Revolution #124 March 23, 2008

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Revolution #124, March 23,2008

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Protests Called for March 19


Five years ago this March 18, the U.S. sent tens of warplanes, attack ships, and tens of thousands of troops half-way around the world to invade Iraq, a country of 25 million people the size of California. On the fifth anniversary of the war, important and urgently needed protests are being called around the country (see end of editorial for details).

The Bush administration claimed that Iraq had dangerous weapons of mass destruction that threatened America. But Iraq had no WMD—and the U.S. government knew it.

Bush said he was invading to prevent another Sept. 11 attack. But Iraq wasn’t working with al Qaeda and had no connection to Sept. 11—and the Bush gang knew it.

The Bush regime claimed it was invading to liberate the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein’s tyranny. But the U.S. invasion was never about liberating Iraqis—or anybody else. It was about conquering, controlling, and imposing more direct U.S. domination of Iraq. And the occupation is a continuation of those goals. The U.S. isn’t in Iraq today to “fix the damage” it’s done. It’s in Iraq to conquer the country. The occupation is a continuation—an escalation—of the crime of invading Iraq.

This is why the invasion and occupation have turned Iraq into a bloody killing field, torn the country apart, and left much of it in ruins. Today, five years into its brutal occupation, life for millions of Iraqis is a waking, hellish nightmare—even worse than under the tyrant Saddam.

The U.S. pasted together reactionary forces, put them in power, then called it a democratic government. This helped unleash factional death squads, which have ravaged the country with ethnic cleansing.  Today there is no coherent central government, but a patchwork of reactionary gangs running different parts of Iraq, with the U.S. military the biggest gangsters of all. Meanwhile, the Bush regime has tried to rewrite Iraqi laws to open its economy and oil wealth to American capital. It has built massive military bases, some of which could be permanent and used to attack other countries. 

As a result of all the U.S. has done and let loose, many, many more Iraqis have been killed, wounded, maimed, tortured, brutalized and driven from their homes during the occupation than during the invasion itself. The most accurate scientific surveys put the toll at 500,000 to one million Iraqi dead as a result of the war and occupation. Between 4.5 and 5 million Iraqis have been forced from their homes by what the U.S. has done and let loose—that’s approximately 20 percent of the entire population, equivalent to roughly 60 million Americans. Much of Iraq lacks basic services; people in Baghdad have less water than before. Over 24,000 Iraqis now languish in U.S.-run prisons—most without charges. Iraqi women are now subject to more brutality than ever, including because the new Iraqi government is trying to impose reactionary Islamic law.

The pictures from Abu Ghraib capture what this occupation is really about: the smiling, smirking faces of GIs giving the “thumbs up” signs next to mutilated Iraqi corpses, while Iraqi prisoners are stripped naked and terrorized, humiliated, and degraded by U.S. soldiers and dogs.  Or you could study a piece in the Nation magazine by Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian which paints the picture of indiscriminate killings by the U.S. military, with its pervasive attitude that “A dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi,” as one vet put it. It’s a “dark and depraved enterprise,” in which “many troops declared open war on all Iraqis.” (Iraq Veterans Against the War recently held “Winter Soldier” hearings in Washington, DC which brought forward much more such testimonies.)

And there is no end in sight to this brutality.

Why did things turn out like this? It wasn’t because Bush is an idiot or a bungler. And it wasn’t really because of bad planning. It’s essentially because of the unjust, imperialist nature of the war and occupation.

It’s because the invasion of Iraq is part of a bigger plan to conquer, subdue and more directly dominate and control the entire region around Iraq—the Middle East.

And this, in turn, is all part of a plan—which has been clearly spelled out in official U.S. government strategy documents—to use this entire region as a weapon in a global battle to create an unchallenged and unchallengeable U.S. imperialist empire to dominate the entire planet and control the destinies of billions of people.

So the Iraq war was not—and IS not—a “mistake” or “bad policy.” This war was based on lies. This war is in the service of empire. This war is a moral crime. And the U.S. occupation of Iraq, including the targeting of the civilian population for death, degradation, and rape is a war crime by the standards of the Nuremberg Tribunal that judged the Nazis.

All this is being done in your name—supposedly to protect you. But none of this is in the interests of the people—across the planet or living in the U.S. It’s being done to further the interests of a system of exploitation whose interests are diametrically opposed to the interests of humanity. And the poison that only American lives count, while others don’t, is unconscionable.

Think seriously about where the U.S. rulers have taken the planet over these last five years. After the torture at Abu Ghraib got exposed, what did we see? The wholesale rejection of torture? No—the opposite: the systematic legitimization and legalization of torture by the U.S. government. After illegal government spying on millions of Americans got exposed what happened? Congress OKed it, and gave immunity to the phone companies who broke the law to facilitate it. And all this has taken place with the participation of the Democrats who hold a majority in Congress—they have either supported Bush’s torture bills or refused to do anything real to prevent their passage.

And then there’s the undefined and unlimited “war on terror”—which America’s imperial strategists openly proclaim will go on for two generations—40 years—until the entire Middle East-Central Asian region is brutally subdued and anti-U.S. Islamist movements violently destroyed. Who is next in the crosshairs of the “war on terror”? Iran? Gaza? Lebanon? Syria? Pakistan? All of the above?

None of this is going to be “over” when (and if) Bush leaves office. Bush and his regime—again, with the agreement and collaboration of the Democrats, including Clinton and Obama—have locked in a long-term course for decades—or until people in America act politically in their millions to repudiate and stop this whole trajectory.

It won’t help to vote for, much less throw your energies into electing, someone who promises to do a better job managing this war, torture and horror. Whether it’s “100 years in Iraq” John McCain, or tough-on-national-security-at-3 a.m. Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama. Obama may be a “fresh face” for the same empire, but he’s already shown what he’s about by voting $300 billion to fund the Iraq war, by refusing to filibuster torture bills and torture judges, and by stating—repeatedly—that he’s all about “America” and its “promise”—i.e., USA number one.

People also need to confront these realities, and dig deeply into what kind of system created all this unnecessary misery and horror, and the kind of revolutionary change that is necessary.

From that perspective, and as part of working to bring into being a revolutionary movement, we need to surmount all fears, struggle against cynical complacency and complicity, and bring out to everyone the reality of what this system is doing to the world.

It’s in the interests of the people of the world—and of the people in the U.S.—to stop this war and get out of Iraq—right now. What’s urgently called for is the level of massive protest and resistance we saw five years ago—on the eve of the invasion. People should work toward that—and join with all who want to build this kind of mass political resistance.

This week there will be protests marking the Fifth Anniversary of the war called by many groups, including World Can’t Wait-Drive Out the Bush Regime! World Can’t Wait has called for protests, including in Washington, DC on Wednesday, March 19, 1 p.m. at Lafayette Park across from the White House (find protests near you at Berkeley California will be a focal point. As we reported (February 24), the Battle of Berkeley to drive the Marine recruiters out of the city touched a nerve nationwide—and energized the people and infuriated the reactionaries—because this battle carved out a path that can actually bring this war to a halt, including by rejecting the rulers’ "support the troops" mantra, which at this point is one of the main ideological and political justifications for continuing the war. On March 19, in particular, people will be gathering in Berkeley for mass non-violent civil resistance at the Berkeley Marine Recruiting Station to carry forward the battle to drive them out and end the war. "Berkeley Says: No War! No Torture! No Recruiters!"

Wherever you are, join the protests—wear orange—and work to make them as powerful as possible. End the war, now!

The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism.

What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.

Bob Avakian,
Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #124, March 23, 2008

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What Are YOU Going To Do?

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Revolution #124, March 23,2008

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Standing with Women of Iran and Afghanistan:

Internationalism Flowers on the Streets in Los Angeles

International Women’s Day, Los Angeles, March 8.  [Photo: F. Rios]

In Los Angeles on March 8, many people took the day off work,  drove across the city, put off studying for exams, or in one way or another changed their daily routine to stand with the women of Iran and Afghanistan in a joyous celebration of International Women’s Day, of bringing forward an alternative to both Islamic fundamentalism and U.S. imperialism, and in solidarity with the IWD march in Brussels.

In a flowering of internationalism in the streets of Westwood, university and high school students, groups of people from the Iranian community in Los Angeles, feminists, garment workers, revolutionaries, Aztec dancers, and many others chanted in English, Farsi, and Spanish and proudly set their sights on a different future for women and for all of humanity.

In the weeks before IWD, Iranian women with the March 8 Women’s Organization (Iran, Afghanistan), shared their stories of spending numerous years in prison, being tortured and sentenced to death for refusing to obey the Sharia laws and for their political involvement. The women’s revolutionary defiance and refusal to choose between two outmoded systems, as well their inspiring vision of a different future and an alternative to Islamic fundamentalism and U.S. imperialism, struck a deep chord with students in elite university campuses and high schools in neighborhoods like Watts. It was a breath of fresh air and bold challenge that many people answered consciously.

Carol Downer, the originator of self-health and co-founder of the Feminist Women’s Health Center, wrote a letter explaining the history of what the U.S. has done in Iran, why she is supporting the Iranian women in this struggle and why other feminists should too. Eve Ensler, the playwright and performer who wrote The Vagina Monologues, sent a solidarity statement to the women of Iran. Poet Suheir Hammad, a poet who appeared on “Def Poetry Jam on Broadway” and is one of the first Palestinians on Broadway, sent a powerful poem to be read at the rally. Internationally known poet Sonia Sanchez sent a beautiful recorded message to be played from the stage. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan flew down from the Bay Area so she could give her statement of support to the march. Other speakers included a student from Cal State L.A. and member of the International Women’s Day Coalition, Los Angeles, Jodie Evans, who co-founded Code Pink, Dolly Veale of the Revolutionary Communist Party, UCLA law professor Frances Olsen, performance poet and KPFK radio host Jerry Quickley, and folk singer Dennis Davis.

A speaker with the March 8 Women’s Organization (Iran, Afghanistan) said, “Even though the forms of women’s oppression may be different in different countries, the reality of the women’s oppression is the same whether it is the enforced wearing of the hijab in Islamic countries or having no reproductive rights in imperialist countries. That’s why I’m here today with you—in solidarity as Iranian and Afghani women struggling against the anti-women Islamic fundamentalism and U.S. imperialism. The solidarity of Iranian and Afghani women in our struggle against the patriarchal system of Islamic fundamentalist regimes and against U.S. imperialism is strengthened by having American women standing shoulder to shoulder with us.... Today we are here to bring the voices of Iranian women to all of you to announce that we are for a world independent of reactionary regimes, including the patriarchal government of the United States. We are here to say that Iranian women believe that another world is possible. I am here today to say that we are not afraid of the power of U.S. imperialism—we believe in and need the power of the people all over the world.”

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Revolution #124, March 23,2008

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Voices from the IWD March

International Women’s Day, Los Angeles, March 8.
 [Photo: Marcus]

When I heard about the Iranian women that are giving their testimony today I wanted to be here and hear and meet these women…and show my support.   I found their testimony to be extremely moving.   I can’t get over their bravery…I just can’t get over how brave they are and how they’re looking toward the future.   They’ve been through so many horrible things and so much injustice,   but they persevere.   They continue mobilizing people and are coming out and recounting all that they have lived through over and over again to people—I just find that incredibly inspiring and makes me want to get off my couch and do something about this.

UCLA theater major


I’m here on International Women’s Day,   a very important day around the world,   in solidarity with my sisters in Iran.   Religious extremism around the world tries to oppress women.   Here in the US the religious extremists want to take away a woman’s right to reproductive choices over our own bodies.   They want to take away the right to teach children about birth control… I’m standing here with my sisters in Gaza,   with my sisters in Iraq,   my sisters in Afghanistan,   my sisters in Iran…we are so proud of our sisters that risk imprisonment to speak up!

Cindy Sheehan


I’m from Mexico and believe me I also know about women’s oppression.   I know that women in the Middle East are not free,   just as women in Mexico are not free.   We are oppressed and there is a lot of machismo.   My mother had a very abusive father,   he would always beat her up and I’m surprised he didn’t kill her.   But also,   women in this country aren’t free either—they are only free to consume beauty products and be half naked on billboards.   I know that things are the same for many women and I want to change that any way I can.   Women are just getting used up all over the world,   and we’re from different countries,   but we should stand together.

An immigrant woman from Mexico


It’s wonderful for these women to take such a risk and come out and protest.   Iran is one of those countries where people can just disappear.   Women can be taken off the street and never heard from again and their families would never know what happened to them.   You are taking such a big risk by protesting the government.   It’s really brave and I want to stand with them,   this is my way of showing that I really respect what they are doing.

An economics student at UCLA whose family is from Iran


A woman from Iran came to speak in my class and I was so inspired.   Some other people in the class didn’t really know about many of the things that she was saying [being tortured,   her husband being executed,   what life is like in Iran for women].   She had a translator,   but [at the end] she got up and told us that they need us and wanted us to be here on this day to support.   My parents are from Mexico and the women always have to attend the husband,   then girls have to get married and have kids and that’s all there is to it.   I don’t want that.   I don’t want to just get married and have kids,   I want to travel and see different things.   We need to spread the word about this struggle and celebrate as we join this.

A high school student from Watts who came to the protest
with her friends after hearing an Iranian woman from
the March 8 Organization speak in her classroom


On this historic day,   we’re answering their call,   and marching in solidarity with the women of Iran and Afghanistan…  In a time when these horrific crimes are being committed against the women of the world we need only to glance at the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan to see what type of situation U.S.   imperialism offers to other countries they’re in… Albert Einstein once said,   ‘The world is a dangerous place,   not because of those who do evil,   but because of those who look on and do nothing.’ Those who feel trapped into choosing the side of the fundamentalists,   who would do anything to silence the women OR the side of the U.S.   government who would do anything to secure their wealth—I say to you there is another way! There’s another way! To those who say if we don’t have government then what do we have,   I say to you we have YOU! We have the people!… We don’t need anyone liberating us.   We will liberate ourselves....

Cal State L.A.   student and member of the
International Women’s Day Coalition,   Los Angeles 


I want [the women in Iran] to know that when they call on the progressive people in the U.S.  to help them,   we will respond to them and we will offer real help.   The present regime in the U.S.  is a real threat to women all over the world.   Bush is not healthy for women or other living things.  Bush has made Christian fundamentalist doctrine into policy,  undermining not only women’s right to abortion and many other aspects of health care in this country,  but is also trying to disrupt international access to birth control and condom use,   endangering the lives of women and men throughout the world.   Fundamentalist Christians work together with Fundamentalist Muslims to oppress women.   They support one another against all of us.   We must not let Bush justify his crimes in Iraq,  Iran,  or Afghanistan by a cynical claim to be protecting women.   We must oppose American aggression against these other countries without supporting their present governments at the same time that we support the women and their allies who really are opposing the oppressive governments and will eventually succeed.

Frances Olsen,   UCLA law professor


The U.S. is in fact the greater reactionary force in the world,   but the Islamic fundamentalist forces are not a positive alternative for the people.   By refusing to side with one or the other of these two women-hating oppressors—medieval,   theocratic feudalism and U.S. imperialism—the heroic women of Iran and Afghanistan are issuing a bold challenge.   In oppressed countries like those of the Middle East,   this challenge poses the urgent need to support and promote genuine struggles for national liberation,   for new democratic revolutions that break the hold of imperialism and feudal reactionary forces.  They also challenge people in the U.S. to break out of the dead-end of picking which ruling class representative can best carry out the brutal crimes of U.S. imperialism—Clinton,   McCain,   or Obama.   Instead,   these women inspire us with daring to bring forward another way and take independent historic action as they are.   They are calling on us to confront and act on our special responsibility to step up mass resistance here against the crimes of  THIS government. Whether in imperialist countries or in countries dominated by imperialism,   it is the only way to shatter the chains on women,   and on society as a whole. Our unity here today provides a real ray of hope that things don’t have to be this way,   and that another world IS possible.

Dolly Veale,  Revolutionary Communist Party,   USA

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Revolution #124, March 23,2008

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Celebrating March 8 International Women’s Day: More Than 1,000 March in Brussels

The following is based on a report we received from A World to Win News Service.

March 8, 2008, International Women’s Day march in Brussels. [Photo:]

More than 1,000 people, the vast majority of them women, took part in a march in the streets of Brussels on Saturday, March 8, to celebrate International Women’s Day. Women and men from Belgium, Iran, Turkey, Kurdistan and Afghanistan, as well as Nepal, Iraq, North Africa and other European countries, joined together to protest the oppression of women in all its forms, from the denial of basic rights under Islamic regimes and in other countries where women are punished for behavior not permitted by religion, to the Western countries where women have gained legal equality, to one degree or another, but are still oppressed by the system and culture of capitalism.

This march was organized by the Iranian group Karzar (Women’s Campaign for the Abolition of all Misogynist and Gender-Based Legislation and Islamic Punitive Laws against Women in Iran), in cooperation with the Belgian Left Socialist Party. It was also supported by a Kurdish group from Turkey, which joined the demonstration.

The march began with a rally in front of the U.S. embassy, passed by the European Parliament and ended in front of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Women of different nationalities condemned U.S. war mongering and its anti-women nature. Among other speakers, a woman from Iraq and another from Afghanistan talked about the deteriorating situation for women under the U.S.-led occupations. These speeches exposed the hypocrisy of American claims to have grabbed these countries to liberate women and bestow democracy upon the people.

March 8, 2008, International Women’s Day march in Brussels. [Photo: Bert Beckers, independent photographer]

The path of the demonstration had a political message: a protest against imperialism (U.S. and European) and also the Islamic regime in Iran. While standing up against a regime whose religious fundamentalist ideology justifies the undisguised oppression of women, the marchers also announced that they have no intention of relying on any of the imperialists who are waiting to seize the opportunity and take advantage of the cause of women and the people’s struggle in the third world and the Middle East in particular. The message was also that women in the imperialist countries, including Belgium, despite legal equality, are an oppressed sex there as well. They face discrimination and inequality in terms of jobs, wages and in other fields. They are oppressed by the patriarchal family, with the burden of childcare and housework largely on their shoulders, and threatened by violence throughout society. They are treated as sex objects, not people, as commodities, whether in forms considered perfectly acceptable by society or the traffic in women and prostitution.

After the march, demonstrators gathered at the Brussels Free University. Solidarity messages were read including one from the U.S. titled “International Women’s Day 2008:We Stand with Iranian Women,” signed by more than a hundred women activists, intellectuals, artists and personalities. It said, in part, “We women in the U.S. are proud to stand with Iranian women who are fighting on two fronts: against the anti-woman oppression of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the war threats of the U.S. government. When a woman is lashed, our bodies, too, feel pain. When a woman is stoned, our own blood is spilled. What happens to any of our sisters, whatever patriarchal horror is inflicted in Iran or anywhere, affects all of us. When one woman is degraded, silenced, abused, or murdered, all women are harmed.”

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Revolution #124, March 23,2008

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A special feature of Revolution to acquaint our readers with the views of significant figures in art, theater, music and literature, science, sports, and politics. The views expressed by those we interview are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere in our paper.

Interview with Former Iranian Political Prisoner
“Still the Resistance Continued...”

In 1979 the Iranian people in their millions overthrew the Shah of Iran. The Shah had been put in power by a U.S.-led coup against the nationalist Mossadegh government in 1953, and this brutal government was one of the most important puppet regimes the U.S. imperialists had in the Middle East. The Shah’s CIA-trained secret police, SAVAK, was a bloodthirsty gang of murderers and torturers. In one day during the popular uprising that led to the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, his military and police murdered thousands of people. For a brief period after the overthrow of the Shah, Iran saw a flowering of revolutionary enthusiasm, creativity, debate, and hope. It was during this time that Iranian students seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and exposed the role of the U.S. imperialists and their CIA in propping up the Shah’s regime from the beginning.

Soon after the overthrow of the Shah, Islamic fundamentalist forces, led by Ayatollah Khomeini, fought to gain power, and as they began to consolidate their power, people resisted. The Amol uprising in northern Iran, led by the Union of Iranian Communists (Sarbedaran), was the first attempt by Maoists to launch an armed revolutionary struggle in Iran. It was defeated, and it became the last serious resistance to the moves by the Islamic fundamentalist regime to consolidate their state power. A nationwide crackdown against revolutionary and other opposition forces was launched, and by the end of 1982 the Islamic fundamentalist regime was firmly in place. They slaughtered many thousands of revolutionaries, including much of the revolutionary leadership at that time. Many thousands more were arrested, tortured and imprisoned.

Anahita, a revolutionary who suffered horribly at the hands of the Khomeini regime, was tortured and spent eight years in prison. Today Ana is a courageous revolutionary opponent of both the Islamic fundamentalist regime and the U.S. imperialists. She was recently in Los Angeles with other women from Iran who participated in the International Women’s Day demonstration, in solidarity with the IWD march in Brussels organized by Karzar (see article on this page). The following excerpt is from an interview with Ana done by Revolution correspondent Li Onesto.


Li Onesto: Could you talk about your own personal story—what happened to you and your experiences being a part of the revolution in Iran and being imprisoned by the regime?

Ana: In 1979, my boyfriend was part of the people who organized an armed uprising in the North, in Amol. He was one of the political leaders. His name was Behroz. At that time I was working in a factory. During this time the Khomeni regime used all vicious and brutal means to crush the people’s revolutionary determination. Behroz was in the jungle fighting against the regime and I was underground, organizing in the factory. When Behroz came back to Tehran we reorganized the organization, the Union of Iranian Communists that had almost been dissolved. All the leaders had been killed, all the supporters had been arrested and killed, and all the people outside were pursued by the police. About 80% of the people in the movement were killed.

A hundred revolutionaries were in the jungle. From the people who took part in the uprising in the jungle, more than 70 of them were killed in Amol. 

For reorganizing the party we moved to Kurdistan. Kurdistan was independent; the Islamic regime did not have a hold on Kurdistan then. Almost two months, we stayed there and we analyzed and tried to understand the reasons why the Amol uprising got defeated. Then we came back to Tehran and tried to organize ourselves again. It was in Tehran that me and Behroz, we got arrested together in the street.

Behroz was killed while he was being tortured by the regime because he kept all the secrets. After us nobody was arrested. So Behroz got tortured and killed but he didn’t give away any secrets. He was viciously and brutally tortured. I was also tortured brutally, but not as much as Behroz. I was also put under capital punishment, but my parents used friends and influence on the outside to get my sentence changed from capital punishment to life imprisonment.

In my own presence, they were punishing and torturing Behroz, like a football they were kicking him around between four to five people, kicking and pushing him—he was being kicked from one side to the other. I was blindfolded, but I could hear his shouting and I was also hearing the sound of punching and kicking. It is very difficult for me to remember this. Once they took me to the hospital and I saw Behroz bandaged all over because of his wounds and because of being tortured he was not able to talk properly, he couldn’t talk. Despite being brutally tortured, Behroz kept his revolutionary determination, and he was saying to the investigators, that you can kill me but you cannot defeat the whole revolution. I was there when they said to Behroz, that you are representing U.S. imperialism. And Behroz said to the investigators, history will prove who is the representative of U.S. imperialism, me or you. All the time, he was defending his ideology. He was defending it ideologically and he was defending it politically.

Revolution: What were you and Behroz charged with?

Ana: Just being members of an organization that had gotten involved with armed struggle was a crime by itself. One of the reasons that they made the decision to give me a death sentence was because I didn’t cooperate with them and didn’t give them information.

In prison there were a lot of things going on because the Khomeni regime wanted to defeat the revolutionary movement of the people, all the opposition parties, so they were arresting people from a wide range in society.

Revolution: Who were they arresting?

Ana: The Iranian people had been very much politicized so a large number of people were involved in a lot of different revolutionary organizations. So they were arresting all people who had been associated with revolutionary organizations.

Revolution: How many political prisoners were there at that time?

Ana: There were thousands and thousands of political prisoners. I was in one prison where they put about 50 people in one small, tiny room where we were not able to sleep and eat properly. The food was very bad, sanitation was very bad. We didn’t have proper food or access to newspapers or TV or anything. We didn’t have access to books. Every night they were at least killing about 100 political prisoners. And in the prison we were counting the sounds of the bullets to know how many people they killed each night. They wanted to push the revolution back because a huge number of people were involved in the revolution so they were killing thousands of people indiscriminately to enhance their rule over the country. At the same time, they were putting the names of the people they had killed in the newspapers, saying, we have killed all these many people. They were not hiding their deeds; they wanted the people to know how brutal the regime is, to cow down the people. Between 1979 and 1980 the regime didn’t use that much brutality, but the brutality and the viciousness got intense between 1981 and 1983. Then the regime stopped that kind of mass killing—then after that the killing got targeted, they were killing key leaders of the political parties, not the kind of indiscriminate killing that happened before

After eight years of being in prison, I got freed in 1991.

Revolution: How did the prisoners resist and keep their revolutionary spirit up?

Ana: We had very high revolutionary morals because we had come out of a revolution—we had defeated one government so we had the idea that if we could defeat one government we could defeat this one too.

In the prison they were also using brutal means, and crushing and beating us because we were reading books, because we were giving slogans, because we were reading revolutionary poems, so the regime was beating us because of our revolutionary activism inside the prison.

In 1988 the Khomeni regime killed all the political prisoners, hanged all of them during two months. They actually killed all the political prisoners, except among the leftist women, they did not kill all of them—they thought if they beat and tortured them they would eventually accept Islam and come back. But they killed all the men. There was another organization in Iran, an Islamic force—Mojahedin—the regime killed all their members, women and men, killed both.

Every day, three times, during the Islamic prayer times, they were beating the communist women, saying we had to pray. Every day, three times. Morning, noon, and night. This continued until some of the political women prisoners started committing suicide. They could not continue, it was very difficult. Some people who were tortured very much ended up in the hospital, but still the resistance continued. When the Islamic regime saw the women resisting, and that they were not being cowed down, the regime stopped that policy of beating the women. The regime changed their policy, saying we will free all political prisoners, but you should write down and denounce your ideology and political organization. If you denounce your politics, we will let you free. There was a small group of who did accept this policy, they did that and got free. But I was among those who didn’t denounce my politics. After three years, because the regime wanted to resolve the problem of political prisoners and also because of external and internal pressures, they were forced to let political prisoners free, and I was among those let free.

When I was released, I stepped into a big prison. Iran had become a big prison. There is much pressure and discrimination upon people, especially women. There is huge gap between poor and rich, so I continued to struggle.

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Revolution #124, March 23, 2008

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New York City: March 9 Presentation on Bob Avakian’s New Synthesis

A Journey into Possibilities of a New World

(see below for locations and dates of programs in other cities)

Sunday afternoon, March 9, in New York City: 220 people made their way to hear the first in a series of talks around the country: “Re-envisioning Revolution and Communism: What Is Bob Avakian’s New Synthesis?”

The event promised the first popular presentation of Bob Avakian’s new synthesis—what Avakian himself, in his talk “Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity,” has called his “recasting and recombining of the positive experience so far of the communist movement and of socialist society, while learning from the negative aspects of this experience.” People heard about it from internet listings or radio announcements, or a flyer or poster. But most who came were among the hundreds and thousands who were reached by revolutionary activists, friends, and others who spread the word and kicked off debate and discussion in just a few short weeks before the event.

Youth came from the neighborhoods and high schools of Harlem, Brooklyn, and Washington, D.C. And there were also people who work with youth—teachers, mental health workers, and those involved in social programs—who are up against trying to keep a generation out of the meatgrinder of this system. Revolution Books staff people and young revolutionaries had visited dozens of high school and college classes in the weeks before the program to invite students and teachers, and to start opening up the questions that were going to be addressed, and to get out flyers and posters. One high school teacher showed the “Imagine” section of the DVD talk by Bob Avakian, Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About, which captures what state power in the hands of the people can accomplish, and studied sections of Avakian’s “Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity” series with his students.

People from World Can’t Wait were there, along with university students studying Marxist philosophy. Ex-Black Panthers and other veterans of revolutionary struggles, who now find themselves challenged by Avakian’s re-envisioned revolution and communism, turned out. Two out-of-state high school students drove several hours each way after being encouraged to come by their teacher. One crew of youth kicked up a raucous argument about communism and revolution in the subway car back to Brooklyn, and has been debating and telling others what they missed in the days since. Revolution Club members built for the program and also came with a range of questions about what the new society would be like and how to get there.

Just about everybody who came followed the two-hour talk intently. They got a vital and gripping journey into the possibilities for a whole different world—and a different way of thinking and approaching the world, and of transforming it. Lenny Wolff’s presentation addressed Chairman Avakian’s synthesis of the methods and experience so far of communists leading people to understand and revolutionize the world, on three levels: philosophically, politically, and in the realm of strategy for revolution, especially in a country like this. Wolff explained that Avakian’s new synthesis comes out of 30 years of hard, scientific work—and that one afternoon could only hope to introduce people to some of the major outlines of it. The point is to give people a sense and a springboard to get more deeply into this work.

The presentation involved a high level of science—but that’s necessary, as emcee Sunsara Taylor told the audience in her introduction of the speaker, if you’re really serious about revolution. She explained that there would be parts of the speech that everyone could relate to, and parts that people would have to—and did—stretch and strain for. The seriousness with which people responded, and the hunger of most people to stay as long as they could to discuss and debate—people went at it for nearly three hours of question-and-answer and then free-form discussion after the speech—bore out that there are a lot of people who are way past ready to get this new synthesis. Indeed, it is up to communists, and revolutionary-minded people more generally, to take it out there and engage people with this.

A carload of suburban anti-war and World Can’t Wait activists told about their excited conversation on the way home and one of them remarked, “This is a road map to get out of this shit... This is not just mouthing off about the system. Get on the road. This is not just saying that the system is fucked up but this is a way out.”

One New York City youth wanted to know how to join the revolution and how the revolution will bring forward a new generation. He said, “We need more young people, because the young people need to know what’s needed to be done to get there.... We let, including us young people, including myself, we let society get the best of us. We’re so used to the bling, we’re so used to wearing the clothes, whatever, that’s all basically getting us away from what’s really happening... Everything he said made sense. He broke it down in a logical, scientific way, and he also did it on the effect on society, on the lower levels. So he basically touched on everything, so people would hear this and it would really change their minds.... There’s a lot of youth that don’t like what’s going on here, or in other countries.... There are so many kids in the Brooklyn schools and the Manhattan schools that have to deal with the metal detectors and all that. If you reached out to them, they would join the program.”

Many commented about how sweeping the presentation was, and that it “challenged people to think on a whole other level,” as one middle-aged woman put it. A graduate student in international public health said, “It was incredibly interesting and wide‑ranging. I really got a sense of what Avakian is doing that is new, and it is really needed in terms of an alternate vision for the world.”

A young Mexicano fast food worker said he had to come because he considers himself a communist and it means a lot to him and to people around the world that there is a party that could lead a revolution in this country. What stood out to him about the program is that people were challenging the speaker and not just accepting everything he said. “Criticism of this sort actually helps the party,” he said. “This is what I expected to see, people coming to learn more about Avakian and to see if revolution is actually possible and how it is possible.”

Some experienced and scientific communists who have been following Avakian’s work remarked that the speech showed the living interconnections between the philosophical, political, and strategic dimensions on a level they had not quite grasped before. One compared it to the work of T.H. Huxley to popularize Charles Darwin’s thesis to a broad audience. This speech started to do just that: and many looked into Avakian’s works (which were referenced in the speech) at the Revolution Books table, and a special pre-release of his new book, Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, sold out on the spot.

Young people from the neighborhoods—one of whom quietly asked some revolutionary leaders if they believed “in their heart of hearts” that a revolution like this could really happen in this country—are still debating, wrangling over the concepts of the speech. Two nights later, 70 people came to Revolution Books for a follow-up session with Raymond Lotta focusing on the accomplishments and shortcomings of the socialist societies up to now—and the vistas opened up by Avakian’s new synthesis. And various groups of people are getting together for more discussion, making plans for taking revolution and communism out to the people, and doing events in Spanish and in the neighborhoods and schools.

More major events are scheduled in Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco on March 22. The New York City event shows both the tremendous importance of these talks, and the big basis for them to connect. To our readers: not only should you be sure to come to these events, you should do all you can to take this to people you know and bring them out. And watch the pages of Revolution for
follow-up reporting.

Saturday, March 22nd • 1 to 5 pm

University Center*
525 S. State Street
At State & Congress
Red line to Harrison stop, then walk 1 block north.
Brown, Pink, Orange lines to Library stop, then walk 1 block east, 1 block south

Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available

Venue is accessible
Parking/ride sharing – call for information

$10 sliding scale admission
For further information
Download PDF flyer for Chicago event

*This program is not sponsored by or affiliated with University Center

Los Angeles
Saturday, March 22nd • 1 to 5 pm

The New LATC
514 S. Spring Street
One block east of Broadway
in downtown LA between 5th & 6th

Simultaneous Spanish translation will be available

$10 sliding scale admission
For reservations and further information:
Download PDF flyer for Los Angeles event

SF/Bay Area
Saturday, March 22nd • 2 pm

Black Repertory Theater
3201 Adeline St, Berkeley
1 block south of Ashby BART

Spanish translation will be available

$10 sliding scale admission
For further information: 510-848-1196 /
Download PDF flyer for Berkeley event



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Revolution #123, March 16, 2008

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Away With All Gods!

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Revolution #124, March 23,2008

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The Spitzer Scandal

The Morality We Need—and Don’t Need

The exposure of New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer as a repeat client of a prostitution ring and his subsequent resignation on March 12 kicked off a media frenzy. Who pulled the strings on this scandal and why they did it now is still not fully known. But one very revealing thing in all the media reports was the comment by the young woman Ashley Alexandra Dupre (now known to the world as “Kristen”) who gave an interview to the New York Times in which she said, “I just don’t want to be thought of as a monster.”

Why should this young, 22-year-old woman be considered the “monster” here? What’s truly monstrous is a world where millions of young girls and women each day across the planet are trafficked and prostituted, literally bought and sold as commodities, their lives distorted and twisted into sexual subordination and degradation, and cut short by cruelty and violence. What’s truly monstrous is the notion that men can purchase the right to treat women as sexual objects and commodities—in essence, that they can purchase the humanity of women. Yet all the media frenzy has barely, if at all, questioned the existence of prostitution; in fact, it is assumed to be just one of those “realities of life.”

“Boys will be boys,” as more than one pundit said. If “boys will be boys,” then what do “girls” have to be and do? Well, what they have to be in this society is subordinate to men, and among the things they have to do is to have their sexuality controlled by men. In feudal societies, women were (and still are) literally sold as wives. In capitalist society, their sexuality is still controlled—and it’s also commodified. Whether justified by pseudoscientific appeals to “human nature” or by religious mythology like the story of Eve’s transgression in the Garden of Eden, this is nothing more or less than a concentrated example of the oppression of women.

To very roughly sketch this out, this oppression arose with the division of society into classes several thousand years ago; before that people lived in hunter and gathering societies where relations between the sexes were more egalitarian. But especially with the rise of agriculture, private property arose—and men typically dominated this new form, based on their prior role in the division of labor. (Men’s experience in forming hunting bands, tending flocks, etc., put them in a position to dominate the new forms of stable agriculture carried out by many individuals.) The need to preserve and pass along the newly emerging forms of private property meant that men had to know who their children were, and this brought with it restrictions on female sexuality. Not only did the fruits of women’s labor become alienable property controlled by men, but their most essential role became institutionalized as breeders. Prostitution went along with this: a preserve of privileged sexuality “on the side,” reserved to men.

And still today, from birth, female children are treated as the property of their parents, and their father in particular. (Even if the mother does most of the work, father still “knows best”—to quote the old tv “comedy” from the ’50s.) Millions of girls a year are abused, molested, or raped within their families—and are taught in many ways short of that that their worth depends on their desirability by other men. Women are symbolically “given away” by their fathers in the marriage ceremony, at which time they become the symbolic property of their husbands. From birth on, relations between women and men in this society are influenced and conditioned by the overall framework of social relations in which the oppression of women is an integral and fundamental part.

This has varied in form down through history and across the planet today, depending on the kind of society, but all we can say is: who wants to live in a society with these kinds of relations? And who wants to live in a world with this kind of morality? And what kind of society is it where one half of the society is subjugated and oppressed by the other—on whatever justification?

Prostitution: A Sharp Concentration of Women’s Oppression

Prostitution is a sharp concentration of this oppressive social relation. This “oldest profession” developed alongside and is integrally linked with the first division of society into classes and the development of the patriarchal family and attendant family values that justified and enforced male control over women and children. Today, the term “oldest profession” smacks of prostitution being just another career choice, bolstered by media accounts of how “high-end” prostitutes make thousands of dollars nightly. Refuting this easy-money view of a prostitute’s life, one study of San Francisco prostitutes showed that 82 percent had been physically assaulted, 55 percent of these by customers. And 68 percent reported having been raped since becoming a prostitute and most of these had been raped more than five times.

In addition, Melissa Farley and Victor Malarek, authors of books on sex trafficking and prostitution, wrote in the New York Times that “most women in prostitution, including those working for escort services, have been sexually abused as children, studies show. Incest sets young women up for prostitution—by letting them know what they’re worth and what’s expected of them. Other forces that channel women into escort prostitution are economic hardship and racism.” A telephone operator at the prostitution ring Spitzer used complained that one of the women had cut sessions with clients short so she could pick up her children at school.

A Different Morality…And A Different World

What does it say about this society that women have to resort to this degradation and danger?

But things don’t have to be this way.

We can envision a whole different world where the liberation of women is a key component part of the emancipation of all of humanity and where the liberation of women helps advance all of society. Where girls and boys are both brought up in ways where they are treated as fully human from the get, free from gender stereotypes and not the property of anyone. Where commodity relations—and the mentality it engenders—do not stamp and condition everything, including how men treat women and how women come to view themselves. Where rape and abuse of women are things of the past and people wonder how anyone could have forced themself on another in what should be a joyous and beautiful act. Where the emancipation of humanity carries with it, among other things, new values and sexual relationships between people that are based not on objectification but the mutual flourishing of one another, in the context of an entire society of freely associating human beings transforming nature and their own social relations in liberating, non-oppressive ways.

This is a vision of a society where people would truly want to live, and we have a program and a morality based on getting to that society. This includes both how we struggle with and treat each other now, and what we fight for among the people. We try to cultivate a genuine and ongoing openness to new ideas and continually interrogate ourselves as well as others about our approach and analysis, drawing people into the process of identifying and grappling with problems of the revolution, all for the purpose of more deeply understanding the truth and changing the world.

In his book Preaching From a Pulpit of Bones: We Need Morality but not Traditional Morality, Bob Avakian says:

“Communist principles include, as decisive aspects, the goal of overcoming all inequality between men and women and between different peoples and nations. The communist viewpoint and methodology makes clear that the oppression of women is inextricably bound up with the division of society into classes and all the exploitation and oppression that has accompanied this for thousands of years, and that the abolition of this exploitation and oppression and of class distinctions themselves is inextricably bound up with the emancipation of women. In other words, the emancipation of women is a vital part of the “4 Alls,”* and all aspects of sexual and family relations must be evaluated essentially in terms of how they relate to this emancipation. Communist morality supports those things that advance the fight for that emancipation and opposes everything that debases women and reinforces their oppression in any way—including both ‘end of the empire’ sexual decadence and ‘traditional morality,’ the degradation of pornography and the degradation of the bible.”

This is a world to aspire to and fight for; and a morality to live and spread, now.

* The “4 Alls” refers to a statement by Marx, in The Class Struggles in France, 1848-50, that the dictatorship of the proletariat represents the necessary transit to the abolition of all class distinctions (or class distinctions generally); of all the production relations on which these class distinctions rest; of all the social relations that correspond to these production relations; and to the revolutionizing of all ideas that correspond to those social relations. The “two radical ruptures” refers to the statement by Marx and Engels, in “The Communist Manifesto,” that the communist revolution involves the radical rupture with traditional property relations and traditional ideas.[back]

For an in-depth analysis of the roots of women’s oppression, and how communist revolution will emancipate women, go to, click on “7 Talks,” then on “Question and Answer Session with Concluding Remarks,” and listen to “Question Seventeen.”


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Revolution #124, March 23,2008

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A special feature of Revolution to acquaint our readers with the views of significant figures in art, theater, music and literature, science, sports and politics. The views expressed by those we interview are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere in our paper.

Lawyer Shayana Kadidal of Center for Constitutional Rights:

Wiretapping Bill and the Unprecedented Expansion of Presidential Powers

In recent weeks, there were two developments that point to the ripping up of accepted legal “norms” in this country and the setting up of new fascistic norms. On March 8, George Bush vetoed a Congressional intelligence bill that contained a ban on some torture, including waterboarding. And on March 14, the House passed its version of a bill, officially known as the FISA Amendments Act, that legalizes and expands the warrantless wiretapping program of the National Security Agency (NSA). Congress passed a temporary version of the law last year, and the current bill extends the NSA program for six years. Bush is threatening to veto that bill because it does not include immunity for telecommunication companies who are facing various lawsuits because of their participation in the illegal NSA spying program. The Senate had earlier passed its version of the bill that includes immunity.

Revolution talked to Shayana Kadidal, senior managing attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), about these developments, focusing on the question of NSA wiretapping. The CCR website notes, “In addition to supervising the Guantánamo litigation, [Kadidal] also supervises the Cuba Travel project and works on the Center’s case against the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program, CCR v. Bush, and its challenge to the ‘material support’ statute, HLP v. Gonzales. He also works with the Vulcan Society of Black firefighters challenging discriminatory hiring policies of the New York City Fire Department; and with the Sikh Coalition against religious discrimination by New York’s Transit Authority, among other cases.”


REVOLUTION: First, can you step back a bit and put these developments around torture and government spying in the context of the very profound changes that have been happening in the law over the last seven years or so—the gutting of habeas corpus and so on?

Shayana Kadidal: All the changes in the law have one common theme, which is that the executive should have certain powers that cannot be checked by Congress. That anything that Congress says, regardless of how clear it is, under certain circumstances these sorts of regulation of executive powers are going to be beyond the powers the Congress was intended to have. And, you know, some of this has been on Vice President Cheney’s agenda since the 1970s. If you’ll remember, he was one of the people in the Watergate era that felt that a lot of the post-Watergate reforms that the Democrats pushed through with their huge majority were things that in fact weakened the country because they left us with an overly weakened executive. Among these are the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) statutes limiting the President’s ability to gather intelligence information without judicial approval for the purposes of furthering “national security,” spying on foreign powers, foreign governments, foreign terrorist organizations, whatever. That’s one category.

Then another category, which is more relevant now since 9/11, is this notion that we’re a nation that is in something akin to a war with Al Qaeda, and that traditionally Congress should have no role in telling the President how to interrogate captured soldiers in a war, that the lack of Congressional power to regulate these things extends to specific techniques of interrogation. Whereas previously one might have thought that under Congress’s power to define war crimes, which is very clearly spelled out in the Constitution, power to regulate the armed forces, these things, expressly Congress is given power to pass rules about interrogation, even in a military context, even if you accept that there’s a “war” against Al Qaeda—that military rules should apply instead of ordinary investigative rules. Even if you accept all that, there’s an argument that Congress ought to have power to regulate these things as spelled out in the Constitution. The administration and its crop of lawyers say no, that’s not the case—that the President has total control over things that happen on the battlefield, he’s the commander in chief, and that’s the most “efficient” way to do things. And that you’ll be endangering the country by telling the President what kind of interrogation techniques he can use.

So it all falls into this context of executive power. And in particular whether Congress can set limits to presidential power.

If Congress had passed this bill banning waterboarding with a veto-proof vote, what would have happened is that the President would have issued a “signing statement” saying: notwithstanding the veto-proof vote, I don’t think I have to enforce it, because I think it exceeds Congress’s powers. And if CIA or various officials would have been called to account for having disobeyed the statute, the President would have said: Look, I issued this legal opinion that the statute itself is unconstitutional. The attorney general signed off on it. And government officials ought to be allowed to rely on the legal advice from the executive branch.

REVOLUTION: There is the issue of habeas corpus—under Bush’s Military Commissions Act passed by Congress in 2006, the President can declare somebody “enemy combatant” on his say-so and detain them and deprive them of all rights.

Kadidal: Right, it’s basically a way of saying that the judicial branch doesn’t have any role in telling the President when he can detain “enemy combatants” in the battlefield. And they’re defining the battlefield as virtually the entire world—defined only by the nebulous organization that we’re supposed to be engaged in war against, Al Qaeda.

REVOLUTION: Let’s turn to the bill, officially named FISA Amendments Act (FAA), that expands the NSA warrantless wiretapping program. I’ll ask you about the version the House just passed, without the immunity for telecommunication companies that participated in this illegal wiretapping. But first, can you describe the key elements and dangers in this bill?

Kadidal: It’s essentially on the model of the bill that got rammed down the Democrats’ throats by the President in the summer of 2007. That bill was most notable for departing from the content of individualized warrants—namely, when the government decides to surveil a single target, a single person, and they produce some level of evidence to the FISA court that the person is working for a foreign power or foreign terrorist organization or foreign power, defined very broadly by the FISA statute. Then the court can issue an individual order saying you can surveil that one person.

Well the departure from that—it’s a tremendous departure, in terms of the history of wiretapping regulations—in the FISA Amendments Act, the government is now allowed to go to the court and ask for approval of an entire program of surveillance. So they’ll come to the court saying: We want to surveil every person who calls from Afghanistan to the United States in the middle of the night, when the person they call calls five other people within 15 minutes. Some sort of criteria like that, very generalized, that could apply to hundreds and hundreds of cases every day, where the government may not even have any idea of who the person is who is being surveilled. And the FAA says as long as those programs do not “target” people inside the U.S., it’s OK. The court can go ahead and approve the program.

Now that statute only lasted for six months, and the Democrats were willing to offer some short-term extensions to it. The President refused to accept that, and so it collapsed. But any orders for approving whole programs under that statute can continue for a whole year. So if they went to the secret FISA court the day before the statute expired and said we want to do six or seven different wholesale programs, well those programs could get going for another year. So this is the kind of regime that the government is working under right now.

One of the interesting things about it is that under the Act the government can target, pretty much wholesale, U.S. citizens who are not located in the U.S. And if those intercepts happen to catch calls between those U.S. citizens living overseas and people living within the U.S. who are citizens also, well it makes no difference—it would still be legal under the FAA.

To give you an example: We work all the time on our Guantánamo cases with U.S. citizen lawyers located in London working with an organization called Reprieve. So let’s say I’m calling one of those lawyers up to discuss something sensitive on one of the Guantánamo cases. Under the FAA, the government could target one of those lawyers over there without ever going to a FISA court for a warrant. And they could listen in to any conversation that those lawyers have with anyone else, including a U.S. citizen lawyer in the United States talking about a case against the government, like myself. So it’s pretty much open season on lawyers.

REVOLUTION: The principle of lawyer-client privilege is being thrown out the window.

Kadidal: Right. Ordinarily, even with standard wiretap where they go before a judge to prove probable cause of criminal activity—let’s say they’ve got a wiretap on the home phone of a high-level drug dealer—if that dealer calls up his attorney, the second they figure out or have reason to believe that the conversation is a privileged conversation, under the ordinary rules for wiretapping, either under domestic wiretapping law or FISA, they’re supposed to turn off their recorders. There are supposed to be these procedures in place called “minimization” procedures that protect privileged communications like conversations with a lawyer. The government is just not allowed to monitor or record them. And there’s supposed to be a process in place so that if they accidentally do things like spying on a non-lawyer’s line and they call up their lawyer, well the process is supposed to protect those communications. Again, under the FAA, that scenario I outlined for you, they can in fact target U.S. citizen lawyers’ communications.

Under the new bill that was passed by the Senate, the “Cheney-Rockefeller bill” as it were, some of those problems have been ameliorated a little bit. But the same general concept of approving whole programs of surveillance is still there. And that’s just a very far departure from anything that traditional Fourth Amendment warrant requirements have been in this country. The whole idea was that the Fourth Amendment was in part a reaction to these writs of assistance whereby the British Crown had authorized police officers to look anywhere they wanted in order to find people who had been not obeying the Crown’s tax regulations. It was extremely unpopular—the police basically going hog-wild. That’s the kind of thing that led the Founders to word the Fourth Amendment in the way they did, requiring probable cause where the criminal activity of the plaintiff would be detailed to the judge with some specificity, and where warrants are issued that put narrow constraints on law enforcement officials in terms of how they can interpret it and execute it. It’s supposed to be the opposite of giving law enforcement carte blanche. That’s basically the problem with the FAA, with the new version that’s on the table, that it would allow the government rather than the judge to decide on the details of who’s going to be listened to.

REVOLUTION: What about this question of immunity for telecommunication companies under this bill? There are various lawsuits against those companies for participating in Bush’s illegal wiretapping program. The House has now passed a version that Bush has threatened to veto because it doesn’t have the immunity provision. Can you talk about what’s behind this?

Kadidal: The way the Bush administration spins this is that we shouldn’t be out there penalizing these companies for just trying to help us out when we asked them to help after 9/11. Basically, it seems what happened was that a lot of these big companies allowed the NSA to come in and tap right into the backbone of their communications to be able to sweep up every last thing that goes through their communications networks and ship off one copy of it—every phone call, every email—to Fort Meade, where the NSA has the biggest accumulation of computer power on the planet, to analyze this sort of thing. It’s not a case necessarily of them wanting the ability to execute specific wiretaps and pick out certain phone communications with a little more speed. It seems like the kind of access that we know has taken place, from the accounts of two whistle-blowers inside these companies, is basically wholesale access. It’s more akin to John Poindexter’s Total Information Awareness (TIA) than it is to being able to execute specific warrants more speedily.

But even leaving that aside, the idea that these companies were doing these voluntarily to be “patriotic” is a little ridiculous and shows a lack of perspective. The reality is that these telephone companies are operating in a kind of monopolistic environment. They depend on government licensing at some level in order to make their profits. So they are very dependent on regulations being favorable for them, in order to make healthy profits. That tells you that these companies have a huge financial incentive to do whatever the government happens to do, regardless of whether they think it’s legal, or a good idea from the policy standpoint, or whether it serves the best interests of their customers. They’re thinking about their bottom line in one of the most heavily regulated industries in this country. Of course they’re going to do what the government tells them to do. And in some cases there might have been financial quid pro quo, sort of a “gentlemen’s agreement,” that favors are going to come back their way in exchange for doing what the intelligence agencies want. The whole idea that these companies ought to be protected from getting penalized for violating their own customers’ privacy is sort of absurd. The customers are the ones, you know, pumping in $500 or $1000 a year in their phone usage fees. It’s absurd for the companies to be claiming the government has a stronger claim to their loyalty than the customers.

Now there have been all sorts of compromise proposals out there around this bill. It does seem like a big stumbling block. The administration is pushing very hard on it. Because I think they know that if there’s any kind of liability, it means that in the future the lawyers at these companies are going to be calling the shots. And the lawyers are going to be cautious when the statute says you can be fined $1000 a day for participating in unlawful wiretapping on one of your customers. That’s what the game is about. Any kind of liability is going to diminish the companies’ willingness to break the law willy-nilly in the future. So some of these compromise proposals have said, well, let’s put a cap on the amount of damages—2% of the company’s market capitalization max, or x amount of dollars per person max—so they would be accountable, they would be hurt, but it wouldn’t drive them out of business. For the Bush administration, even something like 2% of market capitalization is too much because they know that any penalty that hurts at all is going to diminish the companies’ willingness to go along with executive lawbreaking in the future.

REVOLUTION: It shows the determination of the present government to sweep away any roadblocks to their spying powers.

Kadidal: Sure, if the Congress is a check on the President’s powers in some circumstances, and the courts’ warrant requirements are a check on that power, the willingness of the telephone companies or private companies, which all accumulate huge bodies of data nowadays—everything from Google to phone companies to Amazon to credit companies—if those private companies are also then a check to the President’s power by insisting on following the law, well then that’s a problem for this theory of unlimited executive power.

REVOLUTION: You mentioned the Total Information Awareness program, which had been banned by Congress back in 2003. A recent Wall Street Journal article, on March 10, said that in fact the NSA has been building essentially the same program. So the current NSA wiretapping bill is clearly just one part of vast and growing government surveillance. Can you comment on that?

Kadidal: I think you’re right. They initially came out in defense of the [NSA warrantless wiretapping] program in 2005 after the New York Times broke the story. And they said it targeted only a couple of thousand Al Qaeda terrorists, was really focused—when, in fact, with all the whistle-blower information that we’ve seen and so forth, it’s known in fact that it may be very broad. That they have tapped into a number of those backbone circuits at a number of these phone companies. And they have the technology now to be able to basically scan through every single email that goes through the system, and possibly do voice-recognition on huge amounts of calls. Now this is precisely what the TIA program looked like. And when TIA went into existence in early 2003, there was a backlash. Americans thought that it was really too much in terms of intrusion into privacy, in part because of this whole notion that they will gather every bit of information about you and then do “pattern analysis” to decide whether you’re suspicious. Well, I mean, an ordinary American hears that “the NSA is spying on Al Qaeda terrorists” in a focused manner, well they think, you know, my name is not “al-something” in Arabic so they’re not going to suspect me. But when they hear about “pattern analysis” and hear about “every communication” being in the hands of the government, then they start to get nervous. They could become a target for something completely unwitting that “fits a pattern.” So it created a backlash, and Congress de-funded the TIA program. But the bill that did it really cut off only certain aspects of it and allowed others to go forward without realizing it. I think that’s the nature of the press coverage of it. The TIA was allowed to go forward in some respect. It’s not surprising because it is simply too important for the intelligence agencies for something like this to go forward. You heard after 9/11 the fact that “human intelligence,” especially in the Arab world, was in really bad shape, and that intelligence gathering generally had become very oriented to military targeting needs, and thus very dependent on technology, and human resources really weren’t there. Well, the intelligence agencies’ response to that hasn’t been to try to cultivate Arabic-speaking agents to go out to the Arab world and do that hard work of planting sources on the ground. Instead they felt, well, maybe we can rely on technology to replace that human capacity. In some respects it was a dream of intelligence agencies in the ’40s—the problem with human spies is they can be traitors, they can be working for both sides at the same time, they can be flaky and unreliable and everything else human. The dream has always been to create sort of a robotized person to carry out your intelligence gathering—sort of like the Manchurian Candidate. That was supplanted with the notion that instead of having intelligence agents try to infiltrate suspicious organizations, we can scan through every phone call and use some “pattern recognition” criteria that will let us find the suspects without ever having human intelligence in the first place. The problem, of course, is that just doesn’t work very well. In some respects the fact that you would use this strategy indicated that the government’s reputation in the relevant communities worldwide and in the minority communities in the U.S. was so bad that people wouldn’t cooperate with you anymore. And that makes it impossible to fill that human intelligence void.

Send us your comments.

Revolution #123, March 16, 2008

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Hook up with the revolution

Coming Events at Revolution Books

New York

9 West 19th St. (btwn 5th and 6th Aves)

March 18, Tuesday, 7pm
Join us for the ongoing, and always lively, discussion of Part 2 of “Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity.”
"We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit."  What is meaningful revolutionary work today when there is not yet a revolutionary situation?  Is spreading revolution and communism a part of that meaningful revolutionary work?

March 20, Thursday, 6:30 pm
Writers Rising: Women Authors Talk Feminism & Activism
The National Organization for Women – New York City Service Fund hosts an exciting group of women writers to discuss their unique contributions of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction work and the ways in which it inspires, mobilizes, and sparks debate on feminist issues. Featuring: Felice Belle, poet, playwright, and the former curator and host of the Friday Night Slam series at the Nuyorican Poets Café; Courtney Martin, reporter, Professor of Gender Issues, and author of Perfect Girls and Starving Daughters; and  Sofia Quintero, screenwriter, activist, and author of Divas Don't Yield. Co-sponsored by Revolution Books | $10 suggested donation for non-members.

March 22, Saturday, Doors open at 9pm
Music is Revolution
special guest: Universal Music Recording Artist MYSELF along with his band (X) patriots. $10 all ages

March 25, Tuesday, 7 pm
Join us for the ongoing, and always lively, discussion of Part 2 of “Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity.”
Discuss - "Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution"


1103 N. Ashland Avenue

March 22, Saturday, 1-5 pm
Revolution Books/Libros Revolución presents:
Re-envisioning Revolution and Communism: WHAT IS BOB AVAKIAN’S NEW SYNTHESIS?
Presentation followed by discussion
University Center* 525 S. State Street (State & Congress)
 Red line to Harrison. Walk 1 block north. Brown, Pink, Orange lines to Library stop. Walk 1 block east, 1 block south
Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available
$10 sliding scale admission
*This program is not sponsored by or affiliated with University Center

March 25, Tuesday, 7pm
In the wake of the March 22nd major presentation on Bob Avakian's New Synthesis. More Discussion: With focus on the experience of the Soviet and Chinese Revolutions with Raymond Lotta


2425 Channing Way near Telegraph Ave

March 22, Saturday, 1-5 pm
Revolution Books/Libros Revolución presents:
Re-envisioning Revolution and Communism: WHAT IS BOB AVAKIAN’S NEW SYNTHESIS?
Presentation followed by discussion
Black Repertory Theater 3201 Adeline St, Berkeley
1 block south of Ashby BART
Spanish translation available
$10 sliding scale admission

March 17, Monday, 7 pm
Discussion: WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING BOB AVAKIAN'S NEW SYNTHESIS OUT INTO SOCIETY TODAY? What does all this have to do with how to prepare for revolution? What difference does it make if the people who will make the communist revolution get involved in wrestling with what it is all about and the means to make it?

March 18, Tuesday, 7 pm
Iraq – Five Years of Death and Destruction With No End in Sight
• What’s Driving this War and Occupation...How Can They be Ended?
• What Kind of System Spawns One War After Another?
• Why We Need Revolution and Communism to Get to a World Without Imperialism and Unjust War
With Larry Everest (correspondent for Revolution newspaper and author of Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda) and Sunsara Taylor (correspondent for Revolution and a national board member of World Can’t Wait-Drive Out the Bush Regime!).

March 18, Tuesday, 7pm
Set the Record Straight: Revolutionary China and the GPCR

Thursday, March 20, 7pm
Revolution Newspaper Discussion

March 25, Tuesday, 7 pm
Discussion: Setting the Record Straight:
Women and the socialist project --- with excerpts from films from Revolutionary China.

March 27, Thursday 7pm
Revolution Newspaper Discussion

Date and time TBA
In the wake of the March 22nd major presentation on Bob Avakian's New Synthesis. More Discussion: With focus on the experience of the Soviet and Chinese Revolutions with Raymond Lotta

April 8, Tuesday, 7 pm
Away With All Gods! book release event

Los Angeles

Libros Revolución
312 West 8th Street  213-488-1303

March 22, Saturday, 1-5 pm
Revolution Books/Libros Revolución presents:
Re-envisioning Revolution and Communism: WHAT IS BOB AVAKIAN’S NEW SYNTHESIS?
Presentation followed by discussion
The New LATC 514 S. Spring Street
Spanish translation will be available
$10 sliding scale admission

March 18, Tuesday, 7 pm
Spanish-language discussion of Bob Avakian's DVD Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About. Sections we will watch and discuss: "From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs," "Carrying forward the revolution under socialism," "Valuing dissent in socialist society."

March 20, Thursday, 7 pm
Bilingual discussion of the current issue of Revolution newspaper.  Check our blog for recommended articles; bring your questions and suggestions for articles you want to discuss.  Later we will talk about what difference it makes for people to come to the major Saturday presentation and discussion (see below); and get into ideas and plans for a last big push to get the word out and bring people.

March 30, Sunday, 2 - 4 pm
Helena Maria Viramontes, speaking and signing her new book, Their Dogs Came With Them, a heartrending but hopeful portrait of Chicana lives rocked by the turmoil of East Los Angeles during the 1960s.  Born in East L.A., Ms. Viramontes is a United States Artist Fellow 2007 and a professor of English at Cornell University.  She focuses on struggles of women in Chicano culture.


2626 South King Street

Every Monday, 6:15 pm
Reading circle/discussion of the current installment of Bob Avakian’s series, “Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity”

March 20, Thursday, 6 pm
Book launching and signing: What We Bury at Night: Disposable Humanity with activist and author Julian Aguon. This book is a series of essays describing the present-day realities of the U.S.-Micronesia relationship through the eyes of the folk on the ground, focusing on the effects of U.S. military and corporate destruction of the islands and the cultures of their peoples.

March 30, Sunday, 3pm
Showing of:  "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial"
This NOVA program captures the turmoil that tore apart the community of Dover, Pennsylvania in one of the latest battles over teaching evolution in public schools. It also provides an eye-opening crash course on questions such as "What is evolution?" and "Is intelligent design a scientifically valid alternative?"


2804 Mayfield Rd (at Coventry)
Cleveland Heights  216-932-2543
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 3-8 pm 

Every Monday at 7 pm
Discussions of “Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity—Part 2: Everything We’re Doing Is About Revolution” by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

March 26, Wednesday, 7 pm
Discussion of "Break the Chains! Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution."  The cause of the oppression of women and the solution.

March 30, Sunday, 4 pm
Film Showing: Jesus Camp.  We are showing this film in anticipation of the release of Bob Avakian's new book, Away with all Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World.


1833 Nagle Place

Announcing a New Revolution Books in Seattle!
Join us in making plans for a major revitalization and expansion in our new location. Contact us to get involved.

March 22, Saturday, 7pm
Reading & discussion of excerpts from the new book, Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World by Bob Avakian

March 23, Sunday, 2:30pm
Reading & discussion of this week's Revolution newspaper

Dates to be announced
Group outings to Bring Revolution to the Movies! Hook up with people from Revolution Books to see and discuss great and controversial movies and get out Revolution newspaper, orange ribbons, flyers, etc to other movie-goers. Upcoming movies to see are Chicago 10, Taxi to the Dark Side, and Battle in Seattle.

In April, date to be announced
Author event with Mike Palecek on his new books, Cost of Freedom and Iowa Terror.


406 W.Willis
(between Cass &2nd, south of Forest)

Every Sunday, 4 pm
Discussions of “Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity—Part 2: Everything We’re Doing Is About Revolution” by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

To be announced:
Event celebrating Bob Avakian’s new book Away With All Gods!


1158 Mass Ave, 2nd Floor, Cambridge  

March 17, Monday, 6:30 pm
"Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity" Part 2.
Building the Party. "From the point of view of the necessity, and strategic objective, of revolution, the most important form of organization of the masses is the Party itself as the Vanguard of the broader revolutionary movement."

March 23, Monday, 6:30 pm
Away With All Gods! An introductory discussion of the newly released book. Drawing on table of contents, excerpts from Revolution newspaper, and initial thoughts on the book itself, we begin a series of conversations on the purpose, content and potential of this book and ideas for popularization.

April 19, Saturday
The Harvard Square Business Association is hosting a day-long series of events celebrating the bookstores of Harvard Square. Included in the events is a walking tour of the Square, where participants who get a special passport stamped by all the stores (including Revolution Books) will be eligible for special prizes.  Volunteer to help the store with special displays, flyers and promotions for this event.



4 Corners Market of the Earth
Little 5 Points, 1087 Euclid Avenue
404-577-4656 & 770-861-3339

Open Wednesdays & Fridays 4 pm - 7 pm,
Saturdays 2 pm - 7 pm 

March 30, Sunday, 3:30 pm
Fourth in a series of discussions of "Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity" by Bob Avakian. Excerpts printed in Revolution #112 and #113.

Send us your comments.

Revolution #124, March 23,2008

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Whitewash of Sean Bell’s Murder by Police Continues in Court

From a correspondent

“This whole thing is so twisted. You’ve got the victims—Sean and the other two with him that night—being attacked like they’re the criminals, and the criminals—the cops who killed Sean—being treated like they’re the victims. But you know, I’ve been at other trials of police who’ve murdered Black people and here’s the thing. It plays out pretty much the same way every time.”

This comment, made to me by a Black woman as she and I waited for a 15-minute recess at the Sean Bell trial to end, reflected the feelings of others who have come to the Queens, N.Y., courthouse almost every day since the trial began on Febrary 25, to hear testimony in the case of the three NYPD detectives indicted in the killing on November 25, 2006, of 23-year-old Sean Bell and serious wounding of two of his friends, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield, in a lethal rain of 50 bullets, hours before Sean was to be married.

The courtroom, presided over by Judge Arthur Cooperman—who will decide the outcome of this case since the cops opted to have a bench trial rather than a trial by jury—is physically divided down the middle as if by a large wall, although there is no wall there. On one side sit the three cop defendants and their attorneys, and behind them, on the half dozen or so rows of wooden benches, sit members of the NYPD, decked out in their best suits and with U.S. flag and Police Benevolent Association pins neatly placed in their lapels.

On the other side sit the prosecutors, members of the Queens D.A.’s office, who act quite uncomfortable and unhappy about having to try police officers. After all, they are much more accustomed to prosecuting Black youth. And behind the prosecutors sit members and supporters of the Sean Bell family, including his still-mourning mother and father, Valerie and William, who sometimes have fled the courtroom when testimony or photos depicting the death scene have become all too stark and horrific. Also there every day is Sean’s fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell, who was the first person to testify and who broke down on the stand when she had to describe seeing Sean at the hospital morgue shortly after he was murdered.

Testimony by witnesses and video footage has painted a picture of a wild terror, as police blasted away with 50 shots at Sean Bell and his friends. Security video from a nearby AirTrain station showed transit police scrambling for cover and shouting at passengers to duck, as one of the police bullets shattered a window.

A woman who lives in the vicinity of the club where Sean Bell was murdered testified that she hollered to her kids, “Don’t come out of your room!” The woman, Maria Rodrigues, testified that as she and her children hid in their beds, a bullet from the police barrage came through a window in her home and lodged a lampshade in her house. Another neighbor, Bernardino Dossantos, went to see what happened. He described how the police treated the victims of the shooting: “I see a man. He got the belly down to the concrete. He got the handcuffs down to the back. He got blood to the head.” Dossantos’ SUV was also hit by police bullets.

But it is Sean Bell and his two friends, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield— both of them seriously wounded—who are being treated as the criminals in this trial. Just two days after the 50-bullet barrage, the authorities, and the ever-compliant mass media, began to paint a picture of Sean, Joseph, and Trent as criminals involved with drugs. They concocted a tale, which they soon dropped but not before the mass media had played it to the max, that there might have been a “fourth man” on the scene that night standing close to Sean’s car with a gun in his hand.

In the last week or so of the trial, the three cops’ lawyers have opened up a new line of attack on Sean, Joseph, and Trent. They say that a small amount of marijuana, less than an eighth of an ounce, was found in a plastic bag on Liverpool Street, not far from where Sean, Joseph, and Trent were fired upon. As if, if this were the case, it justified killing Sean Bell.

The defense attorneys are also arguing that the collection of ballistic and other evidence that night by the NYPD crime scene unit was tainted, and that evidence was tampered with or removed by police investigators. That the forensic examination of Bell’s car didn’t happen until 24 hours after the shooting, and that all kinds of people had access to the vehicle before it was officially examined by a police investigator. And that during the initial “investigation” of the vehicle by other police, investigators didn't note bullets that were lying in the car in plain sight. And defense lawyers got a police investigator to testify—in cross-examination—that he had changed a statement made by one of the police who did the shooting.

If in fact there were these kinds of instances of corrupted and “missed” evidence, the most charitable explanation is callous carelessness by the authorities over the death of a Black man at the hands of the police. Much more likely is that all this contamination of the investigation and the crime scene was a conscious and systematic cover-up, as the system scrambled to deal with public outrage over the murder of Sean Bell. But whatever combination of callous carelessness and/or conscious cover-up was in effect, the“investigation” in the aftermath of the shooting worked to ensure that if the murdering police went to trial, the evidence would be covered up or compromised. And nothing in this trial is getting to the bottom of that.

The cops’ lawyers opened the trial by referring to Sean and his two friends as part of the “negative element.” This “negative element” is code for Black people and other people of color, especially the youth. It’s code for the people who this system has no jobs for, no decent education, no decent health care or housing, no decent future, no hope. Code that stands for “license to kill,” for the armed enforcers of this system to murder at will Black and other youth—who are considered to be “dangerous surplus population” by the system. And to do this without being punished, since it is what they are supposed to do and are trained to do.

Send us your comments.

Revolution #124, March 23,2008

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Dread Scott: “Welcome to America”

The art exhibition “Dread Scott: Welcome to America” opened on February 28 at MoCADA (the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art) in Brooklyn, New York. The opening was packed and electric with discussion of the work and what is going on in America. The day after it opened, the show was vilified in the New York Daily News and the police union called for the city and state to de-fund the museum because of one of the works—“The Blue Wall of Violence.”

This is one of the first art pieces you see when you enter the show. You hear it before you even see it: Loud penetrating thuds shatter the gallery calm. Three mechanical police batons strike in succession a plain wood coffin. Behind the coffin are six FBI target range silhouettes with haunting protruding arms, each holding an object such as a wallet, candy bar, or toy gun—things held by people who were shot by the NYPD.

On March 13, over 150 people attended a talk by Dread Scott, sponsored by MoCADA. Joanne Mickens, whose son Corey Mickens was murdered by the NYPD, was in the audience and gave a wrenching appeal for justice. This was the first anniversary of her son’s death and she has still never received the medical examiner’s report.

Dread Scott’s “Welcome to America” takes you on a searing journey. A large aquarium sitting in the middle of the room has a trumpet submerged on the bottom, while a Black baby doll floats face down in the water... echoing another piece that is a simulated construction wall of colorful posters of Katrina victims. As you walk through, you encounter compelling voices and gripping portraits of prisoners in a piece called “Lockdown.” In the last room of the exhibit, you confront a space crowded with a row of dirt graves of Afghanistanis killed by U.S. bombs. On each grave is a newspaper clipping that brings viewers the names Muzlifa, Farigha, Wilayat Khan… and details of how the U.S. killed them. In front of the graves, candles recall the memorials that engulfed NYC after 9/11, but here reminding of the vengeful carnage for U.S. empire.

Graphic and visceral, Dread Scott’s work provokes a consideration of the connection between police brutality, immigrant round ups, Katrina, and the U.S. war for empire. Dread Scott’s powerful art concentrates in a few rooms the brutal oppression that the U.S. rains down on the people here and around the world.

In the middle gallery of the show, Dread has a large silkscreen painting of a map of the world without North America, with the words: “Imagine A World Without America” boldly stenciled across it.

“Dread Scott: Welcome to America” will be at MoCADA, 80 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, New York, through June 1, 2008. For more information see or

Send us your comments.

Revolution #124, March 23,2008

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An Ominous Turn of the Screw:

The Fallon Resignation and New Dangers of U.S. War on Iran

As we go to press: On March 11, Admiral William Fallon resigned as chief of the U.S. Central Command. Fallon’s departure is an ominous development that signals increased danger of a U.S. military attack on Iran in the short term.

Fallon’s resignation followed on the heels of an Esquire magazine article that began: “If, in the dying light of the Bush administration, we go to war with Iran, it’ll all come down to one man. If we do not go to war with Iran, it’ll come down to the same man.” (“The Man Between War and Peace,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, April 2008.)

That man was Fallon. He resigned, by all accounts, under pressure. After a perfunctory expression of “regret,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters that Fallon’s quitting was, “[T]he right thing to do.”

As head of the U.S. Central Command, Fallon oversaw U.S. military moves in a region stretching from East Africa to the Chinese border—a region that includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East, including Iraq and Iran. As reported in the Esquire article, Fallon’s opposition to an immediate military attack on Iran is in part related to his arguments that the U.S. should amp up the military occupation of Afghanistan, provide more (and less critical) backing for Pakistan’s brutal Musharraf regime, as well as other disagreements with those at the core of Bush’s crew over how to pursue and enforce U.S. imperial interests in the Middle East. Hardly a “dove,” Fallon told Esquire that if things did come to a U.S. military attack on Iran, “These guys are ants. When the time comes, you crush them.”

But Fallon has been publicly expressing significant differences with the Bush regime’s stance and approach towards the Islamic Republic of Iran. For example, Fallon told Al Jazeera: “This constant drumbeat of not helpful and not useful. I expect that there will be no war, and that is what we ought to be working for. We ought to try to do our utmost to create different conditions.” These sharp differences were why Fallon was sacked. And the firing of Fallon sends a threatening message to Iran and the world.

Anticipating that Fallon might be forced to resign, the Esquire article noted that: “[W]ell-placed observers now say that it will come as no surprise if Fallon is relieved of his command before his time is up next spring, maybe as early as this summer, in favor of a commander the White House considers to be more pliable. If that were to happen, it may well mean that the president and vice-president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don’t want a commander standing in their way.” [emphasis added]

While we are not attempting here to do a full analysis of these developments, Revolution will continue to cover and analyze this situation. Stay tuned.

Send us your comments.

Revolution #124, March 23, 2008

Check it Out,

A glimpse from Iraq Veterans Against the War – Winter Soldier Hearings

Send us your comments.

Revolution #122, March 9,2008

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Comment on “Obama, A New Day for Black People…Or a New Face on the Same Set-up?”

(Revolution #123, March 16, 2008)

I have been thinking quite deeply over the last few weeks and a  number of things has been pissing me off. One of these things has to do with the presidency specifically and the whole electoral process. I used to be a christian/catholic so I know some of the bible. There is a line in there where jesus says something about putting new wine into old wine sacks. And I think electing new people to office is similar to this. Because the sack (system) is old, the new wine (electee) is spoiled and useless to drink. Another analogy would be an industrial dishwasher. It  has three compartments which before washing dishes you fill with water. But after so many dirty dishes has been through the washer, the water used  to wash is now dirty and the baskets that catch food are full. Electing new people to the same offices into the same system would be similar to  simply draining the machine and refilling it. You have to drain the machine, then take the baskets out and clean them out too. To an extent a total overhaul of the machine or else the dishes will come out dirtier than when they started.

I work in food service, obviously, and a friend of mine years back suggested that when people become managers they take them into a room and do something to them to make them stupid. This change comes about, I think, because when you are a manager you are now concerned with the company and where it is going—not due to loyalty to the company—this is due to the promise of a bonus. And I think the same thing happens in politics: no matter what an individual’s intentions are, once he/she gets into the politics of this system they lose those intentions. Perhaps they feel that they can change the system from the inside at first, but then after being a part of it for a while, they start feeling that it is best to just change small things here and there—then they get to the final step where they just do what other people in their party do so as not to cause waves and to ensure that they stay in office. Their lofty ideals of  helping the people degenerate into self-preservation.

Send us your comments.