Revolution #537, April 2, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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

 


 

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

Revolution #537 April 2, 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/534/the-new-communism-could-change-everything--if-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

THE NEW COMMUNISM COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING—IF...

March 15, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following are excerpts from a document written by a leading comrade of the Revolutionary Communist Party and circulated among Party members and supporters. Footnotes have been added here.

 

Let’s speak frankly now. Let’s be willing to honestly confront and be blunt and grapple with the problems of the revolution, including with people outside our own Party. Let’s start by stating some simple basics about the current reality:

We revolutionary communists are supposed to represent and speak in the name of the interests of all of humanity. And we are supposed to do so on the basis of science and nothing less. On that basis, we can in fact have a great deal of certitude in stating that what humanity needs, more than anything else, is a communist world, achieved through a process of revolutions (of the right kind) to establish socialist societies (of the right kind) as a transition and road, and a base for advance, to that communist world. So it’s not just communism we are fighting for, it’s the right kind of communism, the NEW COMMUNISM.

The new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian (BA) really is a total game-changer, which objectively represents and constitutes the opening of a whole new chapter in the historical evolution of communist theory and practice. IT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING. But this will happen only IF the New Communism of BA becomes widely known, takes root, and spreads ever more broadly, in a kind of geometric progression, throughout this society and also throughout the entire world.

But right now the objective situation is such that hardly anyone has even heard of the New Communism, hardly anyone is even searching for that kind of solution to the world’s problems, and the so-called educated or “progressive” and “enlightened” people here and around the world remain primarily mired in moribund and paralyzing retrograde frameworks of the past (standard bourgeois democracy, social democracy,1 variations on Ajithism,2 etc.) and by and large are stubbornly (and sometimes snarkily, with significant vitriol) refusing to explore and engage anything that might be radically new and inspiring but which might actually require them to question and break out of the relative stability and comfort they can still typically benefit from (especially in the U.S.) thanks to their objective acceptance, accommodation and ultimately complicity with the dominant and ruling exploitative and oppressive frameworks, in all their vile and brutally violent incarnations (including their increasingly fascist directions) here and throughout the world.

So the external objective/subjective conditions we are dealing with are difficult to say the least. And, relatedly, the revisionism that has plagued the ranks of communists everywhere in recent decades, including in our own Party,3 has posed especially significant obstacles to waging the necessary struggles to break through any of this. So overall this is a very challenging time.

But one thing is crystal clear: There is nothing that would be more important to accomplish in this period of history than to succeed in breaking through some of these obstacles and getting the New Communism, as well as its architect, BA (the person who has elaborated and developed this new synthesis of communism, and who himself stands as a concentrated expression of its core principles and scientific methods), widely known, engaged and appreciated throughout this society (and among all strata), and beyond that throughout the world. And it must also be said that, conversely, if we don’t succeed in doing THAT—if we don’t succeed in making qualitative and quantitative breakthroughs in fulfilling THAT mission—then not much at all will come out of anything any of us have done over the past decades, or continue to do today. All that hard work, and all that dedication, and all that sacrifice? It will all amount to a big fat zero if we do not succeed in broadly spreading the New Communism, getting it to take root and initiating a process of sustainable geometric progression.

If we don’t succeed in this, there really is no point to any of the other things we do. If we don’t succeed in this, then even important things like: the website (and associated social media) outreach and leadership; particular “Fight the Power...” conjunctural initiatives around any and all of the 5 Stops4 (including genocidal police brutality and murder); particular emergency-worthy and strategic “nodal point” initiatives (such as Refuse Fascism); particular attention paid to international developments (and to revolutionary-minded forces in other countries) and to struggling against the stranglehold of jingoism and national chauvinism among the people in this country; particular attention paid to realizing the two maximizings (developing work among both the most oppressed social base and educated youth in particular); particular attention to vigorous recruitment and the developing of a newly revitalized Leninist party on the basis of the New Communism (and not something else or lesser than that...), none of our dedicated work in any of these spheres will ultimately amount to anything more than perhaps a minor footnote in history, unless...

Unless we do manage to fulfill our core mission and accomplish what we should all recognize as being our single most crucial and critical strategic goal, and daily preoccupation: which, again, would mean breaking through the assorted obstacles to get BA and the New Communism he has brought forward WIDELY known, engaged and appreciated throughout society. 

Managing to do that should be understood to be our foremost, most singular and critical, strategic mission and objective (for all of humanity and its future, if it is to have any kind of future worth having). 

In line with all this, let’s once again take a hard look at BA’s previous interventions of recent years—what he himself accomplished, vs. what did or did not come out of it in terms of the #1 objective.

Much of this is familiar to all of us, of course. To be blunt once again: they have ALL been, to a very large extent, criminally squandered.

But first, to speak to the positives: Simply put, in addition to the many invaluable published works and audio and video compilations, we have in recent years been treated to an unbelievable series of public and semi-public direct interventions by BA in person. These have consistently been incredible, world-class-level presentations of new communist theory, propaganda and agitation, all put forward with great depth, and substance, and heart, and all done in such a way as to serve as a living laboratory of scientific methods applied to the problems of human society. All done in a manner that is widely accessible to a wide variety of audiences, and which concentrates many different levels of precious lessons for everyone, ranging from brand new people, of different backgrounds and strata, to the most experienced communist “veterans,” including top leadership of our own Party, including, of course, ourselves.

Isn’t everything I just said here true? Just think of direct interventions like the 7 Talks,5 or the talks that gave rise to the 2003 Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About film; or the talks that gave rise to the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! film; or the series of internal leadership seminars a few years ago which drilled home the importance of scientific methods and the need to break with the mass line,6 reification,7 populist epistemology,8 etc. carried over from earlier stages of communism; or the thrilling (and contended) public Dialogue at Riverside Church with Cornel West, and the film that came out of that; or the series of internal seminars which ultimately fed into the process of BA’s writing the seminal book THE NEW COMMUNISM; or the most recent semi-public (and only one-hour long!) 2017 talk which 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&A, with all its intangibles, substance, remarkable scientific ease and liveliness on full display “off the cuff”–Wow yet again!

So all that is great and inspiring, but here’s the rub: ALL these more or less “direct” interventions by BA have been remarkable and world-class in terms of both form and content. ALL of them have been schools of method, for everyone. ALL of them are objectively priceless in and of themselves, and I am quite sure that they will ultimately “bear fruit” in a way commensurate with their quality—at least I expect this to happen over the longer term, if somehow humanity manages not to drive itself to literal extinction in the near future. I certainly am confident, on a scientific basis, that any decent future for humanity would necessarily have to be carved out by “going through” the new synthesis of communism brought forward by BA.

Because of all that I have said here (about the longer-term future in relation to the entirety of BA’s body of work, including all these interventions), it would be totally and obscenely wrong to conclude these interventions have been wasted efforts because they were, ultimately, squandered in the aftermath. But at least in the shorter term, to put it quite crudely, “what has come out of these interventions?”

BA did his part(s), but what have the rest of us succeeded in doing in the aftermath of these BA interventions that we could point to and honestly say: “This has really helped to spread the New Communism much more broadly and widely; you can see that, thanks to this intervention, lots more people now know about BA, and what he has brought forward; that lots more people are now discussing, debating, contesting, engaging the New Communism; that this is all giving rise to a certain kind of geometric progression as all this is really beginning to take hold and is spreading farther and farther day by day, reaching a great many people we could not possibly encounter directly. Very significantly, there are now clear indications of the emergence of significant new cohorts of genuine and motivated actual followers of BA and of the New Communism–significant not simply in importance, but in actual numbers, and expanding societal influence, as well—all of which bodes well for the possibility of the New Communism spreading and taking root to an unprecedented degree in the next period.”

Unfortunately none of this has happened.

Again, BA has done his part, in every single instance. But the “toxic combination” of recent years, characterized by the predominance of anti-scientific revisionism in both our own Party and the international movements, combined with the frustrating degree to which masses of all the different strata have NOT been correctly identifying the source of “the problem” confronting society and all of humanity, or have not been in any serious way looking for this kind of “solution” (for all the reasons we have previously discussed and which I won’t belabor here)—this “toxic combination” has resulted in a situation where it is today incredibly difficult and dislocating for even the best of the current communist leadership to create the necessary conditions for these BA interventions to take place on an even remotely correct basis (appropriate audiences, appropriate security, etc.) and, even beyond that, in every instance, there also does not seem to have been a sufficient material basis and/or sufficiently grounded ideological orientation to enable even the best of current leadership to “come out the other end” of these BA interventions in such a way that seeds of New Communism could really be broadly planted and then harvested on any kind of significant scale

So, we have to confront this reality, and yet figure out ways to not let it defeat us. Acknowledge the reality that all that incredible effort gets put into things but, in this period at least, not a whole lot actually “comes out of it all” in terms of really making significant progress in meeting that #1 strategic objective. Again, it will all likely bear fruit in a more commensurate way somewhere down the line, but at least in this period, in a period where the fragile flickering light of the New Communism could still so easily be extinguished, I don’t think we have succeeded in creating anything like the necessary material basis within which these remarkable direct interventions could actually be properly harvested, with the goal of unleashing that process of “geometric progression” of spread and societal influence we so desperately need to effect.

One of my recurring frustrations is also that every one of these interventions has produced incredibly valuable materials (books, films, etc.) which themselves provide so much of what we need to “spread” BA and the New Communism broadly throughout society, but we are always so busy doing other things that we barely make use of these most valuable tools for harvesting and spreading.

But of course this does not mean that the current situation (the repeated squandering) is acceptable, or could never ever be transformed (!), or that, no matter what we decide in the particular, we should not do all that is in our power to figure out how to spread the New Communism far and wide and work to have it take root. This does need to happen! It does need to be our #1 strategic objective.

For one thing, we need to revive the whole orientation around barefoot doctors9 and Huxleys.10 We need everyone, from leading people to Party members and supporters broadly, to serve minimally, or at least in some capacity, as barefoot doctors. Can you call yourself a communist if you’re not in some fashion doing at least that? To engage in at least the simplest tasks that can help spread the New Communism and BA (including by distributing BA literature and showing BA films as well as advertising the existence of the website, etc.). The original barefoot doctors in China during Mao’s time (largely peasant masses who were given basic medical knowledge and training) may not have had the basis to provide advanced medical theory or conduct complex medical interventions (they did not and would not have been allowed to try to do so, as this could have done more harm than good) but they provided an invaluable service by tirelessly going out far and wide, by trying to reach as many people as possible, by doing so repeatedly and consistently, and by bringing very basic medicines and treatment and basic medical education (the equivalent of spreading literature and films) to all sorts of places and people who had never had access to even such basics. An invaluable service. So is there anyone who really cannot or should not serve minimally as a barefoot doctor in relation to BA and the New Communism?

In conjunction with that we need Huxleys to actually be, and function as, HUXLEYS(!!). To do so correctly, consistently, and with the understanding that this is their PRIMARY mission, not just something they do alongside everything else they do. I don’t care how many direct interventions BA does, or of what quality, or with what conjunctural timeliness—if we don’t have a crew of ardent and motivated Huxleys, who see themselves first and foremost as followers of BA, and who consistently see their primary mission as what I referred to as our #1 strategic mission overall, and then act in accordance with that in everything they do, including by actually acting in society primarily as Huxleys, then we will never have the material basis to not squander BA’s works and interventions, and we will never develop fresh new cohorts of motivated followers of BA and the New Communism. We might recruit one or two fresh faces here or there, but we will never be able to regroup, re-ascend and revitalize an actual Leninist party that actually corresponds to and can implement the core objectives and methods of the New Communism.

At the same time, I know one thing: If this fascism of the Trump/Pence regime gets consolidated and this really becomes the widely accepted “normal” of this society, not only will this have disastrous consequences overall, but more specifically, we, as communists, are going to have an even much harder time getting anywhere, including with the spread and promotion of the New Communism and the works of BA and the development of open and motivated active followers of BA dedicated to getting all this to take root and spread even more. So the mission of Refuse Fascism, and whether it spreads and gains traction and committed adherents and stays on the right track, and so on, really is not “just another good initiative or good thing to be doing.” And in relation to our strategic communist objectives, the failure of what is represented by Refuse Fascism might well end up putting the final nail in our coffin.

Something like the recent 2017 talk by BA, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible—which speaks powerfully to the immediate, urgent importance of bringing forward masses of people in nonviolent but sustained political mobilization to drive out this fascist regime, and the crucial relation between that and our fundamental revolutionary objectives—really needs not to be squandered! This film needs to be used (a lot!!) and there needs to be an active approach on our part to have all its positives made full use of and broadly projected and injected into everything, etc. I get frustrated that still not enough of this is going on (and that the film still seems to get sort of “tacked on” to other things). With that particular intervention and film, if we don’t keep putting enough leading attention into it even now, in the aftermath, then we will suffer the consequences (yet again) of unconscionable squandering (including in failing to fulfill both some important aspects of our #1 objective to promote and project BA and the New Communism, and also failing to take full advantage of this talk’s ability to positively influence the development of the necessary anti-fascist trajectory). All this would be bad enough, and we really should try very hard to make full use of everything that could be accomplished through broad promotion and dissemination of that talk—I think we have barely scratched the surface!

I will end here by simply restating the obvious:

BA himself really does actually concentrate the best of what is the New Communism, and his various works and interventions are themselves the best possible “advertisement” for this new synthesis of communism—there are no better tools for the spread and popularization of the New Communism than BA’s various works and interventions “in their own right,” free of any intermediary distortions or re-castings or reinterpretations.

But—and this is a critical but—regardless of what BA himself is or is not able to personally undertake, everything that is represented by the New Communism—which really does have the potential to “change everything!” in the interests of all of humanity—will never spread broadly enough and will never take root deeply enough unless there develop legions of motivated, inspired followers—genuine, motivated and inspired followers—of the New Communism, and of BA himself as a concentration of all that. So, one way or another, bringing that into being really has to be our primary preoccupation and objective, increasingly in its own right, as well as within everything we do.

 

 


FOOTNOTES

1. Social democracy refers to a political trend that envisions a form of “socialism”—actually, some variant of state ownership of some industries and extensive welfare measures—that would come to power through bourgeois elections. It denies the need to meet and defeat the violent repressive power of the bourgeois state through massive all-out struggle for power involving millions and millions, and opposes revolutionary trends that recognize this necessity. This began as a serious trend in Europe, where the usually unspoken basis for it was the spoils from the continued plunder of colonies and neo-colonies. Today it is a significant force in Latin America (Lula in Brazil, Bachelet in Chile, etc.), as well as elsewhere, and takes shape in the U.S. in groups like the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and others. [back

2. Ajithism refers to the trend concentrated in the pamphlet “Against Avakianism,” written in July 2013 by Ajith. This trend is analyzed and extensively criticized in the article “Ajith—A Portrait of the Residue of the Past,” published in the online journal Demarcations. This polemic with Ajith is a critical work that goes into and demarcates the new synthesis from what has gone before on a range of questions, focused on Bob Avakian’s breakthrough in epistemology. The authors make the point that “To the extent that there were errors in the communist movement, including in the thinking of its greatest leaders, this should neither make communists shrink in horror nor adopt an ostrich-like defense of secondary weaknesses. But what were mistakes in one historical context, when championed, canonized and developed as Ajith does, become transformed into a qualitatively different project for society.” “Ajith—A Portrait of the Residue of the Past,” page 80. [back]

3. Revisionism refers to schools of thought and political trends that claim to be communist, or Marxist, but revise the revolutionary heart out of communism. The character of revisionism today has been gone into in many works—most especially Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage, A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, RCP Publications, 2008 and THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, Bob Avakian, Insight Press, 2016. Essentially, revisionism draws on some variant of bourgeois democracy, or a fixation on certain incorrect and wrong lines in the first stage of the communist revolution (the period from the writing of the Communist Manifesto in 1848 to the overthrow of socialism in China in 1976), or both to oppose the further advance of communism, as crystallized in Bob Avakian’s new synthesis. Both these works go deeply into the Cultural Revolution within the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA—the content of the lines that have contended with the new communism, the course of the struggle, and its crucial character in determining whether or not there will be an actual vanguard, a revolutionary... communist... party in this country. [back]

4. STOP Genocidal Persecution, Mass Incarceration, Police Brutality and Murder of Black and Brown People!
STOP The Patriarchal Degradation, Dehumanization, and Subjugation of All Women Everywhere, and All Oppression Based on Gender or Sexual Orientation!
STOP Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!
STOP The Demonization, Criminalization and Deportations of Immigrants and the Militarization of the Border!
STOP Capitalism-Imperialism from Destroying Our Planet! [back]

5. 7 Talks. These talks were given by Bob Avakian in 2006 and covered a wide range of topics. Some of the material in these talks were drawn on for other works, including Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, Bob Avakian, RCP Publications, 2008 and Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, Bob Avakian, Insight Press, 2008. These talks include: “Why We’re in the Situation We’re in Today... And What to Do About It: A Thoroughly Rotten System and the Need for Revolution”; “Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy”; “Communism: A Whole New World and the Emancipation of All Humanity—Not ‘The Last Shall Be First, And the First Shall Be Last’”; “The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters”; “Communism and Religion: Getting Up and Getting Free—Making Revolution to Change the Real World, Not Relying on ‘Things Unseen’”; “Conservatism, Christian Fundamentalism, Liberalism and Paternalism ... Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton ... Not All ‘Right’ but All Wrong!”; “‘Balance’ Is the Wrong Criterion—and a Cover for a Witch-hunt—What We Need Is the Search for the Truth: Education, Real Academic Freedom, Critical Thinking and Dissent.” [back]

6. Mass line was a method developed by Mao that set the heart of the communist method as taking the scattered and unsystematic ideas of the masses, concentrating what is correct in them, and returning what is correct to them in the form of policies that they can take up and act on. Bob Avakian analyzed the problems with this principle in his 2014 talks [“The Material Basis and the Method for Making Revolution” and “The Strategic Approach to Revolution and Its Relation to Basic Questions of Epistemology and Method”]. Such a method relegates communists to essentially holding a mirror up to and confining themselves within the limits of whatever the sentiments of the masses are at any given time, as opposed to scientifically analyzing what must be done at any juncture and then struggling and working with masses to take this up. The “mass line,” however, became enshrined for decades as a more or less unchallenged principle prior to BA’s forging of the new communism; and, in fact, “mass line” was a method, as BA points out, that Mao himself did not follow at certain critical junctures in the revolution. [back]

7. Reification refers to the view, predominant in the communist movement before the new synthesis, that proletarians by virtue of their class position, have a special purchase on the truth; in particular, that they have within them the means to grasp the historic role of the proletariat as a class and will “instinctively” gravitate toward that view. This confounds the position of the proletariat in society as a class and the consciousness of individual proletarians. In fact, an understanding of the historic role of the proletariat in relation to ending all forms of exploitation and oppression came out of scientific study of the whole course of social development, and analysis of the underlying and generally hidden dynamics behind that development. Anyone who wishes to understand and play a role in leading the communist revolution has to study it as a science, whatever their class background (and people of all backgrounds can and do take this up). At the same time, everyone in society, no matter their class origin, is both influenced by the pulls of living life in a capitalist system and subject to being trained in, and spontaneously taking up, all sorts of unscientific and, indeed, antiscientific methods. For more on reification, see “Ajith—A Portrait of the Residue of the Past.” [back]

8. Populist epistemology refers to the notion that what people think ultimately determines reality, or at least that communists should “factor in” what the majority of people think in arriving at the truth. Truth, however—including the truth about objective reality and whether particular analyses or policies correctly reflect that reality and the path forward toward transforming it in a revolutionary direction—is independent of what anybody thinks. Darwin’s theory of evolution would be true whether anybody thought it was or not; as are certain fundamental truths about society and what kinds of transformations are necessary to change it, as well as more immediate things that can be determined to be true or not. This notion has done and continues to do tremendous damage, leading communists to opportunistically tail behind and fail to challenge backward sentiments and beliefs and outright wrong and even reactionary paths among masses of people. The correct understanding is captured in BAsics 4:11: “What people think is part of objective reality, but objective reality is not determined by what people think.” BAsics: from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, Bob Avakian, RCP Publications, 2011. For more on this, see “The Material Basis and the Method for Making Revolution” and SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, An Interview with Ardea Skybreak, Insight Press, 2015. [back]

9. “Barefoot doctors” were peasants in China who, during the period when China was revolutionary and in particular during the Cultural Revolution, were given very basic training in medical science and sent among the masses to minister to basic health needs. While they were not fully trained in medicine, they could still do good by spreading certain basic scientific understanding about the human body and health. By analogy, barefoot doctors are those who may not have the most developed understanding of the science of communism but who want to help spread it as they are learning more, and while they may not be able to contend with other outlooks and modes of thought, can still do a great deal of good. [back]

10. Thomas Henry Huxley was a champion for Darwin’s theory of evolution. While Darwin for various reasons did not focus on debating the truth of the theory in public venues, Huxley played the role of going everywhere to fight for Darwin’s breakthrough. He was known as “Darwin’s bulldog.” By analogy, people who do gain a more developed understanding of the new communism should be out taking on all proponents of contending viewpoints and modes of thought. [back]

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/515/what-people-are-saying-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

What People Are Saying About This Film

Updated June 24, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Click to watch the film

 

The following is taken from a document written by a leading comrade of the Revolutionary Communist Party. To read more click HERE.

On BA's Talk on the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime: "Wow!"

[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!

Share this ...

A New York City graphic designer

“Unbelievable is a word I often use for the programs, initiatives, and assaults that come out of this administration. Of course, nothing is unbelievable now. I have watched/listened to the Bob Avakian video. He is impressive in a number of ways. He's very knowledgeable and seems sincere. Although not surprising, the historical overview of the U.S. patriotic mindset and the description of the rise of fascism he sets forth is alarming. It's also accusatory, as it should be. I recognize myself to a shameful extent in the description of the non-ruling liberal class.”

Libya Pugh, Educator and Artist

“I've seen the Avakian film on fascism and the Trump/Pence regime, and it is a very valuable video for the world to see. As an educator I think It is especially important for teachers and students to see this film, because it focuses on history and the people’s struggle by showing us how fascism has affected our societies.”

Reverend Cecil L. “Chip” Murray, Los Angeles, California

“People must be exposed to this film. It is not an option. Here is one who is prophetic, speaking to those who are pathetic. Now is the 21st century. We can no longer afford to be pathetic....”

See more

“People must be exposed to this film. It is not an option. Here is one who is prophetic, speaking to those who are pathetic. Now is the 21st century. We can no longer afford to be pathetic. We may have to labor at being prophetic, that is the only way we can transcend self-destruction. No longer can we toy with weapons, now we have discovered the ultimate weapon that which ended World War 2, and which can start the end of the world, period. No longer is it just Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacked, now the whole world can be attacked so that when North Korea ‘threatens’ the most powerful nation, the leader of that nation who is called up to lead us, but we are being led by his pathetic response of ‘if you attack us, we will blow you off the planet.’ The essence of Bob Avakian’s film https://vimeo.com/238240664 THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible was a description and challenge on the need for a prescription of where we need to go from here. Any intelligence would have to agree with him because he described the world situation, what we will be involved in if we don’t fix it now.”

See less

Jean Krasno, Lecturer in the Department of Political Science; Director, Multilateralism and International Organization Initiative at the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies at City College of New York; Distinguished Fellow at the Center for International Security Studies at Yale University

“Whether you agree with everything Bob Avakian professes or not, the power of his words will shake you into a profound reexamination of your core beliefs....”

See more

“Bob Avakian: a powerful message
‘Refuse to Accept a Fascist America’”

“Bob Avakian’s film profoundly challenges us to open our eyes and examine the underbelly of what we think of as ‘American Exceptionalism.’ As Americans, we want to see America as the bastion of democracy where equality, the rule of law, and justice for all permeates our lives. But Avakian forces us, with the power of his words, to rip away this false blanket that hides the truth and asks us to remember our exploitive and violent history, our long story of repression expressed through slavery and the genocidal treatment of America’s indigenous peoples. We may defend America by saying we have evolved; we have grown away from our past and have embraced justice and tolerance. Avakian’s words slap us out of this complacency. The ugly face of white supremacy is darkly slouching across our land, cultivated by the current administration’s obsession with hatred for all those who may look or speak differently. We are precipitously growing close to the brink of Fascism.

“Whether you agree with everything Bob Avakian professes or not, the power of his words will shake you into a profound reexamination of your core beliefs. America First and American Exceptionalism are devolving into America Isolated and America Alone, a frightening image in a world where no country acting alone can solve the global challenges we face. We are losing the trust and confidence of our allies and friends. And every act, negative or positive, reverberates in even the farthest corners of the world causing repercussions we cannot imagine. Fascism here begets Fascism elsewhere. Bob Avakian asks us all to take action and rescue America back from the brink and end this march toward Fascism.”

See less

Cornel West

“The spirit of resistance and commitment to revolution are always so inspiring in Brother Avakian!”

Dr. David I. Orenstein, Professor of Anthropology, Medgar Evers College/CUNY

“Do not sleep through this revolution! Avakian’s speech, when focusing on the Trump administration’s anti-humanistic actions and policies, demands that we remain awake. It demands that we take action to stop Trump’s allies, enablers, racists and evangelical apologists from making good on their dystopian ‘Making America Great Again’ slogan. It demands that civil society act against the attacks on modernity; the poor; those in the LGBTQ community, on scientific truth, on the rule of law; on press freedom; on healthcare and on refugees and immigrants. Watch this film. Get angry! Use this anger and channel it into resistance. And most of all VOTE for change.”

Claudia, a classical musician

“The film presented a strong affirmation of what I already was processing, that the regime is a malicious regime with an insidious agenda—and if it unfolds will just be catastrophic, in global proportions. Fascism never supports the masses... always a select few. This should be addressed immediately....”

See more

“The film presented a strong affirmation of what I already was processing, that the regime is a malicious regime with an insidious agenda—and if it unfolds will just be catastrophic, in global proportions. Fascism never supports the masses... always a select few. This should be addressed immediately.

“Thank you for presenting this to me. The speech is well-loaded with a plethora of information which needs to be distributed among as many people as possible... millions! But really, the driving point—and I have to go back to exactly what he was saying—was that this is a fascist regime. I felt, ‘Aha! Instruct me, I’m getting it.’

“He was so crystal-clear. He didn't sugar-coat. He didn’t say, ‘Oh well, if this doesn’t happen then maybe the next presidential election...’ Like trying to sweep it under the rug, like ‘this too shall pass.’ No, this needs to be addressed! And that’s what really lured me in, and now I’m hooked.”

See less

A second year masters of social work student

"I highly recommend the work. In discussing these issues through the film THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! as many people have become so complacent and so isolated but also not aware of what's happening in the world right now and how crucial of a point of period in history that this is and what we can actually do to mobilize to have these discussions to tackle these themes and ultimately to dismantle these systems of oppression that for so many years have controlled our lives and have impacted every facet of our lives and now it's time to mobilize and to work towards bringing humanity together to figure out and to tackle systems of oppression that have been impacting us."

Donna Schaper, Senior Minister Judson Memorial Church, New York City

"Bob Avakian must be hoarse so long and well has he argued for basic human rights in the United States. His latest video summarizes the severity of the Trump/Pence crisis with vigor and a necessary outrage."

David Gunn Jr., son of Dr. David Gunn, the first abortion doctor to be assassinated by antiabortion extremists

“In posing the question, ‘Which is more important: order or justice?’ Bob Avakian addresses a key impediment to an overwhelming outpouring of nonviolent resistance to the Trump/Pence regime... There is no better time for non-violent resistance than now. Through the application of justice, it is time to forge a new order: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!...”

See more

"In posing the question, ‘Which is more important: order or justice?’ Bob Avakian addresses a key impediment to an overwhelming outpouring of nonviolent resistance to the Trump/Pence regime. Namely, do we quietly acquiesce to this administration’s offence upon offence against our republic specifically, and humanity generally, due to a need for the opioid-like calm of order; or, do we insist upon an application of justice that holds the administration accountable for its tyrannical, inhuman, and felonious conduct, but disrupts and upsets that same precious order people nurture and desire? Obviously, Avakian encourages us toward the latter, to be courageous, and take action now before everyone, even those who remain dedicated to the current order, is impacted by the true horrors of this administration. There is no better time for non-violent resistance than now. Through the application of justice, it is time to forge a new order: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!”

See less

Peter Switzer, Photographer

"To act in the interest of humanity, we truly need to break from this American chauvinism and instead listen to, and act according to science, not in spite of it.... This is a must watch, more than once, there is so much here to absorb, it deserves to be studied."

See more

"The first time I watched this talk it opened my eyes to the many serious contradictions in our society and how they routinely become normalized and are soon just after-thoughts, if thought of at all.

"To act in the interest of humanity, we truly need to break from this American chauvinism and instead listen to, and act according to science, not in spite of it.

"Avakian clearly shows why we can no longer count on a political candidate, the Democrats, or the hope that we will somehow resolve the urgent and immediate life changing issues facing us all, including the rise of American Fascism, within our present system.

"This is a must watch, more than once, there is so much here to absorb, it deserves to be studied.

"'In the name of humanity, the Trump/Pence regime must go!'"

See less

Gloria Pinex, member of Revolution Club, Chicago, whose son was murdered by Chicago police

"Hi. I’m Gloria Pinex and I’m a member of the Revolution Club. I’ve been a member of the Revolution Club for seven years. I immediately became a member after listening to Bob Avakian and how he gets down speaking the truth."

See more

"Hi. I’m Gloria Pinex and I’m a member of the Revolution Club. I’ve been a member of the Revolution Club for seven years. I immediately became a member after listening to Bob Avakian and how he gets down speaking the truth.

"Now, about this film. I listened to the film and he’s actually teaching you, step by step on what the regime, the fascist regime is about and what we are actually living. So I urge everyone to listen to the movie, come and watch the movie. Don’t take my word for it. The man is on point with everything he says. So, come watch the movie with us. I guarantee that you’ll like it and you will learn something from it. That’s it."

See less

Rafael Angulo, Clinical Professor, School of Social Work, University of Southern California

“Bob Avakian is speaking against apathy and for the need for courage... and for hundreds of thousands and millions to be out on the front lines. I’m glad to see an atheist quoting a religious pastor, Martin Niemöller—who spoke out against Nazi Germany and on behalf of the Jews and those in the resistance. Too often communists and those religious haven’t united in a potential partnership with the same end-point, and it gives me a sense of hope to hear and see Bob Avakian seek that partnership. The Trump presidency calls into question the deepest meaning of our religious claims and values and we have a greater impact when we work in partnership rather than live in silos. All people of good will, unite!”

David Zeiger, director of Sir, No Sir!

“If you hate and fear what is happening in this country today, you owe it to yourself to watch Bob Avakian’s speech. Set aside your assumptions and, dare I say, prejudices, and listen with an open mind. There is too much at stake.”

Pastor Doris Johnson

“I had a group in in my church tonight because I know this is very important... [W]e are really up against something bad with this Trump/Pence regime... [T]his film that we saw tonight... so many people that commented, we learned from each other. So whoever sees this, I appreciate if you would try to have this in your church and your organization, to show this film. Very educational, and very enlightened... things that I didn't even know...”...

See more

“I'm Pastor Doris Johnson, and this Trump/Pence regime must go. I had a group in in my church tonight because I know this is very important. So many people do not know about what is going on in the world. And I am a people person, and I like to get out and let people know what we are up against. And we are really up against something bad with this Trump/Pence regime. And I just want everyone to know that this film that we saw tonight, it's so many so people that commented, we learned from each other. So whoever see this, I appreciate if you would try to have this in your church and your organization, to show this film. Very educational, and very enlightened, things that I didn't even know. So I'm asking you to please show this film in your church.”

See less

From Rev. Frank Wulf, Pastor, Echo Park United Methodist Church, Los Angeles

“Too often, we decide to vote for Democrats because they are the lesser of two evils. But, of course, I am left to wonder when we will finally get to vote for people who are not evil—people whose policies and politics we can wholeheartedly endorse. In this sense, Avakian’s advice that we should not vote for the lesser of two evils because it is evil cuts very close to home.”...

See more

Thoughts Provoked After Watching Bob Avakian Answer the Question:

“Unfortunately, as a Democrat it has long been determined that you vote for the lesser of two evils, right? Either the Dems or the Republicans. But it has gotten to the point where both of them are just as worse—one is cancer and one is HIV. So you don’t want to vote for either one of them... I know the system sucks, but what are you supposed to do in the interim?” (Part 3 of Q&A session)

* * *

I never previously thought about Avakian’s corollary, but I think it’s correct. Trump’s volunteer may have gotten fired for saying that if you’re not succeeding then you’re not doing things right... that you’re not working hard enough. But that’s just the opposite side of the coin from President Obama saying that if you work hard in America and do all the right things then you will be successful. They both say essentially the same thing. It’s just that one says it positively while the other says it negatively... one is spoken with hope while the other is spoken without hope.

* * *

I’ve gone through a process of disillusionment with the Democratic Party. I’ve been a Democrat since I first registered to vote at the age of 18. Still, I’ve become more and more troubled by Democratic politicians pursuing policies that I personally find abhorrent. Obama did not end rendition as he promised when he was elected. His administration maintained the CIA black sites; they continued to torture. Police killings didn’t stop during the Obama years. In fact, they almost seemed to become more frequent and more blatant. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was pushed by the Democrats and the Obama administration, would undoubtedly have meant increased exploitation for workers like the tin miners in Indonesia. And then, there was Obama’s reputation as the deporter-in -chief. Things have gotten worse under Trump, but the truth is that the Obama administration deported more migrants and refugees than any previous administration.

Even before Obama, the Clinton administration pushed what was described as welfare “reform,” which has caused a great deal of harm to poor and mostly ethnic communities. Clinton’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act has proven to be one of the leading underlying causes for today’s crisis of mass incarceration. Even before this, we have what I would call the “Kennedy Synthesis”—in which America made the conscious political decision to embrace the role of policeman for the world—this in spite of Eisenhower’s dire warnings about the emergence of the military-industrial complex.

Too often, we decide to vote for Democrats because they are the lesser of two evils. But, of course, I am left to wonder when we will finally get to vote for people who are not evil—people whose policies and politics we can wholeheartedly endorse. In this sense, Avakian’s advice that we should not vote for the lesser of two evils because it is evil cuts very close to home.

* * *

On the issue of gun control, I think a little differently than some of my colleagues. I understand and agree with the movement to control access to guns... to require real background checks... to ban certain kinds of guns and ammunition. But, I am also deeply troubled by the fact that this society is producing people—especially young men—who are even capable of becoming mass murderers. How did we become a society that glorifies violence in such a way that shootings in schools, theaters, malls, places of worship, and... even become thinkable. Media like NPR tell us that the problem is mental illness, but mental illness is not the issue. The problem is that our society is sick. Our system is sick. The NRA loves to tell us that “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” And, they are partly right. It takes a person to pull the trigger. But that doesn’t let gun manufacturers and gun lobbyists off the hook. They feed off of and they feed into the sickness of a society that places its trust in violence rather than community. They are a major part of our society’s deep moral sickness.

* * *

The Democratic Party is deeply rooted in what I would call the sin of white supremacy. It was founded by slave owners like Thomas Jefferson. It was shaped by racists like Andrew Jackson who advocated policies and implemented acts of genocide against Native Americans. During the years following the Civil War and up to the middle of the twentieth century, Democrats were the most outspoken and powerful advocates of segregation and Jim Crow. Things only really began to change during the Johnson administration when Johnson made a practical, political decision to yield to some of the demands of the civil rights movement, which had become increasingly vocal and activist during the years following World War II. But, the party has never totally been able to escape its white supremacist origins. The DNA is still there.

See less

Thoughts and Questions from a Reader in Kansas

“From the film, I see why instead of ‘Make America Great Again,’ it needs to be let’s ‘Make Humanity Great Again.’”...

See more

We received the following letter:

I watched the filmed 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, and had the following thoughts and questions.

He says the problems in this society go back to its founding; modern Western society was founded on genocide, oppression/exploitation, white supremacy, and sexism. He points out the appropriate slogan of “White silence is violence” by some protesters to say that doing nothing is a choice, and an action (the action of inaction) which perpetuates violence.

He powerfully illustrates that if Capitalism is not the highest form of societal organization, then the U.S. has to explain to the rest of the world why it was forced down their throat upon pain of death. My opinion is that the U.S. will never admit that Capitalism doesn’t work. It will go down with that particular ship.

Avakian’s mention of the “Southern Strategy”* —I wish he would have elaborated a little more on this. I’ve heard of it, but am not familiar with the particulars, or how this fits into the bigger picture. He does make clear how American Fascism = Christian Supremacy and how global Manifest Destiny is America’s ultimate goal, under the guise of “spreading democracy” (religious domination hiding as secular morality).

I thought his “Order or Justice” question is a great point! Is order worth the absence of justice, or vice versa? I believe justice, even at the (temporary) loss of order, is worth it! On his challenge to free oneself of the “Great Tautological Fallacy”—I thought it is another great point, with multiple examples he gives to clearly illustrate this. His example of how the U.S. having nukes is being seen as OK while North Korea trying to have them is seen as wrong was particularly on point.

From the film, I see why instead of “Make America Great Again,” it needs to be let’s “Make Humanity Great Again.”

I do have a question (and will watch the Q&As soon to see if this came up from others): How can a large, widespread protest be sustained indefinitely? Do we quit jobs, stop paying bills, camp out with families in the streets for months or possibly years? Do we alternate who, how many, and when people are protesting? Do we crowdsource funds to make this possible? How do millions of poor marginalized people (like myself) accomplish this and sustain their basic needs?


* * First developed by Richard Nixon, the "Southern Strategy" of the Republican Party nakedly appealed to the racism of unrepentant reactionary Southern whites who had historically voted Democratic because the Republican Party had been—in the mid-19th Century—anti-slavery. In this way the Southern Strategy won most of these forces to the GOP banner, gave them political legitimacy and initiative, and established the GOP as the party of more or less open white supremacy. —Editors

See less

Father Luis Barrios, Holyrood Church/Iglesia Santa Cruz, NYC

“I am very strong recommending, Bob Avakian, my brother, in a prophetic way he highlights real issues that are happening in the U.S. ... a prophet is the one with the capacity to first identify problems; second have the capacity and the courage to denounce the problem. But more important, to change that reality of oppression into a liberating experience.”...

See more

Hello my name is Father Luis Barrios, priest in charge of Holyrood Church, Iglesia Santa Cruz. In this film that I am very strong recommending, Bob Avakian, my brother, in a prophetic way he highlights real issues that are happening in the U.S. When I say in a prophetic way, it is because I am trying to use the religious language, that a prophet is the one with the capacity to first identify problems; second have the capacity and the courage to denounce the problem. But more important, to change that reality of oppression into a liberating experience.

So the film is like a wake-up call, but more important than a wake-up call, it’s a call to action, that we need to get together, people who believe in God, people who do not believe in God, using the common denominator—justice. So we come together, so we can fight, resist, organize, mobilize against this fascist regime that we have in the U.S. This combination of Trump/Pence can’t stay. We need to get rid of this.

I want to close with this: The movie when you look at this on my invitation not only to see the movie but also to follow the invitation Bob is giving us, the parallels of Bob and Saint Oscar Romero―I was thinking about this when I was watching the movie―and it is: Oscar Romero always said, and of course that was the reason why they killed him: “The main source of my sermon is that I care about people. I care about humanity.” And that is the big message that Bob is giving us in this film. God bless.

The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In The Name Of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible!

See less

Ernesto de la Loza, Street Artist ‒ Muralist - “The Ghetto Rooster”

“Bob Avakian is a man living in truth... Avakian's talk... was so penetrating, convincing and compassionate... We need more people who are like-minded, a frontline, no backstep, side by side.”...

See more

“Bob Avakian is a man living in truth. This man doesn’t blink. Avakian’s talk THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO... was so penetrating, convincing and compassionate. He’s clear minded and I see―I feel―his worth. Avakian gives me a lot of hope. And, I can imagine how evil speaks—the powers want to silence him. He shows capitalism is a great deception, reveals the racism and jingoism... and the genocide. This is the 21st century—a crucial time for human existence—yet we live in an Orwellian world and it affects all of us, all of human kind. We have to step it up and it’s not an overnight deal. We need more people who are like-minded, a frontline, no backstep, side by side. It’s good Avakian is reaching out to the people with this talk—he has a gift: everyone can watch the THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO and can comprehend this. It is very clear to the everyday person. Let’s ourselves assume responsibility, and be in alignment, and use this talk to deal with the fear factor, the apathy, the propaganda machine, the distraction and dumbing down to the max. Instead, refuse to live on the dark side and be focused on stopping this fascism. There is a rainbow coming through the storm.”

See less

Dongping Han, historian and author

“This is a powerful speech. It destroys all the deception the elite has been using to deceive the people. I hope that more people in the U.S., in China, and in the whole world can watch it. People need to wake up to the dangerous possibility of a new type danger in our country and in our world.”

David Meyerhof, educator/poet

“My parents and grandparents escaped from Nazi Germany and survived the Holocaust. I know what happens when people do not resist fascism. Now is the time to watch, listen and learn from a leader who is showing us the true picture of the Fascism in America and what we must do to stop it. Watch The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! A Film of a Talk by Bob Avakian.”

Arturo O’Farrill, Grammy-winning musician

“Avakian's message is clear and very inspiring.”...

See more

“The talk given by Bob Avakian was spot on in recognizing the grave danger we have put ourselves in by normalizing the ‘presidency’ of one of the biggest con artists to come from the cesspool of New York real estate/show business. His incompetence is topped only by his evil and unmistakable grab for fascism to the benefit of he and his billionaire cronies. The solution is clear, mass disobedience and ultimately a dismantling of this administration brought about by the will of the people. Mr. Avakian’s message is clear and very inspiring.”

See less

Maggie Brown, Vocal Artist and Activist

“...Everyone who loves Mother Earth must watch this film and must seriously consider joining this movement to bring forth a better world”...

See more

“The description of multi levels of human suffering at the hands of those in political and economic power has never been articulated clearer than by BA in the film, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. Everyone who loves Mother Earth must watch this film and must seriously consider joining this movement to bring forth a better world.”

See less

Isabel Cardenas, Salvadoran-American Activist

“Bob Avakian is the only one who has got the guts to say things as they are—that The Regime Must Go... that this is a nightmare. EVERYONE should see Bob Avakian's film. ...it's a 'wake up' film .... Bob Avakian is calling on us to act, not to cross our arms.”...

See more

“I think the Revolutionary Communist Party is the only organization that dares to stand up for humanity. This is necessary, humanity needs help. I admire the work and commitment of the RCP—how they stand up for our brothers and sisters, no matter their religion, gender, sexual orientation or nationality. Bob Avakian is the only one who has got the guts to say things as they are ~ that The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go... that this is a nightmare. EVERYONE should see Bob Avakian’s film. Just stop and carefully listen to what he is saying. Listen to his call to action for everyone. And read the books he has written, he says things as they are.  That film ~ THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible ~ is a must see.  It’s a ‘wake up film’ to see what’s really going on and to do something about it. People are getting used to fascism, accepting it as an everyday way of living. You can see it now—people are blind to it. NO! We must not rely on politicians to do the work for us. No, we have to do it. Bob Avakian is calling on us to act, not to cross our arms. The elections coming up? No, we need to do this—and the longer it takes the worse it becomes. Bob Avakian has the New Communism—I’ve read a little but I haven’t gotten fully into it yet. I really do want to find out about it!”

See less

Matthew Shipp, Musician and composer

“Avakian skillfully weaves together the unique challenge we confront with the very specific brand of American fascism we face with Trump, the white nationalist Christian fascism of Pence, together with a historical context of how we got here—while issuing a very specific call to action now because this is a true worldwide emergency.”

Herb Boyd, Author, journalist and activist

“Whether on film or in person, Bob Avakian is a compelling advocate for real social change, and the more his voice and vision are exposed—and the film, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! ..., is a powerful vehicle—the more I’m convinced that others will feel a need to join him on the ramparts.”

Jim Vrettos, Professor—John Jay College, NYC; host of The Radical Imagination TV show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (cable)

“[T]he viewing of Avakian's film The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! [is] a must see for progressives and others of whatever political ideology and persuasion.”...

See more

“Whether you agree or disagree with his scientific analysis of the objectives realities of our world, you shouldn’t doubt Bob Avakian’s lifelong, uncompromising dedication and commitment to the fight to liberate the oppressed, exploited and wretched of the world.

“That alone in the Age of Trump makes the viewing of Avakian's film The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! a must see for progressives and others of whatever political ideology and persuasion.”

See less

A Black woman from Detroit

“He is very knowledgeable... spoke on crimes in Middle East and the consequences—where's humanity in all of this! More people have to WAKE UP and act in the interest of humanity!!!! And stay WOKE”...

See more

From a Reader:

03 January 2018

I suggested to an old friend, a Black woman from Detroit, that she watch BA’s speech. She did and sent me this comment immediately after watching it.

She wrote:

In response to Bob Avakian’s speech

He nailed it! Such a powerful speech!!! He called out the “christian fascists.”

So much truth about genocide, racism, slavery, bigotry—he called it like it is! True that since 1960s fascism has greatly accelerated! Reality is that the “church” had it done its job of preaching love for all mankind, slavery would never had taken place!!! So much in his speech that—I could go on and on.

We are in a disastrous and frightening situation!!!! The scary part is that so many people are unaware of what’s actually taking place society is fragmented—purposely pitted against each other because if unified this could not be happening!!! I do believe that there are many others like Bob who are as outraged as those who are affected!!! Even spoke on myth that America is the leader of the “free” world—I mean he touched on every conceivable injustice !!!!

He is very knowledgeable... spoke on crimes in Middle East and the consequences—where’s humanity in all of this! More people have to WAKE UP and act in the interest of humanity!!!! And stay WOKE

See less

Paul DeRienzo, Host Trump Watch on WBAI-99.5 FM

“I heartily endorse this video and encourage radicals everywhere to check it out.”...

See more

“Bob Avakian is an important leader in the struggle to stop the Trump fascist juggernaut. Avakian's lifelong commitment to revolutionary change and his opposition to the imperialist state's torture establishment should interest all those burning with a desire to see justice in this world. As the U.S. careens towards war under the most avowedly fascist government in its long and bloody history of domination of weaker people including a legacy of 400 years of enslavement of African people—the voice of real revolutionaries cries out to be heard. I heartily endorse this video and encourage radicals everywhere to check it out.”

See less

From a Reader:

“Avakian is not looking at this with world-weary, determinist "realism" but with an approach of seeing these as contradictions rooted in an underlying reality”...

See more

“Avakian is not looking at this with world-weary, determinist ‘realism’ but with an approach of seeing these as contradictions rooted in an underlying reality—a reality that is in motion and going through convulsive change—and a recognition that the stability people are going to great lengths of self-deceit to maintain—is also coming to an end and where abrupt changes that people tend to see as ‘it couldn't happen here’ can happen very quickly. These are contradictions that can be worked on—and must be—but the freedom in this necessity is not clear without a method that digs down into the foundations of the underlying reality.

“If you look back at this speech you can see BA approaching this not with determinist realism, cynical realpolitik, or tailing the outlook of the middle classes but struggling with people (in this speech he speaks to different sections of the people) with strategic confidence, with a lot of heart and compassion, and very wide arms. And that is BA applying the new synthesis he has been the architect of—putting the living science of communism back on its scientific foundations.”

Read more

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/536/what-this-film-opens-up-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

THE DIFFERENCE THIS FILM MAKES—
THIS CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING!

Updated April 30, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From recent correspondence, after watching the film...

Three showings in one week done in a way that shows the potential to do many, many more

Developing a MOVEMENT of Showings of the Film of BA’s Talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!...

April 30, 2018

After doing showings in a Caribbean immigrant community and a showing to an African immigrant organization over the winter, this week there were three showings in churches in different parts of the city. Our approach was centered around discussing and working with the ministers and their congregations, confident that this film speaks with science and passion to the big questions that are deeply troubling to people about the Trump/Pence fascist juggernaut—where did it come from, what does it represent and what can and must we urgently do to stop it?

Proposals to these churches were not aimed mainly at getting a space for us to use to organize a showing in their community—but to engage their congregations and people in their larger networks with this film. One showing was entirely organized by the people in the church, and in the two others there was a combination of engaging the congregations AND some outreach to people broadly from the neighboring communities. Through this, a number of people came to the showings AND important connections were made with two other ministers and others in their communities, opening doors for a number of other showings of various kinds, as well as for mobilizing people to drive out this fascist regime. There were knotty problems to resolve with each, but they were resolved, leading to successful showings, though each had a very different character. Here is a brief summary of each...

Read more

"There needs to be a transformation in people's thinking..."

“She dug into the challenges we face with people, this ‘comfort zone’ that millions who despise Trump don't spontaneously want or feel the necessity to rupture out of yet, and she agreed with BA's remarks on the GTF in relationship to this...

“[Watching the BA Q&A segment on "If successful ... who will step in to take the reins?"] opened up a conversation about a better world. She said, ‘It is very hard to be scientific’ when it comes to applying science to society and people. ... We have encouraged her to [read more by and about BA]...

“She said that in watching the film, and fighting to drive out the regime, there can be and needs to be ‘a transformation in people’s thinking’ and made clear she felt ‘the jackboots are coming’ and committed to taking up Refuse Fascism’s new call and upcoming plans.

Read more

Correspondence to Revolution

"The opioid of entrepreneurialism..."

After watching the clip from the BA film on the direct line from the Confederacy to these fascists, he said that the civil rights struggle had been ‘pushed down’ by the Southern Strategy and said that this whole line of ‘you can make it in society—you just need to be an entrepreneur’ was horrible because ‘then that becomes the goal and nothing changes’ and that down to today Black people continue to be murdered by police. He called the ‘entrepreneurial’ thing ‘an opioid’... that the powers ‘call for Black people to be entrepreneurs but then there is Alton Sterling selling his CDs and he is murdered by police.’...

With regard to the film, he said BA is saying step out of your comfort zone... the Doomsday Clock is at one minute to midnight, everybody needs to be involved...

Read more

Correspondence to Revolution

Understanding "why people are afraid..."

“One response had to do with what she called her own ‘lack of patience.’ She said BA is ‘very good at explaining WHY we want to do what we need to do.’ She emphasized there needs to be broad work ‘amongst different classes.’

“She was outraged by the attacks on the immigrants. ‘We can’t let them make these laws on them, and then follow them up with laws on others and then laws for all of us. I won’t be a nurse for the immigration authorities.’ She talked about how her city is being challenged as a sanctuary city—‘This is Los Angeles, LA County; I refuse to be a nurse in Nazi Germany or work with any doctors who do that.’

“She spit out ‘America First’ ... Whose lives matter? In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America—that goes beyond borders... In the Name of Humanity, that is what we are here for.”...

Read more

Correspondence to Revolution

Is the U.S. a Force For Good?

“‘[I]t’s obvious, but it is amazing that people aren’t talking about the need for Trump and Pence to go.’...

“She got more deeply into the concept that the U.S. is a force for good in the world. She said, ‘If it is a force for good [and said initially that she thought there was that side, potentially]... but there are things quite the opposite: wars, being on the wrong side of things... the U.S. has committed real atrocities... most know about it, but they don’t think about it—it hasn’t always been a force for good.’

“She recalled that she’d seen a PBS show recently about the civil rights movement. And described the brutality, the water hoses....

“She said that the ‘Democrats follow the system... OK vote... but it is “deeper and more urgent”’ and reiterated that there is so much damage already done.”...

Read more

Correspondence to Revolution

Risks, Sacrifice and Decisions

“He told us that he was supportive of what Refuse Fascism is doing. He said that he himself had been active with the struggle against the School of the Americas. During the meeting there was a time where he said: ‘Wait, hold on a second, if Refuse Fascism comes here, it could put the church in a spotlight and make things more difficult for our undocumented parishioners.’

“We pulled out the BA film right then, and answered his question that way, showing him the Q&A on minorities. This was the best answer we could possibly give―a real, comprehensive, and challenging answer, including about risks and sacrifices, and about what it is going to take to drive out this regime (and different levels on this question of the undocumented). The pastor watched carefully.

“There is more to learn about what the pastor thought, but it was off of this that he made a firm decision to host Refuse Fascism at the church and to promote RF as a group that should have an office at the church.

“His decision could have been different, but as I shared this experience with others, I really felt we could not lose: if they said No!, everything was honestly on the table and put forth and we’d made our best argument by showing the clip from BA and opened up the conversation and struggle over what humanity is confronting; and if they said Yes!, we had made a more solid ideological foundation from which to work with the church and its leadership.”

Correspondence to Revolution

"What's it going to take for people in the room to take up Refuse Fascism?"

“[One person] said he thought that left groups and progressives were more interested in fighting among themselves than against the enemy. He said that he had reservations about BA coming into the screening, but that the Talk had challenged some of his preconceived ideas. He said that he was getting a much different vibe in the Talk and it was very important to dig more into this particular question of what BA means to unite broadly...

‘What’s it going to take for people in the room to take up RF?’ When we posed this question, the responses were the two big ‘hows’—how do we mobilize millions of people into the street around this core demand and how would this lead to getting rid of the regime?”...

Read more

Correspondence to Revolution

Bob Avakian’s filmed talk on the Trump/Pence regime is sparking dialogue and debate on the situation we face, the causes of it, and what to do about it. People are grappling with the “what” of it all, and they’re also getting a sense of how BA approaches things—of what it means to be a scientific communist.

The film is also giving rise to deeper questions about the whole society we live in and what to do about it. These letters enable people to share experiences and thoughts about all of this... as we build a social movement to spread this film, and other works of Bob Avakian.

Write us with everything—what you’re thinking about the film and other works you may be getting into... what people are raising to you and how you’re understanding their questions and answering them... what effect you see this having... and thoughts on how we can get this much further out into society.

If just 100,000 people watch this film in the next few months, it could make a huge a difference.

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


Read:

A film to change history at a moment when the future hangs in the balance:

Creating a Movement Around the Film of a Talk by Bob Avakian

April 23, 2018

Read more


For a deeper look into what we are learning as we take this film out in the world, visit the Organizers’ Notebook.

Get deeper into Bob Avakian and the New Communism

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/536/what-you-can-do-to-make-a-real-difference-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

What You Can Do To Make a Real Difference

Updated May 19, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

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

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

Send us your ideas and experiences at: revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

Get deeper into Bob Avakian and the New Communism


Click to watch the film now

Donate towards promotion of this film

Make a splash on social media

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

Sample graphics

Read more

Organize others

  • Go to film showings taking place across the country (see below for scheduled showings), or schedule your own.
  • Ask everyone to follow on social media @tuneintorevcom, and to promote the film on their platform and tag @tuneintorevcom (for more on this, see here).
  • Do a short video about the talk, or video others. Post them to social media and send to @tuneintorevcom, and email to: revolution.reports@yahoo.com
  • Distribute palmcards and other materials about the film and BA.
  • Be part of organizing a showing on your campus or spreading the word.
  • Invite the Revolution Club to speak to your group or organization, in your classroom or dorm.
  • Invite businesses, community centers, etc. to put up the poster of the film.
  • Speak to community organizations, social clubs, barbershops, community centers, local businesses or organizations, about hosting a showing.
  • Show the film in classes, religious congregations, with friends, and more.
  • Call people you know NOW to invite them to any screening in your area, or talk with them about the urgency of them seeing this.

Who Must See This Talk?

Send us your ideas and experiences.

Write to: revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/515/Bob-Avakian-film-the-trump-pence-regime-must-go-palmcards.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

Download/Print/Distribute Social Media Graphics and Palmcards for the Film:

THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!
In The Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America
A Better World IS Possible
A Talk by Bob Avakian

Updated April 19, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Scroll down for social media graphics and printable PDFs for promotion

ANNOUNCING:
New Film poster

Download PDF with area at bottom for local event showing information

 

 

 

For social media:

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

Download ENGLISH | SPANISH

Download ENGLISH | SPANISH

Click the graphics below for pages shareable on social media:

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/april-1968-black-rebellion-that-shook-the-world-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

April 1968: The Black Rebellion That Shook America and the World

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


Just hours after the April 4, 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, the beginning flames of rebellion flared up in larger cities like Washington DC, Chicago, and Baltimore, as well as smaller cities. Above: Police line the street in riot gear on 14th and U Streets in Washington DC. Photo: AP

Fifty years ago, on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was cut down by an assassin in Memphis, Tennessee. King was 39 years old and the foremost leader of the civil rights movement.

King preached and fought for change, especially against the poverty and discrimination pressing down on Black people, within the framework of this existing system. Before he was killed, he had been increasingly speaking out against the U.S. escalation of the war in Vietnam. And, as would come out later, the FBI was carrying out an insidious campaign against him, not only spying on him but trying to discredit him by spreading malicious rumors and even sending him an “anonymous” letter threatening to reveal details about his private life and suggesting that he commit suicide in order to avoid a scandal. While many people looked up to King, there were others, like the emerging Black Panther Party, who were seeking out and advocating more radical, revolutionary solutions. These forces had broken with King’s road of working within the system and were going directly up against it.

But everyone was profoundly affected by the murder of Martin Luther King Jr., and came face-to-face with deep questions. As Nina Simone sang—three days after the assassination—in “Why? (The King of Love Is Dead)”: “He was not a violent man. / Bigotry had sealed his fate. / Folks you’d better stop and think / everyone knows we’re on the brink. / What will happen, now that the King is dead?” Then, in a searing improvised passage, she sang:

What’s gonna happen now, in all of our cities?
My people are rising...
If you have to die, it’s all right
’Cause you know what life is.
You know what freedom is for one moment in your life.

Violent repression, degrading racism, life-robbing poverty... this was what millions of Black people had faced for so long and continued to face daily. And then to see Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated—this was just too much.

Rising Up in City After City

The word spread like wildfire—“They killed Dr. King!”—from person to person, neighborhood to neighborhood. A reporter who was with U.S. troops, including Black GIs, at a Marine base in Vietnam, recalled later, “The death of Martin Luther King intruded on the war in a way that no other outside event had ever done.”

There were tears... and there was tremendous outrage. Just hours after King’s assassination, by that Thursday evening, the beginning flames of rebellion flared up in larger cities like Washington, DC, Chicago, and Baltimore, as well as smaller cities like Flint, Michigan; Hartford, Connecticut; Jackson, Mississippi; and many others. Over the next days and nights and into the following week, Black people rose up in an unprecedented nationwide rebellion that spread to more than 120 cities in 28 states.

As people rose up, the powers that be lost control of large sections of inner-city Black neighborhoods. The hated pigs were driven off by stone-throwing youths and by people using rifles from rooftops in self-defense against the shoot-any-Black-person-on-sight cops. In Baltimore, two days after the King assassination, crowds of 1,000 or more men and women moved through the streets. Businesses hated for ripping off the poor in the ghettos were burned down, and people took goods that had been denied them. Over 1,000 fires were reported just in DC—the president and other officials in the White House could see smoke rising over the city out of their windows, and troops with machine guns guarded the Capitol building. The opening of the Major League Baseball season had to be postponed in several cities.

Students at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and other African-American campuses joined in the uprising. In Kansas City, Missouri, things had been quiet until the day of King’s funeral on the Tuesday after the assassination, when a police tear gas attack on several hundred students marching to demand that the city close schools touched off a two-day uprising.

There was debate, wrangling, and defiance among broad numbers of people. Carl Dix, of the Revolutionary Communist Party, recalls how he “got the first draft notice in April 1968, a couple of days after Martin Luther King was killed and the rebellion swept the cities. I was in no mood to show up at the Army. I sent them a notice back and said I’m too busy right now.” Dix ended up being drafted but refused to be deployed to Vietnam and was imprisoned for his resistance.

A Black journalist in Chicago described a scene in a Black neighborhood in the city: “63rd Street on Palm Sunday was an ominous canyon, crowded with people, stirred by anger, swept by wind, littered with glass and refuse. As men from the 46th Infantry’s 4th Battalion stood before shuttered stores in the East 100 block, 50 teenagers marched by the soldiers shouting mock orders and words of abuse. The soldiers’ heads rotated from east to west, warily watching the ragged adolescent army pass in review.”

Reverberations Across the Globe

The news and images from the April 1968 rebellion electrified people around the world. Suddenly, it became clear for all to see that there were deep divides and sharp conflicts right inside the belly of the hated imperialist beast.

Mao Zedong, the leader of China, then a revolutionary socialist country, issued a statement on April 16, in which he pointed out that Martin Luther King was “an exponent of nonviolence” but that “the U.S. imperialists did not on that account show any tolerance toward him, but used counter-revolutionary violence and killed him in cold blood.” And he said, “The Afro-American struggle is not only a struggle waged by the exploited and oppressed Black people for freedom and emancipation, it is also a new clarion call to all the exploited and oppressed people of the United States to fight against the barbarous rule of the monopoly capitalist class. It is a tremendous aid and inspiration to the struggle of the people throughout the world against U.S. imperialism and to the struggle of the Vietnamese people against U.S. imperialism. On behalf of the Chinese people, I hereby express resolute support for the just struggle of the Black people in the United States.”

The April 1968 rebellions—and the great upsurge of the 1960s to early 1970s, which drew in very broad sections of U.S. society beyond the Black ghettos—did not lead to a revolution that actually defeated the rulers and their system. But there were important lessons to be learned. As vicious and powerful as they are, the U.S. imperialists are not all-powerful—even on their own “home turf.” And there is a section of people in this country who are a potentially powerful revolutionary force—who have nothing to lose under this system and who, when conditions are ripe, would be willing to put everything on the line to go all out for revolution.

As Bob Avakian would powerfully insist some years later:

There will never be a revolutionary movement in this country that doesn’t fully unleash and give expression to the sometimes openly expressed, sometimes expressed in partial ways, sometimes expressed in wrong ways, but deeply, deeply felt desire to be rid of these long centuries of oppression [of Black people]. There’s never gonna be a revolution in this country, and there never should be, that doesn’t make that one key foundation of what it’s all about. (BAsics 3:19)

Full-Scale Violent Repression

When it quickly became clear that the local police forces were not able to quash the uprisings, National Guard forces were mobilized in many cities. And when even those combined forces looked incapable of containing the rebellions in key cities, President Lyndon Johnson ordered the deployment of Army troops in Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Chicago. All told, over 50,000 Army and National Guard troops were deployed in dozens of cities.

A “riot control” headquarters led by a general was set up in the Pentagon, as well as a special high-level team in the White House. This was the first time since the Civil War that troops had been deployed to guard the national seats of power.

There were reports of debates among Black soldiers at the Fort Meade base in Maryland as orders came in to the 6th Calvary Regiment to occupy Washington, DC. Officers received orders to be on alert for “conspiracies” among Black troops, including among the U.S. forces in Vietnam.

In Chicago, occupied by 11,000 federal troops, a number of Black men were shot and killed—probably by police, though no pig was ever even identified as a killer, let alone charged. Shortly after the authorities restored “order” in the city, Mayor Richard Daley made clear how the pigs had been given a license to murder: he commanded the police chief to order his cops to “shoot to kill” anyone suspected of arson. Later media reports claimed that 46 people died nationally in the April 1968 rebellions, 41 of them Black, 14 teenagers. But no one really knows how many were actually killed by the police and troops. More than 20,000 people were arrested.

This was a naked display of the institutions and organs of violent repression wielded by the rulers of this capitalist-imperialist system, who prey upon the masses of people here and around the world. The rulers were able to re-impose their “order” after days of rebellion. But people broadly saw the real nature of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in this country, even if they did not have a full scientific understanding of this. Instead of being intimidated, many people were further enraged by this and compelled into opposition and struggle against the system, among Black people and also more broadly.

As the rulers came down violently on the uprisings, the U.S. Congress rushed to pass a new Civil Rights Act on April 10 that officially banned discrimination in housing. They hoped that people would believe the system was open to reform. But the law also contained new repressive measures—like making it a felony to cross state lines to “incite a riot,” which was used against Black revolutionaries and others.

Turning Point

April 1968 marked a turning point in the struggle in the U.S. Many, many more people had to face up to the fact that they faced a vicious enemy that was ruthless—even against those who resisted peacefully. More people started considering radical and revolutionary ideas and strategies. They wanted to struggle—and win—against the rulers and their system.

People were increasingly seeing the limits of the civil rights movement that began in the early ’60s, and the Black Liberation Movement was rising explosively. In the period following the rebellions, organizations like the Black Panthers and the Revolutionary Union, forerunner of the Revolutionary Communist Party, led by Bob Avakian, attracted new fighters. There was a widespread sense that big, fundamental changes were needed; and many from different sections of the people raised, confronted, and debated big, consequential questions: What were the actual changes that were needed in society and in the world? How were those changes going to be made? What kind of ideology and what kind of leadership did you need? How should the masses of people be mobilized and organized? What would it take to actually defeat the enemy?

This oppressive monster, the system of U.S. capitalism-imperialism, still rules today—and now in an even more grotesque, dangerous way in the form of the fascist Trump/Pence regime. More than ever, there is a crying, urgent need for an actual revolution that can bring an end to this system and open the door to a radically new, liberating system aiming toward the emancipation of humanity. The struggle of Black people to be free of their oppression is a key part of this revolution. And a significant section of Black people can come to recognize the great social need to step up to help give leadership to that revolution. As Bob Avakian points out:

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.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/second-amendment-nra-police-in-schools-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

The Second Amendment, the NRA, Police in Schools—Gun Violence and White Supremacy

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The horrible mass murder in Parkland, Florida and the outpourings of protest against gun violence have sparked widespread debate. People are struggling to understand why this violence keeps happening

What are the roots of the gun violence that takes so many lives in this country? Is the problem the guns? Why does the National Rifle Association seem to have such power and influence? Would putting even more police into schools protect students or endanger them?

These important issues need serious responses—but most answers out there don’t get to the reality of the situation in the U.S. today, or the history that has led to this juncture. Revolution has addressed these issues in previous articles (here, and here) , and we encourage people to dig further into the works by Bob Avakian linked from this article.

Here we focus on three major points of contention: the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the National Rifle Association, and the role of police in schools.

The 2nd Amendment—Enforcing a White Man’s Constitutional Right to Genocide and Slavery

The authors of the U.S. Constitution did not put the Second Amendment into the Bill of Rights to ensure people’s right to resist a federal tyranny, as today’s fascists often say. It wasn’t even about the right of individuals to own guns.

It was all about arming white men to control and suppress slaves—African people and people of African descent, and to drive Native Americans off their land, including by killing them.

For one thing, “the people” in the original U.S. constitution excluded slaves and Native Americans. White women were barely considered. Everyone at the time who read this Constitution—and certainly those who wrote it—knew that it was only talking about allowing white men to be armed.

Historian Carl T. Bogus wrote that James Madison wrote the Second Amendment to assure Southerners that the federal government couldn’t use its powers to stop slave patrols. There were hundreds of documented revolts and “conspiracies” by slaves before U.S. independence, and, as Bogus wrote, “Southerners were terrified of slave revolts and very much obsessed about possible insurrections during the late eighteenth century. They invested enormous energy in maintaining a slave patrol system, in which white patrollers worked throughout the night to stop blacks from moving about without permission, to search black homes for weapons and other contraband, and to administer lashings to blacks who committed infractions.”

The militias enshrined in the Second Amendment had existed for decades, and as another author pointed out, when the colonies agreed to become states these militias “were expected to continue fulfilling two primary roles in the United States: destroying Native communities in the armed march to possess the continent, and brutally subjugating the enslaved African population.”

These bloody origins of the Second Amendment continued to shape how gun rights developed in this country through the years; armed posses of slave catchers; scalp hunting parties of whites killing and dispossessing Indians; lynch mobs terrifying Black communities during the years of Jim Crow; heavily armed vigilantes prowling the U.S./Mexico border today. All this treated as legitimate, constitutionally protected activity.

Even while the historical roots of the Second Amendment are in white supremacy, and that is the basis on which today’s fascists uphold and fight for it, the problem facing the people today is much larger than guns and gun violence per se. Reactionary violence is as American as apple pie—it is woven into the fabric of this system, its culture and all its social relations.

Because of this, gun control and repealing the Second Amendment is not the solution. Besides, the state—the institutions of government that rule over this society, especially its police, military, and legal apparatus—can’t be allowed to control and regulate the ability of the people to defend themselves against reactionary and illegitimate violence. First of all, no power on Earth commits greater and more widespread violence than the government of the U.S. Any and all powers given to this state to take away people’s right to self-defense will be used against the people and against political movements of resistance. This has happened repeatedly in the history of this country.

As we wrote previously, “Don’t be foolish. New gun control measures would only heighten 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”.

The NRA—From Gun Safety Association to Mass Fascist Organization

The problem with the NRA is not that it has influence out of proportion to its numbers, or that many politicians are afraid to cross it. The problem is that it is a key part of the constellation of forces moving aggressively to consolidate fascism in this country, including acting as a propaganda arm of the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

Bob Avakian has analyzed how the Republican Party has been becoming more and more openly fascist since the time of Richard Nixon. The NRA has been increasingly tied to the Republicans through these years—these Republi-fascists want to keep weapons in the hands of the white supremacist social base they are mobilizing. Last summer, as protests around the country were mounted against different measures of the Trump/Pence regime the NRA released two ads that, in the words of one journalist, were “barely a whisper shy of a call for full civil war.”

The growth and transformation of the NRA began in the 1960s, as righteous uprisings of Black people erupted in cities and towns across the entire U.S. People rose up against police brutality and harassment, rigidly enforced segregation, and degrading treatment in every sphere of life. The rebellions reverberated across the world. U.S. News and World Report wrote that the 1967 rebellion in Detroit was “the nearest thing to civil war that the U.S. had witnessed in more than 100 years. Officials and frightened citizens saw it as an ominous warning of what could happen in many big American cities. … To many Americans, it all looked like a developing plot to bring about a nationwide ‘black revolution’.”

Gun sales surged, especially in segregated suburbs where the population was swelling with white people fleeing large cities. This pattern has continued in the decades since, after people have risen up in rebellion and protest in cities like Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Ferguson, Missouri. During the Los Angeles Rebellion of 1992, a gun store owner said, "I always thought if there was a serial rapist or murderer loose my business would go up, but nothing beats a race riot.”

Many of the newly armed whites joined the NRA, and the focus of the NRA began to change drastically as it became increasingly and openly white supremacist. Opposition to any limitations on white men owning guns became its defining feature. It expanded as a mass organization of heavily armed white people in suburbs and rural areas.

The Trump/Pence regime and the NRA have, so far, adamantly opposed any gun control. This is because they are fascists, not because they are beholden to the “gun lobby.” They want to keep weapons directly in the hands of their white supremacist, xenophobic social base. As fascist-in-Chief Donald Trump said when he addressed the NRA at its 2017 convention, “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.”

Police in Schools and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

There has been an epidemic of police violence in this country over the past several decades. Generations of young Black and Brown people have been incarcerated. Children as young as 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland in 2014 have been murdered by police. Hand in glove with this, police—not school guards, full-fledged, armed police officers from local police and sheriff’s departments—have become increasingly common in schools across the country.

After the Parkland shootings, there have been calls for more police protection in the schools. Let’s be real here—more police will mean more violence, not less. And it will be particularly aimed at Black and Brown youth.

Kai Koerber, a Black student at Parkland, powerfully expressed the reality faced by millions of Black students across the country. “The police presence at my school is not comforting. It’s intimidating… My once safe, beautiful school now resembles a prison. We have police towers in front, military-grade entry and exit points, and now we have invited those who are infected with the disease of prejudice to protect us.... It’s bad enough we have to return with clear backpacks. Should we also return with our hands up?”

"The police are making their own rules and are turning our school into a police state. Every day, students lose more and more freedoms at MSD (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High). Students of color have become targets and white students have become suspects... Students of color, black and brown students, like myself have been racially profiled while we are on heightened alert, fearing the emergence of another Caucasian shooter.... I would like to see us not only reclaim our school, but our right to privacy on campus. We do not welcome the militarization of MSD. It is terrible to see our school lose control over the protection of their students and their facilities."

Koerber vividly expresses a reality that exists for millions of students across this country. Police now patrol 40 percent of the schools in the U.S. 70 percent of students arrested or referred to law enforcement in school are Black or Latino. Children have been led away in handcuffs from elementary schools. In El Paso, Texas, a 7-year-old was taken to a holding cell by police, and all his mother knew was that he had been “misbehaving.” The boy said of the cop, "He carried me and put me in handcuffs, and when I was going to tell him what happened, he told me to shut up and I just wanted my family." Incidents like this have happened across the country; in Miami, in Kentucky, to 10 kids aged 6 to 11 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The most common charge against children and youth arrested in school is disorderly conduct. In other words, the police begin pinning arrest records on children as young as 6, priming them for a life in which the system sticks them with the label “habitual criminal.” More cops in schools means more youth in the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

Gun violence won’t stop with more armed police—it will increase. It will make school more dangerous and threatening, especially for Black and Brown youth.

In this article, we addressed three threads that run through the discussion about gun violence in this society. But there needs to be much wider debate throughout society, debate that strives to get at the roots of the reasons and sources of this plague.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/sacramento-pigs-shot-unarmed-stephon-clark-six-times-in-the-back-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

“#Stephon Clark. Say His Name!”
Sacramento Pigs Shot Unarmed Stephon Clark Six Times in the Back!

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Stephon Clark, 22-year-old father of two young children, unarmed and in his own grandmother’s backyard, was repeatedly shot in the back by two Sacramento pigs, according to an independent autopsy released at a news conference on Friday, March 30. The autopsy was commissioned by Stephon Clark’s family and conducted by Dr. Bennet Omalu—best known for his work in highlighting concussive damage to football players—after the family was told by authorities that an official report would not be released until the case is finished in the courts. The autopsy report proves the story the cops told is a complete lie!—the lie that they fired 20 shots at Stephon the night of March 18 because he moved toward them pointing what they thought was a gun. No gun was found, only a cell phone.

Dr. Omalu told the press on Friday that Clark “was not facing the officers” when he was killed. “During the entire interaction, he had his back to the officers.” Omalu said the first bullet hit him in the side with his back “slightly facing the officers,” causing his body to turn. His back was to the pigs when they hit him in a storm of six more shots, striking him in the neck, back, and thigh, breaking bones and piercing his lung. The final shot to the front of the leg was fired when he was already on or falling to the ground. The bullets combined to make Clark “bleed massively,” but still, “Death took about three to 10 minutes.” In other words, after shooting a young, unarmed Black man in the back, these pigs just watched Stephon die, instead of making any attempt at assistance.

The family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, who previously represented the family of Trayvon Martin, said, “This independent autopsy affirms that Stephon was not a threat to police and was slain in another senseless police killing under increasingly questionable circumstances.”

The police murder of Stephon Clark has awakened the people of Sacramento like never before, with nearly daily protests and major disruptions of business as usual, and numerous confrontations with the police. Angry protesters have repeatedly marched through the streets, shutting down rush hour traffic; they’ve taken over Interstate 5 and backed up cars for a mile in each direction; they’ve taken over a city hall meeting; taken over the neighborhood where Stephon lived—and died—and twice blocked the entrance to the NBA’s Sacramento Kings games, leaving the teams to play before largely empty stands. The courage and determination of this increasingly multinational uprising has inspired a growing number of protests around the country.

Well over 500 people attended the funeral for Stephon on Thursday, March 29, in a powerful and moving event for everyone who was there. Stephon’s brother Stevante, who has responded to the murder by being in the forefront of these protests, interrupted the service at one point to call on people to “never forget Stephon!” People of all nationalities attended, including Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders. An imam who spoke said, “At some point you ask yourself, ‘If a system keeps on making these fatal mistakes, at what point is the system disqualified? At what point is the system evil?’”

On Saturday, March 31, 400 people took part in a rally, organized by former NBA player Matt Barnes, across from City Hall. That evening, at a vigil, a 61-year-old protester was injured when a Highway Patrol SUV hit her, throwing her into the air, and then drove away. She said at the hospital, “If I did that I’d be charged. It’s disregard for human life.”

How many more times will we have to listen to pigs—and this whole system that backs them—“justify” their utter depravity toward Black, Latino, and Native American young people by saying “we thought he had a gun”? This time, once again, there was no gun. These police killings, over and over again, are not accidents. They are not the result of “lack of training” or “bad policies.” Why do they get away with it almost every time? Because they are doing what they are supposed to do as armed protectors of the system that rules over the people.

Enough Is Enough! Time’s Up for This System! No More!

Black Students in Parkland, Florida, Speak Out:

“The police presence at my school is not comforting... We have invited those who are infected with the disease of prejudice to protect us.”

On Wednesday, March 28, Black students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Parkland, Florida, held a press conference. They wanted the world to know that in the wake of the mass shooting at their school, the media has ignored them; they feel less safe with more police in their schools, and that the conversation about gun violence must include discussion of the police murder of Black people.

In the wake of the mass shooting, MSD students are required to carry clear backpacks, and Florida Highway Patrol forces are patrolling the campus. The students are told this is for their safety. But for Black students growing up seeing the police murder of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling, and many, many more—the assumption that more cops means being safer is a complete slap at reality.

Eleven percent of the 3,000 students at MSD are African-American, and the student population is 39 percent people of color. “The media have neglected us,” Tyah-Amoy Roberts, a junior at MSD, said at the press conference. Roberts said, “The Black Lives Matter movement has been addressing [gun violence] since the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012, yet we have never seen this kind of support for our cause, and we surely do not feel the lives or voices of minorities are valued as much as those of our white counterpart. And black and brown men and women are disproportionately targeted and killed by law enforcement based on population. These are not facts I can live with comfortably.... This is just as much a black issue as a white issue. We have to include police brutality because that is gun violence.... Everywhere I turn there is an armed guard. It feels like the Stoneman Douglas penitentiary.” Roberts asked whether the people who showed up for the March for Our Lives on March 24 will protest police killings of Black people.

Kai Koerber, a 17-year-old student at MSD, said, “The police presence at my school is not comforting. It’s intimidating.... We have police towers in front, military-grade entry and exit points, and now we have invited those who are infected with the disease of prejudice to protect us.... It’s bad enough we have to return with clear backpacks. Should we also return with our hands up?”

Koerber told CNN, “The police are making their own rules and are turning our school into a police state. Every day, students lose more and more freedoms at MSD. Students of color have become targets and white students have become suspects.... Students of color, black and brown students like myself, have been racially profiled while we are on heightened alert, fearing the emergence of another Caucasian shooter.”

Tiffany Burks, from the Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, which helped organize the press conference, echoed this sentiment, saying that the conversation about gun violence means broadening the topic from mass shootings to police-involved shootings. Burks said it was particularly jarring for Black students to return to a school swarming with police: “They were shook. It felt like there was a thousand police there. Having all those police there made their school feel like a prison.... Is the solution to less gun violence more guns, just with police officers’ names on them?”

The Black students at MSD are speaking out as determined protests continue against the police murder of Stephon Clark in Sacramento, California, and around the country, and only days after the system refused to charge police with the murder of Alton Sterling. These students are pointing to the hypocrisy of having the discussion of “gun control” while excluding discussion of the fact that guns in the hands of the police murder unarmed people all the time, especially Black people and other people of color.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/massacre-in-gaza-israel-opens-fire-on-unarmed-palestinians-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

Massacre in Gaza: Israel Opens Fire on Unarmed Palestinians—15 Murdered, 1,400 Injured

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Friday, March 30, Israeli forces opened fire on thousands of unarmed Palestinians at a non-violent protest along Gaza’s border with Israel.

According to available reports, at least fifteen protesters were killed by Israeli troops. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reports that 805 were wounded by live ammunition. Over 1,400 were injured—with bullets, tank rounds, rubber bullets, and tear gas. On Saturday, March 31, 49 more unarmed demonstrators were wounded by Israeli fire.

This massacre is taking place in the context of the Trump/Pence regime’s bellicose posture in the Middle East, its unqualified support for Israel, and its decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, signaling its full backing for even more genocidal Israeli assaults on the Palestinian people.

Premeditated Mass Murder

Israel immediately claimed the protest was a “terror gathering” and that the Palestinians had initiated the violence. These are lies.

The evidence—including Israel’s own words—overwhelmingly points to Israel’s attack being unprovoked, premeditated mass murder to terrorize the Palestinian people from holding a non-violent demonstration.

On Friday, some 30,000 Palestinians had gathering for the first day of a planned six-week encampment and protest. They were demanding that Palestinian refugees have the “Right of Return” to land stolen from them during the 1948 war to found Israel and over the decades since. Thousands of Palestinians also turned out because Israel and Egypt’s crippling, 11-year long blockade has turned their lives into an intolerable hell, and they’re demanding that it be lifted.

In the days before this planned gathering, Israel’s military unilaterally declared that Palestinians could not gather—on their own land!—within 300 meters of the Gaza’s border with Israel or they’d be shot. The day before the protest, an Israeli government official used video of an unarmed Palestinian being shot in order to “threaten Gazans,” according to an Israeli human rights activist.

Israel also pre-positioned military forces on the border, including some 100 snipers, as well as tanks and helicopters.

Then, on March 30, before dawn and before the protests had begun, a Palestinian was murdered by tank fire while working on his farm near the border. The Israelis claim he was acting “suspiciously.” He was picking parsley.

During the protest, demonstrators were being hit by Israeli bullets hundreds of yards from the border fence. One video shows Abdul Fattah Abdul Nabi, an unarmed 19-year-old, being shot in the back of the head by Israeli snipers. He didn’t have a gun or a Molotov cocktail, he was only carrying a tire. “Does that harm the Israelis, a tire?” his brother Mohamed Abdul Nabi asked. “He wasn’t going toward the Israeli side. He was running away.”

One 20-year-old had just arrived at the protest. “He asked for a cigarette, I gave it to him, he had two puffs, and then he was shot in the head,” his brother told the Washington Post. “He’d only been there 10 minutes.”

One protester tweeted, “I was there we were protesting peacefully and Israeli were shooting directly toward us!!” The New York Times reported an 18-year-old protester saying that “holding a Palestinian flag in one hand and a rock in the other would be enough to get him killed by an Israeli soldier.” Some Palestinians threw stones to signify this was their land. But as one demonstrator said, “The stones never even reached the fence.”

“We Know Where Every Bullet Landed”

Afterward, the Israeli Army posted the following message—seen and screen copied by an Israeli human rights activist—before the Army quickly removed it:

Yesterday we saw 30,000 people; we arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.

Read this again. It is nothing less than an admission of, taking credit for, and bragging about carrying out a pre-planned massacre.

This was underscored by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who declared: “Well done to our soldiers.”

Murder and Terror to Silence Exposure of Israel’s Crimes Against the Palestinians

Why did Israel carry out this savage, blatant massacre? For one reason, the Gaza protest was putting before the whole world the core truths and core crimes of Israel’s founding in 1948: the violent expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and lands—lands their forebears had inhabited for centuries. Most of Gaza’s two million inhabitants are refugees from the 1948 war or descendants of those refugees. The first day of protest took place on the 42nd anniversary of Land Day, a day of remembrance of Israel’s murder on March 30, 1976 of six Palestinians protesting the theft of their land in northern Israel.

The six-week protest and encampment is due to culminate with a "Great March of Return" on May 15—the anniversary of Israel's 1948 founding as a settler outpost for imperialism, a date Palestinians mark as the Nakba ("the catastrophe").

This history and Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people have been relentlessly suppressed and lied about. This six-week encampment is shining a global spotlight on it at a time when more and more people around the world are protesting and questioning Israel’s apartheid atrocities.

The six-week protest encampment would also highlight the ongoing crime of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip, a small, isolated section of Palestine on the border with Egypt. This blockade has collapsed Gaza’s economy and turned this 25-mile long, 5-mile wide strip of land into an open-air prison. Palestinians have been robbed of jobs, electricity, freedom of movement, the minimum requirements of survival, and any future, leaving them with barely enough to survive. The blockade has created a “humanitarian crisis” that has already killed more than 1,000 Palestinians.

“Life in Gaza is hard,” Atef Abu Saif writes in a devastating portrayal in the New York Times. “Then it gets worse and we think it’s intolerable. Then it gets even worse.”

Israeli activist and author Miko Peled argues the blockade has “a very clear intent, to see the people of Gaza die a slow death and we’re talking about 2 million people.” (See Peled’s interview on The Michael Slate Show.)

America’s Hands Dripping With Palestinian Blood—Trump/Pence Give Green Light for Far Worse

Israel has carried on ongoing violent ethnic cleansing, including spasms of mass murder and massacres from the Nakba to the latest massacre in Gaza. The U.S. rulers—whether Democrats or Republicans are in power—have staunchly backed Israel (whatever tactical or face-saving criticisms they occasionally raise) for decades, and they have rivers of Palestinian tears—and blood—dripping from their hands.

But now, as part of his America First fascist agenda to more violently and directly impose U.S. dominance around the world, Trump has loudly signaled that Israel has a green light to do whatever it chooses, and there will be no criticism—even the kinds of tactical critiques or differences that have sometimes come up between this attack dog and its U.S. master.

The message of U.S. support for Israel’s escalating ethnic cleansing was sent loud and clear by the pending transfer of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is due to take place on or near May 15—the day Palestinians commemorate the Nakba. (See A Dangerous Escalation: Trump Plans to Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem) And following this latest massacre, the U.S. representative at the UN blamed the Palestinians, saying that “bad actors” were using the “protests as a cover to incite violence” and “endanger innocent lives.”

Israel’s massacre is taking place in the context of ominous U.S. moves in the Middle East (and around the world). Trump is targeting Iran, and on May 12 he may break out of the nuclear deal the U.S. signed with Iran and other global powers—a deal Netanyahu and other powerful forces in Israel have opposed. This would radically escalate tensions in the region, and possibly lead to a U.S.-Israeli war on Iran.

Israel’s deliberate, pre-planned March 30 massacre, as well as its threats to “expand” its attacks if Palestinians continue to protest, is aimed at terrorizing the masses of Palestinians and people across the region, ahead of the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and the possibility greater U.S.-Israeli crimes to come.

Palestinians have denounced Israel’s mass killing as a crime and are demanding justice. All people of conscience, no matter where they are, should join them in loudly and unequivocally condemning Israel’s massacre!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/michael-slate-interviews-author-activist-miko-peled-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

Michael Slate Interviews Author and Activist Miko Peled

“Palestinians are suffering from a regime of apartheid, a campaign of ethnic cleansing and genocide all at the same time”

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following is excerpted from an interview with Miko Peled, aired on March 16, 2018, on The Michael Slate Show on KPFK Pacifica radio. The entire interview is available at themichaelslateshow.com.

Miko Peled is the son of an Israeli general, and Miko Peled himself served in the Israeli army. After his niece was killed by Palestinians in a suicide bombing, instead of responding with blind hate and revenge, Peled was driven to learn for himself why the Palestinian people were so full of outrage. Today he lives in the U.S. where he courageously speaks out against Zionism and Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians. He is the author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.

The Michael Slate Show airs every Friday at 10 am Pacific Time on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles. The show can be streamed live here and people can listen to or download archived shows here.

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

 

Michael Slate: There’s a full-scale assault on the Palestinian people right now and it has been kept quiet and secret from the rest of the world. In February alone at least 1,319 Palestinian people were detained by the Israeli occupation forces and other assaults continue unmitigated. Yet so little is known to the rest of the world. What’s your assessment of the situation today?

Miko Peled: It’s funny, you know, because people always say to me, “So how are things in Palestine? It seems like it’s really nice and quiet there now, like nothing’s going on.” I’m thinking how in the world does anybody reach that conclusion? What in the world makes people think that everything is fine? Palestine is bleeding like an injured human being, bleeding to death. Bleeding to death at an unbelievable speed, an unbelievable speed. It’s a miracle that there’s any piece of Palestine that is still alive. It will require an enormous effort, enormous relief, to just bring Palestine back on its feet and that relief isn’t anywhere in sight. And so the patient is dying very rapidly, the bleeding is severe, and like you said, people go around the world thinking that everything’s fine because they don’t see it on the news.

Michael Slate: There’s a lot of assaults on the Palestinian people, but it really does look like what we’re looking at is ethnic cleansing. That raises things to a whole other level. Cleansing the Palestinians from Jerusalem, but also throughout the country as a whole.

Miko Peled: Yes, you know it’s interesting, too, because when you use terms like ethnic cleansing, like genocide, like describing Israel’s regime as an apartheid regime, people on the other side are always up in arms, they’re outraged: “How dare you say the Jews could possibly commit genocide? The Jews would never agree to impose apartheid on other people.” I think Nancy Pelosi once said it’s absurd to think the Jews would ever use apartheid against other people. First of all, Jews are like any other people; they can do what other people do, just as bad and just as good. But on the issue of Palestine, it’s very easy to show because the international community has defined these terms.

What is happening in Palestine is all of the above. It’s an apartheid regime and, again, international law describes exactly what apartheid is. It is ethnic cleansing. Again you can look at the definition of ethnic cleansing. And it’s genocide. Look at the Geneva Convention and the description of the crime of genocide and compare these three definitions to what has been happening in Palestine over the last seven decades and somebody come up here and tell me that it is not a perfect fit. It is genocide, it is ethnic cleansing, and it’s a regime of apartheid all at the same time. Again, the definitions are very clear so for some reason to come up and say oh no, it’s not this and it’s not that, it’s not the other―it’s complete nonsense. All you have to do is look at the definition that international law has given these terms, these crimes, and it’s a perfect fit.

Michael Slate: Let’s get into some concrete examples of what is actually happening in Palestine now.

Miko Peled: We have two million people in the Gaza Strip without access to clean water, without access to proper medical care. They have been subjected to bombing beyond belief and the injured from those bombings still have not been able to get medical relief. We’re talking about tens of thousands of people without access to relief. If you want to kill someone without shooting them, you can injure them, then let them die slowly, or you can deny them water, or you can deny them clean water and they will die from disease. So there’s clearly an intent here, a very clear intent, to see the people of Gaza die a slow death—and we’re talking about two million people.

This scene in Gaza after a 2014 Israeli airstrike calls to mind the reality that Peled addresses: "...two million people in the Gaza Strip without access to clean water, without access to proper medical care. They have been subjected to bombing beyond belief and the injured from those bombings still have not been able to get medical relief. ... So there’s clearly an intent here, a very clear intent, to see the people of Gaza die a slow death...." Photo: AP

We know very well as a result of the relief organizations that are able to do some work there that a child with a curable disease—a curable cancer—inside the Gaza Strip will die. A Jewish-Israeli child a mile away on the other side of the border with the exact same disease will live, and it’s only because Israel denies the health care, the proper medical care, to the Palestinian child. So that is two million people in the Gaza Strip.

We have hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the Negev Desert who are denied clean water, with infant mortality rates that are off the charts and without any comparisons to mortality rates among Israeli Jews. We’re talking about the Bedouins in the Negev Desert, Palestinians who are Israeli citizens. Children are dying because they have no access to clean water, so they’re admitted to the hospital with diseases that you never see Israeli children, Jewish children, being admitted with these diseases. They don’t have those problems, they have access to clean water, they have access to health care immediately.

With Palestinians in Jerusalem who are losing their homes at an alarming rate, losing the right to live there ... you know, I was born and raised in Jerusalem—I can come and go as I please. I’ve been gone for 20 years—I go back, I’m a citizen. Palestinians in Jerusalem are—first of all, they’re not citizens, they’re “alien residents” even though several of the families there go back very far. And if they leave, then they lose their ability to return, they lose their alien resident status, and their property is taken away. This is happening at an alarming rate, plus home demolition, plus entire communities in the periphery of Jerusalem, which used to be attached to Jerusalem, Palestinian communities, Palestinian towns that have become complete ghost towns. You see the brand-new buildings—businesses, homes—completely abandoned because the people have been subjected to ethnic cleansing.

And the list goes on and on and on—in Galilee, in every part of the country, Palestinians are suffering from a regime of apartheid, a campaign of ethnic cleansing and genocide all at the same time.

Michael Slate: This is pushed underneath everything else so a lot of people don’t know about it at all. Gaza in particular really reminds me of the Warsaw Ghetto. There’s a certain irony there given who’s actually reigning over what’s happening in Gaza right now. But the fact that it does look like and remind one of the Warsaw Ghetto is pretty heavy

Miko Peled: Yes, it’s horrifying, it’s beyond horrifying. The fact that the world is allowing that to happen, and again—we’re not talking about some remote mountaintop in the middle of Afghanistan where there’s no access. We’re talking about Palestine, we’re talking about a country where there’s plenty of access—or where there could be plenty of access to clean water, to the best health care ... people are educated. It is a three-hour flight from Paris. I mean, for God’s sake, you know, it’s half an hour from Tel Aviv, from Jerusalem—cities where you wouldn’t dream of seeing Israeli Jews live like this, and nobody cares. There are no protests, there are no demands that the siege on Gaza be stopped.

If this was any other place you’d have the [U.S.] Sixth Fleet there forcing the siege open and giving basic humanitarian care to the people there, but they won’t do that because it’s Israel. Eventually what needs to happen is the Sixth Fleet needs to force that siege open instead of collaborating with the state of Israel, which is what the U.S. military is doing now on a huge scale, and for some basic relief for the two million people of Gaza.

By the way, the crime of genocide as it is defined by the Geneva Convention also speaks about complicity with genocide, and that’s where the United States government and the European government hopefully will one day find themselves—in a court of law—because they are complicit with the genocide of the Palestinians.

Michael Slate: Miko, there’s a specific role of U.S. imperialism here, and it’s been ongoing. But it’s taken a leap since the ascendancy of Trump to the top of the regime. You look at, for instance, just the recent thing with Jerusalem and the U.S. embassy being moved to Jerusalem, which is a declaration that the U.S. stands solidly behind the genocide that the Israeli administration and government is bringing down on the Palestinian people.

Miko Peled: Yes, without a doubt Trump has emboldened Israel in a way that was hard to imagine, because we all thought this was as bad as it’s going to get. This move—putting the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem—was, first of all, reckless. But it was also a move that was designed as a slap in the face to all the Arab and Muslim world. It was a personal, political gift to Benjamin Netanyahu, because Netanyahu and Trump have become BFFs. And now they brought into the equation the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, who is a criminal, who is conducting a horrifying campaign of killing and slaughtering in Yemen, and was just given billions of dollars’ worth of weapons by the Brits and a complete license to continue this by the Americans. And the price he has to pay is, of course, normalized relations with Israel, and there is every reason to expect that there will be normal diplomatic relations between the two countries before long.

So this is a very dangerous, very dangerous, time. I think it is more dangerous than anything I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. And the people who suffer the most as a result of this are the Palestinians, because Israel has been emboldened—they are even more violent and more brutal towards Palestinians and Palestinian children than they have ever been before.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/bob-avakian-memoir-ch7-ramparts-bpp-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Editors' note: The important film Black Panther is having a major impact in society. A key theme in the film is wrangling with the legacy of the Black Panthers of the 1960s. In light of this, we are highlighting excerpts from the memoir by Bob Avakian (BA), From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist, A Memoir by Bob Avakian, which get into the Black Panthers and other developments at that time. In the late 1960s, out of the civil rights movement there emerged a more radical Black liberation movement and the Panthers were a key part of this. BA began working closely with the Panthers from its early days when it consisted of Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Hutton, and a small number of others. As BA says in his memoir, the Panthers were pushing him “to become more radical, to move more toward a revolutionary position, because they were taking up things that I felt very passionately about and they were doing it in a way that I saw as being very uncompromising.... So all this had a tremendous impact on me in the context of everything that was happening in the U.S. and in the world at that time, and everything I’d learned up to that point.” (p. 149) The memoir itself covers the whole arc of BA’s relationship with the Black Panther Party.

 

From Ike to Mao and Beyond:
My Journey from Mainstream America to
Revolutionary Communist,
A Memoir by Bob Avakian

From “Chapter Seven: ‘...Are Beyond Your Command’ ”

by Bob Avakian

 

Ramparts

Bob Scheer, who I mentioned earlier, had come out from New York to the Bay Area, and he was part of what was then generally called the “new left,” which was trying to develop a movement that was different from and more radical than the old Communist Party. Besides reading things he wrote and listening to speeches he gave, I talked to Bob Scheer a lot. He had a big influence on me at that time and generally a positive one in radicalizing me.

Scheer went on to Ramparts magazine, which had originally been founded as kind of a liberal Catholic journal; as things got more radical in the ‘60s, the magazine drew more radical people into it and it became an important voice opposing the Vietnam War, supporting Black people’s struggles, and so on. It was still within a certain framework, but it was an important radical voice at that time. Scheer asked me if I wanted to come work there, doing research and helping to prepare different articles. That sounded like a good way for me to combine earning a living with doing something worthwhile, and it also gave me a job where I didn’t have to do the 9-to-5 thing. I would get my research assignments done, but I also had a lot of freedom to be involved in the things that I thought were most important.

One of the important stories we did at Ramparts concerned Donald Duncan. One day some people from the Berkeley anti-war movement came to me and said that they were talking to this guy who was a soldier who was questioning the Vietnam War very seriously and deeply. They wanted me to talk to him because I had done a lot of public speaking and study around the war. So I spent quite a bit of time over at their house talking to this guy, who turned out to be Donald Duncan.

Duncan had been a soldier in Vietnam—he was at the rank of master sergeant when he left Vietnam. He’d come back very disaffected by and very bothered by the war—questioning it and thinking it wasn’t right, but not that clear on a lot of things about it, understandably. I asked him a lot about his experiences in Vietnam and did what I could to help him come to a clearer understanding of the nature of the war and what was wrong with it. And at a certain point, I suggested to both the Ramparts editors and to Donald Duncan himself that they do an article in which he would tell his story and come out and denounce the war. This ended up being a front cover article, with a picture of Duncan in uniform and the headline “I quit!” At that time, there weren’t that many soldiers who’d been in the war itself and come out and publicly denounced it. Ramparts had a circulation of a couple hundred thousand or so, and this article had an impact even beyond the readers of Ramparts.

While I had argued with soldiers that the mere fact that they had been in Vietnam didn’t mean that they were right about the war, there is a truth that if you’ve “paid your dues” fighting there and then you come to say that it’s wrong, that has a big impact on many people—including for the reason that people who are more backward or conservative can’t say, “Oh, that’s just those disgruntled hippies who are cowards, who are draft dodgers, and all that.” As a matter of fact, I would, and did, uphold those people who dodged the draft as doing something truly heroic—not George W. Bush, but people who dodged the draft because they opposed the war, not just to save their own ass. People who evaded the draft, or outright refused to be drafted, or refused to go to Vietnam once they were in the military—people who did these things because they opposed the war—they were doing heroic things, definitely more heroic things than U.S. soldiers who, with all their destructive technology, were massacring and slaughtering the Vietnamese people. Nevertheless, for the U.S. population broadly, for someone who’d been in that war to speak out against it had a very big impact.

I also worked on an article about discrimination in professional sports. This was right up my alley, combining my love for sports with being able to do something to expose injustice. So I interviewed some professional athletes—and I tried to interview Bill Russell, who had been a big hero of mine when I was a kid. I described the article and the magazine to Russell, and he refused—I’m not sure exactly why.

But Jim Brown, one of the great running backs in football history, did agree to be interviewed, and this was interesting. This was around the time when I first met Eldridge Cleaver, who had gotten out of prison on parole. As a condition of parole, he had to have a job. Ramparts had given him a job as a writer, and I’d met him in that context. He and I went to L.A. together to interview Jim Brown, who had these programs that were supposed to improve the lives of Black people, with small businesses and things like this. At one point in the interview things got very sharp because I asked, “Well, what are these programs actually going to do for the average Black person in Hough?” (Hough referred to a street in the center of the ghetto in Cleveland, where Jim Brown had played professional football and where his programs were centered at that time.) And, let’s put it this way, he didn’t like that question—he got very indignant and gave me some answer which I don’t remember in all its details, but which didn’t really answer the question.

But the article did end up being mainly a positive one, focusing largely on Jim Brown—which partly reflected where people at Ramparts, including myself, were at then, and partly the fact that Jim Brown was in certain limited ways standing up against the Establishment at that time, although the main aspect of what he was doing was very well within the system. And that came through as well in the interview.

Eldridge in particular was very acutely aware of this. When we were leaving, after interviewing Jim Brown, Eldridge told me, “This guy’s just bullshit, man. This is just bullshit what he’s running. This has got nothing to do with ending the oppression of Black people.” That verdict from Eldridge obviously made an impression on me, even though the article ended up being mainly positive in its presentation of Jim Brown.

 

Getting with Eldridge, Huey and Bobby

Eldridge Cleaver was much more radical than people that I’d known before. When I first met him, he was talking about how, when Malcolm X had been assassinated, Malcolm had been trying to get together this organization that he called the “Organization of Afro-American Unity,” inspired by the Organization of African Unity,8 and Eldridge was talking about trying to revive that organization. Then he ran into Huey and Bobby and decided that the Black Panther Party was really much more the way to go. But generally he was very radical, and through him I met people who were associated with SNCC9 and things like that. All this obviously had a big effect on me.

One time through Eldridge I got this issue of the SNCC newspaper and they had this cartoon portraying Nasser, who was the head of the government of Egypt at that time, going up against Israel, and the cartoon drew a parallel with how Black people had to deal with Jews who were exploiting them in the ghetto in America.10 This really bothered me. I was already learning about imperialism, partly from Eldridge, so I said to him: “Look, this is not right. The common enemy here is imperialism. What’s wrong with Israel is not the Jewish character of it; it’s the fact that it’s an instrument of imperialism. And the common cause of Black people in the U.S. and people in Egypt is that they’re going up against imperialism.” Eldridge said, “Well, why don’t you write them a letter?” So I did. I made these arguments and I made the point in writing the letter that I was a strong supporter of SNCC, and of Black liberation, but this bothered me because it wasn’t the right way to look at the problem and to analyze friends and enemies, and so on. So they wrote back and said, “We take you at your word that you’re a supporter of Black liberation and let us make clear that we are not anti-Semitic and we don’t see Jews as the enemy.”

I had already met Bobby Seale and Huey Newton separately from Eldridge, and then after I had known Eldridge for a while and he started becoming part of the early beginnings of the Black Panther Party, I got to know Huey and Bobby more deeply and in a more directly political way in that context. Before that I had met them through some old high school friends of mine. One night at a rec center in Berkeley, my friend Billy introduced me to this guy who was nicknamed Weasel, who was going to the community college in Oakland—he had formerly gone to McClymonds and played on the team that beat Berkeley High in overtime in the 1963 TOC—and he told me about this African-American cultural program that was being held by a group on the community college campus called the Soul Students Advisory Council. And that’s where I met Huey for the first time.11 I had actually seen Bobby Seale before that on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley reading this poem called “Uncle Sammy Call Me Full of Lucifer”—which, as I recall, may have had some macho bullshit in it but was mainly a stinging political indictment of the U.S. and what it was doing in Africa and around the world as well as to Black people in the U.S.

So I’d seen Bobby before, but then I met Huey at that cultural program and we actually got into a conversation when he came up to me and said, “Who are you, Socrates?” There weren’t very many white people at this program, and I guess he thought I looked sort of philosophical! I laughed and said no, and then we got into a philosophical and political discussion. He asked me, “Are you in the CP?” I said I wasn’t. And then he said, “Well, that’s good ‘cuz they’re not radical at all. They’re just counter-revolutionary. Are you in PL (Progressive Labor Party)?” “No,” I said. He went on: “They’re not radical at all. They pretend to be radical, but they’re not radical either. They’re not really for overthrowing the government or anything like that.” So we had this whole discussion.

Bobby Seale was actually the emcee of this Soul Students cultural program, and there were a lot of different performances that night. But what I remember most was Bobby Seale—both because he was very effective at this and also he was hilarious. I found out from him later that he’d actually been a comedian for a while after he got out of the Air Force. He would do really great impressions of everybody from Kennedy to Bill Cosby and was just really hilarious as well as being very penetrating with some of his satire and the ways he was going after the government.

Huey, Bobby and Eldridge saw themselves as the heirs to Malcolm X, taking up what Malcolm X was doing when he was assassinated and carrying it forward. In my eyes, they were taking it and becoming even more radical with it. They had this revolutionary stance, they were indicting the whole system—that’s what they got from Malcom X—but they were calling for revolution, too. At the same time, they were open to talking and debating and struggling over things. That struck me as well.

I remember one time I was down at the same community college and there was this other Black nationalist group meeting in a classroom and the door was open, and this guy was giving an agitational speech about the blue-eyed devils, and so on. I couldn’t help it, I was interested and I was drawn to listening. He was denouncing the honkies and the blue-eyed devils, and he looked up at one point and he saw me and he said, “And that goes for you, too, honky!” So, I just said, “Okay,” and walked off. But what struck me about Bobby Seale and Huey Newton and Eldridge was that their indictment of the system was more powerful and more profound than this, but along with that they were open to anybody else who was opposed to the system and they would try to push you to become more radical. That was a lot of the influence that Eldridge and Bobby and Huey had on me, pushing me to become more radical, to move more toward a revolutionary position, because they were taking up things that I felt very passionately about and they were doing it in a way that I saw as being very uncompromising—and at the same time they were willing to argue and debate and struggle with you. So all this had a tremendous impact on me in the context of everything that was happening in the U.S. and in the world at that time, and everything I’d learned up to that point.

 


 

8. The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was formed in 1963 by newly independent governments of Africa. [back]

9. SNCC, or the Student Non-Violent Co-ordinating Committee, grew out of the civil rights sit-ins and voter registration drives in the South during the early 1960s. SNCC became increasingly radicalized and nationalist as the decade developed: in 1966 Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) assumed leadership and declared its goal to be “Black Power,” rather than integration; in 1967, Rap Brown (Jamillah Al-Amin) became leader and the whole organization assumed a more revolutionary and anti-imperialist stance. [back]

10. In 1967, Israel launched a surprise attack on Egypt, Syria and Jordan, and seized the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights, further dispossessing the Palestinian people, who had already been turned into refugees by the 1948 war which created the Israeli settler state. This was the so-called “six-day war.” The U.S. left as a whole not only did not take a clear stand against this, but many actually supported the Israeli attack. SNCC stood out at the time for taking a stand against the Israeli aggression, and lost quite a bit of financial and political support as a result. [back]

11. Bob Avakian has written a number of pamphlets and articles on the Black Panther Party, including “Huey Newton and the Panthers...The Early Years...and What’s Up Today”—a four-part interview conducted in May 1989 immediately after Newton’s death, which touched on his relationship with Newton and Newton’s strengths and weaknesses as a revolutionary leader and the tragedy of his life. ... See also the book by Bob Avakian A Horrible End – or An End to the Horror? [back]

 

 


 

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

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

September 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

by Bob Avakian

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/this-nightmare-must-end-the-trump-pence-regime-must-go-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

New Call to Action From Refuse Fascism:

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

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

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We are horrified and angered at the shocking damage already done to lives here and around the world by the Trump/Pence regime. We recognize that they are poised to do far worse, including threatening WAR, even nuclear war. Through an unrelenting barrage of daily outrages and Twitter outbursts, the Trump/Pence regime is radically remaking society—step by step hammering into place a vicious American fascism. This is not insult or exaggeration, it is what they are doing.

Therefore, WE RESOLVE that nothing short of removing this whole illegitimate regime from power will stop this nightmare.

There is a way to do this. To do so,we must cast aside illusions and self-delusions:

All too many people think and act as if what we face is just the worst of pendulum swings between Republicans and Democrats. NO! This regime, if left in power, will effect a thoroughly reactionary restructuring of society.

If we think that the normal processes of the 2018 or 2020 elections, or the Mueller investigation will, by themselves, redress the situation that humanity faces, we are not understanding the determination of these fascists in power to shatter norms—even though they have been doing so for over a year.

If we think that the heightened activism of the past year, either by itself or together with the elections will stop this regime, we are missing how much harm this regime has already done, absorbing individual protests as it rapidly moves its agenda forward on multiple fronts.

If we are not as outraged and motivated to act today as we were right after the election, we are on our way to accepting a great horror that builds daily. If we adjust to the injustice of this regime, do not ask how the German people could have accepted Nazism in the 1930s.

An American Fascism

We must not reassure ourselves that it couldn’t happen here. It is. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is a 21st century fascist program of Manifest Destiny—”America First”—wrapped in the flag and Mike Pence’s Bible taken literally, with a program of white supremacy, misogyny, and xenophobia.

This regime denies truth and objective evidence, and yet it has its hands on the most powerful military and nuclear arsenal in history and is preparing and threatening to use it! Millions of immigrants live in terror fearing their loved ones will be ripped away. People’s humanity is viciously denied. Women are poised to lose the right to abortion. Trump and Sessions have instructed police to “take the gloves off,” further brutalizing people of color. LGBTQ rights recently won are under assault. Damage done to the environment by this regime in just 14 months could be irreversible.

Fascism rules by organized repression and terror by the government: civil liberties are stripped away, law re-written, dissent criminalized, the courts packed with fascists, and the separation of powers and of church and state ultimately eviscerated. As part of radically remaking society, the Trump/Pence regime must sharply attack those in positions of power who oppose them. Fascism also mobilizes mobs of vicious thugs as we’ve seen with Nazis marching and murdering in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Trump/Pence Regime has not yet been able to implement their full program. But they are advancing. It might only take a single serious crisis—international or domestic—for this regime to drop the hammer.

Don’t Normalize... Don’t Accommodate... Don’t Conciliate... Don’t Collaborate...

People all over the world are counting on us to STOP this nightmare. The different strains of fascist demagogues and movements in this country see in Trump and Pence their “last chance” to achieve their reactionary program. They will not listen to facts or reason; they have already and will continue to change rules, manipulate elections, and they will not give up.

The Democratic Party leadership will NOT lead us out of this. They are about maintaining order for their whole set up. For them, order is more important than justice, even if that means the order of fascism. After Trump’s election, President Obama said of Trump, “We are all on the same team... We are now all rooting for his success.” NO! If Trump succeeds, it will be catastrophic!

But there IS another way. A different kind of protest. We need to organize now for the time when we can launch massive, sustained nonviolent protests in the streets of cities and towns across the country—protests that continue day after day and don’t stop, creating the kind of political situation in which the demand that the Trump/Pence regime be removed from power is met.

Everyone who recognizes that the Trump/Pence Nightmare Must End is invited to join in and prepare for launching this great act of sustained resistance.

Imagine tens of thousands beginning in several cities and towns, with marches, candlelight vigils, rallies—students, religious communities, immigrants, everyone with a heart for humanity in the streets and not backing down—growing from thousands to hundreds of thousands and eventually millions. Our actions will reflect the values of respect for all of humanity and the world we want—in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. The whole world will take heart.

This will shake millions awake, with many losing their adjustment to life under this regime. The international credibility of the regime will be undermined. A determined struggle that doesn’t yield and won’t be provoked can create a serious political crisis. Those in power who are themselves now under attack by the regime but conciliating with it would be compelled to respond to our struggle from below, leading to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.

This would be hard, but possible. Possible because millions of us feel the horror of Trump and Pence. Many have righteously protested different outrages, but now we must rise to another level of determined resistance.

We must confront the reality that the world as we have known it is being torn asunder. This requires getting out of our comfort zones and not allowing our differences to stand in the way of rising together in an unprecedented, unrelenting mass struggle to confront the danger of a Trump/Pence fascist America.

WE PLEDGE that we will not stand aside while there is still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity and the earth itself. Join us. Let’s stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to struggle with all we’ve got to demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.

In the Name of Humanity,

We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

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

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Go to:
RefuseFascism.org
to add your name to this statement

 @RefuseFascism on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/launching-the-new-call-from-refuse-fascism-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

Launching the New Call from Refuse Fascism

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: Revcom.us received the following letter to Refuse Fascism organizers from RefuseFascism.org. It lays out their plans to launch their new Call to Action (linked here and at the bottom of this page). We are sharing this with our readers because it is of tremendous import to people all over the world that this effort succeeds. We will have more on this effort in the next week.

 

April 1, 2018

To Chapters and Organizers:

Trump’s recent appointment of a team of torturers, war criminals and eager-to-be war criminals—coming on top of more than a year now of the regime’s fascist assault on many different sections of the people as well as many norms and institutions of society—make the mission of RefuseFascism.org more urgent and necessary than ever before.

People all over the world need for us to succeed very soon in launching a movement of sustained mass nonviolent protests that start with many thousands and grow to millions and do not stop until the demand—The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!—is met.

To this end, it is of tremendous importance that we now have a new Call to Action. This new Call captures in a single piece the scope and magnitude of the danger we face 14 months into a fascist regime and compellingly puts forward the only way that this can be stopped.

This Call provides a unified understanding and mission around which RefuseFascism.org can go out and struggle to win hundreds, soon thousands, and then tens of thousands and more to the understanding and determination to act together to stop the catastrophe that is the American fascism of the Trump/Pence Regime.

The following are plans for all of us—in different parts of the country and in different ways—to work together to launch this Call with the greatest impact and in a way that builds both greater unity of will among broader numbers of people and, very importantly, greater organization and participation in RefuseFascism.org. This “launch plan” is to provide more detail and direction as to how to implement the first phase of the overall plan for 2018 which chapter organizers received two weeks ago, and which we encourage everyone to return to.

This launch plan includes “soft launch” of grassroots efforts that begins to get the new Call out hand-to-hand and prepares momentum and participation in a bigger launch on April 11, with heightened buzz, distribution, and organizing around the new Call in the two weeks to follow that.

Through this entire four week period, RF will be spreading our basic message far and wide through the Call and getting out our main slogans (This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! and, NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!). This spreading of our Call and slogans will be integrated with three additional things: [1] building organization and raising funds, drawing forward and involving new people through meetings, discussions, watching the film of the 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”; [2] preparing for a month of actions that will put the basic objective and message of RF before the world; and [3] doing all of this in the midst of the swirl of struggle against the regime around the danger of war, the assault on immigrants, and other key fronts where RF intervention would contribute to achieving our objective. Key in this period is stepping out with the Call, the slogans/posters and organizing masses into RF preparing for the struggles to come.

TODAY TO APRIL 10—”SOFT LAUNCH”

For this concentrated period, chapters and volunteers should focus on grassroots efforts of mass distribution of the new Call to Action and uniting beginning cores of people around the content of this Call (this should include existing members, folks who have been in and out of the chapters in recent months, and new people you are meeting).

a) Focus on mass distribution of the initial Call/layout. This should include not only distributing this at protests, but also at high schools (students are extremely politicized right now and very receptive), at theater events, forums, mass transit hubs, and other places. Aim to get out thousands—even tens of thousands. Collect new sign-ups and volunteers for the next phase. Always have a donation can and ASK EVERYONE to donate (the more you ask, the more people give).

b) Through this, build a buzz for and invite very aggressively to mass meetings on (or, if your chapter needs to do it near) Wednesday, April 11th.

c) Begin discussing the content of the new Call with the members of your chapter, with clusters of friends and family, with students and others you are meeting. The more people wrestle with and are united around the content of this Call, the more they can be involved in the next phase of launching this to an even greater audience. Again, ask people to donate to getting this Call printed in mass quantities, advertised online, and for the movement being built around it to succeed.

d) Take this Call to Action to people who have disproportionate influence and ask them to sign it and to donate. Send in records of people who sign this to the National Office. Once we garner a critical mass of prominent signers, we will announce the initial list in the second phase.

e) SOCIAL MEDIA: During these 9 days, RF social media (and those it can unleash) should build anticipation for the April 11th launch of the new Call to Action. This should include a series of anticipation-building posts all week (memes, short videos from RF and folks RF is meeting, clips from the BA talk, and more), perhaps a thunderclap prepared for the 11th, lining up the participation of people with larger platforms for the 11th itself, and other ideas generated by the social media team in conjunction with the National Office. This should incorporate asking people to donate and popularizing the reasons people give for donating.

APRIL 11—OFFICIAL LAUNCH

On April 11, there will be a new, more compelling and attractive print layout of the Call to Action available for distribution and “unveiled” online. There will be a 30 minute livestream from the NY meeting that will include: a dramatic reading of the Call, a presentation of the national plan, and likely a short presentation on the present danger of war (about 10 minutes each), as well as a fund-pitch. This launch should be built up in the week ahead of time on social media, and through the mass emails from RF, getting people to tune in live online and spread the livestream as it happens.

Chapters and other clusters of people around the country—everyone met through the “soft launch”—should gather to watch this live in mass organizing meetings (or on video later in the day, or later in the week). Everyone should be asked to donate on the spot online, or by filling out a pledge card indicating how much they will give and by when (which organizers will have to follow up on to collect).

This should then kick off a much more intense and wide-reaching effort to mobilize many new people to work together to mass distribute this Call to Action to an even greater range of people over the next two weeks. This should include a movement of readings of the call at pertinent locations—in front of Trump properties, in school cafeterias, from the pulpit, in senior centers, on public transit, etc. These should be filmed and promoted through social media (and creative splices of different readings could be created to spread momentum and involvement). Chapters and organizers must plan this well so this becomes both a way to reach many tens of thousands of new people with the Call and a means to concretely organize scores of new organizers to work together with, and become part of, RefuseFascism.org as they do. This must include plans for fundraising on an even bigger scale—both mass fundraising and the development of more significant donations and regular donors.

April 12 – April 25—Mass Campaign to Distribute and Get Organized Around the Call to Action

Distribute hundreds of thousands of copies of this new Call to Action across the country, creating a grassroots buzz, growing organization, setting political terms, and garnering prominent signatories that can disproportionately shape public opinion.

Fundraising: Major funds need to be raised in this period. Millions are being mobilized to donate funds and time to elections which hold no chance of stopping the nightmare Trump/Pence are imposing. We have to aggressively and boldly go out and win many thousands to very soon become donors—one time donors as well as ongoing sustainers—of RefuseFascism.org, the one organization and movement that is accurately assessing the problem we face and has a plan to move the millions required to stop this nightmare. Donating and raising funds for RF are among the most important ways of strengthening this movement—enabling us to reach millions more with the funds that are raised and organizing people by winning them to become donors and sustainers and to, in turn, take up fundraising themselves. Fundraising must be woven into every activity we undertake (always shaking the can when going out broadly, for example) and there must be specific fundraising efforts planned and persevered in (phone-banking, fundraising potlucks, bake sales, targeted outreach to develop higher level donors and sustainers, etc.).

Posters, stickers, T-shirts, hats and more. New materials are being developed to be ready for April 11. Important: We need more designers and volunteers to help develop these materials—please contact us if you, or someone you know, can volunteer.

Social media: Unleash a campaign that wields the content of the Call (entering into hot conversations and in its own right) and calls on others to sign it. Show images of posters getting up, stickers being worn and getting out, the Call being mass distributed. Work to involve more and more volunteers met online to participate in spreading this (mass emails should also include regular instructions for spreading on social media). Fundraising intensifies—including through sales of merchandize online.

Preparations for next phase: During this period, plans also must be developed for—and people organized and won to take part across the country in—forms of political protest and action that project this Call and its mission much more dramatically into society.

The National Office will write with more thinking on this soon, but in the meantime we strongly encourage you to think and strategize among your chapters and to share—in appropriate ways—ideas and suggestions (or questions) that you come up with.

 

New Call to Action From Refuse Fascism:

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

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

We are horrified and angered at the shocking damage already done to lives here and around the world by the Trump/Pence regime. We recognize that they are poised to do far worse, including threatening WAR, even nuclear war. Through an unrelenting barrage of daily outrages and Twitter outbursts, the Trump/Pence regime is radically remaking society—step by step hammering into place a vicious American fascism. This is not insult or exaggeration, it is what they are doing.

Therefore, WE RESOLVE that nothing short of removing this whole illegitimate regime from power will stop this nightmare.

There is a way to do this. To do so,we must cast aside illusions and self-delusions:

All too many people think and act as if what we face is just the worst of pendulum swings between Republicans and Democrats. NO! This regime, if left in power, will effect a thoroughly reactionary restructuring of society.

If we think that the normal processes of the 2018 or 2020 elections, or the Mueller investigation will, by themselves, redress the situation that humanity faces, we are not understanding the determination of these fascists in power to shatter norms—even though they have been doing so for over a year.

If we think that the heightened activism of the past year, either by itself or together with the elections will stop this regime, we are missing how much harm this regime has already done, absorbing individual protests as it rapidly moves its agenda forward on multiple fronts.

If we are not as outraged and motivated to act today as we were right after the election, we are on our way to accepting a great horror that builds daily. If we adjust to the injustice of this regime, do not ask how the German people could have accepted Nazism in the 1930s.

An American Fascism

We must not reassure ourselves that it couldn’t happen here. It is. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is a 21st century fascist program of Manifest Destiny—”America First”—wrapped in the flag and Mike Pence’s Bible taken literally, with a program of white supremacy, misogyny, and xenophobia.

This regime denies truth and objective evidence, and yet it has its hands on the most powerful military and nuclear arsenal in history and is preparing and threatening to use it! Millions of immigrants live in terror fearing their loved ones will be ripped away. People’s humanity is viciously denied. Women are poised to lose the right to abortion. Trump and Sessions have instructed police to “take the gloves off,” further brutalizing people of color. LGBTQ rights recently won are under assault. Damage done to the environment by this regime in just 14 months could be irreversible.

Fascism rules by organized repression and terror by the government: civil liberties are stripped away, law re-written, dissent criminalized, the courts packed with fascists, and the separation of powers and of church and state ultimately eviscerated. As part of radically remaking society, the Trump/Pence regime must sharply attack those in positions of power who oppose them. Fascism also mobilizes mobs of vicious thugs as we’ve seen with Nazis marching and murdering in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Trump/Pence Regime has not yet been able to implement their full program. But they are advancing. It might only take a single serious crisis—international or domestic—for this regime to drop the hammer.

Don’t Normalize... Don’t Accommodate... Don’t Conciliate... Don’t Collaborate...

People all over the world are counting on us to STOP this nightmare. The different strains of fascist demagogues and movements in this country see in Trump and Pence their “last chance” to achieve their reactionary program. They will not listen to facts or reason; they have already and will continue to change rules, manipulate elections, and they will not give up.

The Democratic Party leadership will NOT lead us out of this. They are about maintaining order for their whole set up. For them, order is more important than justice, even if that means the order of fascism. After Trump’s election, President Obama said of Trump, “We are all on the same team... We are now all rooting for his success.” NO! If Trump succeeds, it will be catastrophic!

But there IS another way. A different kind of protest. We need to organize now for the time when we can launch massive, sustained nonviolent protests in the streets of cities and towns across the country—protests that continue day after day and don’t stop, creating the kind of political situation in which the demand that the Trump/Pence regime be removed from power is met.

Everyone who recognizes that the Trump/Pence Nightmare Must End is invited to join in and prepare for launching this great act of sustained resistance.

Imagine tens of thousands beginning in several cities and towns, with marches, candlelight vigils, rallies—students, religious communities, immigrants, everyone with a heart for humanity in the streets and not backing down—growing from thousands to hundreds of thousands and eventually millions. Our actions will reflect the values of respect for all of humanity and the world we want—in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. The whole world will take heart.

This will shake millions awake, with many losing their adjustment to life under this regime. The international credibility of the regime will be undermined. A determined struggle that doesn’t yield and won’t be provoked can create a serious political crisis. Those in power who are themselves now under attack by the regime but conciliating with it would be compelled to respond to our struggle from below, leading to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.

This would be hard, but possible. Possible because millions of us feel the horror of Trump and Pence. Many have righteously protested different outrages, but now we must rise to another level of determined resistance.

We must confront the reality that the world as we have known it is being torn asunder. This requires getting out of our comfort zones and not allowing our differences to stand in the way of rising together in an unprecedented, unrelenting mass struggle to confront the danger of a Trump/Pence fascist America.

WE PLEDGE that we will not stand aside while there is still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity and the earth itself. Join us. Let’s stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to struggle with all we’ve got to demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.

In the Name of Humanity,

We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

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

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Go to:
RefuseFascism.org
to add your name to this statement

 @RefuseFascism on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/jeff-sessions-strategic-plan-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

BOLO (Be On the Lookout For) Alert…
Jeff Sessions’ “Strategic Plan”: Unrestrained Police Brutality; Ethnic Cleansing; Amping Up the Death Penalty

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

HuffingtonPost.com (HuffPo) recently published an important article on what they said was a leaked draft of the Department of Justice (DOJ) five-year strategic plan. HuffPo did not publish the draft itself, but quoted from it and characterized key features; the DOJ has confirmed their characterization as broadly accurate.

While we must wait to see the final plan to make a full analysis, some key features revealed by HuffPo show that this is a “strategic plan” for escalating police brutality and murder, for ethnic cleansing of foreign-born people, and for accelerating the ongoing slow genocide against Black people.

As such, it forms a central pillar of the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

Unleashing Police to Be Even More Brutal and Murderous

In a sharp break with the recent past, the plan does not include a focus on “criminal justice reform.”

During the Obama years, exposure and protest erupted against rampant police murder (and the potential for this to continue to burst to the surface is evidenced in the current outrage over the murder of unarmed Stephon “Zoe” Clark in his grandparents’ backyard in Sacramento.) And a movement grew against the mass incarceration of 2.3 million people—mainly Black and Brown, and mainly for nonviolent offenses.

The Obama DOJ paid some lip service to this. It issued critical reports about unjust “patterns and practices” of policing in some cities and towns and made a big show of paltry reforms, such as “consent decrees” that were supposed to limit police abuse.

These in no way put a stop to, nor substantially diminished, the oppression of Black and Brown people. And in the cases of police murdering Black and Brown people that brought forward major protests—Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Ramarley Graham, Keith Scott, and many, many more—the DOJ had a “pattern and practice” of either refusing to take them up at all, or of promising justice and investigations to get people off the streets, and then months later quietly exonerating the killer cops. In fact, there were zero DOJ indictments for any of the thousands of police murders that occurred on Obama’s watch.

Nevertheless, the fact that the DOJ even acknowledged that there was a problem with “police-community relations,” that there might be some “bad” cops, and that policing needed to be “reformed” conceded some legitimacy to the protests of thousands and the outrage of millions.

Under Sessions even this minimal concession is being flipped completely. Sessions falsely claims that the DOJ’s modest reforms “cost more lives by handcuffing the police instead of the criminals.” A DOJ spokesman declared that the DOJ “will never negotiate or sign a consent decree that could reduce the lawful powers of the police.”

This is fully in line with Donald Trump’s notorious call to cops around the country to “please don’t be too nice” to the masses who are in fact victimized by these pigs day in and day out.

As Carl Dix, for decades a leader and fighter against police brutality and murder1 and a spokesperson for the Revolutionary Communist Party, said:

“With this five-year DOJ plan, Sessions is sending an ominous message—that the police terror that disproportionately targets Black and Brown people will continue AND that the DOJ won’t even make a show of doing anything about it. Instead it will give its backing to the pigs who inflict this murder and brutality This means the slow genocide that has been enforced on Black and Brown people will not only continue unchecked but will be intensified as part of hammering fascist rule into place. This shows why it is urgent that everyone who doesn’t want to live in a society where people are subjected to horrors like this has to join in driving this regime from power as soon as possible. And it points to the need to ultimately make revolution to get beyond a situation where this kind of savage oppression is built into the normal workings of society.”

Opening the Gates to New Levels of Ethnic Cleansing Against Immigrants

A major focus of the plan is “enhancing immigration enforcement,” which wasn’t previously even part of the DOJ’s domain. (The Border Patrol, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, are part of the Department of Homeland Security, not the DOJ.)

So what will the DOJ be doing on this front? One major component will be attacking “sanctuary jurisdictions” (cities, states, universities, and other entities that provide some protections for undocumented people) or even prosecuting public officials who stand with immigrants, as Sessions threatened to do with the mayor of Oakland.

A second, even more chilling element is (according to HuffPo) to “prioritize” efforts to “denaturalize those who obtained citizenship fraudulently.” [Emphasis ours.] Thus, even as the U.S. is slamming the door on and sending home hundreds of thousands of refugees from Haiti, Central America, and elsewhere, even as it is carrying out raids around the country aimed at driving all the estimated 11 million undocumented people out of the U.S., it is opening up a new front—stripping citizenship from foreign-born people who have already obtained it. While the DOJ claims this is aimed at those who obtained citizenship fraudulently, in the hands of this regime of immigrant-hating xenophobes this looms as the potential and basis to turn into a witch hunt, where every real, alleged, or imagined mistake on an immigration form or any minor misdeed will be “justification” to “denaturalize”—and deport—people.

Cranking Up Mass Incarceration, and Dramatically Expanding the Death Penalty

This plan calls for amping up violent repression in Black and Brown communities under the banner of the “War on Drugs,” which has been the official pretext for mass incarceration, stop-and-frisk, and police murder for over 40 years. Illegal drugs are a huge business controlled by large-scale international capitalist entities (cartels) as well as (in the case of the opioid epidemic) major “legitimate” pharmaceutical companies. But the prisons have been filled to overflowing with users and street-level dealers, most of whom are either youths desperately trying to survive, or addicts seeking to secure their own supply.

HuffPo says the “draft document calls for a ‘strategic and targeted’ plan to incapacitate violent criminals and says the DOJ will partner with other law enforcement agencies to dismantle drug trafficking organizations.”

Sessions has already rolled back Obama-era policies of not seeking extremely harsh sentences for small players in the drug economy—instead, Sessions ordered U.S. Attorneys to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense.” And Sessions is bitterly opposed to the decriminalization of marijuana, threatening to carry out federal arrests even in states that have legalized pot. Marijuana arrests are a major way in which millions of Black and Brown youths have been criminalized and incarcerated.

Even more ominously, in recent weeks both Sessions and Trump have begun calling for the death penalty against “drug dealers.”

Trump made this a major part of his recent “campaign KKK rallies” and of his proposal for dealing with the opioid epidemic. And Trump has praised Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (and other despots), who brags about ordering the street executions of thousands, mostly poor people in the slums as well as some of Duterte’s high-level political enemies, for supposed “drug dealing,” murders openly carried out by police and by fascist vigilantes. Now Sessions has ordered U.S. Attorneys to examine the ways that they could use existing laws to obtain death sentences for drug dealers.

Think about this: right now there are about 90,000 people in federal prisons alone for drug dealing, and around 480,000 people in state and federal prisons for drug crimes. Black and Brown people are about 56 percent of those prisoners, even though drug use is fairly evenly distributed among different nationalities. Promoting the death penalty as the “answer” to the drug problem opens the door to genocidal levels of state murders of oppressed people, and a broader demonization of Black and Brown people that can unleash extra-legal murder on a mass scale, à la the Philippines.

There is more in this plan, including moves to create new “freedom” for Nazis and fascists on college campuses while repressing anti-fascist forces, defending the “right” of Christians to discriminate against LGBTQ people, and efforts to clamp down on those forces still within the U.S. government apparatus who aren’t fully down with the fascist program.

We will have more on this outrageous plan once we see the full document.


1. Carl Dix is a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party and a follower of and advocate for Bob Avakian, his leadership, and his visionary new synthesis of communism. He is a courageous freedom fighter from the 1960s who went on to become a revolutionary fighter and a communist. Dix spent two years in military prison for refusing to fight in the unjust Vietnam War. He emerged unrepentant and went on to become a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), USA, dedicating his life to the emancipation of all humanity. Carl is a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism. He co-founded, with Cornel West, the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN), and initiated Rise Up October that brought thousands into the streets in New York City in 2015 demanding a stop to police terror.  [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/trump-pence-regime-shows-fangs-no-more-daca-deal-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

News Flash:

Trump/Pence Regime Shows Its Fangs: “NO MORE DACA DEAL!”

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

At 6:56 am on April 1, the ‘‘Shithole”-in-Chief followed his “Happy Easter!” tweet with a monstrous Easter message from the Trump/Pence regime: “NO MORE DACA DEAL!” 1 No “deal” with the Democrats to keep DACA. Nothing to prevent this regime from moving ahead to shatter the lives and hopes of over 1.8 million undocumented immigrants brought here as children, whose deportation had been delayed by DACA.

Once more, Trump has twisted the dagger he first stabbed into the back of nearly two million Dreamers in the first days of last September. In the six months since he has been using the lives and future of these Dreamers as hostages for ransom—to demand complete acceptance by the top Democratic leadership of not only the wall on the Mexico border but more and more steps in the regime’s program to “Make America White Again” by driving millions of immigrants of color out of the country and dramatically reducing the future admission of immigrants from what Trump has called, in his racist language, “shithole” countries of the world.

The top Democrats have been perfectly willing to allow Trump to use the lives of these young people as “bargaining chips”—despite the fact that the Dreamers have demanded explicitly and repeatedly that Democrats not be complicit with Trump in harming millions of other immigrants in “exchange” for some continuation of DACA. And the Democrats twice threw the DACA people under the bus instead of stopping government business-as-usual and demanding the renewal of DACA status.

As we have emphasized, the Trump/Pence regime’s attack on the Dreamers is a battering ram aimed at busting down the door to their full-on attack on all immigrants. There is a great deal at stake at this moment for immigrants and for all people: “Making America White Again,” now focused on forcing out and deporting millions of immigrants, is a cornerstone of the full fascist program of the Trump/Pence regime.

It is time to cast away illusions. To continue to rely on the Democrats to resist, let alone stop, this regime from consolidating its program is suicide. The white-supremacist attack on immigrants is repugnant and unacceptable. We cannot allow this to happen! It has to be stopped, as part of driving out the whole fascist regime!

1. Trump had reportedly been listening to a Fox News report on a caravan of asylum seekers on their way from Honduras to the U.S. border. He responded on Twitter with a flurry of lies to justify threatening Mexico, attacking Democrats as enemies, screaming “NEED WALL!” and announcing “NO MORE DACA DEAL!”[back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/536/how-long-will-pigs-keep-murdering-and-walking-free-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

From the Revolution Club, Chicago:

How long will pigs keep murdering and walking free? How long will they enforce this system with its murder, brutality and oppression?

UNTIL WE MAKE REVOLUTION TO GET RID OF IT!

Get With the Revolution Club and Start Getting Ready for Revolution

March 30, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“Stephon!” “Clark!” The call and response resonating out of the streets of Sacramento wrenches our hearts with fury. Twenty shots. Twenty-two-years old. In his grandmother’s backyard. Black lives shattered, murdered, stolen. By police with a green light to kill. Again. GODDAMN! Stephon’s brother powerfully spoke out and called forward inspiring resistance, and people have poured into the streets of Sacramento day after day, righteously standing up and demanding justice. Shutting down a Sacramento Kings game, city hall, and the I-5 freeway. This is beautiful and needs to continue and spread.

At the same time, the blue-coated killers of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge are walking free. People rose up and rocked Baton Rouge—and all over the country, people took to the streets demanding justice. Alton Sterling was selling CDs outside a convenience store when the pigs came and slammed him on the car, threw him to the ground, and shot him while he was down, and they are not even charged with a crime.

We see it again and again. Just here in Chicago: Decynthia Clements in Elgin. For an hour, police surrounded her car while she was having a mental breakdown. She needed HELP. They knew she had a knife and no gun, but as soon as they got her out, they shot. GODDAMN! Justus Howell in Zion, 17 and shot twice in the back. No punishment. The pig who opened fire on Quintonio LeGrier, murdering him and his neighbor Bettie Jones? Nothing. Even after the review board said the cop should be fired, the police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, repeats proven lies from the killer cop justifying these cold-blooded murders.

These are the system’s bullshit “answers.” Civilian review boards that don’t mean shit. Body cams, federal and state investigations, independent prosecutors, voting in elected officials... what does it get us? Killer cops caught red-handed still walking free, more infuriating excuses, more families slapped in the face with “justifiable homicide.” And now the Trump/Pence fascist regime is straight up calling for “taking the gloves off” police, to “get tough” and execute “drug dealers.”

Does this mean we should not rise up and resist? NO. Resistance is righteous, necessary, and the only way to even get close to justice. But we have to look at the cold truth, and face reality in a scientific way. We have to take to heart the lesson from Bob Avakian, leader of the revolution, when he says:

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

Here’s another true statement from BA: “We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit.”

A real revolution isn’t just protests or a general change. REVOLUTION means OVERTHROWING the system, defeating and dismantling its armed forces of violent repression through the conscious struggle of tens of millions of people. To be able to wage this struggle and WIN, we need to work now toward a revolutionary situation at the soonest possible time, by actively carrying out the “3 Prepares”: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, and Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win.

We in the Revolution Club are taking up BA’s leadership, the science and strategy for making revolution. The question facing you: to accept all this terror and brutality; to keep playing the fool to this system’s promises of reform; to keep killing each other in the senseless gangbanging they have set us up to do—or to dig deeper, get with the Revolution Club, and take up fighting for a better world.

To start, you can spread and post this leaflet, spread the quotes on the back from Bob Avakian that speak the TRUTH about the role of the police and what will really deal with this system. And watch and spread the word of the film from 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. Everyone needs to see this right now both to understand the depth of the danger we are facing right now, what can be done to face this, and to introduce many more people to this revolutionary leader.

Revolution Club Organizing Center
1857 E. 71st St.
312.804.9121
revclub.chi@gmail.com
@RevClubChi on Twitter and Facebook

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/maya-stood-with-undocumented-immigrants-drop-charges-drop-ban-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

Maya Stood in a Silent Protest With 11 Million Undocumented Immigrants
Drop the Charges! Drop the Ban!

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On March 1, 2018, University of Chicago police brutally attacked and arrested Maya, a member of the Revolution Club, Chicago, as she was leaving campus after participating in a SILENT protest in the Reynolds Club student center, where almost the entire dining hall fell silent for 11 minutes in support of 11 million undocumented immigrants. On top of this outrageous attack, in which SHE is the one who sustained injuries, Maya has been indicted with a felony charge of battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. She was further targeted by the state at what should have been a routine bail hearing when the assistant state’s attorney presented a lengthy, distorted, and utterly irrelevant political dossier on Maya, implying that she should not be released—on the basis of her alleged political views and associations. She has been banned from campus as a condition of being released.

Meanwhile, the university has rolled out a red carpet for Steve Bannon to speak. Bannon spoke recently to a gathering of fascists in France and advised them, “Let them call you racist... wear it as a badge of honor.” His propagating of the racist myth of the “superiority of Western civilization” comes with the head of state, Donald Trump, giving speeches calling immigrants criminals, animals, and snakes, targeting sanctuary cities and states, ruthlessly hunting down and deporting people, holding the terror of deportation over the heads of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, and separating children and parents in detention centers. At the same time the Trump/Pence regime assembles a war cabinet and makes bellicose threats to attack Iran and North Korea.

Universities are places where critical thinking can and should be what is in the air, where ideas are debated with intellectual rigor and creativity, where new ideas can take hold and reverberate throughout society. Instead, at the current moment, there is a real attempt to make them platforms to legitimize and normalize fascist ideas, and more and more the voices of dissent are being repressed with the power of the state.

Maya, a revolutionary who is fighting for the emancipation of all humanity, has courageously stood up to say the attacks on immigrants are intolerable, and she has been working to bring forward a mass, determined movement to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power. She has argued for the importance of taking up what is said in the filmed 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,” in particular the need for everyone who cares about justice to step outside their comfort zones and be willing to put themselves on the line to prevent Trump/Pence fascism from consolidating its rule and fully implementing its program.

Drop the charges and drop the ban. Thursday, April 5, we will do as Maya did and stand for 11 minutes of silence, outside university president Robert Zimmer’s office at Levi Hall.

To contact Revolution Club, Chicago, find us on Facebook or Twitter @RevClubChi, 312.804.9121, revclub.chi@gmail.com, 1857 E. 71st Street in South Shore.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/536/the-young-karl-marx-bob-avakian-and-contending-with-other-views-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

From a Revolution Club Member:

The Young Karl Marx, BA, and Contending with Other Views

March 26, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We received this letter from a member of a Revolution Club with thoughts off of seeing the recently released film The Young Karl Marx. The film tells the story of 26-year-old Karl Marx, along with Friedrich Engels and others in the 1840s who were fighting to bring a scientific understanding to the revolutionary movement of the time. For more, see the interview with the film’s director, Raoul Peck, on The Michael Slate Show.

I went to watch The Young Karl Marx and it had a big impact on me, the more I let it sink in and kept thinking about it. The history, what was in the film I didn’t know anything about it, so it was really interesting learning about it.

The point on contending lines has been something I’ve been thinking a lot about, and one thing that was really great about Marx was that he was not afraid to be contending with all these lines out there. He had an understanding that he knew was necessary to put forward. I’ve been thinking about that in relationship to the Revolution Club, to what we have in Bob Avakian (BA), and what we need to be fighting for in society. I think this made it more clear in my thinking what contending lines look like and why it even matters how we are fighting for this line to gain leadership.

I was thinking about what is represented in the new synthesis and in BA. Why does it matter for that to be what gains leadership? Put simply: It is what humanity needs! It is what people need to be introduced to, and engaging with and taking up themselves if we are serious about making this revolution real!

In the Club, we can’t be afraid to contend with other lines. I remember a struggle in the Club where someone said that one of the reasons they weren’t stepping up to lead was because they were “afraid to say the wrong thing.” This person talked about other people who have led the Club in a situation where the pigs are fucking with people, the agitator would do a very great agitation in exposing the pigs and what they represent and at the same time, people would cheer and give us thumbs up and agree with what was being said. And I was thinking, well why the fuck do we do agitation? Is it to be popular? To get people to come around us and tell us “good job!”? Because a lot of the times we are too content with that!

This is in opposition to what’s discussed in HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution: “[W]e need to approach everything―evaluate every political program and every organized force in society, every kind of culture, values and ways of treating people―according to how it relates to the revolution we need, to end all oppression. We should unite with people whenever we can, and struggle with them whenever we need to, to advance the revolution.

That’s the reason we do agitation! Not just to get thumbs up! So I’ve been thinking about how to change this in the Club. We can’t be liberal or apologetic when it comes to contending with lines. We shouldn’t pick a fight with everyone who puts forward something reformist. But how are we really going to change people’s thinking and understanding if we aren’t putting forward our line, and having people make the compare and contrast on their own? And not in an antagonistic way either.

Learning and appreciating how BA does it, with a lot of humor and heart for people, not making people feel stupid for thinking something that isn’t true. But also with lots of urgency and hatred towards the system.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/536/more-wrangling-about-the-movie-black-panther-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

Letter from some readers:

More Wrangling About the Movie Black Panther

March 26, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We are writing this letter to contribute to further discussion and wrangling with this very important movie, which has had a major impact, which many people have seen, and which many people are discussing and debating.

If you have not yet read the review by Noche Diaz, stop reading this letter and go read it. This letter is a reflection on the analysis of the film in that review.

Ultimately, we agree with how Noche Diaz calls out the filmmakers both for their depiction of what passes for revolution and revolutionary youth (as epitomized by the character Killmonger) and their clear stand on the side of reform and against the desirability of revolution—and if it comes down to it, on the side of counterrevolution. But there are three issues which we want to thrash out with a little bit more depth.

First, we think that the writers and director were seriously and honestly wrangling with the moral dilemma of reform vs. revolution. An important question at this moment in time is why, as Noche Diaz puts it, “they stumbled badly.” This is an important strategic question for the revolution and something to explore more deeply.

Second, we feel that it is important to explore more deeply the character of Erik Killmonger—both from the viewpoint of why the filmmakers depicted him in the way that they did and in terms of the objective effect this character is having on the audience, those among all strata of (but not only) Black people.

Third, in our wranglings with this, we are not sure if it is correct to label this movie “poisonous gas” with the finality of verdict in relation both to the intent of the filmmakers and to the objective effect of the movie on those watching it. It is one thing to point to where the logic of the movie ultimately leads (as Noche Diaz does), but at the same it’s important methodologically in evaluating a multilayered work of art (and more generally) to guard against “flattening out” contradictions and in this case, to pass judgment on a film based on what it may represent in the final analysis.

To give a very short synopsis of the central storyline of the movie: Black Panther is set in the context of Wakanda, a fictional African nation with a fantasy resource, vibranium, which has allowed it to develop advanced technology and remain unconquered because it has been able to remain hidden from the rest of the world, thus not becoming the target of the colonial forces in the world which for centuries had plundered Africa. The film depicts this fictional African country beautifully and imaginatively, bringing to life its language, dress, culture, and traditions. The creativity and artistry of the movie, in conjunction with a Black superhero, an overwhelmingly Black cast, and its portrayal of women as intelligent, strong, and courageous, have rightfully earned the movie critical acclaim and have contributed to its becoming a cultural phenomenon.

The two central characters in the film are T’Challa, the new king of Wakanda, the Black Panther; and Erik Killmonger, who was born and grew up in Oakland, California, but whose father was N’Jobu, a Wakandan who had been sent to the U.S. to keep tabs on what was going on there. We are going to rely on your having seen the movie or having read Diaz’s review to understand why Killmonger became the enemy of the Wakandan rulers and how this propelled his life forward. It is this plot line, the contradiction between Killmonger and the Wakandan rulers, particularly T’Challa, the Black Panther, which drives the film and through which the moral issue between reform vs. revolution is played out.

A key argument in the movie, being battled out in various dimensions, centers around two moral dilemmas.

The first is: Should Wakanda, with its advanced civilization and its immense resources (including the ability to heal people), take on the responsibility to help people beyond their borders, or does the horrid history of slavery, colonization, and relentless exploitation and oppression in Africa by colonial and imperial powers justify Wakanda’s choice to protect itself by staying hidden from the rest of the world? There was some dissent among Wakanda’s elite, some of whom did want to use their powers to help others (including by sharing the technology they had developed that gave individuals some superpowers). Early in the movie we see that one of the characters, Nakia, is undercover in an unidentified African nation rescuing young women being kidnapped and enslaved. In fact, this moral dilemma is something which T’Challa (who early in the movie takes on the role of a young heir to the throne of Wakanda and the title of Black Panther) struggles with throughout the movie.

The second moral dilemma, related to this and also independent of it, which becomes the central theme of the film and clearly the one resonating with masses of people who have seen this movie is, as Noche Diaz’s review speaks to with depth and insight, reform vs. revolution. Through the character of Killmonger this dilemma is further developed: Is it the responsibility of Wakanda to utilize its resources to arm the oppressed the world over and end the oppression of all those held down by their oppressors? Killmonger’s basic stand is that it is wrong for Wakanda to do nothing, thereby allowing the oppression of people all over the world to continue. (Killmonger’s view on what constitutes revolution is something which this letter will come back to later. Essentially his is a revenge-fueled vision of the oppressed rising up to become the new oppressors, in sharp contrast to a real revolution aimed at emancipating humanity.) While the plot line concerns Wakanda versus the rest of the world, the movie makes clear (as Noche Diaz points out) that this basic moral dilemma of reform vs. revolution is “explicitly speaking to and dealing with the oppression of Black people in America, and what is to be done about it.” Within this, there are two basic themes as we understand it: one, the film is wrangling with the legacy and verdict on the Black Panthers of the 1960s (which we are not going to speak to at any length here); and two, it is wrangling with the contradictions and outlook of Black youth in this country and the implications for making revolution (the latter being concentrated in the character of Killmonger—which will be explored more deeply here). Related to both of these themes, there is also an implicit warning to those of influence in the ruling class, but more directly, we think, aimed at the Black middle and upper classes, that if you don’t pay attention to what is happening at “the bottom” of society, the whole world could be ripped apart by those rising up against oppression in the ways concentrated in the Killmonger character.

Through the course of the film, T’Challa and the Wakandan elite decide that Wakanda will come out of hiding, break with its isolationist policies, and use its resources to attempt to render reforms to help the world. In one of the last scenes of the movie, T’Challa and Nakia return to Oakland, to the basketball court and apartment building where young Killmonger had grown up. Wakanda had bought up land in the area and is in the process of putting up housing and resource centers for the people of the area. A little boy comes up to T’Challa and asks him, “Who are you?” Of course he is the Black Panther, and we believe that this was the filmmakers’ way of saying that this is the road (breakfast programs and health clinics, etc.) which the Black Panthers of the ’60s should have stayed on, whereas their ideas of revolution would ultimately lead to where Killmonger ended up. We think that this can be reasonably deduced from this scene and the whole trajectory of the movie, even as it could also be possible that the filmmakers likely have great respect for the Black Panthers, including some of their more militant ideology and self-defense actions.

This gets to the core of an urgent and strategic question for the revolution: Why, around this basic moral issue of revolution vs. reform, did the filmmakers, as Noche Diaz puts it, stumble so badly?

Noche Diaz calls out the class outlook of the filmmakers: But what we get coming through in the film is the vision and aspirations characteristic of sections of Black middle strata and Black bourgeoisie, along with their fear of basic masses of Black people, their destructive potential, and the upheaval that would come from their rising up. The fear that if this gets unleashed, the only place it can go is a bloodbath of revenge with despotic new rule over the people.”

Again, ultimately we think how he is describing the class outlook of the filmmakers is true, but we also think that the filmmakers were struggling with this viewpoint, in regards to themselves and sections of the Black middle strata and Black bourgeoisie. This is something which we should look at more deeply in terms of how we approach this.

We think the dynamics of what the filmmakers failed to understand or refused to confront is framed by the following insight of Bob Avakian, leader of an actual revolution and the architect of a new framework of human emancipation:

Now, when you come up against the great gulf that often, and even generally, exists between the conditions and the suffering of the masses of people, on the one hand, and what you are able to do about that at any given point—when you run up against that repeatedly, everyone feels a definite pull which expresses itself in moral terms: how can you stand by and not do something about what’s happening to the masses of people?...

But moralities are a reflection of class outlooks, ultimately. They are a reflection of your understanding of reality, which takes a class expression in class society, in an ultimate and fundamental sense. And there is a morality that corresponds not to reformism and seeking merely to mitigate the conditions and the suffering of masses of people—not merely to addressing some, and only some, of the symptoms of that suffering—but to uprooting and abolishing the causes of that suffering. This morality corresponds to a revolutionary understanding, that we cannot eliminate the suffering of the masses, and in fact it’s only going to get worse, as long as this capitalist-imperialist system remains.
—“Reform or Revolution—Questions of Orientation, Questions of Morality,” Supplement to Chapter 1 of BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

Sometimes people with good intentions want to see the mitigation of the suffering of masses of people—but at the same time they do not want revolution. We think that the director and screenplay writer, Ryan Coogler, sincerely cares about the masses of oppressed people. His film Fruitvale Station, on the life and murder of Oscar Grant at the hands of the police, could not have been so powerful and affecting if this were not the case; nor could he have crafted the character Killmonger in some of the ways he did, with great affection (something we will speak to later), if this were not the case. One can see oppression, one can see horrible injustices, and sincerely yearn for a “better world,” but if the “understanding of [this] reality” does not start with a scientific understanding of, as BA says, “the causes of that suffering” and the recognition that “it’s only going to get worse, as long as this capitalist-imperialist system remains” then there is a basis for people to deceive themselves into believing that the only road is that of reform, and when masses do rise up, to possibly oppose them with counter-revolution. [Italic emphasis added to quote.]

Can people with a middle class or petit-bourgeois outlook (which is also the outlook of most of those from the basic masses) break with this outlook and unite with the need for an actual revolution? Yes, but no matter how sincerely they may agonize over the suffering of the masses, if they stubbornly refuse to take up a scientific materialist understanding of reality they will end up in the wrong place. This is an epistemological battle which needs to be waged very fiercely in its own right.

Once people do come to understand things more clearly, more scientifically, then one finds oneself at a place where, as Bob Avakian has put it, epistemology and morality meet. In THE NEW COMMUNISM, BA speaks to this:

I have made the point ... that there is a place where epistemology and morality meet. What does that mean? It means that, if you come to understand certain things, then the question poses itself: What do you do about what you’ve come to understand? Do you follow it, or do you turn away from it, or adulterate it, water it down and change it into something else? These are the places where epistemology and morality meet. And this doesn’t happen just once, it happens repeatedly in life and in an ongoing way, for everyone. The challenges repeatedly pose themselves. As you’re learning about life and the world, what do you do with what you’re learning?
THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation

This is the challenge which must be put to filmmakers, artists, and intellectuals like Coogler (and of course more generally with the broad masses of people) in order to win them over, through struggle, to the side of revolution.

So the question is: Did the filmmakers “stumble badly” because they don’t have a scientific understanding of reality and therefore don’t recognize that the oppression and suffering of the masses of people is rooted in the functioning of the system of capitalism-imperialism (and they haven’t done the work to achieve this scientific understanding), or do they understand this on some level but have refused to confront the implications of this understanding—that revolution is the only solution? (We won’t go into this here because Noche Diaz did so in his review, but what the fuck were they thinking making a CIA operative a hero in the film? What does this reveal about their outlook?!) These are the kinds of questions which need to be taken up and put to the filmmakers; and more to the point, we do think the film raised these questions and it is our responsibility as revolutionary communist leaders to pull such questions out of the film and struggle with others about them.

***********

We feel that it is important to explore more deeply the character of Killmonger―both from the viewpoint of how he was depicted by the filmmakers and the objective effect this character is having on the audience, those among all strata of (but not only) Black people.

This is where we are not sure if we totally agree with Diaz’s interpretation of the character Killmonger, or what the intent of the filmmakers was in the depiction of this character. We thought that there was a very conscious crafting of this character—with Killmonger concentrating the historic anger and angst, the rage and hopelessness of getting any justice out of this system, and at the same time concentrating an outlook that the only way to fight the system was to become like the system. Killmonger had joined the U.S. military Special Forces and killed people all over the world in order to learn, as we would say, to “fight their way.” This means fighting in correspondence to his vision of “revolution,” which was to use Wakanda’s technology to initiate a worldwide uprising of the oppressed in order to take over empires and become the new conquerors. At one point, Killmonger declares, “The sun will never set on the Wakandan Empire.” This distorted conception of revolution is one where the oppressed rise up only to become the new oppressors. And how Killmonger fought, including killing people close to him as well as anyone else who got in his way, is a reflection of “the end justifies the means.”

This is where we do need to step in and challenge the filmmakers, who themselves could not see beyond the framework of bourgeois reform or imagine a real revolutionary uprising. You do want to yell, if you are going to pit reform vs. revolution, at least have the integrity to depict what an actual revolution would look like! What those under the leadership of Bob Avakian are fighting for is a revolution whose goal is the emancipation of humanity—the most radical revolution in human history, one that aims at nothing less than overcoming all forms of oppression and exploitation all over the world, a society where humanity could truly flourish. Furthermore, we will “fight our way,” meaning in ways corresponding to the objectives and principles of such an emancipating revolution. In discussing the character of such a revolution, Bob Avakian has pointed out that a revolution would be possible: “when there is a qualitative change in the objective situation, when a revolutionary situation and a revolutionary people in the millions and millions have been brought into being.” And in terms of the character of that revolution, he goes on to say:

...And when that revolution is made, when a new, revolutionary state power is brought into being, there would not just be a new army, but that new army would be guided by very different principles. There would be a culture in that army, but it would definitely not be (as in the hymn of the imperialist Marine Corps): “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli”—that’s just not going to be what guides the new state apparatus! .... The principles we’re talking about here, and the reason we’re going out to win people to be emancipators of humanity, is that they’re going to be the actual backbone of the new state.
BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian , 2:15

From what we have read, Killmonger is being embraced and is being recognized not as the villain of the film, but as its hero and (while this is debated) the “real revolutionary” (as opposed to T’Challa, the Black Panther character), by many who have seen the film including many film critics. The reason we believe this is the case is that even as Killmonger’s program of revenge (which essentially comes down to “they have ruled long enough, now it’s our turn”) mirrors that of the oppressors, it was clearly coming from the experience of the oppressed and the justness of the oppressed rising up against their oppressors.

We do not think that Ryan Coogler, the director and one of the writers, was only using the character of Killmonger as a precautionary warning to those in power. We think he is conflicted on how to view the Black youth, especially those locked in the hellhole cities of this country. Yes, his depiction of Killmonger and more broadly what is represented by Killmonger is a warning shot, so to speak, to those in power about the powder keg that they are sitting on; likewise we are sure it is also a cautionary tale to those in the middle and upper classes of Black people who see the oppression of the masses and are just “letting this be.” However, based on what we know about Coogler, there is good reason to think that he himself is in angst not just that the system has no future for Black youth (and Black people more generally), but that it has carried out such oppression and savagery for centuries. We think that he has real problems seeing beyond the hopelessness of the situation and is in fact anxious about where this hopelessness might lead. We think that this is what he is wrangling with in this movie—we do not think his humanizing of Killmonger (in various ways in the movie) was merely a sophisticated cynical device to sneak in why revolution might seem like something you want, but really it is a dead end.

At the end of the movie, Killmonger refuses to give up on opposing the system (or as Noche Diaz puts it, refuses to denounce revolution) when he refuses T’Challa’s offer to allow him to live, because obviously it would be on T’Challa’s terms. Killmonger’s defiant response to T’Challa was, “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from the ships, because they knew death was better than bondage.” We did not think that this was a cynical move by Coogler to say to the masses, give up of any hope of revolution—your only choices are to give in to the system or die. We do not think this was Coogler’s only intention (though it could have been one possible interpretation), nor do we think this is the objective effect it is having on the masses of Black people as well people more broadly. But to be honest, we do not know for sure, but in things we are reading about the responses to the film, this is not the hit we are getting. To anyone who watched this film and has any heart, we think this scene might have been meant to legitimize Killmonger’s hatred of the historic oppression of Black people and to keep open the question of revolution. Even if this was not the intent of the filmmakers, we think this is the objective effect it has been having on many in the audience. Whether this was the intent of the script or the result of the moving and powerful performance by Michael B. Jordan, we are not certain—but we do think this is the objective effect. But in any case, the Killmonger character was crafted with both an emotional and intellectual core that was meant to be admired and wrangled with in a number of dimensions. Finally, it has created a lot of controversy and debate around how to understand Killmonger.

None of this is to argue that the filmmakers have or support a more liberating view of an actual revolution.

Clearly, the filmmakers are much more comfortable with some kind of fairytale of reform. The last scenes in the film where Wakanda comes out of “hiding,” joins the world “community,” and starts dispensing charity to the oppressed are very clear on this. But this was not the emotional core of the ending of the movie—it was definitely Killmonger’s defeat and then death. We interpreted this to say, to rebel is just, but to rebel the way Killmonger tried is a dead end—but we think the filmmakers were possibly leaving open this question of revolution as something to be wrangled with.

By pitting T’Challa, the king of Wakanda and the Black Panther, against Killmonger and siding with a benevolent bourgeoisie over Killmonger and what is represented by his character, this film (whether this was the intention of the filmmakers or not) squarely raises a very strategic question for the revolution: “Are the masses fit to rule?” Clearly this film says no! Two things here: One, when was the last time this question has even been raised in a mass way in the culture; and two, related to this, we need to see this as an opportunity to struggle with the filmmakers (as well as other artists and intellectuals) and the masses more generally around this strategic question.

What it means and how to approach preparing the masses to be fit to rule is spoken to in “On the Strategy for Revolution”:

Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution is a key part of our strategic approach, which provides a way for the Party to unite with and give leadership to people to change themselves as they take part in the struggle to change the world...to lift their heads and broaden their vision, to recognize what kind of world is possible, what their real interests are, and who their real friends and real enemies are, as they rise up against this system...to take up a revolutionary viewpoint and revolutionary values and morals as they join with others to resist this system’s crimes and build up the basis for the ultimate all-out revolutionary struggle to sweep this system away and bring in a whole new way of organizing society, a whole new way of being...to become emancipators of humanity.

For all this to happen, and for the revolution to have a real chance of winning, leadership is essential. And there is such leadership. But there is also much work to do.
A Statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party, “On the Strategy for Revolution”

***********

As Noche Diaz points out, this film has been seen by millions and millions of people, and among Black people it was “so welcomed as a breath of fresh air.” We do think it is necessary to call out, as Noche Diaz has done, what is “poisonous” in the film. Yet, our thinking is that even with all the serious problems with this film, the film has opened up “air” or space to delve into, wrangle with, and sharply struggle out these questions with individuals and blocs of people—comparing and contrasting different approaches, different world views, different epistemologies, and where they will lead. Further, because we think that the filmmakers are themselves wrangling with some of the questions raised above, we do not think it is correct to label this movie “poisonous gas” with the finality of verdict in relation both to the intent of the filmmakers and especially to the objective effect of the movie on the audience.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/revolution-club-chicago-updates-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Front Lines With the Revolution Club–Chicago: 2018

The Revolution Club is on a mission to make a major advance in organizing forces for an actual revolution, impacting all of society by people getting out of killing each other, changing what they are living and fighting for, taking up the leadership of Bob Avakian, and getting organized for a real revolution.

To do this, the club is out there most every day, doing all kinds of different things, trying to learn as much as we can so we can transform more, so we can learn more and transform better, so we can learn still more... and on and on... till we make a breakthrough... and then go further still. We’re struggling with people’s ideas, straight-up... and we’re leading them to struggle against the enemy. We’re fighting to get to a situation where millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.

DONATE TO: The “Revolution Project” in Chicago: Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution!

Donations needed more than ever as the struggle in Chicago, this crucial concentration point between reaction and revolution, continues and intensifies. ON TO $50,000!

DONATE HERE

 


 

Winter - Spring 2018

How long will pigs keep murdering and walking free?
How long will they enforce this system with its murder, brutality and oppression?

UNTIL WE MAKE REVOLUTION TO GET RID OF IT!

Get With the Revolution Club and Start Getting Ready for Revolution

March 30, 2018

From the Revolution Club Chicago:

“Stephon!” “Clark!” The call and response resonating out of the streets of Sacramento wrenches our hearts with fury. Twenty shots. Twenty-two-years old. In his grandmother’s backyard. Black lives shattered, murdered, stolen. By police with a green light to kill. Again. GODDAMN! Stephon’s brother powerfully spoke out and called forward inspiring resistance, and people have poured into the streets of Sacramento day after day, righteously standing up and demanding justice. Shutting down a Sacramento Kings game, city hall, and the I-5 freeway. This is beautiful and needs to continue and spread.

At the same time, the blue-coated killers of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge are walking free. People rose up and rocked Baton Rouge—and all over the country, people took to the streets demanding justice. Alton Sterling was selling CDs outside a convenience store when the pigs came and slammed him on the car, threw him to the ground, and shot him while he was down, and they are not even charged with a crime.

We see it again and again. Just here in Chicago: Decynthia Clements in Elgin. For an hour, police surrounded her car while she was having a mental breakdown. She needed HELP. They knew she had a knife and no gun, but as soon as they got her out, they shot. GODDAMN! Justus Howell in Zion, 17 and shot twice in the back. No punishment. The pig who opened fire on Quintonio LeGrier, murdering him and his neighbor Bettie Jones? Nothing. Even after the review board said the cop should be fired, the police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, repeats proven lies from the killer cop justifying these cold-blooded murders.

These are the system’s bullshit “answers.” Civilian review boards that don’t mean shit. Body cams, federal and state investigations, independent prosecutors, voting in elected officials... what does it get us? Killer cops caught red-handed still walking free, more infuriating excuses, more families slapped in the face with “justifiable homicide.” And now the Trump/Pence fascist regime is straight up calling for “taking the gloves off” police, to “get tough” and execute “drug dealers.”

Does this mean we should not rise up and resist? NO. Resistance is righteous, necessary, and the only way to even get close to justice. But we have to look at the cold truth, and face reality in a scientific way. We have to take to heart the lesson from Bob Avakian, leader of the revolution, when he says:

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

Here’s another true statement from BA: “We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit.”

A real revolution isn’t just protests or a general change. REVOLUTION means OVERTHROWING the system, defeating and dismantling its armed forces of violent repression through the conscious struggle of tens of millions of people. To be able to wage this struggle and WIN, we need to work now toward a revolutionary situation at the soonest possible time, by actively carrying out the “3 Prepares”: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, and Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win.

We in the Revolution Club are taking up BA’s leadership, the science and strategy for making revolution. The question facing you: to accept all this terror and brutality; to keep playing the fool to this system’s promises of reform; to keep killing each other in the senseless gangbanging they have set us up to do—or to dig deeper, get with the Revolution Club, and take up fighting for a better world.

To start, you can spread and post this leaflet, spread the quotes on the back from Bob Avakian that speak the TRUTH about the role of the police and what will really deal with this system. And watch and spread the word of the film from 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. Everyone needs to see this right now both to understand the depth of the danger we are facing right now, what can be done to face this, and to introduce many more people to this revolutionary leader.

Outrageous Attack by University of Chicago

March 12, 2017

March 1, University of Chicago. University of Chicago police brutally attacked and arrested Maya, a member of the Revolution Club, Chicago, as she left campus after participating in a SILENT protest in support of undocumented immigrants in the student center, where almost the entire dining hall fell silent for 11 minutes in support of 11 million undocumented immigrants. On top of this outrageous attack, they are now charging HER with felony battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. She was then further targeted by the state at what should have been a routine bail hearing when the assistant state's attorney presented a lengthy, distorted, and utterly irrelevant political dossier on Maya, implying that she should not be released—on the basis of her alleged political views and associations.

The Revolution Club and others in Chicago spread word of these outrages and built support for Maya, and her March 8 court hearing was packed with 25 supporters. At the hearing, the prosecution outrageously decided to forego this preliminary hearing with the judge and take the case to a grand jury, to avoid having his one witness—a pig—crossexamined by Maya's attorney. Her next court date is March 26.

In short, the repressive power of the state—in close cooperation with the university—was brought to bear and bring serious charges against someone peacefully protesting the ongoing raids against and attacks on immigrants.

For the full article this is excerpted from, read Coast-to-Coast Escalation of Repression Targets Revolution Clubs, Refuse Fascism, Revolution Books... Revolutionaries, Activists Stand Firm, Call Forward Broad Support

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

From Noche for the Revolution Club, Chicago

January 22, 2018

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

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

Unleash the Fury of Women banner at the Chicago March

Bannon off campus

University of Chicago Cordially Invites Vile Poison to Spew Forth From the Mouth of Fascist Pig-Dog Bannon... The People Begin to Respond

January 29, 2018

White supremacist and fascist Steve Bannon accepted an invitation to speak at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business from Professor Luigi Zingales. No date has been set, but in response nearly 50 professors signed an open letter of protest, 100 protesters came out to protest immediately at the Booth School chanting “Say it loud and say it clear: stop inviting fascists here!” and a timely mass public meeting was called for the next day.

The Revolution Club came together to discuss what articles to bring out to the mass meeting and the students at U of C. We thought the article “The Issue Is NOT ‘Free Speech’! The Issue Is FASCISM!” by Sunsara Taylor would be good guidance and a model for what students and faculty should do because it gets into WHY the issue should not be on the terms of “free speech” but why this is a platform to justify, normalize, and allow fascists to consolidate power. We felt we had to connect people up with the need to drive out these fascists and to our upcoming film showing of the 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. We also talked about how the need for people to stand up to the assault on immigrants is connected with this, not least because Bannon is being invited to speak on the topic of “globalization and immigration”! We decided to send one team to the meeting and another out on campus with signs and a loudspeaker to reach out to students broadly and play the BA video clip, “Why do people come here from all over the world?”

Out on campus, many students had heard that Bannon was coming to speak. There were a few yells of “Fuck Bannon!” from students who walked past us and some people were clear and firm that he shouldn’t be speaking on campus. A lot of others hated Bannon but felt he should be allowed to speak because of the importance of the principles of free speech. People argued that if you stop Bannon from speaking, this threatens all free speech. And that the best way to take on Bannon is to defeat his arguments in a debate. Some people didn’t believe this was a big deal.

We struggled with people over all this. To see that Bannon speaking on campus is part of normalizing fascism, that it’s part of a conscious attack on the universities to strengthen the fascist movement, silence critical thinking and dissent and actually CRUSH free speech. We also struggled over what the actual terms of this “debate” were about and asked students whether we should’ve allowed for Nazis to come into our classrooms for a debate or that people had to get organized to drive them out in Nazi Germany. We made the point that free speech IS important and if people really want to fight for free speech they should be rocking the campus with protests to stop Bannon coming and let people everywhere debate THAT!

We connected this up with what is happening to immigrants right now. The all-out assault on immigrants that is driving forward the consolidation of fascism. As well as the overall white supremacy of Bannon and the whole Trump/Pence regime. The actual terror and destruction of people this means, and the need therefore for students to stand up to stop this Bannon event from happening, as part of standing up to drive the whole regime from power. In between speaking out on a loudspeaker, we played the short version of the clip, “Why do people come here from all over the world?” This drew people to us and helped set terms for all the conversations we were having. Read more.

Stand Up Against Trump/Pence Regime’s All-Out Assault on Immigrants!

January 29, 2018

A major move is happening right now in the sick Trump/Pence program to “Make America White Again.” In just the last few weeks they have ramped up an all-out assault on immigrants, especially targeting Black and Brown people. People are being arrested, detained, deported, ripped away from their loved ones, and in some cases sent to countries where they will be killed. Laws have changed overnight to declare hundreds of thousands of people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan “illegal” people. The 800,000 Dreamers, young people whose parents brought them to the U.S. as children, are having their lives and futures debated and traded on. Immigrant leaders are being detained and given deportation orders. Sanctuary cities are being targeted for raids and even elected officials have been threatened with arrest.

ALL kinds of people need to be standing up against this, now, not just the immigrants. This assault on immigrants has to be stopped and the whole Trump/Pence regime that is responsible has to be driven out of power. This has everything to do with what this society is going to be in the immediate future and what kind of world we need and are willing to fight for. This whole country was built on slavery and genocide and built its capitalist-imperialist empire by exploiting immigrants and people all over the world. This is what the Trump/Pence regime longs for and aims to take to more savage heights when they say “Make America Great Again” and when they change the laws, and how the whole government works, to more viciously crush people. The fight we have to fight is to come together to make revolution and tear this whole system down, and right now strengthen the movement to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. This country needs to start looking like the women’s march every day with even millions more, including those who are most targeted, until the Trump/Pence regime is driven from power.

Again, ALL kinds of people need to be fighting to stop this, and nobody should be falling for the ways this system tries to play different groups of people they oppress against each other.

Like, “Immigrants are using up the American resources Black people should be getting.” This is just begging for crumbs from a system that set you up in a situation where you can’t get resources and gets you competing with other people it did the same thing to. Worse, the system is getting you to become part of the machinery of crushing other people, taking up that “me first” and “America first” bullshit. The U.S. built its wealth on the backs of slaves and then further built its empire by plundering countries and exploiting their peoples, and you want “to get yours” out of that? And, by the way, if you think unleashing white supremacist attacks on immigrants is going to be good for Black people, go ahead and try to explain to everyone how the kkklansmen, neo-Nazi fascists in the White House and their followers who are whipping up all this shit are going to do right by Black people.

Or, “Black people have already been going through all this, so why should we stand up for the immigrants?” First of all, if you are a human being, get off that heartless shit and stand up for anyone being oppressed and mistreated. Especially if you know what it feels like. Secondly, is this really the kind of world you want? People pitted against each other and assisting in each other’s oppression on the basis of narrow self-interest? If you can see how horrible this is for people to go through, come together with all kinds of people to be part of the fight to PUT AN END to the system that keeps doing it.

The Revolution Club is working to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time. We fight for a world without borders, and for equality among different peoples, cultures, and languages. Be part of fighting for that world, including standing up now against the fascist assault on immigrants. 1) Take this message, get it out to others and post it up everywhere. 2) Go to the website www.revcom.us and watch and spread the video by Bob Avakian, “Why do people come here from all over the world?” 3) Join the protests in support of immigrants. 4) Learn about and join the Revolution Club.

Taking BA out to people 'A Better World Is Possible'

Contact the Revolution Club–Chicago:

Revolution Club Organizing Center
1857 E. 71st St.
312.804.9121
revclub.chi@gmail.com
@RevClubChi on Twitter and Facebook

 

For earlier articles on the Revolution Club in Chicago, click here.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/taking-ba-to-the-sacramento-protests-against-the-police-murder-of-stephon-clark-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

Taking BA to the Sacramento Protests against the Police Murder of Stephon Clark

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

I went to Sacramento twice last week, to attend the funeral of Stephon Clark, and two days later a noon rally called by the former Sacramento Kings NBA player Matt Barnes. I focused on promoting the film of the talk by Bob Avakian (BA), THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. I showed clips of the film to people at these events. 

All of the people viewing clips said they certainly would view the whole film, including three who enthusiastically said something like, “Wow, he (that is, BA) lays it all out. I can’t wait to go home to see the whole thing.”

A couple older guys were especially impressed by the GTF (Great Tautological Fallacy) clip (“Free yourself from the GTF!”), saying, “That is really true, this American chauvinism, people need to dump that shit!” One of them commented off BA’s example of GTF (about how people react to North Korea nuclear weapon threat), saying, “Yeah, even around the Vietnam War too. I still heard people telling me that yeah, we made a mess and the war was no good...but we wanted to protect democracy over there and our intention was good.”

One middle-aged Black woman was very impressed when she viewed the clip “The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today.” She said that while she thought she herself had been familiar with history, including the part in the film where BA talks about what Reagan did to start his campaign for presidency, she had not known about Nixon’s Southern Strategy. She was one of those who told me, “Now I know that there are things I have not known. I just cannot wait till this funeral is over so I can go home and watch this film.”

One middle-aged Black woman was talking about how the 2018 midterm election are the way to go in dealing with the Trump/Pence regime, but when she saw the clips about the Democrats, especially about how Obama said he was on the “same team” as Trump and that Trump’s success is “our” success, she could not believe it. She kept saying, “No, No No..., he would not say that.” I told her that it was all documented and she could check herself if what BA said was true. She said she would definitely do that, and “if he (that is, Obama) did say that, shame on him, and I would think twice before believing in the Democrats.”

Some of the people commented that the police killing Black people has gone on “forever” and it had to stop. How? A few who viewed the clips said that we need to change the whole set-up, not this or that policy about the police. A couple of guys said the police body-camera thing was a joke; it was something the government heralded as the solution, and now what? Now we are hearing “Oh, the police forgot to turn the camera on!” These guys referred to the “set-up” to the white supremacy BA speaks about in the clip. One guy said even when Obama was president, there were so many cases of police murders, “So, will things get to the point of a wholesale genocide? I would not put it past this Trump guy.”

A few of the protestors had revolution on their mind. A middle-aged Black man wearing an “Oakland Warriors” t-shirt with the famous image of Huey P. Newton sitting on a chair told me that he was wearing the shirt because he wanted to promote the Black Panther Party legacy. I asked him what part of the legacy he was talking about. He said the early days of the Panthers, not the “breakfast program.” He said it was too bad that a lot of Black folks remember Panthers for the latter but not the former. But he also added that it was too bad that the Panthers did not last long enough to “figure out a theory for making revolution.” I introduced him briefly to BA’s new synthesis of communism and “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.” He was impressed by what he saw in the two clips he saw (“The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today” and “Why is it the Democrats can only try to resolve this on the terms of the system?”) And he said, “If this guy really has developed a strategy for making a real revolution as you just described, I would study it” (referring to the “HOW WE CAN WIN” pamphlet that he got from me). I told him to go online to www.revcom.us and The Bob Avakian Institute site.

It was interesting that Black Panther Party was in some people’s mind after seeing clips. And there was back-and-forth with a couple of them about “Breakfast program.” One guy said that you need both, referring to going out in the streets to fight the power and feeding people, arguing that you cannot make revolution with empty stomachs.

One college-educated Black woman in her 30s, accompanied by her mom who calls herself a former Panther, acknowledged that the Black Panther Party did not have a fully developed theory for revolution. (She said she learned of this from her mom and from reading history.) She said, yes, revolution is not just going out to fight the police, you need a correct theory to guide the people—otherwise, and how could you counter the mighty force of the other side? She was very glad to hear that there is such a strategy for a whole process, including dealing with the aspect she was worried about (the part in the “HOW WE CAN WIN” pamphlet that I pointed her to). She said not only would she go home and view the whole BA film, she would read the pamphlet and go to our websites to see more works by BA.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/536/pigs-who-murdered-alton-sterling-will-face-no-charges-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

Louisiana Attorney General Rules:

Pigs Who Murdered Alton Sterling Will Face No Charges

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

 

Update, March 31

Almost two years after 2 Baton Rouge pigs murdered Alton Sterling, the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) released videos from the body cams they had. The same day, they announced that the cop who actually shot and killed Alton was being fired. This is not justice!

The videos the BRPD sat on for 21 months show how the two pigs assaulted Alton Sterling, slamming him into a car. The video shows Alton asking, “What I did?” to the pig Salamoni. It shows Salamoni grabbing Alton’s neck and shoving him onto a car. Salamoni said to Alton, “Put your hands on the car or I’ll shoot you in the fucking head,” He told his fellow pig, “Tase his ass.” Alton Sterling stood with his hands up. The pigs tased him, and he dropped to his knees.

When he struggled to get up again, Salamoni tackled him. The cops fired their guns, and Salamoni’s body cam lay on the ground for about 10 seconds. Then Salamoni asked Lake, his partner in murder, “Where’s the gun”—meaning the gun they claim Alton had. Lake answered, “It’s in my car. I got it.”

Alton Sterling lay on the pavement in a pool of blood, dying.

These cops need to be tried for murder. The authorities who kept these videos from the public need to be charged as accomplices for covering up a murder. There needs to be justice for Alton Sterling!

Jeff Landry, attorney general of Louisiana, announced on Tuesday, March 27 that the two Baton Rouge pigs who shot and killed Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016, will face no charges. This is an unbearable outrage. There needs to be Justice for Alton Sterling!

Millions of people saw videos and TV reports of the Baton Rouge Police Department murdering Alton. They shot him six times at point-blank range, three in the chest and three in the back. Now, almost 21 months later, the state of Louisiana’s top “law enforcement official” declared that he “cannot proceed with the prosecution” because the police were making “a lawful arrest... based on probable cause.”

What does the legal system of this country consider “probable cause” for a cop to kill a Black man? Alton Sterling was in the parking lot of a convenience store where he often came to sell DVDs to provide for his family and himself. Shortly after the murder, the store owner told Revolution what he witnessed: “It was after midnight. I saw two cops pulling into the parking lot ... two cop cars. Well I decided to see what was going on. When I got out there they were already slamming Mr. Sterling on the car. They tasered him, tackled him onto another vehicle, and then that’s when it escalated to the officer shooting him.”

People in Baton Rouge Stand Up

The blatant, racist injustice of Alton Sterling’s murder by cop galvanized thousands of people in Baton Rouge. Protest in various forms continued for a month. In the first days after the murder, people held impromptu rallies in front of the Triple S store and marched through the largely Black north side. Youth and others continued to gather nightly at the store, often numbering in the hundreds.

Other youth began taking over streets outside the Baton Rouge PD headquarters, and at a convention center on the banks of the Mississippi. Cultural events protesting the murder were held at Louisiana State University, and thousands of people—mainly middle class people, Black and white—marched to the State Capitol. A memorial service for Alton in the basketball arena of Southern University, a historically Black college, drew thousands.

Police retaliated with threats and violence, especially against the youth. Hundreds were arrested. A lawsuit against the BRPD described how police continued to swarm, beat, and arrest people as they “proceeded down France Street towards East Boulevard in line formation across the road, with the armored vehicle, assault rifles, rubber bullet guns, gas masks, shields up, and what appeared to be a ‘long range acoustic device (“LRAD”),’ which creates a painfully loud transmission.”

A System of Injustice

In May 2017, the Federal Department of IN-justice (DOJ) gave its stamp of approval to the police murder of Alton Sterling. The DOJ ruled that the police acted “reasonably” and “legally,” and they brought no federal charges against the killer. Now the state of Louisiana has essentially ruled the same.

Think about this, and what it tells you about the system we live under. The pigs who murdered Alton Sterling claim he had a gun. One of them was sitting on him, his right hand was visible; clearly he was not holding a weapon when they murdered him.

At a vigil for Alton held at the convenience store Tuesday night after the Louisiana attorney general’s announcement, one participant posted on Facebook, “Baton Rouge, and the city of blood. They can kill us and it’s just ok with them.”

It’s not just Baton Rouge, it’s this entire country. Police wantonly and brazenly murder, and it is upheld by every level of legal review. This happens again, and again, and again. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Carlos Mejia. The painful list goes on and on—and it must STOP! Over and over, local, state, and federal courts have ruled that all murdering cops have to do is claim they “felt threatened”—and they are unlikely to even be charged, much less convicted. These murders are part of the constant terror carried out by the police against Black, Brown, and other oppressed people.

A system that does this over and over again is criminal, immoral and illegitimate. We need an actual revolution to overthrow this system of capitalism-imperialism and bring into being a radically different society.

STOP—GENOCIDAL PERSECUTION, MASS INCARCERATION, POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER OF BLACK AND BROWN PEOPLE!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/refuse-fascism-the-urgency-of-the-present-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

From Refuse Fascism, April 3, 2018

The Continuity of the Past Does Not Negate the Urgency of the Present

By Coco Das and Sarah Roark

April 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Why should we unite in a mass protest movement to drive out the Trump/Pence regime, when the values they represent have always been a part of American society?

Some of us in Refuse Fascism recognize that every administration has played its part in preserving American empire, white supremacy, and traditional patriarchy. Bill Clinton’s expansion of the War on Drugs with a “three strikes” provision escalated the criminalization of Black and brown people. George W. Bush violated international law to invade Iraq, codified torture in U.S. foreign policy, and normalized the role of Christian theocrats in American government. Barack Obama was the “deporter in chief,” and carried out drone wars that dropped tens of thousands of bombs on people in the middle east, North Africa, and South Asia.

We live in a country built on the genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of Africans, and the theft of land from Mexico, where Jim Crow segregation gave Nazis the legal models for their racial purity laws, where mass incarceration has locked away a generation of oppressed youth, and wars for empire have taken millions of lives. Donald Trump’s mantra to “Make America Great Again” is rooted in the the 19th-century doctrine that U.S. supremacy is both justified and inevitable, destined by God. This fascist creed has deep roots in American society, and its current configuration within the Republican party has been decades in the making.

But while fascism can advance on tiptoe for years, it can also make sudden, game-changing leaps forward into a whole new stage. This is the collective shock we’ve experienced. The Trump/Pence regime does, in some ways, represent a continuity with past injustices. But it also, and more importantly, represents a dramatic metastasis of the frustrated ambitions of a white supremacist, Christian fascist movement. This movement put their hopes into George W. only to see him fail to deliver their whole agenda, and suffered some demoralizing setbacks during Obama. In Trump, however, they have seen and seized an opportunity they’ve never had before.

Why Trump? Because finally they have a leader who doesn’t give a shit about conventions, who has no allegiance to traditional democratic norms, and in fact promised to tear up these norms, who doesn’t give even lip service to human rights, equality or diversity, and who delivers one satisfying shock after another and gets away with it. He is the mad dog they’ve always needed and the outsider they’ve always perceived themselves to be. Far from being ineffectual, Trump has delivered for this movement in a way that no one else has, and now, with the latest shake-ups in his cabinet, he is bringing the world even closer to the possibility of nuclear war.

What does all this mean for the rest of us who don’t want to live in a world that returns to the worst of our history — and then goes even further, threatening the very future of humanity and the planet?

It means that our resistance must be an answer to this danger, going beyond anything this fascist regime can absorb. The fact is, the American people as a whole have accepted too much of the injustices of the past, and that is our shame to bear. But that doesn’t negate the urgency of the present. With everything at stake, it is necessary to act now and act boldly. The sins of our past are no excuse for standing by and watching this fresh disaster unfold.

And a disaster for all humanity is exactly what it is. The aims of this regime are genocidal at their core. Right now, it takes the form of denying millions of people the right and means to survival. The logic of genocide drives the deportations that tear up families and return people to desperate, deadly situations. It drives the cruelty of the travel ban, the neglect of Puerto Rico, and the crudeness of calling whole countries “shitholes” (which have gone beyond words to find real expression in policy). There is a threat of genocide in Trump’s praise for white supremacists in Charlottesville, and in his chuckling assurances that the police need not be “too nice.” It is embodied in his “fire and fury” threats toward North Korea and his attitude that the environment, the health of our planet itself, is not worth preserving.

Many of Trump’s policies do not make sense to the rest of us. They seem to most, and are largely presented in the media, as being the actions of a capricious, corrupt, or incompetent ruler. Trump and Hitler draw so many comparisons because of their similarly deranged behavior and rhetoric, where reality itself is turned upside down. There is method to this madness, however, and a comprehensible if terrifying calculation that underlies the chaos it deliberately stirs up.

We need to understand that this chaos and crisis is not a distraction—it’s a requirement. For the people who say Trump is just more of the same and there’s no need to form a different response, here is a question to consider: Did Hitler simply give more open expression to the anti-Semitism already embedded in German life, or did he prepare the German people for mass genocide and then carry it out?

In the 1930’s, fascism was unfamiliar and confusing. Many ordinary Germans were blindsided by the new ideology and way of governing. We do not have the same excuse. We have a wealth of history to compare our experiences to. We have mounting evidence that fits known patterns we should recognize, acknowledge and unite against. And we have a benefit the people of prewar Germany didn’t: we have their failure to learn from.

We also have a better understanding of the importance and power of sustained, non-violent resistance, and inspiring examples of causes that seemed, at times, to be completely hopeless … until they weren’t.

That is where our power to stop this begins. With a determination to fully understand the situation and the basis for changing it, to cast aside illusions and self-delusions and deal fully with reality. To not be blindsided. From the beginning, Refuse Fascism has identified the fascist character of this regime and is building the movement to drive it out, with an updated Call to Action and a plan to mobilize millions into the streets before it’s too late. The people of the world are waiting for us to take this stand. It is on all of us now, no matter what actions we’ve taken in the past, to claim our place in this movement and spread it to everyone, everywhere, every day.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/thoughts-in-light-of-THE-NEW-COMMUNISM-COULD-CHANGE-EVERYTHING-IF-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

Thoughts in light of the "THE NEW COMMUNISM COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING—IF..." article

April 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

INITIAL THOUGHTS/ORIENTATION:

I have been strongly influenced by Bob Avakian (BA) and the RCP throughout my political development, which has had many twists, turns, advances, and setbacks over the years. Ultimately it was not until a little over a year ago that I really became actively supportive and partisan to the new communism and the leadership of the RCP in making an actual revolution to emancipate humanity. There are other supporters in my area who I have worked alongside with in Refuse Fascism, and our efforts to contribute to its mission becoming a success takes up most of our time and energy. That being said, since then I kind of just read things on my own in a nominally systematic way, participate as a core organizer with Refuse Fascism in my area, send the occasional correspondence to Revolution/revcom.us, and spreading and discussing all this on various social media. I haven’t really given feedback on my work/development, but that should be changing to a degree after working out some plans to improve this with other supporters in my area. Also, we have arranged two screenings and discussions of sections of the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! DVD. I was left wishing that it could be like this all the time, or at least more often than the sporadic gatherings we have managed to make time for amidst all the shit going on in this country.

I also consider that I’m not subordinate to the Party’s Constitution, its discipline and standards, although I do aspire to be—and I try to take up aspects of it voluntarily to prepare myself. However, a lot of times my negative self-perception will keep me down (which in no small part is a reflection of this system’s culture and values), thinking I might not really be cut out to meet the Party standards. I have some individualistic tendencies that I think could only be fundamentally overcome by being involved in heightened collectivity with other supporters, and there are real objective limitations that prevent this from just being willed into being. To be clear, absolutely nothing said here should prevent doing the work needed to contribute as much as possible and keep my own theoretical and practical development advancing. 

“We revolutionary communists are supposed to represent and speak in the name of the interests of all of humanity. And we are supposed to do so on the basis of science and nothing less.”

“The new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian (BA) really is a total game-changer, which objectively represents and constitutes the opening of a whole new chapter in the historical evolution of communist theory and practice. IT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING. But this will happen only IF the New Communism of BA becomes widely known, takes root, and spreads ever more broadly, in a kind of geometric progression, throughout this society and also throughout the entire world.”

There is a lot of urgency in the article, and for good fucking reason. The majority of people on the planet do not have an understanding of the situation that humanity faces, much less a grasp of the even basic fundamentals of the kind of science and scientific method we need to emancipate humanity and save the earth from ecological collapse. I recall the times when I really understood and felt the ruptures in my thinking and the journey I was being taken on as I further engaged with the new communism and the larger body of work of BA (and also especially the Demarcations journal). In my particular case, this was leading me out of the mire of Ajithism (a masterfully encapsulating term) that I had been trapped in for years. Breaking with the mass line, separation of communism and the labor movement (and the enriched critique of economism), solid core and elasticity (not just all solid core), emancipation of humanity—not “the first shall be last,” critique of the reification of the proletariat. These have been really transformational aspects of the framework brought about by the new communism that have developed my thought personally and continue to help situate me toward being scientific and shedding all kinds of epistemological blinders.

To bring this back in relation to the article, I want to echo its appeal to the ranks of the Party: don’t let it be the case that partisans outside of the Party you belong to are taking this more seriously and more critically engaging with it more than you are. Obviously this is still a problem, as this contradiction is one that the Cultural Revolution within the RCP is trying to address. As outlined in THE NEW COMMUNISM, “[...] there is a basis for this Party to be what it needs to be; and, as a key aspect of that, there are the forces—forces inside the Party, and others who are at this time still outside the Party—who want to fight to go forward on this road, and who need to be led to fight forward on this road, including new people coming into the Party.1 Really, get to work on resolving this contradiction—and it starts with those in the ranks of the Party who are supposed to be communists... actually being communists! It’s really fucking great for us all that this contradiction was even identified to begin with. Obviously the new communism hasn’t taken root like it needs to, but it has a little bit here and there, and it will continue to do so as more people are introduced to BA and the Party he leads through one or another initiative. If the “new faces” and “ones and twos,” like me and others who are being attracted to and are working to take up and spread the new communism, if we cannot be integrated and articulated into this Party (on the right basis—and being up to the standards of the Party’s Constitution), then we will bang on your doors until you do or else we’ll be tragically, needlessly squandered. I hope this letter helps those who aren’t seeing it to understand that there are indeed people out there who really give a shit about this.

Back to my own reflections on BA’s interventions and the model of revolutionary leadership that he concentrates—one thing I regret most in my political development is that unlike how BA consistently models for us an outstanding and necessary method and approach—I cannot say I have really begun to try to bring others along with me on this journey.2 In light of the barefoot doctor/Huxley orientation that is called for here, I often find myself taking the easy road of a basic barefoot doctor—which isn’t at all commensurate to my level of understanding. One obstacle is contending with the pervasive culture of snark within people of my age group. An aspect of my coming of age is—like many others—being steeped in internet shock culture, the kind of shooting-at-all-sides attitude where nothing is safe from being an object of abject mockery, this heart-numbing cynicism and inability to form healthy social bonds that comes from excelling at tearing others down. It took years to even regain basic humanity, like even a minimal sense of giving a damn about other people’s suffering outside of my own. The fact is that “for whom and for what” this is all about has not really been integrated into my consciousness, so being afraid to say something stupid or fearing the intense ridicule that will at some point come from going out into the world with BA and the new communism earnestly is still a heavy pull. It’s another one of the multitude of ways that people are torn down and tear themselves down under this rotten system of capitalism-imperialism. In areas without things like Revolution Clubs or Revolution Books, in situations where supporters may be scattered from each other and face objective limitations that prevent greater collectivity—it’s hard to take this out if you don’t fully sense that you’ve got a strong core of people who can back you up through it all—while also understanding that even if you don’t have that (in the case of lone supporters out there)... goddammit someone has to do this if there’s any hope for the world to be transformed.

“[...] one thing is crystal clear: There is nothing that would be more important to accomplish in this period of history than to succeed in breaking through some of these obstacles and getting the New Communism, as well as its architect, BA (the person who has elaborated and developed this new synthesis of communism, and who himself stands as a concentrated expression of its core principles and scientific methods), widely known, engaged and appreciated throughout this society (and among all strata), and beyond that throughout the world.”

GRAPPLING WITH OTHER SUPPORTERS:

On the point that if the new communism doesn’t take root, “there really is no point to any of the other things we do,” I was taken aback by this. Like damn, really? There’s no point to any of the work and initiatives? A supporter brought up that in the formulation “Fight the Power, Transform the People, for Revolution,” it’s the “for Revolution” that is the decisive component that the other components are in relation to.

On the point that “in relation to our strategic communist objectives, the failure of what is represented by Refuse Fascism might well end up putting the final nail in our coffin.” I initially felt a bit of outrage, my thinking was that these people better mean the literal annihilation of all humans that compose the movement for revolution, and not for a second that giving up is an option. This is probably the result of not having a fully formed understanding of what is meant by the statement “what is represented by Refuse Fascism”—since my first thoughts are “why would we give up if the consolidation of fascism fails by some other means unforeseen by us or mainly outside of our conscious initiative?” Perhaps a little more clarity on this “what is represented by Refuse Fascism” point would have cleared up any whiffs of defeatism—a clearer picture of what it could mean concretely for the movement for revolution if fascism is consolidated in the U.S. Some supporters I spoke with helped me explore different dimensions when I brought this up, but overall I was urged to compose my thoughts and send this letter.

OTHER THOUGHTS:

I wonder how BA’s interventions could still “bear fruit” if we don’t succeed in the core mission? Future generations would dust off the tomes that were buried as the movement was forced underground? Maybe one dimension of this, a more optimistic one, is that there are people who are fighting for the new communism to take root in other countries. I do think that these efforts should be propagated more widely. Articles from A World to Win News Service are often buried at the bottom of the Revolution newspaper current issue page on the website. Frankly I don’t think this is appropriate, these developments are not only important in their own right and have implications for us here as well as the world generally, but are also downright inspiring.

GOING FORWARD:

Ultimately the article is a welcome jolt of urgency with the calm scientific certitude that will be continuously needed. It doesn’t pull any punches and there’s no bullshit. Even with my confusion and anger at some parts, I fundamentally agreed and felt the need to reassess how much I’m contributing in light of how much I could contribute to this mission.

 


1 Bob Avakian, “The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP” from THE NEW COMMUNISM, p. 318 (Insight Press, 2016) [back]

2 This particular article from Lenny Wolff was pivotal in my study of the new synthesis of communism and helped me gain a concrete vision of how we should model ourselves. “On the Revolutionary Road with Chairman Avakian“ [back]


 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/grade-school-students-kneel-while-singing-the-national-anthem-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

From a reader

Two Grade-School Students Kneel While Singing the National Anthem at a Major League Baseball Game

April 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

At the Seattle Mariners baseball game with the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field in Seattle on Sunday, April 1, two young girls knelt while singing the National Anthem with their school choir from the Mount View Elementary School.

Yahoo Sports wrote that the two students “are trailblazers, demonstrating that the quest for racial equality and social justice has support from a new generation.”

USA Today’s “For The Win” feature said, “As we've seen in the wake of the Parkland shooting, kids these days are not going to accept being spectators for important discussions regarding the communities in which they live. The future is in good hands.”

A spokesperson for Seattle’s Highline Public Schools told the Huffington Post that this was an “individual act by the students. Obviously, the school district respects the First Amendment rights of our students.”

The photo of the students kneeling was tweeted out by Ryan S. Clark, sportswriter of the Tacoma News Tribune, who was covering the game. People are re-tweeting the photo, including Colin Kaepernick, the NFL football player who started the anthem protest against police brutality and murders of Black people.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/carl-dix-on-police-murder-cover-ups-what-must-be-done-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

Stephon Clark & Alton Sterling & Saheed Vassell:
Police Murder, System Cover Ups & What Must Be Done Now!

by Carl Dix

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

 

* March 18: Stephon Clark—gunned down by two Sacramento, California cops who shot him eight times in his grandmother’s backyard; six times in the back, once in the side and once as or after he was falling down, according to an autopsy done by the young Black man’s family.

* March 27: The Louisiana attorney general announced that the cops who murdered Alton Sterling would face no charges. The federal Department of Justice had already announced it would press no charges in this case. After these murdering pigs were allowed to go free, a video that had never been shown to the public was released, showing the pigs cursing, tasing and threatening to kill Sterling from the moment they arrived on the scene. Then they wrestled him to the ground, started yelling “gun” and shot him to death.

* April 4: Police shoot down unarmed Saheed Vassell in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Saheed was unarmed, mentally ill, and well-known throughout the neighborhood—including by police. According to witnesses, he was shot dead in a hail of bullets within 30 seconds of police arriving on the scene. All this on the exact day of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King!

These horrors put out there for all to see the fact that police continue to inflict wanton murder and brutality on Black people. Police continue to kill more than 1,000 people each year, and hundreds of those killed by police each year are unarmed and doing nothing wrong when they were killed. And the brutal, murdering pigs are almost never punished in any way for the horrors they enforce on so many people.

Those courageously standing up against all this in Sacramento—and now in Brooklyn—are RIGHT to do so. This system has proven, again and again, that it places no value on Black lives and the ONLY chance of justice comes through ferocious struggle. Shout outs to the folks in Sacramento who took over the interstate highway and twice shut down the entrance to the basketball arena, to the NBA players who put Stephon Clark’s name on their jerseys and paid for his funeral, to Stephon’s brother and the other people who disrupted the meeting the city authorities held to appear that they “felt the pain” of the protesters while insisting they wait for the process to play out.

We need this and more in the streets of Brooklyn now—and all across this nation.

We’ve gone through this for decades—those in power telling us to wait for the results of investigations, investigations that almost always let the murdering pigs walk free. We went thru it with Obama sometimes shedding crocodile tears over the deaths of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice. And still the murdering pigs walked free. This is what played out with the murder of Alton Sterling, and the same thing will continue to play out unless people rise up mightily—joining with those who are courageously standing up and taking this even further.

And now those in power aren’t even pretending they care. Trump has vowed to “take the gloves off the police,” and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has pulled the Department of Justice back from even questioning abusive police practices. This will give even more freedom to brutal, murdering police to inflict horrors on Black people and others. We got a glimpse of what that will mean when a Sacramento sheriff’s car did a hit-and-run on a 61-year-old protester, who said afterward: “If I’d done that, hit someone and not stopped, I’d be arrested.”

It is always wrong to stand aside when injustice is being perpetrated against anyone. And it would be especially wrong to stand aside now as the fascist Trump/Pence regime intensifies the terror police bring down on Black people as part of hammering fascist rule into place, a rule that includes ethnic cleansing of immigrants, assaults on the lives of women and LBGTQ people, accelerated destruction of the environment and potentially a nuclear holocaust against the people of the world.

All this poses two challenges to everyone who has an ounce of justice in their hearts:

1) To those still on the sidelines—Get into the streets! Are you willing to wait for the results of an official investigation, an investigation that almost always amounts to a cover up? Are you somebody who would express more outrage if the police were getting away with shooting down dogs than you do when they do this to Black people? WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? Where’s your outrage, where’s your humanity? This IS your fight—join in now.

2) To those out in the streets and everyone else—Get to the root of the problem and get into the real revolution, which is the only way to end this horror show for real. And get with the leader we have for this revolution in Bob Avakian (BA), who has forged a new communism which points the way out of the madness of today. BA sees not just the blood-soaked horror that Amerikkka has always meant for Black people, but also how the struggle against this horror can and must play a critical role in breaking all the chains that bind humanity:

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.
―Bob Avakian

We cannot continue to live this way, and we don’t have to. There is another way. An important part of getting out of this madness means taking this fight against murder by police even higher, and joining the movement to drive the fascist Trump/Pence regime from power before they are allowed to consolidate their fascist rule. And doing all this while digging into and getting organized for an actual revolution.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/outrage-in-brooklyn-over-police-murder-of-saheed-vassell-en.html

Revolution #537 April 2, 2018

Outrage in Brooklyn Over the Police Murder of Saheed Vassell—The Whole Damned System Is Guilty as Hell!

April 6, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

From the Revolution Club, NYC:

Wednesday night, nearly 1,000 people filled the streets of the Brooklyn neighborhood where the New York Police Department murdered Saheed Vassell.

 

On Wednesday, April 4, the NYPD murdered Saheed Vassell, a 34-year-old Black man, in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City. He had no weapon on him—he was only holding a pipe when four pigs shot him 10 times. Vassell suffered from mental illness, and people in the neighborhood knew this. There was immediate outrage in the streets after the wanton police killing of yet another Black man. And next night, more people came out to protest.

When Carl Dix and the Revolution Club arrived on the scene we were hit right away with the sense of outrage that permeated the entire neighborhood. 

Masses from the neighborhood had gathered at the site of the rally well in advance of its "official" start, and were discussing loudly the events surrounding the murder of Saheed Vassell. 

Wielding "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" and copies of the statement from Carl Dix "Stephon Clark & Alton Sterling & Saheed Vassell: Police Murder, System Cover Ups & What Must Be Done Now!" we went among the people. We shared with them the quote from Bob Avakian on the role of the police and were greeted with visceral reactions of agreement and outrage. They shared stories of Saheed and the life he'd lived in the neighborhood before he was brutally cut down. "He never did any harm," many of them repeated. 

When Carl Dix spoke to the crowd, people took copies of his statement, read some of it, and came back to get more copies. Some people took the statement to share with clusters of people further out from where the gathering was starting to swell, as well as people in the restaurants and shops nearby. 

The "official" gathering was called for by a lot of different forces representing differing views on what needs to be done to address the glaring atrocities of police brutality and the wanton murder of Black and Brown people. Some more openly advocated that the murdering pigs be fired and/or jailed. The rally grew to about a thousand people at its peak and took off marching towards the 71st precinct after about an hour of speeches from representatives of different groups, and the family of Saheed Vassell. 

By the time we got to the precinct we had handed out over a thousand copies of Carl Dix's statement. People yelled angrily at the dozens of pigs gathered behind barricades that lined the streets, while some chanted "fuck the police!" and "back up back up, we want freedom! All these racist-ass cops, we don't need ’em!” In another section of the protest, family members of people murdered by police gave short rousing speeches in solidarity with the family of Saheed Vassell. 

While there were large numbers of people from the basic masses and the largely immigrant Caribbean neighborhood present, many of the protesters were not from the area and had traveled from all over the city to be part of the manifestation. As the protest grew in size and anger, there were people emerging from the train stations together, including many younger people (high schoolers and so on), strangers admiring the slogans on each others' protest signs, and being directed toward the rally by volunteers. There was definitely a sense of being "in this together," at least among the non-organized forces present. 

We extended a hand of unity to all gathered. As we all stood together toward the end of the march, Carl Dix and the Revolution Club agitated to the people about how these murders happen all the damn time and the murdering pigs are never punished because the oppression of Black people has been woven into the fabric of the capitalist-imperialist system since its foundations and down to today. We brought the reality to people, that, as Carl wrote in his statement, "[t]his system has proven, again and again, that it places no value on Black lives and the ONLY chance of justice comes through ferocious struggle." We called on people to stand up and grow even more determined in our resistance, and do so as part of getting organized for an actual revolution, and to get with the leadership that we have for this revolution, in Bob Avakian. 

As BA himself put it: 

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.

And then we connected all this to the leap that the Trump/Pence regime represents; the "slow genocide" of mass incarceration being put on steroids by the open white supremacists ruling the country. We led people in chants of "the whole damn system is guilty!" as the night wound down and, overhead, projections against the wall of a nearby building proclaimed "A MAN WAS LYNCHED TODAY!"