From the editors:

For All Who Find the World Intolerable:

A Crossroads … A Time to Act

February 16, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


To all those who find the world as it is intolerable and want to see a real change, we are facing a crossroads: a moment where what we do now will have great impact on the lives of millions

There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth. (Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:1)

Black sharecroppers in Texas after the Civil War which ended outright slavery, but enforced different forms of exploitation and oppression.Black sharecroppers in Texas after the Civil War which ended outright slavery, but enforced different forms of exploitation and oppression.

From the very beginning, slavery—along with the genocidal slaughter and dispossession of the indigenous Indian peoples who lived here—was at the heart of the empire they called America. America—and American capitalism—was founded on invasion, kidnapping, murder, rape, torture, dispossession, and literally hundreds of years of unimaginably brutal slave labor. And this is not ancient history. Despite heroic struggles, the oppression of the African-American people continued in different forms, and stayed at the heart of this society. After the Civil War, which ended outright slavery: lynching and Jim Crow enforcing different forms of exploitation and oppression. Today: mass incarceration and police murder, with the police playing the role of the Klan. The people who run this society can NOT eliminate this oppression; they have NO answers. (See “Genocidal Realities: Then and Now” and watch video clips from Bob Avakian: “They’re Selling Postcards of the Hanging” and “Emmett Till and Jim Crow: Black people lived under a death sentence”)

As Bob Avakian has said:

The book by Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, has shined a bright and much needed light on the reality of profound injustice at the very core of this country.

And this brings me back to a very basic point:

This system, in this country, in the whole history of its treatment of Black people, what has it been?

First, Slavery... Then, Jim Crow—segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror... And now, The New Jim Crow—police brutality and murder, wholesale criminalization and mass incarceration, and legalized discrimination yet again.

That’s it for this system: Three strikes and you’re out!

If this were all that was wrong with this system, that would be more than reason enough for revolution. But there are reasons on top of reasons to make revolution—horrors and outrages that pour out of this system like an overflowing sewer: the oppression and degradation of women; the heartless exploitation and persecution of immigrants; the heedless profit-driven destruction of the environment; and the empire of wars, torture, occupation, and drones. “We need a revolutionanything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit.” (from BAsics 3:1)

Ferguson, MO, August 16, 2014.Ferguson, MO, August 16, 2014.
Photo: Li Onesto/

Students at the University of Minnesota march in Minneapolis, November 25, 2014.Students at Univ of Minnesota march in Minneapolis, November 25, 2014. AP photo

Outside the Dialogue, November 15, 2014At the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, Revolution and Religion, November 15, 2014.

Last fall two things had a major impact on society and further cracked open the potential for revolution: the powerful actions all over the country against murder by police and the Dialogue in New York between Bob Avakian and Cornel West, “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.” These two things, together with other developments and acute contradictions in the world, could be part of opening up a real possibility to make revolution—if we rise to the challenge. For more on the Dialogue, read "Ardea Skybreak on Attending the Dialogue Between Bob Avakian and Cornel West."

The fabric that holds this system together being ripped open revealed the ugly truth about this country that most of the time is covered over with layer upon layer of lies and distractions. The vicious history and present-day reality of the lives of Black people in AmeriKKKa, and how that comes from a system of oppression and exploitation, stood naked before the world. The actions of thousands who refused to accept these cold-blooded murders, who stepped outside the normal channels and went into the streets night after night, forced millions in this society to confront this reality and take a side. Those who run this system, and their enforcers, were put on the defensive about their system and its illegitimate use of force and violence against the people, especially Black and Latino people. And on November 15, close to 2,000 people heard from Bob Avakian and Cornel West in dialogue, arguing that things do not have to be this way, that there is a whole different way society could be, and a call to stand up and fight for that. All this has inspired and challenged people to dare to dream of and work for a different kind of world.

In recent weeks, while people have not lost those yearnings, there has been a counter-attack designed to intimidate, confuse, and disorient people, turning upside down who has right on their side—who are the true heroes, and who are the vicious enforcers of this system. And this presents a challenge to all those who want to see revolution to go against all of that and lead millions of people to go back on the offensive, building on what was accomplished in 2014.

Right now, this week, there are urgent tasks the movement for revolution must take up. To rebuild the fight against police murder much more powerfully, as part of building this movement for revolution; and to spread the word of the revolutionary answer to all this, especially through promoting the upcoming film of the Dialogue between Bob Avakian, the foremost communist in the world today, and Cornel West, the revolutionary Christian thinker and fighter, on “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and The Role of Religion.”

To begin with the fight against police murder: Last weekend in Atlanta, 170 people from across the country gathered to plan a major move against police murder—#ShutdownA14. They left this gathering on a mission to reach out to millions to act: April 14 STOP BUSINESS AS USUAL! WE WILL NOT GO BACK! NO SCHOOL! NO WORK! SAY NO MORE TO THE SYSTEM GIVING A GREEN LIGHT TO KILLER COPS! The Call gives a clear vision: “On this day, thousands of students must walk out of school, take over buildings and go on strike at colleges and high schools nationwide. People must gather and march in cities all across the U.S. The normal routine of this society includes wanton police murder of Black and Brown people. Everyone must disrupt that normal routine.”

This will be a day when people all through the society, through mass political action of many different kinds, will call out and disrupt this damn system of murder and brutality and these prisons bursting like the old slave ships with hundreds of thousands of Black and Latino people. It has to be a day in which hundreds of thousands take the streets and inspire millions more to challenge the legitimacy of a system where this can continue to happen, decade after decade up to the present. There are millions out there whose hopes for an end to this have NOT been extinguished, and this Call to retake the initiative provides a way for people to step up and act in an even more powerful way to demand that this stop. EVERYONE who wants to see an end to these injustices needs to be reached, challenged to take a stand, united with to go further, drawing on all their ideas and resources.

And it has to start now. Right now. Immediately, the call for #ShutdownA14 has to be made known in a major way, beginning on February 16. Then on February 22, there are major actions planned in cities across the country around the police murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, and many other children as well. Spread this through social media—tweets, texts, postings, and everything else people can think of. But also: stickers and fliers out everywhere... people mobilized to be part of this... people going out in groups to give a sense of the movement developing and organizing people into it... blowing whistles and showing defiance... as well as people individually spreading the word wherever they go. This is something that thousands can be part of right now. The goal has to be to saturate neighborhoods, schools, and places where people gather so that this is what everybody is talking about—Shutdown April 14. There is a vein of righteous resistance that was exposed a few months ago that is still open, and still waiting to be tapped.

Everyone who wants to see real revolutionary change: raise people’s sights to the possibility of revolution and a truly bright future. As we spread word about April 14, bring other materials with you, including Revolution newspaper and BAsics, and promote people checking out It’s ALL about getting free.

Second, the new film of the Dialogue between BA and Cornel West, which will give people a powerful sense of the bright future that is possible, needs to be promoted in its own right and as part of the massive fliering in the next week. In this film, debuting on March 28, people will see BA and Cornel West go back and forth on the biggest questions in people’s hearts before a riveted crowd of nearly 2,000... BA putting forward the need for and possibility of revolution in many dimensions... Cornel West coming from a revolutionary Christian stance putting forth the need for people to act to change the world... and the two dialoguing on all this in a way that models a whole different way that society could be. The trailer for this new film gives a great sense of this and should be widely spread, and even before the film premieres, people should be drawn now to the simulcast of this Dialogue that is available to watch online, while we raise money for and publicize what will be an amazing film. Plans are being made for this Dialogue to reverberate through the hearts and minds of tens and hundreds of thousands of people. Go here for the excerpt from an interview with Ardea Skybreak on the importance of the Dialogue.

In short, this week: ALL OUT.

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