Revolution #531, February 19, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/campaign-to-spread-bob-avakians-filmed-talk-on-the-trump-pence-fascist-regime-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

Campaign to Spread Bob Avakian's Filmed Talk on the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime...

Do You Want to Really Understand What We Face With This Trump/Pence Regime? And Do You Want to Share That With Others? Here's How to Do Both

Updated February 26, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Stay tuned to revcom this week for reports on responses to Bob Avakian’s filmed speech, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. And take the film out to everywhere people are standing up against the attacks on the DACA youth and all immigrants!

 

How serious a threat does the Trump/Pence regime pose to humanity? Could fascism really happen here?

What is the character of the regime—is it fascist, and if it is, what are the implications?

What are the roots of this regime? Is it a terrible aberration, “more of the same”... or something different still?

What must be done to stop it? How?

Is a better world possible?

These questions, whether spoken or implicit, lie at the bottom of nearly every political debate and discussion today. Bob Avakian, in his filmed talk on the Trump/Pence regime, addresses those questions from the loftiest possible level with a penetrating scientific approach, and with a depth of compassion and breadth of humanity that is unique.

If even some of the millions now agonizing over these questions could be exposed to this talk, if even thousands could grapple with it deeply, it would make a huge difference in how people understand what they face in this regime, and in the kinds of possibilities that they could become alive to. It could begin to change the whole equation.

The problem is that far too few people have even heard of this film—THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible―let alone have watched it. So right now, today, revcom is calling on you to watch the talk if you haven’t already seen it, to return to it if you have, and to be part of spreading this around everywhere.

Spreading This Talk

You can spread this by working with people from the Revolution Clubs, or from Refuse Fascism, or The Bob Avakian Institute—all of which are organizing to get this projected way out there. Or you can do this yourself. However you decide, check out this site because we’re going to be highlighting experiences and insights from people as this develops.

One big thing: social media. This will be the main way that this talk ends up reaching far and wide—so whatever connections, participation, and ideas people have on this would be important. People should post this, tweet it, Instagram it, etc.

When you take this film out, a lot of people are gonna really resonate with a lot of it, and some are gonna have disagreements. Everybody’s probably gonna have questions and things they don’t understand—as well as insights and ideas to learn from. You don’t have to be able to answer every question that comes up—in fact, the very best thing to do with this talk from BA is to let it do the work.

That goes for those who are totally new to things, as well as those who have been part of the movement for a long time. Take people back to what’s in the talk; be familiar with the Questions and Answers, and take people to those when they come up (and even when they don’t come up, be sure to let people know about this part of the talk). Even if you’ve only seen the talk once, you can begin to do this—you can get going on this, and the more you watch it with people, the more you’re gonna be getting depths and insight that you can’t get on just one viewing. This is a process of discovery that you’re sharing with people. Go here to read about the response of one woman to this talk and you can get the idea.

Some people will just want to digest it and think it over. They may or may not spread it through social media or talk to friends about it... but whatever they do or don’t do immediately, it’ll be circulating in their minds as things continue to develop. Don’t underestimate the importance of that. Others are going to want to get active in Refuse Fascism—make sure that they have a way to do that. Try to find a way to stay in touch, even with those who are “too busy” right now to get active.

Still others, including a lot of those still “digesting” as well as those wanting to get active right now, are going to want to know—and should know—about what else BA has done. There should be copies available—and up on walls, where possible and appropriate—of BA’s other writings on the regime.

And everyone should know that BA is the most radical revolutionary in the world, the architect of a new communism, and they should be able to learn about and pursue his works on that. You can take them to revcom.us or TheBobAvakianInstitute.org, or you can have with you other key things that go further into the same topic and that get into the revolution he mentions, but does not go deeply into, in the talk. Even if you yourself are just learning about BA for the first time and sorting out your thinking, you can take others to these websites and let them know how they too can pursue this.

Right now a major crisis looms around the DACA program and immigration more generally. People are agonizing over the mass shootings and outraged over the regime’s insistence on shoring up the fascist NRA. People are interrogating and fighting to transform a culture of misogyny with a molester-in-chief at the head and a Christian fascist movement packing the courts and the government as a whole. The threat of war simmers ominously in the background, ready to erupt to the front at any time. Meanwhile, there are indictments, investigations, and infighting at the top—but what will come of them?

In this fraught situation, this talk must get heard.

This coming week will see a particular push on key college campuses. In the face of everything we just mentioned, including ferment on these campuses themselves over these issues and more, this is a part of society that MUST get exposed to this analysis and to this leader. What the students do or do not do, including in this next period, could be decisive to what happens with this regime... with all the stakes that involves.

Help that to happen. And stay in touch.

 

At the Revolution Club Organizing Center: Watching the BA Film...and Getting Involved in Spreading It

From the Revolution Club, Chicago

Out and about, a postering team ran into a woman who was interested in the new 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. She came down the block right into the Revolution Club Organizing Center and we learned, when introducing Revolution newspaper, that she remembered getting it in the past but now relied heavily on coverage and analysis of what’s going on by watching The Young Turks. Then we got right into watching the full talk. At the end she clapped along with the clapping heard on the audio, smiling. When asked what she thought about it, she said BA gave such a detailed explanation of fascism. She liked that he used the facts to build the argument that this is fascism and how we ended up here. She said most people don’t know this is what it is. And she liked that BA also got into how we can do something about it. She also spoke about how she knew about slavery but not like that.

We told her about the campaign to really get thousands to see the film and asked if she could contribute to making that happen herself. We talked about ways she could spread the film, including on social media, which she said was one way she keeps up on what’s going on and one way she could spread the film by posting the video, and she mentioned a spot right down the street that looked like a regular fast food joint and spoke of some professionals who eat lunch and hang out there sometimes; all as she gathered materials to spread the film herself, a copy of Revolution newspaper to learn more, and a calendar flyer about upcoming events, including more film showings at the center. When she left we made sure to have a way to stay in touch and that we would call soon to touch base and follow up. [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/moved-by-ba-talk-to-spread-the-film-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

At the Revolution Club Organizing Center:

Watching the BA Film...and Getting Involved in Spreading It

February 19, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Revolution Club, Chicago:

Out and about, a postering team ran into a woman who was interested in the new 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. She came down the block right into the Revolution Club Organizing Center and we learned, when introducing the paper, that she remembered getting it in the past but now relied heavily on coverage and analysis of what’s going on by watching The Young Turks. Then we got right into watching the full talk. At the end she clapped along with the clapping heard on the audio, smiling. When asked what she thought about it, she said BA gave such a detailed explanation of fascism. She liked that he used the facts to build the argument that this is fascism and how we ended up here. She said most people don’t know this is what it is. And she liked that BA also got into how we can do something about it. She also spoke about how she knew about slavery but not like that.

We told her about the month-long effort of really getting thousands to see the film and asked if she could contribute to making that happen herself. We talked about ways she could spread the film, including on social media, which she said was one way she keeps up on what’s going on and one way she could spread the film by posting the video, and she mentioned a spot right down the street that looked like a regular fast food joint and spoke of some professionals who eat lunch and hang out there sometimes; all as she gathered materials to spread the film herself, a copy of Revolution newspaper to learn more, and a calendar flyer about upcoming events, including more film showings at the center. When she left we made sure to have a way to stay in touch and that we would call soon to touch base and follow up.

 

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #531 February 19, 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/531/the-school-shooting-in-parkland-florida-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

The School Shooting in Parkland, Florida: Why Do These Atrocities Keep Happening?

February 19, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On February 14, 2018, it happened again. Young people, full of potential, their futures before them, shot down... at school, supposedly a place for learning, growing, having fun, making friends, even falling in love. This time the murderous violence struck Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A former student wielding a semiautomatic rifle massacred 17 people—14 students, a teacher, a football coach and an athletic director. A huge hole has been torn in the hearts of those who’ve lost friends, relatives, and loved ones—and everyone who cares about humanity. Millions are filled with anguish, despair, and increasingly anger.

Just one incident like this would be utterly fucking outrageous and intolerable.

But in this society, under this system, school shootings are an epidemic. In the six years since the Sandy Hook massacre of 2012, there have been 239 school shootings. Some 438 people have been shot, and 138—overwhelmingly students—killed.  These shootings have become so frequent, youth today regularly have “Code Red” drills to prepare for a possible attack. One Parkland student said, “I’ve been told these protocols for years.” Her younger sister had been drilled since elementary school. “This is life for the children of the mass shooting generation,” the New York Times reported.

Time and time again when these gruesome atrocities take place, the powers that be tell grief-stricken students, parents, community members, and society at large that it’s time for prayer—not for “politics.” Some argue that it’s “too soon” to dig into and debate why students and youth are being gunned down all across this country. And for this country’s rulers it’s never time to dig into the real roots of these unending massacres.

But Stoneman Douglas High students and parents spoke out and demanded answers and actions. A teacher told MSNBC she felt “our government, our country has failed us and failed our kids and didn’t keep us safe.” Protests have reportedly been organized at other schools in solidarity. “I’m fed up with vigils, candles and moments of silence,” wrote one father whose son was murdered in another school shooting. “Perhaps my next sound bite should be a snarl.” (“A ‘Mass Shooting Generation’ Cries Out for Change,” New York Times, February 16; “A Message From the Club No One Wants to Join,” New York Times, February 17)

Getting to the Roots of the Problem

These students, their parents, and others now speaking out are totally justified in their anger, and their refusal to accept that school shootings are inevitable, and that nothing can be done about them. They’re right to be frustrated and enraged at this society’s inability to take any serious action to stop them. And they should pursue this and other outrages, dig deeply into them, and fight to end them.

But first we have to answer: Why are mass shootings such a prominent feature of American life? There are many factors at work here, but the real answers don’t just lie in the number of guns in America. Digging into and answering that question takes you right to the foundation of American capitalist society and its bloody history of genocide, slavery, patriarchy, and American expansionism.

Mass Murder: As American as Apple Pie

Mass violence is how America was forged and how it’s maintained to this day! The violent genocide of millions of this continent’s native peoples to steal their land. The violent enslavement of millions of Africans to fuel American capitalism. The everyday, domestic violence to enforce patriarchy and male domination. The violence of American expansion—like its 1846-48 war to steal land from Mexico and its 1898 war to seize Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines from Spain.

These were mass slaughters carried out with society’s backing—and the mass participation of armed white men: slaveowners' militias, slavecatchers and bounty hunters, and later lynch mobs to enforce Jim Crow. White settler-small farmers who were enlisted in the genocidal slaughter of Native peoples. Mass, mob violence against Mexican people in the Southwest and Chinese miners and railroad workers.

This ugly sadistic violence has been glorified and enshrined in American culture through the idealization of the “rugged individualism” of the frontiersman whose “homestead” rested on stolen land, and whose duty it was to defend “his” woman against so-called “savages”—with guns! Then there’s the great American “classic” Birth of a Nation—a film glorifying the Klan.

Other major capitalist countries like Britain, France and Belgium committed mass violence against people in Africa and Asia. But they weren’t built as settler states, on stolen land, or on the basis of slavery, with mass systematic violence against oppressed peoples internally, like America was.

This violence—and the right to be armed and commit it—is integral to white male supremacy as an ideological glue of this system  and the fanatic culture of gun ownership is bound up with all this.

All this got a huge boost in the 1960s, when white people would flood the rifle stores every time Black people rebelled. This type of response was fostered by demagogic ruling class politicians like George Wallace, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, often in code words, who began building a base of angry white people as part of a growing fascist core.

The pillars of American society have always been white supremacy, male supremacy, and American global supremacy. But because those pillars are in some important ways being undermined and eroded by the workings of this system, and the big changes taking place in the world, dominant sections of the ruling class have acted in other ways to reinforce them in an even more virulent way. Economic uncertainties and disparities are growing, many people are rootless and suffering, and there is great anxiety about the future. All this provides fuel for fascism and fascist movements—as well as for a lot of random violence and craziness.

Guns In the Era of Fascist Ascendancy

At this moment, Trump and the Trump/Pence fascist regime further concentrate this violent reassertion of what Bob Avakian calls “the triad of fascism”—the unapologetic aggressive assertion of white supremacy, male supremacy and American supremacy, and this is having an enormous impact on the political, social and cultural terrain in the U.S.

The NRA plays a big role in this as well. They don’t simply or mainly represent the interests of the “gun lobby.” Last summer, the NRA released a “recruitment” video that was a barely disguised call to arms to its five million members and to fascist ground troops more broadly. When there was an uproar over the video, the NRA doubled down with a second video attacking some of its critics by name. Such mobilization of white supremacist, America-Number-One, fascist forces is deadly serious—and must be taken very seriously. Just a few months before this, Trump had appeared at the NRA’s national meeting and declared, “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.”

It’s not because the Trump/Pence fascist regime needs the votes or campaign contributions, but because it aims to keep weapons directly in the hands of its racist, white supremacist social base.

Coursing through all this are the economic and social relations of capitalism. This is a system driven by ruthless competition for supremacy and maximum returns. It’s a system that promotes the dog-eat-dog outlook of “looking out for number one.” It forces people to be selfish and compete with others for grades, for jobs, for housing, for partners and relationships, in every facet of their lives.

These relations, this ethos, and this wanton culture of gun violence are relentlessly celebrated and promoted in American culture from violent video games like “Grand Theft Auto,” to countless TV shows and movies where the payoff is individual vengeance.

 In short, a number of factors drive the massive distribution of high-powered guns and the use of some of those guns in seemingly random massacres. The point is not that every mass killer, or even most, consciously acts out a political agenda (though some do). But the economic and production relations of a society, and the dominant ideas that flow from them, do set the stage on which people act. In that sense American society and culture is guilty as hell.

Coming next: What NOT to Do to Stop the Problem

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/DACA-deadline-looms-fascist-regime-moves-to-embed-white-supremacy-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

DACA Deadline Looms:
Fascist Regime Moves to Embed White Supremacy, Drive Out Immigrants

February 20, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

UPDATE: On Tuesday, February 20, the U.S. Supreme Court took no action on an appeal by Trump's Department of Justice of an appeals court order that temporarily prevents the federal government from deporting Dreamers. For now, the March 5 DACA expiration deadline is not firm. However, as SCOTUSBlog reports, "The justices likely will consider the case again at their conference on Friday, February 23," and Trump is determined to proceed with the March 5 deadline.

More than ever, there is an urgent need for mass resistance to all attacks on immigrants. No U.S. court ruling, congressional vote, or presidential action can legitimately determine the "legality" of millions of people!

~~~~~~~~~

For anyone who doesn’t want to allow a fascist America to be consolidated, for everyone who opposes the attacks on immigrants and wants to see them end, now is the time to stand up. On March 5, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) ends, and with it the legal status of about 700,000 young people, the “Dreamers.” (See sidebar).  A major crisis is looming.

The Trump/Pence fascist regime has  dangled the possibility of a “path to citizenship” for about 1.8 million youth as a spearhead for intensifying their racist onslaught on all immigrants. Trump’s viciously cynical approach to the Dreamers has the appearance of “generosity” – providing a “pathway to citizenship” to undocumented youths who have been “good immigrants” and done everything they were supposed to do. To qualify, these youths must provide information about themselves and their families (documented and undocumented) to the very regime that has been promising to attack and deport them.  In return they can work or go school. 

Trump has dangled this offer to create an opening to drive through increased attacks on all immigrants and all potential immigrants. Through zeroing in on these youth, the Trump/Pence fascists are targeting, terrorizing, and delivering a message to millions of people, with and without papers: “you are not welcome here and we intend to drive you out of the country.” And they are inflaming an overall racist atmosphere so toxic for immigrants that fewer and fewer will be able to or want to come to this country, and more and more who are here will “self-deport.” 

This is a nodal point and escalation in a year-long, coordinated, strategic plan aimed at driving millions of Black and Brown immigrants out of this country and dramatically limiting those who can enter the U.S. in the future. The Trump/Pence fascists have done this through the “Muslim ban”; a huge increase in raids and arrests; threats against sanctuary cities; singling out immigrants' rights leaders for arrest; and ending Temporary Protected Status for nearly a quarter of a million immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and other countries. Hand-in-hand with these moves, a propaganda offensive has been underway aimed at turning immigrants into dangerous “criminal aliens” in the eyes of millions. All of this is aimed at “Making America White Again,” and establishing white supremacist political and social norms.

A “Debate” that Covers Up Reality

The “immigration debate” underway in the hallowed halls of the U.S. Senate and the White House focused on the looming DACA deadline is based on lies that conceal the reality of immigrants’ lives.  

The United States has robbed, ransacked, and ruined entire countries in this hemisphere and all over the world. It has impoverished tens of millions of people, and imposed economic conditions that force people to leave their farms and ranches. People have had to try to find to find a way to survive in dilapidated, makeshift housing in teeming barrios. In their homelands, people are locked in a desperate struggle to survive with others like themselves. Many are forced to leave.

If they somehow make it to this country--across a heavily fortified border, past the Border Patrol checkpoints that dot every road in the Southwest, across torrid deserts and freezing mountains–many of them are forced into the lowest paying menial jobs this system has to offer. For decades, immigrants in this country have been forced to live “in the shadows,” work endlessly, and try to provide for their children. And now the fascist leaders of this system have decided immigrants are the source of all the ills of this society, and that the U.S. needs to even more viciously “protect its borders”. 

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

The Treachery of the Democrats

The top Democrats have accommodated the Trump/Pence regime as it has advanced its program of ethnic cleansing, and poisoned the atmosphere with disgusting lies about “criminal aliens.” With every new attack, the Democratic Party leaders have refused to condemn these lies or the program they serve. 

Trump and the fascists have held out the possibility of a “path to citizenship” for about 1.8 million youth in return for $25 billion for Trump’s border wall and a major increase in “internal enforcement.”  One DACA organizer called this offer “a white supremacist ransom note,” yet the Democrats have already agreed to fund Trump’s border wall. 

The Democratic Party leadership and the fascists don’t differ over whether to exploit and control immigrants. They differ over how best to do that. The Democrats pose as friends of immigrants and sometimes call for reforms – if they don’t conflict with how the Democrats perceive the larger interests of the empire they represent. And both Democrats and Republicans represent the interests of the same system of global imperialist plunder. The top Democrats will act on whatever they think will best serve to preserve and extend the capitalist-imperialist system. 

They have normalized the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime. The Democrats have demonstrated, over and over, that relying on them to defend and protect the interests of immigrants is suicide.

First, They are Coming for the Immigrants – What Will You Do?

This is utterly illegitimate, and it is intolerable! All sections of people must step forward now and stand shoulder to shoulder with Dreamers and all immigrants. 

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #531 February 19, 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/508/bob_avakian_a-country-ruled-by-white-supremacists-since-when-is-that-acceptable-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

September 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

by Bob Avakian

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #531 February 19, 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

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/sacramento-police-team-with-fascists-to-bring-criminal-charges-against-protesters-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

Sacramento, California:

Police Team Up with Fascist Gangs to Bring Criminal Charges Against Protesters

February 19, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In June 2016, the Traditionalist Worker Party, a fascist organization, organized a rally at the statehouse steps in Sacramento, California. They called the rally to support the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump, saying they were defending the “free speech” of Trump supporters who were supposedly being suppressed by leftist demonstrators (at a time when Trump was urging his supporters to beat up protesters at his rallies). The fascists came to the statehouse armed with sticks, knives, and other weapons. They viciously assaulted counterprotesters—at least five reportedly suffered stab wounds. A Black journalist covering the rally was hospitalized for two weeks after being stabbed, and he had to undergo serious surgery.

Almost a year after the protest, three of the people who were protesting against the fascist rally were arrested. They now face serious felony charges and, if convicted, potentially years in prison. One of them, Yvette Felarca, is a spokesperson for the group BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) and a major target of the fascists. As part of their legal defense, the defendants obtained police reports and other evidence that shows the police worked closely with the fascists after the June 2016 event to try to protect the fascist street fighters from public exposure; to build a legal case against the counterprotesters; and to paint a distorted picture of what had happened to make it appear that the fascists were the innocent and aggrieved party, and those opposing them were violent criminals. Videos taken by fascist forces on the scene were edited and then posted on fascist websites, and these are being used as “evidence” against the defendants in the criminal case.

This case is a serious legal attack on anti-fascist forces. And the evidence that was uncovered sheds light on a very dangerous trend nationally—the close collaboration of police and fascist street-fighting forces. This is part of a pattern across the country—in Charlottesville, Berkeley, and other places, police have worked with fascists to track down and build criminal cases against people protesting against fascist street thugs.

Police Attacked Anti-Fascist Protesters from the Beginning

From the day of the event, police spokesmen began claiming to the media that the violence was “caused” by the anti-fascists. Sacramento police chief Sam Somers said, “This time the anarchists have taken a much more aggressive stance to wreak havoc on the city.” The media picked up this fabricated story and parroted it. The Los Angeles Times, for example, included in its article: “‘If I had to say who started it and who didn’t, I’d say the permitted group didn’t start it,’ said California Highway Patrol officer George Granada, a spokesman for its Protective Services division.” (The “permitted group” was the fascists.) This was before any investigation into a situation that was described by all accounts as very chaotic. The mainstream media coverage generally portrayed the police as neutral forces standing back and trying to maintain order while two extreme groups clashed. As we will see, this was all a lie—the media was playing its role as defender of the system, hiding the character and actions of the fascist street fighters and painting those opposing them as equally bad (or worse).

The police were well aware that the Traditionalist Worker Party 1 is an armed and dangerous fascist gang. They were well aware that just before the event in Sacramento, there was a rally of the same forces in Anaheim, California, where they attacked anti-fascist protesters. They knew the fascists carried weapons, including knives and guns.

Police Working Hand in Hand with Fascists

Police reports obtained by defense lawyers for the anti-fascist protesters make clear that from the beginning of the official “investigation,” the investigators were only going after anti-fascist protesters. The investigators issued a 2,000-page report almost totally focused on setting up the counterprotesters to be charged with serious crimes. They recommended to the district attorney that more than 100 people be charged. The DA’s office ended up throwing out most of these recommendations—except for the three defendants—saying they didn’t meet the minimum requirements for filing charges.

The defense attorneys, in their motion to dismiss all charges, said: “The California Highway Patrol and Sacramento District Attorney covered-up for and colluded with the fascists and are carrying out a political witch hunt against Felarca and other anti-fascist protesters.”

It is instructive... and important... to note that the Sacramento fascist rally took place in June 2016, before Trump’s election. Fascist gangs were already mobilizing. We can see from the released police documents that the political witch hunt and police collaboration with the fascists around this case was already being carried out by elements of the Sacramento police and California Highway Patrol (CHP). We get a glimpse of the inner workings of how closely the police worked with the fascists to target anti-fascist protesters, while the police told the fascists they were “the victims” and were taking steps to protect them:

  • The pigs worked with a TWP member, Derik Punneo, showing him photos to identify anti-fascist activists and told him, “We’re pretty much going after them. We’re looking at you as a victim.” Punneo had been found at the June 2016 event with a knife on him, and he was in close proximity to two of the anti-fascist protesters who were stabbed, including one who believed it was Punneo who stabbed him. But no charges were ever brought against Punneo.
  • CHP investigator Donovan Ayres told Doug McCormack, the TWP figure who organized the protest and was armed with a knife at the time, that he “would try to protect” him. Ayres said, “I’m gonna suggest that we hold that or redact your name or something until this gets resolved.” The pig also told McCormack that he would give him the name of any person who was requesting records of the permit.

The anti-fascist counter-protesters were gone after based on their political views when they were clearly the victims of near-deadly attacks by the fascists.

  • Ayres recommended that a Black anti-fascist protester, who had been stabbed three times, be charged with 11 offenses, including disturbing the peace, conspiracy, assault, unlawful assembly, and wearing a mask to evade police. The Guardian reported, “As evidence, Ayres provided Facebook photos of the man holding up his fist. The officer wrote that the man’s ‘Black Power salute’ and his ‘support for anti-racist activism’ demonstrated his ‘intent and motivation to violate the civil rights’ of the neo-Nazi group. He was ultimately not charged.”
  • Ayres’ report noted the political activism of Yvette Felarca, who is now facing charges stemming from the protest, by referencing in “great detail” her support of “students of color and women’s rights protests.”

Through the actions around this case, a green light was being sent to these fascist gangs nationwide: a green light to them that it’s OK to violently attack—including to attempt to murder—anti-fascist protesters. A clear signal that the police will have the fascists’ backs, and that elements of the state apparatus itself will also forcefully go after opposition to these fascists. And since then, there have indeed been growing waves of violence by fascist gangs, including the August 2017 murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, and other attempted murders and mass shootings.

It is important to expose, oppose, and turn back this legal attack on the Sacramento anti-fascist protesters. The effects of this case go beyond the immediate impact on these three defendants. These outrageous charges are another link in the moves to greatly strengthen the repressive apparatus of the government, aimed at more viciously clamping down on those in society who oppose them, as well as more generally on Black and other oppressed people, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and anyone who values diversity and the humanity of the most vulnerable—all as part of the attempt to consolidate fascist rule in the U.S.

 

1.The leader of the forerunner of the TWP (called Traditionalist Youth Network) wrote a piece in 2013 titled “I Hate Freedom” in which he wrote things like:

  • “Rabid dogs are put down, not allowed around the family kids. Our enemies are sick animals and we need to treat them as such.”
  • Included in his enemies list: gay people, women who demand reproductive rights, non-white people who “move into white nations.”
  • “‘Freedom’ of assembly and ‘freedom’ of speech need not apply to Leftists, you are the enemy, pure and simple.”

[back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/530/refuse-fascism-on-fight-against-anti-immigrant-attacks-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 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/529/us-gears-up-for-possible-nuclear-assault-on-north-korea-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 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.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/american-crime-case-number-44-the-trail-of-tears-1838-39-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

American Crime

Case #44: The Trail of Tears, 1838-39

February 19, 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:

From 1838-1839, approximately 15,000 Cherokee and 2,000 Black slaves that they owned were forcibly removed from Cherokee lands in Georgia and force-marched by the military 800 miles to the new “Indian Territory” in an area that later became Oklahoma. On that march, it has been estimated that 2,500-4,000 people died.1 That seven-month march has become known as The Trail of Tears.

Trail of Tears

After almost 30 years of discussions of how to remove the Native Americans from the Southeastern U.S., President Andrew Jackson in 1829 called for an Indian Removal Act. It was passed in 1830, thus beginning the removal process.2

In 1833, a small group of Cherokees, who illegally claimed to be the leaders of the Cherokee Nation, signed a removal treaty with the United States. Cherokee Chief John Ross and 15,000 Cherokees signed a petition of protest. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to accept their demands and ratified the treaty in 1836, and gave the Cherokees two years to voluntarily migrate to the West.

In the fall of 1838, 7,000 troops were sent by the U.S. government to Georgia to forcibly remove the Cherokees. The Cherokees were put into stockades at bayonet point, and they were not allowed to take most of their belongings. After they were forced out, white people in the area looted their homes.

The brutal conditions of the march were described by John Ehle in Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation:

There was scarce room in the wagon for the weary and the ill, once the sickness fell. Walking day after day was torture for the elderly, and the babies were weakened by the trip too. The main enemy was not exertion, but disease, which chose the weaker Indians and blacks and humbled them. Dysentery, diarrhea, head and chest colds were common. It was rare for any travelers not to have intestinal cramps and other pains, and the diet provided ... was cheap and lacking in variety or nutrition....

Then too, there was the sun torturing the people by day. The cold of the night caused their teeth to chatter, the tongues to stutter.3

A white traveler from Maine described what they saw:

We found them in a forest camped for the night ... under a severe fall from rain accompanied by heavy wind. With their canvas for a shield from the inclemency of the weather, and the cold wet ground for a resting place, after the fatigue of the day, they spent the night ... many of the aged Indians were suffering extremely from fatigue of the journey, and the ill health consequent upon it.... Several were then quite ill, and an aged man we were informed was then in the last struggles of death.... We learned from the inhabitants on the road where the Indians passed, that they buried fourteen or fifteen at every stopping place.4

President Martin Van Buren summed up the final horrific removal of the Cherokees in an unbelievable message to Congress: “It affords me sincere pleasure to be able to apprise you of the entire removal of the Cherokee Nation of Indians to their new homes west of the Mississippi. The measures authorized by Congress with a view to the long-standing controversy with them have had the happiest effect, and they have emigrated without any apparent resistance.5

This brutal and forced removal of the Cherokees is just one part of what should be known about the Trail of Tears. The Trail of Tears is actually the removal of five “civilized” tribes from their native lands in Southeastern U.S. to the West: the Choctaws from Mississippi, the Seminoles from Florida, the Chickasaw from Tennessee, the Creek from Alabama, and the Cherokees from Georgia.

It was during the removal of the Choctaws from their native lands in the early 1830s that “one of the Choctaw Chiefs (thought to be either Thomas Harkins or Nitikechi) was quoted as saying that the removal to that point had been a ‘trail of tears and death.’ The ‘Trail of Tears’ quotation was picked up by the eastern press and widely quoted. It soon became a term analogous with the removal of any Indian tribe and was later burned into the American language by the brutal removal of the Cherokees in 1838.”6

It has been estimated that over 12,000 Choctaws either immigrated or were forcibly moved to the West, and 2,000-4,000 died along their Trail of Tears.

Four of the tribes ended up signing treaties that led to their removal. But the Seminoles refused to move and resisted, leading to the Second Seminole War, where 1,500 U.S. forces and 700 Seminoles were killed. During the Second Seminole war, runaway slaves fought beside the Seminoles, who had taken them in.7 After the war ended, 3,000 Seminoles were moved to the West.

A small band of 300 Creeks also refused to move and fought against the Alabama and Georgia militias in the Second Creek War of 1836. After the war, more Creeks were sent west.

Even the Cherokees did not go willingly; there were reports of hundreds of Cherokees escaping during the first stages of the march.8

After the removal process ended, approximately 9,000 Native Americans remained in their original homelands in the Southeast, with the largest grouping being 7,000 Choctaws.

In total, from 1830-1842, the U.S. removed approximately 60,000 Native Americans and 2,000 Black slaves9 from the Southeast. Between 8,000 to 16,000 are estimated to have died during the removal marches.10

Deaths resulted from multiple diseases—cholera, malaria, smallpox, pellagra, dysentery, diphtheria, typhoid, tuberculosis, and pneumonia.

THE CRIMINALS:

President Andrew Jackson aggressively supported and called for the removal of the Native Americans in the Southeast. He supported and worked to bring about the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Despite the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the territory and rights of the Cherokees (Cherokee Nation v. Georgia 1830-1831), Jackson refused to respect the court ruling as he supported the illegal and violent activities of the state vigilante groups in Georgia, who were forcing the Cherokees from their lands.

From 1814 to 1824, Jackson was instrumental in negotiating nine out of eleven treaties which forced the Southeastern tribes to give up their native lands in exchange for lands in the West.

By 1837, the Jackson administration had removed 46,000 Native American people from their land east of the Mississippi, and had secured treaties which led to the removal of a slightly larger number.

President Martin Van Buren followed Jackson. He oversaw the final stages of the removal process from 1837-1841, and he was in charge of the 1838 Cherokee removal. Van Buren, who had been Jackson’s vice president, continued Jackson’s removal policy throughout his presidency.

General Winfield Scott commanded the 7,000 troops that rounded up the Cherokees and force-marched them to the West.11

The State of Georgia legislature in 1828 passed a resolution requesting the governor to ask the president of the United States to remove all Indians from the state. The state “adopted legislation which extended state control over all Cherokee lands within the state. The new legislation declared all Cherokee laws to be null and void and prohibited Indians from testifying against non-Indians. As a result, groups of non-Indians invaded Cherokee country, taking Cherokee cattle and horses, assaulting those who resisted, and taking possession of Cherokee homes.”12

THE ALIBI:

Andrew Jackson put forward the racist view of Native Americans as children needing guidance. He professed that his removal policy was going to save them from the white Americans who were hostile towards them and wanted to seize their lands and property and commit further genocide against them. In a message to Congress in 1830, he called his removal policy “benevolent,” declaring:

It will separate the Indians from immediate contact with settlements of whites; free them from the power of the States; enable them to pursue happiness in their own way and under their own rude institutions; will retard the progress of decay, which is lessening their numbers, and perhaps cause them gradually, under the protection of the Government and through the influence of good counsels, to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community....

And is it supposed that the wandering savage has a stronger attachment to his home than the settled, civilized Christian? Is it more afflicting to him to leave the graves of his fathers than it is to our brothers and children? Rightly considered, the policy of the General Government toward the red man is not only liberal, but generous. He is unwilling to submit to the laws of the States and mingle with their population. To save him from this alternative, or perhaps utter annihilation, the General Government kindly offers him a new home, and proposes to pay the whole expense of his removal and settlement.13

THE REAL MOTIVE:

In the early 19th century, the U.S. was expanding deeper, further, and wider in the Southeastern part of the country. The seizure of land to raise cotton and expand slavery was critical for the growth of the economy of the South and for the whole United States. What stood in the way of this expansion were the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole nations and their native lands.

Further, gold was discovered in 1829 on Cherokee land in Georgia, causing a gold rush and a further need for those white people who were seeking riches and for the state of Georgia to get the Cherokees off the land.

The question of states rights was bound up in the removal of the Native Americans. The state of Georgia had formed militias and vigilantes to drive the Cherokees from their land. As a way to support Georgia’s rights to do this, Andrew Jackson proposed the Indian Removal Act. This allowed a compromise between those who supported federalism (support for the Supreme Court’s decision that restrained the state of Georgia from breaking federal treaties guaranteeing the Cherokees their land) and those who supported states rights and the Georgia laws to remove the Cherokees.14

All of these motives were bound up with enforcing and strengthening white supremacy by removing Native Americans. “The Jacksonian mainstream, so insistent on the equality of white men, took racism for granted.... Although informed by constitutional principles and genuine paternalist concern, the Jacksonian rationale for territorial expansion assumed that Indians ... were lesser peoples.”15

 

Selected Bibliography

Coates, Julia, Trail of Tears, Greenwood, 2014.

Ehle, John, Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation, Anchor Books, Doubleday, 1988.

Trail of Tears from Mississippi walked by our ancestors,” choctawschool.com.

Indian Removal,” Wikipedia

Indian Removal Act,” Wikipedia

Indian removal 1814 - 1858,” PBS


1. In Trail of Tears, Julia Coates writes:
“Popular belief and many historic texts have placed the number of Cherokee deaths on the Trail of Tears at 4,000. But as contemporary scholars and researchers have delved more deeply into the subject, the number ‘seems highly speculative.... Today, the best estimates are that somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 Cherokees died, either in the camps, on the march itself, or after arriving at the Indian Territory, but as a result of the conditions of the march. However, researchers also acknowledge that there are probably 1,000-1,500 people who simply could not be accounted for” when the march arrived at the Indian Territory.” [back]

2. “Indian Removal Act,” Wikipedia [back]

3. Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation, by John Ehle, p 353 [back]

4. Ehle, pp 357-358 [back]

5. Ehle, p 392 [back]

6. See “Trail of Tears from Mississippi walked by our ancestors,” choctawschool.com. [back]

7. “Indian removal 1814-1858,” PBS [back]

8. Coates, p 118 [back]

9. Native Americans owned Black slaves. See “Pain of ‘Trail of Tears’ shared by Blacks as well as Native Americans” by Tiya Miles. [back]

10. “Indian Removal,” Wikipedia [back]

11. Ehle, p 325 [back]

12. “Georgia, the Cherokee, and the Execution of Corn Tassel,” nativeamericannetroots.net [back]

13. “Transcript of President Andrew Jackson’s Message to Congress ‘On Indian Removal’ (1830),” ourdocuments.gov [back]

14. Coates, p 182 [back]

15. “Jacksonian Democracy,” history.com [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/michael-slate-interview-with-elizabeth-hinton-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

Michael Slate Interview with Elizabeth Hinton

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime... and the “Social Dynamite” the System Feared

February 19, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


The following is excerpted from an interview with Elizabeth Hinton, portions of which were broadcast on February 9, 2018 on The Michael Slate Show on KPFK Pacifica radio.

The Michael Slate Show airs every Friday at 10 am Pacific Time on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, a Pacifica Network station. The show can be streamed live here and people can listen to or download archived shows 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: Elizabeth Hinton is the author of the book, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America. In the United States today one in every 31 adults is under some form of penal control including one in 11 African American men. In a work vivid with detail and sharp analysis Elizabeth Hinton challenges the accepted belief that mass incarceration originated with the Reagan administration. Rather, she traces its rise to an ironic source: the social welfare programs of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society at the height of the Civil Rights era. So I wanted to ask you this: why this book?

Elizabeth Hinton: Well I grew up in the 1980s. I am on the older side of the millennial generation so I witnessed first-hand the impact of crack and crime on my family, but I also understood the larger socioeconomic context that led some members of my family to go in and out of prison and it wasn’t until I was much older in my 20s, in graduate school, that I began to visit family and loved ones in prison in the state of California.

A lot of us who have incarcerated family members feel a lot of shame about that so it took me a while to be able to actually go visit them and come to terms with it in different ways. When I stepped onto the campus on High Desert State Prison in Susanville, California, I was just astounded. This was in 2005, and this was a time when mass incarceration itself wasn’t talked about. It wasn’t quite the catch phrase that it is now; it was way more invisible. I could not believe what I saw, which is generations of mostly Black and Brown men behind bars, interacting with their families and their children, and in this carceral place where guards are watching every move. They won’t let you touch. The process of going to visit somebody means that you’re criminalized yourself, in the search, in the registration for visitation. I really wanted to try to understand how we got to this place. How, in the United States of America, the so-called land of the free, where all of us are created equal, were there entire groups and entire generations of men of color behind bars? I wanted to understand the historical process that made it happen. So that’s kind of the personal aspect.

The other is that I had studied in undergraduate and wanted to study in graduate school, the Black Power Movement, Black Power politics. I was really interested in the 1960s and what happened to this promise of civil rights and I noticed as I began to dive into various Black power organizations that there was a real gap in the literature, in the historiography on Black Power in that era, on the transformation of federal policy. We had a much better understanding of groups like the Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army and Stokely Carmichael, but we lacked this understanding of the ways in which racism still profoundly shaped federal policy after the Civil Rights Movement. So I started to come to this question of how did the Federal government ultimately respond to the Civil Rights Movement and the enlightened protest of the 1960s? This kind of turn towards punitive policy emerged for me as the foremost answer to that question.

Michael Slate: Now 50 years ago, more or less, Lyndon Johnson called for a War on Poverty along with a war on crime?

Elizabeth Hinton: He declared both and that was one of the surprises for me as I began the research. We don’t talk about Johnson’s role as the architect of modern American law enforcement but he was the first in 1965, the week before he sent the Voting Rights Act to Congress, to declare an all-out war on crime. So this was a year after he declared the war on poverty, the next year he follows it up with this declaration of a war on crime.

Michael Slate: You make a point that since then, prisons, jails, law enforcement institutions, they’ve all functioned as the central engine of a big part of American society. Let’s talk about that.

Elizabeth Hinton: The way I see it in part, there was a crisis, there was a social and demographic and structural crisis going on in the 1960s. Cities are transforming, middle class and especially white residents are increasingly moving to the suburbs, and you have a growing population of low-income African American youth who are coming into major parts of significant American cities like Cleveland by the early 1960s, with Black Americans about one-third of the population in Detroit and Washington, D.C. and at the same time this is the moment when domestic manufacturing is really starting to decline in plants. The former Midwest and Rust Belt are closing so here you have this growing population of low-income people of color and there aren’t jobs for them. So this begins to become a real issue that policy makers are concerned about in the Kennedy administration. They say, “OK, we have to do something about what’s going in American cities because of these Black youth.” This is what Kennedy officials and social scientists used to call this group: “This group is social dynamite and if we don’t provide programs for them they’re going to explode.” Initially this comes in the form of juvenile delinquency programs. The Kennedy Administration, then the Johnson kind of expands this into a larger war on poverty that’s implemented nationwide.

At the same time Johnson kind of offers this carrot and stick approach, which is kind of this softer, social programs, social welfare programs, but also the rise of new police programs, the beginnings of the militarization of urban police forces, not during the war on terror which many people thought to explain how we got the kind of armor and tanks that we saw in Ferguson and the military rifles. This actually begins in the 1960s in the context of the Vietnam War. So Johnson begins at the same time initiating this massive and very promising and important social program. So Johnson kind of plants the seeds of this punitive response to problems of failing public schools and unemployment and deteriorating housing conditions and eventually these kinds of crime control programs begin to take precedence over the social welfare programs. We really see this transition take hold very firmly during the Nixon administration where social welfare programs are defunded.

As for crime control programs, Congress gives them greater and greater allocations and eventually under the Department of Justice and the grant-making administration that Johnson sets up, the law enforcement administration programs that had previously been administrated by the Office of Economic Opportunity come to be administrated by law enforcement officials. So you’ve got things like employment programs, after school programs that increasingly police are running by the 1970s. So in terms of the engine of inequality, it’s part of this approach that policy makers begin to take in the 1960s at the federal level that is a response to socioeconomic conditions and poverty, with police and surveillance and then eventually incarceration.

Michael Slate: When Johnson came into power there was actually an upsurge of rebellion that happened in this country. Johnson was very, very afraid of—what were these things harbingers of? What did they say about the future? He was very motivated by the fact that he needed to control people who could actually strike at the heart of this system.

Elizabeth Hinton: Right, and that’s actually a central part of my argument. It’s interesting that the social dynamite that Kennedy and then Johnson officials feared did indeed explode in the absence of major structural changes in 1964. There was a series of unrests, uprisings beginning with Harlem, Philadelphia, Chicago, Rochester, NY, where the National Guard was actually deployed and this was the first moment that the social dynamite exploded on a mass basis and I see Johnson’s call for the war on crime that previous spring as a preemptive measure to prevent future unrests. This was part of why he was so concerned with getting urban police forces with military-grade weapons in order to better manage these uprisings should they occur in cities. As the war on crime escalates and more money becomes allocated to the war on crime, the uprisings do, indeed, increase.

Simultaneously the program—the War on Poverty—being increasingly entangled with police officers and they’re taking on new roles in social programs. In the first year the War on Poverty was steered by this really amazing principle of maximum feasible participation. The idea was that federal grants would go directly to local organizations and local organizations would determine the causes and the solutions to poverty in their communities on their own terms. Increasingly in the aftermath of especially the Watts Uprising in the summer of ‘65 those autonomous grassroots organizations are increasingly forced to partner with municipal authorities and more formal organizations in order to receive federal funding. Johnson eventually requires that programs like model cities, community action programs, partner with and include police officers and law enforcement as well as local authorities in their decision-making process. So the War on Poverty itself has this kind of early moment where grassroots organizations are able to use these federal funds on their own terms or receive federal funding directly and that quickly begins to change.

Michael Slate: You bring out these quotes from Nixon, where he tells his Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman that the whole problem is really the Blacks and the key is to devise a system that recognizes this without appearing to. And then how Nixon made comments to John Ehrlichman about how the war on drugs is really this cover to arrest hippies and Black people. You point out how with this intentional and sinister aspect to Nixon’s policies, he takes the punitive elements, the crime control programs, that Johnson introduces and runs with them. Nixon also had this thing that “Black cultural pathology is the cause of crime,” which I think is actually really important for people to think about and get into because that lays the basis for actually, not just the continued oppression of Black people but actually the genocidal assault on Black people as a people.

Elizabeth Hinton: I mean Nixon really embraces the idea that somehow, and when I say Nixon I’m also talking about the officials in his administration and many members of Congress and the federal government, really begin to embrace this idea as crime continues to escalate in the era of the War on Crime, that Black people are somehow inherently, innately criminal. Instead of reevaluating these programs which had failed because the underlying structural issues that lead to crime remained unaddressed, policy makers continued to just throw more money at incarceration, surveillance and policing and under this idea that, “OK, well nothing works, there’s nothing that can be done to help these people,” to kind of get into the mindset of Nixon, and so our only option is to police them and incarcerate them. That’s part of the logic that leads to his major $500 million, which is like 1.5 billion in today’s dollars, prison construction project that gets initiated in 1970.

These programs, these ideas, lay the groundwork for Reagan and the War on Drugs. I think a lot of people assume that mass incarceration and the types of policing that we’re more aware of today that have been going on for some time emerged with Reagan and really, Reagan steps into a process that began with the Johnson administration and that really took on an entirely new level, especially in respect to prisons and incarceration during the Nixon administration.

Michael Slate: At one point, white people made up the majority of people in jail....

Elizabeth Hinton: And that begins to change during the Nixon administration.

Michael Slate: Yeah, and very dramatically. Let’s talk about that.

Elizabeth Hinton: So the thing that gets introduced most consequentially in terms of thinking about mass incarceration is a massive prison construction project. So again this goes into the way someone sees policy. These crime control and law enforcement policies are based on potential crime or projected crime. Nixon calls the Bureau of Prisons to completely overhaul the prisons at the federal level as a model for the states and they begin to make these projections of what the prison population will be - in 1970 they begin to make these predictions of what prisons will be in 1980 and those projections are based, again, projections made by the Kerner Commission and the Crime Commission on the ways in which the population of Black youth would grow. So they’re based on, again, that troublesome population for policy makers which is how many Black youth are in this country between the ages of 15 and 24 that are really the kind of group that is responsible for most of the nation’s crime as policy makers believed. So based on these projections of Black youth populations which later proved to be false in the mid-70s, Nixon begins this major prison construction project and basically incentivizes states to start building prisons.

When I came across these planning documents in the Nixon archives they were very chilling to me because the idea is that mass incarceration arose because there were real crime problems and it was kind of the natural response to what was going on on the ground and here you see policy makers actually building prisons based on what might happen in the future. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how you can project for prison populations. The tragic irony of this, and this again reflects these general priorities and this intentionality and the racism in the policies, the Congressional Research Service in the mid-’70s began to draw correlations between unemployment and prison populations and so instead of using unemployment rates to say OK, why don’t we provide people with jobs so they won’t turn to crime, the Bureau of Prisons in the Nixon and Ford administrations begin to say OK, based on our unemployment rates we need to build more prisons.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/imprisoned-palestinian-activist-ahed-tamimi-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

Imprisoned Palestinian Activist Ahed Tamimi:
“We should extend our struggles to one another in order to end all of the world’s injustices”

February 19, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

At 3 am, on December 19, Israeli military forces raided the home of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi, ransacked her home, and arrested her for the “crime” of resisting moves by Israel to make her village unlivable by isolating it, occupying it, cutting off its water, and instituting an ongoing reign of terror. A few days later, her mother, Nariman Tamimi, was also arrested while visiting Ahed at an Israeli police station.

Ahed Tamimi and her family have a long history of speaking out against the expansion of militarized Israeli “settlements.” These “settlements,” combined with walls, checkpoints, military installations, and land seizures are a tightening noose around the Palestinian people. Ahed Tamimi has documented protests against the Israeli occupation on social media with global impact, exposing, embarrassing, and infuriating Israeli authorities and their U.S. backers. In December 2016, she was denied a visa by the U.S. government to enter the country for a speaking tour.

On December 15, 2017, Tamimi took part in a demonstration opposing the expansion of Israeli settlements near her village. During the protest, her 14-year-old cousin Mohammed Fadl al-Tamimi was shot in the face at close range with a rubber-coated steel bullet by the Israeli military. He was put in a medically induced coma to remove the rubber bullet from his head (he later regained consciousness). Later, Ahed Tamimi confronted Israeli soldiers outside her home. A widely circulated video shows her slapping one of the heavily armed Israeli soldiers who was posted provocatively in her own driveway. It was after that video circulated through social media that Israeli forces raided her home and arrested her.

Ahed Tamimi now faces 12 charges in a closed Israeli military court. These military courts are set up to administer a whole different set of laws to oppress Palestinians, including to facilitate the jailing of hundreds of Palestinian children every year. If convicted, she could be sentenced to seven years in prison. Human Rights Watch reported in 2016 that Palestinian children in Israeli jails are brutally beaten and “treated in ways that would terrify and traumatize an adult.”

Israel’s Minister of Culture said of Ahed Tamimi: “She is not a little girl, she is a terrorist. It about time they will understand that people like her have to be in jail and not allowed to incite racism [sic] and subversion against the state of Israel.” Israel’s “Education” Minister has demanded she and others like her “should finish their lives in prison.”

A global movement has been organized to demand Ahed Tamimi’s release from Israeli prison. Former UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories Richard Falk wrote, “Israel’s prosecution of Ahed Tamimi under an Israeli military court for putting up resistance to Israel’s occupation regime epitomizes the unspeakable inhumanity of holding a civilian population captive for generations.” (“Why the Experience of Ahed Tamimi Matters So Much,” by Richard Falk)

Watch this video to see what happened, why, and listen to Ahed Tamini’s inspiring and challenging message to the people of the world.

For background see:

* Michael Slate Interviews International Law Professor Richard Falk on U.S. and Israel: Iron fist geopolitics where law and morality are completely marginalized.”

* Michael Slate’s interview with historian Ilan Pappé, Author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

* The special issue of Revolution, The Case of Israel: Bastion of Enlightenment or Enforcer for Imperialism?

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/more-on-making-a-splash-on-social-media-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

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

February 19, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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. These goals can be advanced greatly by mass engagement with this new film, by college students, professors, and as part of campus discourse.

Anyone who has begun to see what a difference it could make for people everywhere to see this film, can and should contribute to this! (For a deeper look at the difference this could make, see here.)

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. Make sure to tag @tuneintorevcom on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and use the hashtag #TrumpPenceMustGo, whenever you can.

Reach out to people you know, directly: Hit up any students, professors, or anybody else who works at or is connected to a college campus. Call them up, text them, message them; tag them, with the link to the film or a clip. Let them know why you think people on their campus should see it. If you are a student or connected to a campus, consider hosting a screening of the talk, and promoting it on social media. Show people the trailer on your phone when you see them, and capture their response. If you are a professor who appreciates this talk, show it to your class and agree or disagree, hold a discussion of the very serious questions it addresses, and the answers it poses. If you agree, write a statement of support and post it.

Pick a campus: Campuses across the country, and critical thinking itself, is under attack by the Trump/Pence regime. Early on, UC Berkeley, University of Florida, and others were rocked by protest against white supremacist, misogynist, fascist Trump cronies speaking at their schools. Now, the movement to create Sanctuary Campuses to protect immigrant students from what is becoming a gestapo-like state, is growing, and everyone involved in that movement should also see this film. Reach out directly, posting on school newspaper and school organization Facebook pages, and tagging professors and student organizers.

Add your voice: If you were moved by this film, say why, from your perspective. That can be a Facebook Live video as short as one sentence, a photo of you holding a palm card of the film or a note saying why you appreciate it in your hand, or the text of a tweet that links to the film; whatever it is, post something original like that every day. If you’re not sure what to say, post a quote from the talk you thought was important, or pose a question you think was addressed in the talk, and challenge your following to watch to hear the answer. If you’re feeling artistic, get artistic with it!

Pay attention & respond to events as they happen: Almost every day there is a new outrage, and the resistance to Trump has not been quelled… but fascism can absorb separate acts of resistance, while it bludgeons through with its agenda, and all the while becomes normalized. What people need to understand in order to act commensurate to the threat posed by Trump, is concentrated in this talk. With each fresh outrage from the Trump/Pence regime, there is something in this talk that will help people understand what is happening and why. Pay attention to current events, watch the Trump administration like a hawk, and search news and social media for campus protests and walkouts. Reply, comment, intervene into those events on social media, with the clips, the Q&As, or the full talk to help shape public understanding of what we are facing, and what we must do. See also the “Engage in ongoing discussion on social media...” section of the Make a Splash! article.

Donate To social media advertising.

Stay in touch: Send updates to: revolution.reports@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

American Chauvinism and Hypocrisy Runs Amok:

 "Liberals" Declare Russian Interference in Elections "An Act of War"!

February 24, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

On February 16, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three organizations for using social media “to interfere with the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election.”

The same night, Jerry Nadler, an influential Democratic congressman, appeared on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes. Nadler declared “This is a very serious attack on the United States by a hostile foreign power. ... We know that the attack is continuing.”

Referring to Trump’s refusal to acknowledge that Russia was responsible for the social media campaign targeted by the indictments, Nadler compared this to the U.S. response to Pearl Harbor—the event that triggered the U.S. entry into World War 2—“Imagine if FDR [President Franklin Roosevelt] had denied that the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor and didn’t react, that’s the equivalent.”

When Chris Hayes pointed out that Nadler was equating a social media campaign with a full-scale military attack, Nadler acknowledged that Russia isn’t accused of killing Americans, but stuck to his comparison, arguing that “This country exists to have a democratic system with a small ‘d’ ... and this is an attempt to destroy that.”

And this was not just Nadler. Former Clinton aide Phillippe Reines made the same point on All In, as did Karen Tumulty in The Washington Post. Pundit David Frum (who coined the phrase “Axis of Evil” for George W. Bush) wrote a piece in The Atlantic titled America Is Under Attack and the President Doesn’t Care, in which he compared this to events leading to the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War. Others have compared it to the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Chuck Todd of Meet the Press tweeted that if you aren’t focused on the question of “how are we going to punish Russia” you need to “rethink your priorities as a citizen.”

On one level, this is just stunning hypocrisy, a mind-numbing example of the GTF (“The Great Tautological Fallacy”) that Bob Avakian calls out in his talk, “THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible.” As a leading scholar of U.S. intelligence operations, Loch Johnson said in the New York Times, “We’ve been doing this kind of thing since the C.I.A. was created in 1947. ... We’ve planted false information in foreign newspapers ... [and distributed] suitcases of cash" to influence elections.

In fact, the U.S. has done way more, and way worse—helping to organize coups that overthrew elected leaders and installed brutal military or fascist dictatorships in Iran, in Guatemala, in Chile and in Indonesia—and as many as a million people were killed in the wake of these coups. The Times article also cites a study by Carnegie Mellon scholar Dov H. Levin who found that the U.S. engaged in covert interference in other countries’ elections 81 times between 1946 and 2000.

Referring to this whole history, Steven Hall, 30-year C.I.A. veteran and former chief of its Russian operations, told the Times that the U.S. “absolutely” does this “and I hope we keep doing it.” [Emphasis added.]

Yes, it certainly is outrageous that Russia is interfering with elections!

But there is a level of genuine anxiety and indignation involved, because, as Nadler said, this is “an attempt to destroy” U.S. democracy. The concern here is that in the U.S., “free and fair” elections are the alpha and the omega of “democracy.” These elections are the thing that give this system legitimacy. It is what allows the rulers to say—in spite of the mountain of evidence to the contrary—that important decisions reflect “the will of the people,” and not the overwhelming power of the imperialist ruling class, with their control of mass media, the economy, of the educational system, and with their massive government and major political parties representing their interests, each with a huge apparatus of people and organization—all of which has evolved over centuries of practice to package and sell whatever the dominant forces in the ruling class wants to do at any moment as “the will of the people,” which people then dutifully “endorse” in the elections.

Russia reportedly spent 46 thousand dollars on Facebook ads, a drop in the ocean of the 81 million dollars spent by Trump and Clinton. But representatives of this system fear that this “outside interference” has tarnished the aura and sanctity of U.S. elections. It is like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes—once that one little boy pointed out the emperor was naked, everyone could see it, and the rulers fear that the same thing could happen with their myth of electoral democracy, laying bare their actual dictatorship for all to see.

All of this bears out what BA says in BAsics 1:3:

The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/revclubLA-confronting-the-chicago-mayor-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

From Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

Confronting the Chicago Mayor, and Bringing the Truth Out About the Fascists and the Democrats

February 24, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

On Monday February 12 the Revolution Club, LA went to UCLA where the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, was invited as a “thought leader” to present about what he has done to supposedly help the people of Chicago.

The Revolution Club distributed the palm card for the film of BA’s talk on fascism to students and to the people lining up outside to hear Rahm Emanuel speak. We talked to them about the importance of this talk and how Bob Avakian goes very deeply into why we can’t rely on the Democratic Party who are all on “the same team” as Trump.

We got some extra tickets to get in and decided that it would be important if some of us went inside to see what happens and see what Emanuel says. A few minutes into the speech three activists from an organization called No Cop Academy spoke out about how Emanuel worked to cover up the murder of Laquan McDonald, and they chanted “money for schools, not for cops.” The police forced the activists to leave the event. Emanuel insisted to the audience that he would get into the points they brought up later in his speech.

Rahm Emanuel went on in his speech to talk about how every high schooler was going to  have to get a college acceptance letter, a job, or military enlistment papers to be eligible to receive a high school diploma. And this is where a couple members of the Revolution Club stood up and spoke out against this. One person said, “Forcing these youth to join the military so that they can go and kill and help this system oppress people all over the world, just so that they can get a high school diploma is wrong!” Another person said, “Rahm Emanuel’s plan for ‘at-risk youth,’ for the masses of Black people, is nothing more than feeding them into the meat grinder. If they aren’t shot in the back in this country sending them off to kill and drop bombs on people in other countries.”

At this point the pigs came over and roughly grabbed one of the members of the Revolution Club and wrenched on his shoulder to stop him from chanting “Trump and Pence must go” and calling on people to go to Revcom.us and to find out about Bob Avakian. The pigs took him and slammed him to the ground, and four officers ran over and put their knees on his back and neck as the crowd gasped when they heard the cries of pain. After handcuffing him the pigs dragged him across the floor all the way out of the building. He was charged with two misdemeanors. Two other members of the Revolution Club were taken into custody for filming the police as they brutalized him, and released without charges.

There were three other disruptions of the speech that came after, each from No Cop Academy. One activist chanted “16 shots and a cover-up” as he walked out of the building. Another activist spoke out about how Rahm Emanuel was shutting down schools at the same time as he was funding the construction of a police academy. He was arrested by the police. Someone else spoke out against Emanuel but it was not clear what they said.

In response and in the face of the protesters against police murder and those who were calling out the Trump regime and arrested for doing so, what did Rahm Emanuel have to say? “Who knew there were so many non-stop flights from Chicago?”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/cheers-to-andra-day-and-common-singing-tribute-to-the-dreamers-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

Cheers to Andra Day and Common singing “Stand Up for Something” as a tribute to the Dreamers

February 24, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Andra Day and Common dedicated “Stand Up for Something” to the Dreamers. (Watch and listen here.)

Before singing, Andra Day said, “I just gotta take a minute to address all of the Dreamers. With the end of DACA and the possibility of deportation looming, we just want you guys to know that we stand with you, and we will not stop fighting for you. We dedicate this performance to you guys tonight.”

At the end of the song, Common said, “For the Dreamers: Trump and Congress are failing you, but we the people will fight to the end till we win the Dream Act. We will fight to the end. We the people, we stand with you.”

Here are the heartfelt lyrics of the song.

Stand Up for Something
by Andra Day

You can have all the money in your hands
All the possessions anyone can ever have
But it’s all worthless treasure, true worth is only measured
Not by what you got, but what you got in your heart
You can have, you can have everything
What does it, what does it mean?

It all means nothing
If you don’t stand up for something
You can’t just talk the talk
You got to walk that walk, yes you do
It all means nothing
If you don’t stand up for something
And I stand up for you
And I stand up for you, yes I will, yes I will

You do the best that, do the best that you can do
Then you can look in the mirror
Proud of who’s looking back at you
Define the life you’re living
Not by what you take or what you’re givin’
And if you bet on love there’s no way you’ll ever lose
Take a stand, make a stand for what’s right
It’s always worth, always worth the fight

It all means nothing
If you don’t stand up for something
You can’t just talk the talk
You got to walk that walk, yes you do
It all means nothing
If you don’t stand up for something
And I stand up for you
Stand for respect, dignity
If that’s all you got, then you got all you need
And without that, you don’t have a thing, oh, no, no

Rise up, love, lift your hands
I stand with you ’cause I understand
Ain’t here to judge, just to take a stand
The greater plan’s the Creator’s plan
Let’s all rise like the day began
Reach out and touch with the Savior’s hand
On rock, we stand like this native land
Let the ways of love be the ways of man

And it all means nothing
If you don’t stand for something
You can’t just talk the talk
You got to walk that walk, yes you do
It all means nothing
If you don’t stand up for something
And I stand up for you (stand up, stand for you)
I stand up for you (stand up)
And I stand up for you (stand up, stand for you)
Stand up for you, yes I will, yes I will (stand up)

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/thousands-of-students-demand-school-shootings-end-en.html

Revolution #531 February 19, 2018

Thousands of Students Demand School Shootings End—Awakening to Political Life, Confronting Big Questions

Updated March 13, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Outraged that schools have become war zones, heartbroken at losing loved ones, fed up with post-massacre “thoughts and prayers,” and determined to end the epidemic of school massacres, thousands of students rallied, protested, and walked out of schools this past week, demanding these shootings end! “Never again should an innocent life be taken while trying to gain an education,” one student declared.

Sparked by the massacre of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students across South Florida walked out: 3,000 protested at Florida’s State Capitol in Tallahassee, and others protested in Washington, DC, Silver Spring, Maryland, as well as in Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Washington state. National protests are being planned for March 14 and 24.

Everyone should be outraged and digging into why this is happening and how to stop it for real!

Awakening and Confronting Big Questions

The students in Florida and others have come straight up against a hideous manifestation of the real nature of this system and society and the horrors and madness it spawns. Big questions are posed and the students are searching for answers. They’re speaking out about what it means to go through one of these murderous rampages—or to live in fear of one. They’re demanding it stop. And they’re saying they’re going to be the ones that will stop it. There’s a streak of contempt for the political establishment that’s allowed this to continue, and rage at groups like the NRA with its fascist gun culture. It is criminally insane that young people simply trying to go to school, get an education, hang with friends, and grow into life are being shot down in American schools.

There are a lot of conflicting ideas in the mix.

The students’ main demand, one the Democrats and liberal media have pushed for years, is gun control. If you think the problem is a few crazed, hate-filled, or deranged people who’ve gotten hold of high-powered automatic weapons, then gun control seems like the obvious, immediate, practical way to make sure such people can’t get such weapons and that students are safe.

But the problem is bigger and deeper.

The reality is that mass violence is as American as apple pie, woven into its fabric and DNA. It is rooted in the origins and history of America, its system and its political structures, the social relations and the culture it has given rise to and continues to reinforce. To change this, you have to get at those roots.

For an open, painful sore, it may seem logical to apply a band-aid. But if it is a symptom and manifestation of a deeper problem like cancer, it will not work, and may even do harm.

Gun Control and Background Checks: Is the Answer Really Giving This System, This State MORE Power?

What will it mean to enact gun control laws and background checks?

Do we want to give even more power to Trump and his cohorts who say the white supremacists in Charlottesville are “fine people”?

Do we want to give even more power and even more of a free hand to this system’s armed enforcers? In neighborhoods not far from Stoneman Douglas or almost any other high school, you will find police are already harassing, jacking up, violently assaulting, incarcerating, and killing Black and Brown youths. You will find ICE ripping immigrant families apart.

Consider the contrast between how Florida treated George Zimmerman and Marissa Alexander: Zimmerman stalked the unarmed Black teenager Trayvon Martin, assaulted him, and then shot the 17-year-old dead. Marissa Alexander was a victim of ongoing domestic abuse who feared for the safety of her children, so she fired a warning shot into the air. Yet, Zimmerman walked free and Marissa Alexander was torn from her children and sent to prison!

Or consider this: During CNN’s February 22 Town Hall on this school massacre, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel argued that police should be able to detain people before they were deemed a threat to themselves or others.

But the police, not just in Broward County but around the country, have been caught on camera time and time and time again beating people to death, tasing people to death, shooting kids in the back, choking unarmed men to death, planting drugs on those they’ve beaten, and on and on. Overwhelmingly the victims of this terror are Black and Brown—and almost always the police walk scot free.

Or consider this: Stoneman Douglas student Lorenzo Prado desperately feared for his life when a local SWAT team temporarily mistook him for the shooter. The reality behind his story of legitimate terror: “I, not trying to be one of those news stories of someone dying wrongfully because they refused to put their hands up, I just dropped my phone at that moment and kept going.... I had six SWAT members pointing their guns at me.... I knew any move I made would be the end of my life.”

THIS is the capitalist-imperialist state (the institutions and structures, including the armed enforcers like the police, that maintain and enforce the political power of this system and its ruling class) that would be given even more power through background checks and gun control legislation.

This state itself cannot be given the power to further regulate the ability of people to defend themselves against reactionary and illegitimate violence, as this state is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. Any additional powers to which you lend your voice to legitimize this will sooner or later—and usually sooner—be used against the people and against political movements of resistance.

This happened in the 1920s against immigrants and radicals. During World War 2, when the Japanese were interned. In the 1950s, repression was unleashed against suspected communists. And in the 1960s, through the FBI’s notorious COINTELPRO program against revolutionaries and civil rights and antiwar groups. Ever expanding instruments of state repression and spying—legitimized as the “War on Terror”—were turned on Muslim communities after 9/11, and more recently against Occupy and the mass protest movements against police murder.

Don’t be foolish. New gun control measures would only heighten that repression. Guns—especially high-powered automatic weapons—would NOT be taken from the state and its brutal military and police. Proposed background checks allow sections of the people—like the NRA and the white-supremacist fascists who marched in Charlottesville―who say they are preparing for “race war”—to still buy guns, while barring others.

Mass Violence—As American as Apple Pie!

This country was forged through massive violence, against the oppressed and the exploited—with guns, bombs, slave shackles, lynching ropes. From the genocide of Native Americans, to the enslavement and lynching of Black people, to the “Wild West” expansion and theft of Mexican land, to the brutal exploitation of immigrants, to imperialist wars around the world—the Philippines, Vietnam, Haiti, El Salvador, Iraq, and the list goes on and on. American Crime at revcom.us documents these in a continuing series. It’s what this country is built on: white supremacy, misogyny, and American imperialist supremacy.

American violence is not a partisan issue. Let’s look at the Democrats’ record: they ushered in the nuclear nightmare at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They’ve started and supported murderous war after war, from Vietnam to Iraq to Central America. Under Bill and Hillary Clinton, mass incarceration, police terror, and border militarization skyrocketed. Now leading Democrats like Chuck Schumer and others are collaborating with and normalizing the fascist Donald Trump.

Democrat mayors, governors, and other politicians are rushing to the side of the Florida students on “gun control.” Why? *

A sharp divide exists among the ruling forces of this society—and gun control has become part of this battle. It isn’t over whether to put an end to all the unjust violence the U.S. inflicts upon the world through its wars, or on Black and Brown people in this country through prisons and police, or any of the other horrors that are rooted in this system. This fight is over how best to respond at a time of great change—and the Trump/Pence fascist regime and the Democrats, both representing different sections of the ruling class of this system, have different worldviews and programs on this. (See “When it comes to driving out Trump/Pence FASCISM, the Democratic Party is part of the problem and NOT part of the solution”.)

Trump and the Republicans, and the NRA have, so far, adamantly opposed any gun control measures. It is not essentially because they are beholden to the “gun lobby.” It’s because they are fascists. An important element of that is keeping weapons directly in the hands of their white-supremacist, xenophobic social base—as a vicious video released by the NRA last year made clear.

American violence is fostered and celebrated by a culture awash in violence, misogyny, and an ethos of “me first and fuck everyone else.” How many TV shows and movies center on “righteous” bloodthirsty revenge? How many video games celebrate and score points for wanton violence? Heightened, accentuated, and openly advocated and violently reinforced—with a vengeance—by the fascist Trump/Pence regime, this system’s mouthpieces and representatives claim that the problem is just a few “sick” individuals?

An important reality has been pointed to by students and others again and again in the media: America is unique in the world for this kind of crazed, destructive mass shooting. Democratic mouthpieces chalk this vast difference in shootings up to a single factor: gun control laws. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface!

What is truly unique about America? It is #1 in dropping bombs—including nuclear bombs—on people around the world. It is #1 in genocide and slavery, in mass incarceration and torture. It is #1 in individualist, revenge-ist, me-first culture and fostering victimhood among the privileged. THIS is inseparable from the phenomenon of mass shooters.

It is impossible to understand the roots of mass shootings—or come close to getting beyond them—without connecting to this larger fabric that must be ripped apart and transformed.

Students: Raise Your Sights to the Whole World

DACA recipients, many of them your fellow students, are—for now—able to continue, and renew, their status, which provides temporary protection from deportation. But the Dreamers' lives and future are still hanging by a thread, facing the possibility that DACA could be ended without warning, making them immediately deportable. Eleven million immigrants are also being threatened with mass deportation, and many will see their families torn apart or even sent to their deaths if America carries out these threats.

What about the people and youth of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, who are right now being killed by the biggest of U.S. guns? Or the people and youth of North Korea and Iran, threatened by American nukes? Can you put yourself in their shoes? Can you imagine their dreams? Are you standing up for and with them?

As you awaken to the horrors of this country and what it does, lift your sights to the emancipation of all of humanity. Otherwise none of these burning outrages will end, and in many ways you could end up being pitted against others whose lives are being wantonly destroyed by the same system that is responsible for the school shootings you’re rightly outraged about.

The real insanity is leaving in place this capitalist-imperialist system built on racism, genocide, and misogyny which doesn’t give a shit about youth in Parkland, Florida, or people anywhere else. It’s the same system that’s driving the world toward environmental calamity with global warming, and threatening it with nuclear holocaust. It’s going to take nothing less than an actual revolution to change that.

To those agonizing over the latest school shooting and those who abhor it—dig more deeply into the history of this country and the nature of this society. Rise up, resist, and revolt against all abuses and outrages going on, and against the system underlying them. Come to revcom.us and get into the most radical revolutionary vision, strategy, and plan for a whole new world, without the needless carnage and insanity that is an American hallmark.


* George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, and others are pouring millions of dollars into supporting the coming marches promoting gun control and voting for the Democrats this fall. Yet they’re not pouring millions into stopping much graver, immediate threats: the attacks on DACA and immigrants, the threats of war, even nuclear war, against Iran and North Korea, the consolidation and normalization of the fascist Trump/Pence regime. In fact, they are feeding a dynamic where these monumental concerns that affect billions around the planet are pushed out of sight as they grind rapidly towards greater horror. [back]