GOP Convention: Freedom, Democracy and Media Megaphone for Fascists....Repression, Terror & Dictatorship for People

July 11, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Republican Party Convention to nominate its presidential ticket takes place in Cleveland Ohio, from Monday, July 18 to Thursday, July 21. The rulers of this country tout presidential elections—from the primaries, to these conventions, to the vote in November—as the pinnacle of “democracy”—when the people supposedly choose their leaders and decide the direction of society.

But what’s happening right now in Cleveland, leading up to the convention reveals the actual truth: there is democracy for the ruling class. They’re allowed to argue amongst themselves, express their views, and choose their representatives. All of this is praised, promoted, and blasted endlessly via their media as proving the legitimacy of their system. And it’s one way their elections are used to dictate the political framework and choices people feel they have, and what is and isn’t legitimate.

Mein Trumf

Meanwhile, a massive repressive apparatus is being mobilized by the rulers to dictate how, whether and even if the thousands from all over the country coming to Cleveland are able to express opposition to the presumptive Republican nominee: the ignorant and braying, but very dangerous, fascistic bigot Donald Trump.

Democracy for the ruling class inside the convention; dictatorship over the masses, right outside.

The System’s Paramilitary Preparations

An entire repressive apparatus is being gathered under the command of the Secret Service—everything from the Cleveland Police Department to the military. The city has received $50 million to create a police state (with another $50 million for Philadelphia, where the Democratic Convention will take place July 25-28).

The Cleveland police are recruiting 5,000 more police from the surrounding suburbs to add to their own 1,600 member department. They’re stockpiling all manner of riot gear, body armor, and weaponry, including deafening acoustic crowd control equipment.

The much-proclaimed democracy under this system is a sham, and worse

They’ve ordered video surveillance equipment, night vision devices, lasers, and cell phone tracking devices. Meanwhile protesters are prohibited from having tennis balls, tape, rope, bike locks, sleeping bags, and much more. (At the same time, Ohio is a “right to carry” state, so anyone with a gun permit will be permitted to carry anything from a pistol to assault weapons anywhere but outside the convention itself.)

The ACLU of Ohio had to go to court to force Cleveland to make changes in the rules, routes and other restrictions on demonstrations during the RNC. The city had made the “protected,” no-demonstration area around the convention so vast, and the parade route so far off the beaten track, that the so-called “right to political protest” was an obvious sham.

Trying to Intimidate Protesters

In the wake of the events in Dallas, the rulers’ new talking point is the lie that the job of the police is to protect the rights of the people, including to protest. In Cleveland, agents of the state are attempting to “investigate” and intimidate protesters even before the convention begins.

In mid June, agents from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service, and the local police paid “home visits” to more than a dozen community organizers, activists, and others. This included people associated with supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party. They questioned people about their plans for the convention, and the plans of other groups and individuals. Some were asked about previous addresses, and their political and social affiliations.

Local police questioned the parents of a young woman who’d been arrested a year earlier while protesting the acquittal of a cop in the shooting of two unarmed people. The agents said they wanted to ask the daughter “about any information she might have about anybody engaging in violence, planning violence for the RNC.”

An activist and writer told the L.A. Times this is “about putting the activist community on guard. The FBI knows who you are and where you are, and that has a chilling effect... Do you feel safe protesting in the streets when you know you’re being targeted by law enforcement?”

Illegitimate Repression from an Illegitimate System

All this is totally outrageous and totally illegitimate. Face reality. Here’s a system founded on slavery, genocide and global plunder; a system whose police still murder and terrorize Black and other oppressed peoples—123 Black people this year alone; a system that has directly killed 8 million people around the world over the past seven decades; a system primarily responsible for the fact that today globally 65 million people have been forced to flee from their homes.

They do all this under the banner of “freedom and democracy.” But Cleveland is just one example showing that this is a sham. There’s freedom and democracy for the capitalist-imperialist ruling class. There’s ruthless tyranny for the masses, who are given no real right to speak or be broadly heard, while the sick, pompous fascist Donald Trump is given hours and hours of free airtime for his barbaric message.

We cannot stand for all this.

Don’t Talk, Don’t Back Down

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) held a meeting to train people on what to do when police knock on your door. They explained that lying to federal agents is a crime, and that the best course of action is to “Just shut the F... up.” This is good advice! We have nothing to say to these pigs. And not talking to them accomplishes a lot. It helps prevent them from crushing and repressing movements of resistance. It strengthens solidarity between people fighting oppression. It contributes to exposing the illegitimacy of this illegitimate system’s repression. (For more analysis and guidance, see “Don't Be Bamboozled by Agents of Repression—‘Don't Talk’” at

Rebuffing these agents of repression helps prevent people from being hemmed in, repressed, and silenced. Instead people need to gather in Cleveland—in the thousands and thousands—to denounced and resist the coronation of the fascist Chump.

Powerful Basis for Protest...and Breaking Out of Killing Confines of Rulers’ Elections

There’s a powerful basis for people to gather in Cleveland, mount serious resistance to this fascist festival, and break out of the system’s killing “free elections” sham. For one, people have the truth on their side in exposing, condemning, and demonstrating against Trump. Second, they’re acting in the interests of the masses of people here and around the world in opposing this wanna-be ruler of a murderous imperialist system.

Third, the rulers and their armed enforcers are powerful, but as events are showing, they’re not all powerful. They have a big problem in Cleveland (and in Philadelphia). If they repress demonstrations, they risk revealing that behind their vaunted freedoms and democracy, there’s actually a vicious dictatorship over the people. Of course, this is no guarantee they won’t unleash their forces. Yet if they don’t hem in, repress, and marginalize resistance, they risk thousands upstaging their reactionary conventions, which are crucial to maintaining their aura of legitimacy.

Everything the authorities are preparing to prevent these protests should only redouble people’s commitment to be there. If the authorities do try and shutdown protest, the only answer is defiance and mobilizing more and more people—if and as they attack. Such attacks have the potential to starkly reveal the rulers’ dictatorship, and to shock, outrage, and draw many more people into the battle—provided people stand up and refuse to let themselves be shut down.

As this paper/website’s call to go to the conventions said:

“Revolutionaries must be there—and take it somewhere else: to a movement preparing for a REAL revolution. No answers—nothing but a dead end and worse—will ever be found in the framework of elections in this society.”



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