Excerpts from a Daily Cal op-ed:

Berkeley needs to stand up to fascist ideas

by Rafael Kadaris

| revcom.us


Editors’ note:The following are excerpts from an op-ed that appeared in the Daily Cal, the campus newspaper at University of California, Berkeley, on September 7. The writer of the op-ed, Rafael Kadaris, is a supporter of Revolution Books in Berkeley and the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour. The original op-ed is available online here.

Over the last two years, pro-Trump fascists have attacked Revolution Books in Berkeley and even threatened to burn it down. This past Sunday, Sept. 1, pro-Trump protesters once again attempted to march on our bookstore but were prevented from doing so by a defiant and joyous counter-protest.

The call for their “No to Marxism” protest said, “Revolution Books is a communist anti-American store.” Innocent as charged. Revolution Books is the intellectual, cultural and political center of a movement for an actual revolution. At the heart of our store is the new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian—a further development of Marxism and an even more scientific and liberating understanding of the world and how it can be radically changed.

We will not be intimidated by these anti-communist protesters. At the same time, these threats must be taken seriously. This fascism is not a sideshow or something that can be voted away, but it is deeply rooted in this system—it can and is “happening here.”...

Look at what has happened in the last two and a half years: the administration has banned the entry of people from Muslim-majority countries; it’s said Jews who vote Democratic are “disloyal”; it’s told Congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they came from; it’s revealed a regulation to allow it to detain migrants indefinitely; it’s had the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, carry out raids that leave children to come home from school to find that their parents are gone; it’s packed the courts with conservatives and is aiming to take away women’s right to abortion; it’s threatened multiple nations with nuclear war; it’s stripped away one environmental protection after another as our planet stands on the precipice of climate disaster.

All this, while way too many people turn their heads away because “it’s not happening to me” or because they’re not willing to get out of their comfort zone to make the sacrifices necessary to stop all this. Yesterday’s outrage becomes today’s new normal as people accommodate themselves to the unacceptable.

UC Berkeley students might think that it is scary to stand up to fascism. And there’s no denying that there are risks. But what’s more scary is allowing fascists to march through Berkeley unopposed. What’s even more scary is allowing the Trump administration to remain in power and fully implement its agenda.

At the same time, we have to pull the lens back and ask a deeper question. What kind of system creates people like Donald Trump? Is this an aberration in America and American democracy, or is this the culmination of this nation’s history, since its foundations were built on slavery and genocide? As Bob Avakian put it, “There’s a direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today.”...

As Bob Avakian has written, “There’s nothing more unrealistic than the idea of reforming this system into something that would come anywhere near being in the interests of the great majority of people and ultimately of humanity as a whole.”

But whether we are for revolution or for reform, these attacks on Revolution Books are attacks on everyone who values social justice, art and imagination, intellectual engagement and the search for the truth. It matters that we stand together, from our diverse perspectives, in defense of Revolution Books.

We invite you to come to the bookstore....


Livestream from Revolution Books, Berkeley, September 1


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