Revolution #170, July 19, 2009

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party,USA

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Revolution #170, July 19, 2009

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The Revolution We Need...

The Leadership We Have

A Message, And A Call, From The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

This Is NOT The Best of All Possible Worlds…

And We Do NOT Have to Live This Way

For posters, audio, and other materials, click here

"The land of the free, and the home of the brave." "The leader of the free world." That's what they always say about this country. But this is a Big Lie.

The truth is that we live under a system that, from the start in this country, built up its wealth and power by enslaving millions of Black people, stealing land from Indians and Mexicans through war and genocide, and working many people, including children, literally to death. It is by such murderous means that this system has expanded "from sea to shining sea" across this continent—and around the whole world.

It is a system of capitalism-imperialism…a system in which U.S. imperialism is the most monstrous, most oppressive superpower…a system driven by a relentless chase after profit, which brings horror upon horror, a nightmare seemingly without end, for the vast majority of humanity: poverty and squalor…torture and rape…the wholesale domination and degradation of women everywhere…wars, invasions and occupations…assassinations and massacres…planes, missiles, tanks and troops of the USA bombarding people in faraway lands while they sleep in their homes or go about their daily lives, blasting their little children to pieces, cutting down men and women in the prime of life, or in old age, kicking down their doors and dragging them away in the middle of the night…while here in the USA itself the police harass, brutalize and murder youth in the streets of the inner cities—over and over again—and then they spit out their maddening insults, insisting that this is "justified," as if these youth are not human beings, have no right to live, deserve no respect and no future.

Throughout the world, as a result of this system, a billion people or more go hungry every day…with many facing the threat of starvation. Hundreds of millions of children are forced to work like slaves and to live in putrid slums, in the midst of garbage and human waste. Waves of immigrants, unable to live in their own homelands, travel the earth in search of work—and if they find it, they are worked until they can hardly stand and are forced into the shadows, with the constant fear that they will be deported and their families broken apart. Growing numbers of people cannot find work at all now, with many losing their homes as well as their jobs, while others are worked even more mercilessly. Everyone is lured and driven to consume more and more, at the cost of ever-mounting debt and the loss of any sense of larger purpose or meaning to life or any deeper connection with other human beings. Many are being pushed to the edge…growing numbers are going over the edge, often lashing out in crazed desperation.

Young women in the millions are traded like cattle and forced into sexual slavery, shipped across countries and continents, while women everywhere are degraded, demeaned, and brutalized in a thousand ways—beaten and raped in huge numbers, treated as objects of sexual gratification and breeders of children instead of full human beings. The idea of an intimate loving relationship with another human being is made into a sick joke, perverted into a property or commodity relation, weighed down by repressive patriarchal tradition and denied or restricted for people of the same sex.

The environment and human destiny itself is being taken to the brink of disaster.

All this because of the dictates of this system—because of its stranglehold on humanity. All this while technology and wealth exist on a scale and in forms never before imagined—technology and wealth produced by millions, billions, throughout the world who are nameless and faceless to the powers that be—technology and wealth that could and should be a resource belonging to humanity as a whole and used to meet the needs of people everywhere for a decent and ever-enriched material, intellectual and cultural life.

Look at what this system is doing to youth right here in the USA. For millions in the inner cities, if they are not killed at an early age, their likely future is prison (nearly 1 in 8 young Black men is incarcerated, the prisons are overflowing with Blacks and Latinos, and this country has the highest rate of incarceration of women in the world). This system has robbed so many youth of the chance for a decent life and has got far too many living, dying and killing for nothing—nothing good—nothing more than messing up people and murdering each other on the streets of the cities here…or joining the military, being trained to be murderers on a mass scale, massacring people in countries across the globe. A system which offers millions and millions of youth no greater purpose, no better fate, than crime and punishment, or to become a mindless killing machine for the system itself—that alone is reason enough to sweep this system from the face of the earth!

And, despite the good intentions of many teachers, the educational system is a bitter insult for many youth and a means of regimentation and indoctrination overall. While, particularly in some "elite" schools, there is some encouragement for students to think in "non-conformist" ways—so long as, in the end, this still conforms to the fundamental needs and interests of the system—on the whole, instead of really enabling people to learn about the world and to pursue the truth wherever it leads, with a spirit of critical thinking and scientific curiosity, education is crafted and twisted to serve the commandments of capital, to justify and perpetuate the oppressive relations in society and the world as a whole, and to reinforce the dominating position of the already powerful. And despite the creative impulses and efforts of many, the dominant culture too is corrupted and molded to lower, not raise, people's sights, to extol and promote the ways of thinking, and of acting, that keep this system going and keep people believing that nothing better is possible.

Look at the lies they constantly tell us—with all their honeyed words about "democracy" for the people and "human rights," while they are ruthlessly dictating over people, with force and violence, all over the world, and right here at home. Oh, and now they come on with Obama…to make us think they will be bringing some kind of change for the better. But Obama represents this system, and all this system can bring is more of the same: more torture and torment, more oppression and brutality, more war and destruction.

Some say this is all "god's will" and we just have to "put it all in god's hands." But it was not some god that got us in this situation…and it won't be some god that will get us out of it. The truth is, there are no gods…and we don't need them!


It is this system that has got us in the situation we're in today, and keeps us there. And it is through revolution to get rid of this system that we ourselves can bring a much better system into being. The ultimate goal of this revolution is communism: A world where people work and struggle together for the common good…Where everyone contributes whatever they can to society and gets back what they need to live a life worthy of human beings…Where there are no more divisions among people in which some rule over and oppress others, robbing them not only of the means to a decent life but also of knowledge and a means for really understanding, and acting to change, the world.

This revolution is both necessary and possible.

This capitalist-imperialist system is in crisis…This system is bankrupt…This system is rotten to the core…This system is based on ruthless exploitation…This system commits so many monstrous crimes, and causes so much unnecessary suffering. We do not need to be sacrificing even more to "rescue" this system. This system needs to be swept aside…its crimes against humanity stopped cold…its institutions dismantled, and replaced by ones that empower people to build a new society free of exploitation and oppression.

The biggest lie of all is that there is no other way than this system—or that attempts to really make a different way, through revolution and advancing toward communism, have brought about something even worse. The wretched of the earth have made revolution and started on the road to communism—first in Russia and then in China—and they achieved great things in doing so, before they were turned back by the forces of the old order. We are here to tell you that not only has this been done before, but we can do it again—and even better this time. This is the truth that is covered up and lied about, but we have the facts and the analysis to back this up—tremendous historical experience has been summed up, scientifically, and is there for us to learn from and build on.

It is up to us: to wake upto shake off the ways they put on us, the ways they have us thinking so they can keep us down and trapped in the same old rat-race…to rise up, as conscious Emancipators of Humanity. The days when this system can just keep on doing what it does to people, here and all over the world…when people are not inspired and organized to stand up against these outrages and to build up the strength to put an end to this madness…those days must be GONE. And they CAN be.

"But people are too messed up. It's just human nature for things to be this way, and it can't be changed."

Yes, it can. It has happened before—when people have risen up to make revolution. It can and must be done again—and it can and must go even further. We, in our millions and millions, can change ourselves and fit ourselves to rule and remake society in the interests of humanity—but we can do this only as we fight to change the larger conditions, to throw off oppression, as we join with others, throughout the world, to change the whole world. This is what our Party means when we say: Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution.

"But we are not in a position to make revolution in this country…they are too powerful, and they will never let us get that far." No one is more aware than our Party of the difficulties, the risks and the dangers, in making revolution. We are out here working for this every day. We know the price that has to be paid…and we know it is worth it, and that giving our lives to this is more rewarding than anything else. We know that they want to stop this revolution—crush it and bury it before it can really get going again…but we also know that a fight can be waged, and that we can have a chance to win the fight, to make this revolution real. And, yes, it is true—now is not yet the time, in this country, to go all-out to seize the power away from those who rule over us and to bring a new power, serving our interests, into being. But now IS the time to be WORKING FOR REVOLUTION—to be stepping up resistance while building a movement for revolution—to prepare for the time when it WILL be possible to go all out to seize the power.

Revolution can be made when there is a revolutionary situation, an even greater crisis in society as a whole: when people in greater numbers come to deeply feel and understand that the present power has no legitimacy…that it serves only a handful of oppressors…that it uses lies and deception, corruption and completely unjust force and violence to keep this system going and "keep the people in their place"…when millions see the need to fight to break this power and establish a new power that can bring about the changes that people desperately need and want. For a revolution, there must be a revolutionary people, among all sections of society but with its deepest base among those who catch hell every day under this system…people who are determined to fight for power in order to radically change society, to get rid of oppression and exploitation. But the point is this: we cannot, and we must not, sit around and wait for "one fine day" when this revolutionary situation comes about and a revolutionary people comes on the scene. No, we must—and we can—work to bring a revolutionary people into being…to enable people to see why they should put no faith in this system, and should not live and die in a way that keeps this system going…but instead should devote their lives to resisting oppression and building up for the time when we can get rid of the cause of all this oppression. Using our Party's newspaper, Revolution, as the foundation, guideline, and organizational scaffolding for this whole process, this is what our Party means when we say we are hastening while awaiting the revolutionary situation, preparing minds and organizing forcesfor revolution.

All this is not possible without leadership. But the thing is…There is leadership.


In Bob Avakian, the Chairman of our Party, we have the kind of rare and precious leader who does not come along very often. A leader who has given his heart, and all his knowledge, skills and abilities to serving the cause of revolution and the emancipation of humanity. Bob Avakian came alive as a revolutionary in the 1960s—taking part in the great movements of those days, and especially working and struggling closely with the most advanced revolutionary force in the U.S. at that time, the Black Panther Party. Since then, and while many others have given up, Bob Avakian has worked and struggled tirelessly to find the way to go forward, having learned crucial lessons and built lasting organization that could continue the struggle, and aim to take it higher, while uniting with the same struggle throughout the world. He has kept on developing the theory and strategy for making revolution. He played the key role in founding our Party in 1975, and since then he has continued the battle to keep the Party on the revolutionary road, to carry out work with a strong revolutionary orientation. He has deeply studied the experience of revolution—the shortcomings as well as the great achievements—and many different fields of human endeavor, through history and throughout the world—and he has brought the science and method of revolution to a whole new level, so that we can not only fight but really fight to win. Bob Avakian has developed the scientific theory and strategic orientation for how to actually make the kind of revolution we need, and he is leading our Party as an advanced force of this revolution. He is a great champion and a great resource for people here, and indeed people all over the world. The possibility for revolution, right here, and for the advance of the revolution everywhere, is greatly heightened because of Bob Avakian and the leadership he is providing. And it is up to us to get with this leadership…to find out more about Bob Avakian and the Party he heads…to learn from his scientific method and approach to changing the world…to build this revolutionary movement with our Party at the core…to defend this leadership as the precious thing it is…and, at the same time, to bring our own experience and understanding to help strengthen the process of revolution and enable the leadership we have to keep on learning more and leading even better.

If you have not heard about this—if you don't know about the revolution we need and the leadership we have—that is because those who now hold power do not want you to know…they keep this from you, or lie about it when they can't keep word of it from getting out. And it is because our Party itself has not, until now, been consistent enough and bold enough in getting the word out, and acting on it.


We must spread the word to every corner of this country…giving people the means to become part of this revolutionary movement, and organizing into this movement everyone who wants to make a contribution to it, who wants to work and fight, to struggle and sacrifice, not to keep this nightmare of a world going as it is but to bring a better world into being.

We mean what we say, and we will not back off or turn our backs on what we have started, on the people who need this revolution. We will keep coming back and digging in, to strengthen this movement for revolution, to build up the bases, spread the influence and organize the forces we need to make revolution. We will not be scared off, backed down or driven away.



As our Party's Constitution says: "The emancipation of all humanity: this, and nothing less than this, is our goal. There is no greater cause, no greater purpose to which to dedicate our lives."

Send us your comments.

Revolution #170, July 19, 2009

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Spread The Word

You have in your hands a most special issue of Revolution, devoted to a major statement that can be found in its center spread:  The Revolution We Need… The Leadership We Have. 

This statement will be the focus and pivot of our Party's efforts over many months, reaching and enlisting many, many people, in a campaign with many parts and dimensions.

The campaign has three inter-related aims. 

First, we intend to really put revolution out there in this society, so that millions of people here and around the world come to know about THIS revolution. 

Second, we intend to make Bob Avakian, the Chairman of our Party and leader of this revolution, a "household word"—someone known throughout society, with growing numbers checking out, getting into and supporting his work, his thinking and his leadership.

And third, as laid out in Chairman Avakian's recent talk Ruminations and Wranglings, we aim to draw forward a core of "people who see it as their mission, and are guided by the Party's vision and line, to go out and actually fight for this line, win people to it, organize them into the revolutionary movement and struggle for them to become communists and then to join the Party once they've made that leap to being communists."

The work begins now, with an all-out effort to distribute this issue of the paper over the next two weeks, in the inner city urban cores, reaching out especially to the youth in those neighborhoods, as well as to the concerts and festivals where youth from all sections of society go.

But that won't be the end of it.  The statement will be continually reprinted as a four-page brochure, and sold and distributed throughout the whole next period, penetrating into every corner of society.  An even more concise version will come out on an 8 1/2 x 11 leaflet. This fall we will be taking the statement onto the campuses, challenging the students, and into the high schools and middle schools as well.

In the words of the statement itself:

We must spread the word to every corner of this people the means to become part of this revolutionary movement, and organizing into this movement everyone who wants to make a contribution to it, who wants to work and fight, to struggle and sacrifice, not to keep this nightmare of a world going as it is but to bring a better world into being.

As you get this statement out, learn about this revolution. And learn about this leader. Come to the programs at Revolution Books bookstores (see page 15 for locations, dates, and times). Take up the DVD of Chairman Avakian's speech, REVOLUTION: WHY IT'S NECESSARY, WHY IT'S POSSIBLE, WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT.  Read Bob Avakian's memoir, From Ike to Mao and Beyond.

Get with the revolutionaries. Be part of initiating a whole new stage of revolution, here and around the world.

Revolution #170, July 19, 2009

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A Riveting Exchange Between Cornel West and Carl Dix

On July 14, 2009, an extremely important and successful program, featuring Cornel West, one of America’s most provocative public intellectuals, and Carl Dix, a long-time revolutionary and a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, took place at Aaron Davis Hall in Harlem, New York.

The event, titled “The Ascendancy of Obama…and the Continued Need for Resistance and Liberation: A Dialogue Between Cornel West and Carl Dix” and sponsored by Revolution Books, was a fundraiser for the bookstore and the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund. It had been billed as sure to be “a crackling evening of passionate and penetrating conversation over matters that many are seriously concerned about but have not dared to discuss out loud and in public.” And this promise was certainly fulfilled. It was a sold-out crowd of 650 people of all ages and nationalities. Over 100 were turned away at the door and many stayed to listen to the program in the overfill area outside. The evening was moderated by Herb Boyd, activist, journalist, and author, and Sunsara Taylor, contributing writer for Revolution.

This was a riveting exchange between two engaging thinkers who are highly concerned about the state of the world and the fate of humanity. West and Dix are both deeply committed to social change—and this was a far-ranging dialogue characterized by both unity and struggle over the nature of the problem and the content of real liberation.

The program included presentations by both speakers as well as a Q&A session with the audience. The topics included, in addition to the role of Obama—police brutality, the oppression of Black people, religion, morality, the role and future of youth, and continuing U.S. wars of aggression.

This was an important opportunity to open up critical space in the context of growing controversy, concern and debate over the character of the Obama administration.

We urge readers to click on the link to listen to this whole exchange and look for further coverage of this event in Revolution newspaper.

Send us your comments.

Revolution #170, July 19, 2009

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From A World to Win News Service

Iran: Brave protests commemorate 10th anniversary of student upsurge

July 13, 2009. A World to Win News Service. On July 9, the tenth anniversary of the student upsurge that marked a new wave of the Iranian people's struggle, thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets of Tehran and many other cities to commemorate the anniversary and continue their protests against the regime. Various authorities, including the governor of Tehran, the heads of the security forces and the Interior Ministry, had all vowed to "crush" any such actions. But despite the clear danger of beatings, torture and death, people came out, and they stayed out to confront baton-wielding police, Basij militiamen on motorbikes, tear gas and warning gunfire. In some cases they did battle with the security forces, and occasionally even overran them.

The people who decided to demonstrate were aware that the regime was not just making idle threats. The day before, the authorities had announced that 500 of the 2,000 people they reported arrested were still being held and would face trial. Since prisoners are not allowed any contact with families or lawyers, many people in Iran – and Amnesty International – fear they are being tortured to produce confessions that foreign powers are behind the protests, and that this could be used as a pretext to justify executions. (AI press release June 29) Many people seem to have "disappeared." There is good reason to believe that the death toll has been far higher than the several dozen reported by the government. (See sidebar, “Tehran doctor: ‘The authorities are covering up the number of dead’”)

The latest news of brutality is the death of a 19 year-old named Sohrab Araabi. He disappeared June 15, and his family was unable to get any information about him. His mother had been going from prison to prison asking about him. Then, on July 11, his family was called to identify his body. At first they were told he had died in prison. Later they found out that he had been shot on June 25, but that the regime had kept it a secret. At his funeral in Tehran July 13, there was a heavy presence of uninvited guests – plainclothes security forces on hand to prevent people from joining the family and to make sure no one chanted slogans.

At the tenth anniversary protests, brave people and especially young women and men were determined to continue with their struggle and put an end to any illusions that the reactionaries in power might have that repression had deterred them from standing up. They saw these threats as howling from a position of weakness.

People this time seized various Tehran streets. Reports indicate that they protested in more than 10 locations in the capital, shouting "Down with the dictator," "Death to Khamenei" (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the regime's "Supreme Leader") and slogans against his son Mojtaba. There are reports that Mojtaba is behind the coup and in full control of the Basij corps, and that he is making an effort to replace his father when the latter dies. People shouted, "Mojtaba, we want you dead so you can never become the leader" and other slogans indicating that the movement has become more radicalized. The wearing of the color green and slogans in support of Mir Hossein Mousavi are becoming less common.

The importance of the July 9 (18 Tir in the Persian calendar) demonstration was its message that the regime is not going to get away with the kind of repression and murderous acts it unleashed ten years ago, but that on the contrary repression will give rise to increasing resistance until this regime ceases to exist. Since 1999, demonstrations on the anniversary of that year's student upsurge have grown, thanks to the impact of that people's uprising that broke down the walls of the universities and spread all over Iran. With their courageous presence in the streets of Tehran and other cities, people declared they are determined to continue their struggle whatever it takes. They chanted, "Water cannons, tanks and torture no longer work," and "We will die but we will not tolerate being treated with contempt."

After 12 days when it seemed that the regime and its military forces had been able to contain the protests and struggles, the July 9 actions were a loud pronouncement that this is not going to be just a battle, but a war that will go on. There are indications that many people have not poured into the street to support the electoral opposition figures like Mousavi or former president Mohammad Khatami or anybody else. In fact, Mousavi did not call for this demonstration. More than that, he seems to have stepped back from confrontation. Mousavi called for people to stop demonstrating in the streets and instead form a political party to work in "a legal framework." He has clearly announced that any differences within the regime are family differences. This was not a surprise, since he is no less afraid of a radical movement than the other regime factions. The intense contradiction between the people and a brutal religious regime and 30 years of oppression in various forms has given way to a powerful struggle that has been able to go as far as it has so far only because of the people's initiative.

The radicalization of the struggle and the determination to continue it is an expression of the intense, deep and fundamental contradiction between the people and the ruling power that has been accumulating for more than 30 years. It is a reaction not only to stolen votes but a stolen revolution, so it should not be expected to die away as soon as the regime had hoped. The regime is, however, armed to teeth. But it has been massively weakened by its own internal contradictions and differences, and it is hard to imagine that it could easily restore its strength to its previous level. The Islamic regime has already suffered a very damaging blow. The legitimacy of its president, and of its leader and the whole system, has suffered a big blow. 

However, there are two dangers that really threaten the people's struggle and could lead to the reestablishment of the Islamic regime as it was.

One is the lack of a strong communist and revolutionary leadership able to organize and lead the people's struggles at the present time. One of the Islamic regime's first moves when it came to power was to imprison and then massacre the communists and crush the communist and radical organizations. Partly due to their own errors as well as this brutality, the communists suffered huge damage, and a generation of communists was wiped out. However, those who survived are doing everything they can and fighting hard to build a strong communist vanguard able to lead the people's struggle.

Secondly, and related to the question of leadership, there is a possibility that the imperialists and big powers could help the regime survive its crisis. Russia and China are already on board. The administration of President Barack Obama has given contradictory signals, but overall it has been trying to come to terms with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government. At first, under the pretext of "non-interference," Obama stayed silent. Then, under pressure from both world public opinion and the opposition Republican Party to take a position, Obama turned a blind eye on the coup by the Khamenei/Ahmadinejad clique and on the struggle of the people, and he was careful not to question an election that a clear majority of the world's people had questioned.

In light of the present political situation in Iran, this could be interpreted as support for Ahmadinejad. There could be several reasons why the U.S. imperialists would take such an "unexpected" position. First, even though they might have contradictions with the Iranian regime, the U.S. imperialists are not in favor of revolutionary struggle in the country. They might support some opposition and some protests to increase pressure on the regime, but certainly they hate anything uncontrollable, especially when there is a chance that the situation might get totally out of hand.

The second reason could be that the U.S. prefers the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad faction to the other factions. The reason Obama wants to talk to Iran is not only because of the "nuclear issue" but also because of Iran's role in the Middle East – Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and to some degree in Palestine, and so on. If the reformists came to power, they would be powerless to change Iran's position with regard to such issues as well as the nuclear dispute. The U.S. may think that only the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad faction could actually bring about the changes that it seeks.

Finally, there are reasons to suspect that the Ahmadinejad-Khamenei clique have favored direct negotiations with the U.S. alone, without any real European involvement. Further evidence of this is the fact that the European Union has used stronger words than the U.S. in condemning the regime's use of violence against demonstrators. In fact, some EU countries have gone much further than the U.S. in calling into question the regime's elections and legitimacy.

As for the G8, even though this summit issued a strong warning of further sanctions against Iran regarding the nuclear issue, its joint statement completely ignored the current political crisis. In this critical situation, this could be taken as recognition of the Ahmadinejad government's legitimacy and even tacit approval. This should be expected, given the G8's character as a gang of reactionary powers no less against the interests of the people than the Iranian regime and even more dangerous. If and when they refer to the people's struggle, that is only meant to seek advantages for their interests at the negotiating table.

However, at this point many Iranians are in high spirits and very excited that they have been able to break the myth of the Islamic regime's "invincibility." Many people are positive and optimistic and believe that the struggle will go on. The amount of support from among the different sections of the people is increasing. And while the regime and especially its dominant faction have been able to maintain a tight grip on the organs of power so far, they are increasingly isolated. Even among the reactionary Shia religious authorities who have been a major source of influence and legitimacy for the regime, many see it as much weakened and perhaps no longer able to contain and suppress the people's struggle. Even with imperialist help, this might prove to be unworkable. Such conditions provide a favorable situation for the revolutionary forces to work hard, organize the youth and the people, and raise their consciousness and knowledge of revolution and the path to victory. Otherwise other class forces will grab the people's struggle once again.

A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine (, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world’s Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.

Send us your comments.

Revolution #170, July 19, 2009

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From A World To Win News Service

Tehran doctor: "The authorities are covering up the number of dead"

July 13, 2009. A World to Win News Service. Following are excerpts from an account by a Tehran doctor that appeared in the UK Guardian July 9. His name and other details were not published.

I have been working in a public hospital in Tehran over the last few weeks. The authorities are covering up the number of dead protesters and their causes of death. The official statistic is 20 dead—that's wrong. In our hospital alone there were 38 riot deaths in the first week. Most died from gunshot wounds.

A colleague told me that in his hospital there were a further 36 gunshot casualties and 10 deaths. Four public hospitals admitted wounded protesters during the riots, but it is hard to know the total figure of dead. Other hospitals were prevented from helping. Basiji militiamen attacked doormen in one hospital for letting in wounded protesters. In the hospitals that were allowed to function, the Basijis replaced the hospital admissions staff and took the IDs of wounded patients.

Medical staff are under huge pressure to cover up the injuries they treated; I know one doctor who killed themself.

If the patients died of gunshot wounds, the Basiji confiscated their bodies and told the families they had been "transferred" for organ donation. They removed the bullets and returned the bodies with a different postmortem report. By the second week the Basiji were better organised and took the bodies directly from the streets. There were many dead the hospitals never saw.

As for the injuries, they speak for themselves. There were multiple points of gunshot impact—proving the authorities were shooting liberally. Their victims were indiscriminate.

Two pregnant women were shot—one through the spleen, she survived and the other died. For the latter, the authorities say a photograph of her circulating the Internet had been taken in another country, but that's not correct. She was wounded, treated and died in Tehran. They shot her three times. One bullet penetrated the foetus's spine.

How can a doctor lie on his medical records after operating on a case like that?

Many of my friends and my cousin even (who was wounded) saw snipers up on the rooftops during the protests. They said these snipers were targeting people through their rifle lenses. The injuries we witnessed in hospital testify to this. One 32-year-old patient had gunshot impact entering the sub-umbilical region with an exit wound on the thigh, which proves the bullet came from above.

From what I have seen and heard, this medical cover-up has been happening all over the country. But unofficially, medical staff report dead in Isfahan, in Shiraz, in many places. Like here, the authorities are making sure the hospitals don't reveal the numbers...

Prison is a question of luck. If you get arrested by the Basiji and taken to a Basiji centre—that's the worst. The Basiji are not supposed to have centres of their own, they are meant to deliver to the prisons, but they have their own rooms—and that's the most dangerous place to be.

Then there's Evin prison. I have one cousin who was taken there for the last student uprising. There is a huge empty room where they ask you to identify protesters. If they sense you are afraid, they force you into confessing anything and identifying anybody. It's not so much what you say as the fact they debased you.

Most protesters are moved from prison to prison, so they become untraceable. Knowing the cover-up in the hospitals, I worry many protesters might be "untraceable" forever.

A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine (, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world’s Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.

Send us your comments.

Revolution #170, July 19, 2009

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From A World To Win News Service

Tehran, July 9: "I was not a tenth as brave as young women today"

July 13, 2009. A World to Win News Service. Following are excerpts of two on-the-scene reports from Tehran received by the student newsletter Bazr.

What an enormity is associated with 18 Tir (July 9). Everyone is out, young, old and middle aged. This time the people have learned not to gather in only one street. There are mass protests in seven or eight central Tehran locations. There is no sign of silence. Everyone is shouting a slogan. Some are shouting "Allah-u Akbar," but soon "Death to the dictator" and "The rule of coup d'état—resign, resign" replaces it. The center of clashes is the intersection of Vali Asr and Enghelab streets, in Daneshjoo (Student) Park. The crowd is concentrated and dense and the Revolutionary Guards anti-riot forces attack with tear gas and batons. Faces are bloody. The crowd continuously goes into the street from the sidewalks and then back again. The cars, like two weeks ago, keep sounding their horns (as a sign of support). There is a continuous honking. Again fists are in the air, along with the V sign of victory and solidarity. A wave of people is moving towards Enghelab Square and Tehran University from all the main streets. This time we hear the people sing a song they used to sing during the 1978-79 revolution, but the word "Shah" has been replaced by "Mahmoud" (Ahmadinejad): "Mahmoud the traitor I wish you would become vagrant/ you destroyed our country/ you killed the youth of my country…death to you, death to you!"

Teargas was raining on the crowd, but it's unbelievable, it seems that everyone has gotten used to it. Nobody seems to be sick. They only light fires. Some people blow cigarette smoke into the eyes of their neighbor (to counter the effects of the gas). We're now at the corner of Keshavarz Boulevard and Kargar Street. The Special Guards come to attack us. Chanting slogans, we run in the opposite direction. A dense crowd coming from Fatemi Street joins us and again we chant, "Don't be afraid, don't be afraid, we're all together, don't be afraid!" So far we haven't heard anything about people being shot. We haven't heard anything about that from other places, too.

Many women, many mothers in the front row! Furious, fresh and inspiring! Again we are attacked. This time the plainclothes "security" forces are with them.... A few hundred people go into a market passage next to Laleh Park, but there's no way out there, so they're trapped. Along with a few others, I jump over the fences and barbed wire and enter the park. We go towards Amirabad. …Amirabad is extremely crowded. On the corner where Neda was martyred (Neda Agha-Soltan, a young woman murdered by the Basij while she stood on a curb during a demonstration), the crowd is chanting, "Death to the dictator." An old man—he says he is 80—happily proclaims, "Nobody is afraid anymore. Everybody has come out. It's time for them (he means the regime) to go. Look, so many people—but unlike 1978 there are no mullahs among us! We will avenge Neda's blood!" He's right. The people have understood the situation well. They have grasped the weakness and vulnerability of the regime. Nobody fears anything. Everyone, young and old, shouts that slogan, firmer and stronger than three weeks ago. A family in a car slowly moving north on Amirabad is honking the horn continuously. A young man sticks his head out of the car and says to the people, "Do you still want to continue your struggle peacefully! Can't you see they have guns?" His sister is shouting, "Death to the dictator!" I just repeat the slogan with them and hold up my fist….

I'm going back home to write up this report. Today it will be hot on the roofs as people chant slogans. The number of injured and the arrested will not be few. It's not dark yet, but the patrols along with the Basiji in uniform are spreading out into all corners. They want to tell the people that it's a "state of emergency"! How absurd! Thousands and thousands of people today with their powerful presence tried to make the regime understand that the situation is just not right for them! I have no news from the other cities yet. But the July 9 events will strongly influence future developments. I have no doubt about it.

Excerpt from another report

…On the side streets off Keshavarz Boulevard, the flames were climbing higher and the slogan "Death to the dictator" was echoing. Halfway up the road were the various repressive forces (plainclothes police, the Basiji, the Special Guards, the forces in black clothes whose faces are covered by their long hat—people call them frogs). They attacked the crowd from several directions with teargas, water cannons and clubs…. Some people clashed with them, others retreated to the side streets while chanting slogans. Wherever we wanted to go, they would block the way. We wanted to go to Kargar Street, but they blocked us. We wanted to go to Enghelab Street; they wouldn't let us. They would do everything to scatter the crowd but the crowd would regroup again somewhere else. Every point had been turned into an ambush for the enemy forces. You could see a state of confusion and disorder among the repressive forces. It seems that they couldn't believe their eyes.

There were many discussions among the people. A middle-aged man was talking about 1979 revolution. He said, "I was one of the fearless men during the revolution. But I could say I was not even a tenth as brave as the young women are today." The youth would recount the news of the struggles of the last few days, about the arrested and the protests in front of Evin Prison and the courts.

One of the important discussions was whether the tactics of today's struggle (July 9), i.e. gathering in several locations, were correct or not. Some were saying it was not correct because our forces were scattered. "Our forces would be at least ten times this many." If we could have gathered in one place, we could have fought much better and taught them a better lesson. Other people argued that despite the increase in the number of our forces we still are fighting with nothing in our hands, still unarmed and still in an unfavorable situation. So the correct tactic is to scatter the enemy forces and fight them in small groups in many different locations.

Another important discussion was on how to punish the oppressors. Some people said that if we get armed and our forces match theirs we should not kill them but instead put them on trial. Some others said we are at war and we should kill those on the battlefield and put the others on trial.

For hours we were coming and going between Keshavarz Boulevard and Enghelab Street and in clashes with repressive forces. The people's spirits were high and they were optimistic. The people were confident that there would be more news in different neighborhoods and locations in the city….

A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine (, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world’s Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.

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Revolution #170, July 19, 2009

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From A World to Win News Service:

Iran: "Urgent call to defend arrested youth from torture and 'disappearance'"

July 6, 2009. A World to Win News Service. Following is a call issued 3 July by the Iranian student newsletter Bazr (,, e-mail:

Horrifying news is leaking out from prisons and underground detention centers where people arrested in the recent uprisings are being held. It is important to start a massive campaign to expose the on-going crimes and massacres and to demand the unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners. In Iran, families of past and recent political prisoners can be the nucleus to initiate the campaign. But, at this point in time, Iranians abroad can play a very significant role in this matter. Even the gatherings on the anniversary of the massacres [of communists and other revolutionary political prisoners] of 1988 can be an occasion for this.

There is talk of brutal and inhumane tortures inflicted on youths and others detained in the recent uprising, with the intention to kill them. At the same time pressure is being put on marked and known people, like reporters and activists in the camps of Mousavi and Karoubi [the two main figures of the electoral opposition] to confess to their alleged crimes. It seems that in case of youths they are adopting the policy of "disappearing" prisoners developed in Latin America. A prison guard serving his national service at Evin prison explained that in the prison quarters allocated to the Basiji [militia members] and the information center of the Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran) where no one else is allowed to enter there, severe torture is going on every day, and they are all unnerved because of the screams and cries from within; and that every day at least 10 corpses of people who died under torture are thrown in ambulances and carried out to buried in unmarked graves.

The aim of the mass arrests and physical abuse in both public places where people are watching and detention centers is to scare everybody off. I myself know of a few cases where people were arrested because of their age or physical appearance. They were released after 10 hours of beatings and verbal abuse, with the hope of sending out a message. This is not the authorities' sole tactic. They are going through the pictures taken by surveillance cameras to pick out the most militant and active youths who were involved in street fighting in and around the Basij centers and state institutions, in an attempt to eliminate them from the mass uprising. In the most recent days, people shouting slogans from their rooftops have been picked and taken to detention centers. The authorities are attempting to murder a few hundred people before the start of the school year, when they most probably face problems from teachers and students alike.

It is also probable that schools will be half empty when they open. The secretary of education recently announced that 300,000 students eligible to take the National University entrance exam did not come forward to claim their entrance exam cards, nor did they participate in the national exams. Who were these people? Why didn't they take part in the exams? Some say it was a form of protest and others say they had lost their interest in taking the test and had no heart and mind for it. A few hundred may have become fugitives.

The education secretary also announced this year only 20 percent of the entrance exam slots will be allocated to Islamist "revolutionaries" and Basiji, instead of the usual 40 percent. This, he implied, means that there will be that much more room for everyone else. But actually, it was understood such allocations no longer existed, so the intent is the opposite of what he claimed. This may signal a plan to fill the universities with Basiji to crush the student movement.

It is of utmost importance that our comrades in the Iranian diaspora massively campaign on the issue of detainees who are being "disappeared". The coup-makers are not even showing any mercy for the regime’s own factions. One indication of how they are treating the people involved in their own internal conflicts is the case of a retired prominent figure in the Ministry of Information now an active member of the Rafsanjani/Mousavi [opposition] camp. He sent a letter to Zarghami (head of Iran’s radio and television authority) complaining that he had been kidnapped, beaten for a few hours and released. If they behave in such a manner towards their own, can you imagine what they would do with students and youth who rose against them?

The situation is urgent – don't waste time!

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Revolution #170, July 19, 2009

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From A World To Win News Service

On the murder of two CPI(M) comrades in Andhra Pradesh

July 13, 2009. A World to Win News Service. Following are excerpts from a public letter from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) dated June 2009.

On 23 May our Party and the Indian revolution had suffered another major and irreparable loss. On that fateful day, at about 10:30 am, comrade Patel Sudhakar Reddy alias Suryam alias Vikas, who is a member of the central committee of our Party, and another district-level comrade Venkatayya alias Prasanna, were arrested by the SIB [Special Investigations Branch police] goons of Andhra Pradesh and brutally tortured and murdered in the early hours of the 24th. They were arrested from Nashik city in Maharashtra. The dead bodies of our two comrades were thrown in the forest near Lavvala in Tadwai mandal of Warangal district and the usual story of an encounter was floated. The [Andhra Pradesh] Chief Minister who was in Delhi repeated this concocted police story without an iota of shame.

Our CC issued a call to the entire Party and people to observe a bharat bandh [all-India shutdown] on 12 June to protest against the cold-blooded murder of our beloved comrades. A petition was filed in the High Court by the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee for conducting a re-postmortem on the body of the martyrs. Maoist prisoners in the Cherlapalli jail in Hyderabad and Warangal central jail went on a hunger strike, protesting against the encounter [killing] of Sudhakara Reddy. They demanded that fake encounters be immediately stopped.

These unconstitutional criminal acts are not carried out by some police officials at the district or even state level. They are planned and executed under the direct guidance and direction of the top political leadership. Comrades Vikas and Prasanna are the first victims of the fascist repression unleashed by the newly re-elected bloodthirsty government of Y.S Reddy in Andhra Pradesh and the Congress-led UPA government in the Centre.

Patel Sudhakar Reddy, also popularly known as Suryam in the revolutionary camp in Andhra Pradesh and as Vikas in the CC and the newly formed Party after the merger of CPI(ML)[PW] and MCCI in September 2004, had become one of the established leaders of the Indian revolution and a member of the central committee of CPI(Maoist) after a long illustrious revolutionary career. He began his revolutionary life as a student leader of the Radical Students Union in the early '80s. Responding to the call of the Party to build a zone of armed agrarian revolutionary struggle in North Telangana and Dandakaranya with the goal of transforming them into base areas, he went to Eturnagaram-Mahadevpur forest in North Telengana in 1983 and worked as a commander of the guerrilla squad. Later he was transferred to Gadchiroli district where he worked until 1988 [until he was] arrested in 1992 in Bangalore based on a tip-off from an arrested person. He remained an exemplary communist leader in jail where he spent almost seven years. He was released in 1998 and played a prominent role in building the movement in Dandakaranya in its initial years and later in the state of Andhra Pradesh. He was taken into the CC in 2005 and as a member of the CC he made significant contribution in formulating the central policies and plans.

Comrade Venakatayya hailed from Cheryala mandal in Warangal district and was actively involved in the student movement in AP for almost a decade and served as a leader of the All India Revolutionary Student Federation in AP. He was shifted to technical work in 2004 and had been working in the technical field since then.

The contribution of comrades Suryam and Prasanna to the Indian revolution will never be forgotten by the Party, the PGLA [People's Liberation Guerrilla Army] and people. They will continue the struggle for the liberation of the country with redoubled vigour and hatred for the exploiters and traitors who rule the country. The reactionary rulers of India, with the active assistance of the imperialists, vainly hope to suppress the Indian revolution by eliminating the central and state leadership of the CPI(Maoist). By this, they think they can deprive the oppressed people of leadership and suppress their struggle for land, livelihood and liberation. But this conspiracy of the reactionary rulers will remain a mere daydream. Thousands upon thousands of worthy revolutionary successors will step into the shoes of these beloved leaders turning the dreams of the reactionary rulers into nightmares.

The CC, CPI(Maoist), pays its red revolutionary homage to our beloved leaders—comrade Sudhakar Reddy and Venkatayya—and vows to fulfil their revolutionary dreams for a classless society. Let us intensify and expand the ongoing people's war, establish base areas in the vast countryside of the country, transform the PLGA into a PLA [People's Liberation Army] and advance the Indian revolution to its final victory.

The role of leadership is very crucial in any revolution. All successful revolutions in history had taken great care in preserving the leadership and ensuring continuity of leadership. Without such a continuity of leadership it is impossible to advance the revolutionary war and achieve final victory. Hence the enemy also has been trying desperately by all means at his disposal to eliminate the Party leadership at all levels, particularly the central and state leadership. Enormous funds have been allotted for the purpose of eliminating the leadership and a vast intelligence network has been set up.

Let us take proper lessons from the serious losses suffered by our Party in the recent period, specifically the period after the Party Congress, strictly avoid repetition of the mistakes and strive hard to come out of our weaknesses, preserve and accumulate our subjective forces, be ever vigilant against the conspiracies and machinations of the enemy, be ever ready for any kind of sacrifice, and march ahead to achieve bigger victories.

A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine (, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world’s Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.

Send us your comments.

Revolution #170, July 19, 2009

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Learning, Leading, and Connecting with Youth at the Vans Warped Tour

We received this correspondence from a reader in Los Angeles

Dozens of bands, old and new. Loading up the van at sun-up and arriving back home at sun-down, exhausted but enthused. Jumping into a very polarized atmosphere to dialogue, debate with and challenge swaths of youth from geographically and ideologically diverse backgrounds. The Revolution Club in Los Angeles had a blast at the Vans Warped Tour on Friday, June 26 in Pomona and Sunday, June 28 in Ventura, the first two dates of this nationwide punk rock festival’s 15th anniversary tour. The concert has broadened its bill of bands to include the genres of emo, indie rock, hardcore, ska, and some hip hop, in addition to longtime punk heavyweights like NOFX and Bad Religion (and the younger leftist punk icons Anti-Flag) who also grace the stage this year.

Having a Revolution Books/Libros Revolución booth in the non-profit zone for both L.A. area tour dates this year enabled us to get out literature, raise money, gain organized ties, and learn firsthand about the ongoing struggle within the punk and hardcore scene over politics, religion, and ideology. Activists with The World Can’t Wait! also had booths at both shows to popularize their We Are Not Your Soldiers! counter-recruitment campaign and expose the ongoing wars for empire now being waged by the Obama administration.

In the capitalist-imperialist system we live under, many suburban youth are alienated and search for a way to rebel, or just live out an alternative lifestyle. Punk rock in this country has historically been a symbol for kids to celebrate egalitarian or oppositional values, and reject the dominant religion, commodity relations, and slavishness to authority this country promoted throughout the '80s (values that continue to be exalted in the age of Obama in both new and familiar forms). Though punk was always a contradictory phenomenon encompassing diverse styles as well as worldviews, its expression was very two-sided at this year’s Warped Tour. As one band member said to us, “You guys are definitely not just preaching to the converted out here.”

Indeed, besides several charities in the non-profit area with a Christian bent, there were military people siding with the U.S. empire, plus the widely popular band Under Oath from Tampa, Florida, which promotes Christianity front and center to a brutal head-banging soundtrack (

But in what we might call the crisis in morality created by the fundamental contradiction of the world capitalist system, in the alienation driven by the reduction of politics, culture, relationships and societal values to what Marx dubbed the brutal cash nexus of capital accumulation, disaffected youth across America who embraced the anti-religious, somewhat nihilistic, but politically radical ethos of bands like Bad Religion and the Dead Kennedys in the '80s are today increasingly turning towards prettified forms of Christianity as their anchor to find a sense of place and redemption. We in the Revolution Club find this as equally illusory and harmful. We were straight-up about this with everyone we engaged at these festivals. First of all, God doesn’t exist, so giving up on humanity whether in the cynical disillusionment still prevalent in the punk and hardcore scene, or in the more insidious guise that religion essentially teaches, condemns human society and the planet to continual suffering (or destruction) under the dictates of this present imperialist system, all of which is entirely unnecessary and can be ended with revolution and communism. Also, as spoken to in Bob Avakian’s Away With All Gods!, religion, like the bourgeois worldview in general, posits mistaken and idealist notions as to why the world is the way it is, and how human society changes and advances. Under Oath’s socio-political ethos, as can be true of the variety of reactionary cultural works being produced in recent years that try to make Christianity more palatable, can be boiled down to one formulation in their web journal’s most recent post: “We are going to hurt and be hurt. God is the only thing worth living for.”

While a chunk of the fans seemed to not be as committed to Christianity or right-wing politics, instead just digging bands like Under Oath for their sound, there is nevertheless a genuine battle taking place for the hearts and minds of this next generation, in schools, churches, concerts, and on the internet. Will more of them cross over into active complicity with imperialism and the crimes against humanity that this system continues to commit? Will they be soothed (or rocked) into acquiescing in and even becoming shock troops for fundamentalism, asserting that virginity and salvation in an imaginary Christ embody hip alternatives to the (equally patriarchal) ethic of casual sex and the modern commodification of women? Will young people learn to accept and even embrace capitalism and bourgeois democracy as the best and only possible way of living, or will more of them strengthen their resolve to break down all barriers between peoples, genders and nations, seek out the most advanced understanding of how to do that, and help write the soundtrack to the next round of rebellion, critical thinking, and revolution? We learned that these are some of the main questions posed for broad groups of young people at concerts like this one, and we think we had a significant impact on the overall battle for ideas on the L.A. tours. We expanded our contact list, sold subscriptions to Revolution newspaper, and increased our organized ties to pockets of potential revolutionaries.

In Pomona, a guitarist from a well-known Orange County emo-hardcore band was thrilled to buy 3 Atheists shirts, opting to wear his onstage in front of hundreds of fans, and a copy of Away With All Gods!. And in Ventura, the manager of a major punk band picked up the Atheists shirt, saying the band would dig it, as he filled us in on some of the tongue-in-cheek (but real) contention over religion between some of the bands that share the stage together.

A member of another group who said he thinks the world would be a lot better off without religion got the same shirt and promised to wear it every day of the tour. A young unemployed Bad Religion fan from Riverside got a Wanted shirt in Pomona and gave an extra $5 donation. Walking around the entire concert area displaying our shirts as a fundraiser also helped to create public opinion, raise money through sales, and spur debate about the need to actually do away with capitalism as well as confront the damage done by religion over centuries and right down to today.

Our vivid Atheists t-shirts, F*ck Capitalism shirts and an array of buttons, “A Fetus is Not a Baby!”, “What the U.S. Brings to the World” and “Yes, We Can (cover up) Torture” displays, and other materials from the RCP helped to attract the more conscious people who wanted to fight the system and learn more about revolution. They also caused quite a stir among the more backward concert goers, who received from us a defiant introduction to revolutionary communism, as uncomfortable and infuriating as it was for them. Some people snapped photos of the Obama torture satire ("Yes, We Can"). A white woman and her husband asked us what we thought it meant. We spoke to how Obama is hyped as the man of change, the better to bring you back in to the fold of supporting the system, and how he's refusing to prosecute the war criminals in the Bush regime who knowingly authorized torture, and now he's violently expanding the "war on terror" into Afghanistan and Pakistan. They thanked us and said they feel the same way.

The Pomona Warped Tour seemed to have a more sizeable presence of concert goers steeped in slick creationism and anti-communism than in Ventura. There was a preponderance of youth at both tours who strongly believed that Christianity was fully compatible with social justice and science, and that without religion it is impossible to say that Hitler was wrong, or to even have a morality. They danced around all the slaughter upheld by God himself in the Bible, either saying it was metaphorical (a metaphor for what, we asked?!) or that it all happened for a reason so that Christ could come and redeem us. One guy said he felt all this oppression goes against God, and that we were much more like "true" Christians because we talked about what's affecting the people.

No small number of people would argue, with usually no historical context or evidence, that communism is responsible for more deaths than capitalism, that at least under capitalism people have the freedom to be rich, and that the Soviet Union's collapse is evidence of communism's "failure." We would respond by exposing capitalism's far higher death toll (preventable starvation, imperialist wars, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, etc.), by laying out some of the real achievements as well as shortcomings of the proletariat in power in Russia and China while they were socialist, and the way that wealth under capitalism is actually produced, and what that means for most people right here in the middle of this economic crisis (serious and growing unemployment, foreclosures, budget cuts, the world's largest prison population, etc.) We continually insisted that society does not have to be this way, that a revolutionary socialist state would put the needs of people first, while at the same time encouraging the widest possible ferment, dissent, and artistic expression, as a transition to a communist world.

When we got to Ventura, we learned from what we summed up that abortion and the Bible were very big issues, so we brought a sign that said "The Bible Taken Literally is a Horror!" and a detailed enlarged display of the Revolution centerfold, "A Fetus is Not a Baby! Abortion is Not Murder!", which many people stopped to read. Our pro-abortion stand created some of the most controversy. Some gave an enthusiastic thumbs up and slapped on the "Abortion on Demand and Without Apology" stickers, others vehemently opposed it, and still others weren't sure what to think. One young woman, after reading it all, said quietly, "I've never seen anything like this." Frequently young people would say that they personally opposed abortion, but didn't think it should be outlawed. We asked people what role they thought women should play in society, and responses ran the gamut from the biblical to the secular and equal.

Our Ventura booth was better placed and we met more enthusiastic revolutionary-minded folks, although some Christian Fascists kicked down one of our signs and attempted to provoke us into a fight.

But the greatest counterweight coming from the musicians themselves to all this apathetic and fascistic garbage emanated from the amazing new band Outernational, who rocked the West Coast tour dates with their irresistible fusion of rock, reggae, cumbia, hip hop and dead-on liberatory politics. If you miss Joe Strummer and Rage Against the Machine, and you think music represents a critical component to a better future and a culture of struggle and liveliness that aims towards that future, you had better not miss the release of their album and EP, recorded by Tom Morello himself ( Thirty fist-pumping minutes in the dance pit to these guys’ jams was an experience far more hopeful and fun than listening to some recycled religious nonsense that puts forward Christ and the slave-mentality of the Bible as the only salvation for a “fallen” and “sinful” human race. As one of Outernational’s anthems goes, “I don’t want it/I’m on another tip!” As we displayed our fundraiser t-shirts and got down with 30 other kids to Outernational’s set, we really turned some heads as people stood and watched this curious new scene in astonishment, while vocalist Miles Solay bellowed “Not another way of life, under this system/There’s a whole other way, we could be living...”

To all the young brothers and sisters coming forward, attracted to Bob Avakian’s re-envisioning of revolution and communism and eager to “fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution,” let’s continue hitting events like the Warped Tour all summer, and not be too afraid to jump in and play the re-polarizing role we need to play. Some people at Warped Tour are likely to try and limit our freedom to operate there, but there exists a tangible openness from bands and fans alike to our message. Let’s also not be dogmatic or simple-minded—we need to better familiarize ourselves with the struggles taking place in the superstructure, especially at venues like this one (Rock the Bells is coming up, hip hop fans!) so we can speak to questions on the minds of millions from the loftiest, most radical and most inspiring communist standpoint.

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