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Andy Zee,
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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

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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 younger generation 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.

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Contains Interview with Raymond Lotta, Timeline of The REAL History of Communist Revolution, and more...


Voices of Conscience Speak Out on April 14

April 20, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Cornel West and Carl Dix (center), with Eve Ensler (front row left), and Rev. Calvin Butts along with members of the Clergy Coalition stand with family members whose loved ones were murdered by police. Photo by Cindy Trinh/Activists of New York

The following people delivered these statements at rallies on April 14:

Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary in New York and an initiator of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network

What a blessing to be here in New York City! Let the word go forth here and now. It’s a new day in New York City! It’s a new day in the country! And it’s a new day because when those who some call everyday people straighten their backs up, they’re going somewhere. Cuz folk can’t ride your back unless it’s bent. And when you take a stand, when you’re willing to take a risk and tell the truth... and the condition of truth is always to allow suffering to speak. And when suffering speaks, the powers that be have to respond in some way. And there’s been too many folk, not just murdered, not just killed—systematically disrespected and we’ve reached the point where we can’t take it any longer!

Well, I come from a people who’ve been terrorized for 400 years. We’ve been traumatized for 400 years. We’ve been stigmatized for 400 years. And we have a freedom movement that is every generation—those who’ve been able to tell the truth and bear witness. Sojourner Truth ain’t no joke. Harriet Tubman ain’t no joke. Malcolm X ain’t no joke. Curtis Mayfield ain’t no joke. Aretha Franklin ain’t no joke. Bob Marley ain’t no joke. Nina Simone ain’t no joke.  The Reverend Dr. Gardner C. Taylor ain’t no joke. Martin King ain’t no joke.

We’re here because we love the folk. And when you love folk you hate the fact they’re being treated unjustly, you loathe the fact they’re being treated unfairly. And if we don’t do something the rocks are gonna cry out! That’s why we’re here. And that’s the center of it... it’s the Love Supreme of John Coltrane. Because we love the people and when you love the folk you tell the truth and you stand up for them. How many of you all love the people? [crowd cheering] You got to love the people. That’s the only way you be empowered—to be able to stand together of all colors, all sexual orientation, all cultures, all civilization. We’re here because we love and respect the people.

We love those who are oppressed in the Middle East—500 Palestinian babies in 50 days. We love the people. We love those killed by U.S. drones in Somalia and Yemen. We love the people. We love the peasants in Mexico. We love the people. We love our poor white brothers and sisters in Appalachia catching hell. We love the people. We love them in Asia. But we love them in New York, and we want the police accountable!

And one last point. Don’t be confused by some Black faces in high places.  For seven years there’s been a Black and Brown brother and sister shot down by the police—Black president, Black attorney general, Black cabinet security of homeland—and not one policeman sent to jail. Something, something just ain’t right! Something, something just ain’t right! And I don’t know about you, but I come from a people and a tradition that says if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.

And that’s why I want to introduce to you my dear brother Carl Dix. Now people have raised a question: why would a revolutionary Christian like me, a Jesus-loving free Black man like me, work with a revolutionary communist like Carl Dix. And we say: don’t confuse a jazz orchestra with a military band. In the military band everybody got to hit the note in the same way at the same time. I come from a jazz people—we want everybody to raise your own voice. We don’t want full agreement, we don’t want full unanimity—just raise your voice and get on the love train and take a stand. That’s why I work with a revolutionary communist like Carl Dix. We don’t agree on everything, but we on the same love train—that’s why we’re here in New York. My brothers and sisters, my dear brother Carl Dix! 

Carl Dix, a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party and an initiator of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network

Okay, I want to thank Cornel for that introduction. And look, let’s just get started. 

First off, we gotta shout out some people. We gotta shout out the parents who lost their loved ones at the hands of the NYPD. We gotta shout ‘em out for enduring the pain of that loss, but becoming people who stood up for justice. You saw some of them up here today. Juanita Young is also here. She ain’t up here right now, but she’s here. I want to shout them out. I also want to shout out all the youth that’s here today. Let me break it down now – I want to shout out the youth who are tired, the Black and Brown youth who are tired of going through life with a target on their backs, who refuse to accept that anymore. I want to shout out the students who are here. I want to shout them out because you know enough to know what’s right and what’s wrong and to stand with what’s right. And that’s what you’re doing out here today. I want to shout out the young people and the O.G.s who are in the street life who said today: “We ain’t gonna be fightin’ each other, we not going to be set-tripping, there ain’t no colors, today we’re standing together and fightin’ the real enemy, the system that’s bringing all this hell down on us.”  I want to shout out the faith leaders and faith congregants of all different denominations who are out here with us today. We value your participation. I want to shout out the people in the arts, the musicians, the writers, the artists. Want to shout out the professors, the lawyers, the doctors – everybody who has come out here to stand with this. And I’m going to shout you all. We’re hundreds here in New York City, thousands across the country. We represent something, sisters and brothers.  We represent the rising waves of struggle that are coming back onto the scene, that are aiming to deal with this, to stop these horrors. 

Now, folks ask me: “Well, why are you all coming out today, brother Dix? What are you all out here for?”  Look at that poster behind you.  That’s why we’re out here. And know that the forty-some pictures on that poster are just an illustration of the hundreds of people that police kill every year in this country. That’s why we’re out here – because that has to stop and we are here to stop it!

Folks also say to me: “But WHY does this keep happening again and again and again?” What it comes down to is the police are doing what this system has them out here to do – beat us down, pen us in, and even kill us off. This goes deep into the history of this country – because this is a country that’s founded on white supremacy from the very beginning: dragging African people to these shores in slave chains, stealing the land and carrying out a genocide against the native inhabitants. And they’ve kept it up. They stole half of Mexico. They go around the world suppressing people. They’re at war with people around the world and they’re at war with us right here in this country, sisters and brothers. We gotta recognize that. We gotta know that that’s what’s going down. Today it has reached the point where they have no way to profitably exploit a lot of these young Black and Latino folks growing up in the inner cities. Their approach to that is a program of suppression – police, courts, jails, beating us down, penning us in, killing us off. This is what they’re doing. That is their answer to the problem. We have to recognize that, and that it’s got a genocidal thrust. Now, when I say genocide, I’m not up here trying to hype it up to get somebody excited – I’m telling you like it is.  Look at those pictures again on that poster. Know that there are thousands of other people who could be on a poster like that. Know that there are several million people warehoused in prison, that there are tens of millions of people, Black and Brown, subjected to being hounded, harassed, beaten down, penned in and even killed by the police. Subjected to denial of opportunities, denial of education, denial of respect, put in conditions where they cannot survive and thrive as a people—which is what genocide is. That’s what we’re dealing with sisters and brothers. And we are out here acting to stop it.

Now, when you say you’re going to stop something as serious as that, you gotta get organized.  That’s why Cornel and I formed the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. It exists to build resistance to this genocide that’s coming down. It’s a slow genocide right now, but it could speed up at any moment.  If you want to see this genocide stopped then you need to get with us. The Network, the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, has people who come at things differently—we don’t all believe the same things, we don’t all practice and think the same way—but we all think that police murdering people, that people being warehoused in prison, treated like less than full human beings must stop, and we come together to stop it. Now look, if you feel that way, then you need to join with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. Sign up on the sheet with it, come out to the next meeting and be part of building up the resistance that can stop this shit. 

Now, those of you who know me, know that I’m a revolutionary communist and that I will always tell you that things don’t have to be this way.  We don’t have to put up with police murdering our youth. We can end all of this stuff, but it’s gonna take revolution, nothing less, to do it.  That is what I am out here for, that’s what I’m working on. That’s what the Revolutionary Communist Party and its leader Bob Avakian are working on. So you need to check this out.  Look, Bob Avakian in his book BAsics talks about how we should live in a society where those entrusted with public security would sooner lose their own lives than kill or injure an innocent person. That’s the kind of world we should live in. But it’s gonna take a revolution to bring that world into being – that’s what we’re working on. And look, if you want to know more about that revolution, you want to get with it, two things: One, go to the website – check out what we got to say and what we do. You can even see a film of a dialogue between my brother Cornel West and Bob Avakian getting into revolution and religion—that’s And there’s a Revolution Club New York City out here – get with them because those folks are organizing for an actual revolution and you need to check them out and run with them. 

But today, what we are out here for is to stop this genocide. That’s what we’re up against and people might use to be able to say: “well, I didn’t know this kind of stuff was happening.” Turn on the TV – every time you look there’s another video of someone being shot down unarmed, killed, murdered, a video of the police beating somebody brutally, savagely, for nothing, no reason. So you cannot say you didn’t know it was going on. It’s happening right before your eyes. What you have to say is: are you going to be the kind of person who sees this savage brutality and murder and stands aside and lets it go down or are you going to be a real human being? Are you going to step up and say this has to stop and act to stop it? Our humanity is at stake here. If you don’t stand up against this, you’re saying it’s OK – and you should not be those kinds of people, sisters and brothers.  

And look, stopping this is going to take struggle. You gotta put something on the line. What happened last year was beautiful, powerful and very necessary. Starting in Ferguson, spreading across the country, thousands of people taking to the streets, getting out there and saying: if business as usual includes your cops murdering us, then we’re going to stop your business as usual. Your traffic is not gonna run on these highways, on these bridges and tunnels. That shopping that goes on in your malls – that’s going to be stopped too. That’s what disrupting business as usual comes down to, sisters and brothers. Now they tried to force us off the streets with arrests, with intimidation. They tried to draw us off into dead-end roads; getting policies that ain’t gonna do nothing about what the real problem is. Well, we are stepping back out in the streets, sisters and brothers. We are saying: we gonna take back the initiative. We are here and we are gonna stay here. We’re gonna resist until this stops, that’s what we’re saying today.  We’re saying it here in New York and it’s being said in more than 30 cities across the country – that’s what we’re doing. 

Now here today, what we’re going to do in a little bit – everybody’s seen that big banner, right?  Today we are acting for the people on that banner. They can no longer speak so we have to be their voices. They can no longer act so we have to act for them. We have to take this banner and take it into the streets, challenge people along the way with the reality that it represents, challenge them to get into it with us. We are letting people know around the country and around the world that there’s a force of people in this society who are determined to stop this shit. That’s what we’re acting for, sisters and brothers. That’s what we’re here today for, that’s what people are in 30 cities across the country for. Now let’s do this! Let’s get started and let’s get it done! 

Every city, every town!  There’s another Michael Brown!  April 14th Shut it down!  

Eve Ensler, Tony Award-winning playwright, performer, activist

I am here today in outrage and sorrow. I am here to say no to the racist epidemic of police murders of black and brown women and men and children that continues despite massive protests and outcry. I am here to say we must escalate our efforts and our resistance to these gruesome shootings. I refuse the 8 bullets in Walter Scott’s back, the 12 bullets in Michael Brown’s chest, the 4 Taser shots that killed Natasha McKenna. I refuse the knee in the back that smashed Tanisha Anderson, the 2 bullets in Yvette Smith, the 23 bullets in Melissa Williams, the 2 bullets in 12 year old Tamir Rice’s chest, the bullets fired into Meagan Hockaday just 20 seconds after they arrived in her home. I refuse the bullets of a police state that continues to murder the oppressed rather than lifting their conditions. I call on every white person who has the privilege of walking the streets without fear of being snuffed out by those who brazenly exercise their license to kill, to walk out today and every day until our brothers and sisters are safe and free. I stand with a broken heart for the families, for the friends, for the terrorized witnesses, for their sorrow and loss. We must reclaim our country from the endless tactics of hate, racism, stupidity, violence, revenge that perpetuate all aspects of our life. We must open our hearts and our minds and listen—to the men as well as the women—to those who suffer without resources, equality, liberty, hope, or dreams.

We must #SayHerName, and #SayHisName, like a mantra, like a prayer, like an honoring, that the loss of their lives will fuel our fire.

May we melt our bullets to tears, our fear to love.

Kindness not killing.
Kindness not killing.
Kindness not killing.

Arturo O’Farrill, Grammy Award winner, jazz musician

Arturo O'Farrill

Arturo O’Farrill

It’s very simple. You have to connect your life. You have to connect your art. You have to connect your job. You have to connect your soul to something that is bigger than you. You have to connect all of this to justice. You have to connect to caring, to loving, to loving one another, and demanding better of the NYPD, the SFPD, the LAPD. If we don’t demand better from them—they are paid to govern and protect us. We cannot sit idly by while they kill our children. NO MORE! No more killing young Blacks and Hispanics. This moment has to end. I know there are NYPD officers who can hear my voice and feel the same way. Step up, step up. STEP UP. This moment has to end and must never be repeated. Connect your lives. Connect them now. Demand better. Thank you.

Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York

Shut it Down! Shut it Down! Shut it Down!

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will. And until the forces-that-be understand that the people united will never be defeated, we will not be able to win this struggle. Young, old, Black, white, rich, poor. We must all stand together and demand justice in the killing of our children, no matter who they are, no matter where they come from. Shut it down! Shut it down! We demand that the officer responsible for the killing of Eric Garner, Daniel Pantaleo, be dismissed from the New York City Police Department immediately. We demand justice all across this nation for young men and women who have been killed, unarmed. We demand justice for the parents who cry each night and we say to the police if you can’t respect us, you can’t protect us. If you can’t respect us, you can’t protect us. If you can’t respect us, you can’t protect us.

We have young people marching from New York City to Washington, DC, and I have come today to represent with members of the clergy from all five boroughs. The power of the church must stand with the people in this because we can no longer watch our young people be shot down. I’ve watched this for over 40 years and we get the same story each and every time. Enough is enough. And we must, we must stand up. You see ministers standing behind me from all five boroughs, members of our churches standing in front and they are dispersed throughout the crowd. We must shut it down. We must stand together because power is the only thing that power understands. Shut it down! Shut it down! Shut it down! We are happy to join with our brother Cornel West and our brother Carl Dix. And we stand united with them. And we must recognize that these crowds will only grow larger—despise not small beginnings for God is grateful just to see the work begin. The next time we gather it will be larger. And we send a warning out—get rid of Pantaleo now. We send a warning out—stop broken windows, stop “stop, question and frisk.” We send a warning out—these crowds will only get larger across the nation. And we will stand together. And one of the chants that I’ve always loved and it makes sense today as I look out across this beautiful rainbow crowd—a people united will never be defeated! A people united will never be defeated! The struggle continues. Thank you very much and let us all stand together.

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun magazine; Chair, Network of Spiritual Progressives

Rabbi Michael Lerner

Rabbi Michael Lerner

I’m here representing the Jewish community. Many of us in the Jewish community have been deeply, deeply upset by the manifestations of racism that have been increasing rather than decreasing in the past several decades. We’ve had an advance at the level of laws but a retreat at the level of heart. People are willing to allow legal advances but they are more and more deeply embedded in a racism that is manifested in the extremes that the Republican Party is going to try and discredit and limit any accomplishments of the Obama administration. So you have, from the top of the political structure in this country, people who are acting in an overtly racist way in the Congress. And you have, at the bottom, police forces all over this country who can read the signs of what is popular in the society: a racism that is deep and embedded and has not gone away. We have to recognize that every specific manifestation of that racism has to be stood up to and fought against. And it has to be fought against across all the different groupings in this society who recognize that an assault on one is an assault on all. When a policeman kills a Black teenager, when a group of policemen strangle to death a Black man, when people talk about the immigrants as though all immigrants are a problem to this society, everyone is affected.

There is no way to deal with the effect on one group without realizing that it will affect all groups. When you’re hearing people saying, “We’re not so sure about immigration reform,” they are really saying, “I have a constituency that hates Mexicans, that hates brown and Black people, and I can use key words to get the message across, little words that symbolize to everyone that I will stand up against African-Americans, that I will stand up against Latinos, that I will stand up against whoever is the other.”

The only way to counter this is to have a different worldview that we start to articulate, a worldview that says that we are all in this together, that we are all one. That there is a fundamental unity and that unity has to extend not only to all the divisions in this country but to recognize our fundamental unity with all people on this planet. In other words, we need to not only stand up and fight on each specific issue, but we need a way of articulating a new worldview, a different worldview than is popularized in the media and in our political life today. In short, it’s like this folks, we have lots of individual complaints and our complaints are right about every specific incident of racism. But Martin Luther King, Jr. did not become an icon of social change by giving a famous speech in which he said, “I have a complaint.” We need also to have a dream. We need to have a shared vision of the world we want. And that’s part of what we in the Network of Spiritual Progressives, that is interfaith and goes across all of the different boundaries, say, that we need a new bottom line in this country, so that every institution, every social practice, every corporation, every government law, should be judged efficient, rational, and productive not only to the extent that they maximize money and power, but also to the extent that they maximize love and caring, kindness and generosity, ethical and environmental sensitivity, enhance our capacity to respond to other human beings as embodiments of the sacred, and enhance our capacity to respond to the universe, not as something we can maybe sell, but as something that brings awe and wonder. That’s a new bottom line. We need that kind of vision, a new bottom line in this society in which we see every human being as being equally entitled, as equally valuable. In short, folks, what I am saying to you is let us make sure that we simultaneously articulate our complaints about every specific outrage and, at the same time, put forward a vision of the world we want, a world of love, a world of kindness, a world of generosity, a world of caring for each other and caring for the planet. It’s in that spirit that I stand in solidarity with all of you here today and with all of the millions of other Americans who have suffered various forms of abuse and say this will not continue, this cannot continue. And we in the religious and spiritual community must stand up, with all secular people, to say, no more oppression, no more rogue cops, no more destruction of people because of the color of their skin, or their religion, or their ethnicity, or whatever it is, but instead we replace that with a world of love and justice. And that’s what we need now, a political party and a political movement for justice and also for love. Thank you.

Jim Lafferty, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles Chapter

Jim Lafferty

Jim Lafferty

Thank you, I am so proud to be with you today. The Lawyers Guild is proud to stand with you every day in this struggle every day. Sisters and brothers think about it. Think about it for a minute, despite all of the media attention, all of the protests, it’s still open hunting season for cops killing Black and brown sisters and brothers in this country today. Now, you can be a cop, or you can just be a white guy, kill a Black guy and walk free. But be a Black guy in the neighborhood trying to keep your family alive, run a little neighborhood numbers game, you’re off to prison. In fact, prison is the only affirmative action program left in this damn country for our Black and brown sisters and brothers. And speaking of affirmative action, it’s also the only damn housing program and employment program. There’s over a million of our sisters and brothers of color in prison today, working for pennies today and that’s the only damn roof over their heads and the only damn job this country gives them, this white, racist country. Think about the fact that every month or two in this country, cops in this country kill more Black and brown sisters and brothers every month or two than all the people who have been murdered by the police in England in the last 100 years.

So I ask you, what are we to do? What are we to do? Are we gonna get bought off by the bullshit promises of some civilian review board that has no subpoena power, that has no independent investigator, that has no independent coroner to investigate the true depth of what happened to our brothers and sisters? Are we gonna settle for crumbs of justice or are we gonna demand nothing less than the full loaf of justice? Because I tell you, sisters and brothers, if we fall for that bullshit, if we listen to the politicians of either of those two capitalist parties who don’t give a shit about people like us at the bottom of the heap, we will be bought off and we will never get the justice we deserve. Remember your history. Remember our history. What was it that won every great civil rights battle in this country? That’s right, it was people like you and I in the streets of this country, saying to hell with the politicians, saying we will not leave these streets until all the loaf of justice is ours. So we know, sisters and brothers, that history itself is on our side. And if we will not be bought off, if we will not give up, if we will keep coming back to the streets no matter what repression they throw at us, victory will be ours; history itself is on our side, our day will surely come. Thank you.

Reverend Frank Wulf, Pastor, USC United University Church and member of the National Steering Committee of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network

Rev. Frank Wulf

Reverend Frank Wulf

It does my heart good to see all of you, especially young people. Since my church is on the campus at USC, I want to give a shout-out to all the USC students who stepped out of classes to be with us today. You know Walter Scott has taught us one thing—that they are determined to tell lies and they’re gonna tell lies in whatever way they can in order to justify continuing this epidemic of murder against Black and brown people. And I represent in many ways the faith communities of this city, and the faith communities are starting to stand up and say that this has to stop, whether we’re Muslim, whether we’re Jewish, whether we’re Christian, whether we’re Buddhist, we are coming together and saying that our faiths will no longer sanction this kind of violence in our society. As a Christian pastor I serve Jesus who was crucified on the Roman cross by Roman police. And as a follower of someone who was crucified, I cannot allow this kind of crucifixion to continue day after day after day after day. And it has to be exposed. Thank God for that brave man who used his cell phone to videotape what was happening with Walter Scott. We need to videotape all the time. A man of strong faith and courage and conviction, in spite of his fear he did what was right. And we’ve got to do what’s right, today as we take the streets, whatever religion or non-religion we might be, we’re here together and we’re here together for a powerful and a righteous and a just cause and that is to say: NO MORE! NO MORE KILLINGS! THEY STOP NOW! Amen.


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