Revolution #532, February 26, 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 #532 February 26, 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 #532 February 26, 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 #532 February 26, 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/530/march-1-stand-with-immigrants-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 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/532/daca-deadline-looms-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 2018

DACA Deadline Looms,
1.8 Million Lives at Stake—
This Fascist Horror Must be Defeated!

February 26, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Noon February 26. The Supreme Court today declined to clear the way for the Trump regime to end DACA on March 5 and immediately begin deporting those whose DACA status has expired.   Two federal district judges ruled that DACA recipients should be allowed to renew their status while Trump's order to end DACA is being appealed. This Supreme Court decision has no impact on the million+ Dreamers who have not applied and are subject to deportation now.

This is not a moment to let down our guard. The Trump regime continues its all-round assault on immigrants. What this means for the 1.8 million young people and all immigrants has not changed.  The stakes of defeating this assault have not changed. This is a moment to make the March 1 actions even more powerful.

~~~~~~~~~~

1.8 million young people—the Dreamers—will begin facing deportation on March 5.

700,000 who registered under the DACA program could become “illegals,” along with over a million who didn’t register and are also under threat. They could be picked up by any cop or turned in by a racist reactionary who suspects them based on their accent or skin color, and reports them to immigration authorities. They could be locked in detention centers, put on airplanes or buses and sent back to countries they haven’t seen since infancy. Many of them could face death if they are returned.

Who are they? People whose parents were forced to leave homelands shredded and torn by poverty and violence imposed and perpetuated by the United States. Whose parents were forced to undertake treacherous journeys carrying them over mountains and across deserts to evade the sensors, barbed wire, and patrols of La Migra. Whose parents worked shit jobs at meager wages, always fearful of possible immigration raids, so their children could live safely.

They are young people whose parents brought them to this country as infants or children. Young people who have lived most of their lives in this country—where they have gone to school, gotten jobs, fallen in love, supported their families, begun families, been a part of their neighborhood. Young people who have had to fight every day to have their humanity recognized by a system that has hounded them and their families. And for the past year, targeted by a fascist regime that demonizes and threatens them constantly.

Think about what these 1.8 million people face now. If they were all torn from their families, lined up and gathered in city squares across the country, cuffed and put into prison buses and shipped to prisons, sent out of the country, would you be shocked? How would you confront that towering injustice? This is the kind of horror the Trump/Pence regime has in store, even if people are picked off one by one.

No Excuses, No Looking the Other Way

“It can’t happen here.”

“That’s their problem, it doesn’t concern me.”

“There’s nothing we can do about it.”

Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

The fascists in power are barreling ahead toward a truly horrific and utterly unjust crime against humanity. They have the personnel, the legal machinery, and the logistics to carry it out. It is happening here.

It is the concern of everyone in society who has any shred of humanity and compassion. If you know this horror is happening and do nothing to stop it, you sacrifice your own humanity.

There’s a lot that can be done to stop it, by going into the streets in determined and defiant nonviolent mass action, as well as other nonviolent expressions of opposition.

A Battering Ram for Ethnic Cleansing

Trump’s intentions for all immigrants are clear. Just last week he called immigrant youth “animals and killers,” who don’t shoot their alleged victims because guns “aren’t violent enough.” He promised to get “[immigrant] offenders off our streets and behind bars and get them behind bars for a very long time, or get them out of our country.”

Making America white again, including by forcing out and deporting millions of immigrants, is a cornerstone of Trump’s fascist program. And it is coming to a head now. If these fascists get over with deportations of the DACA youth they will have laid the basis to go after all immigrants and made a big step toward consolidating fascism. This must not happen!

This Fascist Assault Needs To Be Defeated

There will no doubt be further maneuvering and attempts at deal-making between the Republi-fascists and leading Democrats over DACA in the period immediately ahead. They are bartering and dickering over the lives and futures of millions of people. But three things are clear.

One, the Trump/Pence regime will continue to launch massive assaults, ultimately aimed at deporting millions, instituting a virtual war zone along the border, and severely restricting further immigration by Black and Brown people from what Trump calls “shithole” countries.

Two, the Democratic Party has demonstrated repeatedly that they are aiding and abetting Trump/Pence in the normalization of fascism. Relying on them to defend DACA is suicide. They have already agreed to allot $25 billion for a border wall, in exchange for a “debate” which amounted to nothing on immigration in the Senate. The Trump/Pence regime’s venomous attacks on immigrants have been getting more blatant and outrageous from the day Trump was inaugurated, and the Democratic Party leadership has been focused on working out a “deal” with Trump, and calling on people to wait for the elections, in 2018, 2020, and...

Three, and most important, it’s up to us, the masses of people, to change this. Vote with your feet, vote in the street. The strongest possible fight to defeat any attempt to undermine or eliminate DACA, and to stop all attacks on and deportations of immigrants, is urgently needed. This entire fascist regime needs to be driven out, and the fight against the attacks on immigrants must contribute to that. The protests planned by Refuse Fascism and others on March 1 must be as powerful as possible—you need to be at one of them, or organize your own protest, wearing black, remaining silent for 11 minutes for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, calling on others to participate. These attacks must not stand.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/532/us-and-israel-escalate-threats-of-war-on-iran-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 2018

New Nightmare Looming for the Middle East:
U.S. and Israel Escalate Threats of War on Iran

February 26, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

For the last 16 years, the U.S. and a host of other reactionary forces have bombed, shot, and tortured their way across Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and other countries in the greater Middle East. Literally millions of lives have been damaged or destroyed. It’s hard to imagine how the situation could get even worse—possibly much worse—for the people.

But that’s precisely what’s looming right now: escalating U.S.-Israeli threats against Iran, and the real possibility of yet another war.

This was dramatically brought home on February 9 over the skies of Syria, a country bordering Israel and one of the region’s key flashpoints.

Early that morning, Israel shot down an Iranian drone it claimed violated its airspace (a claim Iran denies). Israeli fighter planes then attacked and destroyed an Iranian base in Syria the drone was allegedly launched from, killing a number of Iranian personnel. During the attack, an Israeli F-16 (made in the U.S.A.) was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft fire—over Syrian airspace! Israel retaliated by attacking Syrian and Iranian air defense facilities.

The New York Times claimed that Israel’s military went on a “war footing” in response to Syria and Iran’s threats to retaliate, with Russia warning Israel not to escalate. All this took place in a matter of hours—but what is extremely dangerous is what the Times article concluded: “War was averted—but only for now. All of the ingredients for an extremely violent eruption in the Middle East remain in place.” (Emphasis added.)

After this clash, at a February 18 international conference, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu waved a piece of metal he claimed was from the drone Israel shot down. Then, like a Mafia enforcer, he threatened Iran’s foreign minister: “Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this? You should. It’s yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran: Do not test Israel’s resolve.” Netanyahu warned that Israel would attack “Iran itself”—along with groups supportive of and supported by Iran in Lebanon and Syria. An Iranian official shot back, “Tel Aviv would be razed to the ground if the Israeli regime took any military action against the Islamic Republic.”

The Context: The Trump/Pence Regime’s Bellicose Global Strategy and Escalating Threats Against Iran

These threats by Israel, America’s settler-colonialist attack dog in the region, and counter-threats by Iran are taking place as the Trump/Pence fascist regime is threatening the world. This regime says it’s time for “America First”—time to blast away any obstacle to American global dominance and win at all costs. It has signaled its greater willingness to use nuclear weapons. And it has targeted Iran as a “rogue state” and global “scourge.”

In 2015, Obama, together with Russia, China, and Europe’s main powers, signed a nuclear agreement with Iran. Iran agreed to roll back its nuclear enrichment program in return for an easing of sanctions by the U.S. and others. Now Trump is threatening to tear up the agreement and impose new sanctions, sharply ratcheting up tensions. The Trump/Pence regime has stepped up U.S. support for Saudi Arabia and Israel. These are regional powers—and bulwarks of U.S. imperialist dominance—clashing sharply with Iran across the region and demanding more drastic action against it.1

The U.S. is also escalating its own direct military moves against Iran. In January, the U.S. unilaterally declared its forces—2,000 troops on the ground, with massive airpower just over the horizon—would remain (illegally and uninvited) in Syria. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated the main purpose of deploying U.S. forces was “expelling malicious Iranian influence” from Syria and preventing it from achieving its goal of “dominance in the Middle East.” This creates another potential flashpoint for a direct U.S.-Iran military clash.

The Specter of Regional—Possibly Nuclear―War

The February 9 clash between Israel and Iran is “a dangerous escalation that raises the specter of direct conflict between Israel and Iran in Syria,” according to Middle East commentators, and a “far more serious situation” than before.

This is a far more serious situation than before. U.S. domination of the Middle East is being challenged, when the dangerously aggressive Trump/Pence fascist regime is in power.

For over seven decades, the Middle East has been a crucial oil and energy spigot for global capitalism-imperialism. It’s a key military and economic crossroads. And it’s been a central pillar of U.S. global domination. Yet in recent years this region has become increasingly unstable, and U.S. control has faced growing challenges. Islamic fundamentalism and jihadism have been fueled by U.S. wars. Other great powers are increasingly contending with the U.S.—Russia politically and militarily, and China economically. And Iran’s influence has spread.

Yet this region remains crucial to American global dominance, and the U.S. rulers are determined to preserve that by any and every means at their disposal.

In some important ways, these contradictions are now focused up in Syria. The six-year Syrian civil war has pitted the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad and his backers Russia, Iran, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah against various anti-Assad “rebels,” as well as reactionary Islamic jihadists backed by the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. It’s been a reactionary bloodbath on all sides, leaving 400,000 dead and 11 million refugees. Assad and his allies have, for now, emerged on top, while mercilessly bombing civilian areas under rebel control. If he holds onto power, it would strengthen the hand of Russia and Iran, and be a challenge to U.S. dominance.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a reactionary, repressive theocracy, whose ruling ideology is based on the Shi’a branch of Islam. It is also a regional power—jockeying to protect its interests and expand its influence within the current setup. This includes militarily supporting Assad by dispatching its Revolutionary Guards, as well as supporting allied Shi’ite forces including Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon and Shi’ite militia in Iraq. In doing so it’s sharply clashing with the U.S., the region’s dominant power, and its nuclear-armed ally Israel. Tillerson condemned Iran for “dramatically” strengthening its military presence in Syria. Netanyahu warned that “Israel will continue to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria.”

Any military attack by Israel on Iran would probably either have been planned in advance with the U.S. or quickly draw it in. It would very likely spread across the region. Such a war would have unpredictable but certainly catastrophic results, including because Trump has repeatedly bellowed that the U.S. should be able to use its nukes.

What the People in the U.S. Must Do

Since 2001, the mass murderers ruling the U.S. have been intervening, attacking, or waging wars in countries across the Middle East, from North Africa to Central Asia. They are responsible for over a million deaths and forcing millions more to become refugees in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan alone. Overall, tens of millions of lives have been shattered, uprooted, or ended. And now the criminal fascists in charge of the U.S. are threatening to take this bloodletting to a whole other level, possibly even including nuclear weapons.

Our interests are with the people of the world—including the Syrian refugees driven out of their homes by the civil war, the Iraqis who lost loved ones to U.S. bombs and guns, the Iranian families living under the threat of a U.S. or Israeli attack. Our interests do not lie with the monsters running this country, the unending wars they wage, or the empire they’re defending.

We cannot sit back and watch as the U.S. and Israel rain down even more death and destruction on thousands—quite possibly millions—of our brothers and sisters. Any move by Israel or the U.S. to further threaten or attack Iran must be met by condemnation and visible, determined resistance.

STOP WARS OF EMPIRE, ARMIES OF OCCUPATION, AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!


1. Saudi Arabia, with its vast oil reserves and financial resources, is a key cog in the U.S. empire, regionally and globally. A very intense rivalry between the Saudis and Iran is playing out across the Middle East. One dimension is religious. Both countries are ruled by reactionary theocratic oppressors who, in many ways, base their claims to legitimacy and regional standing on religion—in Saudi Arabia’s case Sunni Islam, in Iran’s Shi’a Islam. So this reactionary antagonism is also fueling their rivalry and many horrors across the region. [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/532/a-message-from-the-revolution-club-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 2018

A message from the Revolution Club to those coming out of Black Panther and wondering if we could really get to a different—and better—world...

There IS a Way Forward, Out of the Madness...

February 26, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

When you have seen Black people demonized and degraded on TV and movies and everywhere else... when you have seen Black women in particular dissed and caricatured in these same media... when you have seen—and lived—the conditions that the masses of Black people are forced into, with no acknowledgment of the depth and pain and long ugly source of the problem... then there is much in Black Panther that could grab you, deeply.

The movie takes you on a journey—but to where?

Do we need a better world? Yes. A thousand times yes! But how are we really going to get there?

NOT through T’Challa’s way—NOT through becoming another great power in the same system that oppresses people all over the world right now. Not through giving people charity crumbs—and maybe opportunities to get in on that oppression.

And NOT through Killmonger’s way either. Killmonger fights in the name of the masses, but he lashes out in revenge and brutality and ends up no better than the oppressors he wants to overthrow.

BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY! These are NOT the only choices.

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

These are the words of Bob Avakian. Bob Avakian is the leader of the revolution aiming to emancipate ALL humanity. He’s brought forward a strategy for this revolution and a blueprint for the new society, and a way that masses of people can scientifically understand and transform the whole world.

Find out about, get into, this revolution.

To find out more, go to www.revcom.us and TheBobAvakianInsitute.org.

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #532 February 26, 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/531/thousands-of-students-demand-school-shootings-end-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 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]

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/liberals-declare-russian-interference-in-elections-an-act-of-war-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 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/530/refuse-fascism-on-fight-against-anti-immigrant-attacks-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 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/532/trumps-budget-proposal-no-to-space-exploration-yes-to-space-wars-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 2018

Trump’s Budget Proposal:

No to Space Exploration, Yes to Space Wars

February 26, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The budget proposal Donald Trump submitted to Congress contains massive cuts in funding for scientific and medical research. One of the most far reaching of these is the cancellation of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). As the New York Times wrote, this project, 20 years in the making, was designed to “seek an answer to the most burning, baffling question in astronomy—and perhaps elucidate the fate of the universe ... [and] investigate the mysterious force dubbed dark energy that is speeding up the expansion of the universe and search out planets around other stars.”

WFIRST was to have been NASA’s project of the decade for the 2020s, with a proposed launch in the middle of the decade, budgeted for an estimated $3.2 billion. Studies of supernovas—exploding stars—have indicated that the universe’s expansion has been speeding up over time. The hypothesis is that there is a form of energy that is behind this accelerating expansion, working like the opposite of gravity. But little is understood about this “dark energy,” and scientists think that humanity’s understanding of physics and even the ultimate fate of the universe depends on knowing more about the actual nature of this dark energy. Frank Wilczek, a Nobel Prize winner from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that dark energy “is the most mysterious fact in all of physical science, the fact with the greatest potential to rock the foundations.”

WFIRST has been intended to help unlock that mystery. It would consist of a telescope with a wide field of view that could sweep vast areas of space looking for supernovas. It would reach deep into the cosmos, and also be equipped with a “coronagraph” that would enable it to block light from distant stars so that planets near them could be seen. It has the potential to contribute greatly to advancing scientific understanding of the universe for all of humanity.

Meeting the Needs of Capitalism-Imperialism, Not Humanity

In the U.S., the social wealth allotted to conduct scientific research is driven most fundamentally by the needs and goals of the capitalist-imperialist system and its rulers. These needs do not correspond to the interests of humanity; in fact, they are in fundamental antagonism to those interests. An expression of this is that proposals for scientific research are often twisted to conform to military standards. Developing ever more lethal weaponry is central to how science and technology are pursued and applied in this country.

The utilization of science to serve the military has gotten significantly worse with the rise to power of the fascist Trump/Pence regime. Opposition to science and to the scientific method itself is a cornerstone of the Trump/Pence regime. These fascists invent “alternative facts.” The Trump/Pence cabal is stuffed with fundamentalist Christian lunatics who think dinosaurs walked the Earth at the same time as humans, the Earth was created in seven days, climate change is not caused by human activity, and evolution—one of the most thoroughly proven scientific theories—is false.

They are moving to drastically cut funding for scientific research and study. Trump’s budget proposal slashes hundreds of millions of dollars from climate and renewable energy research across a range of federal agencies and departments. Specifically regarding WFIRST, the proposal reads, “Given competing priorities at NASA, and budget constraints, developing another large space telescope ... is not a priority for the administration. The budget proposes to terminate WFIRST and redirect existing funds to other priorities of the science community....”

These “other priorities” are, first and foremost, the military. Trump has long promised a huge increase in military spending, and the budget he recently presented to Congress features just that. The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Trump’s budget “would increase Pentagon accounts for weapons, troops, training and for nuclear arms programs run by the Energy Department by more than $74 billion, a 10% increase over current spending levels.”

Developing the U.S. capacity to wage war in space is central to the fascist plans to wage and prevail in war against global rivals. “Defense” Secretary James Mattis recently told a Washington, DC, conference, “Space is like any other domain of war.... Military uses of space are emerging. During a conflict, attacks against our critical defense, government, and economic infrastructure must be anticipated.” Mattis then threatened any government that may challenge the U.S. in space: “Don’t try it.”

Trump’s complete budget has yet to be voted on by Congress. It is possible that WFIRST will not be slashed, as the Trump/Pence regime proposes. But it is certain that there will be massive cuts for scientific research in general, and that much of what remains will be channeled towards research and development for the military.

The Planet Needs Revolution

WFIRST is a project that has the exhilarating potential to expand human understanding, reach into almost unfathomably remote reaches of the universe, and send back images of astonishing splendor, clarity, and scope. In its place, Trump would develop military satellites that serve the dominance of a criminal system. A system preparing to wage wars that can turn the planet into an inferno of death and destruction, a system that has already created a cascading series of environmental catastrophes. A system that needs to be overthrown through revolution, so humanity can get to a whole other place.

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #532 February 26, 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 #532 February 26, 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/532/billy-graham-dead-faithful-servant-of-us-imperialism-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 2018

Billy Graham Dead—This Faithful Servant of U.S. Imperialism Will NOT Be Missed

February 26, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Billy Graham, who died on February 21, was a faithful servant for the U.S. ruling class for over 70 years. He should be remembered as a devoted supporter of criminal presidents and as someone who preached poison to millions of people for many, many decades.

In his lifetime, Graham went to 185 countries and preached to some 200 million people—with the message of submitting to a non-existent god and living your life according to the Bible. A Bible which upholds slavery, the extreme subordination of women, the death penalty for homosexuals and disobedient children, and all kinds of other reactionary shit.

Graham was a staunch ideologue for U.S. imperialism—promoting free-market capitalism and decrying “godless communism.” As early as 1949, Graham was taking his toxic message to thousands. In downtown Los Angeles he held a three-week “mammoth tent crusade” in a 6,000-seat “canvas cathedral.” His message, combining conservative religion with Cold War anti-communism, was that “Communism has decided against God, against Christ, against the Bible, and against all religion. Communism is not only an economic interpretation of life—communism is a religion that is inspired, directed, and motivated by the Devil himself who has declared war against Almighty God.”

In 1954 he preached to huge crowds in Germany—25,000 in Düsseldorf and 80,000 in Berlin. A recent op-ed in the New York Times called Graham “God’s Cold War Machine” and said that he “described these trips as ‘crusades’ and saw West Germany as ground zero in what he called ‘Battleground Europe,’ a Cold War fight to redeem the ‘land of Luther’ from its Nazi past and secure its future as a stronghold for American-style democracy, capitalism and evangelicalism.”

More than anything, Graham’s life underscores how exploitative states use religion to carry out and justify oppression. Think about slavery in the United States—how Christianity was used to insist on unthinking obedience to authority, hand in hand with justifying white supremacy and male supremacy. One of the main things cited by defenders of slavery was the Bible—specifically, the story of how Noah’s son Ham incurred the wrath of God and was cast into Africa, a curse put on his descendants.

In his book Away With All Gods!, Bob Avakian (BA) talks about why oppressive ruling classes need religion, and specifically why they need to promote it among the masses of people. BA paraphrases Napoleon Bonaparte: “Society is impossible without inequality. Inequality cannot be sustained without a morality to justify it. And morality in turn cannot be sustained without religion.” What has been, and is, this morality for U.S. imperialism? One of wars of empire, repression, white supremacy, patriarchy and male supremacy, and the most anti-scientific thinking. This is the religion and morality Graham stumped for in the service of oppression all around the world.

Graham provided “spiritual support” for a dozen U.S. presidents, both Republican and Democratic. He was a personal counselor to Richard Nixon (1969-1974), giving him “spiritual strength” as the U.S. bombed and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people in the Vietnam War and when the CIA directly aided in the murderous military coup in Chile in 1973 to install the pro-U.S. dictator Augusto Pinochet. (See the revcom.us American Crime series for more on the Vietnam War and the coup in Chile.)

Graham had a close relationship with Ronald Reagan, who played a major role in promoting Christian fundamentalism and who backed the born-again Guatemalan dictator Ríos Montt, responsible for carrying out wanton murder and terror among the people. (See American Crime Case #95.) In 1991, George H.W. Bush invited Graham to spend the night at the White House the day before the U.S. began bombing Iraq. Graham gave a prayer at Clinton’s 1993 inauguration. Obama went to North Carolina in 2010 to pay homage to Graham.

The U.S. capitalist-imperialist system, which Billy Graham so faithfully served, has brought forward a fascist regime into the White House. It is fitting that after Graham died, Trump tweeted: “The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.”

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/531/the-school-shooting-in-parkland-florida-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 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/530/due-process-and-the-horror-visited-upon-women-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 2018

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

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #532 February 26, 2018

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

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

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

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

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

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

Women Ignored, Warning Signs Dismissed, Abuse Covered Up

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

Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander writes:

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

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

She’s right.

What About the Roots of Abuse?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/532/SF-Bay-Area-150-immigrants-rounded-up-in-fascist-ICE-raids-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 2018

SF Bay Area: 150 Immigrants Rounded Up in Fascist ICE Raids

February 28, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

ICE carried out a series of vicious immigration raids in the last two days in the S.F. Bay Area. Fox TV “embedded” reporters with TV cameras showing ICE banging on doors and dragging people away; the news coverage echoed the Trump/Pence regime’s vicious demonization of immigrations, talking about how “criminals” are being cleaned off the streets. ICE announced that 150 people were arrested.

Families and lives were ripped apart. Lawyers denounced the cruel treatment of the 150 in custody—those arrested were not allowed to talk to attorneys, their names were kept from attorneys, and even when officials of the Mexican consulate tried to see those arrested, ICE authorities would not let them.


Hundreds blockade San Francicso ICE HQ in response to raids February 28.

 

Any decent person should stand up and oppose these fascist raids. But for merely letting people know ahead of time that these ICE raids were coming, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was denounced as a “gang lookout” by acting head of ICE, Thomas Homan. Schaaf had announced on the weekend that sources pointed to imminent ICE raids, and she wanted to sound a warning to the community and inform people of their rights.

“My statement on Saturday was meant to give all residents time to learn their rights and know their legal options,” Schaaf said in a statement. “It was my intention that one mother, or one father, would use the information to help keep their family together.”

“I do not regret sharing this information,” she continued. “It is Oakland’s legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws. We believe our community is safer when families stay together. We know that law-abiding residents live in fear of arrest and deportation every day. My priority is for the long-term well-being of Oakland, and I know that our city is safer when we share information that leads to community awareness.”

Schaaf was denounced by right-wing media as well by Homan. ICE claimed that Schaaf’s warming let hundreds of “criminal aliens” escape the net. This lie about how they are targeting “criminals” goes back to the very start of Trump’s campaign. And it mirrors the way Hitler and the Nazis portrayed all Jews as “criminals” who must be driven out or exterminated. ICE let out a bit of the truth a few weeks ago when they said they were launching raids in the Bay Area as punishment of sanctuary cities—those cities not fully cooperating with the fascist anti-immigrant roundups. This is not about getting “criminals”—it is about the beginnings of ethnic cleansing, and the targeting of sanctuary cities shows this clearly. Sanctuary cities, as they now exist in the Bay Area, are not about stopping ICE or blocking ICE raids, let alone putting an end to the underlying discrimination and oppression of immigrants. They are instead about informing immigrants of their legal rights (such as they are), providing legal counsel at times, and keeping local police from playing an active role in the raids. This is what Schaaf was doing. But EVEN THIS is intolerable to the Trump/Pence regime. They cannot tolerate any opposition to their fascist transformation of society—and in particular, they are setting their sights on elected officials who dare to raise their heads and even sound an alarm to people in the community about what is coming.

The Oakland Mayor’s office is right now being deluged with death threats via phone calls from fascist networks around the country. Today, city officials said that they shut down the phone system because of the flood of threatening calls. And the authorities are threatening to go after Schaaf. Local Fox news reported that “ICE officials plan to ask the U.S. Justice Department to look into whether Schaaf violated any laws and, if so, hold her accountable for protecting anyone breaking the law for being in the country illegally.” If the Justice Department goes after Schaaf, it would be very serious indeed.

In San Francisco today, hundreds of activists, including DACA youth and many other people, are surrounding the ICE headquarters (this is a regional headquarters which covers an area from the Oregon border to Bakersfield in Southern California). Activists blocked the two gates of the ICE building where ICE vans carrying detainees go in and out, and also blocked two major street corners on the side of the massive ICE building. This was the largest act of civil disobedience so far against the attack on immigrants in this area and points to the urgent need for greatly intensified resistance.

This assault on the immigrants—and even on sanctuary cities and public officials who support them—as Refuse Fascism has called out, is the “linchpin and battering ram” of the whole fascist program being hammered into place. This nightmare must end, the Trump/Pence regime must go!

The Refuse Fascism call is completely on time: “March 1: Immigrants stay—Trump/Pence must go! Wear Black!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/532/supreme-court-did-not-issue-major-blow-to-trump-efforts-to-cancel-DACA-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 2018

From RefuseFascism.org:

No the Supreme Court did NOT Issue a “Major Blow to Trump’s Efforts to Cancel DACA”: This Fascist Regime is On a Roll and Must Be DRIVEN OUT!

What the Supreme Court News on DACA does NOT Mean… and What It DOES Mean

March 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On February 26, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to overturn a stay of elements of Trump’s decree ending DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) on March 5. Ending DACA would rip away any protection from deportation for over 800,000 “Dreamers” brought to this country as children. The current stay allows people enrolled in DACA to renew their protected status as it expires. The stay was issued by Federal District Courts in California and New York. This ruling is – at the moment – in effect nationwide.

Here’s the defining context: The Trump/Pence regime’s war on immigrants is 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.

In that light, here’s what today’s news does NOT mean:

  1. The fact that the Supreme Court did not intervene now does not mean the Supreme Court in any way, shape or form upheld DACA, or gave any indication that it will. This is not a “Major Blow to Trump’s Efforts to Cancel DACA” as liberal media and too many people in the movement who do or should know better are claiming. If things continue on their present course, the Trump/Pence Regime is likely to get a ruling in its favor from the Supreme Court. As the Washington Post explained: “Appellate courts can lift the injunctions at any time, even before a ruling on the merits [of the Trump Regime’s appeal of the orders]. At best it is a momentary pause for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as for Congress and President Trump. (emphasis added). The status of DACA youth remains hanging by a thread.
  2. Today’s news does not mean that the over 1 million young people eligible for DACA who have not signed up can sign up for it, or that they are spared from being targeted by ICE for deportation. And it does not mean that the eleven million undocumented human beings in the United States, including hundreds of thousands who have had Temporary Protective Status ripped out from under them, can step out from the shadows, breathe, and feel free to go to school, work, medical care, church or a park without being seized by ICE and deported, including to countries wracked by severe poverty, violence where deportation can be a death sentence. In fact, the terrorization of immigrant communities is intensifying at this moment. On February 26, the mayor of Oakland, CA warned that “(ICE) is preparing to conduct an operation in the Bay Area, including Oakland, starting as soon as within the next 24 hours.” Now there are reports that 150 people have been rounded up, intensifying the state of terror among immigrants. And “unofficial” terror and violence by fascist  thugs is being further incited: on February 23, Trump gave a Hitler-channeling speech to a rabid audience of supporters calling immigrants “snakes.”
  3. If this Supreme Court decision to decline to intervene in DACA lawsuits for the moment demobilizes people, that will be deadly. The path of relying on the courts to stand up to Trump was a horrible dead end when it came to the Muslim Ban. Energy and resistance to that ban dissipated while the regime won eventual victories in court and circumvented (bypassed) the courts to implement the ban through decrees (see “Trump Regime s “End Run” Imposes a Muslim Ban). Nor is it rational or ethical to expect the Democrats will put up a fight to defend the DREAMers – they have shown over and over they are unwilling or unable to do anything but cave when it comes to defending DACA, let alone standing up for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in a state-of-siege in America.
  4. In a much more significant ruling, the next day the Supreme Court legalized the existence of indefinite detention without trial or due process for immigrants – institutionalizing concentration camps in America! On February 27the Supreme Court ruled that immigrants can be held in detention indefinitely without bail hearings! One dissenting justice said the government’s argument – which was accepted by the Supreme Court – is “basically saying that we’re not a country of law, that we’re a country of arbitrariness in detaining people, locking them up.” Think about that! This is not a civil libertaries activist speaking, this is a U.S. Supreme Court justice. In this ruling we see in one piece of the puzzle how the war on immigrants is a battering ram to attack and strip away all basic democratic rights.
  5. Fascism can absorb Separate Acts of Resistance… pick a topic that you care about, and you will find out what the agenda of the fascist Trump/Pence regime is, cruel America first chauvinism, white supremacy, a return to oppressive patriarchal control of women, a culture against diversity, truth, and critical thinking. People have been protesting in courageous, determined, and creative ways, especially most recently to defend immigrants from the all-out vicious assaults by this regime and its enforcers. This is vitally important. But fascism can absorb separate acts of resistance because it wages battles on many fronts, with the aim of entirely remaking society and government. These attacks are fast and furious and shocking, trying to wear down our opposition and build up our tolerance. And while fascists cannot implement their whole program at once, these attacks do happen on many fronts simultaneously and are carried out by different parts of the regime and their collaborators.

So what does all this mean? It means we have to confront he reality of what we are up against: a fascist regime. It emphasizes that stakes of all kinds of people standing with DACA youth, with TPS recipients, with all those in detention right now and demanding the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

RefuseFascism.org has called for protests on March 1. Protests have also been called for March 5. JOIN THEM! And bring the message and understanding that this all-around assault on immigrants is a horror in its own right and the linchpin and battering ram of the whole fascist program being hammered into place by the Trump/Pence Regime.

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

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

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/532/speak-out-against-university-of-chicago-arrest-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 2018

Speak-Out Against University of Chicago Arrest of Revolution Club Member for Being Part of the 11 Minutes of Silence for Immigrants

March 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Revcom.us receive the following press release dated March 1:

Action: Press Conference to Speak Out Against University of Chicago Arrest of Participant in 11 Minutes of Silence for Immigrants and Demand All Charges be Dropped
Day and Time: Friday, March 2, at 12:30pm
Location: In front of Reynolds Club student center, University of Chicago Campus, 5706 S. University Ave.
Contact: Revolution Club Chicago, 312.804.9121, @revclubchi

On Thursday, March 1, a member of the Revolution Club Chicago was arrested by University of Chicago police after participating in a nationwide action of 11 minutes of silence for 11 million undocumented immigrants. She is outrageously and unjustifiably being charged with felony aggravated battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. The arrest of this person standing in silence for immigrants was carried out in the midst of University of Chicago loudly proclaiming itself as a beacon of free speech as it gives a major platform to known white supremacist and xenophobe Steve Bannon by inviting him to speak there.

In the dining hall in Reynolds Club student center, four Revolution club members stood silently holding signs that read, “March 1, 11 Minutes of Silence for 11 Million Undocumented Immigrants, #ImmigrantsStayTrumpPenceMustGo.” They stood silent for 11 minutes, while diners noticed the signs and most also went silent for 11 minutes.

At the end, those in the dining hall were thanked for their participation and informed about the escalation of attacks on immigrants, including the 150 immigrants rounded up in the San Francisco Bay Area over the weekend, as part of targeting of sanctuary cities by the Trump/Pence regime. Diners were also informed how students and faculty could gather with others throughout the day and hold 11 minutes of silence, and invited to attend the March 2 screening at Connect Gallery in Hyde Park of the film of the speech by Bob Avakian, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible.

This is all that happened before the Revolution Club members attempted to leave the dining hall, only to find University of Chicago police had blocked the exit, preventing them from leaving. After University Police appeared to relent and allow the Revolution Club members to leave, one of the women was grabbed and yanked out of the dining hall. Instead of allowing her to leave, UCPD violently grabbed her, pulling her down and dragging her out of the building.

See RefuseFascism.org for national coverage of the day of 11 minutes of silence for 11 million undocumented immigrants.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/532/UCLA-protesters-demand-charges-be-dropped-en.html

Revolution #532 February 26, 2018

Revolution Club Members and Refuse Fascism Activist Defiant After Arrest for Righteous Protest at UCLA Against Trump Cabinet Member

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

 

 

UPDATE MARCH 2: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin spoke at UCLA Monday night, February 26, to a crowd of people who hissed and booed throughout. Three young women with Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club in LA disrupted, exposing the "politics of cruelty and politics of fascism" that Mnuchin is enforcing as part of the Trump/Pence fascist regime’s cabinet. They called on people to get into the streets in their millions to stop this. They were dragged out and arrested.

Wednesday afternoon, Mnuchin demanded that UCLA not release the video of what happened (the first request it's ever received like this).

While UCLA has complied with his request, videos of the disruptions have gone viral on social media and been covered in major national press.  

He'd hate the fact that in defiance, these videos have been shared by thousands!

On social media, there's been an outpouring of support and appreciation for the protesters. People appreciating their bravery and determination, inspired that people are fearlessly speaking the truth.  

In addition to the three women inside, two other organizers with Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club were arrested outside for simple agitation. They were all told they're banned from campus, including a student and an alum!  

They defied that ban on March 1 for the 11 minutes of silence for 11 million immigrants, called for by Refuse Fascism, and united with over 50 students to block Bruin Walk (a main thoroughfare) for 11 minutes which students took up with real determination. The UCPD threatened arrest but backed down in the face of so much support from students.

Speaking to the Mnuchin event Monday night, a member of the Revolution Club and UCLA student, said: "We understand that what we're facing is a fascist regime. To quote revolutionary leader Bob Avakian from the recent talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible, 'Calling this regime fascist is not an insult but speaks to the terrible reality.' He goes on to make the point that in the face of fascism, order is NOT more important than justice. This means we have to step outside the confines of protest-as-usual to stop the existential threat to humanity that is posed by this regime through massive, non-violent, determined protest."

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Press Release

February 26, 2018
Los Angeles, CA
RefuseFascism.org 

Action:  UCLA Protesters Demand Charges Be Dropped—Defy Illegal Ban From Campus
Day and Time:  Tuesday, February 27, at 12 noon
Location:  Bruin Bear Statue, UCLA Campus, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angles, CA 90095
Contact: Refuse Fascism—323-946-1742

***

Steve Mnuchin—U.S. Secretary of Treasury and member of the Trump/Pence regime’s fascist executive branch, was invited onto the UCLA campus Monday, February 26 to give the Arnold C. Harberger Lecture at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.  Mnuchin was the first person from Trump’s cabinet to be hosted by UCLA.

Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club members joined a range of protesters at the Steve Mnuchin speaking engagement to call out this criminal and to demand the Trump/Pence regime be driven from power by the actions of the people. 

Inside the auditorium where Mnuchin was speaking, one after the other, Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism members, including a UCLA student and UCLA alumnus, spoke out, first declaring that Mnuchin and the Trump regime “is punishing Black and Brown people and is responsible for the misery this system has put people in.”  They said Mnuchin “is part of a regime that is hell-bent on consolidating fascism.”  They exposed the tax-bill as “targeting people who are most vulnerable,” shouting “this is the politics of cruelty, this is the politics of fascism.”  They called out the regime for “attacking people who are in poverty, taking away health care, taking away social security programs...” and declared “people won’t have anything to eat.” “Where is this money to go?” they asked—“to the military, to create more nuclear weapons, to bomb more people around the world.” 

They told the crowd, “don’t go along” with this, “don’t be people who normalize or be a part of this.”

The 3 protesters, all women, were then set upon by UCLA police.  The police used excessive force, arresting them on the spot, and either carried or dragged them out of the auditorium.  Video footage shows the 3 women, in handcuffs, in the building corridor continuing to be roughed up by the UCLA cops.  Then, two men from Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism were vamped on outside the auditorium for chanting “Trump/Pence Must Go.”  They too were brutalized by cops from the UCLA police department.

This is an outrage!  Here are courageous people calling out crimes against humanity by the Trump/Pence regime and Mnuchin’s active role in Trump’s cabinet which is consolidating fascism and visiting horror on people in the U.S. and around the world.  Yet they are the ones brutalized, they are the people arrested.

And now those arrested are being told verbally by UCLA police, while they were in custody, they are BANNED from campus (for speaking out against fascists and the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime). 

They will be ON CAMPUS, defying this restriction, at the Bruin Bear at 12 noon Tuesday, February 27.

Tala Deloria, a UCLA student, said: "We understand that what we're facing is a fascist regime.  To quote revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian from the recent talk, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In The Name of Humanity We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America: A Better World IS Possible, 'Calling this regime fascist is not an insult but speaks to the terrible reality.'  He goes on to make the point that in the face of fascism, order is NOT more important than justice. This means we have to step outside the confines of protest-as-usual to stop the existential threat to humanity that is posed by this regime through massive, non-violent, determined protest."

You can see that talk at https://vimeo.com/channels/BATalkTrumpPenceMustGo

Video of UCLA action from twitter: https://twitter.com/jacobwooch/status/968291251006013440/video/1

Video of UCLA action from Channel 7 ABC:  https://twitter.com/abc7JoshHaskell/status/968290969442443264