As we go to press…

First Thoughts from Members of and the Revolution Club After an Intense Day Standing Up Against White Supremacists in DC

| Revolution Newspaper |



The following correspondence is drawn from some of the initial thoughts people shared in a summation gathering held by members of and the Revolution Club after an intense day of standing together with many other forces against the white supremacists who marched in DC on August 12. We look forward to learning more fully about the impact of the day overall throughout society, as well as the actions of protesters in Charlottesville the day before.

No one knew what to expect on the anniversary of Heather Heyer's murder by white supremacists and Nazis who ran amok last year in Charlottesville, terrorizing students with lynch-mob torches at night, savagely beating down Deandre Harris, violently assaulting members of the Revolution Club and many others, and running a car into a crowd of protesters.

In the days leading up to the August 12 showdown between the Unite the Right 2 rally of white supremacists and the broad counter-protests that were being built for, volunteers with as well as members of the Revolution Clubs from different parts of the country fanned out around Washington, DC. Overwhelmingly, people were disgusted and furious about white supremacists planning to march past the White House, but there was also palpable fear: “What if they kill again?” “What if they come armed?” No one had it far from their minds that Heather Heyer had given her life last year.

Every single one of the thousands of people who came out to counter-protest had to grapple with that fear, and those who came out did so with courage and determination. The defiance and joy was palpable. The day was filled with different protests and break-away marches. A few confrontations with fascists and many more with police. Chanting and dancing. Digging into big questions and getting organized. Here, I am not going to try to capture everything that happened in the march. Instead, I want to share some of the reflections and observations among the volunteers with and the Revolution Club at the end of the day when about 50 of us gathered for pizza.


A young Black man who had never been to a protest like this had driven down in a van with others that morning. He explained how he met the RevComs at his school, which is focused on African American history, culture, literature and perspective. He explained that because of that, and because there is so much ugly history, he has often started to think about all white people “in a certain way.” But what struck him most about the counter-protest is how many different kinds of people were there, especially how many white people had come out to stand up. He was also moved that there were people who protested who were from entirely different countries. He said the whole day gave him hope in a way that he hadn’t really expected, he’d never seen white people act this way and it made him think that maybe if we keep fighting we’ll get to a day when people look back and laugh and scratch their heads that such a thing as white supremacy and all these other nightmares ever existed.

A young woman with explained how she was banned from the area of the protest for several months stemming from an illegitimate arrest when she stood in front of the Treasury Department and read an open letter/challenge to debate to Steve Mnuchin. She was furious and wanted everyone to deeply contemplate what it means about this society that she and another woman with Refuse Fascism were banned from being in the streets to oppose fascism for trying to exercise their first amendment rights against Mnuchin, but the fascists who want genocide have police protection and a permit to spew their racist shit without restriction. She added that, while she hadn’t been able to be out there, she’d followed the whole day on social media and, “You all looked so great! I could sense your spirit even in the pictures.” Then she added, as she choked back tears, “I just wanted to say the name of Heather Heyer out loud and to say that today, every single person in this room really honored her legacy.”

A Black woman who grew up in Mississippi had shared how her mother had taken in Freedom Summer volunteers and, because of this, even the Black children who lived next door to her were not allowed to play with her out of fear of attacks from white supremacists. She told us that after the march, she got a call from her aunt who told her, “Thank god there were more of you than there were of them! And, you are just like your mother.” Everyone burst into applause.

A member of the Revolution Club observed that, “There was something happening out there today, people being determined and everyone who came out really being on a mission not to let these Nazi motherfuckers win the day... In the Revolution Club crew, we were giving people strength and organizing them into the revolution, letting them know there is a way out of this and a leadership in Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party so that we can fight to go all the way to an actual revolution to get rid of the system and all the hell that means for humanity. It was striking how much this resonated with people, that if you want to end the white supremacy and what gave rise to it, you are not going to do that within the existing system, you are going to have to overthrow that system and set up a whole new system—that is what BA has been working on and we can do this but you need to get into it. At one point, someone in the club just started chanting, “Overthrow! Overthrow! Overthrow the system!” and everyone around us started chanting it with us. Some people put on the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt, marched with us. The whole thing was really significant and impacted society.”

We were just wrapping up our dinner and summation when our two last volunteers arrived. One of them explained, “A year ago today I was at home and saw everything on livestream, I cried all day long. So just being here for the anniversary, and thinking these assholes will come here... I am dumbfounded...” We were surprised to learn that she and her friend along with others had been kettled today, detained by police en masse, and then, when her friend demanded to know from the cops how they could do something so illegitimate, the cop pulled out pepper-spray, pointed it directly in her friend’s face, and sprayed and sprayed and sprayed. She repeated, “Last year I cried and cried all day at what the Nazis did, but this year it was the police. Oh my gosh, this is happening in America... I just don’t know. I am so sad. Speechless. But I also have to give it up. He was sprayed in the eyes and blinded and down on the ground writhing and two medics were dragging him away and he puts both arms up like this [demonstrates] and yells, ‘KEEP FIGHTING!’ It was awesome.” Again, people applauded. First, for the individual who held his head high and felt pride in having stood up despite the pepper spray. Then for everyone who had come out and run together and who spent the next hour devouring more pizza, deepening bonds, digging into the biggest questions about changing the world, and then getting on the road to go back to our homes to take this forward.

All photos: Special to


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