Reflections on the Courageous Outpourings on the One Year Anniversary of Charlottesville in Light of the Even Bigger Struggles to Come

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The Backdrop and Significance of the One Year Anniversary of Charlottesville 2017

The march last year in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017 was a watershed moment putting before the world the white supremacist fascist movement that has been unleashed by the Trump/Pence regime now at the helm of the U.S. empire. 

They chanted: “You will not replace us—viciously and openly targeting Black people, Jews, women, LGBTQ people, and immigrants. They wielded torches, backed up with bats, clubs, fists, shields, guns, and a high speed car murdering Heather Heyer. They raised the NAZI slogan, “Blood and Soil”—an unadulterated assertion of white supremacy and fascism exposing the deep contradictions and essence of AmeriKKKa that is being further unleashed by a fascist regime. Trump’s brazen support of this signaled to the world what is unfolding.

This was followed by a year of the most vicious fascist white supremacist attacks from the Trump/Pence regime: openly championing white supremacist police violence, state-enforced terror and torture against immigrants including small children, NAZI language of “animals” and “shithole countries” deployed by Trump, strengthening of Christian fascist assaults on women and LGBTQ people, heightened repression from the state, heightened threats of war including nuclear war, and much more.

The specter of civil war was conjured by Trump’s rallies, his tweets and the virulence of his fascist thugs—especially the fascist separation and caging of immigrant children which echoed the separation of Black people over hundreds of years of slavery as well as the current grinding genocide of mass incarceration, child “protective” services, and more, which Trump is moving to accelerate.

In recent months, there has been more talk in various mainstream media of the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime and of fascist movements internationally, even as normalization and accommodation to the regime has deepened among many who despise the direction of the regime.

At stake this year in Portland, Berkeley, Charlottesville, and Washington, DC—locations of fascist rallies and counter-protests surrounding the Charlottesville anniversary—was the question: Would this stand? Or, would this fascist commemoration of Charlottesville be met by a movement to a put a stop to this white supremacist onslaught? Would there be a force and movement for revolution on the scene with the determination, the vision, plan and organization to prepare today to put an end to the system that spawned this fascism?

The Courageous Resistance in the Street Is Important, but Must Be Built On and Transformed Through Struggle to Meet the Bigger Challenges Ahead

The Charlottesville anniversary was marked by mass and courageous resistance. In DC on August 12, as well as in Charlottesville, Berkeley, and Portland in the days and weeks before it, thousands of people overcame fear and uncertainty to stand up and say no.

In Portland, Berkeley, and Charlottesville, police came in riot gear itching for confrontation. Some protesters accurately noted, “Last year we faced thugs with torches, this year we faced thugs wearing badges.” In Portland, one protester had a police-fired metal projectile lodged in his helmet in what could have been a life-threatening injury.

In DC, many of the organizers of the #ShutItDownDC coalition behind the main protests had themselves only recently defeated bogus charges carrying heavy prison sentences, up to 60 years for some, that had been pinned on nearly 200 people for protesting Trump’s inauguration. Members of the Revolution Club who came from Chicago and New York had been on the front lines of last year’s bloody assault by Nazis in Charlottesville, some sent to the hospital with serious injuries. Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, joined protesters in Charlottesville and opened herself up to days of interviews in major media around the world always keeping the focus on the white supremacy her daughter gave her life to end.

What was most significant here, even as the numbers of counter-protesters only numbered in the low thousands in each city, was the emergence of a section of people who are again rising up—prepared to take risks to act, to put themselves on the line, so that this white supremacist fascist shit does not stand. This needs to be built on and led in a direction that stops it and that ultimately—and “ultimately” may well not be something far off in the future—digs it up at the roots through an actual revolution.

To draw a point from How We Can WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW), all this was an indication of the potential for thousands to get organized now into the ranks of the revolution and be influencing millions. But, as pointed to in HWCW, this needs to be “transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization”

Within this mix, the Revolution Clubs from Chicago and New York represented powerfully in DC. This nascent force united with the broader resistance while putting forth the real roots of the problem we face: the system of capitalism-imperialism which has white supremacy woven into its DNA; as well as the only solution: an actual revolution that overthrows this system and establishes a radically new economic system, a new social system and a new revolutionary state power as laid out in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian. In the days leading up to August 12, the Club fanned out around DC propagating the need for revolution and promoting the leadership of Bob Avakian and his new synthesis of communism, as well as mobilizing people to join the protests. Some of those met joined up with the Club for Sunday’s protest, putting on the “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” T-shirt, along with new people who did the same throughout the day itself. Many more were both challenged by, and attracted to, the Club’s message. Some were visibly uncomfortable the first time they heard the Club chant, “1-2-3-4, Slavery, Genocide and War! 5-6-7-8 America Was NEVER Great!” but then would join in after they listened to the Club’s agitation. All this—the content of the Club’s agitation and chants, the collective force for revolution being boldly represented, and the highly developed leadership and strategy concentrated in HWCW that was being grabbed up by protesters who encountered the Club—stood out starkly in contrast to positive, but still often shallow and at times misguided, sentiments being expressed by others at the protest, including through chants like “Whose streets? Our streets!” “Whose Country? Our country!” and simply “Fuck You Nazis!”

The Revolution Club united with and at times marched with a contingent from who also made a powerful impact on the scene. One reporter tweeted out, “Refuse Fascism are one of the first groups to arrive at Freedom Plaza. ~50 strong, they just moved in with their characteristic chant - ‘in the name of humanity, we refuse a fascist America.’” This contingent included volunteers from Cleveland, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Wilkes-Barre, PA, and the DC area to not only mobilize against the white supremacists in the street but to call out—and get people organized to drive out—the white supremacists and fascists inside the White House. They, too, had fanned out around DC in the previous days building for the protest. On the day itself, volunteers worked together to distribute hundreds of signs, which made it into almost all the media coverage and which read, “This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” as well as hundreds of stickers, and copies of the Call to Action. When word came that the white supremacists were heading towards the White House early, worked with the Revolution Club and others to lead a march of hundreds into the streets to join with a Black Lives Matter contingent and get there first. Along the way, they led hundreds to take the Pledge to drive out the regime.

All this takes on heightened importance because as much as people deeply detest and were determined to stand against the white supremacy that is now riding high, even among those in the streets—and all the more so among those who stayed home—there is the illusion (really delusion) that the way to stop all this is through the midterm elections, by relying on Mueller’s investigation, or by just taking on individual white supremacists and Nazis by confronting them on the ground and working to get them fired and banished from public life. But this will not resolve or stop the fascism that humanity is facing.

In addition to all the other ways that the Democrats have repeatedly capitulated to and worked to normalize the Trump/Pence fascist regime—from turning their backs on DACA youth to celebrating Trump’s use of military terror and violence as “presidential” to insisting that impeachment is “off the table”—it should be noted that the Democratic Party leadership has been completely silent in the face of Trump’s recent wave of virulent anti-Black racism. They have not defended the NFL players attacked by Trump. Their leaders joined in scolding Maxine Waters when Trump assailed her, rather than coming to her defense. And not a single one of them showed up in DC to stand against the white supremacists. As for confronting the fascists on the street, this is righteous and necessary but is not a strategy for removing a fascist regime from power.

Only by people stepping outside the official channels of elections, supporting the Democrats, counting on Mueller, etc. can the people realize their real potential to stop a fascist America—by taking up the mission laid out by “We need to organize now for the time when we can launch massive, sustained nonviolent protests in the streets of cities and towns across the country—protests that continue day after day and don’t stop, creating the kind of political situation in which the demand that the Trump/Pence regime be removed from power is met.” A key tool in forging the necessary understanding among the people to mount this fight for the future of humanity is the Film of a Talk by Bob Avakian, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist AmericaA Better World IS Possible!”

What Must Be Done Now

Right now, everyone who sees the need for radical and fundamental change needs to work aggressively, boldly, and systematically to bring forward a mass movement for revolution of thousands of people using HWCW as a living guideline. As that document says, “We need to be on a mission to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution. We have Bob Avakian (BA) the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party.” How We Can Win goes on to talk about more of our strengths we must be spreading—the website,, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA, and more—as well as how we need to be mobilizing growing numbers to fight the power and transform the people for revolution.

At the same time, everyone who refuses to accept a fascist America must build off recent advances in DC and in previous powerful actions taken over the summer to advance the mission of to mobilize thousands and eventually millions to launch sustained, mass, nonviolent protests that do not stop until the Trump/Pence regime has been driven from power. must now become a truly mass organization, uniting people from a great diversity of political perspectives to fight with courage and conviction in the name of humanity to stop a fascist America.

In a recent talk, Bob Avakian made this point, “both to meet the immediate challenge of creating a political situation in which this regime will be removed from power—and in which the political initiative has been seized to a great degree by those who are determined to turn back the assault on humanity that is being carried out by this regime and to strive for a better world, however they understand that—and to advance toward the fundamental goal of revolution, it is vitally important that all those who have come to understand the need for revolution actively contribute to building the movement to drive out this regime, and do so from the perspective of and in the overall framework of building for revolution.

This is a time to prepare for struggle—against a regime that must be driven from power through determined struggle of the people, and against a system that cannot be reformed.

With nothing less than the future of humanity in the balance, if not now, when?


Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC, August 12, 2018. Photo: twitter/@TheArtist_MBS

The Revolution Club in Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC, August 12, 2018. Photo: twitter/@NYCRevClub in the march.


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