The Ominous Attacks Against the RCP and Bob Avakian

Updated January 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Over the past six months, there has been an escalating series of attacks against supporters and members of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and, lately, a particular focus on its Chairman, Bob Avakian. These attacks have developed over time and have included slanders, physical assaults, arrests and massive charges, and—most recently—a concerted web campaign undertaken by openly fascist forces with high connections.

A genuinely revolutionary organization and its leader are being named, singled out, and accused of being something they are not, which could facilitate further attacks and government persecution. This ominous and dangerous development should be of urgent concern for everyone in the movements of resistance and for social change and all who are opposed to assaults on freedom of political expression and activity.

The canvas this takes place on is shaped by the massive protests against police brutality and murder that have deeply shaken the U.S. and reverberated around the world. The long-suppressed and righteous, justified rage of Black people erupted in Ferguson after the wanton police killing of unarmed Michael Brown, as protesters courageously went up against military-style police clampdown and violence. And, after the grand juries exonerated the cops who murdered Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the outrage and resistance spread coast to coast, as people who find the continuing murder and brutality by police intolerable took to the streets and acted in other ways (like medical students staging die-ins and athletes wearing “I Can’t Breathe” shirts). Hundreds of thousands have stood up, with right on their side, and are being heard. The thinking of millions is being challenged, as many people begin to question the legitimacy of a society and its enforcers that treat Black and Latino people in such vicious and unacceptable ways.

Interacting with this was the Dialogue in mid-November between Bob Avakian and Cornel West. 1,900 people from different walks of life, including people from Ferguson, came out to the Dialogue between Cornel West, revolutionary Christian and one of the foremost public intellectuals in the U.S., and Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, on “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.” The need and possibility for emancipation of humanity and revolution was brought straight up to people who have been in the streets and those who stood with those in the streets.

In the face of this, there has been a concerted and multi-pronged effort by the powers-that-be to repress and suppress this righteous movement. In Ferguson the police imposed martial law, harassing, beating, tear-gassing, and arresting people for exercising the rights supposedly guaranteed under this system to protest. Police have tried to intimidate protesters with massive deployment of riot cops, mass arrests, and singling out of activists for political persecution. In New York City, the police, government, and media recently launched a massive “manhunt,” complete with “Wanted” posters on the front page of a local tabloid paper, for several people accused of trying to free a protester from the clutches of cops.

Because of the role played by the Party in this struggle, revolutionaries in particular have been targeted for repression and this must be opposed. Noche Diaz of the Revolution Club in NYC was pulled out of protests of thousands, and bogus charges were piled up against him. (“Hands Off Noche Diaz”) In Chicago, Grant Newburger, well-known in the oppressed neighborhoods for bringing revolution to the people, has had three felony charges piled on him after being arrested for stepping into the street with a banner. (“Drop the Charges Against Grant Newburger and Everyone Arrested!”) And in another protest in Chicago, the police swarmed into people staging a die-in, especially targeting a young member of the Revolution Club and another protester for arrest and heavy charges. (“Chicago: Oppose the Vicious and Outrageous Charges Against Those Who Protested Police Murder!”)

This happens because those in power deeply fear the struggles and hopes of those “who catch the hardest hell every day,” as well as masses from other sections of society, connecting with the Party that has the program, strategy, and leadership needed for a movement for an actual revolution. Again—from the first days of protest in Ferguson after Michael Brown’s murder, supporters and representatives of the Party have been targeted for arrest and physical attacks, and this has gone hand in hand with slander and lies.

But in the last several weeks, an extremely ominous new development has been added: a wave of threats on the Internet against the RCP and its leadership. The Party, and in particular Bob Avakian (BA), have come under direct attack on some of the major right-wing, white supremacist blogs and websites, including some directly tied into police departments and in some cases connected to major forces in the ruling class. While it has not yet happened in this case, some of these “sources” are picked up and quoted and treated as credible not only on Fox News, but even in more mainstream media like CNN as well. This has taken several forms, including attributing highly provocative statements to people associated with the Party, which they have never made; singling out people like Carl Dix, Travis Morales, and Joey Johnson, and often either making physical threats against them or inciting/implying such threats; and in particular singling out and pointing the finger at Bob Avakian in highly provocative and totally false ways. In particular, there have been attempts to falsely and slanderously associate the RCP and Bob Avakian (BA) with violent acts or threats of violent acts, including against police. This is being done through insinuation and innuendo, as well as outright lies to attribute totally fabricated quotes to people associated with the Party.

Most recently, BA has been the main revolutionary being targeted. It is no accident that the attacks rose sharply after the Dialogue in November. BA plays a crucial and indispensable role—both in leading the Party and, in a different dimension, as the foremost communist thinker in the world today, whose theoretical work has laid the basis for a revitalized revolutionary communist movement.

This is a concerted effort—with common themes and similarly worded threats, lies, and distortions running through many of the blogs, articles, emails, and comments. Again, while so far the more mainstream websites and news sites have not in the main picked up on the specific shit being poured from the extreme right-wing sites, these are just beginning to spread and will very likely intensify. And we should not forget that historically these kinds of accusations by the right wing have become the legal basis and justification for the government and FBI to spy on and launch attacks against progressive and revolutionary groups and individuals.

Taken together with the arrests, physical attacks and piled-on charges, the mounting slanders and false accusations are very, very serious and could have extremely serious consequences and implications. They could well be a reflection of a conscious and calculated effort to lay the groundwork for bringing down further, even more serious, attacks on the Party and on BA in particular. To repeat what we said at the beginning: A genuinely revolutionary organization and its leader are being named and singled out and accused of being something they are not, which could facilitate further attacks and government persecution. This ominous and dangerous development should be of urgent concern for everyone in the movements of resistance and for social change and all who are opposed to assaults on freedom of political expression and activity.

Those who slander the Party and personally attack BA with outright falsehoods and with intent to bring them down must be denounced and not be given an inch of space. That doesn’t mean people should go on the right-wing sites and blogs to engage with those fascists. But everyone should be aware of and alert to these attacks and take a clear and firm stand against them, and come to the defense of revolutionaries who are targeted. A leader like BA comes along extremely rarely—and as part of countering the attacks on him, we need to be doing everything we can to spread his works and appreciation of this leader widely throughout society, as part of building a wall of defense around him. At the same time, anyone who values the right of radicals, revolutionaries, and others to free expression should also be reached to defend BA.

These attacks and slanders are part of creating a poisonous atmosphere and conditions that would make it easier for the powers-that-be, or those that do their bidding, to launch even heavier assaults on the Party and BA and attempt to deprive the people of genuine revolutionary communist leadership—and that must not be allowed to happen. These attacks underscore a key point we have made: “We had better fully recognize and appreciate what we have in BA, and act accordingly.” (“Watching Fruitvale Station with Bob Avakian“)

As a first step, we urge our readers to distribute this article and let people know what is going on.



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