Letter from a revcom:

Pig Arrests Spark Mass Debate on Facebook and Intense Back-and-Forth in Neighborhood

July 31, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


In the battle over forging revolutionary organization on the South Side of Chicago, there are further developments in the neighborhood where police arrested five members of the Revolution Club last week. For weeks police have outright retaliated against a whole neighborhood and threatened people individually for beginning to check out the revolution and get organized. With this there has been lots of questioning, controversy, and debate in relation to the message of the Revolution Club and how to understand the police repression and what to do about it, with people on different sides and often switching sides. (The message of the Revolution Club is concentrated in our proclamation: This Summer in Chicago Will NOT Be a Bloodbath of Killing Each Other. This Summer Will NOT Be Free Rein for Police to Murder and Terrorize Black and Brown Youth. This Summer We Get Organized for Revolution to Emancipate All of Humanity.)

This has all sharpened with the escalation of the police attacks last week AND the way the Revolution Club and supporters responded. The Revolution Club held a press conference the same day and then rallied the next day at the scene of the arrests with people from the neighborhood and supporters from other organizations. The commander of the 7th District police has now repeatedly come personally to try to stop the Revolution Club from getting out the message of revolution and was taken on by Carl Dix and members of the community at the rally.

Debate on Facebook

In the days after the arrests, the debate also took off in another arena and brought in wider swaths of people. Someone in the neighborhood who filmed the arrests and was siding with the police against the revolutionaries posted his videos to Facebook. Within a few days, one of the videos had been seen by more than 92,000 people. Throughout the neighborhood, most people have seen the video, and it has also been widely seen in at least one other South Side neighborhood where the Revolution Club is starting to be known.

The Facebook posts quickly also became a place of lots of struggle between people taking different positions, but overwhelmingly siding with the revolutionaries and with a lot of substance and heart. Not only was there outrage against the police clearly carrying out illegitimate arrests against people simply speaking on a public sidewalk, but there was also unity with the message the police were trying to silence, and anger at the videographer who was siding with the pigs and saying they should lock up the revolutionaries for starting trouble with the police.

Some of the back-and-forth:

A: I don’t understand why record them and talk shit when they trying to stand of for us... if you don’t agree with some of things they’re saying just say so, not talk shit

B: Thank u He more on the cops side that’s wats sad

Videographer: You don’t even know what’s going on they making our community hot if the police was fukn with somebody it’s understandable but they fukn with them ppl

A: They wasn’t fucking with them... they was clearly stating that cops are shooting innocent people and getting away with it and as usual cops sit they ass on the corner and watch and then come fuck with people... they asked why was they there and they wasn’t doing shit but trying to appeal to you guys


Videographer: Man they making that shit hot and this coming from a mf with a job

C: Y’all just don’t get the point. The block isn’t yours nor the niggas that stand on them corners. I understand most gotta provide but that isn’t the only way. That’s the way they have glorified it for our boys to keep at each other and not really seeing what’s going on around y’all... this is bigger than a damn block and y’all not going to see that until it’s too late


D: you lost in this sauce young brother... the block ain’t hot when we going to war with each other but you sneak dissing mfs that got the balls to stand up to the law and stick up for you and your community... something you clearly not about... peep game shorty


E: if she can stand up n put her life on the line for something that is definitely right and need to change in our community why is people not coming together to stand with her what is everybody scared of it like no one is trying to get involve or with the movement n people are so stupid up here talking about stop blowing the whistle they are blowing the whistle to get everyone’s attention to see what the police are doing and to hear what the lady is saying I think that is very smart if we had more people to think like this lady Justice will be served we need to wake up and come together I want to find out her name and what is the movement I want to be a part of it and I hope everyone up here do to and why be afraid they killing our kids and family n us anyway it’s either that u live 4 nothing or die for something so if you will die or do anything for your kids or family but yet you are scared to stand for what’s right or die for what’s right so your kids and they kids can have a better future so it can be more safe I just want to know what did our grandparents and great-grandparents and ancestors die and fight for or went through what did they go through it for then ig for us to be afraid I don’t think so. WE ALL NEED TO COME TOGETHER AND GET OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS INVOLVED WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FAITH AND THE STRENGTH OF OUR CULTURES.

There is actually quite a bit to reflect on in these debates. There is resistance to those who disrupt the “routine”—and a deep aspiration to stand with those who DO dare to disrupt the routine of oppression.

In the neighborhood, the same debate is going on, though also on a deeper level among some who are starting to find out about and engage the work of Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the revolution. Here the stakes are very high, as the police have made very clear that they will try to make people pay a price for standing up. So people are getting into deep questions and expressing support, with some stepping forward in some ways, but mainly thinking about and weighing getting involved.

At the same time, some are bowing down to the pressure of the police harassment, including one who went so low as to even wave the police over when the revolutionaries were back in the neighborhood talking with people! However, when the police pulled up four cars for three revolutionaries and got out of their cars and started moving in like they were going to start arresting people, others came up from the park, including one person who had been expressing her own disagreements earlier, in the face of the police took the right stand, joining in the agitation the revcoms were doing, standing with the Revolution Club until the police backed off. The Revolution Club has issued and started to distribute a statement, “Revolutionary Communists Serve the Interests of Humanity... Pig Police Serve and Protect the System... Which Side Are You On?” (See statement at right on this page.)


On Friday night, the Revolution Club organized a film showing in the park of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, the major talk from Bob Avakian given in 2012. This is the same park where the revcoms were arrested the week before and the same park where a number of people have been killed in violence among the people. The showing was projected on a big screen and could be heard from the sidewalk.

People had to go up against a lot to come to this showing, and we need to do more showings that maybe are easier for people to come to. There was a small but significant number of people from the neighborhood who did come very consciously to represent their support for the revolution. And then there were others who checked it out on the edges, watching from the sidewalk or along the fence. A number of really young kids wanted to be part of the scene and some of the middle-school-aged people who came with them to keep an eye on them seriously engaged the film.

Then, at the end of the film showing, right at 10 pm, the 7th District commander showed up! Some people had been calling him during the week to demand he stop the harassment and arrests, and when he showed up he did not bring a force to make arrests, this time. He did once again straight-up say to the legal observer that he did not want the message of the revcoms in that neighborhood. And as he did, someone who had been drawn in to watch part of the film passed by holding a copy of the film on DVD and held it up in front of the commander, defiantly saying, “I’m going to watch this!”

The Revolution Club is following up with people from the neighborhood to fight through on people getting deeper into BA and how we can really win a revolution, with the mission of organizing people concretely for revolution and into the Revolution Club. And we are NOT stopping.




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