From a Member of Revolution Club, Chicago:

A Bold Challenge to Walk on the Flag

February 27, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Chicago, February 25. 95th Street Dan Ryan station
Chicago, February 25, 95th Street El stop. Photos: Special to

The 95th Street El stop in THE major transportation hub deep in Chicago’s Black South Side—On Thursday, February 25, rush hour commuters were faced with a bold challenge from the Chicago Revolution Club as they exited the turnstiles from the train. We held up a large banner painted on two American flags. Members and supporters of the club agitated about the flag, including by loudly shouting out the words painted on the flag: GENOCIDE, SLAVERY, DRONE ATTACKS, POLICE MURDER, WARS FOR EMPIRE, STOP POLICE TERROR, MARCH 2 (“March 2” refers to the call for “A Major Day of Resistance to Stop Police Terror“ in Chicago).

The police said “you can’t do this” and wanted to stop it. A lawyer was on hand to explain that this is perfectly legal and they could not stop it. The police called in a higher-up who said they had to allow it. The only thing they could do was make us move the flag over a few inches.

Chicago, February 25
Chicago, February 25

On the floor in front of the turnstiles, taking up almost the entire space were two more flags sewn together that lay on the floor. “Walk on that rag,” we called out to the crowd. Some people looked down, almost acting like we weren’t there, as they squeezed through the small path the police had ordered us to leave open. Others looked stunned. One woman tried unsuccessfully to pick the flag up off the floor as we stood on it.

One person called out, “People died for that flag”—to which we answered, “People all over the world died BECAUSE of that flag.” One club member began loudly recounting all the places young children have been killed in drone attacks. “How many Iraqi civilians are dead because of that flag” Another club member called out, “This flag stands for the genocide of Native Americans, slavery, Jim Crow and the new Jim Crow.”

Other people were uplifted and defiant and walked across the flag. Some were jubilant as they took selfies of themselves on the flag. Some people asked to pose with one of us as they stood on the flag with us. A well-dressed man literally danced across the flag over and over shouting out, “Revolution! Revolution!”

We also repeatedly shouted out, “We are the Chicago Revolution Club, working for an actual revolution. Get with the revolution and its leader Bob Avakian.” One young club member agitated about how Bob Avakian had written the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America that people need to get. “Go to” was another refrain.

Many people took extra palm cards for the March 2 day of resistance to stop police terror and extra copies of the statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party, Chicago Branch, to pass out to others on the spot or to take with them. Two young Black women told us we needed to take this “through the hood.” One high school teacher took a stack of palm cards and told us he was going to bring his whole class to the protest.

A crew of about 10 youths hung out the entire time we were there, soaking up the scene. At one point one of them shouted out, “Fuck 12” (Fuck the police) and was elated, and somewhat shocked, when we joined in with this. Before these youths left, they all got on the flag.

Toward the end of the evening rush, large numbers of white people began coming through the turnstiles—something very unusual for this el stop. They were headed to a Bernie Sanders rally scheduled nearby. Most walked around the flag but a few stepped right on it. At the Bernie Sanders rally itself later that night, people were also met by a crew of revolutionaries challenging them to walk on the flag.

At the El stop, many, many people raised their cellphones taking videos and stills of the scene. “This is going to be all over Facebook,” said one young Black man, a friend of the Revolution Club decked out in his BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less! T-shirt and keffiyeh.

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