Houston: Revolution—Nothing Less Contingent at Immigrant Rights March

May 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From reader:

On Saturday, May 3, in what has become an annual May Day march for immigrants' rights in a heavily Central American area of our city, several hundred mostly Latina/o immigrants and others manifested opposition to the ongoing war on immigrants.

We revolutionary communists organized a "Revolution—Nothing Less" (RNL) contingent of the march, with a beautiful banner that read, "We Refuse to Accept Slavery in Any Form Here and Around the World" and "Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution" in English and Spanish. With the goal of planting a revolutionary pole and challenging people to set their sights on revolution and the emancipation of humanity, we distributed red flags as well as Revolution newspaper and cards with various quotes from Bob Avakian (BA) and other materials.

Internationalist contingent at Houston immigrant rights march

Contending sharply against the framework of the bounds of the system, our solution and ideology, our slogans and chants impacted the march in various ways. The march itself, as well as the masses along the way who were shopping or standing in front of their apartments, were pretty much saturated with our materials. Several dozen immigrants and a few others bought newspapers, and red flags were sprinkled throughout the crowd. A number of spectators snapped pictures of our banner and close-ups of the newspaper (which they then bought). A few youth joined our chants for a while.

As we were distributing red flags, some were reaching their hands out for them, and some were refusing them, like one young Latino carrying a small stop sign (against deportations, etc.) and an American flag who, when challenged, said, "I'm a U.S. citizen. This country has been good to me." A priest started following us around, getting physically in between us and those we were talking with. He insisted that "we are all together here," but "we're not communists," to which we replied, "Well, you should be!"

We spoke to a group against mass incarceration about how under the new socialist constitution we will eliminate such outrages, and one Black man took a flag which he held high throughout the march.

Immigrants in particular were moved by the slogans and quotes from BA. A Caribbean woman who was watching the march go by checked out the Revolution centerfold quote, "Communism: A Whole New World and the Emancipation of All Humanity—Not 'the Last Shall Be First and the First Shall Be Last.'" She told us that she and her daughter were just talking about that citation from the Bible—how it didn't go far enough. Eager to read more, she sent her daughter back to her apartment to dig up some money. A Latina immigrant who also read that quote, said, "That's beautiful—it's from the Bible." When it was pointed out that it said "Not the last shall be first..." she read it over again and wanted to dig into the rest of the quotes, and bought a paper.

A group of ex-prisoners who had traveled several hours from another city were saying that they are for a movement, not just another non-profit. So we got into the question, "a movement for what?" They said that they are building a grassroots movement to help ex-prisoners get the respect they deserve. We challenged them to look at what kind of system capitalism-imperialism is that is carrying out slow genocide through mass incarceration, carrying out a war on women here and around the world, murdering people throughout the world through illegitimate wars, and on and on. When we got into that it will take revolution, nothing less to bring an end to this and how there is the vision, strategy and leadership of BA to do that and they need to join in, they started looking though the literature on the table. We talked about BA Everywhere and they were surprised that they have never heard of BA, and one of them said that he gets the point that people need to know about him.

They left with BAsics and other literature, a handful of RNL buttons (which some of them put on), and material on the $1000 for 1000 years project. One of them came up to our booth and read and thought about the quote, "Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First." Then he connected this with the button, "Stop Thinking Like Americans and Start Thinking about Humanity," saying, "Oh, that's what you mean. I like that!" and got a couple to take home.

This march contained various kinds of conscious reformists and revisionists (phony communists). In one telling incident, one of the people in the RNL contingent confronted a guy at a U.S. Communist Party booth, flanked by, on one side, a large red flag; on the other, by the American stars and stripes. Our comrade told him that it was a disgrace to the red flag to be flying that other rag. The CP'er replied that the American flag is a "revolutionary flag," that "it was taken from us, and we're taking it back." Our comrade correctly informed him that no, that flag represents American capitalism-imperialism—it is not our flag. The CP'er's answer to that was, "We're the biggest [communist, so-called] group out here. We just recruited eight people! We're not gonna be isolated, like you guys." To which the comrade replied, "So size is everything, not the quality."


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