NYC: In the Streets Against the Fascist Crackdown in Portland



From members of the Revolution Club, NYC:

About 200 people came out Saturday, July 18, in New York City in response to a call by Refuse Fascism and the NYC Revolution Club to stand up against Trump’s fascist escalation in Portland and demand “No To A Fascist Police State! Trump/Pence Out Now!” The Club had originally been planning a protest against NYPD repression but decided to change our plans and broaden our scope when we saw what was developing on the political terrain.

Some high school students protested earlier in the day and they invited the Club to participate—so a couple of people went out to that—even as we were very stretched. This included one new person who took a big step to represent for the NYC Revolution Club with just one other Club member. We wrote a statement that we shared with them on Instagram too—saying we stand with them and highlighting a quote by BA on “No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over...” (BAsics 1:13) and bringing to people the need for an actual revolution.

At the Union Square rally, people of diverse backgrounds came out, including people who are directly under the boot of the police. It was inspiring to see people come back especially in the face of the brutal repression that people faced here in NYC last week, including one person tased and hospitalized, 20 arrested at a counter-protest of a “blue lives matter” protest. Youths and others told us that this was so beautiful to see because they were beginning to lose hope because the numbers have been dwindling and because of the repression. People chanted “Fuck the system, Make Revolution!” “NO Fascist Police State! Trump/Pence Out Now!” “November is too late. Trump/Pence Out Now!” and “We out here, this shit ain't funny! No Fascism in 2020!” “No Fascist Police State—We Stand With Portland.”

One Black woman said at the speak-out, “I have so much love for you all out here. We are one race, one people. If I cut you, what color would you bleed? The same color.” Another new young member of the Revolution Club spoke about being Jewish and how we say never again—but we have to act on it. The history of this country, genocide, slavery and war, and the seeds of fascism have been here. And she spoke powerfully to how they have thrown everything at us—tear gas, bullets, the police. But if they cut off our heads, three more need to grow back. We aren’t going to stop. At the end we marched to “Abolition Park.”

Two members from the Revolution Club both made compelling agitation—about the crossroads we face, the line from the Confederacy to the fascist in the White House, letting people in on our strategy, and straight up recruiting people into the Clubs for this and why we can’t rely on the elections to stop this. Refuse Fascism also did compelling recruiting on the spot: “You are leaving a protest going home. Black van pulls up and 4-5 guys in fatigues jump out, grab you and throw you in the back of a van... What’s different from that and what they did in Nazi Germany?”

And Refuse Fascism did a great job recruiting people into this—“Do you agree with stopping police murder of Black people? Do you agree with stopping the destruction of the environment? Do you agree with stopping the attacks on immigrants? Do you agree Trump/Pence must go? Then you have to join Refuse Fascism.”

We marched from Union Square over to City Hall at what is now “Abolition Park” (where people have been camping overnight and demanding that New York City defund the police). We were part of a second rally/program there, uniting with people there to say “No Fascist Police State!” There was a moment of silence for John Lewis, a musician with Black Joy Experience singing “I love being black!,” and people were dancing and singing together. There was also a beautiful performance by a drag queen around the terror and sorrow of trans lives being cut down and losing your friends.

The Revolution Club gave another speech down there, and put out the role of the police quote and challenged the deadly notions of abolishing the police and the idea of reforming the system, and why we need leadership and science to get out of what we are in. Unlike our previous outing there, there wasn’t hostile pushback—we learned through some active social investigation in the days leading up that people were feeling demoralized by the repression and the fact that powers that be did not meet people’s demands, and one person said he felt very torn—between continuing to fight for this or more trying to go for revolution. They’re leaning more towards revolution but “is that really even possible?” And “how could we do it?”

Going into Saturday, some of these discussions were happening with different forces who were levers to others, as part of our active social investigation—letting people know about the strategy for revolution, the leadership and why from our perspective and our strategy of dealing with encirclement, it was necessary to call people out into the streets and this was also working in conjunction with what had just happened in Portland.

New members of the Revolution Club read the Points of Attention for the Revolution and it was well received. One person, who is one of the organizers, made the points, if you are anti-racism, you have to be anti-fascist, if you are you anti-fascist, you have to be anti-patriarchy—really pulling together a different morality.

Refuse Fascism New York and the New York Revolution Club in the streets, July 18

July 18 march in NY City.

One young man who recently joined the Club was telling people in a very basic way, “You don’t have to know everything, I’m not really into all this politics and reading and stuff. But I’m learning. All you have to do is want to be part of making a change and you can join this. So don’t feel like you don’t know enough to step in. You know enough. If you want this to end. You can join up. And all I know is I’m seeing Black people hanging from trees in 2020—and I know that’s enough for me to step in and do something about this.”

A member of Refuse Fascism led people in chanting, “This is what community looks like.” New people joined the Revolution Club and we got messages of support from people who were impressed and moved by what was brought together. When we marched into City Hall, people were cheering. On the basis of what we had done and putting before people an ending to the white supremacy and a celebration of standing up in the face of this oppression—this was a whole different spirit and people coming together that was different than even 3-4 days ago.

There was a sense of “we are all on the same team” in ending white supremacy and institutionalized racism, nothing less, and an end to ALL the abuses people face. Even as there were differences in how people identified the fundamental problem and solution, this sense of team was on the foundation of Bob Avakian’s method and approach; including the application of what some of us discussed in the George Floyd uprising article, about how to identify what’s principal and what’s secondary in any given struggle. What to unite over and where to struggle. And there was struggle in the lead up to this, in particular over “ownership” of the movement or “involving as many people as possible” and this was done through propagating our strategy and what it will take to get free by making revolution.

And it was on the basis of us very boldly putting forward who we are and what we are, and this system needs to be overthrown, and we are organizing now for this. There was also a positive synergy between Refuse Fascism and the Revcoms—I have to think more on why this is so but I think it’s part of the “two way street” and making the revolution not feel like some far off abstract thing and even now with this repression from Trump.

A big part of how the new members of the Club are being trained is on the strategy for revolution, and they’re beginning to get a grasp of impact, accumulate, impact further. And unite all who can be united and struggle where we need to.


The Revolution Club in Los Angeles joined protests called by Refuse Fascism against the federal crackdown against protesters in Portland, Oregon, and demanding "Trump/Pence OUT NOW!"

Refuse Fascism LA and the Revolution Club LA, July 18. (Photo: Roy Hernandez @royfotography)



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