Revolution #544, May 21, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

Some Observations: We ARE Building a Movement for Revolution

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We—that is, everyone who desires to work for revolution and emancipate humanity—need to bring forward a movement for a REAL revolution. We need growing numbers of followers of Bob Avakian (BA), spreading his breakthroughs in the science, the strategy, and the leadership for an actual revolution, and his vision of a radically new society on the road to real emancipation to every corner of society. We need a movement that’s straining to get to the situation where you could actually make revolution for real—not as some abstract distant goal but as something urgently being worked toward. We need a movement massively distributing and rooting itself in the strategy laid out in HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW). And we need a sustained geometric progression in all this—where people are more and more being enlisted into and given meaningful work to do in building a movement for an actual revolution, and where the movement is beginning to grow by leaps and bounds, and through that process increasingly impacting all of society.

In the wake of the article The New Communism Could Change Everything—If...,” this website has begun to more clearly focus toward that goal. What follows are some important principles and initial lessons aimed at carrying that further and making real breakthroughs.

The Core Message

In all that we do, the utter “intolerability” of this system and the towering crimes and atrocities it continually commits, here and all over the world, must really be driven home in a powerful way, along with the fact that it is no longer necessary to live under such a system; that this system cannot be reformed, that to transform society to fully achieve the 5 Stops and abolish and move beyond all relations of exploitation and oppression, everywhere in the world requires an actual revolution, which, as emphasized in HWCW, means not some minor changes within this system but the actual overthrow, yes overthrow, of this system, through actually defeating its armed forces of oppression and repression, when the necessary conditions (a revolutionary situation and a revolutionary people in the millions) have been brought into being (as set forth in HWCW), dismantling the institutions of this system and building a whole new society on a radically different economic and political basis; that this is something we (continually involving new people in geometric advances) must be actively working toward, from right now forward; that this system of capitalism-imperialism can be replaced by a far better system—one that is truly emancipatory—as embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America; and that there is the basis, in the new communism and the leadership of BA, to make all this a reality.

This is our core message. We should lead with this and continually come back to it with everyone. Setting terms in this way attracts those who are serious, people who viscerally hate the way things are.

Bringing Home WHY: The Importance of the 5 STOPS

The first part of the core message—the utter “intolerability” of this system and the towering crimes and atrocities it continually commits, here and all over the world, must really be driven home in a powerful way, along with the fact that the system can NOT be fixed—that it cannot be reformed and that it is no longer necessary to live under such a system—should be brought home with sharp agitation around the 5 stops. Those 5 stops, as they constantly appear on this website, are:

STOP the 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 deportation of immigrants and the militarization of the border!

STOP capitalism-imperialism from destroying our planet!

We need agitation that rips into outrages around one or all of these “STOPS,” making people FEEL how intolerable and unnecessary it is that people are subjected to this, and then goes directly into the “core message.”

The 5 STOPS are not just things we are angry about. Each one is a key concentration of contradictions in this system—ongoing, horrible outrages that torture and suffocate humanity and that can NOT be reformed away. We should display posters from the website that draw out one or all of the 5 STOPS, with the message of revolution. The point that has to come through: “we have to put a stop to this and that requires a revolution and we are here to enlist you now in the ranks of the revolution.” We cannot allow ourselves to get drawn into deep explanations or talk about things in a scholarly way—we need hard-hitting agitation that is compelling in its radical simplicity and that draws people toward, and increasingly into, the ranks of the revolution.

HOW WE CAN WIN: The Strategy FOR Revolution and a Working Document

HOW WE CAN WIN is a working document—a basis and guide to bring alive the need and basis for revolution and to concretely organize people into this revolution. This is not just something to grasp firmly as a basic point of orientation, but is something that we must be actively applying in practice, further grappling with and forging the means to consistently carry out work that actually organizes people into the revolution on the right basis and in so doing lays the basis for continually expanding the ranks of the revolution, not just in ones and twos but in terms of masses of people, and through ongoing geometric leaps.

HWCW is the strategy for revolution. It is written for the masses of people and it is written for them to take up and to organize around and to influence society as a whole. HWCW is the key means to involve and lead many others in preparing the ground, preparing the masses and preparing the leadership for revolution—“for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.” Spreading the fact that we have a strategy IS part of our strategy—this is what enables us to bring forward the thousands to act now to carry out those “three prepares” and this is what will ultimately enable millions to win when the time comes when they CAN be led to go for revolution.

Again, HWCW is a working document. It’s a concentrated statement of what needs to be applied, with the main things we need to be doing and how they relate to each other. It is written with a GREAT deal of precision and nuance, which becomes clearer on repeated study and wielding. HWCW is written to the potential growing ranks of people in the movement for revolution, to orient, train and lead them. The guidance in the boldfaced parts in particular is crucial for people to constantly return to.

HWCW contains the gauge with which we should lead people to judge our progress:

All this is aiming for something very definite—a revolutionary situation: Where the system and its ruling powers are in a serious crisis, and the violence they use to enforce this system is seen by large parts of society for what it is—murderous and illegitimate. Where the conflicts among the ruling forces become really deep and sharp—and masses of people respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers, but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution. Where millions and millions of people refuse to be ruled in the old way—and are willing and determined to put everything on the line to bring down this system and bring into being a new society and government that will be based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. That is the time to go all-out to win. That is what we need to be actively working for and preparing for now.

This massive distribution to popularize, apply and accumulate forces for revolution is not a one-time push—but something we are doing in an ongoing way, all the time, until we make the revolution.

Organize, Organize, Organize for REVOLUTION: Actively Enlisting People NOW

We should be straight-up saying “We’re here to enlist you in the ranks of the revolution and putting you to work for the revolution. We have a battle plan on how we are going to get there.” We should be clear with people: “We don’t have the millions now—this strategy is how you get them. If you really hate this shit, if you really want to do something, then you need to be with this.This is how we have to go to people—not “answering every question.” We know what we don’t have right now—the many thousands who can bring forward the millions needed for revolution. What we DO have, though, is a concrete plan and vision to make revolution, with the leadership to carry that forward, and an organization for you to join, as part of becoming one of the thousands who are working to get those millions AND being able to lead that somewhere good. The question is what are YOU going to do?

This will involve intense struggle against the system’s ways of thinking all the way through, but that should not be turned into endless (and aimless) education. Do you want revolution, or are you willing to make your peace with this shit, knowing that it grinds up billions of people every day? Being able to put an end to it— actually making revolution, and getting to a whole new world—all this depends on people like you coming forward now, and taking up this battle plan.

We have to take people to the final paragraph of HWCW:

All this depends on winning millions to revolution in the period that leads up to the ripening of a revolutionary situation. The chance to defeat them, when the time comes—the chance to be rid of this system and to bring something far better into being—has everything to do with what we do now. Everyone who hungers for a radically different world, free of exploitation and oppression and all the needless suffering caused by this system, needs to work now with a fired determination to make this happen, so we will have a real chance to win.

Enlisting people now makes a huge difference. The more we have organized forces of the revolution, the more we can affect the terrain. While we are working strategically for the whole thing, we are also aiming at particular objectives building towards that—preparing the ground: getting to the point where you can push things in directions that are more favorable to revolution; the point where all the other forces in society have to respond to what you are doing. There is a difference between a few people at a demonstration trying to influence 300 and having 300 people influence 3,000, when you are going for impacting the whole society.

It is not that “one fine day, far off in the future, we are going to change the political terrain”—but in an ongoing way this is what we are doing, all the time, everywhere we go. Transforming how whole blocs of people see what is politically tolerable or intolerable, desirable or undesirable, and impossible or most definitely possible and necessary—so that we can prepare the ground for revolution. To return to HOW WE CAN WIN, and how the “3 Prepares” are discussed there:

While awaiting the necessary conditions to go all-out for revolution, we need to hasten this and actively carry 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 need to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—protest and resist the injustices and atrocities of this system, and win people to defy and repudiate this putrid system and its ways of thinking, and to take up the outlook and values, and the strategy and program of the revolution, build up the forces for this revolution, and defeat the attempts of the ruling powers to crush the revolution and its leadership. With every “jolt” in society—every crisis, every new outrage, where many people question and resist what they normally accept—we need to seize on this to advance the revolution and expand its organized forces. We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

Driving Out the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime: A Crucial Aspect of Making Revolution

If we really approach things from making revolution and the 3 Prepares, the crucial importance of succeeding with the mission of Refuse Fascism should stand out. Whether we succeed or fail at this will have a huge impact on the ability to make revolution—and on the fate of humanity! This fascist regime is shaping the political terrain of the whole society and the movement for revolution must be in this, AS the revolution. We should be leading people through things like BA’s speech THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible to see the deep roots of this regime in class society and capitalism, with the particularly perverse form that takes in the U.S., taking on the bogus arguments against fighting this (or fighting this in a way that does not really fight it but instead makes peace with it), and all the while bringing out our full strategic perspective, as embodied in HWCW...while continually struggling for unity against the regime with people whose viewpoints on these issues will widely diverge from ours.

Why Bob Avakian IS Important—Crucially Important

As HWCW puts it:

We need to be on a mission to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution. We have Bob Avakian (BA) the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party. We have the website of the Party, revcom.us, and its newspaper Revolution, which sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution. We have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA and adopted by the Party’s Central Committee, which provides a sweeping and concrete vision and “blueprint” for a radically new and emancipating society. People in the inner cities, and in the prisons, students, scholars, artists, lawyers and other professionals, youth in the suburbs and rural areas—people in all parts of society—need to know about this and seriously take it up.

Let’s focus on the first big strength outlined above. Anyone who is serious about revolution knows this takes leadership. As the official biography of BA states, “Bob Avakian (BA) is the architect of a whole new framework of human emancipation, the new synthesis of communism, which is popularly referred to as the ‘new communism.’” On that foundation, BA has developed the strategy for how to win, and for a radically new kind of society that could free humanity from its chains. He leads the Party and the movement for revolution, he has a deep connection to the masses of people, and he has a whole lot of humanity—all of which comes through in his films and books. This is a huge plus for the revolution.

And this—making revolution and emancipating humanity—is the heart of why BA is important. We should be clear: “This is the most important thing that people can know and people like YOU need to know about this and seriously take it up.” The Bob Avakian Institute is dedicated to getting that work out to people all over the world. This Institute is a great potential strength, and must become much more dynamic in the months to come.

One big element of what we need to be doing right now is getting BA’s speech on the Trump/Pence regime way out in the public eye and ear. The fascist remaking of society is right now the sharpest question in society—it is a real dividing line around which millions must be drawn to fight and this fight is a crucial aspect of making revolution—and nobody addresses it like BA. This film gives the most powerful and deepest analysis of this regime and what to do about it, and it opens the door to this leader and everything he’s brought forward and represents.

The Revolution Clubs and others should be leading people right now to take this up and promote it in a way to make an impact on all of society: winning people to promote this through community, campus and church showings, organizing flash film showings on walls, advertising the film and getting it to actually spread on social media. At these showings we should be spreading HWCW, BAsics and the New Constitution. The Revolution Books stores, the clubs, and The Bob Avakian Institute can set up tables with BA’s body of work, and get into the biography with people.

Leading... and Learning as We Lead

Every time we go out we should be including people first getting involved in mass summations—teaching people basic scientific methods by summing up how what we did today or this week contributed to preparing the ground, preparing the people and preparing the vanguard—getting ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win. What did we learn, what mistakes do we need to learn from and correct, and—very importantly—what advances did we make that we have to get up on the website right away so the whole national movement for revolution can learn from it and the whole process is hastened and accelerated.

One part of this: in evaluating questions and the ways people think that come up, and that people new to taking this out will encounter, the following from HWCW is the critical guideline:

While many people will do positive things in opposing the crimes of this system, we 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.

We are not the “answer people.” WE have to set the terms based on science and strategic confidence based on that, not chase after things in the ways and on the terms of which people are seeing them right now. In all of this, we have to return to BAsics 3:1. This quote is a great clarifying yardstick and dividing line. If someone is not about revolution, then let’s take them back to the intolerable and unnecessary outrages perpetrated by this system, and the fact that these outrages (the 5 Stops) cannot be stopped while we are trapped within this system—and ask whether they are or are not okay with that. “Do you want to live this way or not? Because we HAVE a real way out.” This is the ground on which we must stand and which we must train others to stand.

People right now are paralyzed by “populist epistemology”—by the idea that what everyone thinks now determines reality, and that is what sets the limits for what you can imagine. No. The basis for revolution lies in the system’s “strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions.” [HWCW] Of course, most people do not see this now—they are brainwashed with the system’s ways of thinking. But you can’t look at how most people think now through the lens of how it is right now—you have to look at what it means to prepare for major jolts to the system and revolutionary crisis which shake millions out of what they think is needed or possible very suddenly and where the influence of the revolution can grow exponentially. The thing is, we will never get there if revolutionaries and people who want fundamental change can’t think beyond “right now” and are not preparing the ground, preparing the people and preparing the vanguard all along the way. When people come at us with all kinds of bullshit we have to call it out, simply, as just “that system way of thinking.”

There will be a constant struggle all the way through—from the system’s way of thinking in everyday people... to the attacks and slanders from the enemy... to the struggle over what is the problem and what is the solution among people who want to see change. Revolution advances through this—it’s how things change and we should expect this and relish the battle to set things right side up. Revolution requires setting and re-setting the terms based on the interests of the people and against the enemy getting people to act against their own interests.

What does it mean to re-set terms? Some examples: when people tell you, “I’ll be there when the time comes,” you have to tell them that “the time is now—or it will never come.” When people tell you “the system is too powerful,” tell them that ‘‘you haven’t studied this but our leadership has—the strategy is right here in HWCW—read it and study it, and then come back.” When people say “what’s in it for me?” tell them, “It’s not about you, it’s about humanity and your reward is their emancipation—and if that does not interest you then don’t waste my time because we are living and dying as future people with a whole different morality than this dog eat dog capitalist bullshit they’ve got you wallowing in.” When people in the middle classes say, “Don’t confront or provoke the fascists,” we should say, “Yeah, right—all of history shows that if you ignore them it all works out fine.”

There’s lots of examples, and people should write in with what they come up with. The point is this: you don’t need long discussions but sharp agitation to set and reset terms.

At the same time, we have what people who are for real need to get deeper into the key questions. We should be backpacking BAsics and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America and we should also be showing Revolution—Nothing Less! and the new film 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. We should be directing people to and popularizing our website and The BA Institute.

We need to bring to people what we have—and also say what we don’t have and that this is where they come in. As it says in HWCW, “Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution.” Today this means dozens, then scores, then hundreds, moving as quickly as we can to those thousands. And doing all this as part of a NATIONAL movement and accumulating forces and strength from there—growing from a minority to being able to lead an actual revolution when the time is right for this.

We need to give people a way on the spot that they can meaningfully participate in spreading this. And we need other ways for people to get into it—informally and by inviting people to get into things more deeply at the bookstores and organizing centers. We should be going with people to cultural events where people who hate this shit are—enjoying these and talking to people about there being a way out of this madness. We should give people a way to report their experience via social media, phone calls, or in person, ways to join people in taking this to their friends and circles and through their own lives finding the ways to constantly be spreading this. There are actually a ton of ways for people to build this!

A National Movement, with the Whole World in Mind

People have to understand that the movement for revolution is a national movement, with the whole world in mind. We are building this all over the country, not just in the place a person happens to encounter it. But what we do in each locality gets amplified all over, to everyone, as part of that national movement. Again, as HWCW says, “Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution,” and that is exactly what we’re doing and what you need to be part of. Right now we are organizing forces into the revolution to achieve this, to prepare for the actual showdown of millions. It might start as scores in a city or neighborhood but that is part of people doing this nationally.

In light of all this, the website Revcom.us assumes even more importance. As HWCW puts it, “We have the website of the Party, revcom.us, and its newspaper Revolution, which sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution.” Write in and be part of this whole process, contributing in all three dimensions. One very important element in this: giving people a sense of themselves and their potential impact means that sending in pictures and reports are very important. Take group pictures, pictures of banners and ways people are making impact, send in videos of your best agitation so people can see this is happening around the country and can be connecting with and learning from each other—this is a very important part of tasks and assignments people take up that contribute to the acceleration of the revolution—that make real that WE ARE DOING THIS.

With all this in mind, and continually grounding and re-grounding in HWCW, we should be able to begin a sustainable geometric progression of followers of the revolution...now. The future of humanity—and whether humanity will even have a future—depends on it.

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

To Do This, We Need To Know:

Why we need an actual revolution.
What we need to do now.
How we could defeat them.

Why We Need An Actual Revolution

An actual revolution does not mean trying to make some changes within this system—it means overthrowing this system and bringing into being a radically different and far better system.This system of capitalism-imperialism cannot be reformed. There is no way, under this system, to put an end to the brutality and murder by police, the wars and destruction of people and the environment, the exploitation, oppression and degradation of millions and billions of people, including the half of humanity that is female, here and throughout the world—all of which is rooted in profound contradictions built into the basic functioning, relations, and structures of this system. Only an actual revolution can bring about the fundamental change that is needed.

What We Need To Do Now

To make this revolution, we need to be serious, and scientific. We need to take into account the actual strengths of this system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions. We need to build this revolution among those who most desperately need a radical change, but among others as well who refuse to live in a world where this system spews forth endless horrors, and this is continually “justified” and even glorified as “greatness.”

We need to be on a mission to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution. We have Bob Avakian (BA) the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party. We have the website of the Party, revcom.us, and its newspaper Revolution, which sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution. We have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA and adopted by the Party’s Central Committee, which provides a sweeping and concrete vision and “blueprint” for a radically new and emancipating society. People in the inner cities, and in the prisons, students, scholars, artists, lawyers and other professionals, youth in the suburbs and rural areas—people in all parts of society—need to know about this and seriously take it up.

Those who catch the worst hell under this system, and those who are sickened by the endless outrages perpetrated by this system, need to join up with this revolution. Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution. We have seen the potential for this in the protests that have taken place against police brutality and murder, and other ways in which large numbers of people have gone up against the established authorities and the political “rules of the game.” But this needs to be transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization. The organized forces and the leadership of this revolution must become the “authority” that growing numbers of people look to and follow—not the lying politicians and media of this oppressive system—not those who front for the oppressors and preach about “reconciliation” with this system—not those who turn people against each other when they need to be uniting for this revolution. While many people will do positive things in opposing the crimes of this system, we 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.

While awaiting the necessary conditions to go all-out for revolution, we need to hasten this and actively carry 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 need to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—protest and resist the injustices and atrocities of this system, and win people to defy and repudiate this putrid system and its ways of thinking, and to take up the outlook and values, and the strategy and program of the revolution, build up the forces for this revolution, and defeat the attempts of the ruling powers to crush the revolution and its leadership. With every “jolt” in society—every crisis, every new outrage, where many people question and resist what they normally accept—we need to seize on this to advance the revolution and expand its organized forces. We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

All this is aiming for something very definite—a revolutionary situation: Where the system and its ruling powers are in a serious crisis, and the violence they use to enforce this system is seen by large parts of society for what it is—murderous and illegitimate. Where the conflicts among the ruling forces become really deep and sharp—and masses of people respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers, but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution. Where millions and millions of people refuse to be ruled in the old way—and are willing and determined to put everything on the line to bring down this system and bring into being a new society and government that will be based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. That is the time to go all-out to win. That is what we need to be actively working for and preparing for now.

How We Could Defeat Them

“On the Possibility of Revolution” is a very important statement from the Party, which is posted on revcom.us. It sets forth the foundation—the strategic conception and doctrine—for how to fight with a real chance of winning, once a revolutionary people in the millions, and the necessary conditions for revolution, have been brought into being. Now is not yet the time to wage this kind of fight—to try to do so now would only lead to a devastating defeat—but ongoing work is being done to further develop this strategic conception and doctrine with the future in mind, and the following are some of the main things the revolutionary forces would need to do when the conditions to go all-out to make revolution had been brought into being.

  • When the revolutionary situation is clearly emerging, rapidly transform backbone forces of the revolution into organized fighting forces in key strategic areas, carry out the necessary training, obtain the necessary equipment and provide for the basic logistical needs of this revolutionary fighting force to start the all-out fight, while preventing the enemy from crushing the revolutionary forces at this crucial juncture. Back up these core fighting forces with millions more organized into powerful “reserves” for the revolution.
  • Initiate actions throughout the country, accompanied by a bold declaration to the world, which make clear that there is an organized force determined to defeat the forces of the old order and bring into being a new, revolutionary system. Upon completion of these initial actions, quickly regroup forces for “follow-on” actions and maintain the momentum of the revolution.
  • Counter the enemy’s superior destructive force by seeking to fight only on favorable terms, and actively avoiding decisive encounters, which would determine the outcome of the whole thing, until the “balance of forces” has shifted overwhelmingly in favor of the revolution. Utilize equipment captured from the enemy in ways that fit the fighting strategy of the revolution. Build up political and logistical bases of support, in key strategic areas, but do not attempt to openly control and govern territory, until the necessary “favorable balance of forces” has been achieved.
  • Maintain the initiative—or, if it is temporarily lost, regain it—through surprise and maneuver. Fight in ways the enemy does not anticipate. Carry out actions to keep the enemy off balance, disrupting the concentration and utilization of his forces and contributing to their disintegration. Always conduct operations and act in ways that are in line with the emancipating outlook and goals of the revolution, and turn the barbaric actions of the enemy against him—to win greater forces for the revolution, including those who come over from the ranks of the enemy.
  • Combine strategic direction and coordination for the fight as a whole, with decentralized actions and initiative by local units and leaders. Relying on mass support, the intelligence this provides for the revolution and the denial of intelligence to the enemy, counter the enemy’s efforts to find, fix and annihilate revolutionary leadership and key fighting units. Rapidly replace forces and leaders that are lost—continually train and deploy new forces and leaders.
  • Correctly handle the relation between this all-out fight and the situation—including the character and level of revolutionary struggle—in countries to the south (and the north).
  • When the “balance of forces” has shifted in favor of the revolution, conduct operations aimed at achieving final victory, while continuing to “calibrate” these operations so that decisive encounters are still avoided until the forces of the old order have been brought to the brink of total defeat—and then fully, finally, rout and dismantle the remaining enemy forces.

All this depends on winning millions to revolution in the period that leads up to the ripening of a revolutionary situation. The chance to defeat them, when the time comes—the chance to be rid of this system and to bring something far better into being—has everything to do with what we do now. Everyone who hungers for a radically different world, free of exploitation and oppression and all the needless suffering caused by this system, needs to work now with a fired determination to make this happen, so we will have a real chance to win.

 

Now is the time to spread these messages to all of society

"HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" is a companion to the Message from the Central Committee of the RCP, USA posted on www.revcom.us on May 16, 2016.  Get "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,” together with “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” out everywhere.  Now is the time to spread the word to all of society.

Download "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" HERE (36”x24” PDF): ENGLISH  | ESPAÑOL.  Download “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” HERE (17"x 22" PDF): ENGLISH | ESPAÑOL.  Our suggestion is that they be printed on white bond paper and posted together in the appropriate ways all over the place. Here’s a rough picture of what this could look like.

“HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” now in booklet form!

Printing Instructions:
The PDF of a booklet that includes “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” and the “Points of Attention for the Revolution”is now available. This booklet is 16 pages long. The size of the laid-out pages is 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". It can also be printed 6" x 9". There are two layouts here. 1) One is a single PDF with 16 consecutive, individual pages. 2) The second is a printer's spread; that is, the first spread is page 16 and page 1, the second is page 2 and page 15, etc., so that when it prints and is folded, the pages will be in order. Printers can tell you which layout they need. Readers should make plans for printing this 5 1/2" x 8.5" booklet, raising money, and getting it out in the tens of thousands everywhere as soon as possible.

ENGLISH:
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread

SPANISH:
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/trump-calls-immigrants-animals-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

Shithole Trump Calls Immigrants Animals...
But Who Are the World’s Most Savage Beasts?

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This week Nazi Shithole Trump called immigrants subhuman “animals”: “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in…. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.”

Leave aside Trump’s hollow excuse that he was talking about gangs. He was talking about people—immigrants, in many cases driven here by what the U.S. has done to their countries. And everyone knows that's who he was talking about—especially the fascists who follow him.

But okay, Trump. You want to talk about “animals”? Who are the real animals, the world’s most savage, monstrous beasts? Let’s just look at this last week’s news to answer that question.

Hey Trump—Want to Talk About “Dangerous Animals”? Look in the Mirror at the Blood Spilling Out of Your Mouth

Look at Gaza this past week. What dangerous animal backed the creation of Israel through the violent uprooting of 750,000 Palestinians from land they’d lived on for centuries, backed stealing their land and turning them into refugees? What vicious beast supports locking them up and then starving them in the open-air, unlivable concentration camp called Gaza? What kind of animal arms and backs Israel—even smiles and celebrates putting its embassy in the captured city of Jerusalem—as Israel massacres scores of unarmed Palestinian protesters, on top of the over 2,000 people Israel massacred just four years ago? America—so its vampire empire can control and feast off the entire Middle East!

Look at North Korea. What kind of animal would burn down whole villages in North Korea with napalm and murder over 3 million people there between 1950-1953 to keep its claws dug into the Korean Peninsula? What monstrous beast would isolate, blockade, impoverish, and menace the small country of North Korea for the last 65 years, and now—as it’s about to “negotiate” with it—threaten to “decimate” the country’s 25 million people and kill its leader if he doesn’t go along? America, whose monstrous capitalist-imperialist system can only function by threatening and even obliterating rivals so it can be the region and world’s number one dominator and exploiter.

Look at Iran. What kind of creature overthrew that country’s first elected government in 1953 and installed a murderous puppet, an absolute monarch who tortured resisters in front of their families, in order to plunder Iran’s oil and turn it into an outpost of empire for controlling the Middle East? Then, when that puppet was overthrown and a reactionary Islamic fundamentalist regime took power, what kind of vicious beast clashed with that regime for decades over who would get what share of the spoils and dominate the region and its people and now threatens that whole country with nuclear annihilation? Once again, the world’s top predator, U.S. imperialism, now headed by fascist shithole-in-chief Donald Trump, who warns that Iran would “pay a price like few countries have ever paid” if its leaders didn’t cave in to U.S. demands.

Fascist Rhetoric from a Fascist Regime

Trump claims he was only referring to MS-13 gang members when he said “animals.” The transcript1 shows this is just another lie, and in any case bringing up MS-13 at all is just another barely disguised racist code for smearing all immigrants, like the occasional Nazi claims that they were talking about Jewish “criminals” and “Jewish bankers.” Everyone knew this meant the Jewish people, and before too long the Nazis made it impossible for the Jews to live day to day, then drove many out, and finally exterminated six million of them.

The Trump-Pence regime's relentless efforts to demonize and persecute immigrants, to slander and demean and repress Black people, to turn all Muslims into pariahs—its unapologetic white supremacy blatantly put forward in tweets, speeches, and in the mouths of its supporters—is a hallmark of fascism. And this must be stopped—and as part of that, called out and fought whenever it rears its head, and driven from power by a movement of millions, in the streets.

Multiply by 100 Everything Anyone Accused MS-13 of Doing, and It Doesn’t Come Close to a Tiny Fraction of What the U.S. Did to El Salvador

And as for the MS-13, even if they had done every single thing that notorious liars like Trump accuse them of, they still don’t come close to the gangsters who rule this system. Again, who is the real dangerous animal? Who created and uses MS-13 and gangs like it?

MS-13 wasn’t founded in Mexico, and it wasn’t founded in Central America. It was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1980 by immigrants and refugees fleeing El Salvador. What savage beast had driven them to LA? America, which turned their country into a blood-soaked killing field between 1980 and1992 by arming, organizing, and directing counter-revolutionary butchers who massacred nuns, raped women and children, and mass murdered some 80,000 people and disappeared 8,000 more—all so the U.S. could keep its bloody jaws on Central America. Bodies were found every day on the streets of San Salvador, murdered by these U.S.-sponsored death squads.

What drove these traumatized, impoverished young people to form a gang in LA? Again, America’s capitalist-imperialist system whose operation and relentless drive for maximum profits has robbed millions of inner-city youth, especially Blacks and Latinos, of any hope and any future and put them in situations of misery and degradation. So many, including Salvadorans, are forced to turn to gangs for protection and survival. They take up the system’s values to do this, and then this same system turns around and uses them to turn the masses against each other, to preserve their dog-eat-dog system and to blame the people for the horrors this system creates—and then calls them animals!

You can look anywhere in the world and find that the animals who run America carry out illegitimate and murderous violence, slaughtering people by the millions, driving them from their homes by the tens of millions, all in the service of their capitalist-imperialist empire. Add up everything that MS-13 and all the world’s street gangs have ever done and multiply it by a thousand or even tens of thousands, and you still won’t get close to imagining what this system ACTUALLY does to people—not just a few people, but millions and billions of people all over the world. A system that is even threatening to extinguish humanity and many thousands of other forms of life on earth.

Enough already. This system is intolerable. This system is unnecessary. It is this system that treats and views human beings as beasts, and it is this system that must be overthrown for humanity to be emancipated.


1. The transcript and an analysis of it are available online here.  [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/trump-pence-escalates-war-on-women-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

Trump/Pence Escalates War on Women, Imposes Domestic Gag Order Against Abortion

by Sunsara Taylor

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Trump/Pence regime has announced a new Domestic Gag Rule that will force healthcare providers into a lethal and immoral choice: Join a theocratic conspiracy to force women to bear children against their will or be forced to deny life-saving and life-enhancing services to these same women for lack of funding.

Even for a regime that rode a wave of misogyny to the White House, this is a vicious new low.

This new Domestic Gag Rule will deny funding to any healthcare provider that even discusses with a patient where they can find an abortion from an unaffiliated provider. If a clinic refuses to deny women this information, they will be starved of funds to provide essential healthcare like breast cancer screenings, contraception care, and screenings for sexually transmitted infections.

To be clear: Having a child—if a person wants a child and is in a position to care for one—can be a beautiful thing. But being forced to have a child against one’s will is a form of female enslavement. It forecloses women’s dreams, drives women into poverty, and traps many into abusive relationships. This all-around subjugation of women is exactly what the Christian fascists who make up a driving force in the Trump/Pence regime are after. Already, millions of women—especially Black, immigrant, poor and/or young women—do not have meaningful access to abortion and, increasingly, to birth control. Seven states have only one abortion clinic. Anti-abortion fanatics have carried out hundreds of acts of extreme violence—including murder, kidnappings, arson, clinic bombings, and more. This new law will now affect approximately 4,000 clinics, serving about 4 million women.

Reagan was the first to implement this Gag Order that Trump is now making law. But while every Republican administration has imposed this Gag Order internationally (and every Democratic administration has temporarily lifted it), the Republicans never felt they could fully implement it domestically (in the U.S.), so they never really tried. With Trump/Pence in power, their calculation has changed. Now, they are going in for the kill.

This regime is deadly serious about criminalizing all abortions for all women in all circumstances—denying women’s humanity and reducing them to incubators.

The Democratic Party’s Collaborationist “Resistance”

What did the Democratic Party—the so-called #Resistance—do in response to this vicious assault on half of humanity? They issued two mealy mouthed letters that accept the misogynist prejudices that underlie these policies. Rather than declaring that women are full human beings who must have the right to decide for themselves when and whether to bear children, the Democrats point out that “every dollar invested in Title X saves more than seven dollars in Medicaid-related costs.” (Title X is a federal program targeted by the Domestic Gag Rule that provides birth control and reproductive care for four million people.) Rather than criticize the outrageous fact that government funds were already being denied for abortion and that this has caused the deaths of poor women, they note that “Title X program has never funded abortion services” to suggest that cutting these funds won't reduce abortions anyhow.

And who did the Democrats address these collaborationist letters to? They wrote to Alex Azar, Trump’s appointee to head Health and Human Services. Appealing to Azar—who has defended the “right” of insurers to deny birth control coverage and pledged to protect the “unborn”—for redress in this matter is like appealing to the notorious racist and segregationist Bull Connor for help against the Klan!

Patriarchy—Woven into This System, on Hyper-Drive Under Trump/Pence

What kind of a system do you have when one-half of those who rule it are moving aggressively to force women into truly barbaric forms of enslavement and the other half—the so-called “opposition”—only raises half-hearted objections? What kind of a system boasts that there are supposedly no more barriers to women’s achievement while elevating a boastful sexual predator to the White House?

It is the system of capitalism-imperialism. This is a system that has the oppressive control over women by men woven into its very fabric and foundation. It is a system saturated with rape and porn culture, from the campuses and corporate board rooms to the prisons and fields. It is a system whose workings internationally have fueled a global sex-slave trade that devours millions of young women every year. It is a system where a handful of capitalists grow fat through the desperate toil of women and girls in sweatshop deathtraps around the world.

But that is not all, this is a system that—owing to deep structural dynamics laid bare in a powerful talk given by Bob Avakian late last year—has brought to the fore a fascist regime in Trump/Pence. In addition to slamming women violently backwards, this fascism includes the genocidal ethnic cleansing of immigrants, the banning of Muslims, the destruction of science, new threats of war, the ripping up of the rule of law, and the acceleration of environmental destruction.

Cast Off Illusions—Prepare for Struggle

It is long past time that this mountain of abuse and utter dehumanization of women be abolished forever—it is not only utterly intolerable, it is utterly unnecessary. But ending all this will take an actual revolution. Now is the time to be actively fighting for and preparing for this revolution (see HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution). This includes right now fighting to bring together and unite with many different kinds of people from diverse political perspectives to drive out the Trump/Pence Regime.

It’s time to cast off illusions and prepare for struggle.

Fetuses are NOT babies. Abortion is NOT murder. Women are NOT incubators!

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

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

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/reality-check-the-democratic-party-is-part-of-the-problem-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

Reality Check:

The Democratic Party Is Part of the Problem
and NOT Part of the Solution
WE NEED A REVOLUTION TO END THIS MADNESS

Agitate and Spread These Everywhere

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/democrats-blue-wave-of-accommodation-and-collaboration-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

The Democrats' "Blue Wave"...of Accommodation and Collaboration

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Trump/Pence regime is targeting immigrants as “animals,” robbing women of basic reproductive rights, threatening war on Iran, celebrating while Israel massacres Palestinians, and more—all part of hammering into place a vicious, “make America great again” fascist regime.

Millions are shocked, outraged, sick at heart, and they’re being told that their best and only realistic hope is a so-called “blue wave” of Democratic victories in the November 2018 midterm elections, because if the Democrats take back the House and perhaps the Senate, this will begin to stop the horrors the Trump/Pence regime is raining down day after day.

But what are leaders of the Democratic Party actually saying they’re going to do? First, that impeaching Trump is off the table! Second, that Democratic candidates in Red State or closely contested elections shouldn’t even talk about Trump—much less call out his crimes and condemn his regime for the heinous Nazis they are.

Why? Nancy Pelosi says talk of impeachment wouldn’t be “unifying” and could “tear the country apart.” And refusing to mention Trump in close or Red State races is a naked appeal to Trump’s base. “Democrats have tossed diversity overboard in favor of a white-guys-on-deck strategy,” as one journalist put it.

This isn’t about election math. In spite of their differences with Trump, for the Democrats it’s ACCEPTABLE to have an open, fangs-bared, warmongering, climate change denying white supremacist sitting in the White House, with the fate of the planet and the whole direction of U.S. society in his grabby little fingers.

Why? Because just like the Republicans and Trump himself, the Democrats are ruling class politicians who represent the interests of the capitalist-imperialist system—not the interests of humanity! And their differences and infighting are over how to best maintain the legitimacy and stability of this system and advance its interests. For the Democrats, maintaining the order of this predatory system is more important than justice, even if that means the order of fascism.

This is why key Democrats voted to confirm known torturer Gina Haspel to head the CIA, stand with the Trump/Pence regime in backing Israel’s massacre of Palestinian protesters, and agree with Trump that America has the right to have thousands of nukes, but North Korea should be disarmed, and that if “border security” demands that hundreds of immigrant and refugee children be ripped from their parents, then so be it.

The Democratic Party is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Voting for the Democrats and their so-called “blue wave” is not voting to stop the great crimes the Trump/Pence regime is carrying out. It’s a vote to continue these crimes, accommodate to fascism, and legitimize the whole putrid system that carries out monstrous crime after monstrous crime, and gives rise to fascists like Trump and Pence.

The “blue wave” isn’t the answer. It’s a poisonous polluted wave of slime and shit that will only leave people drenched in disappointment, accommodation, and complicity.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/revolution-club-agitating-organizing-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

Sights and Sounds from Agitating and Organizing for a Movement for Revolution

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The movement for revolution is going everywhere with HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, the strategy for revolution, and recruiting people into this revolution. Members of the Revolution Clubs in different cities across the country have been taking this up, going out to campuses, street corners, subways, and other places—to agitate, agitate, agitate about the utter rottenness and intolerability of this system and the need to overthrow it... and to organize, organize, organize people into the movement for an actual revolution. Getting the word out about the leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian (BA), and getting people into the new communism he’s brought forward. The revolutionaries are learning and summing up as they do this, and then going out to the masses of people some more. On this page are some videos and pictures from these beginning efforts. Check back at revcom.us regularly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harlem, NYC

 

Revolution Club NYC, joined by some students, at Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn

 

Brooklyn, NYC

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/sessions-due-process-for-thousands-of-immigrants-to-end-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

Sessions: Due Process for Thousands of Immigrants to End, 'Deportation Assembly Line' to Begin

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

With a stroke of his pen, Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week plunged 350,000 people into the terror and uncertainty of knowing they could be arrested and packed away in an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement concentration camp at any moment. He ordered an immediate end to “administrative closure”—a long standing procedure that enables immigration judges to suspend deportation while immigrants pursue other measures, such as visas and asylum hearings, that could help them gain legal status in the U.S.

Who are these people? They are youths who traveled hundreds of miles across treacherous terrain to escape unimaginable violence. They are women and girls who fled child marriages or repeated rapes. People who spent their life savings to escape threats on their lives. People like Reynaldo Castro-Tum, who as a child was brought to this country from Guatemala in 2014, and who applied for asylum.

Expediting Deportation

In January, Sessions personally intervened in Castro-Tum’s case so he could set a precedent to overturn decades of law and put people in administrative closure on what one lawyer called a “deportation assembly line.” Castro-Tum has no lawyer and didn’t appear at his court date because his notice was sent to the wrong address. Sessions argued that closure shouldn’t be granted to Castro-Tum, and declared that judges no longer have the authority to use it.

Administrative closure has always been a double-edged sword against immigrants. It can trap people for years in a legal no-man’s-land: they are still in “official removal proceedings,” but the government is not actively pursuing them for deportation. But taking away administrative closure altogether brings attacks on immigrants to a new level.

Under the U.S. Constitution, immigrants of whatever legal status have the right to “due process”—to having their day in court. Sessions’ decision, on behalf of the entire Trump/Pence fascist regime, denies people even the pretense of hearings, which are their legal right under current U.S. law. It takes rulings out of the hands of judges and imposes one standard for all cases. It is part of the trampling on civil and legal rights essential to fascism’s remaking of society.

Which Side Are You On?

For decades U.S. imperialism has uprooted and shattered millions of lives in many scores of countries on this planet through wars and invasions, environmental devastation, exploitation, and impoverishment. All this is a cornerstone of U.S. global supremacy. Some people who escape the wretched conditions imposed on their homelands manage to make it to this country, trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Now, the system of U.S. capitalism-imperialism faces profound new challenges globally and domestically. The Trump/Pence fascist regime has come to power, and forcing out millions of immigrants is central to its drive to consolidate fascism. This regime is an acute danger to the lives of millions of people here and around the world. There is an urgent need to drive it from power through sustained, nonviolent political protest involving millions.

The hour is late. Millions of lives are in jeopardy. If you had lived in Nazi Germany when Jews were being isolated and rounded up—what would you have done?

What are you doing NOW to stop the relentless and, yes, murderous assaults upon immigrants?

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/trump-pence-regime-fascist-muslim-ban-is-already-being-implemented-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

Reality Check:

No, the Trump/Pence Regime’s Fascist “Muslim Ban” Has NOT Been Stopped—
It Is Already Being Implemented

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Many people are under the dangerously mistaken impression that Trump’s “Muslim Ban”—his executive order to stop or sharply cut back the flow of immigrants and refugees from predominantly Muslim countries—has been defeated or at least is “hung up in the courts.” But the reality is the Trump/Pence regime has been actively implementing their plan.

People from Iraq and Syria are two of the main groups targeted by Trump. Millions have been desperately fleeing for their lives from these countries devastated by U.S. invasion or by the machinations of multiple imperialist powers and reactionary forces. So how many refugees has the U.S allowed in from Syria since the start of this year? 11! From Iraq? 36! Since October 2017, only about 2,100 Muslim refugees from all countries have been let in—about 10% of the rate before Trump.*

The Trump/Pence regime has accomplished this by escalating the already extreme “vetting” of refugee applicants. All overseas refugees now have to provide addresses and phone numbers going back ten years, along with social media and email accounts, all of which is then “investigated” by U.S. law enforcement. Vetting for refugees from targeted Muslim countries is even harsher. This creates huge backlogs, slowing the refugee flow to a trickle.

It’s not just Muslims—only 13,051 refugees from all countries have been admitted since October, 2017; at that rate there will be about 24,000 total this year, compared to around 80,000 in the last year before Trump. Trump’s virulent racist hatred of Central and South American immigrants and refugees—who he has repeatedly referred to as “rapists,” “criminals,” and “animals”—is now unofficial U.S. policy.

Under international law, the U.S. is supposed to admit any asylum seekers who make it to the border and to grant them a hearing. But the Trump/Pence regime is openly turning these hearings into rubber stamps aimed at throwing people out quickly. And instead of releasing people into the community while awaiting their hearings, the regime is now striving to imprison as many people as possible… and taking away their children, with plans to hold these children on military bases.

Even before Trump, U.S. immigration and refugee policy was cruel and heartless, an indictment of the utter inhumanity and worthlessness of this whole capitalist-imperialist system. The U.S. empire has long been striding across the world unleashing wars and ripping off countries, and then acting like great “humanitarians” when they allowed a few of their victims to move here—where the immigrants and refugees continued to be exploited and oppressed. The openly white supremacist, Christian fascist, and rabidly “America First” Trump/Pence regime is taking things to a whole new level, with genocidal implications.

All this is a powerful reason, among many, that we need a revolution to overthrow this system. To all those outraged by what is happening: you need to support and work toward that revolution, and right now join with the Revolution Club in spreading the word of this revolution as we fight the power, and transform the people, FOR revolution. As a crucial part of working for that revolution as well as uniting millions to defeat the moves of the regime in power to bring down even worse horrors for the people around the world, everyone should join with Refuse Fascism to drive out the Trump/Pence fascist regime through mass, sustained non-violent protests.

* Figures from New York Times article “Apartments Are Stocked, Toys Donated. Only the Refugees Are Missing,” May 16, 2018.  [back]

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/a-call-to-secular-humanist-resistance-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

A Call to Secular Humanist Resistance

by David Orenstein | Reprinted from Counterpunch, May 18, 2018

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The nonbeliever community has a long and noble history of resistance to oppression. Often, such activism is focused on the violations of civil rights and attacks on secular well-being. But our activism also includes fighting the attacks on science and science education and serves as a constant reminder that when we work together and with allied groups that we can have immediate and long term impact on the politics at hand. We have pushed back against violent oppressions; oppressions of the right to think freely, oppression of autonomy within community, and also oppression over the sovereignty of our body.

It is clear from our past and it especially true through our present day that reason and the expectation of humane governance is part of what makes both nonbelief and secularism so vital. Vital for the sake of our common humanity and also contingent on the idea that all human life has value. That we are all equal by right of birth and that justice is best served when it is intrinsically linked to making the world safer, richer and kinder. We also acknowledge that it is more than humans who qualify for this just and fair treatment; that it is the right of every single traveler with whom humans share the planet.

This long history of secular action and social awareness that identifies, defines and challenges tyranny is socially constructed but it is also deeply held within our primate genome. Research suggests that nonbelievers are motivated for the sake of humanity to do good without the need for recognition or reward. The evidence also shows that humans act more humanely towards one another when we act without the need to please a divine entity. According to scientific fact, we humans are indeed hardwired towards a non-denominational imperative that fosters the Golden Rule and ensures that we will continue to resist violent people and anti-humanist movements as they arise.

The majority of freethinkers clearly support the most open and cohesive political structures that will expand global human wellness. Two important statements include The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Humanist Manifesto III. Each is constructed to promote and defend humanity’s right to life, liberty and freedom from want. Under the umbrella of these exceptional human-focused statements, many in the nonbelief community also work to ensure we and others are safe, that we have adequate education and can most of all pursue individual happiness. After all human rights are equal rights for all.

Therefore, it is vitally important that the nonbelief community, which itself is not monolithic and is diverse beyond race, ethnicity, education and social-economic status, actively call out the current President of the United States and his administration for their acts of violence against others and that of the planet. This administration’s policies and those who defend the administration actively seek to degrade our human connection to each other as well as debase the sustainability of our planet. These Trump “crimes against moral decency” are many, and include:

We owe it to ourselves in our time and for future generations not to be bystanders. We must not ignore or normalize violent dysfunction and outright lies, and we must not permit those who hold power to go unchecked and unanswered. To do so would certainly mean that we are in ways complicit, in effect advocates for the destruction of the ideas we cherish most, the promotion and protection of a just, fair and open society in which all humans are treated with dignity.

Knowing the nature and goals of the Trump Presidency requires all of us who hold humanistic beliefs to take action and make a difference. It requires each of us to connect, to join forces with other people and activist groups, including and especially those at refusefascism.org. In fact, a positive step in this process is to join with me by adding your name to the refusefascism.org contact list.

Refuse Fascism’s goals are clear—Working with one voice but through many people and ideas, and through constant non-violent protest they work to wake up masses of people to take political action and to create change until such time that the Trump/Pence administration is no more. It is to stimulate those who do not see the true danger of the Trump/Pence Administration while also sharing alternative narratives to liberate people from their comfort zone, tacit agreement, a lack of information or slumber. It is to enhance freedom while acknowledging the Trump/Pence administration’s danger not only to American civil rights and civil liberties, but to the rights of all people worldwide. A nation and planet endangered and destabilized by the actions of the current Trump/Pence Administration.

Such awareness also requires us to hold this administration and the government accountable for its policies and actions. It requires each of us to not sit idly by as injustice is perpetrated against one group for the sake of another group or those elite whose goal it is to divide us from one another.

Protest as you can and when you can. Come out and show your support for those too afraid or unable to organize or take to the streets. Align yourself with secular and other activist groups. Vote if it means you see change is possible if it is managed from the inside. But do not sit on the sidelines. We are someone else’s history lesson and our legacy cannot and should not be one of disengagement. When we look back and ask, “why didn’t those people stop the tyranny” in their time, if we do nothing that same pointed question will be facing you and our legacy within our time.

Article reprinted from www.counterpunch.org.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/san-francisco-high-tech-boom-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

San Francisco High-Tech Boom: Building Towers in an Earthquake Zone

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

There is a frenzy of high-tech, big capital investment in San Francisco—more new office space is being built here than in any other North American city. Much of the construction is in high-rise buildings in the South of Market area known as SoMa. The 1,070-foot Salesforce Tower, the tallest building in the western U.S., opened there early this year. SoMa has become the home base of many of the world’s largest tech companies, such as LinkedIn, Dropbox, Yelp, Zynga, Airbnb, and Uber. A dozen high-rise buildings are planned or under construction in San Francisco at this time.

This high-tech boom rests on global networks of exploitation and environmental destruction. In Salesforce’s case, this runs through the servers that make up their “cloud”—manufactured in Third World sweatshops with materials mined by people working under slavery-like conditions in oppressed countries—to the companies that make up their client base, including Merck and Lilly pharmaceuticals, Adidas, T-Mobile, ConAgra, Comcast, and Toyota.

The new buildings literally rest on shaky foundations. Studies say that there is a 70 percent chance of a 6.7 or greater magnitude earthquake in the Bay Area in the next 30 years. The SoMa soil consists of layers of mud and clay—which will turn into slush in a major earthquake, a process called liquefaction. Despite this, in San Francisco “a five-story building has the same strength requirements as a 50-story building.” (New York Times, April 17, 2018)

In fact, San Francisco is actually reducing its building requirements. In 2008, the city adopted a new approval process for high-rises taller than 240 feet, allowing them to be built with floor-to-ceiling windows, a selling point for residential towers, and also lowering costs and build time. In other words, they are gambling with people’s lives for a better view and lower costs!

Even now, as more and more buildings are going up, the land in SoMa is sinking. Since the 58-story Millennium Towers, a high-rise luxury residence, opened in 2008, it has sunk a foot and a half and is leaning 14 inches toward neighboring high-rises.

Lucy Jones, a former leader of natural hazards research at the U.S. Geological Survey, told the New York Times that 10 percent of the buildings in San Francisco could collapse in an earthquake. This is in a city where, in 1906, the deadliest earthquake in U.S. history killed an estimated 3,000 people and made 200,000 homeless. How many people would die in the next major earthquake? What kind of society would build these massive towers when the dangers have been known for decades?

This seems insane—and, from the standpoint of humanity, it is. The high-tech capitalists who run these companies think of themselves as cutting-edge wizards who are shaping the future. But they are actually caught up in and act within a framework set by the larger logic of the capitalist-imperialist system. They seek momentary advantage for their companies by building in San Francisco—driven by the breakneck compulsion of capitalism to construct their towers on foundations that can turn, in an instant, into shaky ground, where it all just might come tumbling down.

This is the vicious, heartless, and ultimately blind system we are up against. As messed up as it is, capitalism will not fall of its own insane compulsion and underlying contradictions; it has to be overthrown by the people. And people need the science of communism to make revolution. This ruling class is NOT all-powerful, this system CAN be overthrown, and a much better society and world are possible. Get with the new communism developed by Bob Avakian, take up HOW WE CAN WIN, How We Can Really Make Revolution and spread it everywhere!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/check-it-out-documentary-killing-gaza-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

Check It Out:

Documentary Film Killing Gaza

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

The documentary Killing Gaza premiered recently at Revolution Books in New York City. The bookstore hosted an emergency screening in response to the recent clashes in Gaza. After President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the consequent relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, Gaza experienced its deadliest day in recent years.

Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal document the 2014 Gaza War. The film captures both the resilience and despair of its inhabitants. The gray cityscape of toppled buildings is a reminder that its inhabitants live in the world's largest open-air prison.

Each death is a tragedy. We watch as a young man is repeatedly shot, until he dies, while he is in search of his injured cousin. We watch explosions at a distance as Israeli murderers laugh in the background. We watch as life goes on in the aftermath.

The film is a testimony of the Gazan people, not simply as victims but as human beings. It lets the people tell the story in a way only they can.

There is a particular scene where a man confronts the filmmakers. He condemns the United States for backing Israel financially as Israel wages war on Gaza. He claims that sending food will not justify the suffering of his people. The hypocrisy of a nation masquerading as a hero does nothing for the little boy who saw his father and uncle die.

He voices the agony many survivors face but may be too diffident to vocalize on camera. This is not a sit-down interview with a grieving family. It's a candid moment when the interviewee speaks his unfettered opinion. His anger is as compelling as his truth.

Ultimately, Killing Gaza tells a part of a story that still has yet to end. The film's relevance speaks to the urgency of the current situation. Gazans are still living in limbo. They have electricity for a few hours a day. Almost half of the population is unemployed. An alarming majority of the youth suffer from PTSD. The situation remains dire.

So check this out:

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/killinggaza

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/two-faces-of-the-same-imperialist-gangsterism-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

Trump Talks War and Peace with North Korea: Two Faces of the Same Imperialist Gangsterism

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

If anybody thinks the world is a safer place because Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a summit meeting next month with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, they need to take a hard look at some realities.

Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton recently said that any agreement with North Korea would follow the “Libyan model.” This refers to how Libya’s Gaddafi made a “deal” with the U.S. and other powers to shut down his weapons programs—and then those same powers massively bombed that country, overthrew Gaddafi, and had him killed.1 On May 17, Trump said Kim will remain in power if North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons—and then followed that immediately by threatening that if “we don’t make a deal,” what would take place “most likely” is the “model with Gaddafi, that was a total decimation.” Remember that this is the same Trump who threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, a country of 25 million people.

Whether or not the Trump-Kim summit and any U.S.-North Korea agreement happens, here are some key realities to understand:

  1. Starting with the 1950-53 Korean War and continuing to today, the U.S. has been the imperialist aggressor in the Korean Peninsula. In that war, the U.S. carpet-bombed and burned down every town in the North and killed an estimated three million civilians.2 Since then, the U.S. has surrounded and threatened North Korea with massive military force, including nukes and tens of thousands of troops stationed in South Korea. North Korea has produced a few nuclear weapons and apparently has the capability to deliver them long distances—a program widely acknowledged to be for the purpose of deterrence, in other words, preventing a U.S. attack. In contrast, the U.S. has thousands of nuclear weapons, and it is the only country in the world that has actually used them—reducing the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War 2 to rubble and killing hundreds of thousands of people.
  2. Whether through war or negotiations, the Trump/Pence regime and the U.S. rulers overall are pursuing their imperialist interests. These interests are totally against the fundamental interests of the masses of people worldwide, including in the U.S. They are about maintaining U.S. domination—including military domination—of not only the Korean Peninsula but the Asia-Pacific Region and the entire globe, in a rapidly changing world with intensifying great power rivalries.
  3. The proposed talks do not get rid of the threat of war. In fact, the Trump/Pence regime could end up using these talks—or the breakdown of negotiations even before the summit—to justify renewed threats against North Korea or even launching a military attack, claiming that they had “walked the last mile for peace.” Any negotiations are taking place in the context of an increasingly bellicose stance, direction, and policy posture overall by U.S. imperialism around the world. The fascist regime is greatly and quickly ramping up U.S. military spending—including expanding, modernizing, and making more “usable” the U.S. arsenal of nuclear weapons.
  4. The Democratic Party has not seriously opposed Trump’s moves against North Korea. In fact, they have said in the past that Trump’s sanctions against North Korea, which harm millions of ordinary people in that country, were not “tough” enough, and that war would be needed if Kim Jong-un refused to cave in to U.S. demands. Now they’re expressing support for the Trump-Kim talks. This is because the Democrats are “on the same team” as Trump, as Obama said right after Trump’s election—they both represent the interests of the rulers, the capitalist-imperialists, even as there are differences in how to pursue them. The Democrats are proceeding—and are training those who are under their influence to proceed—entirely from U.S. imperialist interests. Whether those interests lead to war or to some kind of an agreement between the U.S. and North Korea in the coming period, the Democrats are setting the masses of people up to be badly misled—to collude with great crimes against humanity.
  5. As Bob Avakian puts it:

The interests, objectives, and grand designs of the imperialists are not our interests—they are not the interests of the great majority of people in the U.S. nor of the overwhelming majority of people in the world as a whole. And the difficulties the imperialists have gotten themselves into in pursuit of these interests must be seen, and responded to, not from the point of view of the imperialists and their interests, but from the point of view of the great majority of humanity and the basic and urgent need of humanity for a different and better world, for another way. (BAsics 3:8)

There is a whole system—the system of capitalism-imperialism—that spawned this fascist regime. The “normal” workings of this system have brought immense horrors and suffering for people—including wars of aggression that have murdered millions. The Trump/Pence fascist regime must be driven out through massive nonviolent protest of millions, before they can do even greater harm to the world. But there will be nothing good for humanity in going back to “imperialism as usual.” People in the U.S. need to break out of starting from the interests of the “USA” in any way, shape, or form, and to think and act based on the interests of humanity. And there is an urgent need to work for an actual revolution—to hasten the time when conditions have been brought into being where millions can be led to go all-out to overthrow this monstrous system, with a real chance to win.


1. For more, see “The 2011 U.S.-NATO War Helped Turn Libya Into Hell on Earth: Now the Imperialists Are Preparing to Wage War Again”  [back]

2. For more, see “American Crime Case #93: The U.S. Invasion of Korea—1950”  [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/gina-haspel-torture-queen-for-a-torture-empire-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

Gina Haspel to Head CIA: A Torture Queen for a Torture Empire

May 21, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On May 17, the U.S. Senate confirmed Gina Haspel, Donald Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. CIA.

In 2002, under President George Bush, Haspel ran the first CIA “black site”—one of about 100 prisons around the world dedicated to “disappearing” and torturing “suspects” in the “War on Terror.” In secret windowless cells, with no contact with loved ones or the outside world, terrified detainees were slammed face-first into walls by masked guards, then were strapped down and had water poured into their mouths and noses, drowned to the edge of death, revived, and then drowned again... and again... and again. At one of these sites a visibly pregnant “suspect” was punched repeatedly in her belly. At these sites suspects were forced to spend days in coffin-like boxes.

Haspel supervised such tortures, and later, in 2005,  helped cover up these crimes by ordering the destruction of 87 videotapes of torture sessions. (See: “Probable Installation of Torture-Monger Gina Haspel as Head of CIA Will Mean More Open Torture From Ameri卐a”)

After this program was exposed and condemned worldwide, Obama hypocritically “renounced” torture, while praising the dedication of those who carried it out and refusing to punish anyone. And Haspel rose through the ranks—her readiness to torture, lie and destroy evidence was valued because that is what the CIA is about—an instrument of terror that is integral to maintaining American power around the world.

In the Senate hearings, Haspel didn’t even pay lip service to opposing torture on moral grounds and actually bragged about her strong “moral compass.” She insisted that black site interrogations were legal (the same defense used by Nazi perpetrators of genocide during World War 2); and strongly implied that they were “effective”—and therefore justifiable.

Her only criticism of the program was that “it did damage to our officers and our standing in the world.” [Emphasis ours] In other words: “torturing hundreds of people—no problem! But the damage to the reputation of the U.S. and the torture agents—that’s the problem!”

Haspel’s strong “moral compass” all but guarantees that she will implement whatever horrors are ordered by Trump, who enthusiastically praises torture and says that families of suspected U.S. enemies should be killed.

Haspel had powerful support from former intelligence officials—including some who are anti-Trump—because they know that this is a key part of what these agencies do. And she was supported by six Democratic senators, including liberal mainstay Mark Warner of Virginia, who had made a big show of questioning Haspel’s record in the hearings.

These ruling class forces have their differences with Trump—even sharp ones. But torture is not “a deal breaker” to them. What matters to them is maintaining the internal stability and world domination of the system of U.S. capitalism-imperialism. And Gina Haspel has proven her readiness to do “whatever it takes” in service to that empire—making her a worthy candidate in the eyes of her fellow monsters.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/445/american-crime-91-school-of-the-americas-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

American Crime

Case #91: School of the Americas—Training Ground for Mass Murderers and Torturers, 1946-Present

June 27, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

Death squad victims in San Salvador, El Salvador, 1981
In El Salvador a right-wing government backed by the U.S. suppressed a leftist rebellion in a 12-year war beginning in 1980—killing and torturing more than 70,000 people in a country with a population of about six million. Above: "Death squad" victims in San Salvador, El Salvador, 1981.

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

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

THE CRIME: Since 1946, the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas (SOA) has trained military officers from countries all over Latin America. The school’s curriculum includes sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence, and interrogation tactics—including the use of torture, rape, disappearances, assassinations, and mass killings.

CIA and U.S. Army manuals used at the SOA have detailed torture techniques and advocated extortion, blackmail, and the targeting of civilian populations. A former political prisoner in Paraguay described how a section of these manuals gives “interrogators” instructions on “how to keep electric shock victims alive and responsive” and “recommends dousing the victims’ heads and bodies with salt water, and includes a sketch showing how this ‘treatment’ should be carried out.” Hundreds of thousands of people in Latin America have been tortured, raped, assassinated, “disappeared,” massacred, and forced to flee their homes and become refugees by armies and death squads led by military officers trained at the SOA.

U.S. trained army troops in Argentina patrol outside the palace after military coup, 1976/
March 1976: Argentina's army troops patrol the streets of Buenos Aires after a military coup led by right wing military officers Emilio Massera and others. These military juntas organized and carried out the repression of political dissidents and perceived dissidents and were responsible for the illegal arrests, tortures, killings and/or forced disappearances of an estimated 9,000 to 30,000 people. (AP photo)

Haitian army troops pledge loyalty to Cedras, 1993
New Haitian Army officers pledge their loyalty to Haitian military ruler Lt. Gen. Raoul Cédras at the military academy in Port-au-Prince, November, 1993. (AP photo)

 

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob AvakianThe essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:3

Here are just some of the criminals who graduated from the SOA and the crimes they carried out:

This school for mass murderers and torturers was first established in Panama as the U.S. Army Caribbean Training Center. It was renamed the School of the Americas under President Kennedy in 1961 and relocated to Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1984. The SOA was declared closed in December 2000 but then reopened one month later with a new name—the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or WHINSEC. Since the name switch and other cosmetic changes, graduates have continued to be involved in various coups and attempted coups, including the June 2009 military coup that overthrew Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. Out of 25 Colombian graduates from 2001 to 2003, 12 have either been charged with a serious crime or commanded units whose members had reportedly committed multiple extrajudicial executions.

THE CRIMINALS: Every U.S. administration since World War 2 has relied on the School of the Americas to train military officers from Latin America.

More than 65,000 military officers have undergone training at the SOA. In addition to those mentioned above, SOA graduates who have headed military coups and murderous regimes include: Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama; Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina; Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru; Guillermo Rodríguez of Ecuador; and Hugo Banzer Suárez of Bolivia. Officers trained at the SOA have been and are in the command of armies of numerous countries in Latin America that enforce oppressive rule under U.S. domination.

THE ALIBI: The stated purpose of the school is to “promote military professionalism, foster cooperation among the multinational military forces in Latin America, and expand Latin American armed forces’ knowledge of United States customs and traditions.” Defenders of the school argue that any human rights abuses committed by graduates were not because of their training at Fort Benning, but in spite of it. They also emphasize that only a small number of their total graduates have been accused of abuses.

Outside gates at Fort Benning, Georgia, November 2005
November 2005: Thousands of people gather outside the gates of Fort Benning during the annual protest against the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the Army's School of the Americas. Each cross has the name of a person killed by U.S.-backed military in Latin America. (AP photo)

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE: U.S. imperialism emerged from World War 2 as the most dominant military, economic, and political power in the world—but it also faced a challenge from the then-socialist Soviet Union, the founding of the People’s Republic of China led by Mao Zedong in 1949, and emerging struggles for national liberation in many other parts of the world. In this context, the School of the Americas played a decisive strategic role—especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, which the U.S. imperialists claimed as their “backyard.” After socialism was defeated and capitalism came back to power in the Soviet Union in the mid-1950s, the Soviet Union developed into an imperialist power. By the 1970s, there was a "Cold War" rivalry between the U.S. and Soviet imperialist superpowers. The Soviets posed a challenge to the U.S. and the West around the world--including through their influence over movements and armed groups fighting U.S.-backed regimes in Central and Latin America and other parts of the world.

The U.S., in turn, countered with even more repression, oppression, and backing for reactionary regimes. In this light, the training of military officers from Latin America was critical, enabling the U.S. to rely on these armed forces to act in the interests of U.S. imperialism. That has meant carrying out genocidal terror and mass murder against insurgencies and civilian populations, bloody coups to overthrow elected governments that were considered a challenge to those U.S. interests, and other crimes. With major shifts in the world in the past several decades, the U.S. rulers now face different challenges to their empire—but maintaining domination over their “backyard” remains crucial to their overall interests.

Cover of one of the training manuals used at the School of the Americas. CIA and U.S. Army manuals used at the School of the Americas (now WHINSEC) have detailed torture techniques and advocated extortion, blackmail, and the targeting of civilian populations. Shown at left, the cover of "Study Manual: Counter-Intelligence," one of the seven Spanish-language manuals drafted in 1987 by U.S. Army military intelligence officers in Panama.

REPEAT OFFENDERS: Today’s School of the Americas, WHINSEC, continues to play an important role in maintaining U.S. domination over the countries in the Western Hemisphere. Under the pretext of “counter-narcotics” and “anti-terrorism” operations, the U.S. has pushed to establish permanent joint security operations with Mexico (the Merida Initiative) and with the countries of Central America (Central American Regional Security Initiative, or CARSI), giving the U.S. military even more direct influence over regional military forces and the freedom to operate openly in these countries. SOA/WHINSEC has an ongoing role in training military officers from these countries to operate even more closely under the command and control of the U.S. military.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/trump-pence-regime-cancels-north-korea-summit-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

Yet Another Reason to Overthrow This Goddam System:

Trump/Pence Regime's Gangster Moves and Threats in Korea Are an Urgent Danger to Humanity

Updated May 28, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Editor’s note: The following was originally posted on Thursday, May 24, when Trump suddenly canceled the summit meeting with North Korea. We have intentionally NOT changed this article, even though as we go to press the White House now seems to be sending different signals. While there will almost certainly be yet more reversals and struggle before the scheduled date of the summit, the basic analysis and exposure in this article remain true and a guidepost for this next period. The instability on display these past several days, the seeming chaos, internal conflict, and sense of high-stakes gambling on the part of the U.S. in particular, all make the situation MORE, not less, dangerous. What is required most of all right now is active opposition to the whole logic of the U.S. position and the momentum and direction of its continued threats.

Today, in a wanton and extremely dangerous act of gangster imperialist aggression, Trump cancelled the U.S.’s planned June 12 summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. He uttered a few empty words about peace, prosperity, and humanity, and then threatened North Korea with nuclear war: “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” He ominously warned that the U.S. military was the most powerful in the world and ready “should foolish or reckless acts be taken by North Korea.”

The U.S. message to North Korea: capitulate or else!

This greatly heightens the real and present danger of a war with North Korea, a war which could kill an estimated 300,000 people in the first few days if it stayed non-nuclear, a million the first day if it went nuclear, and many, many more if it escalated beyond the Korean Peninsula!

Such a war would be a terrible crime—a totally unjust and totally unnecessary war of empire that could literally put the future existence of humanity at risk!

People living in this country have a responsibility, to the world, to oppose their rulers NOW! and demand they stop their threats, their military preparations, their “exercises,” and their whole offensive toward possible war.

Who Is, ACTUALLY, “Openly Hostile” to and Threatening Humanity?

Trump claimed he cancelled the summit because of North Korea’s “open hostility.” Open hostility!? What about recent threats by Vice President Pence and National Security Adviser Bolton that the Trump/Pence regime was following the “Libyan model” of forcing regimes in much smaller, much weaker countries to disarm, and then overthrowing them and murdering their leaders? What about flying nuclear-capable B-52 bombers near North Korea on the eve of the summit—as North Korea actually stops its nuclear tests and destroys one test site?

Every newscast, every media report proceeds from the framework that America is the good guy in the world, and any who stand in its way, like North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un at the moment, is the bad guy, the “evil-doer.” Listen to CNN’s “reporting”: “North Korea has offered diplomatic openings to the United States several times over the past decades, only to return to bellicose threats.”

Leading Democrats are singing the same tune.  Chuck Schumer tweets that he never trusted North Korea and Trump should have taken a harder line in negotiations: “If a summit is to be reconstituted, the US must show strength & achieve a concrete, verifiable, enduring elimination of Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear capabilities.”

All this serves to shape people’s’ thinking—in other words brainwash them—and legitimizes the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

What is the truth? That once again it’s American imperialism—the world’s most dangerous nuclear warmonger, the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons, a predator now waging wars of aggression in at least seven different countries, that’s killed well over a million people since Sept. 11, 2001, that’s shattered the lives of millions and millions more—that’s now “displaying” extreme and open hostility to North Korea and to humanity itself!

The reality is that the entire U.S. “negotiating” position toward North Korea has always rested on the same gangster logic and threats it used against Iraq, Libya, and other countries: America can have the world’s deadliest nuclear arsenal, it can spend billions to make it even deadlier, it can wage wars in country after country, but you, North Korea,  better capitulate and completely denuclearize, or else.

America: NOT a Force for Good in the World. Its “Interests” Are Imperialist Interests, NOT Humanity’s Interests

What “interests” are the U.S. rulers pursuing?  The “right” of their missiles, bombers and drones to terrorize the whole planet; their armies to invade, occupy, and mass murder millions; their navy to go anywhere and threaten anyone in the name of “freedom”!  Why? So their capitalist-imperialist system can be the world’s top predator, its biggest exploiter and plunderer—from the sweatshops of Bangladesh to factories in Mexico and Vietnam, to oil fields of the Middle East, and the mines of the Congo.

Now this vampire system, with the fascist Trump/Pence regime at the helm, is holding people on the Korean Peninsula—and humanity—hostage to its escalating threats of war and nuclear catastrophe.  All this is utterly intolerable and utterly needless.

Such a system, which threatens humanity’s existence for what it perceives to be the “interests” of its empire, has no right to exist.  It must be overthrown at the soonest possible moment, a moment when the system is in crisis and millions have been won to the necessity of revolution and the viability of a radically different society and system.

In preparation for, and to hasten that moment, we are working and organizing right now. We are preparing the ground, preparing the people, and preparing the vanguard, getting ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/three-essential-truths-about-north-korea-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

From RefuseFascism.org:

Three Essential (But Shamefully Unknown or Ignored) Truths About North Korea

by Coco Das

May 24, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Fiercely resisting the Trump/Pence regime’s threats against North Korea is a critical part of resisting and stopping a fascist America. Preparations for war and displays of military power are key mechanisms for fascist regimes to buy public approval and bring down the hammer on dissent, both domestically and internationally. But shamefully, too many supposedly “staunch critics” of Trump find themselves rooting for him on North Korea. While cheering him on, key Democrats have also offered their Hawkish criticisms from the right, urging Trump not to sign any deal “that would guarantee North Korea remains a nuclear power.” (Democratic Senator Chris Murphy quoted in “Dems grit their teeth and cheer for Trump on North Korea,” Politico 5/27/18). This position is inexcusable. If we allow confusion and ignorance to pull us onto a bandwagon of warmongering and forced patriotism, we are engaging in a delusion that endangers millions of people.

Here are three basic principles to keep in mind in relation to the unfolding – and very high stakes – process in relation to North Korea:

[1] WE MUST NEVER SUBSCRIBE TO THE GANGSTER LOGIC OF THIS REGIME. Never forget that Trump has repeatedly threatened to destroy North Korea, promising a “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” flaunting in front of the U.N. Security Council that the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea, and recently touting the use of the “Libya model” if North Korea did not concede to U.S. demands. Trump’s comments on Libya allude to the destruction of Libya and death of its leader Muammar Qadaffi in 2011, years after Libya abandoned its nuclear program. The Trump regime has made its intent on regime change in North Korea clear. The appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor further cements this determination. John Bolton is a key figure behind the 2003 invasion of Iraq and still defends it, and recently authored an op-ed in which he outlined a first strike attack on North Korea.

After Trump’s deplorable U.N. speech last September, Refusefascism.org wrote, “Like a wife-beating husband, Trump coupled bogus concern for the people of North Korea with a promise to incinerate them. He presented the United States as a long persecuted victim. The false claim of victimhood is a crucial part of fascist ideology. But never has there been such a gap between perceived victimhood and actual power. Trump has his finger on the nuclear trigger, and has threatened to use it. He is in command of the world’s largest military and largest nuclear arsenal – by far. He has questioned why he shouldn’t use nuclear weapons. It is not exaggeration, it is truth that the Trump regime poses a greater danger to the people of the world than Hitler did.”  This has not changed.

[2] IN THE KOREAN PENINSULA, THE TRUMP REGIME IS NOT ACTING IN THE INTEREST OF HUMANITY. It is pursuing U.S. domination of the region, not peace for the Korean people. This is consistent with entire history of American wars, most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq. Americans have remained vastly ignorant of what happens in its wars abroad, but in particular, they know very little about the Korean War, during which the U.S. carpet bombed North Korea and killed millions of civilians in order to maintain its strategic interests in relation to the Soviet Union and China. We need to read the news about North Korea not as American chauvinists but as human beings capable of critical thinking. The dominant narrative in the media is that North Korea repeatedly backs out of negotiations with the U.S. because of its irrational and unpredictable leaders. What is irrational in insisting that the U.S. and South Korea stop doing joint military exercises before an upcoming summit? What would not be alarming to North Korea about the appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor? And where is the evidence that a complete dismantling of its nuclear deterrent would not result in a U.S. invasion of North Korea? An invasion of North Korea and even a conventional war on the Korean peninsula, which Trump and his war cabinet continue to prepare for, would be a humanitarian disaster. A nuclear war would be devastating for all of humanity and the planet. Yet the Trump regime has treated both possibilities as completely legitimate.

[3] THE U.S. DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO DICTATE WHICH COUNTRIES CAN HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS. It is high time, in the name of humanity, to reject this conceit that the U.S. has the moral authority to police the world. There is only one country that has ever used its nuclear weapons – this one – killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a massive crime against humanity. Israel has nuclear weapons. India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons. Russia, France, Great Britain, and China all have nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are abhorrent and no one should have them, but the U.S. is the only country that has used them, has repeatedly threatened to use them, has never abandoned a first strike policy, and under this regime, has argued for lowering the threshold for a nuclear strike. The same logic that is targeting North Korea (and Iran) now is the logic that gave moral cover for the destruction of Iraq: through the Gulf War of 1991, years of crippling sanctions, and the WMD-propaganda of George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, a series of crimes ultimately killing and displacing millions of people. And speaking of sanctions, has North Korea ever imposed international sanctions on the U.S.? The fact that this question is so utterly absurd speaks to the actual power relations between the U.S. and North Korea. We need to be very clear that when U.S. leaders talk about the weapons programs of other countries, it is always about power and never about peace. Freeing ourselves from what Bob Avakian calls the Great Tautological Fallacy, the belief that American lives are more important than other people’s lives and that U.S. military actions are a force for good in the world, is essential for keeping us grounded in our resistance and stopping this regime from carrying out its catastrophic agenda.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/NFL-moves-to-punish-players-for-taking-a-knee-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

NFL Moves to Punish Players for Taking a Knee:

This Enforced Patriotism for a Criminal System Must NOT Be Allowed to Stand!

May 24, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On May 24 the National Football League (NFL) owners voted that their property (a.k.a. the “players”) must “stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.” Players can sit out the anthem in the locker room, but those on the field who take a knee won’t be allowed to play in the game, and their teams will be fined. This wasn’t enough for Donald Trump, who threatened protesting players, “You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem, or you shouldn't be playing; you shouldn't be there. Maybe they shouldn't be in the country...”

Respect the Flag? Fuck That!

The U.S. flag is soaked with the blood of literally billions of people who have been killed, tortured, and brutally exploited by the U.S. around the world, from the days of slavery and genocide of native people up to today. The anthem and flag celebrate a capitalist-imperialist system of global horrors: wanton murder and brutality by pigs... incarceration of millions... mass deportations... unjust wars, slaughter, and occupations in countless countries over many decades. They represent the mounting U.S. nuclear threats right now against tens of millions of people in Korea and Iran, and all humanity.

Why should anyone respect this rag? It needs to be disrespected a hell of a lot more!

It was damn righteous for Colin Kaepernick to refuse to stand for the anthem, against what he called out as “systemic oppression, specifically police brutality against Black and Brown people.” It compelled other NFL players, overwhelmingly Black, but some white players as well, to take a knee—and inspired people across the U.S. and across the world. A whole lot more of this is needed, at sports events and everywhere!

An Orgy of Enforced Patriotism

Protesting players are told that the football field is “not the place for political statements.” Bullshit. There’s plenty of reactionary, imperialist politics at NFL games: American flags the size of the field, flyovers by fighter jets, players wearing camouflage uniforms to “salute the troops,” the Department of “Defense” paying teams to have military personnel seated prominently to get maximum air time.

Kaepernick and other protesting players brought in politics that exposed some of the reality of what this country is all about and expressed their opposition to it. Whatever their individual intentions, their actions punctured the suffocating flag-waving worship of the U.S. and its war machine (a.k.a. “our troops”) that poisons every fucking pro football game, and has for years. The NFL and the powers behind them are lashing back—Colin Kaepernick and another protesting player, Eric Reid, both at the peak of their abilities, have been blackballed by the league.

This Ban Must Not Stand!

This battle is not over. Several players have already blasted the owners’ decision and Trump’s threats. Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos called Trump’s remark “disgusting because of our First Amendment rights. We have freedom of speech, right? Freedom to protest?”

Everyone who cares about humanity should not only support the players who refuse to stand for the U.S. flag and anthem—they should do the same, and let the world know why! A criminal system that perpetrates horrors on people here and worldwide, then demands absolute obedience and slavish acceptance, deserves absolutely no respect. In fact, it needs to be overthrown.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/544/american-crimes-memorial-day-bbqs-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

Monday, May 28: "America Was Never Great—We Need Revolution" Memorial Day Picnics Around the Country

May 25, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Invite people widely to come to the "America Was Never Great--We Need Revolution" picnics on Monday, May 28 (Memorial Day) in the following cities. 

 

 

The following is from the invitation from the Revolution Club Chicago for the picnic in their city:

Be part of a Memorial Day picnic that is part of making a way forward for humanity.

The U.S. government, like the bloodthirsty gangster it is on a world scale, just threatened to do “Libya” in North Korea, meaning devastate it with bombing and murder its leader, if North Korea doesn’t do what the U.S. wants it to do. Then Trump threatened North Korea with nuclear weapons, which if used would kill a million people in one day. This is on top of Trump reshuffling his staff to put in the most monstrous torturers and warmongers and then pulling out of the Iran deal, punishing the masses of people in Iran with sanctions, and threatening war. And in this situation, the NFL announced it will force its property, “the players,” to show respect for that blood-soaked U.S. flag that represents these wars for empire and all the slavery and genocide that go all the way back to the beginning of this country.

We will come together to eat some good food and build community around getting organized for actual revolution that puts humanity first. The BBQ will be a fundraiser and the kickoff to a summer of seriously building the revolution to overthrow this system of capitalism-imperialism. “Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution,” as it says in the strategy document, HOW WE CAN WIN, How We Can Really Make Revolution.

We will NOT be honoring the American military and those who have served in it.

We WILL be telling the truth about American Crimes that have been committed against people here and all over the world. From slavery and genocide, to CIA coup d’états and U.S.-backed death squads in Africa and Latin America and Asia that killed millions, to invasions and wars where the USA slaughtered millions, and on and on and on. 

We will NOT be “thanking the troops for the service.” Our message to U.S. troops that kill and torture and rape for U.S. empire? FUCK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! The troops we honor are the ones who reclaim their humanity by refusing to fight for this country and instead stand with the people of the world.

We WILL inspire people to see their common cause with the billions of people throughout the world in making revolution to overthrow this system. And we will be spreading the word about the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian, who has dedicated his life to working on the problems of the revolution and has developed a New Communism, the understanding humanity needs to make the revolution we need. 

Bring your self, your friends and family, and bring some food for the grill or a donation for the Revolution Club. Spread the word to others to come be part of it, and be part of building the revolution.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/426/from-vietnam-war-vet-us-troops-are-not-heroes-but-murderers-and-baby-killers-en.html

Revolution #544 May 21, 2018

From a Vietnam War Vet:

We Were Baby Killers for U.S. Imperialism

New introduction January 17, 2017, originally posted February 15, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

January 17, 2017: Fifty years ago, in January 1967, the U.S. troops occupying Vietnam began a major military offensive against Vietnamese forces fighting to liberate their country. The heroic struggle of the Vietnamese people, combined with upsurge of opposition within the U.S., would lead to the defeat of the U.S. imperialists in Vietnam. The war in Vietnam is part of a whole bloody history of U.S. wars, invasions, and aggression against countries and people fighting for their liberation. There’s a responsibility for people in the U.S. to understand that “America was NEVER great” and oppose all the crimes carried out by the U.S. imperialists around the world.

We are reposting this piece from a Vietnam War vet, who was not yet in Vietnam in 1967 but has important things to say about the massacres and other horrors that the U.S. committed during the war against the Vietnamese people.

 

I am writing to revcom.us/Revolution because this is the one place that consistently stands with the people of the world against all forms of oppression and for a radically different and far better world. The reason for this letter is the current wave of patriotism, using America’s soldiers and veterans to justify every conceivable crime and atrocity being carried out by the “troops,” i.e., the U.S. military.

I speak from a whole lot of experience—from both sides of the political battles—supporting and defending U.S. wars and then serving in Vietnam, where I began to learn the truth about America’s bloody, genocidal history.

Right now there is a major campaign to raise millions of dollars in the Wounded Warrior Campaign, for medical care for the wounded veterans of America’s current wars around the globe. Now, let’s set something straight first—they are not heroes but murderers and baby killers. Nowhere in American mainstream media and culture do you find the people we are killing, torturing, droning, raping—the people of the world do not matter in the path of America’s march across the earth. There is no honor in being a soldier in the U.S. military that has invaded every corner of the world and nearly every country on the planet. There is no pride in torturing people across the globe, invading people’s homes and beating up the occupants in the name of the “War on Terror.” The U.S. is actually carrying out a “War OF Terror” against the people of the world. In fact, it can be said with historical certainty that the wholesale slaughter of tens of millions of people is “The American Way” and that, except for the Civil War, there has never been anything honorable about serving in the U.S. military. As I tell youth when I go into high schools as part of the We Are Not Your Soldiers Campaign, you are going to be part of a military that is about killing the people of the world for profit and empire!

You can be sure that whenever there is a stepped-up campaign of patriotism and flag waving, there are also stepped-up military actions that need to be supported by the unthinking and the privileged, while the rest of us are supposed to shrink back, and not speak the truth, as atrocities are carried out in our names. Right now all over Africa and the Middle East there are and have been hundreds of secret military operations, assassinations, kidnappings, and murders galore by special operations teams, while the myth is promoted that “there are no ground forces” in those places. These are American “death squads,” all with the story that this is what is needed to protect “us from the terrorists” when the truth is that the United States is the biggest terrorist on the planet.

Villagers massacred by U.S. Army troops at My Lai in Vietnam, March 16, 1968.Villagers massacred by U.S. Army troops at My Lai in Vietnam, March 16, 1968.

GIs refuse to go out on patrol, AK Valley, Vietnam, September 1969
GIs refuse to return to combat, AK Valley, Vietnam, September 1969.

What I am saying here is not my opinion, but history and, yes, science. Because this is not a case of human nature, or bad people, or even the nature of being in the military. No, I learned, through bitter lessons in Vietnam and back here in the American empire, that we live in a capitalist-imperialist system that will go to any length, commit every crime imaginable, to defend and spread this empire of profit and exploitation across the globe. From the banana fields in Guatemala, to the sweatshops in Bangladesh, to the oil of the Middle East, the U.S. has over 700 military bases ringing the globe to defend what the monsters who run this empire call “our interests.” To do that, the military and the powers that be need the bodies and minds of young people, mainly men and some women, to carry out the crimes. So, how do they do this?

They do this in many different ways, and especially through the racism, lies, manipulation, and fear that are a normal part of American culture and education. This is reinforced by a brutal and cruel brainwashing of the young soldiers called “basic training” to instill in them blind obedience to orders, concern only for American lives, and a “shoot first and kill all” mentality in these young brains. Then, when these soldiers return home, they are used again, and especially the wounded ones, these killers for empire, as sympathy and pity for them is drummed up to justify continued murder and torture. The message that is driven home is that the only lives that matter are American lives.

Now I know that some people will say that these soldiers are victims too of this imperialist system. My answer is that these soldiers and vets have a choice: they can cross over to the side of the people of the world and tell the truth about what they saw and did or forever face the world’s condemnation as the baby killers and murderers they are.

It is true that today’s generation born after 9/11 have no real memory of the turmoil of the 1960s and how tens of millions came to oppose the war in Vietnam and the American empire in many different ways, including massive opposition to the war right in the U.S. military. For this same generation, what happened in Vietnam 50 years ago is as ancient history to them as was my growing up listening to WW2 veterans tell their stories. After the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (the murder of 3,000 innocent people by a group of terrorists in the name of Islamic fundamentalism), the United States used them to carry out and justify the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of drone killings in many countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and torture and murder by the military and the CIA at prisons and “black sites.” This is the reality of the world we live in today and lessons from the past must really serve helping to end all this madness. No more stupid and meaningless “war stories.”

The process of how I came to end up in Vietnam is instructive because today’s young soldiers and vets can see similarities to how they have been manipulated and lied to. Back then, in my schooling, the only ideas I learned about America’s wars were the necessity and the wonder and glory of fighting them. On television I learned to cheer for the cowboys as they killed multitudes of Native Americans, while the war movies portrayed Americans as right and justified in defending our way of life. Watch the movie Purple Heart and the racist portrayal of the Japanese. In the 8th grade I won an American Legion Americanism award for an essay I wrote about patriotism. In high school my history teachers, Mr. Gavigan and Mr. Murphy, had the maps that showed communism as evil and taking over all of Asia, especially Vietnam. I even worked for Barry Goldwater after high school when he ran for president in 1964. I was at the first antiwar demonstration in New York City in spring 1966—to stand on the side in support of the war. I joined Young Americans for Freedom, a right-wing campus group.

So while most of the youth in this country are trained in blind patriotism and kept ignorant of history and the nature of the system we live in, I was political at an early age, and I thought I knew American history and why the country was worth defending. I joined the U.S. Air Force and ended up guarding nuclear weapons in the U.S. at small bases on the East Coast. But, I told myself that I could not be alive at this time and not follow my generation’s calling and go to Vietnam. I arrived there just in time for the Tet Offensive of 1968—a military operation by the Vietnamese revolutionaries against all the major U.S. bases in Vietnam. After four of my fellow soldiers and friends died in that attack, my whole world view fell apart because I began to realize that nothing I had been taught or believed about the nature of U.S. reasons for being in Vietnam were true. I knew nothing about the Vietnamese people, culture, and history. We called the people all sorts of racist terms and nowhere did they count as human beings. I spent my next 11 months coming to oppose the war, to see the humanity of the Vietnamese people and beginning to oppose this lie that Americans are the best people in the world. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Davis and Johnson, two of the many Black guys in my unit who refused to salute the American flag (when a movie was shown on our base), and argued with me about the war, Black history, and that they were talking about coming back home to America to make revolution.

Protest against the Vietnam War, Washington, D.C., April 24, 1971. Photo: Leena Krohn via Wikimedia Commons
Vietnam veterans marching against the war, Washington, D.C., April 24, 1971. Photo: Leena Krohn via Wikimedia Commons

After Vietnam, I joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and became one of its national leaders. And it was here, along with other veterans and the growing soldiers’ movement in the U.S. military worldwide, that we all learned to not just oppose the war but actively resist it. This is where I learned the truth of U.S. history, and not just Vietnam but what America has always been about. I learned about the Sullivan Expedition in the summer of 1779—where Gen. George Washington (yes, that one—the slaveholder) orders a genocidal attack on more than 40 Iroquois villages—destroying the people, buildings, and crops. This became a standard practice of the U.S. military in the following 300 years of wars against the Native peoples of the western U.S., in the Spanish-American war in the Philippine Islands in 1898, to the use of insects and chemical and biological agents in the Korean war in 1950 to 1953, to the American invasion of Vietnam and all its horrors. Research many of these crimes on revcom.us, and you can also find on the Internet several lists that document the hundreds of military invasions, occupations, “small-unit actions,” aerial and offshore bombings, almost 300 years of U.S. military actions around the world.

The veterans and soldiers I was meeting and organizing were studying U.S. history, about the history of slavery, the lynchings and oppression of Black people, talking about how this was an imperialist way of life—killing people for profit and empire. And I met many who were openly talking about why revolution seemed to be necessary to stop all this horror that we were inflicting on the people of the world. We marched for 70 miles through small towns in New Jersey in a simulated search-and-destroy mission to graphically portray “to the heartland” that what we were doing in Vietnam was massacring and torturing the people. Then, we took 125 combat vets to Detroit in 1971 to the Winter Soldier Investigation where vets testified for three days about mass rape of Vietnamese women, mass murder, destruction of villages and crops, napalm, chemical poisoning of the land and people, and yes—the deliberate murder of kids by the soldiers. While there are many powerful and important examples of resistance and opposition by soldiers and veterans to imperialist wars, this was the first time in history that they were self-organized with two goals: to tell the truth about what they had seen and done, and then to call on the American people to stop the crimes.

Throwing medals back onto the Capitol steps, Dewey Canyon III, 1971."For a full week in the spring of 1971, we camped out on the National Mall in front of the U.S. Congress and we named it Dewey Canyon III—'an invasion into the country of Congress.'” Above, throwing medals back onto the Capitol steps as part of the Dewey Canyon III protests.

Before Winter Soldier, I thought I understood the scope of what we had done in Vietnam, but after three days of hearings I was devastated by how deep was the betrayal of our youth, our ambitions, and our minds, that we were really nothing more than killers and cannon fodder for empire. After Winter Soldier, we knew we had to do something that would put Vietnam Veterans on the front page of the newspapers, something dramatic that would send a message around the world, that while we were the baby killers, we were beginning to understand who and what was really responsible. For a full week in the spring of 1971, we camped out on the National Mall in front of the U.S. Congress and we named it Dewey Canyon III—“an invasion into the country of Congress.” After a whole week of demonstrating everywhere, doing guerrilla theater portrayals of how we treated and murdered the Vietnamese people, on the last day 800 to 1,000 vets lined up outside the Capitol to walk up the Capitol steps and throw their medals back at the U.S. Congress and the rulers of America. Some of the comments from the vets as they threw their medals over a fence marked “trash” were: a Black vet who said, “This is my opposition for the policies of this country against the non-white peoples of the world”; “My name is Peter, I got a purple heart here and I hope I get another one fighting these motherfuckers”; “We don’t want to fight again, but if we have to it’ll be to take these steps.”

Then, in the summer of 1971, I was selected by VVAW to represent the organization on a peace delegation to Hanoi—the capital of North Vietnam—“the enemy.” As the first Vietnam veteran to go to North Vietnam on a peace mission, with two other activists from Women Strike for Peace and the War Resisters League, I did not think twice about going. We spent eight days in Hanoi, traveling to Haiphong Harbor and witnessing the lives of a people whose whole history and culture is embedded with the ethos of resisting foreign invaders. This is when I completely went “over to the other side” and became an advocate for the victory of the Vietnamese against the U.S.

I say that today because while there is not an equivalent nation or group that can be supported right now against the crimes the U.S. is carrying out, everyone, and especially the soldiers and veterans of these wars, can and must speak out for the people of the world and against U.S. crimes. This means NOT supporting the troops, because the troops are murdering people. I really hate the slogan “Support the Troops, Not the War” because it makes what these wars are about is American lives, and the humanity of the people we are killing is secondary or nonexistent.

Finally, for those who can only see the power of the empire to manipulate and control the population into either being blind flag wavers or docile opposition, I want to say how important it is to tell the truth, to call on others to do so and to fight for the interest of all humanity. After all, I was witness to something that many people today cannot imagine: I saw a large segment of the former baby killers and murderers of my time turn against the empire on the side of humanity.