Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party,USA

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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Fighting Police Brutality, and Transforming the People, for Revolution!

by Carl Dix

Fourteen years ago I said there was a nationwide epidemic of police brutality. That epidemic is still in effect today. Youth get stopped and frisked by police all the damn time. Black or Latino parents worry when their teenagers go out: Will he be the next Sean Bell or Oscar Grant? Will she be the next Tyisha Miller? Black parents have to talk with their kids about how to survive being stopped by a cop—no matter whether they are straight A students or street youth who sag their pants. All too often, such an encounter ends with a young person beaten down, arrested or even dead. Just ask the families of any of the several thousand innocent victims murdered by the cops since 1990.

Or just meet some of them, sit down and talk with them, and work with them, like I have. Nicholas Heyward Sr. will tell you what it feels like when the police kill your 13-year-old son for having a toy gun. Or Margarita Rosario will tell you what it's like to hear that your son and nephew were shot in the back by cops while they were lying face down with their hands up. And they and other family members of police murder victims will tell you what it's like to watch the cops who committed these crimes get off with no punishment.

Some thought Obama's election would lead to a reduction in police abuse, but what has happened? September 5: Manuel Jaminez Xum (Manuel Jaminez) is gunned down by cops in L.A. in broad daylight on a busy street. July 8: Johannes Mehserle, the cop who shot Oscar Grant in the back as he lay face down and handcuffed, is let off with a conviction for involuntary manslaughter, which is like saying it was an accident. May 16: Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a 7-year-old girl, is killed by Detroit police who conduct a midnight raid into her apartment searching for a suspect who lived in the apartment upstairs!

The dogs are still in the street.

Some people blame our youth for all this, or say it's our own fault. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said the cops have to come into the neighborhoods the way they do because of the violence the youth are involved in. Speaking at the funeral of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Reverend Al Sharpton said: "I'm looking at the man in the mirror. All of us share some of the blame for Aiyana's death." This is plain wrong, and it's poisonous! We need straight talk on who's really to blame for the situation our youth face.

Neither Oscar Grant nor Aiyana Stanley-Jones did anything to cause their murders. Neither did most of the people who were killed or brutalized by police. And the system itself is responsible for the crime and violence our youth are caught up in. It was the capitalist system that stripped the inner cities of jobs that pay a living wage. The capitalist system that wrecked the educational system. That in 1,001 ways, spreads the message that the lives of our youth are worthless. That promotes the mentality of look out for number 1 and being for yourself, and for your group before anything else. Yet when our youth take up this outlook and apply it to the ways the system has out there for them to survive—whatever hustle they can find, legitimate or illegitimate—the authorities use this to demonize the youth.

As the Message and Call from the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), "The Revolution We Need ... The Leadership We Have," puts it:

"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."

This system has no future for the youth, but the revolution does!

We need to make this revolution. We are building a movement for revolution to get us to a whole different world. A world where the majority of people are no longer forced to slave for the benefit of a wealthy few. A world where there are no more divisions between women and men or between people of different races or nationalities. A world where the backward ideas that help keep this dog eat dog setup in effect are no more. And as a first step in that, making revolution and building a revolutionary society that values the youth as representing the future, instead of criminalizing them like this one does. A revolutionary society that unleashes them to contribute their thinking, spirit and energy to advancing society, and doesn't pen them in, beat them down and kill them off like this one does.

Things don't have to be this way. Through communist revolution, we could bring a totally different and far better world into being. We are spreading revolution and communism everywhere. And we are mobilizing people to resist the attacks this system brings down on the masses as part of getting ready for revolution. And the youth need to be in the forefront of this movement for revolution, and they will be a backbone of the new structure that runs the revolutionary society!

Now I'm not saying these youth could help lead a revolution and build a new revolutionary society the way they are today. No, they couldn't do that, but our youth weren't always into the things they are now. The conditions created and enforced by the capitalist system itself are what changed our youth from beautiful children to gangbangers and criminals.

We need to get our youth out of this shit and into something in the interests of humanity. But lectures about pulling up your pants or sermons won't do anything to change them for the better. Neither will threats of intensified repression. The only way that they can get out of all the bad shit they're caught up in now is by getting clear on the real cause of the misery and brutality inflicted on the masses—the capitalist system. And by joining in the struggle against this system and what it does to the people. We know that these youth are impatient and defiant. Given what the system does to them, this is a good thing. The movement for revolution can tap into that impatience and defiance and give it positive expression, right now. This can play an important part in getting to revolution. In this way, they can join the emancipators of humanity and become a part of bringing into being a totally different and far better way for people to live here and around the world.

As the statement from the RCP, "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have" puts it: "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."

October 22, 2010, the 15th annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, needs to be a day marked by determined resistance. It needs to be a day when young people and older folk too pour into the streets and manifest their outrage at the brutality and murder this system's enforcers inflict on the people. It needs to be a day when the victims have a platform to expose how this official brutality has devastated their lives, and when people from different backgrounds and of different races come together to say NO MORE to these outrages. We in the RCP, who throw our hearts and souls into building this movement for revolution, will be there that day and in the days leading up to this to build this resistance as part of that movement.

To repeat, there IS a movement for revolution out there that the youth can get with now. A movement that can tap into their defiance and anger and show them how to direct it to building resistance to the ways the system comes at the people. Resistance that gives people a sense that things don't have to be this way. Resistance that exposes the illegitimacy of this system and the horrors its enforcers inflict on the people. Resistance that shows people another way for people to relate to each other than the dog-eat-dog mentality this system promotes.

And again, anybody who is really concerned about what the youth are into and wants to see them doing better needs to be helping them see that the system is the real problem and encouraging them to join those who are fighting the power and transforming themselves and others, for revolution. Not giving them lectures about pulling up their pants and taking personal responsibility, or getting into god.

All Out for October 22nd, the National Day of Protest To Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation!

Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution!

This System Has No Future for the Youth, But the Revolution Does!

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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Assembly Points for October 22—National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and Criminalization of a Generation

The following are the locations for October 22 actions in various cities. For the latest updates, check the October 22nd Coalition website at

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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Views of those who contribute to "Bear Witness" are their own and they are not responsible for views expressed elsewhere in this newspaper.

The following was submitted to Bear Witness...

Something To Think About...

What has the world come to when you have to question if the authorities are on your side or their own? Who are you more afraid of, police or street thugs? Since when did it get to the point that you would have to ask these questions? I know for a fact that our police over the years have become extremely bias and discriminating against blacks and it is happening more and more every day. It just so happens in the past they were very discreet with it where as now they blatantly show their disrespectful and discrimination against blacks or dark skinned people.

For example an incident came up with one of my friends. It was earlier this week on Monday. Four guys, all African American, were driving in Willoughby to a game. The cop was two cars behind my friends' car and flashed the sirens and lights and pulled them over. The racist cop joked with them to get them into their comfort zone, then within five seconds his demeanor changed drastically. He immediately started with his "own" protocol.

First, he asked everyone in the vehicle to show identification. The law is when pulled over the officer is required for any reason to ask the driver for license and registration unless he sees or has any reason to believe the other passengers are a threat to the situation. Then, and only then, should he ask the rest of the passengers for identification. But, in this situation that was disregarded.

After asking everyone for identification he ran all of them through the database. One person, my friend, came up with a previous warrant. Automatically the cop told him to step out of the car and put his hands on the car and spread his legs. He then proceeded to ask him did he have any illegal possession on him or weapons. My friend responded with "no". Then the cop sarcastically asked my friend "what happened in Bedford Heights??" My friend responded with "Nothing, I had a warrant but took care of it." The officer then said, "No, you didn't" and proceeded to handcuff him.

My friend was taken down to the police station. They kept him in the holding cell for a couple hours until the guard came and presented him with his orange jumpsuit. He stayed in the cell for the next three hours until they located the officer that he had in Bedford Heights. When they released him the bailiff said he wouldn't have taken him in on a warrant that was for a different district. Now humor me this, if they were white would they have been pulled over? If they were white would the cop ask all of the young men for their identification? It's something to think about...

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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November 10, 2010: A Radical Step Into the Future

Official Release Set for
(Draft Proposal)

from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

On November 10, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) will be released. Beginning on that day, everything that people think is possible, and impossible, will come under radical challenge.


Donate $50 Now and Receive a Copy Hot off the Press

Funds are urgently needed. Send donations to RCP Publications, PO Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654-0486.

$50 pre-order

Donate for publication and promotion


Donate to Send Copies to Prisoners

There are, in America's dungeons, a growing layer of prisoners who are seeking a critical understanding of the society which imprisoned them, and a way to change that society—and themselves.  Be part of giving these prisoners the means to understand this world, and the vision of a better one.  Donate money specifically to send the Constitution for the new society to those prisoners who request one.

Donate for prisoner copies

Right in the middle of a cruel, rotting empire, a vision of something entirely new—something very radical and far better than the present way that people are forced to live—will be set forth from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. People who get it will find a visionary—and extremely concrete—model of a future revolutionary socialist society and government. They will read a clear description of how the new power would be constituted, and exercised, in the revolutionary society. They will get a feel, and an in-depth understanding, of how that new, revolutionary state power could work to truly usher in a new world. And they will see a place for themselves in this new world, a world in which people would want to live and could truly begin to flourish.

On November 10, join in release parties and celebrations at Revolution Books across the country. Celebrate the release of this historic document out into the world, pick up your copy, contribute to big promotional plans, and feed in your ideas and questions. Start inviting people now to be part of this.

In the weeks around this release date, we'll be spreading out onto campuses and neighborhoods getting this into the hands of all kinds of people, including those with a deep desire for a better world but big differences or questions about the viability and desirability of a socialist transition to communism. This should, and will, spark all-round debate and ferment over how we live today, and how we could live tomorrow. People need to see and hear about this Constitution from different angles, including in surprising ways... Write in now with your thinking on how this can spread.

Big funds are needed for major promotion of this Constitution upon release—for promotional materials, advertising, big mailings, many, many copies into the hands of prisoners. All kinds of people burn with the desire for a different world, but feel there is no real alternative to the present system... We should be going out very broadly now getting pre-orders, raising funds, and talking with them about what a difference this Constitution can make in spreading debate and discussion about the potential for that alternative, and the movement for revolution to make that real.

Stay tuned for more news and plans. And get ready to be part of bringing something really precedent-shattering onto the scene. Join in getting deeply into this Constitution... and join in getting word of this way out into the world.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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From Ike to Mao and Beyond
My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist
A Memoir by Bob Avakian

from Chapter Six: "Your Sons and Your Daughters..."

The Free Speech Movement

Despite the administration's rule that you couldn't do "on-campus organizing for off-campus issues," people at Cal were organizing on the campus to protest against local businesses which they identified as practicing racial discrimination in their hiring, such as the Oakland Tribune and this drive-in restaurant called Mel's Diner. Everybody on campus was aware of this, it was becoming more and more of an issue that people were debating and talking about and getting involved in — or not getting involved in and opposing, because there was polarization. To jump ahead for a second in order to give a sense of this, at a later point in the FSM, during one of the nights when people were sitting in around a police car, 500 fraternity boys came to throw things at the people sitting in and shout insults at them. I've often said that in the '60s even fraternity boys grew brains, but that was later in the '60s — at the time of the FSM they didn't have them yet.

So the administration sent the campus police to put a stop to this on-campus organizing for "off-campus issues." A guy named Jack Weinberg was sitting at a table organizing for this and he refused to fold up the table. They arrested him, put him in a police car to drive him off, and then a bunch of students came and surrounded the police car. While this sit-in was going on, I was at a reception that the Chancellor, Chancellor Strong, was having for honor students at the university. At that reception, one of the students asked him what was going on with the sit-in, and the Chancellor basically said: "Well, the area in which they were originally organizing wasn't the area where the police car incident took place, but where they were originally organizing, we thought that was actually city property, because it was right at the entrance to the campus. But then we looked into it and found out that it was university property, so we decided we should put a stop to it." And why did they look into it? Well, he went on to tell us, because of pressure from the Oakland Tribune, which was owned by William F. Knowland, who was a well-known reactionary.1 The Tribune called up, the Chancellor told us, complaining about the organizing of civil rights demonstrations against the Tribune for discriminatory hiring practices. "So," Chancellor Strong concluded, "we cracked down on that organizing."

I was just stunned. I was shocked, first of all, that this was actually how this came about and, second, that he was just saying this so baldly as if everybody would accept it. As I've said elsewhere,2 I guess his idea was this: since we had good grades, we must be "grade-grubbers," in training to become money-grubbers, and we wouldn't find anything objectionable in what he told us. But a lot of people there did find this very objectionable, including myself. I immediately went over to the sit-in around the police car and got in line to speak — the police car had been surrounded by the protesters and transformed into a speaking platform while Jack Weinberg was still sitting inside. It was really great! So when my turn came, I got up on the police car and told this story and explained how it led me to support this whole thing, and I donated my $100 honorarium for being an honor student to the FSM. And that's how I first got directly involved.

Stepping back, I think the FSM expressed the general feeling that students wanted to be treated as adults and citizens, they wanted to have the same rights as other people. Phil Ochs had this song where the refrain went something like, I've got something to say, sir, and I'm going to say it now. And as it was in that song, so it was in reality with students and youth at that time. But, beyond that, there were a lot of big things going on in the world. Vietnam was already beginning to heat up in the fall of '64, and there was the civil rights movement. People wanted to be actively involved in or debating about these things, they wanted to be part of the larger world — they didn't want to be treated like little children just because they were students. So all this was going on and mixing together: the general resistance against treating college students as if they didn't have any minds, against the whole bureaucratization of the university and the functioning of the university as machinery to serve the corporate world and the military, and against the depersonalizing effects of all that on the students, on the one hand, as well as the big things going on in society and the world, like the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, that people wanted to be involved in. It was all that together.

The university tried to claim that it was all being fomented by "outside agitators." There were some people who weren't students who were involved — and they were welcomed, it was good that they were involved. But it was overwhelmingly students who were involved. This came out, for example, when people were arrested in the big sit-in at the University Administration building. In the aftermath of these arrests, this claim was made: "Oh, these are just ne'er-do-wells, these are just disgruntled students and non-students." But the records showed that overwhelmingly those arrested were students. Then, since they couldn't deny that most of those arrested were students, they claimed that they were students who were failing or getting poor grades anyway, so they were just being troublemakers. In response to this, the FSM committee took a survey of the people who'd been arrested, and among other things asked the grade point average of the students who were arrested. This survey revealed and confirmed that the students who were arrested had higher grade point averages than students in the university overall, and were generally not failing or getting poor grades.

At this time Liz was more politically aware and more of an activist and radical than I was. She had a family background of people who'd been involved with the Communist Party, and even though that ultimately meant revisionism — reformism in the name of communism — it still gave her a broader political outlook than I had at that time. And she had a big influence on me. It was partly the political discussions we had and partly, to be honest, the fact that I was interested in her romantically and she wanted to be very active in the Free Speech Movement, that led me to be so consistently involved.

When we went into Sproul Hall for the big sit-in, and as the sit-in went on, I was trying to help keep the morale up. At one point I went from floor to floor organizing singing to keep the spirits up. But, at the same time, this sit-in lasted several days and I was still a serious student, so I was also trying to keep up with my schoolwork during the sit-in — until at one point I just decided, "Oh, the hell with it," and threw my homework away. I literally took my homework and threw it down the hall. But this also had a larger symbolic meaning, even though I myself wasn't fully aware of it yet.

Another one of those ironies of "straddling two worlds" happened to me at the end of the sit-in, when people were arrested in almost an assembly line fashion. As they were arrested, a lot of people were thrown down the stairs, and the women in particular were grabbed by the hair and thrown down the stairs. I was on the top floor and saw many people brutalized like that and, of course, this was only a few months after I had finally recovered from being sick. So besides being outraged generally, I was also a little worried about what would happen to me if I got thrown down the stairs or otherwise brutalized, especially if I got hit in the area of my kidneys. And as my turn came to be busted, I recognized the cop who was arresting me as someone who had played basketball for a local college. I saw his nameplate said Gray, so I said, "Aren't you the 'Gray' who played basketball for St. Mary's?" And I kind of shrugged my shoulders as if to say, "So what you gonna do?" And he replied, "Sorry, can't do nothin' for you" — and off I went.

Of course, I was very happy to be arrested, to put it that way. I wanted to be part of this, and there was a great camaraderie. When I did this thing with this cop Gray, I wasn't trying to not get arrested, I just didn't want to get thrown down the stairs or hit in my kidneys. But I was very happy to be part of this.

At the same time, my whole involvement in the Free Speech Movement came shortly after my dad was appointed as a judge by the same governor, Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, who sent the police in to arrest us in Sproul Hall. So that kind of captures a sharp contradiction. My dad was saying to me and also to my younger sister, "Look, I just got appointed..." In effect, he was saying: "Don't do anything to screw up my getting established as judge." My sister and I both had the attitude: "Well, we're not gonna go out of our way to make trouble for you, but we're also not gonna hold back from doing the things we think are right or important."

When I did get arrested, it was another case where both of my parents agreed with the principles of free speech, and even agreed generally with what the students were fighting for, but I think were made very nervous, not only in a personal sense but in a larger sense, by the whole turmoil that was being created — the shutting down of the university, in effect, and people getting busted and all that kind of thing, as well as the personal dimension of how this might affect my dad's standing as a judge. On the other hand, as soon as they learned that I got arrested, my parents called up my doctor, since I had just gotten over this very serious illness, and I was still in a precarious position. And my doctor, who I later learned was sympathetic to protests like this, told my parents: "This could be very dangerous for him. Even if he spends just one night on a cold floor, it could kick back in his whole kidney disease." Actually, my doctor felt so strongly about this that he insisted that my dad get me out that night, so that I wouldn't have to spend the night on a cold floor under jail conditions. So I was surprised to get out a little earlier than some of the other people did, though most everybody was out by the next morning or the next day sometime.

To be continued

1. William F. Knowland was nicknamed William "Formosa" Knowland because of his big-time support for Chiang Kai-shek, who had ruled China with the backing of the U.S. and other imperialist powers but had been driven from power in 1949 by the Chinese revolution, led by Mao Tsetung, and forced to retreat to the island of Taiwan, which was formerly called Formosa. [back]

2. For more on the author's views on the Free Speech Movement, see "FSM Reflections — On Becoming a Revolutionary," by Bob Avakian, Revolutionary Worker, #882, November 17, 1996, available at [back]

To be continued

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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Spread Bob Avakian's Memoir Far and Wide!

Revolution is running a series of excerpts from Bob Avakian's memoir, From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist. Previous excerpts appeared in issues #208 through #212 and we continue the series here.

From the description of the book: "Bob Avakian has written a memoir containing three unique but interwoven stories. The first tells of a white middle-class kid growing up in '50s America who goes to an integrated high school and has his world turned around; the second of a young man who overcomes a near-fatal disease and jumps with both feet into the heady swirl of Berkeley in the '60s; and the third of a radical activist who matures into a tempered revolutionary communist leader. If you think about the past or if you urgently care about the future ... if you want to hear a unique voice of utter realism and deep humanity ... and if you dare to have your assumptions challenged and your stereotypes overturned ... then you won't want to miss this book."

We're running these excerpts to encourage everybody to take the memoir out broadly, as part of what they do all the time, and to introduce many more people to Bob Avakian. The memoir gives a real sense of why the Message and Call of the campaign "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have" says of Avakian: "He is a great champion and a great resource for people here, and indeed people all over the world."

Some ways to get the memoir out:


Hear Bob Avakian read sections from his memoir.
Go online to or

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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From "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have A Message, And A Call, From The Revolutionary Communist Party"

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.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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These victims of brutal police cannot speak for themselves, but we can and will

Sergio Hernández: Gunned Down by U.S. Border Patrol in Mexico

Juarez/El Paso: On June 7, 14-year-old junior high student Sergio Hernández was shot in the head and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent. Sergio had left his home in a Juárez barrio to visit and borrow some money for school supplies from his brother. Afterwards, Sergio and a couple of friends went down to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, and were hanging out and fooling around by the river. A Border Patrol agent on the U.S. side of the river chased a small group of men through a hole in a border fence, and began shooting into the Mexican side of the border. The agent claimed he was surrounded and being pelted by rocks—but video evidence showed this to be a complete lie. He fired three times; one of those bullets shattered Sergio's face, entered his brain, and killed him.

Aiyana Stanley-Jones: Killed for Sleeping on a Couch With Her Grandmother

Detroit. In the early morning of May 16, 2010, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7 years old,  was sleeping with her grandmother on a couch in the living room when Detroit police swarmed the house. They were looking for a suspect who lived in another apartment. When multiple hooded police officers converged on the residence after hours of surveillance, a man pleaded with them, saying there were children in the house, as evidenced by toys in the front yard. He was thrown to the ground,  and the police moved on the apartment where Aiyana slept. They first threw a flash grenade through a window, landing on or near Aiyana, burning her severely. Then almost immediately, a cop shot through the front door and the bullet killed Aiyana. After murdering her grandchild in front of her, the cops put Mertilla Jones in chains and locked her up for hours, testing her for drugs and gunpowder. The cop has never been arrested or charged in Aiyana's murder. 

Mertilla Jones recounted the horror: "I seen the light leave outta her eyes, I knew she was dead. She had blood coming out of her mouth. Lord Jesus, I ain't never seen nothing like that in my life. My 7-year-old grandbaby—my beautiful, beautiful gorgeous granddaughter. My goodness, what type of people?! ...What type of people?! You can't trust the police. You can't trust Detroit police."

John T. Williams: Artist Killed for Carrying a Piece of Wood and a Carving Knife

Seattle, WA. On August 30 this year, John T. Williams was walking down a busy street, holding a folding three-inch carving knife and a piece of wood. John was known for his beautiful totem poles and other carvings. He came from a family of wood carvers from the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Dititdaht First Nations people on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Suddenly, a cop jumped out of his car and yelled at John to drop the knife. John was deaf in one ear and, according to reports, suffered from the disease of alcoholism. Within 60 seconds of jumping from his car, the cop shot John four times and killed him. The police tried to justify the murder by claiming John had menacingly come at the cop with his knife. But eyewitnesses exposed this story as a lie. John's killing sparked protest and outrage, including a September 7 action at the site of the killing, called by the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality.

Manuel Jaminez Xum—Shot by Police in 40 Seconds, Left Dead on the Sidewalk for 4 Hours

Los Angeles. On September 5, 2010, Manuel Jaminez Xum (Manuel Jaminez) had spent the morning drinking with some friends where they usually drink outside on 6th Street in the Pico Union district. That afternoon, bicycle cops say they were waved down by someone claiming Manuel was threatening people with a knife. Witnesses saw the police confront Manuel. They saw Manuel barely able to keep his balance. And within 40 seconds, they saw one of the cops—well known in the area for cruelly harassing and ticketing street vendors—shoot Manuel in the head. After killing him, police handcuffed his body, covered it with a cloth and left it on the sidewalk for four hours.

Manuel was a 37-year-old Guatemalan man who had been in the U.S. seven years working as a day laborer, trying to make a better life for his wife and three kids in Guatemala. For three days and nights after his murder, hundreds of protesters took to the streets saying, "We are not animals," and demanding justice. The cop who killed him was called a hero by the mayor.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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Oscar Grant III—Killed by Police for Riding the Train While Black

Oakland: In the early hours of New Year's Day, 2009, Oscar and his friends were coming home from celebrating, doing the right thing—taking public transportation. When the BART train they were on pulled into the Fruitvale Station, a transit police officer boarded it, yelling profanities and ordering 22-year-old Oscar and his friends off the train. As the hundreds of people watched and protested in horror, transit officers surrounded and detained the group of Black and brown youth, punching, yelling at and harassing them; one of them yelled "Bitch Ass Nigger" at Oscar and then another one shot him, point blank in the back as he lay, not resisting, face down on the platform.

Passengers shot videos of the murder which were shown on TV and the Internet and seen by millions. Many protests in Oakland led, for the first time in California history, to murder charges against a cop who killed on duty. The verdict? A slap on the wrist of involuntary manslaughter. The sentencing is set for November 2010, and could result in the convicted cop doing years in prison, or no time at all.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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This Week:

This issue of Revolution features, on page 3, an important editorial announcing the official release of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal). We urge all our readers to study and discuss this editorial and spread it far and wide—and to make plans and follow through on fundraising!

This week... All Out for October 22, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation! This October 22, 2010, the 15th annual national day of protest, needs to be a day marked by determined resistance. It needs to be a day when young people and people of all ages pour into the streets and manifest their outrage at the brutality and murder this system's enforcers inflict on the people. It needs to be a day when the victims have a platform to expose how this official brutality has devastated their lives, and when people from different backgrounds and of different races come together to say NO MORE to these outrages. On page 15, there is a list of the current plans—and stay tuned to for more.

A key tool in building for October 22 demonstrations, which will draw forward many, many people and impact society broadly, will be getting this issue of Revolution out across the country. And within this, special efforts should be made to get this in the hands of high school students, many of whom face police harassment and brutality daily! Popularize the piece by Carl Dix in this issue—as well as the center broadsheet, the Stolen Lives stories, and the letters from prisoners. Funds should be raised as broadly as possible so hundreds of copies of this issue can be distributed—and even passed out—at high schools in important areas of different cities. 

On Wednesday, October 20, be part of getting 5,000 views of the video clip, "Yes there's a conspiracy... to get the cops off" from Bob Avakian's talk, Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About. Go to for the clip. Repost it on Facebook, send links to all your friends and ask your friends to do the same. As people organize for the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality on October 22, be part of getting out the truth about this system, and introducing people to the leader of the movement for revolution, Bob Avakian.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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Interview with Debra Sweet, Director of World Can't Wait:

Crimes Are Crimes

Revolution: World Can't Wait has been involved in the "Crimes Are Crimes No Matter Who Does Them" statement which was recently published in the New York Times. Tell us about that.

Debra Sweet: In April we learned that Barack Obama had given an order for the targeted killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi, a man with U.S. citizenship reported to be in Yemen. This was an extremely ominous instance of an order made public prior to a killing, without charges or legal process. This was the moment to call attention to the terrible direction the Obama administration is going, including the increase in drone strikes in Pakistan; the refusal to investigate the civilian killings in Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. military with the surge of troops, leaked by Wikileaks.

Quite quickly, World Can't Wait, with the help of others, put together "Crimes are Crimes—No Matter Who Does Them." Cornel West and Cindy Sheehan signed immediately, joined by actors Mark Ruffalo and James Cromwell, writer Chris Hedges, and Noam Chomsky. We knew there were many people who supported Obama, but were beginning to seriously question or speak out against the expansion of the wars, and people needed to hear people they admire speak out, together.

This was a big and bold step. The ad was designed with mugshots of Bush and Obama, with the implication that war crimes are being continued. We very much wanted to go into the New York Times at that time, but wanted to get it in front of more signers and donors, so we published in The New York Review of Books and The Nation in May. Revolution picked it up, as did The Humanist. In June, Rolling Stone published a piece on General Stanley McChrystal, who was then running Obama's war in Afghanistan. Obama fired him, and as quickly as we could, we put the "Crimes are Crimes" statement in Rolling Stone online, where thousands of active-duty military were going online to see the story. We heard from hundreds of people who were moved by the statement, including because they saw the names of people who they deeply respect, together, "uniting to challenge these terrible crimes by a new president," as a donor wrote.

Two thousand people signed the statement online, and donated enough to pay for all these ads when Wikileaks released a trove of U.S. military reports, leaked from the inside, on their standard operating procedures occupying Afghanistan. We began looking at the ninth anniversary of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, and the great need to see an ANTI-war statement in the New York Times, and took a further leap in printing the ad on the exact anniversary of the war, October 7.

Revolution: What kind of responses have you gotten off of the publication of the statement in the New York Times? You were saying that you ran up against people being immobilized politically because of the upcoming election?

Debra Sweet: As much joy as it gave many of the signers to see it in the Times—people called me saying they screamed out loud when they saw it—we didn't get nearly the response to this one that we got to the same statement in May and June. I think we ran straight up against the dynamic that many people who may have agreed with the content of the statement are also influenced by stern appeals from the Democratic Party and Obama himself—people have told us, "You can't say that" about Obama, because the right wing is already too strong.

Revolution: How do you respond to that?

Debra Sweet: We must end the complicity of silence. Calling crimes out as crimes is the responsibility of anyone who sees, or has the basis to see, what they are.

And we won't stop. Ethan McCord—a courageous veteran of the unit involved in the incident captured in the Wikileaks video footage from 2007 showing a U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed 12 Iraqi civilians—is speaking out against the Army's killing of civilians. World Can't Wait is webcasting a major event Wednesday, October 20, called "Stop the Crimes of Your Government: Collateral Murder & Targeted Assassination." Ethan McCord will speak on resisting the standard operating procedure of the U.S. military in occupying Iraq, from his experience as a resister who was told to "get the sand out of your vagina" when he complained about the Collateral Murder incident. Pardiss Kebriaei, a lawyer suing the Obama administration over the targeted assassination order, will go into the background of that case, and the need to stop the precedent the government is attempting to set.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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"Berkeley Says No to Torture"

During October 10-16, the largest gathering of anti-torture experts and activists since the U.S. began its "war on terror" nine years ago came together for a week of protests, forums, cultural performances, and other events called "Berkeley Says No to Torture" ( The week of conscience brought together the voices and actions of many different political, legal, and campus groups and individuals from various walks of life. In late September, the Berkeley City Council unanimously passed a resolution backing the anti-torture week.

Debra Sweet, Director of World Can't Wait, told Revolution: "Berkeley Says No to Torture Week happened in a very important context. John Yoo, the law professor who wrote the legal justification for the Bush regime's 'enhanced interrogation' practices, teaches at UC Berkeley's law school (Boalt Hall). The memos he wrote, giving the CIA and the military legal cover to carry out torture, are now public. And the testimony by those who were tortured are known. Yoo has said that an American president may torture, or bomb whole countries, based on executive authority. If any place in the country has the basis to know they have a war criminal in their midst, and demand that criminal be disbarred, prosecuted, and lose his position, it's Berkeley and the University of California. World Can't Wait, along with the Boalt Alliance to Abolish Torture, chapters of the Progressive Democrats of America, Code Pink, and the National Lawyers Guild came together to produce 17 events over a week with a focus against torture and indefinite detention, Guantánamo, and the secret prisons in Bagram, Afghanistan."

Cynthia Papermaster, a UC Berkeley alumna, Code Pink activist, and director of the National Accountability Action Network, told the UC Berkeley campus paper, the Daily Cal, "(Torture) has not ended with Obama coming into office. We are trying to target the whole community, and actually the whole country with our message. We hope to inspire other communities to do their own non-torture events and we've chosen to hold many events on or around campus as we want to give Cal students an opportunity to express their outrage at the lack of accountability for torture carried out in our name."

One of those events was "The Giant John Yoo Debate" in front of Boalt Hall on Tuesday night. Investigative journalist Andy Worthington (author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America's Illegal Prison), a participant in the anti-torture week, reported on his blog: "'The Giant John Yoo Debate' involved a range of passionate and articulate experts, led by Sharon Adams of the National Lawyers Guild (San Francisco), and including peace activist Cindy Sheehan, Shahid Buttar of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Ann Fagan Ginger of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, and author and activist Larry Everest dissecting and demolishing John Yoo's arguments for torture and for the President's supposedly unfettered powers as Commander-in-Chief in wartime, which, in the absence of Yoo himself, were culled from his rare filmed appearances (before Congress, for example) and projected onto the wall of Boalt Hall."

Worthington described a powerful moment in the debate: "...after responding to one of Yoo's many risible arguments, [a law student] returned to the mike to make a point of saying how many UC Berkeley students privately think that he should be prosecuted, but are afraid to speak out. It was a brave move, and one that saw this young man cross over from a safety zone to a seemingly more vulnerable place, where those who speak truth to power are aware that someone might notice, but I hope that he is reassured that speaking out openly about injustice is both empowering and necessary, and I also hope that ripples from the debate cause more students to find that they are thinking twice about John Yoo, and, from those small doubts, find themselves unwilling to accept the presence on their campus and in their university of a man who not only butchered the law to deliver illegal advice to his political masters, but who also disgraces the title of 'law professor,' when the sign on his door should read 'war criminal.'"

Among the other events during the week were:

For more on the Berkeley Says No to Torture Week, go online to and to Andy Worthington's site at

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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"Ghetto-American" Writes from Prison:

Police Brutality, Crime, and "Systematic Oppression"

Editor's Note: The following is a letter from a prisoner. We greatly appreciate receiving these letters and encourage prisoners to keep sending correspondence. The views expressed in letters from prisoners are those of the writers, and not those of Revolution.

I'm writing to you regarding the "National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation" to share my personal experience and views. First however, thanks to both PRLF and the Revolutionary Communist Party for taking such a bold stance against the enemies of true freedom, justice and equality. Thanks for providing a path to the very one thing that those of us who've been unfortunate enough to have suffered the blunt and harsher sides of this system seem to be in short supply of—hope.

As a product of the "Ghetto American" inner city. I've known hopelessness and despair intimately ever since I could count the number of Mommy's hypodermic needles I'd find stashed in the house. Sadly, I was just too young and too naïve to understand the staggering weight of systematic oppression that made her want to exchange her reality—troubled as it was—for the kind of peace and happiness that was induced chemically and intravenously. For $30 at a time, my mother would drift away, leaving my little sister and I to deal with the real world alone.

So we were raised primarily by our grandmother, the most loving and compassionate woman I've known, who believed staunchly in "the Lord" and the pretty packaging America presents itself in. For me, there wasn't a greater presence in my life than her, so imagine the pain, shock and finally rage I experienced as a 12-year-old who witnessed a police officer brutally fling my loving grandmother to the floor of her kitchen as they moved in to take one of her sons in for violating parole. My uncle had been argumentative, not wanting to go to jail, so one of the officers wrapped an arm around his throat and began to squeeze firmly upon it. My grandmother, who had been silent through most of the intrusion into our home, could suddenly not stand it anymore. Maybe it was because about a year earlier we'd attended the funeral of my sister's uncle who had been choked to death by a cop. She stepped in front of the officers who were then forcefully moving my uncle toward the door, and cried, "Y'all stop choking that boy!" She was then promptly dumped on the floor and then, to add further insult to injury, charged some bogus misdemeanor and made to spend a night in jail while we were hustled over to my granddad's house. The next day, after she was released, all she said was, "The girls were so nice to me and made sure I was alright."

My grandmother always stressed to me the importance of achieving a good education and would tell me how she knew I'd be the first of our immediate family members to receive a high school diploma. I mean she would really speak of me getting that diploma like it was a Master's degree! It wasn't until I was much older that I considered her as a person other than my grandma, who'd grown up as a Black female in the south during the tumultuous '40s and '50s, when the possibility of a "good education" seemed as fantastical as piloting a space ship to Mars.

When I was promoted to Middle School, because of this, my grandma made sure I was placed in a "good school," one in which there were just as many white students, if not more, than little Black ones, the way the schools had been for me up until that point. In my first year at Middle School, as a 6th grader, a teacher who had been vindictive and spiteful to me from the start, recommended me to be placed in a class for the "emotionally handicapped" and that I be placed upon a psychotropic medication for bipolarism. My grandma, only wanting me to continue to be accepted at this school, promptly agreed to the arrangement.

From then on I was placed in a class where I would remain for my entire three years in Middle School that contained us kids who were social misfits and scholastic pariahs in which we, the outcasted and ostracized, came to revel in. We were given easy work and everyone expected us to act as morons, so we usually did. There was a brief moment during my first year at high school where I attempted to do normal classes like everyone else, but it proved to be too much effort for me and soon I was signed back into the comforting confines of the E.H. class where I remained until my weary grandmother signed me out of school completely. She had had to go with me in front of the school board every year since 6th grade to talk to school officials into letting her emotionally dysfunctional grandson back into their school until she grew tired of it. At 16 years old, I became an official high school dropout.

Since I'd become so resistant to being educated, my grandma surmised that it was time I go out and earn myself a living, i.e., by getting an actual job to which I agreed—not just because I was under her roof, but because it did make sense to me. Between us three—she, my little sister, and I—the household lacked a breadwinner for we existed simply on grandma's disability check and a meager state-provided child support check. Almost immediately I was hired as a laborer for a construction crew of brick masons and began to pay my grandma $40 weekly while I blew the rest on expensive clothes and weed. Meanwhile, my sister had become so disruptive in school she was court-ordered into a group home whereupon she swiftly escaped. I impregnated a girlfriend and all the time, hope was slowly leaking, bleeding out of my grandma before my unseeing eyes.

I was content with our dysfunctional existence, or at least accepting of it. Around us, there seemed to be much of the same thing going on with everyone, with the odd exceptions here and there but they were nearly invisible. Soon, I was abruptly laid off from work for unknown reasons (but probably because the boss, or his son, had gotten word of how I used to smoke weed during lunch breaks, an increasing habit of mine at the time) and being out of work, as well as out of school at 17 was, for me, not as ideal as you'd think. I grew sullen and depressed and got into minor confrontations with other youth in my neighborhood.

One day my cousin came up with a scheme to rob someone to which I reluctantly agreed. However, during the commission of the crime, my cousin shot and killed the person and with much ceremony—to add to my grandmother's humiliation—we were both charged with Murder and Armed Robbery, under the then-new law aptly titled "The Hands of One is the Hands of All." I pled to 28 years, while my cousin went to trial and received Life plus 30 years in the end.

The hands of one is the hands of all. This is also the charge I cite against my country because surely there were more unseen hands on the trigger that killed that man. Do I think that my cousin and I were wrong? Undoubtedly so. BUT. So were those who were charged with the responsibility of ensuring our proper growth and development as children. From the age of 12, when I was given up on and placed in E.H. (Emotionally Handicapped) class, until the commission of my crime, my path became certain to lead to the penitentiary. I feel strongly now that had I known what I was up against, had I had some kind of preparedness, I would have been more equipped to take on the challenges of American society, especially those specifically aimed at us "Ghetto Americans."

Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to be heard and keep up the good work.

Sincerely, your brother in the struggle.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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NYPD Stop-and-Frisk:
Massive Injustice Against the People That Must Be STOPPED

In New York City, on the day you are reading this, the police will stop almost 2,000 people and subject them to humiliating questioning and searches. Nine out of ten people stopped will be Black and Latino. Police will use force against one of four people they stop—for example, drawing a weapon or throwing someone to the ground. And as any young person of color in a major U.S. city knows, such an encounter can turn deadly, any day or any minute.

This is not "a few bad cops" or "poor training." It is both systematic and systemic. There have been almost 3,000,000 of these stops in New York City between 2006 and 2009 and there will be more than 600,000 stops in 2010. The police themselves say that more than 90 percent of those stopped have not violated any laws. And New York City's "Stop and Frisk" is a model for the whole country.

This program is unjust—and it violates the system's own laws: The U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights and supposedly foundational to the American rule of law, protects against "unwarranted search and seizure" (that is, unreasonable search and arrest).

To answer why this goes on, you have to look at the structures of society that the police are enforcing. Tens of millions of people in this "land of the free" are locked into a life of inferior schools, bad housing, terrible and often non-existent health care, systematic discrimination in jobs and credit and every other sphere of society. These tens of millions of people are blamed for the ills of society. It is these practices—and the system that feeds off and needs these practices—that the police are actually serving and protecting.

Living in constant terror of the illegitimate abuse and violence of the police should never be accepted.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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"The vast potential that is locked behind these prison walls"

Prisoner Writes on Gregory

Editor's Note: The following is a letter from a prisoner. We greatly appreciate receiving these letters and encourage prisoners to keep sending correspondence. The views expressed in letters from prisoners are those of the writers, and not those of Revolution.

This is an excerpt from a letter from a prisoner who writes about the recent unjust conviction of a young revolutionary, Gregory Koger (for background on the case, see "A Grave Injustice Has Been Perpetrated..." and "Judge Slams Videographer with 300 Days in Jail" in Revolution issue #211 [September 12, 2010] and #212 [September 26, 2010].


Dollar-a-Day PRLF Donation for Every Day of Gregory's Unjust Sentence

In response to the outrageous conviction and sentence of Gregory Koger, a Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) supporter was inspired to donate a dollar for every day of Gregory's sentence ($300):

"Gregory should definitely know how inspiring he is. He has a lot of heart and the will to dedicate himself to the service of humanity. I heard of how the judge looked down at him and declared that he had a violent nature and needed to be locked up, in the literal face of all those who had come in person to support him, and in the metaphorical face of all those (including me) watching from afar, many of whom had sent personal statements of their own. I mainly want to challenge the Judge's words in a concrete way. I decided to pledge $1 to Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund for each day he was sentenced to, $300. And I'm asking others to try to contribute something also. Because it is such an outrage. Think if it could snowball, think what that would mean to everyone, to Gregory and all the prisoners that will be reached."

Also please view Gregory's eloquent appeal to "Adopt a Subscription" to Revolution for a prisoner, which can be read at or seen at: Please give a generous donation and consider becoming a monthly sustainer.

I'm writing to comment on the article in the last Revolution newspaper titled: "A Grave Injustice Has Been Perpetrated...Free Gregory! No Jail Time!" The fact that Gregory had went from being a "common" criminal—who'd once unknowingly engaged in "class suicide" against himself and the community, by perpetrating a bourgeois dog-eat-dog world outlook—to transforming that world outlook to one of a revolutionary proletarian kind, speaks to the vast potential that is locked behind these prison walls.

As a proletarian revolutionary myself, who's been incarcerated for the past twelve years since I was nineteen, I applaud the fact that he spent his time in prison developing his consciousness to the extent that he can now say that: "Now my life is dedicated to the struggle to end all exploitation and oppression and getting to a world where people contribute what they can to society and get back what they need to live a life worthy of human beings."

That statement by Gregory reminds me of a quote by Mao in which he said, "The correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line decides everything."

Not only does it decide everything in regards to how we define our true class interest, our relation to the proletariat class (domestically and abroad), and our world outlook, it also decides how the bourgeois ruling class defines its relation towards us. As Mao said, "Class struggle is an objective reality independent of man's will. That is to say, class struggle is inevitable."

No matter if we're conscious of our true class interest or not, the way we go about our lives, the content of our world outlook, and the values we live by, will either be a proletarian line or a bourgeois one—again, no matter if we're conscious of it or not. Nevertheless, it's only when we become conscious of our proletarian responsibility (by taking up the proletarian line consciously)—as Gregory had done—that we truly become a revolutionary threat to the status quo of our misery. Why, one might ask? Well, because the person, who consciously embodies the proletarian line, represents in him or herself, the socialist man, the socialist woman, and socialist society in negation of the bourgeois man, bourgeois woman, and bourgeois society of today. This is truly the capitalist's greatest fear, since he finds in such a person no future of himself, in him or her—at least not within his capitalist form and content today.

The injustice that has recently been perpetrated against Gregory is nothing more than a concentrated expression of this class struggle. Just as we have been successfully combating the Revolution newspaper ban in California, we must stand behind this comrade until we can successfully claim another tactical victory. It'll show our resolve and commitment to those leaving prison, who've chosen to dedicate their lives to their true class interest, while strengthening and deepening the overall movement.

In addition, I believe Gregory's case also provides an opportunity for us on the inside to learn more about this comrade in Revolution newspaper—with the aim of deepening the commitment of those behind the walls...

P.S. Thanks again for sending me And Mao Makes Five. More of us need to understand the importance and the significance of The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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The Culture That Killed Tyler Clementi

by Sunsara Taylor

Editor's note: On October 10, New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino told Orthodox Jewish leaders, "I don't want [children] to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option.  It isn't." Paladino claimed, "That's not how God created us." On October 14, the Obama Justice Department appealed a court ruling that struck down the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Obama's move defended officially enforced discrimination against lesbians and gays in the military. In early October, there were highly publicized arrests of young Latino men in the Bronx accused of beating and raping three other young men they suspected of being gay. The following is a correspondence from Revolution writer Sunsara Taylor that was received and posted online at before these events. It speaks to the whole culture and institutionalization of bigotry these events represent, as well as other questions.

"Think what it means that today for men there is no insult that hits harder than being called a 'pussy' or a 'fag.' Now, imagine a day when people look back at today's restrictive notions of gender—of what it is to be a 'man' and what it is to be a 'woman'—as mind-boggling absurdities of humanity's oppressive past."

From the special issue of Revolution, "Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity"

By now, the events leading up to the suicide of Tyler Clementi, a gay student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, have been widely reported. On September 19, Tyler asked his roommate, Dharun Ravi, to stay out as he was having a private guest. Not long afterwards, Ravi sent a message out over Twitter, "Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay." Then, Ravi streamed Tyler's intimate encounter live over the internet. Two days later, Ravi sent another message about Tyler, "Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes, it's happening again."

That same day, discussing his reaction to this online, Tyler wrote: "And so I feel like it was 'look at what a fag my roommate is...' Other people have commented on his profile with things like 'how did you manage to go back in there?' and 'are you ok?' and the fact that the people he was with saw my making out with a guy as the scandal whereas I mean come on... he was SPYING ON ME ... do they see something wrong with this?"

After that, Tyler Clementi posted on Facebook, "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry."

For three days, Tyler had been wrestling with how to respond to the invasion of his privacy, the streaming of his sexual encounter, and the ridiculing of his sexual orientation by his college roommate and others online. But for 18 years, he had been wrestling with how to live in a society that makes almost no allowances for non-conformity and in a million ways—grotesque as well as subtle—conveyed hostility to the most intimate and vulnerable elements of his being.

The two students involved in filming and sharing Tyler's private moments, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, have become the subject of great debate. Many, including the authorities and news media, have called for criminal charges. And many—from hypocritical moralizers to genuinely concerned students, gay rights groups and others—are discussing their reprehensible behavior. Certainly Ravi and Wei—who traded in society's anti-gay stigmas for momentary popularity and turned the invasions of Tyler's privacy into sport—were brutally wrong.

But this horrific death cannot be explained by focusing narrowly on two college freshmen. The even more damning truth is that their behavior was completely in step with the dominant culture of homophobia, cruelty, and destruction of privacy.

A Culture of Bigotry and an Epidemic of Gay Teen Suicide

On the various online memorial pages for Tyler, on Facebook and YouTube, while there is, in the main, an outpouring of support and caring, there are also comments condemning Tyler and other gay people to hell, stating that homosexuality is a "sin" and even going so far as to celebrate Tyler taking his own life. This is typical.

While one of the most favorable shifts in the culture in recent decades has been the growing acceptance of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgendered people, this has developed in stark and sharp contrast to the deeply entrenched, and increasingly vitriolic and politically mobilized, homophobic condemnation and attacks.

The polarization is extreme and intensifying. There are more openly gay people in the media, in politics, in entertainment than ever before, but gay people are still a staple joke of sitcoms, television, radio DJs and stand-up comedians. Growing numbers support full equality and acceptance of gays, but it is still the case that by law the majority of states deny gays the fundamental right to marry the person they fall in love with, to visit their partner's bedside as they are dying, or to share custody of their own children. And it is still far from uncommon to hear prominent senators equate homosexuality with bestiality or high-watt preachers insist that homosexuality is a "sin" or an "illness" in need of a "cure."

This polarization is not merely taking place between two sections of the people. At every level, the forces of tradition and of power—from the major molders of public opinion, to the keepers of traditional Christianity and faith, to the highest levels of courts, legislature and executive—have come down against accepting the full humanity of gays. Let us not forget that even the "great progressive" President Obama not only opposed gay marriage but also invited Rick Warren—the bigoted biblical literalist who played a big role in banning gay marriage in California and who has ties to international forces determined to execute all gays—to deliver his 2008 inaugural invocation.

All this gives force and backing to the most backwards impulses among the people and contributes to a situation where anti-gay jokes, anti-gay bullying, and anti-gay violence are so widespread that gay teen suicides are commonplace. More than 85 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students report being harassed because of their sexual or gender identity and more than 20 percent report being physically attacked.

The day after Tyler's suicide, Asher Brown, a 13-year-old living in Houston, Texas, shot himself in the head in his family's home. Just a few days before that, Seth Walsh, also 13, hung himself in his backyard in California. And just over a week before that, Billy Lucas, age 15, hung himself in a barn in Indiana. All of them had been the victims of anti-gay bullying.

At a youth meeting held last week at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, 15 of the 16 teenagers present admitted that they had thought about killing themselves. As one put it, "I didn't want to be there anymore. I'd rather just not wake up. I felt like I was some kind of mistake or a mess-up."

The Destruction of Intimacy and the End of Privacy

Friends of Dharun Ravi have told the media that he wasn't particularly homophobic, that he was just playing a prank, and that he would have done the same thing had his roommate brought home a female. Whether or not that is true, this line of "defense" points to another extremely disturbing feature of today's culture. It seems a whole generation has been given the idea that moments of intimacy are nothing more than things to be caught on film, ridiculed, and traded for social status.

This generation has been reared on self-commodification and increasingly violent and degrading pornography. They've come of age in a world where people's careers are "made" if they are able to get "just the right shot" up a young celebrity's skirt as she steps out of a limo. They've been shaped by a culture that demands female celebrities bare all—through a "leaked" sex tape or a racy video—in order to remain relevant past their pre-teens. They are assaulted every day by drug store magazines, gossip channels, websites, and mainstream "news stories" trading in the trivial, in mass shamings and in voyeuristic cruelty celebrating other's pains and problems.

All this has had the effect of numbing huge numbers of this generation of the ability to empathize with others and robbing them of the idea that vulnerability, closeness, and privacy have any role to play in sexual relations.

A Culture of Consumerism, Conformity and Cruelty

Much speculation has begun about how much blame to place on social media like Facebook and Twitter. On the one hand, the internet has contributed to breaking down the isolation of gay youth in rural areas. But at the same time, it has become the site for intensifying bigotry and cyberbullying.

The reality is that while technology—in the abstract and in itself—is neutral, it does not exist in a vacuum. All innovations and technology get filtered through the dominant economic relations, the political power structure, and the culture of a society. Even the kinds of technology that get produced, invested in, and catch on, reflect the larger society and its values.

This means that in a truly liberated society—one in which revolution has been made and a new state and system established—the internet could be part of stoking intellectual ferment, and people learning from each other more broadly. But in this society—along with, and as a part of, being driven by the capitalist profit motive—the internet has become an exponentially expanding superhighway of everything cruel, vapid and debasing in this culture.

A driving force in the expansion of internet technology—including the pervasiveness of high-speed internet/cable in people's homes, the capacity to stream live video, and the availability of secret webcams—has been pornography, notable for its escalating violence and degradation of women and girls. Another huge expanse has been dedicated to material consumption—online shopping, searching for "great deals," comparing prices and bidding on products.

Even the technology that has been devoted to developing "social networks" is marked by—and reinforces—the superficiality, segregation and the atomization of our times. Really, what is the texture and depth of "friends" who are often no more than onscreen avatars? What deep value is there to "communication" that is reduced to 140 characters? What becomes of emotions when they are replaced with cartoon-face "emoticons"? What of people's individuality when it is reduced to a set of answers to standard profile questions?

While there are positive countervailing trends, such forms of "social media" almost guarantee that superficiality and alienation will dominate. Developing real relationships—at least ones that do not merely reinforce existing social cliques, stereotypes and divisions—requires engaging at a pace and a depth that allows exploration, boundary-stretching, and nuance. Instead, people get flattened out, generalized, and robbed of the room for uncertainty and exploration. Critical thinking, curiosity and emotional empathy get snuffed out. All this magnifies the larger societal tendency to reduce a whole section of youth into a despised stereotype; where being gay—or denying being gay or repressing the desire to experiment—is the only characteristic allowed to define them.

Needed: A Culture of Revolt against This Revolting Culture

As politicians and pundits debate whether Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei should face charges of manslaughter, it seems doubtful they could have fully comprehended the weight and potential repercussions of their actions. However, there is absolutely NO QUESTION that this society and this culture will continue to generate the kind of deep pain, alienation, and sorrow that leads gay youth to take their lives at a rate three to four times that of others.

As you read this, there are gay youth in their bedrooms, on the internet, in their churches, at their schools. They are being bullied, humiliated, and picked on. They are being denied the space to even figure out who they are, what they feel, and how they want to love. They are alone and overwhelmed. They are questioning whether the hurt and the shame will ever go away. They are wondering what it is that has made them the objects of such contempt. They are doubting whether there is—or ever will be—any place for them on this planet.

What they don't yet understand is that it is not them, but this putrid culture, this alienating society and its brutal ignorance that is worthy of contempt. What they don't yet understand is that it is not them, but this system that has long outlived its usefulness. What they do not yet understand is that there is a meaningful and urgent role to play now—for everyone who refuses to internalize the hatred aimed at them for failing to conform and instead turns their anger against its source, towards building resistance and, ultimately, making revolution to put an end to this system, to its culture and its crimes.

There is an urgent need right now for radical revulsion against everything that went into the suicide of Tyler Clementi.

Enough with being atomized, segregated, numbed out and dumbed down. Its time to get out from behind the computer screens and into the schools and the streets and into people's faces. The world is too big, the problems in need of solving are too great, the ideas worth engaging are too stimulating, the potential of what can be wrenched out for humanity through revolution is too beautiful and invigorating to stay caught up in bigotry or gossip, small-mindedness or self-absorption. It is necessary NOW to forge a different and far better morality and culture—where people are related to as full human beings, not reduced down to their sexual orientation or gender, the part of the world they were born in or what language they speak, the color of their skin or the lies this system propagates about them. Where trading on bigotry is looked down upon, but having the courage to speak out against it is valued and supported. Where anti-gay laws and rulings are fiercely opposed through visible resistance, not met with compromise or demobilizing calls for "common ground." Where privacy is defended and intruding upon it is opposed. Where friendships and bonds—including sexual relations and intimacy—are based not on "getting over" or "getting popular," but on getting to know the other person as a full human being, based on mutual respect and equality, with room for exploration and genuine trust. Where people learn from each other and transform themselves in the process of transforming the world. Where this whole revolting culture is challenged with an utterly unapologetic, totally defiant, and wildly creative culture of revolt!

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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Help get 5,000 views of BOB AVAKIAN's video, "YES THERE'S A CONSPIRACY, TO GET THE COPS OFF"

On October 20, be part of getting 5,000 views of this video clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About.

On October 20 watch and spread this clip from Bob Avakian as people organize across the country for October 22, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.

"Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off" (

[Spanish: Sí, hay una conspiración para que siempre salgan impunes los policías. (]

Getting this clip out far and wide is a part of kicking off wider debate and understanding about the role of the brutal police in this society, and the reality that far from being the misdeeds of a "few bad apples," police brutality and the lockdown of millions of Black and other oppressed people is about keeping a whole oppressive system in place. This should spur the activity and participation in this needed day of protest to say NO to police brutality, and to introduce people to the leader of a movement for revolution to bring about a radically different system.

Ways you can be part of this 24-hour campaign to spread THIS clip STARTING NOW:

Facebook: Post the clip to your wall and to your friends' pages. Post it in various Facebook groups and fan pages for various causes (anti-racism, immigrant rights, anti-war, etc.). Post this announcement as a Note and tag several friends. Check for frequent updates.

Twitter: ReTweet the tweets from throughout the day, write your own reasons for sharing the clip, and encourage all your friends and followers to do the same.

YouTube: Favorite and like the video clips. Write about it on your friends' walls, and send the link to the clip in messages. Subscribe to

Via email: Email the link to the clip to friends and email lists, and encourage people to forward it to their friends and lists!

Text: Send text messages: "Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off" Watch this clip, FWD this text.

Blogs: If you've got a blog, post it there, and if you have any connections to widely read bloggers, encourage them to post it to their blogs as well.

On Internet discussion sites: Post the link in political and cultural discussion forums...and get the discussion going!

Email with any other ideas you have for reaching this goal—5,000 views on Wednesday, October 20.

Also check out "The police, Black youth, and what kind of system is this?" [] and get into the full Revolution talk at

The REVOLUTION is real. Watch it. Spread it.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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Prisoner Letter on the Upcoming October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation

The following is a letter from a prisoner. We greatly appreciate receiving these letters and encourage prisoners to keep sending correspondence. The views expressed in letters from prisoners are those of the writers, and not those of Revolution.

Dear Friends:

The upcoming National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation is a day I await with much delight. This day is very endearing to me as I am a product of this war on poor people.

The economically depressed barrios I was born and raised in were the perfect hunting grounds for the white supremacist claiming to "protect and serve" while chasing down poor people like runaway slaves. Growing up, the brutalization from so called "law enforcement" was constant and consistent out in society and incarceration was never an interruption of the horror. My "meet and greet" with the police was before I was even school age, watching my front door get kicked off the hinges and my uncle get beat unconscious for a suspected property crimes case.

Growing up in these oppressed conditions this brutalization becomes the norm for many and is seen as "the way it is." But every now and then a person reach a tipping point and rebel to this dehumanization and rise up in many ways. The police brutality that millions face in this country does real damage to many. It is a tool to a much bigger situation, police terror is unleashed as a tool of capitalism-Imperialism in this country. It is designed to keep poor people in "their place," to instill fear and break the will and spirit of a colonized people, of a potentially revolutionary base of support. This is why in any city in America where you find the biggest concentration of poor Latino and Black people, you'll also find the highest rate of not only police brutality, but of these people of color being murdered by police in these areas. The reason is that these poor people of color are the backbone of a future Revolution in this country. Poor people live in a police state in this country as anytime we leave our front door we know we may not come back. Prison or morgue awaits us any time we go out in public, whether to go to work or simply a walk to the park. Yet we get labeled as criminals and street terrorists when we make any act of defiance or resistance to the brutality we face in this society!

Growing up as "state raised" I have learned more from other oppressed people about the police brutality and criminalization of poor people than I ever learned from any textbook. And part of what I learned from talking with people, poor imprisoned people whether they were Latino, Black, Asian, white or native was that just as the slaves of old had rejected the entire institute of slavery when they refused the whip whether by running away or self defense, so too had many imprisoned (neo slave) rejected the entire system of capitalism and this criminalization of a generation when an act of defiance or will to live led one to end up incarcerated. For many these small acts that led to incarceration were in fact acts of poor peoples' struggles for liberation. The Ruling Class understands this and respond by employing laws such as the three strikes law where stealing a slice of bread warrants a neo slave to life in a U.S. Dungeon.

As I stated above police brutality is a tool, as the first line of defense for capitalism-Imperialism is the police who occupy Barrios and Ghettos. The triple threat that all Barrio and Ghetto dwellers face from the cradle to the grave is poverty, police assault/murder and prison. These are all elements of an occupied war zone, this is life for the oppressed nations in America.

Just as the people of Palestine live under the constant threat, poor people in America also understand that police in this country will not answer from the courts for any action taken against poor people. I have had friends shot and killed by police, one in the back while he was running unarmed away from his hunter and still no prosecution by the courts.

The last time I was on the prison general population I began to file a law suit against the prison guards for refusing to give prisoners yard time outside our cells. This brought repression in the form of harassment, having my cell turned upside down, mail undelivered or missing pages, phone calls cut off "mysteriously" and outright threats. When I continued with my legal work, I was ambushed by guards and Rodney Kinged where I was beaten so bad I urinated blood for a week and then charged for fighting them! This was years ago and I have been in the hole ever since with false allegations piled on top of each other to keep me housed in the hole. Police Brutality does not discriminate to any areas where the poor reside, it is an equal opportunity abuser.

But this is the difference between a capitalist society that relies on such methods to keep its system intact and that of a socialist society. In Mao's China prison guards were happy to work in prisons as they knew by working to educate prisoners they were building the Revolution. The prison cells were all stocked with revolutionary books and prisoners would have study circles every day where they would discuss revolutionary theory and political line. Brutality was not an issue by the jailers as they knew these prisoners would be released and be helping to build the Revolution as well. It was a lively time for all people in society, even prisoners. The 2+ million languishing in U.S. gulags suffer a very different fate.

This criminalization of a generation is in all honesty a criminalization of a poor generation as this stepped up police activity is rarely seen in suburbs or gated communities. Hyper policing is mainly targeting the inner cities where large concentrations of poor reside and although the intensity to lock up young people may have increased, the reasons for actions such as there have been here since the birth of the capitalist system on these shores. Over 500 years ago there was the invasion of what is now Mexico where the native populations' males were enchained and literally branded with the letter "P" for prisoner or his owner's name on his cheek. We also seen the African kidnapped slaves brought to America and branded for the same reason as cattle. We seen during the McCarthy era where people were "branded" with the word communist and were locked up, fired from jobs, etc.

Today we are seeing this same "branding" occur with labels such as "terrorist", gang member and now ex-felon to create the same outcome. The outcome is control. Those who this rotten system feels most threatened from will always be labeled and targeted to control. The so-called Justice system, i.e., the Courts are not designed for poor people of color. A look at all the pictures at this October 22nd protest of those murdered by police and how those responsible have gone unprosecuted shows what we are really up against. It is not a game, this is a war on poor people.

Over 200 years ago the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in "The Social Contract" that: "In truth, laws are always useful to those with possessions and harmful to those who have nothing." Of course, Rousseau wrote these words before any Socialist society was ever created so this statement was obviously written about the capitalist system. I think we see this playing out here in America where the laws are used to uphold the grip of the Ruling Class while at the same time repressing the have nots.

We recently seen it happen when comrade Gregory was arrested for simply holding a camera. The state somehow twisted up the actions of a person simply doing something that is not only legal but supposedly written in the U.S. Constitution, and yet somehow a judge who claims to practice blind justice and all that, criminalizes this young man. This I am sure was a shock to many, a great injustice as it very well is. Yet for a large portion of the U.S. population this is part of life. So when I first heard of the "Bear Witness" event I thought it's almost in my mind and I know many will agree, that it's almost like asking someone to recall every other day or every week of their life, as police brutality is for many a way of life.

As the article "Stop and Frisk" pointed out 2,000 arbitrary stops in New York City in one day - to see these numbers is pretty crazy. It is crazy as Revolution pointed out that nine out of ten of the people stopped will be Black and Latino. It is also crazy that with these disproportionate numbers we are not hearing more about this targeting of Black and Brown people from news media in this country and it is because the craziness is designed by the society we live in and nobody will right these wrongs but us! Nobody will raise these injustices in print via Independent Press such as Revolution newspaper but us! And nobody will eventually liberate humanity but us! So this October 22nd know that many are in unity with you to end this madness. Even those buried alive in America's dungeons are raising clenched fists with nothing to lose, so fight the power!

With unity,

P.S. Please send me the new Constitution [for the New Socialist Republic of North America (Draft Proposal)] publication when possible.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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If the police have... sweated you at school, dogged you in the streets, hit on you or otherwise sexually harassed you, or ... if the police have racially profiled, "stopped and frisked," threatened, tasered or brutalized you or any member of your family, ...if the police have killed friends or family.

Write us!!! Tell your story.
Revolution c/o RCP Publications,
Box 3486, Merchandise Mart,
Chicago, IL 60654-0486


Views of those who contribute to "Bear Witness" are their own and they are not responsible for views expressed elsewhere in this newspaper.

The following was submitted to Bear Witness...

Story #3

I was late for school. So I wrapped up my breakfast in a paper towel and ran out of my house. I was running and I put the sandwich in my pocket. A police officer saw me put the sandwich in my pocket so he stopped me and made me take it out and I had to unwrap it. He saw that it was just a croissant but he said I could have put something inside it so I had to open it up and hollow it out. He kept saying I might have drugs. But, then he took a bite of my sandwich and let me go. It was stupid and ridiculous, but what could I do? They stop a lot of people.

16-year-old student at A. Philip Randolph High School


Story #4

I was on my way home from school and the police told me to stop. They asked me to take out the stuff in my pocket. So I asked them why and then they told me to get against the wall. The patted me down and took stuff out of my pocket and threw it on top of their car. Then they told me to get my stuff and leave. "Go home!" No questions. I didn't feel too great after that. I felt like I had just been robbed.

14-year-old student in Saint Nicholas Park


Story #5

My brother got arrested for trespassing. He was standing in front of this building and this white cop told my brother and his friends to step forward. The cops went through their pockets and they didn't find nothing so they charged my brother with trespassing. I think they did it because he's Latin.

13-year old in Saint Nicholas Park


Story #6

The police shot my cousin. They said he had a gun but it was his inhaler because he has asthma. He died two years ago. We been trying to fight the case but they say the cop has no fault in it. He was just using force because that's what good cops are supposed to do- whatever. We've been trying to fight it... we can't... we don't find a way out. I don't know. I don't know what to do.

A high school student in Saint Nicholas Park


Story #7 – West 6th Street

I have personally witnessed and been a victim of the discriminate and disparate treatment of African Americans and other minorities by the police as well as the bar owners and staff of West 6th Street, a club area in Cleveland, Ohio. I am Black and the friends I hang out with a diverse group of friends that enjoy the night life offered by the Warehouse District. The group of friends that I was with the nights that I was discriminated against were white (2 men and 2 women). I receive the exact same treatment from different bars on West 6th, almost as if it's some unwritten rule shared by the owners and management of the West 6th bars, on several different occasions: What happens is my friends and I approach the door, (the men wearing the same types and fits of clothes), the bouncer (from the Liquid Club) proceeds to check our I.D., When they get to me, they say my clothes are too baggy and deny me entrance to the club. In all the situations my friends (white) are outraged and protest, while I just walk away, and they agree to let me in. On another night the same thing happens at the Barley House, this time by a police officer checking I.D. at the door, again my white friends protest and they let me in.

Also, I have noticed that the police presence has different protocol on days in which West 6th is predominantly white (usually Fridays) and days in which minority-sponsored club events are going on, and/or days when West 6th has an influx of African American partygoers (usually Saturday night). The police presence is apparent both nights but on the nights of minority-sponsored club events, the police are aggressive and rude, they yell obscenities at you if you're not driving fast enough out of the parking lot. They block off the end of the street to incoming traffic (supposedly to ensure the safety of the crowd) but what they are really doing is corralling us in like cattle, poking and prodding to elicit some kind of response they can use to make an arrest. Behavior they would not dare use on the nights the street is majority white. Something needs to be done about this evil antiquated behavior and mentality.

A 39-year-old Black man and student at Cleveland State University


Story #8 – A bear witness statement

Me and my friend just finished work and stopped at a restaurant in the Flats. I came out the restaurant to get inside my car and eat my burger and my drink. Then 4 white guys walked up to my car with guns out, telling me to get out. I thought they were going to rob me because they had guns drawn. They told me to get out and put my hands on the car. They shook me down. I had nothing on me. Then they handcuffed me and put me in the back seat of their car, took me downtown, going underneath the Justice Center to the garage. And one cop asked me if I ever had my arm broken. I said, "No." He said, "It is very dark and no one will hear you when you scream." Then we get in the elevator and one cop punched me in the face and told me, "You are going to say you tried to steal [my] car." "No I'm not," I said. I was booked and in jail for about 2 weeks. I went to court and the judge asked me if the detectives were in the court, I said, "No." The charges were grand theft of my car and they didn't show up because they didn't want to go before the judge. The judge said, "You are not the only Black guy that came here to be charged with stealing his own car." I can't understand how they are going to charge me with theft when I had my title and keys. They never asked me for them. But he hit me in the face and said he would make me say I stole my own car. Sittin' in my car eatin my sandwich. They stopped me cause I am Black. This happened a few years ago. This is something I will never forget, like if a person robbed you, something you will never forget.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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Revolutionary Strategy

Some Principles for Building A Movement for Revolution

By Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

At every point, we must be searching out the key concentrations of social contradictions and the methods and forms which can strengthen the political consciousness of the masses, as well as their fighting capacity and organization in carrying out political resistance against the crimes of this system; which can increasingly bring the necessity, and the possibility, of a radically different world to life for growing numbers of people; and which can strengthen the understanding and determination of the advanced, revolutionary-minded masses in particular to take up our strategic objectives not merely as far-off and essentially abstract goals (or ideals) but as things to be actively striven for and built toward.

The objective and orientation must be to carry out work which, together with the development of the objective situation, can transform the political terrain, so that the legitimacy of the established order, and the right and ability of the ruling class to rule, is called into question, in an acute and active sense, throughout society; so that resistance to this system becomes increasingly broad, deep and determined; so that the "pole" and the organized vanguard force of revolutionary communism is greatly strengthened; and so that, at the decisive time, this advanced force is able to lead the struggle of millions, and tens of millions, to make revolution.



Fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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Read and Spread Revolution Newspaper

We have a strategy—and our newspaper is, as "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have" statement says, "the foundation, guideline, and organizational scaffolding for [the] whole process" of carrying out that strategy. This is the paper that cuts to the bone to tell you WHY things are happening... to show you HOW it doesn't have to be this way... and to give you the ways to ACT to change it. It is a call to action and a means of struggle. It is, and has to be much more, the scaffolding on which this movement is built, where those who are getting into it and following it can wrangle in its pages and on its website with how we can better build this movement. It is a guideline where today thousands, but soon tens of thousands and eventually millions, all over the place, stay connected and learn to act in a powerful and united way. It is the foundation where those who read it learn about the larger goals of revolution and communism and come to see the ways in which the struggles of today are connected to those larger goals... where they come to grasp the scientific communist outlook through its application to all the many particular events and outrages and developments in society... and where they get organizationally linked up to this revolution.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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SUSTAIN Revolution financially each month!

Revolution newspaper is the foundation, guideline, and organizational scaffolding for the movement we are building for revolution. Stop and think about it—how essential is that?! But the reality is that this newspaper will not fill this need without more people becoming regular monthly sustainers. Sign up yourself to contribute regularly. And then, wherever you are—at a protest, a concert, selling Revolution, at FaceBook... or just hanging out—struggle with people, including people you just met, to sustain Revolution regularly. Once a week, check yourself: How is this going? How many new sustainers did you sign up?

To sustain Revolution: click the "Sustain/Donate" link at or send a regular amount at the beginning of each month to RCP Publications, P.O. Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654.

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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What Is Communist Revolution?

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.

From: The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have
A Message, And A Call,
From The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #214, October 24, 2010

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Who Is Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party?

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 find out more about Bob Avakian and the Party he learn from his scientific method and approach to changing the build this revolutionary movement with our Party at the 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.

From: The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have
A Message, And A Call,
From The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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