Revolution #545, May 28, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #545 May 28, 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.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/457/how-we-can-win-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 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/545/AWTWNS-we-need-to-overthrow-this-system-not-try-to-democratize-it-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

From A World to Win News Service:

Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico:
“We need to overthrow this system, not try to ‘democratize’ it”

May 28, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

May 25, 2018. A World to Win News Service. Following are abridged excerpts from an extensive pamphlet put out by the Revolutionary Communist Organization (OCR), Mexico, in view of the national general elections to be held in July. The entire text in Spanish is available at aurora-roja.blogspot.com. The explanations in brackets are by AWTWNS.

Much of the pamphlet is an exposure of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, long the standard-bearer of the traditional left and now considered the leading candidate, who promises to “democratize” a state that has earned widespread and intense discredit and hatred. It also explains how the electoral system serves to legitimate the rule of the big capitalists and landlords and Mexico’s domination by imperialism. These excerpts focus on the polemic against the Zapatistas, who led an armed peasant uprising in the southern state of Chiapas in 1994 before entering into an uneasy coexistence with Mexico’s governments since then. We made this choice because of the international influence of that trend and the thinking it represents among radical-minded people in many countries. [Official Zapatista website: enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx]

We live in a world of unjust wars that kill and dislocate millions of people. Half of humanity is submerged in crushing poverty. Women are cruelly oppressed and subjected to male supremacy. Inequality is becoming increasingly abominable. The ecosystems that sustain life on our planet are being destroyed. Mexico and other countries are facing capitalist and imperialist projects to expand mining, pipelines, fracking, tourist development and luxury condominiums that lead to the expulsion of indigenous peoples, peasants and the poor in general, and devastate the environment. The Mexican state commits and covers up murder and disappearances. It tortures and unjustly imprisons hundreds of thousands of people, especially people at the bottom of society and those who oppose this system’s crimes.

How can we struggle against these horrors? How can we put an end to all this unjust and unnecessary suffering? How can society be changed? Should we “take power” in the existing state, as some people argue, or “change the world” without taking power, as others claim? Or will it take a real revolution?

Partisans of “taking power” from within or “changing the government” say that the existing state can be “democratized” and political and economic reforms achieved by changing the person and party or group heading the state. This argument is mainly associated with those seeking the election of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and candidates of his Movement for National Renewal (MORENA).

Other people, like the leadership of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), assert that instead of “taking power” what’s needed is to organize autonomous or alternative projects “from below” to achieve “good governance” and political and economic reforms. They argue that those who “rise to power” become oppressors of the people. Under the current state, they have a point, as can be seen in the many cases of people, some originally with good intentions, who by joining the state apparatus became part of the problem, not the solution.

Supporters of AMLO and MORENA answer that those who don’t seek to “take power” only contribute to everything staying the same and can’t change anything important in society, and they, too, have a point. If the state is left as it is now, it will continue killing, disappearing, torturing and oppressing the people, among other horrendous crimes.

What these two positions have in common is the terms of the argument: whether or not to come to power within the existing state. Neither talks about the need to destroy the existing reactionary state. Neither talks about overthrowing the existing predominantly capitalist system. Both seek change within the present economic system.

This is more obvious in the case of AMLO and MORENA, which have assured the big Mexican and imperialist capitalists that they will respect and promote their interests. Despite its somewhat “anti-capitalist” rhetoric, however, the EZLN’s position of not struggling to put an end to the current state would also necessarily mean not putting an end to the economic and social relations that this state maintains and protects. It seeks to pressure the capitalist state not only “from below” by expanding and spreading “autonomous or alternative projects” but also “from above” through alliances meant to force the state to tolerate their existence and grant reforms within the deadly current system without a fundamental change in the situation of the immense majority of people.

Further, it’s a farce and a trick to proclaim yourself “anti-capitalist”, as the EZLN has done for more than a decade, when in reality you are struggling to reform and not end the capitalist system. The only real “anti-capitalism” is to struggle to abolish all capitalist economic relations. This struggle also requires struggling to overcome the division of society into classes, along with all the corresponding social relations (like the oppression of women, the division of the world into oppressed and oppressor nations, the split between manual and mental labour, etc.) and the corresponding ideas (male chauvinism, national chauvinism, the “me first” outlook, etc.).

Marx scientifically demonstrated, and experience since his time has confirmed, that the only way to achieve this is through communist revolution whose goal is the establishment of socialism as a transition and the advance of the world revolution until achieving communism, a worldwide society without classes and exploitation and oppression of any kind. It’s true that such a struggle is difficult, especially in today’s world situation, but this is the standard by which we should judge the EZLN and all political forces.

The problem with the EZLN position is not autonomous projects in themselves but the idea that their proliferation can lead to basic change without the need to overthrow the reactionary state, confiscate the property of the ruling classes and establish socialism as a transition to communism. The Zapatista project for an autonomous Chiapas and autonomous municipalities such as Cherán in the state of Michoacán, and community guards and police in Ostula, Michoacán, and the mountains of Guerrero, among others, have arisen from the righteous resistance of indigenous people and peasants, their need to defend themselves from the attacks of the system just to stay alive. They have taken back some land, curbed the cutting down of some forests and resisted and stopped (or postponed) some attempts by big capital to dispossess communities and destroy the environment. They have defended themselves, to some extent, from organized crime and the forces of the state, and not let themselves be smashed by the war of extermination capitalism-imperialism is waging against the original peoples. These struggles are brave and provide important lessons, and insofar as they continue struggling against the ravages and injustices of this system they should be supported by all those who hate oppression and want radical change.

Nevertheless, wrenching some autonomy on the local level under this system is not a solution. Self-government projects will not make the predominantly capitalist system disappear. It will continue assaulting indigenous peoples. It will continue killing and destroying until it is overthrown. Any autonomy that affects the interests of the system and the ruling classes will be attacked by them, and they won’t stop until that autonomy is disrupted and made to serve their needs, or forcibly destroyed. The state and its paramilitary gangs have unleashed murder, imprisonment and continuous harassment against the autonomous municipalities and police forces. For example, in Ostula, in 2010 and 2011, organized crime working in collusion with the state murdered an average of one community member every two weeks.

It’s very good to organize self-defence and self-government when the conditions make it possible to do so as part of resisting the system, but we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking it would be possible to spread “self-government” throughout the country until the fall of the state and the disappearance of the capitalist system of exploitation. The capitalists, imperialists and big landlords will never give up their property and power peacefully, and the state, which is their instrument of repression, can never be reformed to take the side of the people.

In addition to being under military siege, the autonomous municipalities are politically and economically “bombarded” by the system that has them surrounded. Very few changes can be implemented as long as capitalism continues to dominate the whole country. The main means of production remain in the hands of the capitalists, who continue exploiting and destroying, dominating everyone with their political and military power. Oppressive relationships and the capitalist ideology continue to predominate in society in general. Under these conditions autonomous projects can only involve very small sections of the people. As they try to keep their footing in the sea of capitalist exploitation in which they exist, the state uses coercion to force them to cooperate in some way and not “cross red lines” by fighting against the system.

Since shortly after the 1994 uprising, there has been an agreement, at least tacitly, between the EZLN and the government. Without granting them official recognition, the government tolerates the Zapatistas’ Good Government Boards in return for the EZLN restricting itself to “civil and peaceful struggle.” This doesn’t mean that they are no longer a target of state harassment. The state has continued to attack them in various ways, such as giving more benefits to surrounding communities, and arming, training and stoking paramilitary bands to attack and murder Zapatistas.

The EZLN, for its part, works with the reactionary state in matters such as organizing elections, reporting or turning over “criminals” to the state, and turning in “people smugglers” who fail to heed a first warning. (The Zapatistas label “people smuggling” a “crime against humanity”.) In 2016 the EZLN organized a National Indigenous Congress and convinced it to participate in the 2018 presidential elections with an indigenous woman as its independent candidate. They declared their aim is not to “come to power” but to generate “a process of combative reorganization, not only of original peoples but also workers, peasants, employees, tenant farmers, teachers and students, all the people whose silence and paralysis is synonymous not with apathy but the lack of a call to action... There could be generated a movement in which all the downtrodden converge, a great movement that will shake up the whole political system.”

Why call on “all the downtrodden” to participate in elections instead of organizing to expose and resist the atrocities committed by this system, independent of and in opposition to the electoral process? Why aim to “shake up the whole political system” instead of unmasking and resisting the whole capitalist economic and political system in struggle that is independent of the system’s institutions, struggle that contributes to forging the consciousness, organization, combativeness and leadership necessary for both strengthening the independent resistance and making the necessary preparations for a real revolution?

Seeking to have an independent candidate on the ballot and participating in the presidential election is sending the ruling classes a clear message that the EZLN continues to commit itself to staying within the system’s rules of the game for “political struggle.” This is why the ruling classes welcomed the EZLN’s campaign.

Under certain exceptional circumstances, at times it can be necessary to participate in bourgeois elections as a subordinate part of exposing the falseness of bourgeois democracy and the need to overthrow the whole system. This is what the Bolsheviks did at certain points in the Russian revolution, for instance, when the 1905 revolution had been defeated and elections were instituted for the first time in the country’s history. There is no such necessity to participate in the 2018 elections at a time when broad sections of the people are repudiating all of the bourgeois parties.

At times the organized struggle of the people can wrench certain concessions from the class enemy. One example is the physical, nonviolent defence of Atenco [a small community near Mexico City whose members waged a mass struggle to stop the expropriation of their lands to build an airport in 2002]. That struggle won broad support throughout society and was able to halt the airport project, an important victory. But before long the combined forces of the three levels of the state took vengeance, killing two people and raping two dozen women, and now they’re coming back with a new airport plan. Even if an attack in one particular place is beaten back, the system continues driving an enormous number of peasants and indigenous people from their land in other places.

As many people have pointed out, the situation for indigenous peoples is worse now than in 1994 [at the time of the Zapatista uprising]. Big capital, organized crime and the state’s armed forces are intensifying the plunder of natural resources and the expulsion of the peoples from their land, and autonomous projects face brutal repression. This is the truth. It’s indispensable to organize and strengthen the resistance, but if that’s done based on reformist illusions, that only disarms the people, weakens their capacity to resist and leads to demoralization.

If the resistance is going to really strengthen the struggle for emancipation, it must be guided by the simple truth that “The state isn’t negligent, it’s criminal” [in opposition to the claim that the state should be pressured to assume the responsibilities it is now neglecting, like protecting people’s lives] and casting off the illusion that somehow the state can be made to obey the people [as stated by the Zapatista slogan that the state should “rule while obeying”]. Instead of begging the ruling classes to “show us respect”, we should be driven by and spread the spirit of “fuck the whole system.” What’s needed is resistance that is really independent and aimed at the system and its state. Revolutionary communists should work to clearly explain to everyone just why the state is committing and covering up these crimes, and how they are rooted in the nature and functioning of the capitalist system. Such resistance can win partial and temporary victories, it can inspire and educate the people and create much better conditions for revolution, but it can’t bring an end to all this system’s horrors. We have to tell the people the truth, and explain that it is possible to stop all these atrocities if and only if there is a communist revolution. That’s why we say, “Fight the power and transform the people for revolution.”

In the real world, it’s impossible to put an end to repression and all the other horrors we experience and build a new economic and political system without exploitation without destroying the old system ruling over us. Only a revolutionary people’s war can liberate the people and lay the foundation for a new liberating society that would be a base area for the world revolution. Subcomandante Galeano [the Zapatista leader formerly known as Marcos] calls anyone who says this “dogmatic” and “sectarian”, but it’s the truth, and it’s what we all have to do if we want real emancipation for the oppressed and ultimately all of humanity.

This is an arduous and difficult struggle, but in it we have the advantage of the new communism developed by Bob Avakian on the basis of summing up the great positive lessons as well as the errors of the past socialist revolutions, analysing new conditions and learning from other spheres of knowledge to achieve a qualitative advance in the scientific method and approach for making revolution and emancipating humanity, laying the basis for a new stage in the communist revolution that is so urgently needed by the oppressed masses.

The Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico, is struggling to apply this new communism and has established the strategic orientation and initial basic programme for the liberating revolution Mexico needs.

It’s time to cast off the illusion that it’s possible to democratize and reform this outmoded and inhuman capitalist-imperialist system whether by working inside or outside the bourgeois state. What’s needed is to dedicate ourselves to the urgent and most basic need of the oppressed masses, a real revolution to sweep away this system and finally contribute to the emancipation of all humanity.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #545 May 28, 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/american-crimes-memorial-day-bbqs-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 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 #545 May 28, 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.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/545/revolution-club-chicago-disrupts-memorial-day-ceremony-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

America Was NEVER Great—We Need Revolution

Revolution Club Chicago Disrupts Memorial Day Ceremony

May 28, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Memorial Day any year in this country is a disgusting celebration of slaughter and torture for U.S. world dominance and empire. It is a weekend of propaganda and ceremonies to instill patriotism and train millions of people in blind support for whatever the U.S. military does.

This year it comes as the Trump/Pence regime is making serious moves toward war and consolidating a fascist regime: Mafia-like threats against North Korea, sanctions on Iran, enforced patriotism in the NFL, and horrific demonization and violence against immigrants, including children.

In the midst of all this, in Chicago there was an intervention that broke through like a breath of fresh air. On Saturday, May 26, the official “wreath-laying ceremony” that kicks off the biggest Memorial Day parade in the country was disrupted right as it began, with the Revolution Club Chicago chanting “1, 2, 3, 4, Slavery, Genocide and War; 5, 6, 7, 8, America was NEVER great!”

They kneeled on an American flag on the ground and handed the mic to an Army veteran of the Vietnam War who rebelled against the Army while he was in it, joining a movement of soldiers who were recognizing the crimes they were carrying out and refusing to fight.

He yelled out, and could be heard over the voice of the person opening the ceremony: “People you are being lied to! We (America) have never been the good guys. Look up My Lai massacre, 300 people murdered... torture, massacre again and again.... Carrying out torture and atrocities is not heroism.” He pointed to the importance of soldiers who rebelled and refused to fight in America’s wars, and said, “Humanity first, not America first.”

The disruption got on the evening news and a short video was tweeted out by the Revolution Club. The next day the Revolution Club held a press conference about the disruption and announced the “America Was Never Great—We Need Revolution, American Crimes Memorial Day BBQ” in Chicago that is part of Revolution Club picnics across the country.

All of this is an application of what is in the working document for how to make revolution—HOW WE CAN WIN, How We Can Really Make Revolution. Taking up the tasks of what we need to do now to hasten the necessary conditions to go all-out for revolution, including “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....”

 

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #545 May 28, 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/545/pompeo-issues-ultimatum-to-iran-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

Pompeo Issues Ultimatum to Iran:
Only America Can Have Troops in Syria, Bully Iraq, Bomb Yemen, Support Reactionary Thugs, Wield Nukes, and Dominate the Middle East!

May 28, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Speaking on May 21 before the American Enterprise Institute, the Trump/Pence regime’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, issued a bellicose ultimatum to Iran: immediately cease and desist from 12 activities (some real, some alleged), or else! This came within days of Trump/Pence’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal that the U.S. and other world powers signed with Iran in 2015 (which Iran had been abiding by).

Among other things, Pompeo demanded that Iran immediately:

The Trump/Pence regime is spreading lies and disinformation about Iran’s nuclear program, implying that Iran is already a nuclear weapons threat or soon will be, when in fact there is no evidence for that claim.1 While the Islamic Republic is a reactionary, oppressive regime, and it supports reactionary, oppressive forces across the region, America isn’t demanding an end to oppression and reaction! It’s demanding a monopoly on oppression and reaction! It’s declaring that only America can deploy troops in Syria, bully and intervene in Iraq, support reactionary forces wherever it sees fit, back the genocidal war in Yemen, and possess—and wield—nuclear weapons. All so America—not Iran or anyone else—will dominate the Middle East. And as we made clear in the list above, the horror already unleashed by the U.S. dwarfs anything Iran’s Islamic fundamentalist regime could even dream of doing.

The U.S. has already ratcheted up what Pompeo called “unprecedented financial pressures” on Iran, and it’s preparing to do much, much worse. The imperialist Godfather is making Iran an “offer”: surrender on your hands and knees or else face the prospect of war. Forced to choose between those two, Iran’s rulers will likely calculate that they have no choice but to risk war to ensure their survival. So the Trump/Pence regime’s demands are deliberately setting the stage for escalating U.S.-Israeli-Saudi aggression and quite possibly a devastating war against Iran.

Leading Democrats Criticize Trump... for Putting U.S. Gangsterism in “Weaker Position”!

And what was the response of the leading Democrats to Pompeo’s savage warmongering that puts 80 million Iranians in the crosshairs? The ranking Democrat in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs said Pompeo “isn’t wrong” about Iran, but complained that pulling out of the nuclear deal put the U.S. in a “weaker position” to deal with its “aggressive behavior.” In other words: “Here’s how we should be more effective imperialist gangsters”!

What kind of a system dominates the Middle East for some 70 years through wars, invasions, interventions, coups, sanctions, and backing of tyrannical “allies”... leaving this region of more than 300 million people with ongoing ethnic cleansing in Palestine; shattered societies in Libya, Syria, and Iraq; millions dead and tens of millions of refugees; brutal torturers in power; women chained and suffocated by patriarchy; the rampant spread of Dark Ages religious fundamentalism—all while America plunders its resources, especially oil?

And what kind of system now declares it’s ready to go to war to maintain its stranglehold and keep doing what it’s been doing?!

This is a system that is utterly worthless. A system that cannot be reformed. A system that needs to be overthrown and dug up by the roots, with a whole new society built in its place, so that humanity—all of humanity—can breathe free.


1. Pompeo claimed that Iran lied about having a nuclear weapons program, implied that it remains eager to pursue nuclear weapons, and that this is the real purpose of its uranium enrichment program. The claim that Iran had a nuclear weapons program (prior to 2003) rests on widely debunked “intelligence,” probably fabricated by Israel and opponents of the Iranian regime. Iran has abided by the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement, and there is no evidence at this point that it aims to develop nuclear weapons. Iran does have the right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to enrich uranium for non-military purposes, such as generating energy and for medical purposes.  [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/545/1500-refugee-children-went-missing-under-us-custody-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

Emergency!

1,500 Refugee Children Went Missing Under U.S. Custody—Now Trump/Pence Regime Is Ensuring Thousands More Suffer the Same Fate

May 28, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The U.S. government has admitted that almost 1,500 refugee children in their custody are missing! Children who faced nightmarish poverty, domestic abuse, and violence by gangs, drug cartels, and police—all bearing the fingerprints of U.S. domination of their countries—and were forced to flee, by themselves, without their parents. Who trekked hundreds of miles north from Central America and Mexico to the U.S. border. Who were then taken by the U.S. government and supposedly placed with families or sponsors to ensure their health and safety—except now the U.S. has no idea where many of them are. And their parents have no idea that their children are now effectively disappeared.

The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement recently tried to find 7,835 children who arrived at the border and were declared “unaccompanied minors.” They were unable to locate 1,475. Some ended up with human traffickers. Two years ago, Associated Press investigators found over two dozen of these children under virtual slavery in Ohio in one of America’s largest egg-producing businesses, living in unimaginable squalor. (“Trafficked in America,” Frontline, April 24, 2018) Other children may have ended up with sexual abusers or may be on the streets. Some may be dead.

But the government isn’t organizing any search parties to find these children. This system took these children into its killing clutches and now claims it bears no responsibility, treating these precious, irreplaceable lives as just garbage to be disposed of!

And now, before our eyes, the Trump/Pence regime is taking draconian steps that will ensure that many more children are disappeared. They have declared that tearing every immigrant child away from her or his undocumented parents upon arrival is now official U.S. government policy. (See “Terror and Torture of Immigrant Children Now Official U.S. Policy”)

Listen to what John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff, said as he defended the regime’s inhumane policy of criminalizing and imprisoning every refugee and stealing their children. “Don’t worry,” he said, because they “will be taken care of—put into foster care or whatever.”

“Or whatever”?! Like being “placed in homes” to be sexually assaulted, starved, or forced to work for little or no pay... or worse?

The Trump/Pence regime has taken this system’s crimes against immigrants to their fascist conclusion—ethnic genocide. Tearing every immigrant child away from her or his undocumented parents upon arrival is now a key link in the regime’s drive to clamp down with their fascist rule. The parallels to the program the Nazis implemented against Jews in Germany are chilling. Think about the 36-year-old Guatemalan woman in court in Arizona who asked when she could be reunited with her two children who’d been taken away when they crossed the border—and finding that neither the judge nor the prosecutor could answer her question. Or the Guatemalan man, deported after his 18-month-old child was taken away, who could not find his child.

¡Basta! No More! This fascist regime must be prevented from normalizing the ethnic cleansing of this country’s immigrants and committing other monstrous crimes against humanity. The current #WhereAreTheMissingChildren outrage across the media and social media about the tearing away and disappearing of refugee children is good. But it’s not enough!

Don’t waste time calling your senators or congresspeople, who will do nothing but tell you to cast a vote in November. Get into the streets now, and stay in the streets, until thousands have been brought forward, and then millions of people, demanding the Trump/Pence regime must go! And do it with your eyes and your energy on the prize—a radically different world where the efforts and creativity of children everywhere can finally be fully liberated!

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/545/national-faith-weekend-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

National Faith Weekend May 18-20 ~
“I Am My Brother’s Keeper – The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.”

May 28, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A coalition of the faith community met in Los Angeles in January 2018 and resolved to call on people throughout the country to participate in a National Faith Weekend May 18-20, on the theme of: “I Am My Brother’s Keeper – The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go. We must do this for the future of humanity and the planet.” The following video clips are from the Facebook live broadcast—with over 6,000 views—of the event held in response to this call on May 20 at the St. Mark United Methodist Church, South Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 


 

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

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

New Call to Action From Refuse Fascism:

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

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

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An American Fascism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Name of Humanity,

We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

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

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

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

 @RefuseFascism on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/545/insane-euphoria-as-royal-wedding-celebrates-inclusion-in-british-empire-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

Insane Euphoria as Royal Wedding Celebrates “Inclusion” in Blood-Soaked Monstrosity—the British Empire

May 28, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The May 18 wedding of British Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, an African-American woman, set loose an astonishing display of euphoria among many progressives and people of color. They were “swept away” by Markle and elements of Black culture—a Black preacher, a gospel choir, a young Black cellist—that broke the mold... that is, the form—of the usually all-white and deadly dull royal wedding.

A widely retweeted comment from a Black journalist exemplified the widespread cluelessness, self-delusion, and shameless slavishness towards not just the British monarchy but oppressive ruling classes and systems generally: “So I’ve seen a black president of the United States, and now I’ll see a black woman joining the British royal family. What a time to be alive.”

ONE: “What a time to be alive”???

People—and in particular people among the oppressed who have been able to achieve some degree of privilege—really need to stop chasing the delusion that having some people like them in positions of power changes the nature of a system that is built on oppression.

Joy Reid on MSNBC actually brought up Charlotte, a British queen in the 1700s who Reid excitedly declared may have been the first black royal. Oh, how wonderful! Well, guess what, if that is true, Charlotte presided over Britain making a fortune in the slave trade... so what is your fucking point, Joy? And Obama proved that the system will go right on murdering Black youths, deporting Latino people, and waging murderous wars in the Third World, as a Black president both spearheads and provides cover for these crimes.

And now this capitalist-imperialist system has brought forth Trump and his regime, who in this time, serving the same system, is carrying out ethnic cleansing and promoting genocidal ideas.

“What a time...” WTF?!?!

This system needs to be overthrown, not given a facelift.

TWO: The British Monarchy—Not a Fairy Tale, Not a Quaint Anachronism, but a 1,000-Year-Old Horror Show Built on the Suffering of Billions

After the U.S., the British empire is almost certainly the most blood-drenched horror ever imposed on suffering humanity.

Let’s leave aside for now Britain’s role in the kidnapping and enslavement of an estimated 5.5 million African people who then became a source of great wealth laboring in the British colonies. Let’s not get into England’s bloody conquest of Ireland, including a war in the mid-17th century in which about half of Ireland’s population was either killed or made slaves, or the Great Famine of 1845-9 in which the British occupiers exported vast quantities of Irish food to England while around a million Irish people died of starvation.

Let’s talk about the “Crown Jewel of the British Empire”—India—so-called because it was the source of vast wealth as well as soldiers—Indian cannon-fodder for the imperial armed forces in other parts of the empire. England conquered India in the mid-18th century and turned its hundreds of millions of people into near-slaves (or sometimes soldiers), enriching the empire—and the Royal Family—even as starvation and suffering spread in their own land.

When Indian soldiers rose up in the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857, the British responded with utter ruthlessness. In the city of Oudh alone, 150,000 Indians were killed, at least 100,000 of whom were civilians. Similar massacres happened in other major cities involved in the uprising. Captured rebels were tied to the mouths of cannons and then shells fired through them.

During World War 2 (1937-45) the British empire suffered serious defeats as Japanese imperialism seized a number of its colonies, including major rice producers like Burma (now Myanmar). Meanwhile, Britain ordered the destruction of boats, carts, and other means of transport necessary for farming in India to keep them out of the hands of the Japanese should India be taken. This and other factors led to a massive famine in India’s Bengal region. Echoing what they had done in Ireland, the British diverted rice from India to Britain and other parts of their empire. And even when Australia and other war allies of Britain offered grain for India, British Prime Minister Churchill claimed—falsely—that there were no boats available to ship it.

Between two and three million Bengalis died in this famine. Churchill’s response: “‘I hate Indians,’ he told the Secretary of State for India, Leopold Amery. ‘They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.’ The famine was their own fault, he declared at a war-cabinet meeting, for ‘breeding like rabbits.’”1

And what about Africa? At the Berlin Conference in 1884-85, Britain and 12 other European powers plus the U.S. carved up Africa, allotting different parts to different colonizers. This division set the terms for barbaric exploitation of Africa’s land, mineral wealth, and people, which goes on to this day. It deliberately established states encompassing rival tribal groups, thus setting the stage for Britain’s notorious policy of “divide and rule,” in which one tribal group would be favored by the empire and empowered to act as agents in the exploitation and suppression of the majority, setting up bitter and bloody divisions which, again, persist to this day.

Africa became a stomping ground for great-power rivalry. To oppose Germany, Britain built a railroad linking its East African colony of Kenya to Uganda by importing 30,000 laborers from India—as many as 10,000 of whom died, while exploitation in Kenya was intensified to pay for the railroad.

In 1952, Kenyans rose up in the Mau Mau rebellion for “Land and Freedom.” The rebellion was defeated in a two-year war... and then the British set out to break the rebel spirit by imprisoning 160,000-200,000 men in concentration camps, and while keeping about 1.5 million women and children in “enclosed villages ... surrounded by spiked trenches, barbed wire and watch towers.” Both men and women were massively subjected to extremely cruel torture, including widespread castration of men (after their testicles were first crushed by pliers) and women having their breasts cut off, being raped, or having broken bottles forced up their vaginas.2

Yes, long live the goddamned British Monarchy and oh please, honor us by letting us be some small part of it!

THREE: The British Monarchy Is STILL a Bunch of Vampires Shedding and Sucking the Blood of the Oppressed

While Britain is no longer the most powerful oppressor in the world—as it was for hundreds of years—it revels in its role as “junior partner” to the U.S. empire, contributing firepower and sharing in the wealth that the U.S. extracts from its huge empire. And sorry people, Prince Harry is right down with it, 100 percent. In fact, Harry did two tours of duty in Afghanistan, helping the U.S. to bring these strategic countries under its control, in wars that have led to over a million deaths and many millions of people being displaced. Harry insisted on being in combat, and on flying Apache attack helicopters, which can fire Hellfire missiles and thousands of bullets per minute—in 2011, the UN reported that the Apache was “responsible for the majority of civilian deaths from air strikes.”3

Harry compared shooting people from an Apache with playing video games.4

And by the way—he made sure to wear his military uniform at the wedding.

Why Should the Oppressed Yearn for “Inclusion” in Any of This?!

The fact that such vampires are held up as role models is itself a sign of how utterly morally and historically bankrupt capitalism-imperialism is. The fact that large numbers of people get sucked into this shows the extreme urgency of bringing forward a movement for revolution, and with it, growing thousands of revolutionary “role models” who dedicate their lives to the emancipation of humanity, not its enslavement.


1. “The Ugly Briton,” TIME.com, November 29, 2010.  [back]

2. For more on this, see the revcom.us review of the 2005 book Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya, by Caroline Elkin.  [back]

3. “U.N. Report: Apache Helicopters to Blame for Afghan Civilian Deaths,” PBS, July 14, 2011.  [back]

4. “Prince Harry ‘driving wedge between forces and Afghan locals,’” Telegraph, January 22, 2013.  [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/545/ucla-screening-of-the-film-of-a-talk-by-bob-avakian-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

UCLA Screening of the Film of a Talk by Bob Avakian:

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

May 28, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Thursday, May 24, 60 people gathered at UCLA to attend a film screening and panel discussion of a talk by Bob Avakian, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible.

A diverse audience attended the screening, including 15 students. The film was followed by a panel who responded to Bob Avakian’s talk, and then a Q&A with the audience. The panel included Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books, NY and co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org and Juan Gómez-Quiñones, Professor of History at UCLA. Dr. Reynaldo F. Macías (Chicana/o Studies, Education and Applied Linguistics, Affiliated Faculty in Afro-American Studies and in Civic Engagement, UCLA) who was one of the event's co-sponsors, provided opening and closing comments and Tala Deloria, a student at UCLA in the Revolution Club and volunteer with The Bob Avakian Institute emceed.

For those who are seeing it the first time or those who have seen it before, watching the hour-long talk from Avakian, with others, in a dark room and on a large screen, was impactful and even jarring. Someone familiar with the film said re-watching it, in light of all the recent events, was scary because you have to confront again what is really happening and where it’s headed. A couple of members of the Revolution Club commented that each time they go through the film, they learn something new from the way in which Avakian pulls together the links of what’s happening to provide a deeper analysis of the driving contradictions that have led to this fascist regime.

“A regime that could destroy civilization...”

After the screening, Deloria posed the question to Zee and Gómez-Quiñones: “The promotional materials for this event say ‘a regime that could destroy civilization... you think you know, but you don’t.’ Having just heard the argument from Avakian made scientifically and with a lot of heart, could you both speak to the first aspect of that statement in terms of the potential destruction of civilization?”

Zee opened by saying that day’s events sharpened the urgency of that question. He pointed to the cancellation of talks with North Korea with the “unbelievable gangster logic and threat of nuclear annihilation in Trump’s schoolboy letter that nonetheless had an incredible threat, once again, to wipe out North Korea, saying we have a nuclear arsenal that could blow you off the planet should you not agree with me.” Zee, in one of four points of reference to discuss from the film, linked this back to one of the most important parts of the film, Avakian’s exposure of the “Great Tautological Fallacy” that underlies the disgusting American chauvinism and false belief that America is a force for good in the world. This provides the justification for so much of what the Trump/Pence regime are doing internationally, including how everyone in this society is trained to think.

Second, pointing to the silencing of NFL protest, of “owners” telling their “40 million dollar slaves” when to stand and sit, Zee said this also calls to mind why Avakian began the film with the discussion of slavery and rape and the whole history of this country and the direct link from that to today. And, that we could get into Avakian’s sharp point that, “When you confront that squarely, how could you honestly say that fascism couldn’t happen here?”

Zee also highlighted two other points in the film he wanted to open up for discussion. “Why it is that in order to stop this fascist juggernaut, we have to act outside the bounds of normal political processes? What are we talking about with Refuse Fascism?” And why is it that “a better world IS possible, what that revolution is all about and how in fact we can go about doing it.” He pointed people to HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, a statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party which is a strategy for revolution and what we have to do today to begin working towards that time when a revolution could actually be made; and to the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Avakian. This is a blueprint for “a place where people would actually want to live because it’s a society that will be in transition to a world where we could live without exploitation and oppression.”

Juan Gómez-Quiñones gave an impassioned talk about the danger we are facing and the importance of the struggle against this with the understanding that a better world really IS possible. He opened with a reference to the second line of the title of the film, “the call for humanity is more powerful when the next phrase follows, that is the intention to struggle for a better world and to struggle against fascism, in particular now.” He sounded the alarm: “To us, fighting fascism is immediate. Given the fact that fascism has advanced in this country.” He walked through the heightened danger in the fact that the fascists have a majority in every major part of government, that you cannot rely on Congress, the courts, the governorships, law enforcement. Law enforcement which does not “spend their time saving babies, but are in fact the cudgels of society... they will beat you up and if necessary, they will snuff you. With no legitimacy, no reasonable cause for doing so.” He dismissed those who say that Trump is a clown, “if he is a clown, he is a clown who is achieving his agenda...” This underscored the question and challenge Gómez-Quiñones posed, “Where is hope in world if there isn’t struggle?” He ended his comments by pointing to the fact that “people do dream of a better world, that is a very powerful incentive. That’s not easy, but we have to keep at it.”

Following this exchange, they took questions from the audience. The questions mainly focused on the situation we’re in with Trump/Pence, in particular the contradiction Avakian speaks to in the film on order vs. justice. One person asked how we break through the fear of disorder. Another drew on Carl Jung (a Swiss philosopher and psychoanalyst) and discussed the fear that is held deeply in the collective unconscious, asking how to break through that to get to justice. An indigenous student activist raised a question about the role of indigenous sovereignty in revolution and the new communism. The first question was about how to break through in the media and in other ways, given the ignorance about what fascism is and its history: fascists can fill rooms, but at this moment, those fighting against them aren’t cohering into the movement needed.

In answering this question, there was an important exchange between the panelists. Gómez-Quiñones drew another lesson from the history of Germany, posing the question: “What happens to a left that is mistaken or weakened in some vital way even though it has many, many thousands of people as members?” He talked about the persecution of the German socialist party by the social-democrats (akin to the Democratic Party of today) which entered into an alliance with the right wing section of the German government after World War 1. Gómez-Quiñones argued that this history holds more lessons for us today than the deals made between Hitler and Hindenburg (the German president) in the early 1930s, which led to Hitler’s rise to power. Without walking through all this history, Zee emphasized that an essential lesson in what Gómez-Quiñones was pointing to was the importance for us today of breaking with American chauvinism. The German socialists were one of the many parties during WW1 who supported their own country in waging that war, “they ideologically disarmed the people who could stand with them and gave tremendous initiative to the ruling class parties of that time.” In summing this point up, Zee argued that “if you think you can fight your enemy by waving his flag, you are cutting your legs off in that struggle and especially when your government is the most powerful government, and enforcing its rule around the world, this is going to completely disarm the people.”

He also briefly, but sharply, pointed out how this American social chauvinism ran through the “anti-fascist struggle in this country in the run-up and through WW2.” Concluding, he pointed again to why Bob Avakian spends almost a quarter of the film on this question: what is the actual foundation of this country, what it has done and continues to do around the world, and why is it so urgent for people to break from American chauvinism.

Throughout the Q&A, Zee brought people back to the film and other key works from Avakian on the questions people raised. He also called on people to get organized with Refuse Fascism, discussing more about their plans and approach, to get organized with the Revolution Club which is recruiting people now into the ranks of the revolution, going to work on that revolution, and to be part of spreading the works of Bob Avakian with The BA Institute.

In answering the question on the role of indigenous sovereignty in the new communism, Zee drew from and read directly from the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. He answered the question specifically but then talked about the importance of this Constitution, above all else, as a framework for a society in transition to communism, to uproot all forms of exploitation and oppression all around the world.

A last-minute fight for the event to go forward

In the days leading up to the event, there was a last-minute fight for it to take place. About 30 hours before the event—which had been widely publicized for a couple of weeks on the campus, the school administration told the organizers that because of new UCLA rules, they would have to pay thousands of dollars for police and an “events coordinator” to hold this program. They said this was because they deemed the event “controversial” and they specifically cited a disruption of a pro-Israel program by five student groups outraged at the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza that took place the week before. Students, and in particular the faculty co-sponsors, fought very hard up until the last minute to prevent these fees from being charged and enabling the event to go forward. The fees and restrictions were rescinded seven hours before the program was to begin.

These kinds of restrictive policy measures are being passed at campuses all across the country. They will have a chilling effect on campuses nationally, contributing to repression of political dissent on campuses and fascistic culture throughout society. It was very important that professors, students, and The BA Institute really stepped up to fight this through—in particular given the topic and the urgency to break open debate and discussion on the profound and immediate dangers that humanity faces from the Trump/Pence regime.

Learning more what drew people, and what held them back

Those attending came from a diverse range of political perspectives and backgrounds. From UCLA, there were student organizers with Students for Justice in Palestine and Eagle and Condor Liberation Front. There were students and others who are serious about getting organized in different ways: with Refuse Fascism, with the Revolution Club and with The Bob Avakian Institute.

The Revolution Club and The BA Institute fought hard in the weeks before the event to spread the word and work with students to organize others. However, it was not the turnout that was needed and they will be aiming to learn more about this in the next days. While there are some positive things happening on that campus in terms of a renewed desired for protest among some students, this is not predominant and even there, there’s not a correct understanding of what is happening in the bigger picture and what that requires. In the face of tremendous crimes being perpetrated by this regime, the level of “ignore-ance” among students is rampant. Even among those who don’t like what the Trump/Pence regime are doing, they are not paying attention to what is happening and are not taking responsibility to do anything to stop it. Instead, they are mainly focused on their own lives, their homework, careers, and personal futures. This is nothing but being a “Good German” in the face of consolidating fascism; it is unacceptable and has to change. Bound up with this is a tremendously deep-seated and mainly unspoken American chauvinism—the underlying assumption that, after all, American lives (and my life in particular) is more important than other people’s lives. The basis for this lies in a stability that exists in this country because of the great wealth the U.S. has gotten through global exploitation and plunder, ramped up and extremely volatile with this fascist regime in power. Among those who do recognize some of the horrors happening, there seems to be a refusal to confront the full dimensions of this, instead bearing down on one question absent an understanding of the changing dynamics given the fascist regime in power. This gets bound up with identity politics and proceeding very narrowly within the interests of one section of the oppressed vs. looking at what is needed for humanity. There really needs to be a much sharper struggle for people to see the bigger picture, the larger dynamics shaping things, to really recognize—and be forced to confront—what actually is happening and what must be done.1

All this highlights the importance of people broadly seeing this talk from Avakian which provides that bigger picture: What are the roots and dynamics that have given rise to this fascist regime in power? Can fascism actually happen here? What can be done to stop it, and how? Is a better world possible and how can we struggle for that today? One lesson that someone from the Revolution Club raised after seeing the film again was that in making the case to others for why they needed to make the time to be there—and to bring others—they did not enough really proceed from the film, wielding it for people to lay bare the reality of what we’re facing and why it’s so urgent to have this discussion and debate.

“...consciousness provides a confidence to overcome fear...”

In his closing remarks, Professor Macías spoke to the importance of this kind of discussion to changing our consciousness in order to overcome fear. “Fear is a very powerful tool of the bourgeoisie and of nation states through the mechanism of state terror and cultural terror to silence... information, books—virtual or hard copy—discussions, teach-ins like this, speeches that have analysis and perspective are so critical to overcome fear because it does raise consciousness, and that consciousness provides a confidence that allows for acting on that understanding.”

Macías thanked Zee and commended in particular his role as spokesperson for Revolution Books. He also thanked The Bob Avakian Institute for its role in co-sponsoring this event and encouraged people to find out about the other programs they’ve sponsored, including the Dialogue between Avakian and Cornel West in Harlem several years ago. Macías closed out the night with the following: “So there are materials being produced by The BA Institute, by Revolution Books, by other units to provide us with the kind of information that helps us learn and understand, analyze our situation, that gives us the confidence to overcome the fear and the terror and the shock and awe of the state, in order to be able to act and move forward and change the world as we envision a new and safer world for all of us.”

 


1. A basic framework to understand these dynamics is in BA’s TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! talk and, in particular, Part 2 of the Q&A that followed, in the discussion on the role of students.  [back]

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/545/american-crime-case-41-cointelpro-fbi-targets-new-left-1964-1971-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

American Crime

Case #41: COINTELPRO—The FBI Targets the New Left, 1964-1971

May 28, 2018 | 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.”)

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

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

THE CRIME

From 1956-1971, the FBI operated a covert, illegal program that targeted the system’s political opponents in the U.S. The program, COINTELPRO (for COunter INTELligence PROgram), was used to infiltrate, harass, disrupt, smear, and murder or destroy individuals and organizations. COINTELPRO initially targeted the Black civil rights and liberation movements.1 (See, American Crime “Case #42: COINTELPRO—The FBI Targets the Black Freedom Struggle, 1956-1971.”)

From 1964-1971, COINTELPRO targeted student activists and the anti-Vietnam War movement, known as the New Left.2 COINTELPRO operatives worked with the local police and “red squads” to target individuals to be arrested. Dirty tricks were used to try to foment disputes between and split up political organizations. The FBI coordinated raids with the local police, and worked in conjunction with local police to attack demonstrations where nonviolent protesters were brutally beaten and murdered.3

Three major events led to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’s decision to institute COINTELPRO against the New Left:

  1. In the fall of 1964, the Free Speech movement at UC Berkeley captured the imagination of students throughout the country and resulted in college demonstrations against ROTC, the CIA, and universities’ involvement with military and defense research;
  2. With the U.S. escalation of the war in Vietnam in 1965, SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) expanded,4 and by 1967 SDS had become a major force on the campuses along with other organizations like the Vietnam Day Committee at UC Berkeley. It was estimated that SDS had over 30,000 active members on 250 campuses;
  3. In April 1968, students at Columbia University occupied five campus buildings and went on strike in opposition to institutional racism, the university’s support for the U.S. war machine, and the university’s suspension and expulsion of student activists. Columbia was brought to a standstill. Cops were called in to smash the strike.

On May 9, 1968, a month after the Columbia student takeover, Hoover issued a memo to institute COINTELPRO in order to disrupt, attack, and destroy the New Left.5

His tactics included drafting leaflets smearing the left, fomenting conflicts between different groups, working with local police to bust activists for using pot, sending anonymous letters warning parents and school administrators of what their children and students were supposedly doing, warning police about antiwar coffee houses opening near military bases, and using disinformation and ridicule to counter the New Left’s publications and activities. All these secret COINTELPRO tactics were aimed at preventing the New Left from exercising their First Amendment rights, preventing efforts to speak, to teach, to write and publish, to meet, to protest, and to unite with the Black liberation struggle and other struggles for national liberation.6

By 1970, the FBI, in conjunction with U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark’s Interdivisional Information Unit, had issued more than 40,000 intelligence reports concerning “civil disorders and campus disturbances” involving over 10,000 students.7

The FBI, in conjunction with the Justice Department and the local police, busted political activists on assorted charges.

Frank Donner, an ACLU expert on political surveillance and counterintelligence, in 1971 pointed out that “The pot bust has become a punitive sanction against political dissent and the threat of prosecution (on drug charges) is a favorite method of ‘hooking’ student informers.”8 For instance, John Sinclair, head of the White Panther Party (an anti-racist and anti-capitalist group organizing among white youth), was arrested by two undercover pigs at a rock concert for smoking marijuana. He received a nine-and-a-half-year sentence! Also, it was well known within the movement that cops would plant marijuana in order to arrest political activists.

The FBI and local cops went after leaders of the movement by arresting them on bogus conspiracy charges where lengthy, expensive, and time-consuming trials were held. Two important conspiracy trials were the Chicago 8 and the Oakland 7 that were held in response to massive protests against the Vietnam War in those two cities.9 These trials set a new standard for how to deal with the government’s repression against the movement and its leaders, with the defendants and their attorneys taking a militant stand, going on the offensive against the government in the courtroom, and raising the antiwar movement to a new level.

Arrests for desecration of the flag were another way activists were targeted. The ACLU reported at least 100 flag cases by May 1971. “Police red squads working in collusion with FBI COINTELPRO operatives rousted demonstrators, who incorporated the flag into their apparel, altered it to include peace signs, or movement symbols, burned it, or displayed it upside down.”10 (Bob Avakian writes in his memoir that he served 30 days in jail on trumped-up charges of desecration of the flag at a Free Huey Newton demonstration at the Oakland, California, courthouse.11 )

The FBI attacked the underground press,12 and COINTELPRO was used to attack SDS.13

Agents Provocateurs: The FBI sent infiltrators into organizations in order to foment acts of violence that would enable the authorities to attack those organizations. These infiltrators are known as “agents provocateurs.”

The “Camden 28” defendants were acquitted of all charges for breaking into the New Jersey Selective Service office in an attempt to destroy draft files after it was revealed that the prosecution’s star witness admitted the FBI instructed him to infiltrate the group, propose the action, and provide the burglary tools used to break in.14

Ward Churchill writes that one of the most well-known agents provocateurs was Thomas Tongyai, who was paid by the FBI and spent two years going to colleges in western New York state “urging students to kill police, make bombs and blow up buildings.”15

Alfred Burnett, an FBI-paid infiltrator, “lured Larry Eugene Ward into planting a bomb at a Seattle real estate office on the morning of May 15, 1970, by paying Ward $75, providing him with the bomb, and giving him transportation to the bombing scene. Ward, a 22-year-old veteran who had been twice wounded and decorated three times for service in Vietnam, was shot and killed by waiting Seattle police as he allegedly fled after the bombing attempt, although he was unarmed, on foot, and boxed in by police cars.”16

Attacking Support for the Black Panther Party: The FBI was very concerned about coalitions forming between SDS and the Black Panther Party, which they felt would “pose a formidable threat,” and they were out to stop it using COINTELPRO tactics, including by sending phony letters aimed at stirring animosity between the two organizations.

One letter the FBI sent to the BPP in Newark, New Jersey, was addressed “Dear Pussycats,” signed by SDS, and ridiculed BPP cadre: “I just read the 10/10/70 issue of your paper, particularly pages 3, 4 and 5 and was much impressed with the people’s Army. A woman, a boy and an old man.’ Man, you sure are tough. You’re a Joke man. You’re some vanguard of the oppressed black.”

Jean Seberg: COINTELPRO tactics were used to attack and prevent influential people from openly and financially supporting the Black Panther Party. Actress Jean Seberg was one.

An FBI memo approving the targeting of Seberg stated: “Jean Seberg has been a financial supporter of the BPP and should be neutralized. Her current pregnancy by (redacted name) while still married affords an opportunity for such effort.” Based on an FBI note to gossip columnists, Joyce Haber wrote about this in the Los Angeles Times. She did not name Seberg but the damage had been done. Haber’s article caused Seberg to miscarry and ultimately commit suicide.17

Bob Avakian: In his memoir, From Ike to Mao and Beyond, Bob Avakian (BA), Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, talks about how he was a target for surveillance. At a demonstration, he was approached by the head of the Berkeley police “red squad” and told that he and the Revolutionary Union (the RU, which BA played a central role in founding) were under surveillance. He wrote about being in Chicago for the New Politics Convention, and going back to his car and finding a guy who was “obviously from the Chicago red squad or the FBI” in a car behind his car “writing things down.” A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) discovery revealed that the House of Representatives did a “whole report and investigation on the RU.” Another FOIA inquiry also showed that BA was under surveillance in Maywood, a suburb of Chicago, and that the FBI had made a diagram of the inside of his house, “indicating through which windows someone could see different things going on inside the house.” This was a similar type of diagram to that used by the FBI and the Chicago cops that enabled them to assassinate Fred Hampton, leader of the Chicago Black Panther Party.18 19

THE CRIMINALS

J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI: Hoover was a staunch anti-communist who had instituted COINTELPRO.

The FBI: William C. Sullivan, the assistant FBI director, took the student occupation of Columbia University “very seriously.” For the FBI, the New Left became “fair game.”20

The U.S. Government: The U.S. government initiated a number of conspiracy trials against the New Left. Among them, Lyndon Johnson’s administration charged renowned pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock and Yale University chaplain the Reverend William Sloane Coffin with conspiring to advise people to evade the military draft. Richard Nixon’s administration prosecuted prominent antiwar leaders—like the Chicago 8 and the Seattle Liberation Front (the Seattle 7, 1970) with conspiracy to incite a riot. Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 for theft and conspiracy after he released the top secret Pentagon Papers in 1971 exposing U.S. lies and deception in the Vietnam War. The Gainesville 8 leaders of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) were charged with conspiracy to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida.

THE ALIBI

COINTELPRO was a secretive, covert operation that no one outside the FBI was to know about. Therefore, no public rationale for it was required.

However, Hoover, so concerned that the student movement was sweeping the campuses, wrote a public letter in September 1970 to college students attempting to persuade them not to join the mass protests rocking the campuses and the country.

Hoover applauded the students for being the “best educated, most sophisticated, most poised generation in our history,” and upheld their desire to make America “a better country,” and their right to want change. “There’s nothing wrong with student dissent or student demands for changes in society or the display of student unhappiness over aspects of our national policy,” he wrote. But he warned them against violence, lawlessness and those who have “lost faith in America,” claiming they just wanted chaos, “violence and destruction,” and had “no rational, intelligent plan of the future.” Then he offered the students FBI tips for avoiding being lured into “extremist” activities (with the implication students should snitch on activists).21

THE REAL MOTIVE

In a meeting between President Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover on April 28, 1965, James Kirkpatrick Davis, who has extensive ties with the FBI, writes:

Johnson expressed extraordinary anxiety over the New Left movement and what it was doing to the country. He told Hoover that, according to intelligence reports reaching him, the North Vietnamese and Red Chinese felt that intensified antiwar agitation in the United States would eventually create a traumatic domestic crisis leading to a complete breakdown in law and order. Thus...U.S. troops would have to be withdrawn from Vietnam in order to restore domestic tranquility. Quite simply, the president felt that the New Left movement was giving encouragement to the enemies of the United States.22

The purpose of COINTELPRO was written in a memo from J. Edgar Hoover to the FBI on how it was to be used against the New Left:

Our nation is undergoing an era of disruption and violence caused to a large extent by various individuals generally connected with the New Left. Some of these activists urge revolution in America and call for the defeat of the United States in Vietnam. They continually and falsely allege police brutality and do not hesitate to utilize unlawful acts to further their so-called causes. The New Left has on many occasions viciously and scurrilously attacked the Director and the Bureau in an attempt to hamper our investigation of it and to drive us off the college campuses. With this in mind, it is our recommendation that a new Counterintelligence Program be designed to neutralize the New Left and Key Activists. The Key Activists are those individuals who are the moving forces behind the New Left and on whom we have intensified our investigations.

The purpose of this program is to expose, disrupt and otherwise neutralize the activities of this group and persons connected with it.23

 

Selected Bibliography

Books

Churchill, Ward, and Vander Wall, Jim, The COINTELPRO Papers, South End Press, 1990.

Cunningham, David, There’s Something Happening Here: The New Left, The Klan, and FBI Counterintelligence, University of California Press, 2004.

Friedman, John S., ed., The Secret Histories: An Anthology, Picador, 2005.

Jeffreys-Jones, Rhodri, We Know All About You: The Story of Surveillance in Britain and America, Oxford University Press, 2017.

Articles

COINTELPRO, FBI Counterintelligence, Covert Operations, Black Bag Jobs, Church Committee,” The Freedom Archives

CONINTELPRO: The Untold American Story,” Paul Wolf, Civil Liberties Defense Center

Counterintelligence: A Documentary Look at America’s Secret Police,” Vol. 1, by the National Lawyers Guild, 1980

Important Lessons on Political Piggery: How FBI COINTELPRO Targeted Radical Groups,” Revolution, August 20, 2014

COINTELPRO, Wikipedia

 


1. This secret program was only discovered in the early 1970s after some activists broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and released the documents they had obtained. On the night of March 8, 1971, when the nation was paying attention to the first heavyweight championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, eight antiwar protesters burglarized an FBI office in Media, just outside Philadelphia, taking thousands of documents. The stolen material included the secret case histories of thousands of Americans. Much of it was malicious gossip about things like “sexual deviance and race-mixing,” two of J. Edgar Hoover’s favorite subjects. Betty Medsger of the Washington Post received some of the files, and she was the first to break the story. She noticed a routing slip with the word “COINTELPRO” on it, but did not know what it meant. NBC reporter Carl Stern sought to find out what this word meant, and he obtained more documents under the Freedom of Information Act that revealed the full scope of COINTELPRO.  [back]

2. The “New Left” was a broad, diverse political and cultural movement that arose during the 1960s, mainly among young people and students in the U.S. and Europe. It was sparked by and centered around support for the Black civil rights and liberation struggles, opposition to the U.S. war in Vietnam, and later the women’s and gay liberation struggles. It was called the “New Left” because in many ways it developed separately from or in opposition to the “old left” from the 1930s and 1940s in particular, linked to the revisionist Communist Party, USA.  [back]

3. The most notable of those who were murdered by the local cops in conjunction with the FBI were:

(All of the above are chronicled in the book, The COINTELPRO Papers, by Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall, pp. 220-221.)  [back]

4. In his memoir, on  pp. 193-198, Bob Avakian discusses his encounters with SDS where it first was formed as an organization to make the U.S. “live up to proclaimed principles of democracy” in 1960, but then became more “radicalized with some various revolutionary currents” in the late 1960s.  [back]

5. The next day Hoover outlined the tactics:

  1. Prepare leaflets “designed to counteract the impression that SDS and other groups speaks for the majority of students” and put “obnoxious photos” of student leaders on the leaflets.
  2. Take advantage of “personal conflicts or animosities existing between New Left leaders.”
  3. Give the “impressions that certain New Left leaders are informants for the Bureau or other law enforcement agencies.”
  4. Use articles to show the “depravity of New Left leaders and members,” e.g. use of drugs and free sex, and send these articles to parents, wealthy donors, and university officials.
  5. Alert the local authorities about who in the New Left is using marijuana in order to have them arrested on drug charges.
  6. Send anonymous letters to a New Left member’s parents, parents’ neighbors, and parents’ employers describing the activities of the New Left member.
  7. Send anonymous letters to university officials, legislators, and Boards of Regents, describing the activities of faculty members and graduate assistants in the New Left movement.
  8. Use cooperative press to describe the activities of the students as constituting “a minority of the students and do not represent the conviction of the majority.”
  9. Exploit any hostilities between the key organizations—SDS, Socialist Workers Party (SWP), Young Socialist Alliance (YSA), and Progressive Labor Party (PLP).
  10. Alert the press and the local police forces regarding any New Left coffee houses that are opened near military bases in order to influence any members of the armed forces.
  11. Use cartoons, photographs, and anonymous letters that will have the effect of ridiculing the New Left. Ridicule is one of the most potent weapons we can use against it.
  12. Use “opportunities to confuse and disrupt New Left activities by disinformation. For example, when events are planned, notification that the event has been cancelled or postponed could be sent to various individuals.”

    Churchill and Vander Wall, pp. 183-184.  [back]

6. Friedman, John S., ed., The Secret Histories: An Anthology, Picador, 2005, pp. 239-246.  [back]

7. Churchill and Vander Wall, p. 183.  [back]

8. Churchill and Vander Wall, p. 191.  [back]

9. The Chicago 8 was an assortment of antiwar leaders who participated in the massive week-long demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago that culminated with thousands being attacked by the Chicago cops, the National Guard, and other federal cops. In his book, There’s Something Happening Here, David Cunningham writes, “By the week’s end over 1,000 demonstrators had been injured (including many in the media), 668 arrested, and Dean Johnson, a Sioux teenager, shot and killed.... One official account of the week, the ‘Walker Report’ described [the cops’] actions as a ‘spontaneous police riot’” The Chicago 8 were charged under the 1968 Anti-Riot Act “for conspiring to cross state lines with intent to incite a riot.” Six of the defendants were well-known movement leaders: pacifist David Dellinger, Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale, SDS leaders Tom Hayden and Rennie Davis, and “Yippie” leaders Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman. The other two defendants were little-known SDS members John Froines and Lee Weiner. Seale’s case was severed from the other seven and he was gagged and bound during his trial when he demanded that his First Amendment rights be upheld. He was sentenced to four years in prison for contempt of court, but the ruling was later overturned. The trial of the remaining seven lasted for months. They were found innocent of conspiracy charges but were found guilty on other charges. Federal Judge Julius Hoffman also brought 175 contempt charges against them, including their attorneys, William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass. The defendants received a sentence of five years in prison and $5,000 fines, plus added jail time for the contempt charges. The convictions on the substantive charges and contempt charges were appealed and later overturned.

The Oakland 7 were seven San Francisco Bay Area political leaders who were arrested and tried on conspiracy charges for a week-long demonstration, the October 1967 Stop the Draft Week, to shut down the Oakland Induction Center (where draftees were inducted into the military for the Vietnam War). Bob Avakian writes in his memoir about the significance of Stop the Draft Week that even though this militant action did not actually shut down the center, “this actually became a much bigger thing, and it had a very powerful impact in terms of rallying opposition to the Vietnam War and raising the opposition to a more serious level.” (See From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist, A Memoir by Bob Avakian, Insight Press, 2005, pp. 159-161.) The government, stung by the protest, struck back against some of the leadership of Stop the Draft Week. The trial lasted 11 weeks and all seven were found not guilty.  [back]

10. Churchill and Vander Wall, p. 191.  [back]

11. From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist, A Memoir by Bob Avakian, Insight Press, 2005. (Note: The Supreme Court later ruled that burning the flag was constitutionally protected free speech in the 1989 Texas v. Johnson case. Revolutionary Communist Party supporter Joey Johnson had been arrested and convicted for burning the flag at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas.)  [back]

12. In an FBI memo dated September 9, 1968, a COINTELPRO action was taken to disrupt Liberation News Service in New England by sending an anonymous letter signed by “a former staffer” trying to foment a split between the Massachusetts LNS office and the New York office, claiming that one of the founders of LNS was “suffering from megalomania.” Churchill and Vander Wall, p. 194.  [back]

13. An FBI memo, dated September 19, 1968, states: “[W]e have previously prepared a pamphlet which casts SDS in a derogatory light. The pamphlet depicts certain Princeton SDS leaders as apes. Newark has suggested that of the 150 pamphlets supplied 120 of these be sent to an outspoken conservative (a member of the John Birch Society) who would be expected to distribute them at a Conservative Club meeting at Princeton University.... It is felt that a greater distribution should be made of the pamphlet so that a broader cross section of the student body at Princeton will receive it.” Churchill and Vander Wall, p. 200.  [back]

14. Churchill and Vander Wall, p. 223.  [back]

15. Churchill and Vander Wall, p. 222.  [back]

16. Churchill and Vander Wall, p. 223.  [back]

17. Churchill and Vander Wall, pp. 216-219.  [back]

18. From Ike to Mao and Beyond, p. 164 and pp. 324-325. See also Bob Avakian (BA)—Official Biography, particularly Part 1: FORMATIVE EXPERIENCES, CRITICAL JUNCTURES, DECISIVE LEADERSHIP.”  [back]

19. A table of “Additional Groups Targeted by COINTELPRO-New Left” lists the Revolutionary Union (RU) as one of the 200 or so New Left groups that the FBI put under surveillance. (Something Is Happening Here, by David Cunningham, pp. 279-284.)  [back]

20. Spying on America: The FBI’s Domestic Counterintelligence Program, by James Kirkpatrick Davis, Praeger Publishers, 1992, p. 130.  [back]

21. “An Open Letter to College Students,” from John Edgar Hoover, Director Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, September 21, 1970. The letter stated:

As a 1970 college student, you belong to the best educated, most sophisticated, most poised generation in our history.

The vast majority of you, I am convinced, sincerely love America and want to make it a better country. You do have ideas of your own and that’s good.

You see things wrong in our society which we adults perhaps have minimized or overlooked. You are outspoken and frank and hate hypocrisy. That is good too.

There’s nothing wrong with student dissent or student demands for changes in society or the display of student unhappiness over aspects of our national policy. Student opinion is a legitimate aspect of public opinion in our society.

But there is real ground for concern about the extremism which led to violence, lawlessness, and disrespect for the rights of others on many college campuses during the past year.

The extremists are a small minority of students and faculty members who have lost faith in America. They ridicule the flag, poke fun at American institutions, seek to destroy our society. They are not interested in genuine reform. They take advantage of the tensions, strife, and often legitimate frustrations of students to promote campus chaos. They have no rational, intelligent plan of the future either for the university or the Nation.

The extremists are of wide variety: adherents of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) including the Weatherman; members of the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA), the Trotskyist youth group; the Communist Party’s Young Workers Liberation League (YWLL). Or they may be associated with the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (SMC), a Trotskyist dominated antiwar group.

Many are not associated with any national group. The key point is not so much the identification of extremists but learning to recognize and understand the mentality of extremism which believes in violence and destruction.

Based on our experience in the FBI, here are some of the ways in which extremists will try to lure you into their activities:

  1. They’ll encourage you to lose respect for your parents and the older generation....
  2. They'll try to convert you to the idea that your college is ‘‘irrelevant’’ and a “tool of the Establishment....
  3. They’ll ask you to abandon your basic common sense....
  4. They’ll try to envelop you in a mood of negativism, pessimism, and alienation toward yourself, your school, your Nation....
  5. They’ll encourage you to disrespect the law and hate the law enforcement officer....
  6. They’ll tell you that any action is honorable and right if it’s “sincere” or “idealistic” in motivation....
  7. They’ll ask you to believe that you, as a student and citizen, are powerless by democratic means to effect change in our society.... They’ll encourage you to hurl bricks and stones instead of logical argument at those who disagree with your views.  [back]

22. Davis, p. 132.  [back]

23. Churchill and Vander Wall, pp. 183-184.  [back]

 

 


 

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

Revolution #545 May 28, 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/545/border-patrol-murders-young-guatemalan-woman-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

Border Patrol Murders Young Guatemalan Woman
Justice for Claudia Gómez González!

May 30, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Up and down the Rio Grande
A thousand footprints in the sand
1

Claudia Gómez González

 

Claudia Gómez González had studied to be an accountant. But she was unable to earn a living in her homeland, a country wracked by extreme poverty and violence; reeling from decades under the thumb of U.S. imperialism, including genocidal campaigns of mass slaughter by an American trained and funded military.2 In mid-May, she left her hometown to come to the U.S.—to continue her studies, live with her boyfriend in Virginia, get an income and support herself and help her family in Guatemala. She told her mother, “Mamita, we’re going to go on ahead. I’ll make money. There is no work here.”

Soon after Claudia Gómez crossed the river separating the U.S. and Mexico, she lay bleeding to death from a shot to the head by a Border Patrol pig. Her cold-blooded murder is a bloody concentration of the violence and repression the most heavily armed country on earth rains down upon impoverished, unarmed immigrants.

The Pigs’ Lies

The Border Patrol first said that one of their pigs had come “under attack by multiple subjects using blunt objects.” They called Claudia and the people she was with “assailants” who used two-by-fours as weapons. It was all a lie.

A woman living nearby recorded the aftermath of Claudia Gómez’s murder. Marta Martinez can be heard yelling in Spanish, “Why do you mistreat them? Why did you shoot the girl? You killed her. He killed the girl. She's there. She's dead. I saw you with the gun!" Martinez said the Border Patrol captured two men after the shooting, and an agent said to them, “This is what happens. You see? Be quiet; you have weapons.”

A couple of days later the Border Patrol dropped mention of “blunt objects,” and no longer claimed their agents had been assaulted. But they continue to uphold their actions, and have released no word of the whereabouts of the immigrants arrested that night.

A Death Zone

For decades, the U.S. has made its border with Mexico a death zone. Thousands of immigrants have died trying to cross the line that divides the two sides. Countless others have had their lives torn apart by imprisonment, brutality, and deportation. These abominations are not “collateral damage,” or the actions of “rogue agents.” They are the results of conscious policy enacted and enforced by the monsters who run the U.S. system of capitalism imperialism.

This is being taken to entirely new levels of slanderous insult and murderous assault by the Trump/Pence fascist regime. Vigils for Claudia Gómez were held in at least seven Texas cities, as well as Alexandria, Virginia, and Miami. Many more people should join in these protests, not only to call out this horrible murder but to demand a stop to all attacks on immigrants—and should join with Refuse Fascism to work to drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime.

There is a moral and political challenge facing everyone. Are you okay with unarmed 20-year-old immigrant women being murdered by gun slinging pigs? Are you okay with a “commander-in-chief” who calls immigrants “animals” and has made relentless assaults on immigrants a battering ram for all-out fascism?

More fundamentally, the illegitimate system of capitalism-imperialism that gave rise to Trump/Pence can only be sustained by crushing literally hundreds of millions of lives. This system must be overthrown, through an actual revolution, when it is in deep crisis, and millions understand that its murderous violence is illegitimate, and are won to the need for revolution and the possibility of a radically different system and society. We are working and organizing right now to prepare the ground, the people, and the vanguard for that possibility.


1. From “Across the Borderline,” by Ry Cooder, John Hiatt, James Dickinson  [back]

2. See the article in Revolution’s  “American Crime” series, “Reagan’s Butcher Carries out Genocide in Guatemala.”  [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/545/on-violence-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

On Violence

May 31, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We should recognize: not all “fighting and dying” is the same. There is the incessant brutality and carnage unleashed by exploiters and oppressors here and all around the world in defense of their system and empire that should always be opposed. There is petty senseless violence among the people that degrades and dehumanizes and ends up helping oppressors to keep the people down. But when great numbers of people stand up to fight against oppression and exploitation, for liberation, for emancipation, and not for themselves alone... and when they do so with methods that are not degrading or dehumanizing but are consistent with and an expression of the emancipating goal and are the complete opposite of those used by the exploiters, that can be truly uplifting and liberating, and highly moral.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/545/open-letters-to-william-barber-and-carmen-perez-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

Open Letters to William Barber and Carmen Perez

May 31, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

To Reverend William Barber, who proposed carrying the U.S. flag in demonstrations during the week of Memorial Day:

Those who struggle for justice in America have an enemy, and that enemy is the U.S. ruling class of capitalist-imperialists and the system that they run. That enemy has a flag—a blood-soaked stars and stripes under which this enemy has committed horrendous and unmatched crimes over centuries, and which it continues to commit every day. The fact that the oppressed themselves have often died fighting for the very flag that subjugates them only makes it worse. You can NOT beat that enemy while you’re waving his flag.

And to Carmen Perez, of the Women’s March, who appealed to Ivanka Trump to stop the separation of immigrant children from their parents by ICE, and did so as an expectant mother to “a mother of three”: Ivanka Trump is a high-level functionary of a fascist regime attempting to clamp down power. The barbaric separation of children from parents is a linchpin and battering ram of that program. Appealing to the “hearts” of people who have proven over and over again that they are heartless feeds dangerous illusions and sets people up to be preyed upon yet again. To do this in a way that reinforces the reactionary sentimentalism promoted by this system makes it even worse. 

Deceiving and misleading the masses, in the hope of avoiding the necessary sharp battles to come, fools nobody but the people and helps nobody but the enemy.

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

On the Roseanne Barr controversy:

May 31, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Remember when people said that Roseanne spoke for the real grievances of the so-called forgotten Americans who voted for Trump?

They were right.

 

Share on social media

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/545/gestapo-ice-raids-in-sanctuary-chicago-grab-156-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

Part of Nationwide Raids:

Gestapo ICE Raids in Sanctuary Chicago Grab 156 Immigrants!

May 31, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Over a six-day period from May 19-24, Immigration and Customs Enforcement( ICE) raids snatched up 156 immigrants in 37 communities across the Chicago metropolitan area. This was part of a nationwide series of raids on immigrant communities by ICE named “Operation Keep Safe” (Sic[k]!), which has included raids in upstate New York a few weeks ago and in South and North California in February. Immigrants taken in the Chicago raids were from 11 countries, mostly from Mexico, but also Guatemala, Poland, El Salvador, Honduras, the Philippines, Ecuador, Jamaica, Jordan, Lithuania and New Zealand. One hundred forty-seven were men and nine were women, ages 19 to 64. Most had no prior convictions—their only “crime” is being undocumented. They were snatched from businesses, homes, in their cars, off streets and day-labor corners.

Imagine the terror of people in immigrant communities, worrying about loved ones and people they know, just as news was breaking about immigrant children being torn away from detained parents and others disappeared in the system, and Trump calling immigrants “animals.” What kind of animals tear parents away from their children? Inhuman monsters—like slave catchers chasing escaped slaves, also considered less than human and torn from their children—now in the service of a monstrous, fascist regime.

These raids in the Chicago area represent a major escalation of the Trump/Pence fascist regime’s program of ethnic cleansing. They have been enacting and implementing repressive anti-immigrant measures and laws, enabling police across the country to arrest immigrants, and enflaming a rabid, racist social base to carry out attacks, all aimed at driving out millions of immigrants. They are out to remove any obstacles in their way, legal, political and otherwise. They must not be allowed to succeed.

It is clear these raids were designed to terrorize whole communities. Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) reported on their blog that their hotline answered calls from people reporting immigration raids in several suburbs and cities near Chicago. Each of the calls received described draconian tactics used by ICE.

According to OCAD, “Evidence documented and gathered by community members over the last three days shows that ICE agents conducted this wave of raids with impunity. Media outlets and various social media posts showed ICE agents approaching cars and residences, terrorizing entire communities. We know that in some instances, agents entered people’s homes without a court-issued warrant and stopped people while driving, eventually taking individuals into custody for ‘speeding,’ blatantly acting outside of their own jurisdiction.” One local media report described ICE agents peering into someone’s basement window and advised people to keep their windows covered!

In the nearby city of St. Charles, ICE agents entered a restaurant with a photo of someone they were looking for and demanded to speak to the entire kitchen staff. An employee declared to a local television channel, “They did this without a court order and ended up taking six employees, who apparently did not have their papers in order.” Restaurants were a major target of the raids. Several had to shut down because almost all of their staff was detained in the raids, or because the employees are afraid to return.

ICE bragged about the raids in a release headlined: “ICE arrests 156 criminal aliens and immigration violators during Operation Keep Safe in Chicago area.” Richard Wong, Chicago-based ICE regional director, slandered immigrants and sanctuary cities, saying in the release: “ICE continues to face significant obstacles from dangerous policies created by local officials which hinder cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement. ‘Sanctuary cities’ not only provide refuge to illegal aliens, but they also protect criminal aliens who prey on people in their own communities.”

All this is taking place at a time of national attacks on sanctuary states and cities, and the officials who support them. Trump and Sessions recently escalated threats against Libby Schaaf, the Oakland mayor who warned residents of impending ICE raids during raids in North California in late February. In contrast, the raids in Chicago have been met with deafening silence by Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democratic senator Dick Durbin, both of whom claim to be staunch friends of immigrant communities, along with most of the English language media. This objectively amounts to collaboration with the Gestapo raids and the fascist Trump regime.

OCAD and the Latino Union of Chicago led a rally of 75-100 people on May 24 to protest a raid, which snatched up 30 immigrants, on a corner in a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood of Chicago where day laborers gather for work. Many organizations participated, including the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, PASO, Enlace Chicago, Workers Center for Racial Justice, Freedom First International, Refuse Fascism, Revolution Club Chicago, and the Chicago Federation of Labor. Undocumented immigrants spoke at the protest, detailing the terror and horror of families torn apart by these vicious raids. OCAD has also been circulating a petition demanding that Mayor Emanuel warn people in the Chicago area of impending raids on immigrants, as Libby Schaaf did.

Such protests are good, but MUCH, MUCH more is needed! This is an EMERGENCY! These attacks on immigrants are fucking intolerable. The legal assaults on sanctuary jurisdictions are fucking intolerable. THEY MUST BE STOPPED!

Millions of people hate this! Where are you? Religious institutions with sanctuary signs outside your doors? Sanctuary colleges and universities? Major immigrant rights and civil rights organizations? Restaurant owners who have declared themselves a sanctuary? Lawyers and others who flooded the airports to stop the Muslim ban? Dreamers and those who took to the streets to defend them? Everyone with a beating heart and a shred of humanity?

This is a turning point. All those who have acted in support of immigrants and against injustice and racism must act! There needs to be growing, creative no-business-as-usual protests around the ICE raids everywhere, NOW. Immigrants, sanctuary cities and states and the politicians who support them must be defended.

The Trump regime is implementing and escalating these Nazi atrocities against immigrants. The attack on immigrants is a linch pin and battering ram, as refusefascism.org has called it, for a whole fascist program. There is an urgent need and a way forward for a growing movement to stop the nightmare of a fascist regime by driving it from power. Read, sign and share the Refuse Fascism Call to Action.

And people of conscience must be seriously questioning what kind of a system generates this American fascism, and watching the film of a talk by Bob Avakian, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America! A Better World IS Possible!

First They Came for the Immigrants. Not This Time, Motherfuckers!

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

Samantha Bee Has NOTHING to Apologize For

June 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Samantha Bee: You have nothing to apologize for.

If you really felt so moved, you could have said something like: “I can see why some people who sincerely oppose the oppression of women might recoil at the language I used. But someone must say something that de-normalizes the hideous and truly genocidal crimes being committed by the Trump/Pence regime and normalized by the likes of Ivanka Trump. She is a criminal on an enormous scale. I used an ugly epithet to show an ugly truth. What is truly vile and vicious is holding up white babies to be cherished while the administration you work for rips Brown babies from their parents, feeds them into the maw of ‘detention centers,’ and worse. Did my words shock you? Well, these crimes of Trump and Pence SHOULD shock the conscience in a far, far greater way—and where is the outcry about THAT?

“So, no, I will NOT apologize for disrupting the air, and I will in fact use my platform, as long as I have it—and believe me, I will fight for every inch of it—to force people to look at the ugly truth, the reality of which is far uglier than anything I expressed in what I said about Ivanka Trump. It is NOT against the law to shout ‘FIRE!!’ in a crowded theater if the theater is on fire. And right now the motherfucking theater is a towering inferno!

“Finally, the hypocrisy of the Trump/Pence administration—the policies of which truly treat women as nothing more than ‘cunts,’ nothing more than either the pathway for a baby or something for people like the Degenerate-in-Chief to grab to show his dominance—in feigning outrage over this would be hardly worth mentioning, had it not been for the fact that so few have done so.”

So, Samantha Bee—learn from Kathy Griffin and withdraw your apology.

We have your back.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/545/awtwns-france-heroes-and-immigrants-en.html

Revolution #545 May 28, 2018

From A World to Win News Service:

France: Heroes and Immigrants

June 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

June 2, 2018. A World to Win News Service. France enjoyed a feel-good moment when President Emmanuel Macron held a much-publicized meeting with Mamoudou Gassama and promised citizenship to the young Malian living and working in Paris without papers. A video viewed by millions had shown him climbing up the outside of an apartment building to rescue a toddler dangling by one hand from a high balcony.

Gassama certainly deserved praise and more for his heroism, but Macron acted out of cynical calculation. The dignified treatment, for once, awarded to a migrant was meant to cast a humane light on a politician who is currently ramming legislation through parliament to make it easier to massively expel other immigrants. Many, like Gassama, are from France’s former colonies still under its domination, and, like Gassama, crossed deserts and seas to escape the results of how French looting and control shaped their country. As another politician proclaimed, making an exception for one African gives France the moral authority to deport hundreds of thousands. Even as the French media indulged in an orgy of self-congratulation, the police were once again destroying a migrant camp on the edges of Paris that was home to people like Gassama.

Also at about the same time, French courts moved to severely punish people for saving immigrants whose lives were in danger. Three young people from France, Italy and Switzerland were jailed for ten days and are now being subjected to long-term draconian restrictions on their lives and movement as they await trial. They are accused of taking part in a march of about 160 people that accompanied and protected African immigrants as they walked through the Alps from Italy into France. Such crossings have become increasingly dangerous since police totally blocked the more easily travelled roads and valleys between the two countries. Two immigrants were found dead in these forests in May. Vigilante actions in the area by fascist groups from all over Europe have made the situation even more perilous.

A local 73-year-old policeman’s widow who has become an immigration activist since her retirement is now on trial for walking into France with two young teenagers from Guinea. According to Amnesty International, the two had been illegally seized by police in France and taken to Italy, even though as minors travelling alone claiming refugee status, and recognized as such by an official French agency, they were supposedly under French government protection. Then Italian police refused to allow them to leave the border area, leaving them stranded in limbo. The woman met the two at a French border sign and walked with them to a French police post to demand that their rights be respected—for which she was arrested.

All four of these arrested Europeans face ten years in prison and huge fines because they are accused of having acted “in an organized band.” (In the case of the widow, the criminal “organized band” is Amnesty International.)

Once, not so many years ago, France bragged about being “a land of refuge.” An outcry from people who still held onto that idea forced a previous government to retreat from totally criminalizing what’s called “the crime of solidarity,” an ironic reference to the government’s reversal of the “duty of solidarity” in French law under which it is illegal to fail to help anyone in danger. Until now, French governments have claimed to distinguish between humanitarian acts by individual citizens and organized “human trafficking” for profit. The Macron government is acting to remove this distinction in law, as it already has in practice. Italy has been doing the same, threatening maximum criminal charges against NGO ship crews who rescue immigrants in danger of drowning.

By chance, the child Mamoudou Gassama saved from death was not an undocumented immigrant. Otherwise, Gassama could even face prison for “the crime of solidarity” himself. In any case, he was all the more courageous not only because he risked a mortal or crippling fall, but also because he had no reason to believe that his reward for coming out of the shadows would be anything but a police beating, handcuffs and deportation.

 

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