"The film brings you up close inside Cornel West's and Bob Avakian's dialogue: the passion, the audacity, the science, the morality, the revolutionary substance. Two courageous voices modeling a morality that refuses to accept injustice – pouring heart and soul into standing together challenging all of us to fight for a world worthy of humanity."

Andy Zee,
co-director of the film


BA Speaks

No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that.

BAsics 1:13

Do you know anyone else—any person or organization—that has managed to bring forth an actual PLAN for a radically different society, in all its dimensions, and a CONSTITUTION to codify all this? — A different world IS possible — Check out and order online the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).

What Humanity Needs

At the beginning of 2012, an in-depth interview with Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, was conducted over a period of several days by A. Brooks, a youngergeneration revolutionary who has been inspired by the leadership and body of work of Bob Avakian and the new synthesis of communism this has brought forward.


New York, April 14

"We're young, we're strong, we're marching all night long"

by Sunsara Taylor | April 20, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


“Why are we stopping? We’re not done!” I turn to see a Black youth with both arms in the air. His face is radiant and he is speaking to everyone and no one in particular. Even more, at this moment he is speaking for all of us. We’ve been marching for over five miles and just finished shutting down one of the busiest intersections in Brooklyn, and the police are scrambling to corral people onto the sidewalk. For a moment, it seems like they might succeed. Seconds later, hundreds once again surge into the middle of Flatbush Avenue. Joy and triumph fill people’s cry: “We’re young, we’re strong! We’re marching all night long!

New York City, April 14

Above us, the 15-foot installation with faces of people murdered by police is lofted high on the shoulders of high school students and others who have found a way—once again—to keep this right in the middle of the street. At the kick-off rally in Union Square, Cornel West promised that today would be a new day in the fight for justice. Families of police murder victims opened their hearts and laid their burden of pain and their hope for justice on our shoulders. Carl Dix declared, “When we take this huge poster into the streets, we are breathing the air that the people on the poster will never breathe again. We are voicing the shouts for justice that they will never get to voice. We are fighting for a future that they will never see, and we are saying that THIS MUST NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.” Exactly. All of this fuels us as we move forward.

Out in front are a diverse range of youths, many of them Black, who intersperse their chanting with shouts at the police about how they have been stopped and frisked and treated like dogs. Still with us are several relatives of people murdered by police, at least one having found the energy to keep up with kids less than a third his age. We are dragging the brutality of this capitalist-imperialist state and its vicious white supremacy out of the shadows and making it seen by the whole world. We are showing our love for those this system has cast off and treats as less than human. We are reclaiming our own humanity by refusing to be Good Germans.

Just as palpable as the defiance and thrill emanating from the marchers is the cold hostility of the police all around us. For five miles they have been seething at the fact that their everyday culture of terrorizing and brutalizing Black and brown people was being called out in a way that could not be ignored. From our very first steps off the sidewalk at Union Square, they have lashed out—running over people’s feet with motorcycles, punching kids in the face, even drawing a gun on a 15-year-old and other UNARMED protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge.

But rather than cow people, their brutality and malice only made people more determined. For several hours, hundreds of protesters—at times up to 1,500—clogged up the city to say NO MORE! Traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge was disrupted in both directions. When police blocked off the ends of the bridge to trap protesters into being arrested, drivers opened their doors and drove many of the freedom fighters off the bridge. Helicopter news cameras captured the spectacular image of our 15-foot banner with the faces of people murdered by police lofted atop the Brooklyn Bridge against the iconic Manhattan skyline. Die-ins had backed up traffic in the Holland Tunnel and the Manhattan Bridge.

Now, as we march deeper into Brooklyn, the police are trying to unfurl huge orange nets. They bring these out to make mass arrests, literally wrapping these nets around whole crowds. But they are fumbling, their net is tangled, and everyone can see what they are trying. The crowd takes off running. Whooping and hollering, jumping and holding onto each other, we are way ahead and running free. The police try again with their net; and once again—and with even greater triumph—they are left panting behind us.

When they catch up, the police go crazy. Someone high up must have let them off their leash. Nearly a mile past the Barclays Center die-in, the police attack viciously. To my right, a very dear friend is grabbed by several huge cops and thrown to the ground. I see his face crushed to the pavement as a beast grinds his knee—and full body weight—into his head. To my left, a Black woman is thrown violently by police into/over a metal fence. She writhes on the ground with a broken rib. As I move up the sidewalk, officers point at me and before I know it I am lifted off the ground by what seems like 17 rough hands and my body and face are smashed against a brick wall. More cops body-slam into me from behind.

I am outraged—at the murder by police that has driven us into the streets in the first place, at the brutality I see all around me in this moment, at the machine-like inhumanity of those yanking me in different directions. But I am also soaring with joy and deep love for the beauty, daring, and determination of the freedom fighters who made this day ours.

The contrast between the two forces contending in the streets—and in a very real way, contending for the future—is stark. This contrast hits me hard as I am pushed into a tank-like vehicle and locked into a tiny cage within a cage. As I struggle to get my bearings, some young brothers two cages back call out, “We love you!” “I love you, too!” I respond, and I mean it. We talk excitedly about how proud we all are to have stood up right in the face of such brutality on behalf of those who can no longer stand for themselves. It is several minutes before one of them mentions that he thinks his leg is broken. Also, a man way in the back is completely unconscious. We resume our demands for an ambulance, but the police only mock and insult us. It’s an unforgivably long time—well over an hour (and we are very close to a major hospital)—before an ambulance arrives. I am convinced that if we hadn’t been there yelling, the pigs would have delayed even longer.

When we finally enter the 75th Precinct, the scene that greets us only reinforces how necessary the fight we are waging is. It is quite possible it was a display of cruelty put on intentionally to scare us. More than 15 pigs were standing around joking as a young Black man lay face down and handcuffed in the middle of the precinct lobby. He wasn’t moving. When the police finally picked him up, they deliberately bent his wrist so far forward I would be astounded if it weren’t broken, and they wrenched his arms up behind him, lifting his entire body weight by his handcuffs—likely tearing his shoulders. His face was covered in vomit and he didn’t make a sound. I yelled, “Brutality, that’s brutality!” The police response? Surrounded by other officers, one of them felt no hesitation to openly taunt us, “Oh yeah? Where are your cameras now?” The rest laughed.

If you can find that funny, you are no different than a Nazi. And this is what they do every single goddamn day to our people. Every day. Every hour. Right now as you read this, a jail cell is being spattered with the blood of someone Black or brown.

I began belting out the “I Can’t Breathe” song over and over as they separated me from the men. As I rounded a corner, a chorus of young women I couldn’t see—some as young as 16—joined in singing. They cheered as I told them we had made it onto CNN’s national news. Several times throughout the night, we set the entire wing of the jail shaking as we rattled our iron doors and jumped up and down on the benches so loudly the women could be heard all the way over in the men’s wing, and vice versa. I imagined all the heartache and brutality that had been inflicted in these jail cells. Never, I am sure, was this dungeon so liberating!

Two days later, my friend whose face had been crushed told me, “Your singing really got to them.” Apparently, the cops complained bitterly about “that woman” who wouldn’t stop singing “that song Samuel Jackson sang.” They swore they’d never see a movie with him again.

Sunsara Taylor with other A14 protesters released from jail
Sunsara Taylor with other A14 protesters released from jail.

When we finally began to be released in the wee hours of the morning (others wouldn’t be released until late the next day), a diverse and wonderful crowd was waiting to greet us. We all hugged. Some faces I recognized from years of friendship and struggle, others I knew only from sharing the streets that day, and still more were brand new, but all felt like family. It was so inspiring to see so many there, including one man who lost two sons to police murder, in the middle of the night. Turns out, the police were so pissed about this show of love they brutally arrested two protesters who were outside the precinct doing jail support!

Each time a new protester was released we chanted, “Freedom Fighter! Freedom Fighter!” and held a new rally to hear how they felt.

A disillusioned ex-marine picked his words carefully, explaining that he had fought for this country but was coming to feel that the country is uglier than he had realized. He insisted, “We have to come back even stronger.” A young member of the Revolution Club who had been out almost every day for several weeks leading up to A14 building for this spoke about how real the brutality of the police had become through the stories of the parents, through the Stolen Lives poster we had taken everywhere, through the brutality we had just experienced. With great indignation she pointed out that we’d each just done more jail time than all the cops who murdered more than 90 unarmed people already this year combined. “What does that tell you about the kind of system we live under?” she asked, before promising to come back even stronger and calling on others to do the same. A soft-spoken 16-year-old smiled irrepressibly as she told us, “This was the best day of my life!”

Indeed, it was a truly beautiful day. Not only did thousands across the country break through the pall that had been cast over the heroic outpourings against police murder that had erupted and escalated last year, they reacted to the brutality of the police with renewed vigor and determination. Not only did they make an important advance in the fight for a whole different and better future for our people, they became different and better people themselves in the process. We need more of this! Let’s learn from it, build on it, and spread it!



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