-made man” is built on all that—armed with the ideology of “my right to prosper above all else” (and profiting from all of what that sat on) and the weaponry to back it up.

The American mythology of the individual small farmer striking out on his own actually rested on the wealth created from the enslavement of Black people and the genocidal, land-robbing assault on Native American Indians.1 This could not have taken place without white men owning and using guns on a mass scale, at the same time as they used their guns on each other to settle disputes. All this got enshrined in the culture and has shaped the “American ideal of individual freedom.” (The typical Western film being a celebration of American, read: white male, individualism.)

At the same time, white supremacist violence has been relied on, and fostered, by the ruling powers to conquer the land and control oppressed sections of people from the founding of the U.S. through today: from the slave-owner's militias, the slave catchers and bounty hunters used to put down slave rebellions and catch runaway slaves; homesteaders (small farmers given plots of land by the U.S. government) after the Civil War who participated in the genocidal slaughter of Native peoples in order to control the land; mass lynchings and violence against Mexican people in the Southwest; racist violence and attacks on Chinese miners and railroad workers who played a key role in building up the infrastructure of the U.S. after slavery; lynch mobs that were aimed at terrorizing Black people, containing and suppressing them in enforced segregation from the late 1800s all the way up until the 1960s... This violence—and the right to commit this kind of violence—is integral to white male supremacy as an ideological glue of this system, and the fervent, even fanatic, culture of gun ownership is bound up with all this.

American Society Is Saturated in Brutal and Wanton Violence

Right now: America is a society that is saturated in a culture of brutal and wanton violence which affects and infects everything: from the brutality and torture this system uses in its war on the world; the rape culture that is endemic in everyday life, including this system’s military and police forces; the celebration of lynching in the history of the U.S. and the backing of the system’s police forces to brutalize and murder Black and Brown youth. From Afghanistan to Baltimore, from Ferguson to Palestine, from the slave ships to the reservations, this violence—aimed at terrorizing innocent people, here and around world, trying to go about their daily lives—IS America.

A big feature of this violence is male supremacy and the violent attempt to control and subjugate women. A concentration of this is the recent rampage on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado where three people were killed and nine injured. The murderer was, at least in part, inspired by the Christian fascists’ demonization of Planned Parenthood, which is about one thing only: female enslavement through taking away the ability of women to choose whether and when they will bear children. There is the revenge mentality against women for refusing to be controlled by male partners or ex-partners, where men will go shoot up a woman and her children with the idea that, “If I can’t have you, no one will.” Or the fury against women that was concentrated in the shootings at UC Santa Barbara by Elliot Rodger, which was in large part instigated by wanting to punish women for not wanting to be with him, as if by virtue of being a man, you are owed a woman—who in all this is never seen as a full human being but as something to be owned and dominated. This is also seen in the guy culture of pornography or in many video games that celebrate and reward reactionary violence, revenge, and degradation.

All this is on top of the most cutthroat enshrinement of unfettered capitalist relations and the wolf-like individualism that this promotes—again, among everyone, whether they sit at the top of this capitalist system, owning the means of production or not—and again coincides with the constant fortification and assertion of various forms of privilege (male right, white supremacy, nativism, etc). This is the culture that is promoted, celebrated, and given official backing in America—whether it be Shark Tank on TV, a show about brutal entrepreneurialism, or too much of the hip-hop that is promoted by the powers that be, where one track will brutally celebrate the degradation of women, and the next is about chasing money, taking down anyone who gets in your way, and using mass weaponry to do it (which is just parroting the larger rules and dynamics of this system).

Then there is the overall fraying of the social fabric: the “traditional relations” and social norms are being pulled apart by the workings of this system even as they are being forcibly enforced. There are big changes in the world, growing economic disparity in the U.S., great anxiety about the future, and this is causing a lot of turmoil, frustrated white male entitlement, and a tremendous amount of alienation. (Just think of the staggering number of people who numb themselves with drugs just to get through their days.) This is contributing to a lot of the craziness, unpredictability, and volatility in our society.

As painful and horrific as it is, these constant mass shootings—even as different incidences have different particularities—flow from all this.

Infighting Among the Rulers

In addition to a lot of struggle about the role of the U.S. internationally and in particular about how to deal with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism (which I’m not going to get into in this correspondence), the infighting among the bourgeoisie about guns and gun control has grown—in particular in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shooting. The New York Daily News (a more mainstream imperialist newspaper) has featured several newspaper covers in the last week calling for gun control, including going so far as to call the head of the NRA (the National Rifle Association) a terrorist. The New York Times, one of the main voices of the mainstream liberal imperialist wing of the bourgeoisie, ran an editorial on its front page calling for gun control. Running an editorial on its front page is something the Times hasn’t done since the 1920s! There are big questions up among the ruling forces—not over whether this system should stay in place, but what are going to be the cohering norms of this system as it carries forward its male supremacist, white supremacist imperialist system scrambling to maintain its top-dog position in the world. There is a lot coming apart and they are battling over how to keep it all together.

It would be important to think more about why the mainstream imperialists feel the need and freedom to go on the offensive around this right now. There is a basic question of people coming to feel the illegitimacy of a system that can’t “keep us safe” when this is something that Americans have come to expect in ways that most people in the world don’t. Then there is the need, from the mainstream imperialists’ perspective, to reign in the fascist forces. The Democrats don’t have a social base that they want to arm in the way the fascists do... so how, from their perspective, do you keep all this together? I’m thinking out loud here, but I think this would be worth batting around more to understand the sharpening and volatility of the terrain more deeply.

What Is the Way Out?

That said: gun control is not the answer. We cannot, and should not, rely on the source of the problem to solve it. This is a system that uses its guns in the hands of the police to murder people in the streets indiscriminately, in particular Black and Brown people. This is a system that uses its guns and its bombs halfway around the world to massacre people in hospitals and wedding parties as a fighting doctrine.2 And when they talk about “gun control”—they are not talking about stopping all this!

What’s needed—and what’s possible—is a profound struggle to bring into being a society where the destructive social antagonisms between people are eliminated and in which there is an ethos of cooperation, of mutual recognition of people’s humanity, an open-mindedness and curiosity proceeding from the world out; but the ONLY way to get to such a society is to dig out the roots of the one that gives you the dog-eat-dog daily relations and the system of oppression and privilege that requires the twisted and broken psyches that gives rise to, the close-minded and narrow individualism and the consequent madness and mayhem that rages. This requires revolution and communism, and a movement today that promotes, lives. and struggles for those emancipatory relations as much as it can in the present as it fights urgently for the future.

 

1. Read Bob Avakian’s Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy for a powerful dissection of the “yeoman” mentality, the mentality of the individual farmer, which Thomas Jefferson held up as the American ideal, an ideal which rested on slavery and genocide. [back]

2. This has only contributed to the geometric growth of Islamic fundamentalism. For more, read “In the Wake of San Bernardino: NO Pogroms, Paranoia & Persecution! NO More Unjust Wars!” at www.revcom.us. [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/check-it-out-miners-shot-down-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Check It Out:

Miners Shot Down—Documentary on the 2012 Massacre of 34 Miners in South Africa

February 16, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

In the face of mounting corruption charges and sharpening struggle within the ANC (African National Congress), Jacob Zuma was forced to resign as president of South Africa on February 14, and was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa. Who is Cyril Ramaphosa? He is the founder of the National Union of Mineworkers and former anti-apartheid fighter who, since the end of apartheid in South Africa, has turned nouveau bourgeois exploiter. In the name of “Black Economic Empowerment,” he has become one of the richest people in South Africa, a country which has one of the most extreme wealth gaps in the world. In 2012 he was on the board of the British mining company Lonmin, when 34 striking platinum miners in Marikana, in the country’s Northwest Province, were massacred by police. He called the miners' strike “a dastardly criminal act.”

How did this happen? Check out the 2014 documentary film Miners Shot Down, available on YouTube, which uncovers the horrible massacres of the miners, including the collusion between Ramaphosa and Lonmin management with the government and national police in this crime.

And I would also urge people to read the revcom.us excerpt from the section on “The Decisive Role of Leadership” in Bob Avakian’s The New Communism: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation. Here, he gets into how oppressed people will repeatedly rise up against their oppression, “But where that struggle ends up, and whether it can be taken all the way to an emancipating revolution, a new society and ultimately a new world, without exploitation and oppression and all the suffering and destruction that goes along with that, depends on leadership—on the line, the worldview, the method and approach, the strategy and program of the force which gains the leadership in the struggle against oppression.”

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/hundreds-of-students-walk-out-of-houston-high-school-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

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

February 16, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

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.

On Tuesday, January 30, Dennis was involved in an altercation at the school, defending himself against bullies mocking him for being undocumented. Instead of de-escalating the situation, school officials called the campus police, who arrested Dennis and took him to the Harris County Jail. The district attorney immediately filed assault charges against Dennis. His $2,000 bail was paid within hours, but instead of being released, Dennis was detained: ICE had already gotten his fingerprints and contacted the sheriffs to hold him. Dennis was turned over to ICE, where he remains.

Dennis was brought here as a minor in 2013 from Honduras. He is on the school soccer team and has been accepted to two Texas colleges to study computer science. One of his teachers said in a letter of support that the teachers, staff, and administration work hard to keep the students safe, but that both “the criminal justice system and the Houston Independent School District (HISD) have failed us.”

Many fear for Dennis’s life if he is deported. Conditions in Honduras are horrific, a result of decades of U.S. imperialist domination and exploitation, which includes the U.S. role under Obama in the 2009 coup that brought the current regime to power. The combination of state violence and gang violence has made the murder rate one of the highest in the world; and scores of immigrants deported by ICE to Honduras and other Central American countries have been killed shortly after of being forced to return.1

Outraged, the students decided they needed to protest, and at noon on the 14th they surged out the doors into the street. The outpouring, as can be seen in a video on the United We Dream Houston Facebook page, was spirited, bold, angry, determined, and organized. It reflected unity of Black and Latino students (there are few white students at that school), those documented and those undocumented, as well as support from teachers. United We Dream activists assisted the youth in the protest and some members of the community turned out as well.

Banners and signs read: “Black Brown Unite,” “#FreeDennis,” “Education, Not Deportation,” and “No Human Is Illegal!” Students marched several blocks around the campus chanting “What do we want? Free Dennis! When do we want it? Now!” “No Trump, No KKK, No Racist USA!” “Black, Brown, Trans, Queer—Immigrants Are Welcome Here!” and “No Way, It’s Our Right—Deportation We Will Fight!”

A young woman on the bullhorn declared, “We’re tired of HISD officers collaborating with HPD [Houston Police Dept.] and criminalizing our Black and Brown students. We’re tired of it. So we demand that today they take action and free Dennis!” An online petition demanding Dennis’s release has, at this writing, been signed by more than 10,000 people, and Twitter is buzzing about the case. Dennis’s attorney said on social media that “ICE can deport Dennis any day.” We cannot let this happen! Sign petition to #FreeDennis.

A couple of revcom readers went out there the next morning with the Refuse Fascism statement, “FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE MUSLIMS, THEN THEY CAME FOR THE IMMIGRANTS, Not This Time...” and the cards promoting the talk by Bob Avakian (BA), “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go...” We told the students how important and right on time their walkout was.

We distributed over 250 each of the flyers and cards, and dozens of stickers. We sat down with a few of the students, including one of the organizers of the protest who said that pulling it together took a long time. It was clear that a lot of thought and effort had been put into it. We gave them flyers and cards to pass out and talked with them about ideas for the day of protest on March 1, proposed by Refuse Fascism. We made plans to return the next day and show clips of the new talk by BA.

1. For more, see “The U.S. Hand Behind the Coup in Honduras” and “Mothers and Children Deported Back to Honduras: U.S. Sends First Planeload of Children Back to Hell.” [back]

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/judge-acquits-pig-for-execution-of-deborah-danner-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Another Killer in Uniform Walks Free:
Judge Acquits NYPD Pig for Execution of Deborah Danner

February 16, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In October 2016, Deborah Danner, a 66-year-old Black woman, was murdered in cold blood by NYPD pigs in her own apartment in the Bronx. Fourteen months later, on February 15, a New York State Supreme Court judge found the sergeant who pulled the trigger “not guilty,” agreeing with the cop’s claim that he was acting in “self-defense” when he shot Danner.

Deborah Danner was an articulate and well-educated woman who suffered from schizophrenia. On the day of her murder, she had suffered a breakdown. Her sister was trying to get her to a hospital when the pigs arrived. The NYPD knew she suffered from mental illness—they had been called to her apartment four times before. But instead of giving her the understanding and help she needed, the cops killed her with two bullets to the chest.

The killer pig argued in his trial that he and the other cops had to bust into Deborah Danner’s bedroom because she might have hurt herself with a pair of scissors she had—and then had to kill her because she supposedly posed a lethal threat to them when she picked up a baseball bat. The judge ruled that the prosecution failed to prove the cop was “not justified in the use of deadly physical force.” The head of the NYPD sergeants’ union said that “any sergeant, or officer, put in the same situation would react the same way.”

As revcom.us wrote right after Deborah Danner was murdered:

What does this needless police murder of a mentally ill person say about this entire society and system? What does it say that such murders by police go on over and over and over, decade after decade after decade? And what does it say that this system justifies them time and time again?...

In the U.S. today, millions of mentally ill people have to suffer in needless ways—left untreated, thrown into the street, put behind bars. In the first six months of 2015 alone, 125 mentally ill people were killed by police. Who and what will stop this horror and humanely address the issue of mental illness? Not this capitalist system. It hasn’t, and it can’t.

Really addressing the problem of mental illness and meeting this social need would clash directly with the way this system operates—where investments are, and must, be made with the aim of making a profit. This—maximizing profit—is what drives this system, NOT meeting people’s needs. And these workings of the capitalist system dictate what the government can and can’t do, what it spends money on, and what it doesn’t. This is why, even if they wanted to, the rulers of this system can never really address the problem of mental illness. And the era of intensified global competition has required a “leaner and meaner” capitalism and the slashing of all kinds of social services—including in health care.

The role of the police is to serve and protect this sick system, not to serve and protect the people. That’s why cops brutalize and kill over and over again—and why the wanton actions of these pigs are repeatedly given the stamp of approval by representatives of the system.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/march-1-stand-with-immigrants-en.html

Revolution #530 February 12, 2018

Received from Refuse Fascism:

March 1: Immigrants Stay—Trump/Pence Must Go! Wear Black!

Updated February 20, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

#ImmigrantsStayTrumpPenceMustGo!

At work, at school, on the street:


Gather and hold 11 minutes of silence for all eleven million undocumented immigrants.
These are our sisters and brothers!


Take pictures and spread them on social media using:
#ImmigrantsStayTrumpPenceMustGo!

Stand against Trump's comprehensive and white supremacist attacks on immigrants and immigration. Stand with DACA youth, with TPS recipients, with all those in detention right now. Stand with those whose families have already been torn apart and those who live each day with that fear. 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 all-around assault on immigrants is a horror. It is also the linchpin and battering ram of the whole fascist program being hammered into place by the Trump/Pence Regime. Fascism is a qualitative change in how society is governed. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive re-institution of oppressive "traditional values." Once in power, fascism essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights.

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

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

 

To become an endorser of this nationwide day of protest contact:
info@refusefascism.org
or
call 917-407-1286. 

Print-ready flyer | poster

Template letter inviting organizations to join/sponsor March 1:
PDF | Word file

Sign the online petition at Change.org