Prison Abolition: How to Feel “Woke” Without Fundamentally Changing a Thing

A REVOLUTIONARY Intervention from Tala Deloria
Revolution Club member and UCLA student

| Revolution Newspaper |


If you’re serious about ending mass incarceration and police terror, you need to be talking about the OVERTHROW of this system. Anything short of this, in the final analysis, is bullshit.

This system of capitalism-imperialism is what’s driving the genocidal police terror and mass incarceration of over 2 million people, over half Black, Latino and Native American men and women. This same system terrorizes the globe with wars for empire, economic sanctions, coups, bombing and torture. It drives people from their homelands in desperation for a life and livelihood and then warehouses them in detention centers and concentration camps at the border. This same system enforces vicious misogyny, oppressive gender relations and has now brought to power a fascist regime reigning through undisguised dictatorship and intensified repression, concentrating the naked vileness that makes up the heart of America. This system CANNOT be reformed!

“...we have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—or, make revolution!” – Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the revolution, from the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can REALLY Make Revolution.

In opposition to revolution, what is the meaning of Angela Davis’ call for “abolition democracy”?

“ our overarching strategy, we would try to envision a continuum of alternatives to imprisonment—demilitarization of schools, revitalization of education at all levels, a health system that provides free physical and mental care to all, and a justice system based on reparation and reconciliation rather than retribution and vengeance.” – From Are Prisons Obsolete?

This an argument for a paltry set of reforms. Illusions and delusions that will never be achieved under capitalism. In the same speech mentioned above, BA shows:

“White supremacy and capitalism—they have been completely interwoven and tightly ‘stitched together’ through the whole development of this country, down to today; to attempt to really put an end to white supremacy while maintaining the system of capitalism would tear the entire fabric of the country apart.”

To the degree any of Davis’ proposed reforms could be won under this system, the resources for this would come from America’s blood-sucking exploitation of the people of the world.

In the face of the desperately urgent need for real fundamental change, all “abolition” is doing is training you to nibble around the edges, begging and bargaining for a piece of the bloody imperialist pie. Those who do care about the nightmare of mass incarceration are funneled into endlessly working within – and even strengthening – the same system that causes this. This gets you to contribute to the tried and true hustle that this system can “do well by doing good,” while it keeps grinding up billions here and around the world.

Reality check: We live in a brutal capitalist dictatorship. This oppressive economic and social system is enforced by an illegitimate state power, a violent apparatus of repression and suppression. They keep oppressed people – Black, Latino and Native American people – in line through arbitrary and blood-thirsty police and vigilante terror. In every corner of the globe, it’s the US army with their bombs and torture, CIA backed-coups, and proxy wars that enforce the US’ dictates, global domination and plunder of resources.

This system’s violent hold on power does need to be broken. But that will take nothing short of an ACTUAL revolution: “Revolution where millions go up against, defeat and dismantle the system’s armed forces of violent suppression. Revolution that sets up a totally new power, with a different economy and different ways people relate to each other.” – From Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution, Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party

The leadership exists for this revolution in Bob Avakian: the most radical revolutionary on the planet who has developed a new synthesis of communism which includes a constitution with a re-envisioned legal framework and concept of justice for a future socialist society aiming to uproot all the oppressive and antagonistic divisions plaguing humanity. (At

Revolution IS possible and we are getting organized for this revolution NOW. There are answers for HOW to make revolution in this imperialist beast and HOW to bring forward the needed millions to do that. There is a strategy for this, concentrated in How We Can Win—How We Can Really Make Revolution, a battle plan for revolution from the Revolutionary Communist Party and further developed in the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can REALLY Make Revolution (at



Have you ever noticed that the one privilege these “identity politics” hustlers don’t talk about is American privilege?—the privilege that comes from living in the USA, a country that plunders the world and whose wealth and power rests on brutal exploitation and oppression throughout the world, backed up by the massive violence of the American military. These hustlers want all they can get of that privilege. In opposition to that, what the masses of humanity need is to do away with and move beyond this whole vampire system, putting an end to all exploitation and oppression.


Come to an organizing meeting SATURDAY, Feb 23, 3pm:

“You Think You’re Woke... But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare
This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!”

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

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Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

A speech by Bob Avakian
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