Revolution #289, December 23, 2012 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

2012 Police Attacks on Black and Latino Youth Multiply

This Shit Must End!!
And WE Must End It!!

by Carl Dix | December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


As 2012 draws to a close, rage builds over the murder of Jordan Davis, a Black youth in Florida who was gunned down by a white man named Michael Dunn. Dunn was angered by Jordan and his friends playing their music too loud, and says he fired eight shots at them because he saw a shotgun, a gun that has yet to be found, in their car. Think about this—a white man says he felt in fear for his life after he confronted Black youth playing loud music, and this is seen as possible justification for murdering one of them. They might as well declare open season on Black youth in “Stand Your Ground” Florida.

This brings to mind the racist murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman—who considered a Black youth in a hoodie automatically “suspicious.” Add to these unofficial murders the police murders of Ramarley Graham in NYC; Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo in Anaheim, California; the authorities in Jonesboro, Arkansas, calling it a suicide when Chavis Carter was found dead of a bullet to the head in the back seat of a cop car while double handcuffed, and many more outrages that were perpetrated in 2012.


This is part of the whole way the criminal “injustice” system is unleashed to assault Black and Latino people today. Add to these official and unofficial murders the more than 2.2 million people warehoused in prisons across the country, 60 percent of them Black or Latino. Add to all that the 400,000 immigrants held in detention centers in the course of a year. And stop-and-frisk in NYC, gang injunctions in California and other places, and other forms of racial profiling that make Black and Latino youth a criminalized generation, guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive to prove their innocence. And how former prisoners are subjected to open discrimination even after they’ve served their sentences.


All this adds up to millions of Black and Latino youth facing lives going into and out of prison as a rite of passage. In addition to the two million-plus people in prison, there are five million former prisoners who are reduced to the status of second-class citizens by the discrimination they face. When you consider the loved ones of all these people, you get a picture of tens of millions of people living their lives enmeshed in the web of the criminal “injustice” system. This is why I’ve called out mass incarceration as being a slow genocide that could easily become a fast one.

This represents a continuation in different form of the whole history of vicious oppression of Black people since the 1st Africans were dragged to these shores in slave chains.

As Bob Avakian has put it:

“This system, in this country, in the whole history of its treatment of Black people, what has it been?

First, Slavery ... Then, Jim Crow—segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror ... And now, The New Jim Crow—police brutality and murder, wholesale criminalization and mass incarceration, and legalized discrimination yet again.

That’s it for this system:

Three strikes and you’re out!”

Avakian is right on time here. We need a revolution to end once and for all the brutal, vicious oppression of Black people and other oppressed nationalities, and the 1001 other horrors this system inflicts on humanity—the violence and degradation enforced on women all over the world, the wars for empire, the ravaging of the environment. A revolution that brings into being a totally different society where power is in the hands of the people, led by their communist vanguard, and where radically different economic, social and political relations are in effect.

And right now what’s needed is resistance. Everybody needs to be a part of fighting this. If you have an ounce of concern for what’s being brought down on tens of millions of people in society, YOU HAVE TO JOIN THIS FIGHT.

I mean, how can anyone stand aside when millions of youth are destined for futures of oppression and oblivion even before they are born? We need determined mass resistance—to the police brutality and police murder, to the torture-like conditions in prison, to racial profiling, to the whole slow genocide of mass incarceration.

Our resistance has to be taken to a much higher level in 2013. To a level that can beat back the horrors that are being inflicted on so many people, that can reverse the trajectory of brutality and criminalization this society has been on for so long. Resistance that can capture the imagination of people broadly, that can open the eyes of those who are kept in the dark about all what’s being done in their names and let those who bear the brunt of all this know they’re not alone, that when they stand up and fight back, others will stand with them. YOU HAVE TO BE A PART OF FORGING THIS MUCH NEEDED RESISTANCE!

We in the Revolutionary Communist Party are going to be right in the thick of building this resistance, mobilizing masses to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution! From whatever perspective you come at all this, you need to join in taking on these horrors.

Stand with the prisoners who have put their lives on the line to fight the torturous conditions they face in prisons across the country. Spread the impact of the Call for unity that has been issued by prisoners in the segregation units in California.

Stand up and say NO MORE to police murder and police brutality, to racial profiling and to discrimination against former prisoners.

Join in and help forge a massive struggle to stop mass incarceration.

The slogan, Mass Incarceration + Silence = Genocide, expresses the reality faced by millions of people in U.S. society.

2013 must be a year of breaking that silence!





Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

Bob Avakian Speaks

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


In 2012 Bob Avakian's body of work continued to flourish, develop, and deepen. Throughout  the year, new material by BA was released, speaking to the most essential questions of revolution and urgent issues of international significance. The most comprehensive and up-to-date collection of BA's works can be found online at

Two highlights from the past year:

What Humanity Needs: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism. An Interview with Bob Avakian

At the beginning of 2012, an in-depth interview with Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, was conducted over a period of several days by A. Brooks, a younger-generation revolutionary who has been inspired by Bob Avakian's leadership, body of work, and the new synthesis of communism this has brought forward. From the outset and through the course of this interview, Brooks posed probing questions, dealing with a wide range of subjects, including: the challenges of building a movement for revolution in a powerful imperialist country like the U.S., and initiating a new stage of communist revolution in a world marked by profound inequalities and antagonisms, and repeated upheavals, but also the weakness of communist forces at this time; the content of the new synthesis of communism, its vision of a radically different and emancipating society and world, and how this applies to many different spheres of society and social life, such as art and culture and intellectual inquiry and ferment; previous historical experience of the revolutionary and communist movements; and the personal experience, as well as broader social experience, which led Avakian to become a communist and contributed to his development as a communist leader. The fact that Avakian did not know in advance what the questions would be, and that many of them came up through the course of the interview itself, adds to the liveliness of the interview and the living sense of the method with which Avakian digs into, examines from many angles, and "breaks down" the kinds of far-reaching and often complex questions which were posed in this interview and which have to be grappled with in confronting the challenges of radically transforming the world through communist revolution.

The interview was released in May in Revolution and at, and a printed version is also available.

Cornel West Interviews Bob Avakian

In October 2012, the revolution crackled on the airwaves when the Smiley & West radio show (syndicated by public radio stations across the country) aired an interview of Bob Avakian by Cornel West. This interview is sharp and wide-ranging, challenging and inspiring. It gives a living sense of BA and the work he is and has been doing over decades—and that there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal. The warm, heartfelt introduction by West and his thoughtful questions open the door to listeners to really check out BA if they haven't before, or to get deeper into him if they have. 

Download and stream this interview at

Other works that appeared during the past year:

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Works that appeared earlier in video or audio format and were published in print in 2012:




Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

Stolen Lives in 2012:

A Year of Cold-Blooded Killings of Black and Latino Youth by the Police

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that.

Bob Avakian
Chairman of the Revolutionary
Communist Party, USA
BAsics 1:13


These are just some of those cut down, murdered by the police or racist vigilantes—Black and Latino, mostly young—in 2012:

January 4. 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez, Brownsville, TX Shot and killed at his school by police who claim Gonzalez had punched another student, and was walking through the corridors with a gun. The gun they said Gonzalez was carrying was an air gun that shoots BBs.

February 2. 18-year-old Ramarley Graham,
The Bronx, NY Shot and killed in his bathroom after narcotics detectives kicked down the door of his home. The cops say Graham ran into the building and “appeared to be armed.” But surveillance cameras show Graham casually walking into the apartment and no gun was ever found. Hundreds came to Graham’s funeral, held monthly vigils, and continue to protest and demand justice at court hearings. The killer cop, Richard Haste, has been indicted on manslaughter charges. Constance Malcolm, Ramarley Graham’s mother, said, “I’m not going to stop until we get justice. Richard Haste is not going to take my son and think we going to lay down. We’re not. Not on my dead body.”

February 7. Manny Loggins, San Clemente, CA Loggins, a Black Marine sergeant, was stopped by an Orange County deputy sheriff while driving his car—then killed in front of his 14- and 9-year-old daughters.

February 26. 17-year-old Trayvon Martin,
Sanford, FL Racist vigilante George Zimmerman saw Martin walking home from the store and called 911, saying Martin looked “real suspicious”—i.e., he was a young Black male, walking around in a hoodie. After the 911 dispatcher told him to stay put, Zimmerman pursued Martin and shot and killed him with a 9-millimeter handgun. The murder of Trayvon Martin instantly touched a raw nerve for millions of Black people—“That could have been my son,” “That could have been me.” Protests were held all over the United States—with common themes and bitter outrage. Many youth, as well as older people, wore shirts with Trayvon’s picture, and chanted slogans like “I am Trayvon” and “Justice for Trayvon.” Some people, especially youth, wore hoodies, which Trayvon was wearing when he was murdered, and carried signs saying things like “am I suspicious?” or “do I look suspicious to you?” Many raised the memory of Emmett Till—wantonly murdered by white supremacists decades ago—to express the fact that people have seen this go on for far too long and will not stand by as it continues to happen again and again.

March 21. 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, Chicago, IL Shot and killed by an off-duty cop who fired 10-15 times into a crowd in a park on Chicago’s west side. While admitting Rekia was an innocent bystander, the police immediately ruled the shooting justified, claiming another person had pointed a gun. No such gun was ever found. The murder of Rekia Boyd came in the midst of outrage around the murder of Trayvon Martin and was one of five “police involved shootings” in Chicago in six days—the fifth being the murder of Ricky Bradley, a 52-year-old former school teacher who had fallen on hard times and become homeless.

March 24. 19-year-old Kendrec McDade, Pasadena, CA Shot and killed by police who said they were responding to a 911 call about a stolen backpack. A suit filed by McDade’s parents says “the cops left McDade handcuffed on the street ‘for a protracted period of time without administering aid.’” At a community meeting cops and clergy tried to “chill out” outraged people carrying signs that read “Newlen and Griffin [the cops] are guilty” and “We Are #Trayvon #Kendrec We Are.”

July 1. 49-year-old Milton Hall, Saginaw, MI
It was caught on an amateur video: A mentally ill, homeless man pacing in a parking lot, yelling, “My name is Milton Hall, I just called 911. My name is Milton, and I’m pi**ed off.” Six cops arrive, they surround Hall. They tell him to drop the knife he is holding. Then suddenly they start shooting—46 times, killing Milton Hall instantly.

July 21. 25-year-old Manuel Diaz, Anaheim, CA Shot and killed by police who said they responded to a call about men congregating in an alley, saw two men in the alley, one of them with a shotgun. Witnesses say Diaz was just washing his hands when the police came up and shot him in the back and that after Diaz was down on the ground a cop shot him another time in the head.

July 22. Joel Acevedo, Anaheim, CA Shot and killed by police who claim they recognized “a gang member on probation in a stolen SUV.”

After the July 21 and 22 murders of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo there were protests against the Anaheim Police Department (APD) for over a week. On July 24, hundreds of people went to an Anaheim city council meeting; outside, demonstrators were attacked by police riot squads with rubber bullets, beanbags and pepperballs. A thousand people squared off against the riot squads and marched through the streets. Newspapers reported that a bank and a Starbucks were trashed, as were some other downtown spots; fires were set in the street. The crowd was young, angry. The mood: “Just ‘cause we’re Latino you want to kill us!? We’re not having it, not this time.”

September 22. 45-year-old Brian Claunch, Houston, TX The police, responding to a call of a man in distress, entered the Healing Hands group home. The police report says Claunch waved a “shiny object” and “attempted to stab the officer with the object.” The cop shot and killed Brian Claunch. The shiny object was a ballpoint pen. Claunch, who had long suffered from mental illness, was a double amputee, had only one arm and one leg, and was in a wheelchair when he was killed.

October 11. 37-year-old Kenny Releford, Houston, TX Police believed Releford, a Navy veteran, had broken into the house of an elderly neighbor. They ordered him to come out of his house with his hands up and said they had no choice but to shoot him when he refused to obey their command. But neighbor witnesses disputed this story. At least two people told the Houston Chronicle that Releford exited his house with his hands in the air as he walked toward the police. Releford was shot and fell to the ground and was shot again. One witness said she and others called out to the policeman saying, “Please don’t shoot. He’s mentally ill” and that “they had no reason to shoot him.”

October 25. 32-year-old José Leonardo Coj Cumar and 29-year-old Marcos Antonio Castro Estrada, La Joya, TX Two Texas Parks and Wildlife Rangers reported a “suspicious” truck near the U.S.-Mexico border and claimed the truck driver wouldn’t stop when ordered to do so. Together with a state trooper helicopter they began a chase. One cop began blasting away from the helicopter, killing José Leonardo Coj Cumar and Marcos Antonio Castro Estrada. Both men were from the Guatemalan town of San Martín Jilotepeque and had taken this perilous journey to El Norte in search of work.

November 8. 15-year-old Dakota Bright, Chicago, IL Dakota Bright was on his way to his grandmother’s house—a few hundred yards from where he was shot to death by the police. His body lay in the grass, handcuffed while—according to witnesses—the police shooed away an ambulance. For four hours police refused to tell his family what was going on. Police claim Dakota was pointing a gun at them when he was shot but the gun they “recovered at the scene” was three backyards away from Dakota Bright’s body. For days following this outrageous murder family members, friends and people from the community marched, rallied and held vigils demanding “JUSTICE FOR DAKOTA” and “No More Cops Killing our Kids.”

November 23. 17-year-old Jordan Davis, Jacksonville, FL Shot and killed by Michael Dunn, a white racist who complained of the “loud music” coming out of the SUV that Jordan Davis and his friends were sitting in at a gas station. Dunn pulled out a gun and fired eight times, two of the bullets hit Davis, killing him. Dunn reportedly claims he saw a barrel of a shotgun poking out from the SUV, that he shot in self-defense, but no weapon was found at the scene. Dunn’s lawyer says he may use a “Stand Your Ground” defense—a law that says that killing someone can be justified if the killer “felt threatened”—that they simply believed there was a gun even if there wasn’t one—which amounts to nothing less than open season on killing Black youth. People responded to this vigilante murder with outrage and resistance: A call was issued to “Turn Up the Music” one week after the murder in honor of Davis on a radio station in Jacksonville and this call spread to other cities. In a dramatic salute, members of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department parked their water trucks along the runway where the plane carrying Jordan’s body was taking off from Jacksonville to Atlanta for the funeral, and created an arch of water over the plane.

November 29. Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, Cleveland, OH Russell and Williams, a Black man and woman, were driving in downtown Cleveland when the police began chasing them, joined by the highway patrol, sheriffs and two other cops. After a 25-minute chase, they end up trapped in a cul-de-sac in East Cleveland, a poor, mainly Black community. 13 Cleveland cops shot 137 bullets into the car. Russell died after being hit by 23 bullets. Williams died after being hit by 24 bullets. Both were unarmed. A Black woman who was there said, “I never saw so many police cars in my life, not even on TV. What happened is a modern-day lynching. Every time I think things like this has sort of simmered down, something worse happens and so we have to get out and protest some more.” And in response to city officials saying people need to wait for an investigation, one family member said, “We don’t want to hear ‘we are going to investigate’; we want the cops locked up now, not the way they are treated now, working at a desk job and working out in the gym to relieve stress. What about us and how heartbroken we are about our loved one who was murdered? In fact, lock them up or they might do it again.”

December 15. 23-year-old Jamaal Moore, Chicago, Il Shot twice in the back. The police chased an SUV, responding, they said, to a robbery. When the car crashed, people in the vehicle fled. Witnesses say Moore slipped and fell, the police ran over him and then shot him. An angry crowd gathered at the scene and according to news reports, confronted the police.



The cold, hard fact of American life is that a Black or Latino youth wearing a hoodie is considered suspect by the standards of the powers-that-be. These youths are treated as thugs who deserve to be hunted down, locked up and, if need be, tortured in solitary confinement. This capitalist system has no way to profitably exploit these generations of youth, and its response has been criminalization and mass incarceration: decades of a “war on drugs” aimed mainly at locking up Blacks and Latinos; a whole section of society enmeshed in the criminal justice system.

These are the workings of a system that produces killer cops and racist vigilantes. This is what leads to things like the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy where hundreds of thousands every year are racially profiled and harassed, or worse. This is how we have gotten to a situation where 2.4 million people are imprisoned, the majority Black and Latino.

It was tremendously important—and it made a real difference—that tens of thousands of people took to the streets to demand justice for Trayvon Martin and for Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo. It’s critically important that we not sit back and be silent, but find ways to fight and express determination to get justice for all the victims of murder at the hands of the police and racist vigilantes. And we need to link that to building a big, determined mass movement against mass incarceration.

Editor’s note: Tyisha Miller was a 19-year-old African-American woman shot dead by Riverside, California police in 1998. Miller had been passed out in her car, resulting from a seizure, when police claimed that she suddenly awoke and had a gun; they fired 23 times at her, hitting her at least 12 times, and murdering her. Bob Avakian addressed this.

If you can’t handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people. Fuck all this “serve and protect” bullshit! If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene. They could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it’s been in power has handled—and would again handle—this kind of thing, valuing the lives of the masses of people. As opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses. And that’s one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people.

Bob Avakian
Chairman of the Revolutionary
Communist Party, USA
BAsics 2:16





Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

“A slow genocide that could easily become a fast one”

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


“More than 2.4 million people are warehoused in prisons across the country. In 2009, more than 55 percent of those in prison were Black or Latino. Most of the prisoners are men, but there are more than 200,000 women in prison. And the rate of increase for women in prison has been almost double that of men since 1985. In these prisons, people are subjected to conditions that amount to torture. In California alone, there are tens of thousands of prisoners held in segregation units called special housing units or SHUs. People get put in these units arbitrarily, often just at the whim of a guard or an administrator. There is no way for a prisoner to challenge being put into one of these units. Once you end up in one of these units, just about the only way you can get out is by snitching on some other prisoner. When you are in there you are denied visitors. I mean, at times, they don’t even let your lawyer come to see you or give you a call. And they deny people human contact for weeks or months at a time. And this is something that international law calls torture, holding people in that kind of condition.

“These conditions were so bad that this is why 6,600 prisoners in California went on hunger strike in July 2011, followed by a second wave of hunger strikes with 12,000 prisoners participating in September 2011. I mean, people were willing to starve themselves, putting their lives on the line to demonstrate their refusal to continue to put up with these horrendous conditions. And as I said earlier, one of them recently died.

“Then you’ve got the millions and millions more people who are on parole and probation. They’ve already served their sentences, yet they remain under the control of the criminal injustice system. They aren’t allowed to vote; they’re discriminated against when looking for a job; they’re barred from public housing; they’re denied access to government loans.

“All of this, the 2.4 million people in prison, the youth for whom going in and out of prison has become a rite of passage, the former prisoners who are forced to wear badges of shame and dishonor after they’ve already been punished by the authorities, the loved ones and friends of all these people whose hearts are incarcerated with them. This amounts to millions and millions of people living their lives enmeshed in the criminal injustice system in this country. And it comes down to a slow genocide that could easily become a fast one targeting Black people.”

—Carl Dix, speaking at Riverside Church,
February 18, 2012

The slow genocide Carl Dix talks about continues to grind on, breaking the bodies and crushing the spirits of many of the tens of millions of people whose lives are enmeshed in the web of the criminal injustice system. The horrors this means for so many in this society provides potential to unleash millions to stand up and resist.

To tap into this potential, the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) is dedicating February, which is Black History Month, to bearing witness to the injustice of mass incarceration and all its consequences. The month will begin with a week of Bearing Witness and Manifesting Resistance to mass incarceration, and SMIN plans to use the Call to Bear Witness to transform the resistance to these injustices into more of a nationwide movement.

SMIN will continue the fight to see to it that none of the STOP “Stop & Frisk” freedom fighters do any jail time, and it will turn the system’s legal attacks on the people who stood up against stop-and-frisk into opportunities to put that racist illegitimate policy on trial. In particular, SMIN will rally people to beat back the government’s prejudicial prosecutions of Noche Diaz.

An important call for unity among different groups of prisoners (“California Prisoners Call for Peace Between Different Nationalities in Prisons and Jails,” Revolution, October 7, 2012) has been issued by prisoners in California. The call is spreading across the country behind the walls and even reaching outside the prisons. It needs to be spread even further.





Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

Voices from Behind the Walls: Prisoner Letters to Revolution

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


Each week Revolution and the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) receive letters from prisoners speaking to a wide range of questions, including their conditions in prison, art and science, religion, their engagement with Bob Avakian, how their own thinking has been transformed, and much more. In the past three years, PRLF has transcribed over 1,300 letters from prisoners. Following are some of them.


Transforming from a Gang Member to a Revolutionary

Revolutionary greetings!

I'll like to say thanks a lot to all the "PRLF" donors. Thank you for paying for my education. In essence that's what you're doing with your donations. Thanks to your donations, I've been able to start learning about the rapacious economic system (capitalism) that dominates every aspect of our lives. I've been able to learn that under capitalism, society is divided into different classes—between those who can only live by selling their labor to the highest bidder, (and only as long as their labor is producing profits to capitalist) and those who live by exploiting the labor of others; between oppressed and oppressor. And consequently, under capitalism, there can never be democracy or justice for all. I've been also able to learn that such social relations were not created by nature, but were created and are enforced, by the capitalist class.

And most importantly, I've been able to learn that a whole different and better world is possible; that capitalism can be overthrown through revolution. Thanks to your donations, I've been able to transform myself from a gang member to a revolutionary; from a homophobic and machista, to a progressive thinker; from having a defeatist mentality: "there isn't anything I can do, things are never going to change"; to having a radical mentality: Knowing that I can make a difference; that we are all worthy of a decent life—demanding a better life for everybody, and willing to fight for it!

And thanks to your donations, I've been able to liberate other people, (by sharing the literature that your donations enable me to receive) and I'm fairly confident that it'll have a snowball effect. I would like to end this letter by encouraging people to keep making donations to "PRLF," or to start, if you haven't yet. Your donations are helping us (prisoners) break the mental shackles, that have been placed there by this capitalist/imperialist ran system.

In Solidarity, Prisoner from California

* * *

"From the putrid hull of this Amerikkkan slave ship called prison"

Revolutionary Greetings

I write from the putrid hull of this Amerikkkan slave ship called prison! And specifically from the house of horrors known as the control unit.

I have taken notice of the newly charged movement to halt the obese prison system and its focus on capturing Brown and Black youth, the stop and frisk and other methods of devestating our future has become a priority for all who have an ounce of humanity to refuse to be part of the internment, the new caste system, the slow genocide!

Those of us who pay close attention to the social conditions have that keen eye to all historical events which have and continue to shape the socio-political landscape in Amerika. It is precisely by identifying these events that unfold that we are then able to revolutionize our conditions, this is historical materialism in practice. The criminalization of oppressed youth will not go unnoticed nor ignored, too many have been caught in this quicksand of social despair and those of us 2.4 million are understanding that there is an alternative to simply lie down and allow a system of oppressors to continue to capture our lives and our minds.

For Black people this mass criminalization is just an extension of a long bloody line, a gory trail of white supremacy in Amerika. It is a continuance of slavery that has never left the reality of what it costs to be Black in Amerika. Today in exchange of being outright racist one can merely be tough on crime and can act in the same dam way as a racist did 50 years ago. The recent murder of Trayvon Martin in Sanford Florida is a clear echo of what has been played out over and over, and the fact that George Zimmerman has been treated as a good "crimefighter" says it all. The fact that Brown and Black prisoners in California sit in cells with life sentences for stealing a loaf of bread and someone like Zimmerman walks around out in society is like big flashing lights with flouorescent arrows spelling out for us that this system is not for us, it is not intended to do any good for us and we see this every day when we look around the prison yard, the cell block, the tier. We see who is locked up in these boxes and who is not. We see what happens to us when we commit a petty property "crime" and what happens to a Zimmerman when they do what they do.

For Latinos our history of oppression has come in different forms. For Chicanos we understand that Amerika never included us in its system and we learned this the day our land was stolen from us in 1848. We have also suffered the oppression that others have but new forms of attacks are coming in the form of criminalization. Of ICE terror in our barrios, of fascist attacks by white supremacist state sponsored paramilitary militias and of our overwhelming population in the torture chambers known as SHU! The recent roundups of Latinos, this internment is due to the rise in Latino population in Amerika. According to the 2010 U.S. census Latino men had the highest labor force participation compared to any other group in 2010. 75 percent of Latino men were a part of the labor force, compared to 69 percent of non-Latino men. Now what this proves is you can be the hardest worker, break your back for peanuts and "do what's right" and all that and still get snatched up and thrown in one of the neo internment kamps aka prisons! According to the census by 2050 it is projected that one out of three workers in Amerika will be Latino. These numbers and there obvious meaning is resulting in hyper policing in the barrios and more and more Brown people filling these dungeons at an explosive rate. Here in California the torture units known as security housing units (SHU's) are predominately Latino populated. These units are known to cause insanity. So why are Latinos filling these insanity chambers faster than any other group? This is a slow process of destruction of a people plain and simple. We are entering a new phase in repression, one that skirts around the kourts and is state sanctioned on all levels.

Bourgeois politics is no answer to this madness, we have the tia tomasa like the New Mexico Governor Susan Martinez who votes against giving migrants I.D. cards and is "tough on Immigration." What the hell is wrong with this picture?? And in an interview it comes out some of her family came "illegally" to Amerika. She is a comprador who lost her morals to say the least. We have the tia tomasa Sotomayor who signs off and allows poor people to rot and outrageous prison terms and death sentences to stand. We have uncle toms like Colin Powell who held up a fake vial of Anthrax in order to make a case for war on oppressed nations. We have the uncle tom Obama who signs the National Defense Authorization Act on 1-1-12 which can now detain anyone in Amerika indefinitely and without trial! If this isn't a police state I don't know what is—millions in prisons, legal torture, assassinations of Amerikan citizens without trial, an extensive spy network where you can't talk on the phone, computer or walk down the street without being spied on and this info kept on record. When this act went into effect 45 Democrats and 41 Republicans supported it with six Republicans, six Democrats and one Independent opposed it. This again shows there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. Bourgeois politics does not include poor people or anyone truly humanitarian.

The cause of the stepped up criminalization of millions may seem as allusive as the yeti but to those of us who have been snatched up by the modern day slave catchers the cause is pretty clear. If we take a scientific approach to our holocaust we know that the majority of prisoners are imprisoned for drug related offenses. That said, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration it stated in part: "that 6.4 percent of whites, 6.4 percent of Blacks, and 5.3 percent of Hispanics were current users of illegal drugs in 2000."1

So I'm no genius but if in fact the majority of prisoners are in prison for drug related offenses and all people have roughly the same percentage of drug use—with whites being at the forefront of illegal drug use why is it that when you look into who is filling U.S. prisons all you mostly see is Brown and Black people? This is not an explainable situation. The numbers show if criminal law is applied "blindly" there should be as much white prisoners as Black prisoners in prisons and this is not so. I point this out not to ask for more bodies to fill these concentration camps, rather to show that the criminal justice system is really an injustice system! So the nature of this repression is not a rise in crime, it's a rise in targeting the oppressed!

Todays society we live under in Amerika revolves around a capitalist relations of production meaning every aspect of society, all our social relations revolve around Capitalism and the profit system. Living under such a individualist system affects us all, it seeps into every crevice of society from the kourts to the schools, to relationships or family life.

Marx in his Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right said in part: "Hegel starts from the state and makes man into the subjective aspect of the state; democracy starts from man and makes the state into objectified man." Amerika like Hegel makes the people into the subjective aspect of the state (Capitalism). By living in Amerika we naturally are shaped in our personal opinions by existing in a parasitic society. Even the "left" and outright revolutionaries are not totally immune from these effects thus the general public I.E. the masses are surely affected by Capitalism. Capitalism has an interest in maintaining its chokehold on the people and continuing its profit and exploitation off the backs of the oppressed nations globally. This is manifested in Imperialism's insatiable thirst, its addiction to exploitation. Imperialism is the real culprit that uses its tools to uphold the survival of its enabler—Capitalism. Capitalism is the enabler of Imperialism as Imperialism would cease to exist if capitalism were abolished today. Capitalism like any other economic or political system is only as strong as the people who support it. The day the masses refuse to feed capitalism with their sweat and blood is when we see an end to this madness. And so the Imperialists see certain chunks of society as threatening and possible bases of support for revolution in Amerika. These would naturally be those on the lowest level of society, the have nots, those who have been oppressed and terrorized since Amerika was first occupied when the Mayflower arrived. The oppressed in any country will always support the toppling of an oppressor nation, when someone has their foot on your neck you naturally want to remove that foot! The imperialists understand this quite clearly, they have institutes that study this and know all too well that with a spike in population growth of the oppressed, their future does not look too promising.

Unlike the days of old when Chicanos were hunted and exterminated in what is currently called the "Southwest" lynched and murdered at random, or in mostly the South where Blacks were called talking tools and worked to death and lynched. Today this cannot be done as easily and as blunt. Repression has been devised in a way to go on in plain view in a guise of "fighting crime." Today's white supremacy comes to us not in a white hood with blazing torches on horseback, it has been re gifted like your favorite aunts fruitcake that just don't sit in your stomach well. Today things like the "war on drugs," the California "three strikes your out," "Stop and Frisk" and SHU's are the new forms of unleashing white supremacy on Brown and Black people. It is a soft air conditioned genocide and gets by the masses undetected and thus unchallenged. Even those who make it out of these dungeons, the slave status or caste like system is far from over, a new repression arises that continues the slave status even if the shackle has physically been taken off the ankle. The author Michelle Alexander captured this cold reality when she wrote: "The young men who go to prison rather than college face a lifetime of closed doors, discrimination and ostracism. Their plight is not what we hear about on the evening news, however. Sadly, like the racial caste systems that preceded it, the system of mass incarceration now seems normal and natural to most, a regrettable necessity."2 This is how this new caste like system is used where even if we are released from prison, we are forever branded a felon and deprived of the right to vote, the right to education assistance, housing opportunities, food assistance, every means to ensure our health mentally and physically, not that we intend to use these services but if we wanted as the slave of old we will be denied. The slave was denied based on her or his skin color. Today we are also denied because of our skin color only it's now called "tough on crime" with the same results.

It's a common theme to spin the truth by the Imperialists and their media propaganda outlets, our youth are referred to as gang members meant to further employ there slave catching operation in the barrios, painting our youth so full of life and curiosity into criminals. The state terrorizes our communities with the pig and ICE raids. According to the U.S. 2010 census one in four children in the U.S. is Latino and the Latino population from 2000 to 2010 jumped from 35.3 million to 50.5 million, although some may see the good side to this, the Imperialists see this as threatening their future rule, after all Latinos have continued to face an unbroken chain of oppression from land theft of Chicanos to extermination, migra terror, ICE raids and now SHU torture by the thousands! For this it is important for Latino youth and other oppressed youth to understand this new war and slow genocide and to struggle against this injustice in our plight for human rights.

The public should know that having studied the imprisoned masses for decades from within these modern internment kamps I see that prisoners are now shaking off their capitalist hangover and beginning to grasp revolution. This has been evident in different forms across the Amerikan prison system and will continue to be reflected in many future developments. And as you unleash your energies into halting the "operation slave catcher" that is branding Brown and Black people with a new Jim Crow stamp on our backs be sure to know that as you push in resistance out in society, know that the imprisoned masses are pulling in mutual rythem as we build momentum on our common path to transforming society and obtaining justice. Prisoners have nothing to lose but their shackles and SHU prisoners have nothing to lose but our torture chamber!

In resistance

1. “2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings, NSDUH Series H-34, DHHS Pub. No SMA 08-4343” (2007). [back]

2. “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” By Michelle Alexander, pg 190 [back]


* * *

A True and Scientific Reasoning Behind the Why's

Dear comrades and donors.

I would like to take a moment and express what the PRLF means to me, and what your donations mean to us, the prisoners. Prisoners have little else to do than read and try to educate themselves. Prior to the PRLF, when prisoners, most of whom are unable to purchase books and or other materials, sought to educate themselves and find a reason behind the why's, people could turn only to the capitalist-imperialist organizations, especially the religious and racialist based organizations, which were more than willing to flood the prisons with their propaganda, and did so for free. There was no opposing voice of reason: and as such prisoners bought into these divisive groups ideologies and theologies. Because of this racism and religion have dominated prison life, and once released many prisoners take their new found Racist beliefs and Plant them in the minds of others. I know, i was once one of these individuals.

However, The PRLF is the first and only group which offers prisoners a true and scientific reasoning behind the why's. The PRLF is the only [one] which is performing true revolutionary action by confronting and challenging the falsehoods of these capitalist-imperialists institutions and the Racist and religious organizations which flourish within them. I have passed around every issue of Revolution i receive, individuals have began to see the truth behind the system, and most importantly, they are beginning to organize as a class around class struggle. The process is slow, people must become awakened to the class conflict. Knowledge is empowerment. And Prisoners seek knowledge. Prisoners are a revolutionary Force waiting to be organized...  Just think, your small Donation, no matter how much has and will continue to open the minds of Prisoners who can and will get out and become true revolutionaries.

Prisoner from Nevada

* * *

Monthly Contribution to Spread BAsics

Dear R.C.P.;

Greetings within and beyond, "Amandla!"

I hope this finds you Comrades, in the best of all things possible, especially health and spirit—revolutionary spirit!

I am still confined within this hell hole concentration camp but my heart, spirit, desire for the revolution never wanes nor faulters. This Texas Slave camp is supposedly for the "sick," "blind," "deaf." and "dying," and is a "Medical Unit." Although, there are many who are here that do not fit in any of those categories, all of them need a dose of "Revolution." I am attempting to do just that, give them all—"guards," and "[ALL]" a dose of Real !!! revolution. I'm currently on a mission of buying copies of BAsics and distributing them to individuals here on the unit. This will be a slow proces, but I will buy a copy of BAsics, each month.

I am also sending "You" my monthly contribution of $10.00 for the "Bus Tour," BAsics. I have been sending $10.00 for approximately 3-4 months, saying to place it for the BAsics Bus Tour in Texas. Well, I change that!! It should be for the BAsics Bus Tour—Period! See, I've come to realize my small minded thinking was only looking at the State of Texas and thinking "We" (IN TEXAS) need a revolution. But, the more I got into the "New" synthesis of COMMUNISM, and INTERNATIONALISM..., I come to realize my thinking was wrong. This is not just about "My" home state or whatever locality I may reside in, this is about the State of the "World," and this "Nation,"... about truly building the "New Socialist Republic," of North America.

Everybody in this Country needs to read BAsics and hear Bob Avakian and come to know who he is, what he has brought forward and the advancements of the science of "Communism" has made. So, lets all take a radical step into the future by advancing our own knowledge and thinking through our actions of supporting and carrying forward B.A.'s BAsics and the new synthesis of [R]evolutionary Communism.

So, included in this letter is $20.00 dollars.

$10.00 for the book BAsics and

$10.00 for the Bus Tour; BAsics.

I can't wait to see the bus tour come to each City in Texas—True!! but, it also needs our support for other States, like New York and all other areas.

So UNTIL the time is ripe, I stand in "Solidarity My comrades"!!...

Respectfully: XXXX (Prisoner in Texas)

* * *

Crocheting for the Revolution

...First I would like to fill you in on progress Ive Been making. I have been passing around every issue of Revolution, as well as BAsics, the RCP Constitution and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, etc. People are very open to it and I am trying to take up a collection to purchase copies of BAsics. I am trying to get sent to [another] yard where I will be able to spread BA more easily.

Now onto my thought i want to run by you comrades. My cellie and i both crochet. It's a way to pass time. I want to help by crocheting things for the homeless Sandy victims etc. Things that comrades can pass out on the BAsic bus tour, from the book stores, etc. to those in need. I'm thinking like beanies, scarves and lap quilts. We can knock these things out from anywhere between 5 hours for a scarve to 4 days for a lap quilt.

I want to get prisoners involved in this...  Heres my thoughts.

My cellie and i can start, while teaching others to do the same. People in other states can do the same. For hooks and yarn we will run an ad in different crochet magazines asking for donations. People always help with this. Then, people who want it get yarn, hooks, etc. We make enough to fill a box...  You can then do what you deem best. For example, donate them to homeless with palm cards, give them to people who donate certain funds, etc. Its up to you comrades. We can crochet, donate, and you comrades do what you believe is best for the struggle. We can crochet anything we have patterns for, like little bears for kids etc...

Prisoner from Nevada

* * *

"Last years hunger strike... combined with your newspaper has really opened my eyes"

I am currently in XX SHU. I have received your copy of BAsics and in this latest issue of [Revolution] you printed the call for peace from the prisoner's. I and everybody around me participated in last years hunger strike it was a life changing experience for me. Combined with your newspaper has really opened my eyes to the injustice of this country and the need for revolution...  I would like to learn more about Bob Avakian and any books or book list you could send me will be highly Appreciated.

Prisoner from California

* * *




Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

From the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund:

DONATE NOW to Help Get Revolution and BAsics into Prisons

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


You can help fill an urgent need by contributing to send Revolution newspaper, BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, and other literature to prisoners in 43 states across the U.S. Picture the literature from PRLF—and the wrangling over these ideas—traveling from cell to cell and prison to prison... and DONATE NOW.



Tax deductible donations can be made:
Online at or
By check/money order, payable to PRLF/AFGJ, and sent to PRLF (below)

Regular (non-tax-deductible) donations can be made
Online at or
By check/money order, payable to PRLF, and sent to PRLF (below)

Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund
1321 N. Milwaukee Ave. #407, Chicago, IL 60622    773.960.6952 or




Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

January 2013
Rise Up for Abortion Rights
On the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


Jan 21-26: Week of Action—Wash DC

Jan 26—San Francisco: March for Abortion Rights

Abortion and birth control are fundamental rights. Forcing women to have children against their will is a form of enslavement. And if women—half of humanity—are not free, then no one is free.

January 22, 2013 will mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion. Yet today, abortion is more stigmatized, more dangerous to provide, and more difficult to access than at any time in the last 40 years.


Fetuses are NOT babies.

Abortion is NOT murder.

Women are NOT incubators.

Register NOW for the DC Week of Action at:

For info:

For West Coast: contact –


Check website for ongoing coverage


Stand Up For Abortion
$7,000 fund drive launched!

Go check out the powerful video... DONATE ...get a great perk...
spread the word to others... and be part of something historic.




Revolution #289 December 23, 2012


December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


1 STOP WATCHING PORN! Porn destroys the lives of women used in it. Porn corrupts the humanity of those who watch it. Porn fills society with the deadly notion that women are sex objects & that sex is about domination & degradation. If you can't imagine SEX without porn, you're FUCKED!

2 SPEAK UP: Challenge sexist jokes or attitudes when you hear them. Speak of abortion without shame. Fetuses are not babies. Women are not incubators. Abortion is Not Murder.

3 GET CONNECTED: sign our e-list.

4 WRITE: Send us your experience with sexual assault, harassment, rape, shaming or other effects of male supremacy. Write in support of birth control and abortion.

5 RESIST: Join in protest against the sex industry, attacks on birth control and abortion, and the entire war on women.

6 DONATE: visit

7 SHARE these cards & website with as many people as possible (leave them on the bus, in classrooms, laundromats, etc.).




Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

A World of Misery and Outrage ... A World Crying Out for Revolution

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


To pause slideshow, hold cursor over image.      Photos: AP

  • Bangladesh, women demonstrate in November 2012 against factory fire.On November 24, 2012, 121 garment workers—most of them women—were killed when fire swept through the Tazreen Fashions sweatshop on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Survivors said exit doors were locked, and the eight-story building had no emergency exits. A reporter sifting through the ashes of the fire found Mickey Mouse hoodies manufactured for Disney; children's shorts with Walmart's Faded Glory label; and clothes with hip-hop star Sean Combs' ENYCE tag. These capitalist clothing brands are in dog-eat-dog, global competition with each other to produce at the lowest possible cost, to gain market share and reap the highest possible profit. For them, Bangladesh is a perfect fit. Two million workers, mainly women, work in the dangerous garment sweatshops of Bangladesh—many earn less than a dollar a day. Surrounding the factories are vast slums—home to over half of Dhaka's 18 million people who live five-to-a-room in flimsy bamboo shacks, many without safe drinking water or toilets. In the days that followed the fire, thousands of workers and others shut down factories and highways and clashed with police, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets.
  • South African minersOn August 16, 2012, South African authorities murdered 34 striking miners at the Lonmin platinum mine near Rustenburg. Miners are viciously exploited in deep, dangerous mines, live in prison-like "dormitories," and face ongoing police repression and brutality in "post-apartheid," imperialist-dominated, capitalist South Africa.
  • A U.S. drone crashes into homes in Afghanistan in 2011, and drone strikes continued throughout 2012.In 2012, Barack Obama continued—and expanded—the Bush regime's wanton violation of the imperialists' own international and domestic law by escalating drone attacks in which the U.S. acts as judge, jury, and executioner. Over 2,500 people have been murdered in these drone attacks over the past decade.
  • Gaza, November 16, 2012, funeral for two-year-old Waleed Al-Abadiah, killed by an Israeli rocket.In 2012, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa intensified as focal points in the clash between U.S. imperialism and its accomplices and allies on the one hand, and Islamic jihadist movements that provide no positive alternative to capitalism-imperialism on the other. In late 2012, Israel unleashed two weeks of murderous bombardment of the 1.7 million Palestinian people in Gaza. In Syria, where the U.S. is moving to orchestrate regime change that strengthens its grip on the region against rivals, some 50,000 people had been killed in fighting by the end of 2012, with over a million driven from their homes. The U.S. and Israel remain ominously close to an attack on Iran. In all this: the needs and desires of the great majority for real liberation throughout the region remain unsatisfied, and can only be met with real revolution that uproots exploitation and oppression, including the oppression of the Palestinian people by Israel.
  • Hurricane Sandy caused flooding in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 2012.In 2012, superstorm Sandy destroyed parts of the Atlantic coast and Haiti and typhoon Bopha killed hundreds in the Philippines. Both of these massive and unusual storms were fueled by warming oceans—further signs that global climate change is one dimension of an environmental emergency. That crisis includes wide-scale extinction of species; acidification of the oceans; destruction or degradation of whole ecosystems; poisoning of air, waters, and soils; and melting of the polar ice caps. The U.S. is the largest contributor to the build-up of global warming-causing greenhouse gases. The U.S. military is the largest institutional consumer of oil on the planet. While the U.S. and other capitalist powers have been the main cause of global warming, the five countries that have suffered most from climate-related disasters over the past 20 years are Honduras, Myanmar (Burma), Nicaragua, Bangladesh and Haiti—all poor, oppressed countries that have not caused the crisis.
  • Demonstration in Bangalore, India, against sex trade industry.Over the past year, more than a million young women were chained in sex slavery generating billions of dollars of profit in the U.S. and other advanced capitalist countries. Pornography, a culture of strip clubs and prostitution in the "enlightened democratic" West. The burqa and Sharia law enslaving women in the "Muslim world." The oppression of women, and the struggle for their liberation, is a profoundly defining element everywhere in today's world.
  • Bopha typhoon in Philippines.In 2012, superstorm Sandy destroyed parts of the Atlantic coast and Haiti and typhoon Bopha killed hundreds in the Philippines. Both of these massive and unusual storms were fueled by warming oceans—further signs that global climate change is one dimension of an environmental emergency. That crisis includes wide-scale extinction of species; acidification of the oceans; destruction or degradation of whole ecosystems; poisoning of air, waters, and soils; and melting of the polar ice caps. The U.S. is the largest contributor to the build-up of global warming-causing greenhouse gases. The U.S. military is the largest institutional consumer of oil on the planet. While the U.S. and other capitalist powers have been the main cause of global warming, the five countries that have suffered most from climate-related disasters over the past 20 years are Honduras, Myanmar (Burma), Nicaragua, Bangladesh and Haiti—all poor, oppressed countries that have not caused the crisis.
  • A family in Senegal shares meager rations, 2012A wrenching economic crisis intensified in 2012. Europe, Japan, and the U.S. experienced recession, massive unemployment, and draconian cuts in essential services, especially to the poor. The crisis hit hardest in economies that are under the domination of imperialism. Some 870 million people go hungry each day in a world that has the production capacity to feed everyone on the planet. Africa has seen no real improvement in ending hunger since the early 1960s, and the price of fertilizer in Africa is often two to four times the world price.
  • The document, "The New Synthesis of Communism and the Residues of the Past," by the Revolutionary Communist Organization (OCR), Mexico, was written to contribute to the two-line struggle in the international communist movement. It said: "In these days, when everywhere you hear the erudite preaching of the intellectual hitmen of the ruling class saying that communism 'failed,' that it was 'horrifying' and that we have no other future other than the one offered by this horrible capitalist-imperialist system, the new synthesis represents renewed hope for the emancipation of the masses all over the world."

    The "Letter to Participating Parties and Organizations of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement" is available at A concise summary of Bob Avakian's new synthesis of communism can be found in Communism: the Beginning of a New Stage, A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, also available at
Bangladesh, women demonstrate in November 2012 against factory fire.1 South African miners2 A U.S. drone crashes into homes in Afghanistan in 2011, and drone strikes continued throughout 2012.3 Gaza, November 16, 2012, funeral for two-year-old Waleed Al-Abadiah, killed by an Israeli rocket.4 Hurricane Sandy caused flooding in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 2012.5 Demonstration in Bangalore, India, against sex trade industry.6 Bopha typhoon in Philippines.7 A family in Senegal shares meager rations, 20128 9


Click for resources for this slideshow.




Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

Resources for "A World of Misery and Outrage ... A World Crying Out for Revolution"

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


"From A World to Win News Service: Bangladesh workers burned alive in death-trap garment factory," Revolution, December 9, 2012

"From A World to Win News Service: Behind the Marikana Massacre and the Wave of 'Illegal' Strikes in South Africa's Mines," Revolution, November 18, 2012

"Threats, Aggression, War Preparations...and Lies—U.S. and Israel Accelerate Campaign Against Iran," Revolution, March 11, 2012

"Israel's Murderous Assault on the People in Gaza... And the Need to Oppose These Crimes NOW," Revolution, November 25, 2012

"The Danger of Global Climate Change," Revolution, January 8, 2012

"Climate Change: The Heat Wave, Extreme Weather and Future Storms," Revolution, September 16, 2012

"Superstorm Sandy and Climate Change," Revolution, November 1, 2012

"Why a Natural Disaster Became a Social Disaster, and Why It Doesn't Have To Be That Way: Reflections on Hurricane Sandy and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)," Revolution, November 3, 2012

"Pornography, Sex Slavery and the Military: This is the Imperialist System... This is What They Want You to Vote For," Revolution, September 2, 2012

"From A World to Win News Service: Violence against women and the capitalist system," Revolution, December 9, 2012

"Revolution Interviews Raymond Lotta: The Debt Ceiling Debate, Global Crisis, and Savage Austerity," Revolution, July 31, 2011

"From A World to Win News Service: Murder by drone: the U.S. terror war in Pakistan," Revolution, October 14, 2012

"May 1, 2012: Letter to Participating Parties and Organizations of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement," Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

"The New Synthesis of Communism and the Residues of the Past," by the Revolutionary Communist Organization (OCR), Mexico, Revolution, September 23, 2012

Communism: the Beginning of a New Stage, a Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, September 2008




Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

Opposition to Obama's National Defense Authorization Act

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


In November 2012, A Call to Stand Together To Oppose the Obama Administration's Dangerous Assault on Fundamental Rights was published as a paid ad in The Nation magazine. With over 750 signatories, including prominent public intellectuals, the call summons resistance to the highly repressive National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This law contains draconian provisions for the arbitrary and indefinite military detention, without charge or trial, of a broad and vague category of people. In legal proceedings around the NDAA, there has been a dangerous singling out and harmful mischaracterization of the Revolutionary Communist Party and its Chairman Bob Avakian. The call sets a critical political-moral standard in opposing this.




Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

From A World to Win News Service

Egypt: A Crucial Moment

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


December 11, 2012. A World to Win News Service, by Samuel Albert.

Almost two years since a mass upheaval brought down Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's future is still being fought out in every sphere of society and in the streets. The question of what will replace him has still not been resolved as of the writing of this article, and may not be fully settled for some time to come.

Right now two opposed political coalitions, led by those who call themselves "liberals" on one side and Islamists on the other, are pulling much of the rest of society into their respective camps in an attempt to impose one or another of their opposite but reactionary solutions. Yet stability will be difficult to obtain because still at work are the deep underlying contradictions in Egyptian society that burst through the surface of the earth almost without warning on January 25, 2011.

The situation poses real and perhaps intractable problems not only for the Egyptian ruling classes but the imperialist rulers of the U.S. as well. While the Moslem Brotherhood may be their best available option under the circumstances, that's only one side of the question. The dynamics between the Moslem Brotherhood and the Islamic Salafists in Egypt are conditioned by other conflicts. There is an inherent contradiction between the U.S. need to call on Islamic legitimacy to shore up its regional domination, and the role of Israel as the most reliable enforcer of that domination. Further, the rise of political Islam is a global phenomenon that continues to challenge the U.S. ideologically and politically. The development of this situation is unpredictable and could turn unfavorable for the U.S.

All this should not make us forget the achievements of the battle to topple Mubarak. It took 18 days of fighting and sacrifice before the Egyptian armed forces and the U.S. were forced to abandon him for fear that the country would become totally ungovernable.

The atmosphere in Egypt went from one of sullen submission to one of joyful insubordination. The anti-Mubarak upheaval arose with little warning in a country where political activity had been confined to small groups of people. Now many millions of Egyptians feel that they can and should have a say about their own and their country's fate and have become deeply involved in pondering, arguing and fighting over what kind of country they want. By fits and starts at key junctures, and now maybe on an even bigger scale, the masses of people are being drawn into political life.

In this sense, the "Arab Spring" has brought about a changed situation in many countries. Millions of people are still unwilling to live in the old way, and in the old order—regimes, political institutions, social values and the dominant ideas—can't just go on as it did for deadly decades.

Now the alignments of forces that made it possible to bring down hated regimes are changing, and the situation is far more complex and difficult for those who remain profoundly dissatisfied with their lives and their countries and the world. But the potential for large sections of people to quickly learn crucial lessons is also greatly heightened—if a clear revolutionary communist perspective can emerge amidst the turmoil and struggle.

Almost two years ago the "revolutionaries," as they called themselves, seized the initiative from all the old political forces and won a certain legitimacy in the eyes of the broader population. Their unclarity about their ultimate goal—sometimes displayed like a badge of honor—didn't stop them because the cleavages in Egyptian society were still somewhat obscured. Pro-Western liberals, for instance, were somewhat aligned with them, and the Islamists, as an organized force, were not fighting for either side.

The situation is different now. The youth groups have lost the initiative not only in the practical realm of armed militias and soldiers and tanks, but in the realm of ideas, because they have been unable to present a convincing vision—or themselves conceive—of an Egypt that could offer the vast majority of people something other than harsh, stunted lives and bitter humiliation.

Right now a defining—but not the only—feature of the situation is the rivalry between reactionary forces with competing programs for how to bring this period of upheaval to an end and restore order. In fact, it is the Islamists who have the initiative and are pressing hardest.

The Islamists—the Moslem Brotherhood and the Salafists they are currently allied with—are very clear on what they want. While the draft constitution they are determined to ram through is not dramatically different than Egypt's 1971 Constitution, which abandoned the secular nationalism and populist demagogy of the Nasser years and enshrined Islam as the state religion, the goal now is to bring religion into the very heart of what's considered legitimate and tolerable and use it as a club against any kind of opposition.

There are unmistakable indications of this in the text of the draft constitution. It is plain in some of what it says, such as forbidding whatever is considered insulting to Sunni Islam (and, to be fair, Christianity and Judaism) and the stipulations upholding Islamic—patriarchal—family values. It is no less plain in what it doesn't say. For instance, while proclaiming that men and women are equal, it was specifically decided not to outlaw discrimination on the basis of gender. The absence of this phrase reveals a whole world outlook and political program.

Any apparent vagueness of these words disappears on the street. An Islamist march is a march of bearded men. Whether under the green flags of the Brotherhood or the black flags of the Salafists, the chants are for the implementation of Sharia. Sometimes they carry the flag of Saudi Arabia, an Islamist model because of its mix of traditional relations, advanced technology, and wealth.

When they chant, "Bread, freedom and Sharia" (in opposition to the anti-Mubarak chant "Bread, freedom and social justice"), what they seek is not the freedom to practice their religion—which no one contests—but to impose it on all of society. (More on this chant later.) Their actions in the streets, as well as in the presidential palace, have made it clear that they consider this aim non-negotiable.

On November 22, Moslem Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi issued a decree putting his decisions beyond the reach of the courts that were interfering with the writing of the draft constitution and its submission to a referendum. Soon after, the Islamists held a major demonstration on the campus of Cairo University (the fact that the country's biggest public university is an Islamist stronghold says a great deal about the spread of Islamism to a huge section of urban professionals and the wealthy). Those opposed to the Brotherhood's move rallied in Tahrir Square, focusing on what they considered Morsi's power grab, as if personal power were his highest goal. Many people seemed to think that invoking "democracy" and legality was the most favorable basis to rally opposition to Morsi.

But by December 4, it became clear to all that the most important issue was not whether the executive office should be overseen by the judiciary, but Morsi's determination to submit the now-completed draft constitution to a referendum. He was confident that he could win the majority of votes—as he had won the presidency—and then, in the name of the will of the people, impose religious rule.

On that day, at least 100,000 demonstrators surrounded the presidential palace, the Ittihadiya, in the Cairo suburb Heliopolis. They eventually broke through police lines, forcing Morsi to flee temporarily. Nothing like that ever happened before, even during the very last days of Mubarak. (There was some question as to whether the youth fought harder this time, or the police melted away more quickly.) The protesters set up tents on the grounds and announced their intention to stay until Morsi rescinded his decrees and postponed the referendum.

The next morning, cell phones rang all over Cairo and many rural areas. Buses were sent to bring men to "defend our president" against "counter-revolutionaries." They reinforced an initial contingent of Morsi supporters who had swept through the area around the palace, tearing down tents and attacking the sit-inners, who had dwindled to a few hundred in number. Later that afternoon, an even larger number of anti-Morsi forces came to the palace to press their demands in the face of extreme violence.

It was, an observer remarked, like the "Battle of the Camel without the camel," referring to a turning point in the upsurge against Mubarak, on February 2, 2011, when Mubarak thugs riding camels and horses and on foot, wielding whips, swords, clubs and rocks, attacked the Tahrir Square sit-in, and the protesters defended themselves with equal ferocity. The animals, used to drive tourists around the nearby pyramid in Giza, were meant not only to terrify the crowd but portray "authentic," traditional Egyptians beating so-called decadent, Westernized youth. (The battle's name also has religious resonance, signifying the Sunni defeat of the future Shias in the 7th century.)

This time again, journalists, bloggers and other eyewitnesses say, the attackers were something between a mob and an armed and organized militia, sometimes ignored by the police, sometimes backed by them. A few men fired at demonstrators with shotguns loaded with birdshot pellets and occasionally bullets. Once again, they were supposed to be the voice of the real Egypt intervening in a privileged neighborhood.

An iconic and now viral video captures the character of that confrontation. It shows a group of bare-headed women led by Shahendra Makhled. This elderly Heliopolis resident is legendary for her radical activism going back to the Nasser years. She organized a march of women (a secular statement in itself) to the palace, hoping to use moral authority to protect the youth from the Islamist attackers. A large bearded man clamps his hand tightly over her mouth for a few seconds until she defiantly pushes him away. The other women chant, "We are all Egyptians (masri)." In disagreement and disbelief, the men yell, "Morsi, Morsi." (El Watan website)

Both sides fought with crowbars, paving stones and knives. Among the at least eight dead or dying by the next morning was a doctor shot on his way home after leaving an emergency medical tent near the palace. More than 1,600 people were reportedly treated for wounds.

What was different, however, from the "Battle of the Camel" is that then, for all the people they killed and injured, the Mubarak forces lost the battle for public opinion. The legitimacy of the protesters in Tahrir and elsewhere across the country grew—many people who remained politically passive came to believe that the Tahrir youth had right on their side. The reactionary forces were isolated and could not sustain their offensive.

That is not the case with the Islamists today. At the height of the anti-Mubarak movement, "The people want the fall of the regime" was basically true, even though the active element was unquestionably a minority, as it almost always is. Today "the people" are clearly divided, and legitimacy and moral right are more strongly contested.

While some people call Morsi "Mubarak with a beard" and repeat the old demand for the fall of the regime, others portray that as a lack of respect for democracy. The concept of democracy in which the vote of the majority is called the will of the people and the source of political authority and legitimacy has been the defining discourse, not only of the self-avowed liberals but most of the youth who consider themselves revolutionaries and the left parties that are often to their right politically. Now it has become one of the two clubs wielded by the Islamists. Yet there is nothing democratic about them in terms of, to take an often-cited and sharp example, whether or not women and children are the property of men.

The intensity of the contest over legitimacy is related to the fact that Egypt's ruling classes are themselves more sharply divided than when it was a question of getting rid of Mubarak and his clique.

The Egyptian state—the armed forces, police, courts, immense and almost omnipresent bureaucracy, etc., has remained almost untouched through this whole process. Yet the divisions within the ruling classes and the political situation in general are weakening the state, no matter what anyone might want.

When Morsi was elected in July, at first the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) that took the reins of government from Mubarak's hands resisted turning over much power to him. After a period of pushing and pulling at the top typical of divided ruling classes, they suddenly reversed their position and stepped back from the front lines of governance.

The Moslem Brotherhood is not contesting the power of the state; it is attempting to encrust itself in it. Although Morsi attacked Mubarak-era judges when he first declared his government beyond the reach of the judiciary, now he seems to be seeking to appease them. The draft constitution preserves the economic perks, political prerogatives and enormous size of the armed forces, and the generals' autonomy from civilian oversight. When Morsi gave the army the authority to intervene in the streets and arrest people on December 10, armed forces representatives welcomed this affirmation of their familiar role as guarantor of order.

As became obvious when army troops and tanks moved in to defend the presidential palace, building a concrete wall around it to keep out demonstrators, right now restoring order means making Morsi's referendum possible. If the judiciary agrees to declare the voting fair and legal, he might win his gamble.

Now it is often the Islamists who are chanting, "The people and the army are one hand." It's painful to hear some of the opposition try to revive that old, disastrously mistaken slogan with the idea that the police and/or armed forces are going to protect them.

What the Egyptian armed forces and the U.S. will do is not clear, but Morsi's attempts to build an alliance with the armed forces and the U.S. are unmistakable.

Whatever the army does is likely to be coordinated with the U.S. The explanation for the Egyptian army's apparent change of heart about Morsi last summer is to be found in the White House. Later, Morsi made his bid for supremacy the day after the U.S. heartily hailed him as a proven "statesman" for having used his influence over Hamas to broker a ceasefire with Israel. When his decree and the ensuing protests plunged Egypt into crisis, U.S. President Barack Obama called Morsi to discuss the matter. Quoting White House sources, the newspaper Al Ahram reported on December 7, "Obama urged opposition leaders to take part in talks with the president without preconditions." That amounted to endorsing Morsi's position.

It is certainly no coincidence that one of the few legislative measures he took under his new powers, other than to push through the referendum, was to approve new taxes and budget reductions required by the IMF. (On December 11, these measures and the negotiations had to be put on hold due to "political instability"—maybe because it was not the right time for the regime to be seen groveling before international capital.)

The anti-Morsi opposition shares his respect for the state, which is another advantage for Morsi at the moment. Amr Moussa, a minister and top diplomat under Mubarak and now one of the two main leaders of the opposition National Salvation Front, told BBC that he is against the revival of the cry, "The people want the fall of the regime." "We are not aiming to topple the President," he said. "We are not aiming to do anything that would lead to the disintegration of the state."

It's not true, as Morsi claims, that the opposition to him is comprised of hired hands and spearheaded by faeloul, remnants of the Mubarak regime. But such people are playing a prominent role in public, and probably more so behind the scenes, through the police, organized thugs and so on. The one consistent role of the police since Mubarak's fall, besides shooting and beating people, has been to foment disorder—disorganizing traffic, tolerating rape, robbery and the black marketeering of daily essentials such as cooking fuel. All this adds to the sense of exhausting chaos that makes life hard for everyone and especially the poor. The country needs order and authority. The question is what kind.

Many of the judges who have opposed Morsi's power grab were appointed under Mubarak. The Salafists who have been conducting a sit-in to demand a purge of what they call Mubarak-tainted personalities from state television are clearly trying to shut down their critics while their own talk show hosts run wild with rumors and outrageous lies, but they have a point: much of the power structure from top to bottom—including many prominent liberal politicians—has been tainted and even discredited by its role under Mubarak. Of course the Moslem Brotherhood has to tread lightly on this question, because it, too, sometimes functioned as a loyal and legitimizing opposition under Mubarak, and would like to pretend that the armed forces they are now courting were neutral.

These are further indications of the persistence of the old regime, the continuing infighting among the ruling classes and the messiness and fluidity of a situation that is not as clearly defined by two neatly arrayed sides as it might seem.

The acknowledged chief of the opposition is Mohammed ElBaradei, leader of the National Salvation Front which encompasses all the liberal and most leftist parties and overlaps with the youth organizations. Mubarak's party, the SCAF and the Brotherhood have all courted him at one time or another. He often turns up in Tahrir Square and makes statements in defense of the youth.

He has a reputation as clean, courageous and uncompromising—but for what goal? Even if it were possible to have the kind of Egypt he promises—an Egypt without corruption or torture but as tightly linked to foreign capital and the international market as it was under Mubarak, with all the inevitably resulting impoverishment, backwardness and inequalities for the masses of people—how could that satisfy the demand for "bread, freedom and social justice"?

In fact, it's hard to see how any government of an Egypt whose people are kept in despair by an imperialist-dependent ruling class could ever do without vicious repression and even torture. It may supply bread—every government has subsidized the price of this mainstay of existence—but it cannot really promise, let alone bring about, a basic change for the peasants denied adequate land and inputs, the impoverished workers in the vast foreign and state-owned textile factories, the urban mass of people who have not really found a place in the city and its economy and the frustrated and furious youth, including the educated youth of all classes who cannot use their skills and talents for the betterment of the country, and often have to seek work abroad. Fulfilling lives are denied to almost everyone. And how could any Egyptian government of the classes dependent on imperialist capital and the international market stand up to the U.S. openly avowed "red line": that Egypt must not falter in helping to protect Israel from the Palestinians?

It would be tragic if those who want revolution in Egypt were to let themselves become pawns in the clash between imperialist-dependent Islamists who offer the false solace of religion, the hypocritical charity of the mosque and the suffocating solidarity of "the community of the faithful" that abolishes critical thinking, on the one hand, and on the other, rival political representatives of imperialist dependency who preach the false solace of "democratic" values that can't change the daily lives of the people or allow them to flourish as human beings.

The Islamists will have an advantage as long as they can portray the conflict as one between the vast masses of the downtrodden and privileged apologists for Western domination. The attempt to paint the secularists as a minority worried mainly about their endangered privileges is aided by the liberals who barely bother to address the basic needs of the lower classes.

The concept of the religious community has been used to hide the need for national liberation, and opponents of Islamic rule are labeled hirelings of unspecified "foreigners" (the Moslem Brotherhood would rather implicitly target "the Jews" and Israel, which bullies Egypt, rather than the U.S., whose political dictates are without appeal and are backed by economic domination). The country cannot win its liberation from imperialism through religion, but only by building a radically different economic, social and political system. It is way past time that the question of classes with antagonistic interests in relation to the country's future be rescued and applied. A big part of the problem is the lack of a real alternative to the frustration and pain of daily life and the religious outlook that expresses hopelessness and submission.

Many people who think they are clear about the reactionary nature of both the Brotherhood and the leadership of the National Salvation Front say that at least the anti-Morsi movement in the streets is out of anyone's control. To that, I would answer yes and no.

It's true that while the Islamists are confident that they can rely on some masses for their reactionary project, the liberals are afraid of upheaval. They did not want the youth and other people to confront the Islamists as determinedly as they did.

Many of those chanting "Morsi is Mubarak with a beard" and "Morsi leave" are out of control in the best sense, in that they are not willing to stop fighting for basic change in conditions they consider unacceptable. Their courage has brought about a situation in which the political awakening of the masses of people and the contention and disarray among the reactionaries could facilitate a real revolution whose goal is to free Egyptians and the world from all oppressive social relationships.

But in a more fundamental sense, that movement is not out of control because so few of its participants are able to see beyond the horizons of the two reactionary outlooks and political trends contending for power. Most importantly, they are not ideologically out of the control of the liberals because implicitly or explicitly they have not broken free of the dominant view that capitalism—with all the particular ways that it stunts the economy, society, lives and spirits in a dominated country like Egypt—is the only possible social system for the foreseeable future, and that socialist revolution as a step toward a communist world is impossible or even undesirable.

Many people think they see through the liberals, but right now they can't imagine any way out but the victory, to put it in a short-hand way, of Morsi or ElBaradei. Frankly, that limitation on the part of what have been the "Tahrir" forces is a big help for Morsi. Lenin wrote of the "strivings of the masses to come under the wing of the bourgeoisie" during periods of revolutionary upheaval in Russia; this applies in Egypt because so many people just don't see where else to turn.

In the last two years we have seen the best and the worst of different sections of "the people," depending on shifting combinations of circumstances. The ousting of Mubarak and much of the fearless political struggle since then has given a glimpse of what the people are capable of, especially when a more advanced section of the people are able to take the initiative.

The problem to be solved is how to access the revolutionary potential among the people. This requires developing an understanding of who are the friends and who are the enemies of the most fundamental interests of the masses of Egyptian people, what are the goals that need to be achieved in the service of those interests, and how to achieve them.

Amidst the thirst for change and the crisis of political legitimacy, the drawing of people into struggle on both sides could be turned into another advantage by a truly revolutionary force. But it also presents the great danger of a serious setback or even a reactionary resolution to this crisis, at least for the moment—and crucial moments like the past two years in Egypt don't come every day in history.

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




Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

A Message to Our Readers:


December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


There really is nothing out there like Revolution newspaper, and the new, radically transformed website.

Where else do you find the work of Bob Avakian, week in and week out—work that ranged, just over this past year, from the interview What Humanity Needs: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism... to commentary on the ruling class’ media and the railroad of the Central Park 5... to getting to the bottom of the Thomas Jefferson controversy... to a unique perspective on “Tebow-Mania”... and much more! Check out the list on the facing page of this issue for a list of BA’s works that appeared for the first time in the pages of Revolution or at just this year. And there is much more to come!

Where else, in print or online, do you get a radical analysis that calls out the crimes of a whole system built on plunder and profit, and that cuts through and breaks out of the whole mindset and terms this system sets on things? Where else do you get a lofty and exciting, but extremely concrete vision of a world established on the foundation of people working together in common, for the common good of all humanity? And where else do you get a picture of all of what it would take to get to that world, and how you and others can be a part of that?

When people are being conditioned to silently go along with the mass incarceration of Black and Latino people... when they are being programmed to accept U.S. murder by drone in large swaths of the world... when they are being lulled into accepting environmental disaster... Revolution and expose why these things are not tolerable. And why they are not necessary! That a whole other world is possible.

At the heart of this project, Revolution and are the main way that the world connects with the work and the leadership of Bob Avakian, and BA’s new synthesis of communism—a source of hope and daring, on a scientific basis, for everyone who wants to see a world without oppression of any kind.

And Revolution, and, are the hub and pivot of a movement for revolution—a way that that movement gets guidance, shares experiences, and keeps track of “where we are in the game” in terms of preparing for, while hastening the moment when a real chance at a successful revolution emerges.

Our current readership and online audience gives—in embryo—a picture of the forces that could lead a revolution in this country: a hardcore readership among the 2.4 million people locked down in the hellish prisons of the U.S.... reaching onto college campuses, into inner-city projects... stretching at moments into the crowds at concerts, and into scientific and artistic scenes.

The launching of the radically revitalized opens potential to reach a much larger audience in the U.S. and around the world. And this readership, and audience, is key to forging a network of thousands now who can lead millions when a chance at revolution emerges.

You may agree with all of the above. Or you may be actively engaging with it, and figuring out what you think. Or you might just be glad this is out there in the world as a real and living challenge to the horrendous terms of political discourse and the continued crimes of imperialist rule, but you can see how important it is that this is out in the world.


It costs money to create the quality of content for the newspaper and website that our readers, and the times, demand. It costs money to print and distribute the newspaper. And despite illusions to the contrary, the Internet is not “free”—in the sense of being outside the domination of the ruling class and its ideas, but also, it costs money to have an accessible, inviting and reliable web presence, and to be found online.

Over the past year, and more, we have been making readers aware—to an extent—of the emergency funding crisis we face in continuing to put out this paper and maintain But that situation is more dire than we have fully communicated. We’ll say it again: THIS PAPER, AND REVCOM.US, CANNOT CONTINUE WITHOUT YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT. And this is not a situation that can continue. It would really be a disaster if this paper, and, were unable to continue to operate. And that is a real danger.

So here’s the plan: Starting right now, we are challenging everyone who looks to and Revolution to become a financial sustainer. For this paper and website to continue in the short-term, everyone reading this—yes, you—needs to sign up. Your contribution—sent by mail, paid online by credit card, or turned in to your local distributor every month, quarterly, semi-annually, or in a lump sum—will allow us to continue to operate. And to expand our audience, and thus the potential financial base for Revolution and

The basic timeline for transforming our financial base over the coming year will be periodic “pledge drives.” The first one STARTS NOW!

Fill out the coupon on this page and send it in, or get it to your local distributor or sign up with your credit card or PayPal account at For a pledge of $120/year received by the end of January, we’ll send you a “greatest hits” DVD of audio and video files available at packaged onto a disc that you can play on your computer or copy to a mobile device. This DVD offers convenient access to selected audio and video that you can listen to and watch without Internet, without waiting for downloads, in the subway, at family gatherings, in classrooms, or on an airplane.

So, pledge now. And send in your ideas for forging a community of sustainers for Revolution and Stay tuned each week for developments, ideas, and new initiatives.





Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

In a world that cries out for fundamental change...

On the History of and Prospects for Communist Revolution


April 15, 2013 New York City

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


Many people see Slavoj Žižek as the preeminent radical thinker of our day. Žižek states that we are “living in end times” that demand the “full reaffirmation of the Idea of communism.” Raymond Lotta, an advocate for Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism, argues that Žižek in fact promotes anticommunism. Žižek declares that the first communist revolutions, in the Soviet Union and China, were failures and closes the door on the emancipation of humanity by attacking Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. Contrary to Žižek, these revolutions were tremendously liberatory; and with this new synthesis, we can go further and do better.

Lotta has called for a public debate. Žižek has now accepted. And the debate is on: Monday, April 15, 2013 in New York City. See the YouTube at:

The world is a horror: accelerating environmental emergency... the objectification and degradation of women, half of humanity... endless wars for empire... 25,000 children dying each and every day of preventable disease and malnutrition. Is there a way out of these horrors? Can there be a radically different and better world? This is the backdrop for this debate on the history of and prospects for communism.

The questions in play are of enormous consequence. What are the lessons and legacy of the socialist revolutions of the 20th century? Can there be a viable and liberatory economic, social, and political alternative to capitalism? What is the potential, and strategy, for revolution in today’s world? At its heart, this debate is about the desirability, the possibility, and pathways for emancipation in a world that cries out for fundamental change—versus leaving the world as it is.

There are big stakes here. Students and intellectuals, activists, artists, basic people and prisoners need to be contributing to the swirl of this debate: studying, arguing, posing questions, and responding to the issues being joined. Starting now, people need to be promoting and building for April 15 in all kinds of creative ways. Tune in to Revolution which will be publishing materials to sharpen the issues of this debate.





Revolution #289 December 23, 2012


It's Great that People Stood up to the Police!
Drop All the Charges!
This Shit Must End!! And WE Must End it!!

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following leaflet was distributed in Chicago:

Jamaal Moore
Courtesy of family of Jamaal Moore. The blue ribbon on his cheek is from the celebration of the birth of Jamaal's son in August.

On December 15, 23-year-old Jamaal Moore was murdered by the police. He had been riding in an SUV the police were chasing, and when it crashed Jamaal got out and a police car ran him over. As he tried to get up, a cop shot him twice in the back. At first the cops said he had a gun, but this was a lie. Later they admitted there was no gun. Jamaal Moore was murdered in cold blood.

Horrified bystanders at the busy intersection of Garfield Blvd and Ashland witnessed this bloodthirsty act. Word spread quickly and people from the immediate area poured angrily into the street to confront the cops. Soon friends and family from Jamaal's neighborhood arrived. When Jamaal's mother asked the police what was going on, one cop told her "Another n*gger dead." This, in a nutshell, is the racist and genocidal program these enforcers carry out for the system. The cops taunted the crowd with this shit and the people erupted with righteous anger right in the cops' faces. People were shouting, "We're tired of this. We're tired of them shooting down our kids." And "fuck the police!" In the face of the guns and clubs, the people defiantly fought back.

A friend said Jamaal had "put aside all of his youthful habits and was getting things together so he could take care of his 4-month-old son." Jamaal was part of a group of tight friends who had grown up together. Only a few days before his death they had a party to celebrate the fact that none of them had been killed through the whole summer and fall of 2012. Pause on that... celebrating 6 months of not getting killed! What does that tell us about the "choices" this system has carved out for a huge section of the Black and Latino youth: death at an early age, prison, or the military where they can kill other oppressed people around the globe for the interests of the same system that is oppressing them. No More! No More!

It is the workings of the capitalist-imperialist SYSTEM that produces killer cops and the mass incarceration of a whole generation of Black and Latino youth—over 2.4 million in prison. We need a revolution to end once and for all the brutal, vicious oppression of Black people and other oppressed nationalities, and the 1,001 other horrors this system inflicts on humanity—the violence and degradation enforced on women all over the world, the wars for empire, the destruction of the environment.

Were the cops who ran over Jamaal and then shot him dead removed from duty? Charged with murder? You know the answer to that question. No. But nine of the courageous people who stood up to the illegitimate power of the police were arrested, 5 of them for "mob action." Some had additional charges for "refusing to disperse" and bogus charges like "clinching his fists as if he intended to strike an officer."

It is very important that people stood up against this wanton police murder! We must spread the resistance and stand with them and stand up for them and demand that charges against them are dropped.

Now is the time to build a movement for revolution. That means we have to

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

Join the Revolution Club! Humanity Needs Revolution and Communism!
Join the People's Patrol! For more info: 312-933-9586

Revolutionary Communist Party Chicago branch




Revolution #289 December 23, 2012

Revolution Books Holiday Party Kicks Off Fund Drive:

Humanity Needs Revolution!
The Revolution Needs Revolution Books!
Revolution Books Needs You!

December 23, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


December 14, 2012, there was a really great holiday open house and party at Revolution Books in New York. Eighty people crowded into the store, and they found DJ Macnificent spinning, a jazz duo, a dance performance, messages of solidarity, international food, holiday gift books, and great conversation. The feeling of celebration was fueled by a sense of purpose that RB must not be lost, that it must become financially self-sufficient by early next year; more, to do so it needs to play a much bigger role out in the world—saving Revolution Books is part of saving humanity and the planet from its course of monstrous misery, deprivation, war, and environmental destruction.

Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books, laid out what the existence of this store means to people: "You can buy your books for less elsewhere. You can donate to organizations that offer charity to meet basic needs of some of those brutalized and abandoned by this system, but there is no place else, no other bookstore, no other culture center, that is a center of a movement for revolution that could make all the difference in the world. . . . And if you're "talkin 'bout a revolution," then you need to know about BA. This is why over the past year RB has been a hub of promoting the BA EVERYWHERE campaign—hosting the fund raising dinners and gatherings for volunteers who were a part of the BAsics Bus Tour—taking this handbook for revolution from talks and writings of Bob Avakian deep into the ghettos here and in the deep South—awakening a yearning for a way out and fusing this revolutionary theory and strategy with people's need and desire to fight back."

One particularly moving part of the evening was when a sustainer of the store read a powerful letter from a prisoner and then added her own thoughts about the importance of sustaining Revolution Books: "I love this letter because it for me really focuses how the situation of my life and what I can sacrifice in order to support this place. I think we all struggle with making decisions about where our resources are going to go. I for one can't read something like this and then not become a sustaining member of this bookstore. My life is incredibly easy. What I can do to support this place by showing up and reading a letter from someone who is locked down somewhere, it's great. But if I let lack of financial resources shut this place down, then the system that we're talking about has won. And that's just the truth, that's how I see it."

People at the party were challenged to take responsibility for getting Revolution Books out into the world with both its mission and making the store financially self-sufficient. People were urged to sign up to be part of teams that would be spearheading the effort. One team will be taking the store into the world "kicking up a ruckus with substance and science," another will be building the internet presence of the store, a third will be building the financial base, and a fourth will be organizing events. People have been very excited about the announced debate in April between Raymond Lotta and Slavoj Žižek on the history of and prospects for communist revolution.

The people attending the store party were very diverse. There were members of the New York Revolution Club, faculty members and students from local schools, long-time political activists and people new to the revolution, people from the movement against mass incarceration, artists, and people who love to read about the world.

The event went late into the evening with people sitting in small groups engaged in intense discussion of the biggest questions facing humanity. Many people stayed for the whole evening and didn't want to leave. The weekend of the party was also the kickoff of an intense effort to win 40 new monthly financial sustainers for the store, and 27 new sustainers have already stepped forward.

One of the messages of solidarity, from a friend of the bookstore who works in the publishing industry, captured the spirit of the evening: "Wish I could be with you in person to share our appreciation of this unique bookstore. All bookstores are precious, but this one is especially so because it points the way to ending an evil system—CAPITALISM—and teaches us all how to fight for a system which provides health, education, housing and dignity to everyone! LONG LIVE REVOLUTION BOOKSTORE!"