News flash from Charlottesville
Interviews with the Revolution Club

August 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |



In the wake of the clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, interviewed two members of the Revolution Club, one from New York, one from Chicago. Through these interviews, our readers will learn more about how events unfolded in Charlottesville, how different strands and streams of people were responding to the murdering white supremacists, what the Revolution Club did in the midst of this showdown to lead people in struggle, win them to take up the revolution, and connect them to the leadership of this revolution, Bob Avakian, and the Party that he leads.

The following are edited comments from the Revolution Club members. (Questions not included.)


The fascists were ready for war. They came out with shields, doing formations, marching. On Saturday early, we were trying to rally people to go to Robert E Lee, or now named Emancipation Park to confront the fascists who were going to be there at noon.

While this was happening, a group of militant fascists—they were doing “blood and soil” chants—marched by. The Club called them out: “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.” The fascists start moving forward, so the Club moved its line—and the fascists rammed through with their shields. They hit two Revolution Club members who were trying to protect the others. And there was another woman who stepped in and got punched in the face. The fascists kept going. One Revolution Club member was bleeding bad and street medics came out, and this other woman was also bleeding bad above her eye. I went to the hospital with them.

The pigs came out in gear AFTER it happened. As the day went on, people talked about the fact that the police were doing nothing. People were shaken up by the police not protecting them against the KKK, and that the police almost created a ring to let it happen. When they did move in to “protect,” they pointed a tank at the people. That shook a lot of people.

We were driven to the ER by local Black Lives Matter activists. This was very important, and while we were there some of the clergy from another part of Virginia came to show solidarity and help in caring for people.

When we got back out on the streets there were Black youths we talked to about revolution. They were saying “we’ll be there.” Then they actually went up to the line of pigs and were saying shoot me—so defiant—but they knew everyone in the crowd had their backs. The Club agitated around this role of the police, and more, getting into BA. This agitation really sharpened things up for people—this is going to take a lot more. This is serious.

One queer woman from France was so happy to hear there was an organization and that we had a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. She said "I know so many people who would love and need to hear this."

There were other youths around and we talked to them about what was happening in Chicago—we can’t duke it out now [make revolution], we need to get serious and be organized. It made people think and the whole scene made them take it more seriously.

A lot of people were angry and asking, where do we go next to confront the fascists? The Revolution Club member who had been attacked told people what happened in the clash with the fascists. She said the fascists are not going away, and called on people to go to a park to get into How We Can Win—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW). A half-dozen young Black people came—we got Revolution newspaper to them and we read all of HWCW and discussed it in relation to what’s going on around us, especially the parts about what we can do now and how we can defeat them. We had the Chicago banner— it was very powerful, seeing that, and so many people had written notes to send to the people in Charlottesville.

Many people from the South Side of Chicago wrote statements on this banner to send to people in Charlottesville. Photo: Revolution Club-Chicago.


One thing to underscore is that a lot of the agitation by the Club was really sharp and powerful and a lot of people were moved by it and—we were getting out the newspaper while it was going on. We were seeing people emboldened and lifted up (after the car rammed through and people were shook)—the agitation had a real impact on people.



Saturday. I was out of the picture from early on until the big melee was over. When I got back out there, there were standoffs between the police and people from the neighborhoods, Black masses and youths and some others from a nearby neighborhood—the defiant ones—and there were a couple dozen people facing off with and ridiculing and calling the pigs out, not backing down. We agitated and were standing with the people. At a certain point the pigs backed off.

In the mix of that, we were doing agitation about now is the time to get organized for revolution, calling on people to get into BA and the plan to win, urging people to come to speak out in the evening and a number did that, but it didn’t go far enough.


But today—Sunday—that changed. We were in these housing projects for a few minutes—people are really up on what has been going on, and we heard—oh yeah, the white supremacists are having a press conference in five minutes. So we went down to City Hall, which is near where the car hit and killed Heather Heyer. We get to the press conference and the pigs have the streets blocked off because the Nazis are there and masses want to go get them.

People were very pissed off at the pigs: some of the youth from the city and people from Charlottesville, white and Black, of different strata, but also mixed in were people who come from other cities—nearby cities. People were really outraged, and there was a mix of people from different strata standing there shouting anger at the pigs because people didn’t feel the pigs stopped the Nazis, but protected them and were more lined up against the people.

At the press conference we started to do some agitation, which was really appreciated.

The connection was being made between Trump and all this stuff going on in Charlottesville. The broader masses and the youth see a connection, but I’m not sure how deep it goes. But people including the Black youth are making the connection between the fascists and Trump and there’s the visceral reaction to these Nazis. And that’s mixed in with, among more of the basic youth, a thing about this is our town, we don’t want this here—so it gets a little narrow: this is happening to us and we want it to stop.

But people, including all these people from the neighborhood, are really angry and upset about the woman being killed— it’s like she is one of ours who’s been taken from us. People were upset, angry, and furious.

We ended up leading a speak-out for 90 minutes, a rotating crowd with hundreds going through at different points. There were dozens of people who spoke—some repeatedly— a lot of different kinds of people: some middle class white people and Black people spoke, but the main character of it was the basic people from the neighborhoods. One thing that stood out to me was that there was a very dynamic thing that happened during the speak-out: a process of struggle and debate that was being worked through, interrupted every now and then when some white supremacist would come through and start yelling or something and people would confront them. At one point the pigs lined up and then they backed off. One white supremacist moved away to stand in front of the police station—like it was his safe space.

There was a lot of speaking bitterness, including by white people. A lot of people talked about all the protests starting with Trayvon Martin and look where we are today.

One important thing: in the speak-out we did a lot of work, agitation, leading people—we were stressing that these were the outlines of a civil war and people needed to get organized for revolution and there being a leadership and a strategy and a plan—and people were hearing this. This whole system gave rise to [these horrors] and that system has to be overthrown. And we also talked about the need to drive out this regime that was unleashing all these Nazis. We did a round of agitation on how we can win and told people now they need to get their Revolution newspapers and all these people came around grabbing for their papers. So there were lines and ideologies being struggled and debated out in the speak-out.



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