Revolution #330, February 16, 2014 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

Two Years Since the Murder of Trayvon Martin

The Dogs Are Still in the Streets

by Carl Dix | February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


February 26—two years since the vigilante murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Two years since Trayvon went to the store for iced tea and Skittles and encountered George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch member and wannabe cop, on the way back. Zimmerman saw Trayvon’s Black skin and hoodie and decided he “was up to no good.” He shot and killed Trayvon in cold blood.

This murder took us back to the murder of Emmett Till almost 60 years ago by some white men who thought he had done wrong. And back to the days of lynching when white mobs could grab any Black person and murder them for any reason, or for no reason at all. And back to slavery when Black people were considered property to be used and abused, to be worked, whipped, murdered and raped at the whim of their masters. These white supremacist criminals were NEVER punished, and their actions delivered a message that Black people had no rights that white people were bound to respect.

As news of Trayvon’s murder spread, outrage built. Thousands of people took to the streets demanding justice. Many more people wondered what it meant that, although Zimmerman was found standing next to Trayvon’s dead body, he wasn’t arrested and put on trial. Weeks of nationwide protests forced the authorities to back up and charge Zimmerman with Trayvon’s murder.

Many expected this would lead to justice. But the system worked the way it has worked since the days of slavery and the days of lynching. Trayvon’s killer walked free, and the system flashed a green light to every cop, every racist and every wannabe cop that it is open season on Black youth. Now it’s two years later, and the dogs are still in the street. A mother still needs to fear that every time her son steps out the door, it could be to meet the bullet of a cop or a racist vigilante. More than ever, it is time to take a stand.

The MURDER of Trayvon Martin

Let’s go back to what happened on that day. Zimmerman called the local non-emergency responder and reported Trayvon as a suspicious character. As he waited, he told the operator that “These assholes always get away.” Zimmerman made sure this one didn’t “get away.” He stalked Trayvon, confronted him and shot him dead at point-blank range.

The cops came onto the scene and found Zimmerman standing next to Trayvon’s dead body. They took him to the station, got his story and let him walk free! They drug-tested Trayvon’s dead body, but didn’t test the killer for drugs.

Houston, Texas, March 25, 2012. Photo: AP

The outrage and protest that spread nationwide over this murder forced the system to arrest Zimmerman and put him on trial. But in the lead-up to the trial, things got turned upside down. Trayvon had been demonized in the media, becoming not an unarmed child who was targeted, stalked and killed, but someone who had been suspended from school and been in trouble before, as a thug who made Zimmerman fear for his life. And Zimmerman, the armed stalker, became a noble neighborhood defender who was forced to kill Trayvon because he was in fear for his life.

And the trial itself was a straight-up travesty of justice. It was like Trayvon was the one being put on trial, not Zimmerman. The court invoked a rule developed to prevent prosecutors from removing Black people from juries to block the prosecution in this case from removing whites from the jury. The result of this was a jury that was almost all white and had NO Black people! This jury included a woman who felt there was something wrong with Trayvon being out after 7 p.m. and another with a cop relative. This was a case that was about Zimmerman targeting and murdering Trayvon because he was Black, but the judge ruled that the prosecution couldn’t use the term “racial profiling.” Yet the defense was allowed to put on a witness to tell of having been robbed by two Black youth. What the hell did that have to do with Trayvon’s murder!

The cops that the prosecution put on the witness stand did such a good job of telling Zimmerman’s story that his defense didn’t need to have him testify and face cross-examination. And Rachel Jeantel, who was on the phone with Trayvon as he was being stalked by Zimmerman and as he was shot dead, and was the witness who spoke the most truth about what happened that night, got ridiculed in court and in the media for the way she talked, how she looked and her righteous anger at being dogged by Zimmerman’s lawyer. Zimmerman was found not guilty. He literally got away with murder!

Compare this to the way the white men who murdered Emmett Till walked free after the lily-white jury deliberated for all of one hour. And how the white mobs that lynched thousands of Black people in the days of the old Jim Crow never faced trial at all. Amerikkka had once again delivered a message that Black people had no rights that white people were bound to respect. It had underscored the reality that youth like Trayvon would live their lives with a bull’s-eye on their backs; one that cops, and any racist, could use for target practice.

This verdict underscored the way this country has criminalized Blacks and Latinos, especially the youth. It is at the heart of racial profiling policies like stop-and-frisk that put young people on a trajectory of going in and out of prison. It is a feature of the warehousing of 2.3 million people, more than 60 percent of them Black or Latino, in prisons in the U.S. It is concentrated in the way that more than five million former prisoners, again disproportionately Black and Latino, are treated as less than full human beings after they’ve served their sentences. The vigilante murder of Trayvon had everything to do with the genocidal program, including mass incarceration that this country’s rulers have unleashed against Blacks and Latinos.

Cincinnati, Ohio, March 26, 2012.

In response people hit the streets in cities across the country. Black and Latino youth defiantly and righteously called out this lynching verdict. Parents in tears held their children and wondered how to tell them that this verdict meant a potential death sentence hung over their heads, one that may or may not be carried out. People of all nationalities, including many white people, joined the protests saying they couldn't stand by in silence while Black people were mistreated like this. People of all nationalities raised the cry that “We are all Trayvon!”

What can you say about a system that sanctions the murder of innocent, unarmed youth for no reason other than the color of their skin? What can you say about a system that has confronted whole generations of Black and Latino youth with futures of hopelessness? What can you say about a system that treats these youth like they’re guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive to prove their innocence?

Such a system is no damned good! It’s illegitimate, and must be done away with as soon as possible. A big part of getting ready for the time when that might be possible, and working to bring that time about as soon as possible, is: fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution. Mobilizing masses to stand up and fight back against the system’s attacks. And bringing to them an understanding of the source of these attacks—the capitalist system—and what it’ll take to end them once and for all—revolution.

We don‘t have to put up with this system and all the other horrors this system enforces on humanity—the vicious assaults on women, the massive government spying, the wars for empire, the ravaging of the environment and more. Things don’t have to be this way. We can end all these horrors thru revolution, communist revolution. In Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) who has brought the science and method of revolution and communism to a whole new level, we have the leadership needed to make this revolution. The RCP has a strategy for getting ready and in position to make revolution in a country like this when the time is right. And we are building a movement for revolution that people who hate the way they and others are forced to live need to get with.

In that spirit, on February 26, two years since the murder of Trayvon, we must take up the call from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network for a Day of Outrage and Remembrance for Trayvon. Take to the streets and engage in other forms of resistance everywhere on that day. We must raise our voices to declare “We Are All Trayvon! The Whole Damn System Is Guilty!”

We must act today as Michael Dunn, the white man who murdered 17-year-old Jordan Davis in Florida because he felt Davis's music was too loud, goes on trial; as the killer of Renisha McBride, who was shot dead as she sought help after her car broke down, awaits trial in Detroit; and as Marissa Alexander, the Black woman who got a 20-year jail sentence for firing a warning shot to defend herself against her ex-husband who threatened to brutalize her, fights to get that sentence overturned. We must do this not only in memory of Trayvon, but for Andy Lopez, Ramarley Graham, Jonathan Ferrell, Jesus Huerta and all the others dead at the hands of the police. And for all the youth forced to live their lives with a bull’s-eye on their backs.

To all the people who were outraged at the murder of Trayvon and the exoneration of his murderer and are still angry but who haven't been in the streets since the trial, to others for whom these events may have receded from memory—join us in the streets and in acting in other ways on February 26. Youth shouldn’t be criminalized and demonized. Whether people live and how they live shouldn’t be determined by the color of their skin. Add your voice to those sending a message on that day that: THIS IS INTOLERABLE AND MUST BE STOPPED.







Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

Moving Ahead with BA Everywhere—Imagine the Difference It Could Make

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


All the suffering, all the devastation of people and the earth, are, at this moment in human history, unnecessary.

A far better world is possible through revolution. There is a vision and a framework for a radically new society and world concentrated in the new synthesis of communism developed by the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian. There is a strategic approach to building the movement for this revolution. And there is a leadership to make this revolution in Bob Avakian, “BA,” and the Party he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Revolution – Nothing Less! Van Tour in Washington Heights, New York, Summer 2013

This is real and it is possible. People need to know about this potential in every corner of society. If they did, it would change everything. This could contribute to the movement for revolution developing with impact and influence throughout the country. People would be discussing and debating what is the root cause of the hell most people on this planet live in and what is the solution that could actually lead to the emancipation of humanity.

To make BA known requires big sums of money. To raise the kinds of funds that are needed requires people working together to change the most important thing there is—bringing about a world without all the oppression and exploitation of people and the planet that this vicious capitalist-imperialist system brings down every second and every minute.

The BA Everywhere—Imagine the Difference It Could Make!campaign—is the leading edge of a whole movement for revolution, a national fundraising campaign to raise really massive sums of money, involving growing numbers of people, so that BA becomes a household word, so that the vision and framework of the new synthesis of communism is known throughout the country, reaching around the world. So that BA and the revolutionary vision and framework he has developed becomes a contending pole for a liberatory new society arrayed up against the killing program and oppressive reality that people live today.

In 2014 we can and need to make big advances in raising funds and making BA known everywhere as a part of a whole process, a whole ensemble, of work so that the movement for revolution has impact and influence throughout society. We’re getting this going now while making plans for the year. But, we want to hear from you—both those who have been active in the campaign as well as those just finding out about it today.

We need your thinking, your suggestions, for how to reach and tap into the deepest aspirations of those this system has cast off—from the youth with no future who are dogged by the police and racist vigilantes, to older folk discarded by this heartless system, to young women who face a 1-in-3 chance they will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, to students and professionals who want to contribute to a better world, as well as progressive wealthy people—to all who feel the profound need for a radically different and better world. Check out the questions we posed in an editorial in Revolution two weeks ago (#328, February 2, 2014) to help focus your thinking so that we can unleash a process of national collective wrangling with what it will it take, and what the campaign should look like in 2014. Send us your proposals—fully formed, or even just a beginning idea—for how to bring BA Everywhere to people from all parts of society and struggle with them to generously donate to BA Everywhere to make BA and the radical vision and plan for revolution and whole new world known everywhere.

We have received some ideas already, and we have been discussing a vision for the year to advance BA Everywhere in 2014. With this editorial, we want to get the ball rolling with some concrete proposals that will be components of this plan so that people can start working with them now, continuing through the spring. And to provoke more percolation so that soon we can put forward a fuller vision and plan for BA Everywhere in 2014.

First and foremost, at the heart of BA Everywhere, what everything pivots around, is national fundraising for the overall objectives of the campaign—raising funds among people from all walks of life, from the bottom to the top, among all nationalities, so that BA and what he has brought forward becomes known. So that, as a group of people from Harlem and the Bronx, NYC. who baked and sold pies over the holidays to raise hundreds of dollars for the campaign, put it—this revolution and BA “won’t just be a vision, but become a reality.” This requires bold plans and struggle. It involves reaching out to, struggling with, and changing the thinking of blocs of people—a neighborhood, a school, a cultural scene, whole sections of people—working on changing their thinking about the problem and the solution to what’s going down in the world and giving them the opportunity, and struggling with them, to donate to the campaign that will make all the difference in the world.

The BA Everywhere campaign has done some audacious things over the past two years that have made a real difference. Just a few examples:

All of this needs to be amplified and assume an even greater national presence. In 2014 we need to raise funds that go beyond the cost of the different projects that BA Everywhere undertakes. A large pool of funds is required mount the kind of society-wide presence necessary, including having the ability to respond to events in the world with billboards, advertisements, and in many other ways to reach millions with BA when things are sharply posed in society.

Two Immediate Ways to Advance BA Everywhere Now

Here we want to propose two interrelated ways to advance BA Everywhere beginning right now and continuing through the spring—both of which will contribute to an overall plan that extends through the year.

First, we need to make wide use of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live. People need to be seeing it, discussing it, and making it an impetus as well as a focus for fundraising so that BA becomes a household word.

Interpenetrating with getting out in a big way with this film, but as a crucial means and a lever in its own right to advance the movement for revolution with BA Everywhere as its leading edge, is a plan for youth—especially those for whom this system has no future—as well as students and people of all ages and from other sections of society to take up wearing the T-shirt that says “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” People can wear this themselves and make a statement, and/or they should be encouraged to, and organized to, wear it together with others. And this should be photographed in a good way and popularized on the website, building community and giving a living picture of a movement for BA Everywhere, inspiring people from all walks of life to contribute to the BA Everywhere campaign.

Wearing this T-shirt should come to be seen as an act of defiance. Wearing the T-shirt, and especially when people stand with others to do so, can become a pole of attraction and controversy. The strong message of the shirt, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, speaks to and can draw forward a section of people who are fed up with things as they are today and who come to see wearing the shirt as a way of taking a stand.

There is an entry-level way people can get into this. For example, a small group hangs together for a day all wearing the T-shirt—going out to eat or to the movies, riding buses or trains, walking through the park—becoming a presence. Or, this could be done on a day when the movement for revolution is holding an event in an area. This can give people a sense of impacting the scene with some power, of a crew that is together with a purpose.

Wearing the T-shirt, especially as it becomes something that people do together—like in a class, or out on a basketball court, or when people go together to a protest like V-Day/One Billion Rising For Justice on February 14, can be a way that youth and others make a statement—yes, even a fashion statement—against all the shit that is heaped on people, all the ways that people are demeaned and devalued, all the ways this system pits people against each other. People hate this shit, and wearing the T-shirt is one way, in the context of the overall BA Everywhere campaign as the leading edge of a whole movement for revolution, to stand against all that pushes people down, and to stand up for the future.

The wearing of T-shirts and a movement that develops around doing so will be projected by the BA Everywhere campaign to raise major funds from all kinds of people for the campaign as a whole. As photos and YouTubes of people wearing the shirts spread and are pulled together and amplified on the website, this can have a big impact on many different people to donate not only to make the shirts available inexpensively, but for the campaign as a whole.

Taking up the T-shirt can be a way that youth and others go out themselves to raise funds for BA Everywhere by winning “sponsors” for their shirts. Learning from “Run for the Cure” and other fundraising mass campaigns that people are familiar with, going out and getting sponsorships will be a way that youth reach out to friends, classmates, neighbors, and others to support their wearing the shirt, and to learn about BA and REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and to support the BA Everywhere campaign. There should be a range of sponsorships—for example (and we are not setting the prices here), for $12 someone could sponsor a friend and get their own shirt. For $1,200 someone could sponsor 200 shirts. All this should be projected through the website and promotional literature as one expression of BA Everywhere that is raising money for the campaign overall.

Taking up and wearing the T-shirt and fighting for sponsorships will involve real struggle with friends, neighbors, and co-workers over what is the problem in the world and what is the solution as well as over why donating funds to make BA a household word can make a very big difference. And if people decide to wear the T-shirt alone or together—to an event, or school, or just out for the day—it might well involve sharp struggle, with real stakes, up against people who will oppose it. Standing firm, going up against intimidation, continuing to wear the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt, involving even more people in doing so or simply standing with and supporting those wearing the shirt in the context of BA Everywhere being the leading edge of a whole movement that on different fronts is “Fighting the Power, and Transforming the People, for Revolution”—all this will strengthen the whole movement, giving revolutionary edge and content to it. Wearing the T-shirt in this context can impel people to get into the film. It can come to be seen as a way to “signify” against all the shit that people are forced to live—signifying in a basic way standing up for a different better world—and identifying this with BA.

The BA “image” button has shown some of the same potential and should also be popularized. Two weeks ago Revolution told of a teenager who wanted the BA button because it “shows who I am.” One year, at a graduation ceremony at Crenshaw High School in LA, a number of students wore a pin with a quotation from BA.

Part of the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt catching on and becoming one way people are inspired to donate to BA Everywhere is if people from different sections are doing this. If college students from the campuses are “crossing the tracks” and joining the youth from neighborhoods of oppressed people. If artists and musicians wear the shirt “onstage” or in other settings, this can have a big impact—opening up space for the youth to do so—and, again, all this should be marshaled to raise funds overall.

All of this will be amplified and given shape on the BA Everywhere section of the website. When people go to the site, they should see the impact that BA Everywhere is having, and find the ways they can donate and the means to be a part of the campaign.

Before concluding, it is worth returning to the importance of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live. This film, along with BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, is foundational to changing the world. REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! is a daring, substantive, summoning to revolution that can change how people see the world and what they do with the rest of their lives. From the premiere showings, to significant public library showings in Los Angeles and Berkeley, to deep discussions in bookstores and living rooms, we have seen the impact BA has on people seeing this film.

Beginning right now and running through the spring, REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! should be shown in libraries in different communities, in classrooms and college auditoriums, in community centers and in housing projects, at salons among professionals and people with significant means. REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! should be all over the place—with people experiencing BA full out and getting a more profound sense of why big funds are needed now so that really large numbers of people—way beyond what the movement for revolution reaches directly—know about BA. Show the whole film—with an intermission, or in two sessions over two days. Let people experience the sweep of BA’s talk. These showings can be fundraising events. There can also be screenings that are not directly fundraising events but serve to give people an understanding and appreciation of BA and how he approaches the world as a deeper foundation for involving them in making and carrying out plans to raise funds for the campaign. At the same time, at Revolution Books stores and other places people will be digging into the film chapter by chapter to learn even more deeply the method and approach that BA takes.

* * * * *

Taking up the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts—showing through pictures and videos a sense of the national movement that is taking root around the country—and spreading the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! are two components of an overall plan that we plan to put forward soon to make big leaps in 2014 in raising funds to spread BA, and his vision and framework for a radically new society, everywhere.

We look forward to learning from reports—and seeing pictures—of first efforts with the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts (including at V-Day/A Billion Rising For Justice events). And we look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas for big advances for BA Everywhere in 2014.




Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

"Don't people deserve to gain an understanding of what someone has brought forward as a way out of all this madness!?"

A Letter to My Family About Donating to the BA Everywhere Campaign

February 7, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From the Editors: The following is a copy of a letter a young revolutionary wrote to their family during the holiday season. The writer has decided to share it with other readers in order to encourage as many people as possible to contribute to the BA Everywhere—Imagine the Difference It Could Make! campaign and to join the writer in taking BA and this campaign out to everyone they know.


Oh hi family =)

So as many of you already know, I am a big fan of the truth. I have never understood why only some truth is allowed to come out, is put on the table, is valid. I have come to understand that only certain people have been granted the right to tell the truth, to redeem themselves, and to be rewarded for getting beyond their bad decisions. While some people are forced to confront their bad decisions on a constant basis; and others never, only forced to confront them when necessary, in moments of desperation.

What I have laid out here is both true universally in society, but also as characteristics of this family. That may be hard to hear but it does reflect a larger reality that most people have never had to confront because it makes them uncomfortable... and so just like the larger world they will not and cannot confront, this way of approaching reality is then reinforced in families. I am attempting to change some of that with this letter.

As someone who has been brought up by a woman who defies gravity by refusing to fall despite everything against her, I have become someone who also attempts to defy some things... i.e. the ways of thinking this system puts on people. I strive for the truth, and the ways in which what is true today can be changed for the better tomorrow. What I mean by this is, the reality we face today, i.e. 10 million children a year dying of malnutrition and preventable disease, 1/3 of women being brutalized in some form, wars for empire, mass incarceration, destruction of the environment, ALL of those things need to be put to an end, and what I have found in my time here, is a way out of this madness. And look, these are all major things, and you might not think they directly affect you, but in fact they do. They affect all of us.

Imagine a world where people didn't have to escape from the everyday realities through drugs and alcohol. Imagine a world where women could walk down the street at night alone, without fear. Imagine people relating to each other on the basis of seeing each other as full human beings, not on the basis of their conditioned gender roles. Imagine everyone having a say in how society was run, everyone having a role to play, everyone having a responsibility to the flourishing of society. We can get there, and it is going to take a revolution. There is a basis to get to a whole other world, a far better world, and right now it takes people raising their sights, and it takes a vision and a strategy that can lead us there. Bob Avakian is a revolutionary that came out of the movements of the 1960s, and has forged a party, a strategy, and vision, through a scientific understanding of how revolution was made throughout history, what went wrong, what advancements were made, and how we could go farther, today. And look I don't literally mean today, but it is going to take people going out into society, taking out the works of Avakian, and engaging people in the understanding that he has brought forward. This is not the best of all possible worlds, it just isn't. This system is run by a handful of people who control all the wealth, power, knowledge, and means of production, while the rest of us get to live by what they deem to be beneficial to this system remaining intact. Knowing what I know today, I cannot sit idly by and allow people to believe there is no other way the world could be, or no real way out.

This year, I have been all over the country, fighting for women's right to abortion, which is being stripped away state by state, restriction by restriction, under the false pretenses of being about women's 'health and safety.'. NO! Not only are these attacks not at all based on any reality (i.e. fetal pain, health risks of abortion, etc.), this assault on women's right to abortion is ultimately about hammering women back to a place where it can be made no mistake that the sole reason they exist on this earth is to reproduce. Along my travels I have met many people who truly believe this is all women are good for, and who are doing their damnedest to make sure abortion is inaccessible to women all over the country. This is absolutely outrageous and needs to be exposed and opposed if women are going to be viewed and treated as full human beings. The group Stop Patriarchy has been out on the front lines fighting back against these attacks and other forms of degradation of women and is a movement that will not stop short of the full liberation of women. Fighting on this front is something Bob Avakian has noted as key to any revolution worth making. People need to start shaking off these ways of thinking about women, and it needs to be on the basis of science and reality. None of this is impossible. Throughout my travels, I have seen for myself, the ways in which people can transform when they are shaken to the core and begin to understand how so much of what they thought to be true has been imposed on them!

ALL TRUTH needs to be spoken about, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes you. No matter what you think in this immediate moment, abortion is a necessary procedure, and it matters what people do now, as far as keeping it safe, legal, and accessible to all women who need it. No matter what you think in this immediate moment, you know women in your life who have been raped. No matter what you think in this immediate moment, slavery has taken new form in mass incarceration and it is affecting how you look at oppressed minorities, as well as how they look at themselves. No matter what you think in this immediate moment, we are living off of the exploitation of Third World nations.

Make you uncomfortable? GOOD =)

So why am I saying all this? Besides the fact you should all know about this guy and check him out and at least gain an understanding of what I'm into!? I urge you, this holiday season to DONATE to getting the works of Bob Avakian out into society. This is someone who cares so much about the future of humanity, and its potential, that he has put his life on the line, and worked nonstop over decades leading, inspiring, and rallying people to revolution, and even if you don't agree with the need for revolution right now, I ask you... why not allow masses of people to engage with this and determine whether or not it is the way out? Don't people deserve to gain an understanding of what someone has brought forward as a way out of all this madness!? This year, I do not want anyone spending any kind of money on me for things I do not need. I have everything I could need and much more. What I do want you to do is to donate to this, because this world is a horror, but it doesn't have to be this way.

I love you all

SO MUCH! xoxoxoxox





Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

Chocolates, Tamales, and a Community Picnic—Raising Money for BA Everywhere

February 9, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

In December and January, a diverse array of people were part of fundraising efforts that included selling chocolate bars, making and selling tamales, and doing a community picnic. A beginning neighborhood Revolution Club was starting to come together and took a step forward in the course of doing this. We decided it would be important to set a goal that rose to the occasion of the breakthroughs needed in raising massive funds for BA Everywhere, and that there was a basis to accomplish by reaching out and involving more people along the way. We decided on a goal of $1,000, and to date, we have raised $806. Inspired by the Harlem-Bronx team's determination to fight through on meeting (and exceeding!) their goal of $1000, and the collectivity they forged in doing so, we are working on a V-Day cupcake/cookie bake sale to meet and exceed our goal. V-Day is a re-casting of Valentine's Day into a day of standing up against violence against women and we're using quotes from BAsics about the oppression and liberation of women as part of how we are building this fundraiser.

The chocolate sale started with just a few people getting together to brainstorm ideas about how we could raise money. One woman who has been getting into BA over the last year proposed selling chocolates because it is a form a lot of people are familiar with and that could involve new people. As we began to get going with this, she wrote a letter calling on people to be part of this effort. We talked about how we could sell the chocolates in a way that people would be able to know why we are selling them and learn about BA and the campaign. In addition to telling people why, we decided a visual would make a difference, so another person who took this up designed a display to tape onto the box.

We reached out to different people to be part of this. Someone who cuts hair in a barbershop and has hosted screenings of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! happily took a box of chocolates to sell at his station, and when he ran out asked for a second box to continue to contribute. In addition to the display taped to the box, he put a stack of cards next to it promoting the film Stepping into the Future and put up a poster for the film. A young woman who had come to the premiere of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and been very inspired by it, but also pulled away from the movement for revolution since then, saw in this project a chance to make a meaningful contribution and took a box of chocolates which she asked her mother to sell at the dentist's office she works in. A Spanish-speaking reader of Revolution newspaper who regularly sells the newspaper in his neighborhood took a box of chocolates and sold those as well. A man who fundraises to support a program for children with disabilities and understands the importance of raising funds sold a box and a half of chocolates to contribute to BA Everywhere because he is a supporter of Revolution Books and wants to see people get into this. A couple of people who are involved in the movement for revolution in varying ways each bought a whole box and gave away chocolates to friends.

At a picnic fundraiser and showing of Stepping into the Future hosted by the Revolution Club and the BA Everywhere Committee, lots of food was donated and a woman who makes tacos for a living brought her grill and made tacos in the park. People came from different parts of the city, and some people from the neighborhood joined in. A woman who had days before encountered revolutionaries on the street came and proudly put both her donation and an additional donation she'd raised from someone else in the collection bucket. She had read the quote from Bob Avakian that was on the flyer for the picnic about imagining a whole different art and culture that doesn't degrade women (BAsics 2:8) and wanted to watch Stepping into the Future. Someone else who was just in the park that day had encountered revolutionaries in the neighborhood some months earlier and appreciated this movement was speaking out against the criminalization of the youth. He joined in the picnic on the spot, giving a donation and sitting down to watch the film.

The chocolate sale was popularized at the picnic and was one way a number of people were brought into taking it up. Some people in the Revolution Club got boxes to sell and organized an outing together. One of them wrote about this experience:

One afternoon a couple of members from the Revolution Club went out to sell chocolates at a busy street corner. It was the same night that Stepping into the Future was premiering. We went out with invitations to the premiere and everyone who was buying chocolates, we would invite them to the premiere. We had a long conversation with a man who was fresh out of prison and he agreed with many things we were saying and he also had questions, like "what kind of revolution are you talking about?" He also brought up personal responsibility and if only people would change their ways and parents raised their kids right maybe things would change but we struggled with him and explained why that would never work. We talked about Trayvon Martin and asked him if he was seriously blaming Trayvon's parents in that situation! And many other Black and Latino youth who get killed for being a certain color. And he also talked about the situation in prisons and how guards put the Blacks against the Latinos and make them fight or not like each other just for their sick entertainment. And as our conversation continued we told him this is all part of a system that pits Blacks and Latinos against each other to keep them from lifting their sights and seeing who the real enemy is. He ended up taking Revolution newspaper and said he would look online to read more from BA because he needed to learn more from this leader before he would think about joining.

She also involved her mother in making tamales and while making tamales together they talked deeply about the oppression of women, with the mother telling the daughter horror stories about feudal traditions in the country she came from and the daughter telling her mother truths about abortion that her mother never knew. These kinds of exchanges were an important element in the process of raising funds to project into the world the leadership and understanding to make real revolution to liberate all of humanity. And one thing we are summing up as we move forward is the need to really deepen the engagement with Bob Avakian for people who are beginning to get involved in this and deepen their understanding of why the campaign to raise funds is the leading edge now of building a movement for revolution and building the party as the leading core.

Across town some other people also made tamales to contribute to this project and Revolution Books sent out an e-mail to their list so people could place orders and pick up their tamales at the bookstore.

In the course of all this, the Revolution Club sent out a challenge to others to match the $1,000 goal with $1,000 donations of their own. The dynamic of coming together in this campaign with people across the country through the pages of Revolution newspaper has been important and we are learning from and inspiring each other. The person who wrote the challenge had this to say in relation to the Harlem-Bronx team: "I think what they are doing is very inspiring because this society looks down on people from the neighborhoods and tells you they are not capable of leading but they actually are capable of that and much more. These are the kinds of things people should be doing...raising funds and coming together to learn why it's such a big deal that they are involved in this campaign. And it inspires people that read their story to want to do the same with their friends and neighbors."




Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

This call was issued by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network:

February 26, 2014
2 years since the murder of Trayvon Martin
A Day of Outrage and Remembrance
We Are All Trayvon Martin, The Whole Damn System is Guilty

January 13, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


February 26, 2014 - 2 years since Trayvon Martin was murdered by vigilante, wannabe cop George Zimmerman; 2 years since this 17-year-old African-American walking home at 7:15 PM with skittles and iced tea and wearing a hoodie was murdered because he looked "suspicious" and "up to no good" to Zimmerman.

Zimmerman didn't know Trayvon—had never met him or spoke to him. But America had taught Zimmerman that Black youth are guilty until proven innocent. And he learned this lesson well. Zimmerman called Trayvon "a punk," "a fucking asshole," and said "they always get away...."

He stalked Trayvon, confronted him and shot him dead.

This was a modern day lynching. It sent a message that Black youth have a bulls-eye on their backs that cops and any ordinary racist can use as target practice. The recent murders of Renisha McBride in Detroit, Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, Florida, Jonathan Smith in North Carolina and Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa, California underscore this message.

In response we must deliver our own message: we will not stand by in silence as our youth are brutalized, locked up, murdered and more. On Feb. 26th, we must say NO MORE! to the criminalization of whole generations of Black and Latino youth.

Look at what this case revealed. When the police arrived on the scene finding Zimmerman standing over Trayvon's dead body, they drug tested Trayvon—the victim—and let Zimmerman—the killer—walk free. It took weeks of nationwide mobilization to force the authorities to put Zimmerman on trial.

Then Trayvon was put on trial. Stories of marijuana being found in his backpack and a school suspension filled the media. As Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother, put it: "They've killed my son, and now they are trying to kill his reputation."

In the trial, the judge ruled the prosecution could talk about profiling, but not RACIAL profiling. The prosecutors forgot how to prosecute, putting on Zimmerman's case so well he didn't have to testify. The defense assassinated the character of Trayvon and then unleashed crude insults and racist attacks on Rachel Jeantel, who spoke the truth about what happened the night of Trayvon's murder.

The question is what will we do now in the face of this outrage? Will we stand by in silence as youth like Trayvon die or face lives of brutality, misery and incarceration? Or will we stand up and say NO MORE!—on February 26, 2014, and from here on out? Now is NOT the time to "move on." Now IS the time for basic people and youth, professors and students, artists and writers, athletes, musicians and prominent voices of conscience to rise up in spirited resistance with the clear objective of STOPPING mass incarceration, criminalization and murder of our youth.

On February 26, step off in determined street protests; hold campus teach-ins and cultural events; speak out in the media; spread the image and national sticker "We Are All Trayvon, The Whole Damn System is Guilty" and say NO MORE! to the green light this system has given to police and vigilantes to gun down and murder any youth they deem "suspect" because of the color of their skin or the clothes they wear. Spread the "We Say No More" statement which condemns the murder of Trayvon.

The murder of Trayvon was and is a towering outrage. Remember: when the verdict came down many thousands rejected the call for "calm reflection" from Obama and others and took to the streets in outrage. Many more asked: Why does this happen? And, what can we do about it? There is a challenge before us: what kind of world are we going to live in? On February 26, 2014 we must answer that challenge with a day of outrage and remembrance for Trayvon Martin and all the others like Trayvon.

Hoodies Up! We Are All Trayvon,

The Whole Damn System is Guilty!

The Youth Are Not Suspects, They Are Human Beings!

Stop Mass Incarceration Network, P.O. Box 941 Knickerbocker Station, New York, NY 10002-0900

Email:,, Twitter:@StopMassIncNet, Phone: 347-979-SMIN (7646)





Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

Break the Chains! Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!

Fight for the Liberation of Women All Over the World!
March 8—International Women's Day

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Across the planet, women are being slammed backwards—facing the epidemic of rape, the scourge of sexual slavery, the degradation of pornography, the imprisonment of the veil, the humiliation of the woman-hating cultures, and the countless other punishments meted out against women and young girls for the "crime" of being born female.

From A Declaration: For the Liberation of Women and the Emancipation of Humanity:

"The fabric of women's oppression is carved deeply into the calloused hands of women in the sweatshops of China and Honduras. It is draped over the faces of young women in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. It is stripped off the bodies of girls of Moldova and Bangkok who are put up for sale in brothels worldwide, and it is worn like a prize by pre-teens in the U.S. and Europe who are taught to dress and move like sex objects long before they understand what sex even is. This fabric ropes back into history, it winds its way around the globe, braided into all the dominant religions and "moral codes" and woven into every aspect of human societies. It is a heavy veil that casts the darkness of humanity's first oppressive divisions over the lives, the dreams, and the prospects of every corner of humanity in the 21st century.

"To live like this on this planet in the 21st century cannot be justified and should not be accepted. None of this can be tolerated or excused away with counsel of patience.


"Women need emancipation. Women need liberation from thousands of years of tradition's chains. This is a declaration that stands on the clear recognition that for humanity as a whole to advance, half of humanity must be lifted from centuries of being condemned to being the property of men and pitilessly exploited, demeaned and degraded in a thousand ways.

"Women are not breeders. Women are not lesser beings. Women are not objects created for the sexual pleasure of men. Women are human beings capable of participating fully and equally in every realm of human endeavor. When women are held down, all of humanity is held back. Women must win liberation, and they can only be liberated through the revolutionary transformation of the world and the emancipation of all of humanity, and through being a powerful motive force in that revolution."

International Women's Day is a day to call forth the fury of women and unleash it as a mighty force for revolution. It is a day for all who dream of and yearn for a better world to act on the recognition that you cannot break all the chains except one, that if you are serious about winning full liberation you must include the fight for the full liberation of women. It is a day to call forth mass struggle against all forms of enslavement and degradation of women, and it is a day to make all this contribute to hastening the development of a situation where revolution here and all over the world will become possible.

This March 8, join with protests and other actions around this country and across the world.

Break the Chains! Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!

Go here for info on IWD 2014 actions in NYC, SF Bay Area, Seattle, Chicago, and Los Angeles.




Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

Saturday, March 8—International Women's Day

February 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women!

Abortion on Demand and Without Apology!

Fight for the Liberation of Women All Over the World!

Abortion rights are in a state of emergency! 203 new restrictions to abortion were passed in the last three years. Five states have only one abortion clinic left. Anti-woman bigots harass women at abortion clinics across the country. Ninety-seven percent of rural counties have no abortion providers. Upcoming court rulings threaten to close dozens more clinics nationwide. Forcing women to have children against their will is a form of enslavement!

Meanwhile, women are slammed backwards in every realm: from the mainstreaming of violent and degrading pornography to the global epidemic of rape, from a culture that celebrates pimping to the shaming of women who choose to have sex outside of marriage, and from the sexual enslavement of millions of women and girls in the sex industry to the widespread celebration of Pope Francis while he has changed nothing of church doctrine that enslaves and humiliates women and LGBT people.

Take to the streets this International Women's Day. Through our public resistance we will expose the illegitimacy of this whole war on women and put the woman-haters on notice that we will not sit silently by. We will express our outrage and bring alive a culture of defiance and liberation. We will wake up and rally forth many thousands more, refusing to stop until we win.

The future of women is at stake. Which side are YOU on?






Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

“But How Can We Ever Be Sure Anything Is True?”:
Such Philosophical Relativism Offers
Creationists Easy Pickings

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Following is an excerpt from The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters. This excerpt is available as downloadable PDF here.


It’s important to think about how you can tell whether something is really true or not. What are the methods and approaches which can be used for getting at the truth and distinguishing it from falsehood? Without a basic grasp of these approaches and methods it’s easy to fall into accepting just about any lie or falsehood, especially if it seems to be put forward with conviction by people in positions of power and influence (governments, religious authorities, TV personalities, and so on).

It’s good to have a critical mind and to question everything. But then again it’s also important to recognize when at least the basic truth of something has already been clearly established. If human beings always went around thinking that “nothing is ever sure,” how could we ever survive or get anything done? Should we walk in front of a moving bus because “we can’t ever really know for sure” whether we’ll get run over? Should we not bother setting an alarm clock because we “can’t ever know for sure” that it will ring, or that it even really exists, or that we really exist and have a reason to get up? These examples may seem silly, but they make the point that, even just to function in day-to-day life, we human beings really need to have some way, some approach and method, which can help us to determine when something is actually true (or false).

Of course we’ll never have absolute truth—in the sense that we’ll never know everything there is to know about everything—but we do have some means and methods for getting to the point that we can say, with a high degree of confidence, that something is true—meaning that it actually corresponds to some aspect of material reality as it really is.

Again, the point is that it’s good and important to question everything, but it’s also good and important to recognize that not everything is forever up for grabs—sometimes we can know enough about something to accept it as true, stop agonizing about it, and move on. Such is the case with the basic theory of evolution.

But a lot of people in the United States today still don’t realize that we can be that sure about evolution. Anti-evolution and anti-science Christian fundamentalist Creationists have worked to confuse people’s thinking on this since the late 19th century, typically becoming particularly active and aggressive in times of social turmoil and when the overall direction of society is being broadly questioned and debated. It’s especially at such times that reactionaries resist all forms of social progress and call instead for looking backward and “restoring core values and traditions.” Today is no exception.

The Creationists have waged such determined anti-evolution and antiscience campaigns in recent years that U.S. universities are now reporting that they are getting very worried about growing scientific illiteracy in the country as a whole as they notice that more and more freshmen are arriving on campuses so poorly trained in even basic science that they actually believe “the scientific community is divided on whether evolution happened” and that “evolution is still just an unproven theory.” To state it clearly again: both those notions are completely false. The scientific community (in the U.S. and worldwide and in every field of science) is not “divided” on the basic facts of evolution. The consensus is overwhelming that (a) life has definitely evolved and that (b) the basic mechanisms involved in how life evolved and continues to evolve (such as natural selection) are by now well understood.

The “Theory of Evolution”—What a Scientific Theory Is

As for the question of evolution being “just an unproven theory”: this is also false. As spoken to throughout this book, there is an incredible amount of accumulated and mutually reinforcing evidence for evolution, and the general scientific consensus is that the theory of evolution is among the best-proven and best-documented theories in all of science.

But one of the favorite methods of the Creationists is to play on people’s ignorance and confusion about some basic words: in regular everyday English, the word “theory” often means “a guess” or something that has not been proven to be true. So the Creationists hope that when you hear the words “theory of evolution” you will automatically think it hasn’t yet been proven to be true. But, in scientific circles, the word “theory” has a very different meaning: a “scientific theory” is what scientists call a complex body of thought that ties together a number of different ideas and proposals which successfully explain—from a number of different angles—the basic principles and mechanisms involved in a natural process, such as the origins and later change and development of some part of actual material reality. So, for instance, scientists talk about the “theory of gravitation” or the “Copernican theory” (of the motion of the planets, including the earth, around the sun) but that doesn’t mean they’re “guessing” that objects fall towards the earth because of the pull of gravity or that they’re “guessing” that the earth goes around the sun rather than the other way around. The theory of gravitation and the Copernican theory are by now well documented and supported by the accumulated scientific evidence, and the same can be said of the scientific theory of evolution.

Of course scientific theories are always being further extended and developed as human knowledge expands and comes to understand some things that we didn’t previously understand. And as knowledge develops, it is inevitably the case that some old ideas are discovered to be wrong and therefore need to be discarded. Science actually advances by calling into question and critically reviewing previously established scientific notions. It is true that there is always going to be more to learn and discover about everything. But that doesn’t mean that we can never come down and say that something is true. People who like to say things like “but you can never be sure” fall into the mistaken outlook and approach known as philosophical relativism. (Of course, since human knowledge is never complete and perfect, and is always developing, people who think and act like they have “absolute truth” about everything, or everything important, fall into the erroneous method known as dogmatism, which is the “flip-side” of relativism.) But when we say something is “true” it simply means that there is good, compelling and concrete evidence (preferably from a number of different and mutually reinforcing sources and directions) that our understanding of something actually does closely correspond to how that something really is in objective reality, that is, in the real material world—which includes all that is part of the natural world and which encompasses the features and workings of human social organization as well. (See “Reality and Distortions of Reality—Objective Truth and Subjective Influences.”)

Scientific theories (whether pertaining to the world of nature or human society) do not get proven to be “true” overnight. Before any great idea or set of ideas can be confidently said to be “true,” it has to get put through the scientific crucible—that means it gets poked at and critiqued and challenged and tested over and over again and from countless different directions. A good scientific theory puts forward some predictions about what we should expect to find in the real world if the theory is true; and it is also makes predictions about some of the things we should not be able to find in the world if the theory is true. This is known as the principle of “scientific falsifiability”: a genuine scientific theory, as a matter of principle, has to be capable of being disproved by facts (things which, if discovered, would prove your theory to be wrong). The theory of evolution could be falsified (proven wrong) if, for instance, fossilized dinosaur and human footprints were ever found in the same undisturbed rock layers, because that would mean dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time, and this would completely contradict everything we know about how and when different species evolved. Biologists can give many such examples of the kinds of things that—if they were ever found to exist—would make a complete shambles of evolutionary theory. So, like all good scientific theories, the theory of evolution is falsifiable in principle—but, as a point of fact, science has never found anything (not a single thing) that actually falsifies it. It has, however, found many, many things that support it.

The theory of divine Creation is a religious belief, not a scientific theory. One of the sure signs of that is that the theory of divine Creation is, by its very nature and definition, impossible to falsify. The Creationists refuse to give people any examples of any kind of scientific discoveries that they could accept as proof that their divine Creation theory is wrong after all. They make a principle of this, because for them it is a matter of absolute religious faith. But if you make a principle of saying that there is no possible way that any information could ever come to light that would prove your theory wrong, then you are, by definition, not being scientific, and your theory has nothing to do with science!

Again, the theory of evolution was, from its very beginnings, falsifiable as a matter of principle. But as it turns out, all the actual scientific data that has been collected in the nearly century and a half since Darwin published his major work on evolution has repeatedly supported the theory of biological evolution; and none of it has ever provided evidence to the contrary. This more than anything is why there is such a broad and solid scientific consensus on the matter.  





Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

Reality and Distortions of Reality—Objective Truth and Subjective Influences

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Following is an excerpt from The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters. This excerpt is available as downloadable PDF here.


The philosopher Robert Pennock, who has written a very useful and interesting book showing what’s wrong with the Intelligent Design and other creationist arguments from both a scientific and philosophical/methodological perspective (The Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism) makes the point that the “Intelligent Design” Creationists (IDCs), in their attack against “scientific naturalism,” fall into classic “postmodernist” deconstructionist misinterpretations of the work of Thomas Kuhn. Thomas Kuhn was an influential philosopher and historian of science who argued, starting in the 1960s, that the way scientists choose what conceptual and theoretical framework (what “paradigm”) they should apply in framing their scientific questions and in seeking to resolve scientific puzzles is necessarily heavily influenced by subjective factors, including prevailing social norms and conventions. Unfortunately, some people misinterpreted that to mean that therefore there is no objective scientific truth at all, that all truth is necessarily subjective and therefore that any one scientist’s theory is pretty much as good as any other’s.

As Pennock points out, Kuhn himself didn’t agree with that and tried to point out that this is not at all what he meant to say, and that scientific truths themselves are objective (not subjective), and truth itself is not relative—he clarified that he simply meant that scientists are necessarily influenced by subjective factors, even in the choosing of what kind of conceptual framework and method they use to try to get at the objective truth of things. Nevertheless, despite Kuhn’s protestations, it is, according to Pennock, that initial misinterpretation of Kuhn’s views which seemed to spread widely throughout academic circles, where it went on to influence the development of “deconstructionism” in literary circles. Deconstructionism refers to a method of reading and discussing texts that emphasizes the multiplicity of possible readings and interpretations of any given text and the subjective influences which any reader (as well as any author) can bring into any text. For the deconstructionist there can therefore be many possible “truthful” interpretations of any one text or work of art (“your truth” can be different from “my truth” in deconstructionist approaches).

The so-called “post-modernist” deconstructionists took this even further, basically arguing that there is no such thing as “objective” truth, because the fact that each person brings their own subjective interpretations to things makes it impossible to ever know anything other than through this distorted subjective lens. As Pennock points out, the post-modernist deconstructionists argue that when people think something is true “it is only because one or another particular group—because of their position, prestige or power—has been able to establish and enforce their own view.” In such a view all truth is relative, and “power relations” determine what we call truth at any given time. (For more on this see Pennock’s Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism.)

By contrast, the method of dialectical and historical materialism (which is the viewpoint and method upheld and applied by communists) agrees that subjective influences (including social values and conventions and class-influenced outlooks and methods, especially when concentrated in the hands of people wielding power) can and do distort perceptions of the actual truth of things and that it is important to recognize and identify these subjective distortions; but that doesn’t mean that all truth is relative or that it is not possible to discover the actual objective truth about the way things really are in nature and society. The notion that all truth is relative is a recipe for idealist paralysis that just gives up on trying to deeply understand how reality really is (independently of people’s notions of it) and how people might consciously attempt to affect that reality.

To get at the objective truth of things, what is required is the application of a consciously and consistently scientific method which repeatedly grapples with objective reality and tests and transforms it to see whether or not it conforms to predictions we make about how it actually is at any given point, and in what ways it may be changing and developing. Yes we do all bring our subjective influences and outlooks to the task; but the actual truth of things (in actual objective reality) is there, whether we interact with it or not, and regardless of any of our subjective opinions and preconceived notions. In contrast to subjective idealism or other forms of philosophical idealism (which includes beliefs in a supernatural realm existing above and beyond the sphere of actual material reality), it is science—a scientific outlook and method—which we must apply if we want to find out the actual truth of things.

Unfortunately, as Pennock explains, postmodernist relativism tends to view science itself as just another “narrative and interpretive activity” (much like the writing of literary texts or other artistic pursuits) and these relativists conclude from this that scientific truths “are not objective but are constructed by power relations and prejudices.” Here again, two things are being confused, or “jumbled together”: the reality that human beings bring subjective outlooks and interpretations to everything they do, including in science, and that we should try to consciously sort these out; and, on the other hand, the basic fact that objective reality does exist independently of human beings and that by becoming more fully conscious of what constitutes a genuine scientific method and aware of methodological errors to avoid, human beings can actually zero in more and more closely (even if never perfectly) on the actual truth of things. How could we ever make concrete scientific advances and transform reality in line with our intended objectives (as in the development of antibiotics, to use just one example) if objective reality didn’t really exist and if human beings were totally powerless to determine with a fair degree of confidence the objective truth corresponding to that actual reality?

The more traditional “scientific Creationists” try to argue as if they believe it’s OK to use the usual methods of scientific investigation because when you do that you can come up with “evidence” that evolution didn’t happen, so therefore the story of a Creator god told in Genesis must be right. In reality, they don’t apply a genuinely scientific method, nor do they have any legitimate scientific evidence that could possibly support their viewpoint (they mainly make up absurd claims based on nothing, such as the idea that the order of the fossils in different rock layers represents the order in which different animals drowned during the Biblical Flood!). They mainly try to make people take their word for it that evolution isn’t a solidly supported theory in the hopes that people will allow them to propose their religious alternative in the science classrooms. But they’d still like people to believe that their creationist views are compatible with modern scientific methods.

 But a number of the Intelligent Design Creationists are actually even more fundamentally anti-science than some of their Biblical literalist brethren, even though this may not always be immediately obvious. However if you study what they say and write, you will see that some of them at least (especially Phillip Johnson and his followers) actually want to overthrow the whole way science is usually done! They want scientific knowledge to somehow be attained “through” religion, and therefore they want scientific methods to reflect this goal by incorporating the idea of God right into the pursuit of science—the replacement of the methods of standard “naturalistic science” with “theistic science” (science driven by God) is the openly stated goal of at least their preeminent ideologue, Phillip Johnson. And they want access to the science classrooms of high schools and even universities in order to accomplish this stupendous “paradigm shift.”

The philosopher Robert Pennock makes a convincing case for the notion that this new breed of Creationists have been very much influenced by postmodernist relativism.*

Phillip Johnson himself is a law professor who identifies himself as a “postmodernist deconstructionist” and denies that natural science can get to the actual objective truth of anything. He sees the theory of evolution as just one subjectively interpreted story, which happened to become dominant since Darwin’s time simply because the scientific community managed to politically suppress the teaching of alternative theories such as the theory of divine design. He calls on people to free themselves from the supposed tyranny of naturalistic science and its materialist rules of evidence. He argues that we can’t get at the truth of things through “naturalistic” science—that this can only be done in the end through knowing God. “Truth” in his view does exist, but it is only the truth of divine revelation!

It is important to realize that this is what the Intelligent Design Creationists want to smuggle into the science classrooms, to be given “equal weight” with the theory of evolution, a scientific theory which, unlike “Intelligent Design,” has been repeatedly tested and verified (over and over and over again!) through concrete scientific observations and experiments. It is completely unconscionable to allow the obviously religious theory of “Intelligent Design” (which has never produced even a single legitimate scientific research article in a single legitimate peer-reviewed scientific journal) to be taught to our children as science. Today, the proponents of “Intelligent Design” (supported by people in positions of highest authority, right up to the president) have succeeded in confusing many people into thinking that the theory of evolution is on shaky ground and is controversial in the scientific community (when nothing could be further from the truth!); they have successfully lobbied to get some textbooks rewritten to reflect their crackpot theory; they have rammed their program through some school boards; they have launched lawsuits to try to undermine the separation of church and state; and, increasingly, they are succeeding in getting the mainstream media to grant them legitimacy and treat their theory as if it were serious science. But none of this changes the simple fact that “Intelligent Design” is not and has never been science. It is religion. And any political successes its proponents may achieve in connection with the advance of a reactionary social agenda cannot change the fact that Intelligent Design does not have a shred of scientific credibility.


* The article “Marxism and the Enlightenment,” by RCP Chairman Bob Avakian, also contains a very interesting and relevant discussion of this and related questions. [This article appeared in the Revolutionary Worker #1029 (December 2, 2001), and is posted at; and it has been included in the book Observations on Art and Culture, Science and Philosophy by Bob Avakian (Insight Press, 2005) [back]



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Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

A Border of Bones and Blood

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Above, graves of unidentified people who died in South Texas trying to cross the border from Mexico. Photo: AP

Human bones are scattered across the vast prairies and ranches of south Texas. Human blood soaks the sands of the Sonora Desert in Arizona and California. The number and the names of the people who have died agonizing, lonely deaths in their struggle to cross the hellish war zone that is the U.S.-Mexico border may never be fully known.

Rafael Hernandez spends his spare hours scouring the remote terrain of Brooks County, Texas, in search of living and dead immigrants: people who somehow made it past the militarized barriers of death along the Rio Grande and eluded a Border Patrol station near the town of Falfurrias—but many of whom died trying to go farther north, towards Houston, San Antonio, and points beyond.

On a chilly late January morning, Hernandez took a reporter with him as he walked along a dry creek in Brooks County. Hernandez soon came across the corpse of a bare-chested young man, his eyes already pecked out by scavenger birds. Hernandez told the reporter he thought there were "hundreds" more bodies scattered across the county. When he called the Border Patrol and told them about the man's body, they told him to stay off private property.

A thousand miles away, in the deserts of Arizona, similar scenes are common occurrences. Gene Valee, founder of the group No More Deaths, said more people are dying along the border because of two factors. One of them "is more people are arriving at the border without the money to hire guides to make the trip, trying it on their own. And second, they are going—they're being pushed more by law enforcement into the mountains."

The case of Jaime Pasillas is all too typical of what happens along the Arizona border. In August 2012, Jaime called relatives in Illinois and told them he was crossing the border from the Mexican state of Sonora into Arizona. He told them in three to five days he would be reunited with his U.S-citizen children in Waukegan. But Pasillas was abandoned and lost in the desert with one gallon of water. His body was found by Native Americans of the O'odham Nation. His family drove to Arizona and identified him from a tattoo he had.

Stop thinking like
    an American.
Start thinking
    about humanity.

Democrats and Republicans both insist that "securing the border" will be a cornerstone of any new immigration law. On the official White House website, Obama boasts of doubling the number of Border Patrol agents, and says "today border security is stronger than it has ever been." Republicans recently released a paper declaring their "Principles on Immigration" which began by stating "Border security and interior enforcement must come first."

In fact, never have more people died at and along the U.S.-Mexico border, and never have people been deported in such high numbers as in the years of Obama's presidency. People have died of dehydration, of exposure; from snake bites, from high-speed collisions while being chased by police or Border Patrol agents. Some have been shot and killed by the Border Patrol, including 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, who in October 2013 was in the border town of Nogales, Mexico, when he was shot 10 times by agents on the U.S. side of the border. He was hit twice in the head, killing him, and then eight more times as he lay on the sidewalk.

What the police call "bailouts"—when people ditch their vehicle and scatter to avoid the pursuit of the Border Patrol—occur two to four times daily in sparsely populated Brooks County.

A recently released report by the National Foundation for American Policy stated that "Immigrant deaths at the border rose by 27 percent in 2012, according to U.S. Border Patrol data." The report also concluded that "the rise in immigrant deaths comes at a time when fewer people are attempting to enter illegally, as measured by the significant drop in apprehensions at the border over the past several years. The evidence suggests an immigrant attempting to cross illegally into the United States today is 8 times more likely to die in the attempt than approximately a decade ago."

The Arizona Daily Star, which keeps a "border deaths database" of people who died along the Arizona portion of the border, reported last fall that 157 people died in the deserts and mountains of Arizona in 2012. Presnall Cage, a Texas rancher in Brooks County, has installed fresh water faucets and bright blue water tanks across his property. Cage said he has found the remains of over 100 immigrants on his property, including 16 in the brutal summer of 2012 alone. He told a reporter that companions of a dead immigrant will often leave shoes in the middle of a road, or some other form of marker to indicate a body is nearby. He said he came across such a marker recently, and that he "...knew something was up. Sure enough, there was a body lying in the field and buzzards flying overhead".

The U.S. has funneled an astonishing amount of weaponry, high- and low-tech fencing, and military and police personnel along the entire border for decades. Multiple barricades span the border and extend into the seas. Drones and other spy aircraft buzz overhead. Just three and a half years ago, Obama signed a bill—passed with almost unanimous "bipartisan support" in Congress—pouring $600 million into increased militarization of the border. A year after it passed, he said, "We now have more boots on the ground on the southwest border than at any time in our history. The Border Patrol has 20,000 agents—more than twice as many as there were in 2004, a buildup that began under President Bush and that we have continued."

Today, Democrats and Republicans have renewed efforts to finalize a major law to control, monitor, and suppress immigrants. What will emerge from these intense and bitter negotiations is uncertain—but it is certain that a major increase in the militarization and repression of the border area will be a key component. Revolution will have further analysis as that process develops.

But ask yourself : What kind of system routinely and without mercy destroys the possibility of a decent life in people's homelands, and then cruelly punishes them for seeking a livelihood? What kind of system deploys billions of dollars of the most advanced military equipment in the world to use against impoverished women, men, and children who carry all their possessions on their back? What kind of system leaves the bodies of hundreds of people decomposing and unidentified in distant ravines and deserts, with their families and friends never even knowing what happened to them?

What makes all this even more intolerable is that things do not have to be this way. People need to oppose the murderous attacks on immigrants—as part of a movement for revolution to bring this criminal system to an end and bring into being a whole new world.




Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

Some Points of Orientation:
On Mayor de Blasio's Stop-and-Frisk "Reforms"

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the 2013 class action lawsuit Floyd v. City of New York, Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that the NYPD's implementation of its stop-and-frisk policy was unconstitutional, and she imposed legal remedies that amounted to mandating changes and putting in place a process to reform and adjust the policy. The changes included a pilot project to have a small number of cops wear body cameras that would record their interactions with people they stop. A monitor was also appointed to oversee the reform process.

Under Michael Bloomberg, who was Mayor of New York at the time of the ruling, there was an immediate appeal of the ruling by the City of New York. But now the new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has announced the city will drop its appeal and implement Scheindlin's reforms. And the new Chief of Police, Bill Bratton, has declared that the "stop-and-frisk problem is solved" because the number of stops has gone down.

The following are important points of orientation to frame the conversation about the "stop-and-frisk reforms" being implemented by de Blasio and Bratton.

* * * * *

1. Stop-and-frisk isn't a necessary policing tactic the NYPD "took too far." It's a policy based on racially profiling people, one that concentrates the way Black and Latino people, especially young people, have been criminalized and demonized in U.S. society. Under this policy, police stop people on the way to and from work or school. They accost people who are sitting on park benches relaxing, playing basketball in the park, visiting a friend or relative in a housing project, or even entering or leaving their own buildings! Young Black men tell stories of being stopped on a regular basis, sometimes by the same cops. NYPD Chief Ray Kelly told three Black elected officials he wanted every young Black and Latino male to fear that the NYPD would stop-and-frisk them whenever they left the house in the morning. (Kelly doesn't deny saying this. Instead he says it was taken out of context.) In 2011, the NYPD recorded 150,000 stops of Black males between the ages of 15 and 24—there are fewer than 150,000 Black males between those ages in New York City! All this combines to create a situation where a whole section of society—Blacks and Latinos, and especially the youth—are systematically targeted and treated like criminals, guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive to prove their innocence. Where Black youth like Ramarley Graham end up dead because cops treat them as immediate "suspects" to be hounded, followed, and sometimes shot and killed for a "suspicious bulge"—or for no reason at all. All this is part of generations of Black and Latino youth being demonized and criminalized.

2. This system has no future for millions and millions of Black and Latino youth—other than becoming part of America's military, invading and occupying other countries; or ending up in prison.

The enslavement of African people was built into the foundations of this country and for hundreds of years this system has been oppressing and exploiting generations of their descendants. But today, because of the very workings of the system itself, U.S. capitalism does not have the same ability to profitably exploit a large section of Black people in this country, most especially the youth.

Increasing globalization of U.S. imperialism over the last several decades has meant the further de-industrialization of American cities. Factories and other businesses have moved to other countries where capitalists can make higher profits by more savagely exploiting people. The official unemployment rate among Black youth (ages 16-24) has remained around 30 percent—and even higher in some cities. As one bourgeois economist put it, for inner-city youth, "crime is a rational choice."

The system's answer to the fact that it cannot employ a huge section of the population has been genocidal: to attack and humiliate these youth, criminalize them, lock them up, brutalize them and kill them in different ways.

This is the workings and the ways of this system. This is what's behind conscious policies like stop-and-frisk. This is why the arguments being waged over what kind of policing we need are in fact nothing but arguments over how best to control and dominate and—when and if they deem it "necessary"—to kill Black and Latino youth.

Police policies like stop-and-frisk serve as a pipeline for mass incarceration in the U.S.—a situation where some 2.3 million people are imprisoned in the United States, the majority Black and Latino. A basic truth and point of orientation to understand about this is that the ONLY reason this country has this horrible and shameful regimen of mass incarceration is because this system cannot profitably exploit the intelligence, energy, creativity, and full potential of these millions and millions of youth; and so it has no other answer than to control and destroy them.

The rulers of this country remember what happened when this system was seriously threatened by the upsurges of the 1960s; how the struggle of Black people was an important part of this; how millions of people at that time questioned the legitimacy of the government and revolution was a real possibility.

Today, this impels those who rule to even more sharply try to smother any spark of resistance and defiance. Today, this is another reason why this system looks at millions of Black and Latino youth as not only a section of society that it has no use for, but also a "dangerous element" in society—that must be contained and strictly controlled.

This is how and why stop-and-frisk and mass incarceration are part of a whole strategy of the capitalist-imperialists to both control these youth in general AND to prevent any resistance or, indeed, the emergence of a movement for revolution among them.

3. Bill Bratton, Mayor de Blasio's choice for Chief of Police, has already declared that with regards to stop-and-frisk, "the problem has been more or less solved" because the number of stops has gone down and has even stopped in some neighborhoods. But Bratton staunchly defends stop-and-frisk as an "essential policing tool," saying it has just been "over-applied for an extended period of time."

Widespread exposure of the brutal and racist nature of stop-and-frisk has resulted in millions of people beginning to question the legitimacy of not only the NYPD but the system itself. Now the powers that be have some damage control to do, even as they seek to find ways to maintain the essence of their stop-and-frisk policy.

In announcing the settlement in the Floyd v. the City of New York lawsuit, de Blasio said, "We're here today to turn the page on one of the most divisive problems in our city," and talked about focusing on "improving relations between the police and communities hit hard by stop-and-frisk." This is also what is behind Bratton's statement that he will train his police to be "more respectful in their approach" and that they are no longer going to go after "the general population." But the program he outlines is one that, in some ways, is even more vicious and deadly.

Bratton says his cops are going to go after the "known criminal population" of a community. In other words, stop-and-frisks aren't going to be any less brutal and humiliating. They're certainly not going to stop racially profiling people. In fact, they're going to be more targeted—at the youth who are already being criminalized.

Bratton brags that when he was Chief of Police in LA, they had a database of 40,000 "known gang members" that they focused on, went after and arrested. In LA, they have a gang injunction where it's illegal for two or more people to be together in some neighborhoods, whether standing on a corner or at their own home. When the cops pick people up for even minor things they can get entered into the gang database. This kind of policing is what Bratton is bringing to New York.

In LA, Bratton built ties between the LAPD and people in the neighborhoods like community leaders, OGs, ex-gang members, and others. This was about getting informants (setting up networks of snitches). Now Bratton has plans to use this expertise in New York to go from a situation where there is a lot of hate and mistrust of the NYPD, in large part exactly because of the practice of stop-and-frisk, to where the cops can not only calm people's anger, but even get some of them to put their faith in working with the police.

4. A major reason the NYPD has to even make any "reforms" of stop-and-frisk now is because of the struggle of the people. For several years now, there has been growing and widespread resistance to stop-and-frisk. This has taken different forms—from non-violent civil disobedience where people put their bodies on the line, to mass protests in the streets, to panels, speakouts, and class action lawsuits. All this had the effect of shining a bright national and international spotlight on the fact that the NYPD was carrying out an official policy that was brutal, inhuman and unconstitutional. The powers-that-be could not ignore this fact, and this is why they have to now carry out some small reforms, even as they must also keep the essence of the practice of stop-and-frisk and the role it fulfills (even if they might perhaps someday end up calling it something else).

5. We don't need to mend stop-and-frisk. We need to END IT—for all the reasons above: That stop-and-frisk is a brutal, inhumane, and racist policy. That due to its very nature and workings, this system has no future for millions of Black and Latino youth. That stop-and-frisk is part of a whole strategy to target these youth the system not only fears, but needs to control and prevent from rebelling and rising up.

Such a system—that carries out such conscious brutality and then wants the people to be satisfied with a few modifications, even as it continues to carry out slow genocide against Black people, is a system whose TIME IS UP! We need revolution, nothing less!

The struggle to STOP stop-and-frisk and against mass incarceration is vitally important both in terms of building a movement to do that AND to prevent the people being ground down, deeper and deeper... and everyone who has an ounce of love for justice in them should be part of building a real movement to resist this new Jim Crow in all its dimensions.




Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

Thousands Across the U.S. Protest Keystone XL Pipeline

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


More than 200 demonstrations and vigils were held across the country in the first week of February, in wake of the release of the U.S. State Department environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline project. According to, 10,000 people participated nationwide in these actions.

The State Department report clearly paves the way for Obama administration approval later this year of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring 830,000 barrels of oil per day from the Alberta, Canada, tar sands and U.S. Bakken oil shale formation, to U.S. refineries, further exacerbating the global climate crisis and other environmental damage through oil spills, etc. (See “State Department Review of Keystone XL Pipeline: Criminal Whitewash, Unacceptable Logic” at By May 1, other U.S. government agencies are supposed to weigh in on whether Keystone XL is in the “national interest” and recommend whether President Obama should approve the project. The decision by Obama will come sometime after that.

The protests were called by the Sierra Club,, CREDO, Rainforest Action, and other environmental groups. In San Francisco, 28 people were arrested on February 5 for blocking the Federal Building. One of the organizers told a local news blog, “I think the Keystone is the symbol of a larger fight. I will put my body on the line to shift the paradigm that we need fossil fuels to exist.” Two hundred people gathered in Seattle, including young people new to activism. Revolution spoke with youths who were eager to hear a revolutionary analysis/critique of Keystone XL as stemming from capitalism and the need for radical resistance. A speaker from the Rising Tide Seattle collective called on people to oppose all forms of fossil fuel transport and development and gave props to blockade actions that have occurred around the country.

More than 80,000 people have signed up with an online pledge to commit civil disobedience if the government gives a green light to Keystone XL ( Indigenous groups on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border as well as landowners in Nebraska have pledged to resist attempts to build the pipeline. A group called XL Dissent has called for mass civil disobedience by young people for March 1-2 in Washington, DC.

These protests point to increasing alarm about Keystone XL and the potential for broader, more determined mass resistance to the environmental damage caused by the system of capitalism. In this situation, the analysis, vision and strategy for revolution available at need to reach many, many people.





Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

U.S. at 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit: Spying and Lying While the Planet Burns

by Larry Everest | February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


When Barack Obama won the Democratic Party nomination in 2008, he promised to "build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century," including global climate change. Fifteen months later, after being elected president, he had his chance at the December 2009 UN Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark, with 195 nations in attendance. Under President George W. Bush, the U.S. had refused to sign the 2004 Kyoto Agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—the main driver of global warming. Many hoped Obama would change course and fight for a global climate agreement which would take significant steps to reduce global warming.

Were they ever wrong. We now learn that the U.S. unleashed its spy apparatus to make sure it had the upper hand at the climate talks—so that no agreement would be passed inhibiting U.S. global capital, or giving any other power a competitive economic or political edge.

On January 29, reported that according to material leaked by whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency (NSA) was intercepting and monitoring the "signals intelligence"—phone calls, texts, emails and other electronic communications—before and during the Copenhagen summit. "Top secret" internal NSA documents said:

Did the U.S. spy on a climate conference so they could anticipate moves by other countries and head off efforts to sabotage the talks? So they could put added pressure on other governments to strengthen an agreement to cut global warming and protect the planet? No!

Climate scientists had argued that drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions were needed to slow global warming, for instance 25-40 percent cuts by industrialized countries from 1990 levels. Yet at Copenhagen the Obama administration proposed only 4-6 percent reductions in CO2 (a key greenhouse gas) emissions and insisted it would not sign any binding Kyoto-style agreement. This, despite the fact that over the past decades, the U.S. has been responsible for more carbon emissions than any other country. (China has now overtaken the U.S. as the world's greatest polluter on a yearly basis.)

The leaked NSA documents point to two major U.S. concerns. First, a Danish proposal (deliberately kept secret by the Danish government) was more ambitious than anything the U.S. was willing to sign. Obama may have been concerned it might put the U.S. in an economically disadvantageous and politically embarrassing position. So this became a focus of U.S. spying. One Danish official said the spying may have given the U.S. a "huge advantage" going into the conference and in the negotiations there.

The NSA documents also show the U.S. was concerned that China would team up with India (and perhaps other countries) to demand the U.S. and other Western powers assume a larger environmental burden, given their wealth and far greater historical contribution to global warming. The Danish newspaper Information (January 30) concluded that the leaked NSA document "suggests that the NSA's ... focus in relation to climate change was spying on other countries to collect intelligence that would support American interests, rather than preventing future climate catastrophes."

For the U.S., Copenhagen was never about protecting the climate and humanity's future—it was about gaining ground in U.S. global capital's raw, expand-or-die competitive battle with its rivals and competitors, while preserving a fig leaf of "concern" about the environment which is critical to the U.S.'s global and domestic legitimacy.

As Raymond Lotta points out, global climate summits like Copenhagen cannot be understood "outside the framework of the drive for profit and intense competition and rivalry at the enterprise, sectoral, and national-state levels in the world economy and imperialist interstate system." Lotta writes, "The most salient characteristic of recent climate negotiations is the fact that they have been sites of intense rivalry among the 'great powers'—on the one hand, unwilling and unable to make any substantive moves away from reliance on fossil fuels; and, on the other, pressing climate-change adaptation into the tool-box of competitive positioning (the Europeans and the Chinese, for instance, having advantage in certain renewable energy technologies)." ("Climate Negotiations and 'Big Power' Rivalry," November 25, 2013)

The only thing that ended up coming out of Copenhagen was a last-minute agreement brokered by Obama that did nothing to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, while being portrayed as a major breakthrough. This was worse than nothing coming out of Copenhagen, because it deluded people into thinking progress was being made and there was still hope in relying on the U.S. (See "Copenhagen Climate Summit Accord: A Crime Against the Planet," January 10, 2010,

The planet is increasingly in peril. A new draft report from the UN's panel of climate scientists—the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—finds that "Nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising," that "another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies," and that "it is not clear whether such technologies will ever exist at the necessary scale." ("U.N. Says Lag in Confronting Climate Woes Will Be Costly," New York Times, January 16, 2014)

From Obama on down, the rulers of the U.S. say that the government's massive spying and data collection operation is about the "national security" of the United States. Why does this "national security" dictate massive spying on an environmental summit (and the many other outrages the U.S. commits around the world and against the planet)? They're talking about the "national security" of the world's dominant imperialist nation, and telling us that they're compelled to lie and spy to protect those interests. What does this say about the nature and legitimacy of such a system, whether humanity can continue tolerating such a system, and what it's actually going to take to rid the planet of it?




Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

The Winter Olympics: Rooting for the “Home Team” Means Being Played by the System

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

While watching the team competition in figure skating at the Winter Olympics in Russia, where the U.S. announcers were pulling for Team USA, I thought how it would be a real advance for people in the U.S. not to be rooting for every single American and American team. In thinking about this, I listened to Bob Avakian’s talk, “The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters,” where he gets into how people are trained through sports to not think critically, and not to see the world as it really is, and how this is done by training people to “root for the home team.” (Listen to the talk at Track 1, Track 2.) All of this ends up being in the service of U.S. imperialism.

Avakian uses the NBA (professional basketball) as an example of how this training works, where the announcers try to get you to think a foul called is either “good” or “bad” based on the team you are rooting for, not based on what really occurred, and this is training people not to understand reality or the real world.

And this “root for the home team” stuff is in service of a political agenda. You are trained to root for the home sports team and Americans in the Olympics. And then, outside sports, you are supposed to root for the U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan or somewhere else; root for U.S. imperialism—the “home team.” And a lot of this is done in ways so that people don’t even recognize it. When this “good call/bad call” thing comes up, you’re not even conscious that you are being indoctrinated to see things in a way that really distorts reality, and in a way that makes it easier for the ruling class to come along and get you to respond the way they want you to.

At the Winter Olympics, announcers will be working to get you to root for the USA, particularly against the Russians.

In the 1972 Montreal Olympics, I remember when Mac Wilkins, U.S. discus thrower and winner of the event, gave Wolfgang Schmidt of East Germany, which at that time was a Soviet bloc country, a big bear hug when Schmidt passed John Powell of the U.S. for second place on his final throw. Wilkins had met Schmidt earlier in the year at another track meet and they had a friendly discussion about such things as Vietnam and the Berlin Wall.

“It was one of those rare times when the Olympics did what they’re advertised to do,” says former U.S. women’s shot put record holder Maren Seidler, who witnessed it. “A guy’s respect for another guy’s come-through effort transcended nationality and ideology. And what happened? People were offended by it.” (“The Old Men and the Discus,” S.I. Vault, July 25, 1988) Wilkins was blasted in the U.S. press for congratulating an East German who beat his own countryman, and he lost all potential endorsements for his friendly gesture, which was a wonderful showing of internationalism and friendship between two athletes.

But it was in the 1968 Summer Olympics where the athletes, themselves, struck a blow against rooting for the home team, while striking a blow for humanity.  On the 200 Meter victory stand, Tommie Smith, the Gold Medalist and John Carlos, the Bronze Medalist, both African Americans from the United States bowed their heads and raised black, gloved fists on the medal award ceremony podium during the playing of the American National Anthem to protest the conditions of African-Americans in the U.S., to have Muhammad Ali’s boxing title restored, to remove Nazi sympathizer, Avery Brundage, as head of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and to protest the apartheid regimes in South Africa and Rhodesia.  In an unprecedented internationalist show of support during those Olympics for Smith and Carlos, Peter Norman, the Silver Medalist from Australia, wore the Olympic Project For Human Rights button (the organization that Smith and Carlos belonged to) on his clothing during the awards ceremony.  (For more see “Striking a Blow for Freedom: The Courageous Story of Tommie Smith and John Carlos”, Revolution #136, July 20, 2008.)

Those of us who are proletarian internationalists, who have a burning desire to emancipate all the oppressed in the world and ultimately humanity as a whole, and those of us who are opposed to any kind of national chauvinism, want to see great, high-quality athletic performances that are inspiring in the Olympics, not get subjected to a whole lot of “USA, USA” jingoism. In fact, I will have the sound turned off on my television, so the announcers will not have an opportunity to ruin my enjoyment any more than it is already ruined with all these U.S. athletes running all over the place with American flags.

While watching and paying attention to the Olympics, will you be blindly rooting for the home team? Or will you see how they are trying to play you, and think critically about what the U.S. announcers are saying, and try to enjoy the Olympics for the beauty and awe that sports can bring?





Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

Check it out:

Men We Reaped, by Jesmyn Ward

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


This memoir from a Black woman born in Mississippi in the late 1970s memorializes the lives of five young men, including her brother, who died way before their time, and tells the story of the community they lived in. Who were these men? Where did they come from, and why were they taken so early?

In her prologue, Jesmyn Ward writes: ghosts were once people, and I cannot forget that. I cannot forget that when I am walking the streets of DeLisle, streets that seem even barer since Katrina. Streets that seem even more empty since all these deaths, where instead of hearing my friends or my brother playing music from their cars at the county park, the only sound I hear is a tortured parrot that one of my cousins owns, a parrot that screams so loudly it sounds through the neighborhood, a scream like a wounded child ... Sometimes when that parrot screams, sounding its rage and grief, I wonder at my neighborhood's silence. I wonder why silence is the sound of our subsumed rage, our accumulated grief. I decide this is not right; that I must give voice to this story.

And this she does. Powerfully.





Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

Check It Out:

The Wayland Rudd Collection at Winkleman Gallery, NYC

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

A very interesting exhibit in NYC provides an opportunity to explore historical images representing Africans and African Americans in the former Soviet Union from the 1920s to the 1980s and the works of contemporary artists engaging with and responding to the images. The Wayland Rudd collection, a collaborative art project organized by Yevgeniy Fiks, is at the Winkleman Gallery through February 15.

The exhibit springboards from the life and work of U.S.-born Black actor Wayland Rudd who, fed up with the racism in America and the entertainment industry, moved to the Soviet Union in the 1930s where revolution was transforming all aspects of society, including real efforts to eliminate racism. Rudd became a hugely popular star in Soviet theater, and his image became a model for paintings and posters until his death in Moscow in 1952. The historic images and modern responses are a complex look at the past, and its impact on the present, with much to reflect upon and discuss.

For those who are able to see the exhibit, I'd suggest thinking about it and discussing it with others in the light of Revolution newspaper's special issue, "You Don't Know What You Think You 'Know' About...The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future, An Interview with Raymond Lotta."


Winkleman Gallery
621 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
T: 212.643.3152

Hours: Tuesday—Saturday, 11—6 p.m.



Dread Scott's "Constitution of the USSR" (2014), in "The Wayland Rudd Collection," a show at Winkleman Gallery. Photography by Etienne Frossard. Courtesy the artist and Winkleman Gallery, New York.





Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

Turn Up the Music for Jordan Davis!
Don't Allow the System to Let Another Racist Murderer Walk!

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

Opening statements in the trial of Michael Dunn started on Thursday, February 6, in Jacksonville, Florida. Michael Dunn is the racist vigilante who killed Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old Black youth, in cold blood on November 23, 2012. Dunn is charged with first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree attempted murder.

Jordan Davis, along with three of his friends, was having a fun day at the mall on Black Friday. They stopped off at a gas station convenience store to buy some cigarettes and gum. As the driver went into the store, Davis and his two friends chilled in the car listening to their music pretty loudly. Soon Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old white man, and his girlfriend pulled up next to them. As his girlfriend went into the store, Dunn rolled down his window and told the youth to turn down their music. A loud vocal exchange between Dunn and Jordan followed. Then Dunn reached in his glove compartment for his 9 mm handgun and unloaded four bullets into Jordan Davis's side of the car. The driver, who had returned before the first round of gunshots, put the car in reverse to get out of the line of fire. Dunn got out of his car and hit the car again with five more shots. Jordan was shot three times and died on the lap of his friend in the back seat.

If this isn't outrageous enough, when Dunn's girlfriend came out of the store, Dunn told her to get into the car and they left the scene, driving 40 miles to a hotel. There, they ordered pizza and watched a movie, never calling the police. The next morning, they got up and drove another hour and a half home like nothing had happened. The only way Dunn was identified as the killer was because a homeless man who was a witness at the gas station had taken down Dunn's license plate number and gave it to the police.

Right after the murder, Dunn's attorney cited Florida's Stand Your Ground law as justification for Dunn killing Jordan Davis. Going into the trial, however, they did not request a Stand Your Ground hearing to drop the charges. Instead, Dunn is claiming "justifiable use of deadly force," because he says he saw a shotgun or a pipe in Jordan's car and he felt "threatened." There were no guns or pipes or any other kind of weapon found in the car.

In a case that echoes George Zimmerman's murder of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida two years ago on February 26, 2012, Michael Dunn racially profiled, confronted, and killed Jordan Davis. While on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, Zimmerman had referred to Trayvon as a "punk," "a fucking asshole... they always get away." Recently, some letters Michael Dunn wrote to family members and friends from jail were released. Here's an excerpt of the letter he sent to his grandmother: "I'm not really prejudiced against race, but I have no use for certain cultures. This gangster-rap, ghetto talking thug 'culture' that certain segments of society flock to is intolerable." An excerpt from Dunn's letter to his daughter: "This may sound a bit radical, but if more people would arm themselves and kill these (expletive) idiots when they're threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior." And from a letter to his girlfriend: "I just got off the phone with you and we were talking about how racist the blacks are up here. The more time I am exposed to these people, the more prejudiced against them I become."

America has taught the Zimmermans and the Dunns of the world that Black people are less than human beings and a menace to society to be eliminated. It is not certain what the verdict will be in this case. However, we do know that time and again, like with the Zimmerman verdict, the weight of this white supremacist system allows these vigilantes as well as cops to cut down Black youth and get away with it.

Time's up for this putrid capitalist-imperialist system that declares open season on Black youth for wearing a hoodie or playing loud music.




Revolution #330 February 16, 2014


The Battle for Abortion at the Clinic Doors

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following is from Mary Lou Greenberg:

There is an emergency around abortion rights. Access to abortion is more difficult today than at any time since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision made it legal 41 years ago. Horrendous state restrictions are forcing clinics to close and are throwing obstacle after obstacle at women who, finding themselves with unwanted pregnancies, do not want to give birth. And even after finding a clinic and overcoming every hardship to get there, women must still face a barrage of harassment outside the clinic door.

The movement to End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women ( led a loud and spirited, uncompromising protest against the 10th annual anti-abortion march in San Francisco, January 25, 2014. Photo:

“Don’t murder your baby!” “You’re already a mother. If you go in there, you’ll come out the mother of a dead baby!” “You’ll regret this for the rest of your life, you’ll be suicidal, you’ll have mental breakdowns”....and on and on, over and over, in shouts and on posters, cruel lie after lie and threat after threat.

This correspondence is to let readers know what women have to go through to get into the clinics, and the example is not in Mississippi—where anti-abortionists (“antis”) besiege women daily outside the sole remaining clinic—or in any of the other states with vicious restrictive laws, but in New York City, in a “blue” state where there are NO restrictions on having abortions to 24 weeks of pregnancy. The battle for abortion here is very real and is heating up.

I escort clients every Saturday morning into Choices Women’s Medical Center, a comprehensive reproductive health center that was founded by Merle Hoffman as one of the first abortion clinics in the country shortly after New York State legalized abortion in 1970, several years before Roe. A woman not long out of college who joined the volunteer escort team one recent Saturday was stunned at what she saw: “I can’t believe this is happening in New York,” she said, at our meeting after the antis had left and most women had arrived for their appointments. “I had no idea.”

Most people don’t. All Saturdays are different, but to escort at Choices on any Saturday means physically joining the front lines of this battle. (Saturdays are busy days for clinic appointments when most women don’t have work or school.) Escorts (organized with the valuable assistance of the NYC chapter of the National Organization for Women) are continually accosted by self-righteous Christian fascists, mostly men, who plant themselves on the sidewalk right in front of the clinic entrance, bibles in hand, and signs featuring vengeful scriptural quotes about sin, repentance and god’s wrath.

One sign directly and ominously targets the clinic: “Babies are Murdered Here” with the word “murdered” in bright red. This past Saturday, some 15-20 antis carried this same identical sign. The antis accost passersby, hold this sign and point to the clinic—trying to inflame passions among people by claiming fetuses are the same as babies and abortion equals “murder.” Antis pull out cell phone cameras and set up a video cam on a tripod less than five feet from the door, photographing escorts and anyone who goes into the clinic.

They take sadistic delight in shouting at women who may come in for prenatal or routine GYN appointments with their small children who can’t help but hear the shouts: “Don’t go in! They murder children in there!” When a clinic escort rightly told them their actions are despicable, the shouters replied that children “need to hear the truth.” Some women respond appropriately to such viciousness. Shortly after the clinic moved to its new location in Jamaica, Queens, I tried to approach one woman who was walking to the entrance. She quickened her pace, waved me off angrily and snapped “Get the fuck out of my face!” A short time later when I walked into the waiting room, her mouth dropped open. She apologized: “I’m so sorry. I thought you were one of them! I didn’t know you were with the clinic.” I said there was no need to apologize, that what she’d done was exactly the kind of response women needed to give to anyone who tried to harass them.

Some antis come from a fundamentalist biblical literalist church in Brooklyn and hold big posters of bloody fetal parts on both sides of the sidewalk in a literal gauntlet that escorts must walk clients through on the way to the entrance. Others lurk on the sidewalk that women walk down, or at the city bus stops nearby, eager to pounce on women before the clinic escorts reach them. One man, in particular, moves at a fast pace and tries to physically get between the clients and the entrance, pushing into the escorts who walk on both sides of the women. (The escorts work together in a “flying wedge” formation, becoming a physical barrier between the clients and the antis, a tactic developed to shield clients and move them quickly through the gauntlet of haters and signs.)

They also try to intimidate and bully the escorts, most of whom are women in their 20s and 30s, telling them not to listen to “that old woman” (meaning me). “You should know better,” they admonish me. “You’re a bad example for these young women.” (Coming from them, this is a great compliment.) The escorts, many of whom get up at 5 a.m. on Saturdays and travel from all parts of NYC and even New Jersey to the clinic, are deeply committed—and become more so as they experience the antis’ viciousness as well as the positive impact the escorts have and also come to understand more deeply the war on women this battle is a part of.

They call me the “deathscort communist.” “You have a wicked heart, Mary Lou,” one man from a particularly nasty group of antis bellowed at me one Saturday, as I stood by the clinic entrance opening the door for clients. “God hates the hand that sheds innocent day the game will be over, when you stand before god...and there will be judgment.” It would be—and is—easy enough to mock them and laugh at their preposterous Dark Ages superstition and pronouncements. But...I can picture them, with their patriarchal swagger, angry denunciations and utter cruelty, being among the first to grab women in the witch-hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries and light the fires that burned those women alive—many of whom were healers and midwives who performed abortions and gave advice on contraception. That was the reality where countless tens of thousands of women were murdered.

Today in 21st-century USA, these antis are the decidedly real storm troopers of a deadly serious Christian fascist movement, given initiative and encouragement by a powerful section of the ruling class whose “respectable” politicians shed tears about the beating hearts of fetuses and unleash hatred towards women who dare to live their own lives and refuse to be incubators—or “hosts” for the “babies,” as one of these scripture-spouting patriarchs calls pregnant women. The most blatant and vitriolic patriarchy (“Man up,” they challenge men who come with their women partners or friends to the clinic. “Real men protect their children! Have courage, save your baby, be a man!”) goes along with their preaching against evolution and “Darwinists,” against feminists and homosexuality, against abortion under any circumstances, including rape, and against “fornication”—any sex not for the purpose of procreation. Theirs is a punishing and terrible world and worldview that is shared and encouraged from high levels of authority and must be actively resisted and fought by relying on ourselves and calling forward millions more.

The movement to End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women confronted anti-abortion marchers in San Francisco, January 25, 2014. Photo:





Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

Invitation and Challenge to Prisoners:
Add Your Voice to the Outpouring on International Women's Day

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On this year's International Women's Day, March 8, people will be taking to the streets and carrying out other acts of resistance to fight for the liberation of women. The call from for IWD 2014 can be found on page 13 of this issue. Revolution is calling on you—men and women behind the prison walls—to be a part of this outpouring by writing about your thoughts on and struggles over the liberation of women, and how you see the importance of this question. If you have access to the book BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, you might want to check out some very relevant quotes from BA, such as 1:10, 5:18, and this one:

You cannot break all the chains, except one. You cannot say you want to be free of exploitation and oppression, except you want to keep the oppression of women by men. You can't say you want to liberate humanity yet keep one half of the people enslaved to the other half. The oppression of women is completely bound up with the division of society into masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited, and the ending of all such conditions is impossible without the complete liberation of women. All this is why women have a tremendous role to play not only in making revolution but in making sure there is all-the-way revolution. The fury of women can and must be fully unleashed as a mighty force for proletarian revolution. (BAsics 3:22)

Send your letters to:

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




Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

World Can't Wait's Message for February 11: The Day We Fight Back

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Note from Revolution: This call appears on the website. There are "The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance" events taking place on February 11, 2014 in cities around the world and across the U.S.


Download and post this icon on your Facebook or other website as part of "The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance".

We in the US have a government that relies on terror and repression to maintain its rule, here and around the world. We live in a country whose government assassinates thousands with drones. Our government, driven by the relentless pursuit of profit, is plundering the earth, exploiting humanity, and imperiling our planet's very viability. This government tortures people while holding them indefinitely without trial and uses warrantless surveillance over all of us to try to identify those who might pose a threat to their agenda.

When Obama talks about “national security” he means securing the US government's right to commit crimes with impunity.

A government that commits such crimes should be ridiculed and opposed whenever they tout their supposed “freedom” and “democracy.”

Mass surveillance is unacceptable and we must say NO to it.

Government officials won't stop this without mass protest. Why should we rely on those who started the crimes to stop those same crimes?

We draw inspiration from and stand with Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, the hunger strikers at GTMO and domestic US prisons, and other courageous resisters who have illuminated the truth about what this government does. This is what the U.S government correctly fears.

It is on us, the millions of people living in this country, acting together with people around the world, to stand up, tell the truth, and say no. February 11, make it known to the world that we will not accept mass surveillance or any other crime committed by the US Government in the name of “national security."





Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

From A World to Win News Service:

Iran: 32nd anniversary of the Amol uprising

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


February 3, 2014. A World to Win News Service. Never have the events in the wake of the Iranian revolution of 1979 and their lessons been more relevant than they are today. In that year an enormous, prolonged mass upsurge led to the overthrow of the Iranian monarch, Reza Shah Pahlavi, whose regime was a cornerstone of U.S. domination in the Middle East. But in 1981, the ecstasy of the revolutionary period gave way to a counter-revolutionary coup led by Ayatollah Khomeini.

This new regime was not able to consolidate its hold on the country all at once. After a period in which it was able to repress the mass movement and spread demoralization, revolutionary ferment aimed against Islamic rule began to come to a boil again in the winter of 1981. In the summer of 1982, the Union of Communists of Iran, the predecessor to today's Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), began preparing for an armed insurrection, which took place in January 1982 in the northern city of Amol.

A small body of armed men and women revolutionaries who called themselves Sarbedaran were able to seize the city, to the joy of an increasing number of ordinary masses. The regime was forced to deploy ground and air forces from all over the country. It retook the city after several days of fighting. The attempt to hunt down people who had helped plan the uprising or who had come to its aid went on for a long time afterwards. Later in that decade the regime executed tens of thousands of communists and revolutionaries and plunged the country into a long period of darkness. The communist-led revolution failed, but it represented the only way out, and Iranian communists are determined that its lessons lead to a successful revolution.

The following statement entitled "History has proven who are the real imperialist lackeys" was issued on the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of the Amol uprising by the CPI(MLM).


About 30 years ago, comrade Behrooz Fathi—a leader of the Union of Iranian Communists (Sarbedaran) and one of the Amol insurrectionists—while under arrest and savage torture by the Islamic rulers—shot back at his interrogators who accused the Union of Communists of Iran and the armed insurrection of Sarbedaran in Amol of being an "American" project: "History will prove who are the real imperialist lackeys!"

For the revolutionary communists who had organized and led the Sarbedaran insurrection, it was clear that the "anti-imperialism" of the Islamic reactionary ruling regime in Iran was nothing but the imposition of a more horrendous version of the same system of oppression and exploitation that existed under the Shah, while adding to it religious obscurantism and religious tyranny.

Over the last 34 years the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) has proven that its rulers never ventured outside the capitalist-imperialist system. The IRI's ideological roots and social programme go back as far as 1,400 years in history, but nevertheless this regime brought the totality of economic life of Iran into the world network of the capitalist-imperialist system even more fully than the Shah. By carrying out super-exploitation of the lives of more than 70 million people, this regime has delivered unimaginable wealth to the imperialist system. While trumpeting its "anti-imperialism" it has been tightening its links with the world system and today it has prepared to enter into unity and solidarity with the imperialist powers more openly in order to maintain its lifeline which is dependent on the world capitalist system.

Indeed history has proven who are the real lackeys of imperialism!

The Islamic Republic's "anti-imperialism" was on the one hand a bargaining process with the imperialist powers in order to consolidate the position of the Islamist strata of the comprador-feudal class of Iran and on the other hand its aim was to impose outmoded Islamic ideology, morality, culture and values in opposition to the equally outmoded ideology and values that the Shah's regime had imposed on the society with the help of the imperialists. This opposition was thoroughly and totally reactionary, and the rule of the theocratic regime in Iran, a regime which has mixed state and religion, has been among the main sources of unprecedented degeneration and backwardness in the social relations among the people, including the intensification of the oppression of women and the spread of old culture and values, ignorance and superstition by leaps and bounds.

The Islamic Republic inaugurated its system with a crackdown on a rising of women against imposition of Islamic morality and traditions; with the suppression of the just struggles of the oppressed nations in Khuzestan, Kurdistan and Turkmen-Sahara; by attacking freedom of thought and artistic creation and the revolutionary movements of the workers and toiling masses of Iran; and it consolidated its regime with the massacre of the enlightened vanguards of the people whom it had captured—the political prisoners. It was against this regime that the Union of Communists of Iran called upon the people in 1981 to rise up and join the insurrection. The October 1981 statement of Sarbedaran called:

 "Oh People of Iran! ... The Islamic Republic, Khomeini and his cohorts, are nothing but an ensemble of clerical filth, tyranny and bullying. The fraudulent Khomeini has restored the despotic monarchy in its religious version and upon the tortured and mutilated bodies of our young revolutionaries. The regime of the whip and the gallows of Khomeini and company sheds the blood of hundreds of youth and teens, men and women and even the children of our people every day. The sounds of the gunning down of people in the Islamic Republic's countless prisons and detention centres are often and all over...

 "The monstrosity and crimes of Khomeini and his band have made the whole nation mournful and pushed the country towards complete decadence and collapse. The regime of ignorance, arrogance and back-biting of this swindler old fox has brought stagnation and destruction to industry, agriculture, science and national culture and destroyed individual and social security and well-being in our country...

 "Oh worker comrades! Toiling brothers and sisters of every city and the countryside!... Let us stand up with one heart and united! Fear not the hollow browbeating and empty artillery and gunfire of this bunch of wicked hoodlums. We must burn down throne and courts of this rude bunch that have in their brainless heads a dream of monarchical rule."

The defeat of the Sarbedaran insurrection and revolutionary struggles in other parts of the country, especially in Kurdistan, meant consolidation of the Islamic regime. Despite the 32 years that have passed since the defeat of the Sarbedaran insurrection, its memory, lessons and historical call still resonates. This means that the only road to liberation is through the overthrow of the Islamic Republic system in its totality and the establishment of a radically different and new political power and state—a state that not only does not belong to the capitalist class and its servants and is not based on any of the ideological-cultural institutions, values and traditions of this class, but aims to uproot all this and has a completely opposite class character to the ruling reaction. The name of this state is the dictatorship of the proletariat and it aims to rely on the conscious masses of people and annihilate and uproot all forms of oppression, discrimination, exploitation, ignorance and suppression.

Thirty-two years after the Sarbedaran insurrection, the necessity of a revolutionary movement for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic and the establishment of a proletarian state continues—a challenge before the society, especially its communist forces. That lesson is that without seizing political power, all is illusion, and that seizing political power is impossible without the leadership of a revolutionary communist party with a correct political and ideological line.

The lessons of the defeat of the revolution of 1979 as well as the Sarbedaran insurrection clearly demonstrate that without the intervention of the revolutionary communist forces, forces with a revolutionary vision and programme, there will never be a change in the situation that will bring the emancipation of the people, and the situation of society will go from bad to worse. If we, the revolutionary communists, fail to play our role in the intense and increasing crisis in this society and in the world, again and again the reactionary forces of one kind or another will occupy the scene and become the main players.

In order to carry out this urgent historic task today, more than ever we need a solid core of revolutionary communists equipped with the highest achievements and levels of understanding of the international communist movement, who can become, in Iran as well as the region, the principal players on the political stage.

In the 1980s a just war for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic was initiated by Sarbedaran, which represented the interests of the majority of the people of Iran against the reactionaries—capitalism-imperialism and Islamism. The realization of those goals and political tasks continues to be the only way for the emancipation of the majority of the people of this society. That emancipation depends on the forces that have a new understanding and awareness of the liberatory character of the future society and are preparing the revolution—a revolution of the kind of the socialist revolutions of the 20th century in Russia and China but at the same time very different from them and unprecedented in the human 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 #330 February 16, 2014

Stop Mass Incarceration Network on Jesse Jackson's TV program Upfront on cable TV and online—Saturday, February 15, 10-11 pm EST

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Gregory Koger, from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and a revolutionary communist who was imprisoned as a youth and spent many years in solitary confinement, will be among the panelists on the cable/online TV program Upfront hosted by Jesse Jackson on Saturday, February 15, at 10 p.m. EST. The topic of this show is about pretrial detention and mass incarceration.

Other panelists on the show are: Barbara Arnwine, attorney, President and Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law; Jonathan Jackson, RainbowPUSH national spokesman; Dr. Donna Leak, former high school superintendent; Michael Seng, Attorney, Law Professor, John Marshall Law School, Chicago; David Shapiro, Attorney, Bluhm Legal Clinic, Northwestern University Law School.

The show is an hour long. Gregory Koger is one of the panelists during the last half of the show. Consult your cable provider schedule for the channel available to you, or watch it live online at:

The Upfront show is on a broadcast network called The Word Network which, according to its website, is "the largest African-American religious network in the world" and "is available in over 200 countries reaching millions of viewers in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and nearly 86 million homes in the U.S. alone through DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Cox, Cablevision, Charter, and a host of other cable operators" and also reaches troops in the U.S. armed forces around the world.

At this time, it is not clear if this show will be available for viewing after February 15.




Revolution #330 February 16, 2014

News Flash: Illinois Prisoners on Hunger Strike Refuse Liquids

February 11, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From Gregory Koger:

February 10, 2014. Prisoners in Menard, Illinois, have refused liquids as they entered the fourth week of a courageous hunger strike opposing their placement into administrative segregation in filthy conditions of severe isolation. (For more background see "Rising From the Pit: Illinois Prisoners Join National Upsurge of Resistance to Torture and Dehumanizing Conditions in U.S. Prisons") Attorney Alice Lynd reported, "The Menard hunger strikers have apparently decided to go without liquid as well as food, and their physical condition could deteriorate rapidly."1 These men's lives are on the line and we must support them.

At least one prisoner has been beaten in retaliation for being on hunger strike and others have reported receiving retaliatory “disciplinary reports.” A Chicago attorney for some of the hunger strikers has also reported that in the first weeks of the hunger strike the Illinois Department of “Corrections” (IDOC) had been barring the prisoners from using the telephone and holding up their legal mail, preventing information about the conditions of the hunger strikers from getting out in a timely manner.

IDOC has issued a number of bald-faced lies in response to journalists’ inquiries into the prisoners' demands. In regards to the prisoners having no notice of the reasons for their placement into administrative segregation, IDOC Director of “Communications” Tom Shaer told Solitary Watch that because prisoners have allegedly been “interviewed about issues causing [their] placement” into ad-seg, they have “a very good idea of the reasons.”2 However, in the next breath Shaer actually revealed that—just as the hunger strikers have claimed—the IDOC has provided no actual formal legal notice of the reasons for their segregation: Shaer admitted that “the placement decisions and 90-day reviews contain confidential information, so issuing copies to prisoners could pose a security threat.”3 Shaer then had the audacity to claim that “we don’t have Solitary Confinement in Illinois prisons” while running down a listing of conditions of confinement that, as Solitary Watch pointed out, exactly fit the definition of solitary confinement used by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other human rights groups.4

One of the hunger strikers wrote and asked that “you & your friends call the Governor’s office, the Director of IDOC S.A. Godinez, & the Warden of Menard CC, and inquire about our peaceful protest & our reasons & conditions of confinement.”5 He added, “Our conditions are inextricably linked to the social mobilization across the nation against the injustice of mass incarceration. We hope that we have your support & we thank you.”6

Contact information:
Illinois Department of Corrections Director Salvador Godinez, (217) 558-2200, ext. 2008, Illinois Department of Corrections, P.O. Box 19277, Springfield IL 62794-9277 or
Warden Rick Harrington, (618) 826-5071, P.O. Box 711, Menard IL 62259


1. "Menard hunger strikers refusing water until face-to-face hearings begin," Alice Lynd, San Francisco BayView, February 9, 2014 [back]

2. Voices from Solitary: Hunger Strike in Menard Prison, Solitary Watch, February 6, 2014 [back]

3. Ibid. [back]

4. Ibid. [back]

5. Ibid. [back]

6. Ibid. [back]