Revolution #337, May 1, 2014 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

  • BAsics 1:31; BAsics 5:8
  • BAsics 5:8; BAsics 1:6; BAsics 4:3
  • BAsics 2:1; BAsics 2:3
  • BAsics 1:4; BAsics 3:20; BAsics 4:1
  • BAsics 5:8; BAsics 3:34
1 2 3 4 5

Download Slides for Print Posters (PDF, Zip file)




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

A New Talk by Bob Avakian:

The Material Basis and the Method for Making Revolution

April 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


  Listen:   Part 1  •  Part 2

To download the audio file for burning onto a CD:

For PC:

For Mac:




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Contribute to BA Everywhere!

The World Needs to Be Radically Changed. Here’s Step One.

Updated April 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following is the text of a national leaflet for the BA Everywhere campaign.  At the end of the article is a link to a pdf version, suitable for downloading and printing.


We face a crossroads. In the opening of his 2014 New Year's Message, Bob Avakian put it like this:

“Look at the world today. Destruction of the environment. Youth in the inner cities robbed of a future, ‘presumed guilty’ for being Black or Brown, hounded and shot down by police, incarcerated in huge numbers. Women raped, battered and murdered, denied their basic humanity and their full potential as human beings. People scorned, bullied, brutalized for being gay, or just being ‘different.’ Millions of children dying every year from starvation and disease. Immigrants driven from their homelands, forced into the shadows, exploited, deported, ripped away from their children. Slaughter and enslavement in the name of one god or another. Wars, torture, and massive government spying.

“Things are this way because of the system that rules over us and declares its ‘special right’ to rule the world. A system like this is a system that no one should put up with or go along with. It needs to be swept off the face of the earth. And it can be.

“This system is not a mystery, or something that only a few people can understand. And it is not all-powerful. This system has a name—capitalism. This system is full of contradictions—an economy based on ruthless exploitation and dog-eat-dog competition, repeated crises, unemployment and poverty... savage of ‘peace’ and ‘justice for all’ that are bitter lies—contradictions that this system cannot resolve. All this is the basis to bring this system down and bring something much better into being.”

[Listen to and read the full message]

Bob Avakian—BA—has not only named this insanity, he has put forward a solution to it: revolution, communist revolution. He has, over the past 40 years, developed a new synthesis of communism—building on the path-breaking achievements of past revolutions, but also summing up their shortcomings and problems and on that basis forged a further pathway to emancipation.

Nothing less than revolution is needed for a better world. Revolution today—if it is to bring about a better society and future without exploitation and oppression—means BA's new synthesis of communism. He has shown how such a revolution could actually be made... yes, even in today's world. And BA is leading a party, and a movement, to make all that real.

Bob Avakian has developed a vision and viable framework for a new society that is working to overcome and dig up the roots of all the forms of exploitation and savage inequality that people suffer from today; where wars of plunder and subjugation of nations and cultures are no more; where a new constitution would require safeguarding the environment. All in a framework that gives great scope to intellectual work, ferment, and dissent so that people could consciously and collectively strive for a world where all humanity could flourish.

Contribute to BA Everywhere—
Imagine the Difference It Could Make!

The work BA has done creates new possibility at an excruciating time for humanity—nothing less than an opening for a visionary and viable future. The biggest immediate problem right now is that all this is basically not known. It's not on the scene in the way it needs to be—engaged and discussed, popularized and debated. And to solve that problem, there is, right now, a major fundraising campaign to make Avakian's work and leadership known in every corner of society.

If you are seriously concerned about the direction that this capitalist world is heading... if you look for real at current political institutions and processes that offer no fundamental answers to all the misery in the world... you need to check out and engage BA. And, you can contribute to making this known.

BA Everywhere is a national campaign to raise large sums of money so that BA becomes a household word. So that this radical vision and strategy of how the world could be becomes a contending pole throughout society... so that when people are profoundly outraged by the horrific situation and the oppressive, paltry, and draconian political solutions put forward by the system, they know about and are able to weigh all that up against what BA has brought forward.

The BA Everywhere campaign has begun to make a difference—reaching deep into where people live, work, and struggle. It has sponsored bus tours of volunteers of all ages and nationalities to go into the Deep South, the California fields, and the inner cities, spreading BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian—a handbook for revolution of quotes and short essays—and the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Artists have contributed their work and performances. Hundreds of copies of BAsics have been sent into the prisons. From barber shops, to housing projects, to salons in well-off neighborhoods—people are beginning to talk, engage, debate and wrangle with BA. This needs to be amplified a thousandfold.

These are times of great peril and great possibility—potential that is constrained by people not knowing that there is a viable revolutionary solution.

Your financial contribution as well as your creativity and effort to make BA known now will make it possible for whole sections of people to engage and debate BA's vision and framework for a new society. As this becomes known and a contending social force it will change how whole sections of people think about what is desirable and possible. The times will once again resonate with big dreams and growing potential for the emancipation of all humanity.




Who Is BA?

Bob Avakian came out of the struggles of the 1960s, working closely with the Black Panther Party and other radical movements of the times. Coming off that era, he led in forming the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. After the defeats of the first socialist revolutions in the 20th century, first in the former Soviet Union in the mid-1950s, and then in China in 1976 after the death of Mao, BA went deeply into this experience—learning from and firmly upholding and defending their path-breaking achievements, while also scientifically probing and summing up their shortcomings. Drawing from that, and from broader inquiry, he has developed a new synthesis of communism that builds on this and in important dimensions is a leap beyond what came before—enabling humanity to do even better in the revolutions to come.

See more information on Bob Avakian

Right-click this link to download and print the Brochure, and "Voices from the People about Bob Avakian and BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less!", the brochure insert.




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Voices from the People about Bob Avakian and

March 17, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


“Those this system has cast off, those it has treated as less than human, can be the backbone and driving force of a fight not only to end their own oppression, but to finally end all oppression, and emancipate all of humanity.”

—From the film


“My dear brother Bob Avakian... is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party.... He is one of the few coming out of the 60’s who never sold out, he never caved in, he never gave up, held on to his forging of a rigorous, scientific analysis of the objective realities that are driven by a revolutionary love—because he has such a deep love for poor people, oppressed people, all around the world. Whether you agree or disagree with our brother, one thing you cannot deny: that he is the real thing. No doubt about it.”

—Cornel West, introducing his interview with Bob Avakian on the Smiley & West radio show
(October 5, 2012)

“Yes, this is a film, but that is not its essence. This is a daring, substantive, scientific summoning to revolution. 6+ hours that can change how you see the world and what you do with the rest of your life. Is this hype? No.”

—From one of the filmmakers

“[BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!] helped me to realize, that I myself need to do more... what I should be doing. You know, it’s one thing of listening and being here at the meetings; and then what I’m doing as an individual making sure that I’m trying to wake up people’s consciousness and try to transform their mind... for them to think deeper than just living and they don’t have to live this way—as people we don’t have to live this way, we need to demand change.”

—Black woman from Harlem


—a Black college student describing what he thought of Bob Avakian’s talk Revolution—Nothing Less!

“I think it’s very important for everyone, especially young people from the hood to see this because BA talks about what they go through and he has a solution to all the oppression. And I know for me, when I saw it, it changed the way I looked at everything... music, shows, commercials, ads. I just started seeing all the fucked up shit they promote and it made me want to challenge all that and not go along with any of it.”

—Young Latina from
Los Angeles

“A compelling film, and worth watching.”

—Robert Hass, former
U.S. Poet Laureate and English Professor at the University of California at Berkeley

“...My point is I think is that a lot of the movie is polemical and I think it grabs the viewer by the throat, or rather by the shirt. And says, hey, let’s deal with this. And some things make you uncomfortable, some things you’re right on but it’s challenging and its engaging. And we’ve been here for over three hours and I feel like I just woke up this morning. I mean it’s invigorating.”

—Seminary student

“If you’re anything like me, the idea of watching a six hour film seems nearly impossible. I rarely get six hours of sleep a night, six hours with a friend or family member, six hours to do whatever...

“If you’re anything like me, you probably ask yourself, ‘Is this really as good as it gets? Is this really the best of all possible worlds?’ If you’re anything like me, you’ve caught yourself compromising your hopes and dreams of a better world and a different future...

“If you’re anything like me, you MUST see this film, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! is not just a film, it is an experience, a journey with a relentless revolutionary leader. If you’re someone who once imagined a better world or if you’re someone who has checked out revolution and communism in the past, but have found yourself believing the mantra ‘It looks great on paper, but it’s horrible in practice. Communism just doesn’t work,’ you’ve got to see this film.

“Bob Avakian is going to challenge some of your assumptions and he might even inspire you to think differently or rekindle that flame of hope and rebellion you once had. What is so powerful and potentially world changing about this film and Avakian’s re-envisioning of communism and revolution is the science behind it. BA’s words are going to tap into your emotions, your indignation and righteous anger at “the way things are.” All the while, he is going to guide you, scientifically, through how real revolutionary change is possible and how it could actually be made. That is powerful! There is NOTHING else out there like this. Truly, if you’re anything like me, you will leave this film inspired, and yearning for NOTHING LESS than a WHOLE NEW WORLD.”

—Teacher in Atlanta

“One thing—I wasn’t surprised, but in America, a lot of people do say this is the land of the free, land of this. But people like me, it’s just totally the opposite because I’m the definition of America’s enemy. I’m a young Black youth in the inner city. They wrote us off before we was born. We was convicted at birth, that’s how I feel sometimes. But one thing that surprised me—the whole thing is a surprise to me, actually.... I’m not used to actually engaging in real issues that may be in society. So this is being real direct, just talking about stuff that makes sense, really engage me as a person.

—21-year-old Black man
from Harlem

“When I say ‘Bob’s like a Black leader’ it’s because most of our leaders stood up against what’s wrong and tried to make a change in our community—and that’s what he do—but not just for our community, for the whole world.”

—Conscious young Black man from Chicago

“It’s a huge challenge. It’s a ton of work.... I’m more charged up by seeing this. And I’m an optimist so that helps. Because people that, I know certain people back home are going to say, come on, that’s never going to happen. But I have the DVD. I can put it on, I can give it to somebody and say just watch, if you can’t watch it all, just watch some and let me know what you think. I plan on sharing it.”

—A potter from Rochester, N.Y.









Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Announcing an Important Talk:

"Where We Are in the Revolution"

Updated April 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The world needs a revolution. We need a radically new way of living, of relating to each other and the environment. People are needlessly suffering and dying every single day on account of this system. This must STOP—and it can stop.

But it can stop only if this capitalist-imperialist system is radically overturned and something new is brought into being. That requires a revolution. We need a whole new state power—one which will mobilize and back up masses of people in transforming society out of the madness of today and toward actual human emancipation. We need a new state power which could organize an economy to meet the people's material needs at the same time as it overcomes exploitation and inequality, and does so without plundering and warring on other nations or destroying the planet. We need a new state power which not only leads people to overcome and abolish the class divisions and inequalities that exist between groups of people, but to get rid of the oppressive institutions like white supremacy and male domination, and get beyond the ways of thinking that back up the rotten, backward order of today. The ultimate goal of this revolution and this new state power is communism: a world where people work and struggle together for the common good... where everyone contributes whatever they can to society and gets back what they need to live a life worthy of human beings... where there are no more divisions among the people in which some rule over and oppress others, robbing them not only of the means to a decent life but also of knowledge and a means for really understanding, and acting to change, the world.

This May an important talk will be given in several major cities addressing how this could be done. This talk will dig into the strategy for making that revolution—seizing power—right here in the U.S. as our share in and as the first step towards struggling for such a world. While it is not yet time to actually go for the all-out seizure of power—the conditions to do so, which require a deep crisis in society and people in their millions having been won to the goal of revolution, do not yet exist—the talk will lay out how things could be brought to that point, through a combination of developments in the world and the active work of the movement for revolution, with the Party as its leading core. The talk will specifically discuss the movement today in relation to getting to that goal—including what must be done right now to propel things further toward the day when such a struggle could be launched, and how to make everything we're doing now contribute to that. It will get into the need to strengthen the leading core for this revolution, the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, led by Bob Avakian.

"This is Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, with a New Year's message—

▶ Listen

▶ Read

▶ Download audio

▶ Download PDF

If you have ever hungered for a way out of this suffering and madness... if you care about justice... if you today or at any time have thought we need a better world but despaired that such a world could be achieved... come to this talk. As Bob Avakian has said:

Revolution is not an impossible dream. It is not "unrealistic." Changing all of society, changing the whole world, is not a crazy or dangerous idea. What is crazy, and dangerous, is going along with the way things are, and where things are heading, under this system. Revolution—a radical change in how society works, how we relate as human beings, what our values are, how we understand the world and act to affect it—this is what we, what people all over the world, desperately need. And it is a lot more realistic than trying to "fix" this system.

Come to this talk. Find out about this revolution, and where we are in the process of making this revolution. Learn how to become part of emancipating humanity.

We ARE Building a Movement for Revolution
and Building the Party as Its Leading Core.


Stay tuned for more information.





Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

This call appeared on the Stop Mass Incarceration Network website:

A Call for a Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation!

April 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


For 2 generations, Black and Latina/Latino youth in the U.S. have been shipped off to prison in numbers never before seen anywhere in the world at any time. More than 2 million people, of all nationalities languish in prison—ten times the number 50 years ago. The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s prison population! More than 60% of those in U.S. prisons are Black or Latina/o. 32% of Black men between the ages of 20 and 29 are in prison or on parole or probation on any given day. More than 80,000 people in prison are held in solitary confinement under conditions that fit the international definition of torture.

The incarceration of women has increased by 800% over the last 30 years. They, along with those whose sexual orientation is not “mainstream” or who are gender non-conforming—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex prisoners—face extremely harsh and abusive treatment in prison, including widespread rape. Alongside this has risen a massive program of criminally prosecuting undocumented immigrants, essentially hidden from public view. As a result of the devastation of their homelands, these immigrants have been driven to this country to work without papers, and today they are being criminalized. The U.S. chastises other countries for human rights violations, yet it enmeshes the lives of tens of millions of people in its criminal “injustice” system. The courts, cops, prisons and La Migra all play a part in enforcing mass incarceration. There are genocidal aspects and a genocidal logic to this program, and it has been gathering momentum. All this is intolerable, and, if it isn’t stopped, it will get much worse!

Mass incarceration has grown beside the criminalization of whole peoples; a situation in which every African-American or Latina/o is a permanent suspect—treated as guilty until proven innocent by police and racist vigilantes, if they can survive to prove their innocence. This is especially concentrated among the youth, starting with cops in schools, arresting children for things that used to mean a visit to the principal’s office at worse, putting youth on a trajectory from school to prison. Black and Latina/o youth have a target on their backs in this society. Literally tens of millions of lives have been scarred and worse—both the direct victims and their families and communities. People who heroically resisted these and other injustices have been imprisoned, some of them for decades. These political prisoners must be freed.

The malignancy of mass incarceration did not arise from a sudden epidemic of crime. Nor did it result from people making poor personal choices. Instead it arose from cold political calculations made in response to the massive and heroic struggle for the rights of Black and other minority peoples that took place in the 1960’s and 70’s, and in response to the enormous economic and social changes brought about by globalized production. This cancer of mass incarceration has been, from the beginning, nothing but a new Jim Crow in place of the old one. Like the old Jim Crow, it drew on, fed off and reinforced the deep-seated roots of the racism that grew up with slavery. Like the old Jim Crow, it has been, from the beginning, unjustifiable, utterly immoral and thoroughly illegitimate.

This must stop—NOW! Not the next generation, not in ten years, not any time off in some promised future that never seems to come. NOW!

But it will not stop unless and until millions of people, of all nationalities, stand up and say NO MORE, in unmistakable terms. The history of this and every other country shows that without struggle, there can be no positive change; but with struggle this kind of change becomes possible.

It is not enough to oppose this in the privacy of your own conscience or the company of like-minded people. It is not enough to curse this out, but then tell yourself nothing can be done. If you live your life under this threat, you MUST act. If you understand how wrong this is and how much it devastates the lives of so many millions, you MUST act.

NOW is the time to act. People are beginning to awaken and stir. Resistance has begun: Heroic hunger strikes by people in prisons and detention centers and outpourings in response to murders by police and racist vigilantes. Prisoners in solitary confinement in California declared a cessation of racial hostilities as Black, Latino and white prisoners came together to resist the torture of solitary confinement. All this must be taken to a much higher level. We call for a massive Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration in October of this year; a Month that can impact all of society; one that can open the eyes of millions of people to the need to end this new Jim Crow.

In October, 2014, our resistance to mass incarceration must reverberate across the country and around the world. There must be powerful demonstrations nationwide on October 22, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Throughout October there must be panels and symposiums on campuses and in neighborhoods; major concerts and other cultural expressions; ferment in the faith communities, and more—all aimed at taking the movement to STOP mass incarceration to a much higher level. October, 2014, must be a month that makes clear that thousands and thousands are willing to stand up and speak out today and to awaken and rally forth millions. It must be the beginning of the end of the mass incarceration in the U.S. To that end:


Initial Signatories include:

Stop Mass Incarceration Network
Cornel West, author, educator, voice of conscience
Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party
Noam Chomsky, Professor (ret.), MIT*
Marjorie Cohn, Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Robin D.G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor of History, UCLA*
Carl Hart, Professor, Author of "High Price"
Colin Dayan, Professor, Vanderbilt University
Henry A. Giroux, McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest
Efia Nwangaza, Malcolm X Center/Radio Station WMXP*
Ulis C. Williams, Olympic Gold Medalist, 4 x 400m Relay, 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo
Aleta Alston-Toure, New Jim Crow Movement/Free Marissa Now*
Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal
Cephus "Uncle Bobby" Johnson - uncle of Oscar Grant, killed by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
     Police New Years Day, 2009
Stephen Rohde, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP)*
Debra Sweet, Director, World Can't Wait
Medea Benjamin, Co-founder, CODEPINK*
John L. Burris, lawyer
Marilyn S. McMahon, California Prison Focus*
Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson - killed in 2000 by NYPD
Iris Baez, mother of Anthony Baez - killed in 1994 by NYPD
Dionne Smith Downs and Carey Downs, parents of James Earl Rivera Jr. - killed in 2010
     by Stockton Police
Collette Flanagan, Founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, mother of Clinton Allen - killed
     by Dallas Police in 2013
Gloria Leiva, mother of Dante Pomar - killed in 2004 by NYPD
Gilda Baker, Mother of Diallo Neal, Killed by California Highway Patrol in 2005
Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr., son of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. - killed by White Plains (NY)
     Police, 2013
Miles Solay, OuterNational
Denis O'Hearn, Professor of Sociology, Binghamton University and author of Nothing but
     an Unfinished Song: Bobby Sands, the Irish Hunger Striker Who Ignited a Generation

Blase Bonpane, Ph.D. Director, Office of the Americas*
Marie Martin, retired nurse and teacher, relative in solitary confinement in CA prison
Margarita McAuliffe, Founder, Texas Moms United For Domestic Peace*
F. Luis Barrios, professor, John Jay College, IFCO - Pastors for Peace
Cynthia McKinney
Jim Vrettos, professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice*
Marvin X, poet, playwright, essayist, Black Bird Press News*
Rev. Jerome McCorry, The Adam Project*
Rev. Stephen A. Phelps, former Interim Senior Minister, The Riverside Church* New York
Rev. Frank Wulf, United University Church*
Ray Hill, 30 years Producer and Host of "The Prison Show", KPFT, Houston, TX
Obidike Kamau, 15 years Host and Producer, "Self-Determination", KPFT 90.1 FM, Houston, TX
Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor *Tikkun: a quarterly Jewish and Interfaith Critique of Politics,
     Culture and Society*
Dahlia Wasfi M.D.
Rev. Richard Meri Ka Ra Byrd, KRST Unity Center*
Rev. Darrel Meyers, Minister (ret.) Presbyterian Church (USA)*
Dorsey O. Blake, Presiding Minister of the Church of All Peoples*
Mary Ratcliff, Editor, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper*
Grace Dyrness, ICUJP*
Jim Lafferty, Executive Director, Los Angeles Chapter, National Lawyers Guild
Rafael C. Angulo, USC School of Social Work*
Rael Nidess M.D.
Dread Scott, Artist
Manuel Olivera, Actor
Alaudin Ullah, Actor
Elizabeth Forsythe Haily, novelist and playwright, ICUJP*
Lynne Stewart & Ralph Poynter
Mike Holman, Executive Director, Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund*
Andres Thomas Conteris, Nonviolence International*
Dr. James Cockroft, Ph.D
Rev. Jerald Stinson, Interfaith Communities United For Justice and Peace*
King Downing, Human Rights-Racial Justice Center*
Iskander Kourkjian-Mowad, #Justice4Cecily*
Afua Ampoma, Recovering and Rebuilding, Inc.
"Cye" Harold Sheppard Jr., Advancing the Ancester Coalition (ATAC)*
Vernellia R. Randall, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Dayton
Paul Von Blum, Senior Lecturer, African-American and Communication Studies, UCLA*
David B. Rankin, Esq., Rankin and Taylor*
Tarak Kauff, Veterans For Peace* National Board Member
Bonnie Kerness, American Friends Service Committee,* Newark NJ
Mary Phillips, Lehman College*, Bronx NY
Erin Adair, Oberlin Abolition Network*, Oberlin
Amanda Morales, Welfare Warriors*
Milwaukee; People's Organization for Progress, New York Chapter
Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice
Justice For Families, Portland, OR
Global Kindness Revolution and Sagewriters
Racial Justice Now!

*for identification purposes only






Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

From the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic In North America
(Draft Proposal) from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

B. The Environment.

April 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


1. In the development of the socialist economy, and in the overall functioning of the government, within the New Socialist Republic in North America and in its international relations, not only must the fundamental orientation and principles of proletarian internationalism be consistently adhered to and applied, but this has special and urgent relevance with regard to the environment. In addition to–and in a dimension far beyond–damage that had been done to the environment in previous periods of history, the fundamental dynamics and the overall operation of the capitalist-imperialist system in this era–not least the wars and other massive destruction this system repeatedly gives rise to and continually causes–have created an environmental crisis constituting a genuine and increasingly severe emergency, and this is being and will be continually heightened and exacerbated, for so long as the system of capitalism-imperialism continues to dominate, or to exert significant influence and force in, the world.

The establishment of the New Socialist Republic in North America, through the defeat of the imperialist state of the USA, while it could not have occurred without the unleashing of further violent and destructive acts on the part of that outmoded imperialist state, nevertheless represents a truly gigantic stride toward the emancipation of humanity and with regard to the ability to more frontally and comprehensively confront and address the critical environmental emergency threatening humanity and the other species and ecosystems (the complex webs of interacting and interrelating life) on this earth. In full recognition of this, the New Socialist Republic in North America, in its development of a socialist economy, in all spheres of government and social activity, and in its international relations, will apply itself–and the initiative, knowledge, energy and creativity of the masses of people who make up and are the backbone of this Republic–to addressing this environmental emergency, in its various dimensions, and will seek out the ways to do so through increasing cooperation and common endeavor with scientists, and people from all walks of life, in every part of the world, struggling and joining with others in struggle to overcome barriers that are placed in the way of such efforts by the operation of the capitalist-imperialist system and the functioning of imperialist and other reactionary states.

2. Already, in the period before the revolution that led to the establishment of the New Socialist Republic in North America, the Revolutionary Communist Party (in what was then the imperialist United States of America) published a special issue of its newspaper, Revolution (issue #199, April 6, 2010) which analyzed the extent, depth and urgency of the environmental crisis at that time and the fundamental elements and principles of a program for addressing this crisis. One of the distinguishing features of the New Socialist Republic in North America is its determination to apply the principles set forth at that time by the Revolutionary Communist Party–and what has been learned since, with further developments with regard to the environmental crisis and in the world more generally–in order to contribute all it can to solving this environmental crisis and, to the greatest degree possible, reversing its terrible and manifold effects, and to ushering in a new era in which human beings and their society can truly be fit caretakers of the earth.




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

April 11 & 12:

Powerful Actions to Respond to the Abortion Rights Emergency

April 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


  • San Francisco, April 12, 2014. Photo: Special to Revolution
  • New York, St Patrick's Cathedral, April 12, 2014. Photo: Special to Revolution
  • Cleveland, April 12, 2014. Photo: Special to Revolution
  • Seattle, April 12, 2014. Photo: Special to Revolution
  • San Francisco, April 12, 2014. Photo: Special to Revolution
  • San Francisco, April 12, 2014. Photo: Bobby Biggerstaff
  • New York, April 12, 2014. Photo: Special to Revolution
  • San Francisco, April 12, 2014. Photo: Special to Revolution
  • Cleveland, April 12, 2014. Photo: Special to Revolution
  • Seattle, April 12, 2014. Photo: Special to Revolution
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


On April 11 and 12, hundreds took part in speak-outs and protests organized by the movement to End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women. In New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Cleveland, they responded to the intensifying abortion rights emergency. A total of hundreds more gathered in other places, including small towns and rural areas, to watch the webcast of the flagship speak-out in New York City.

The speak-outs on April 11 brought alive the stakes of the fight over abortion, sounded the alarm on the emergency, brought together inspiring and diverse voices about why they are dedicated to this fight, and brought alive a beginning vision of the kind of resistance and struggle it will take to win abortion on demand and to defeat the whole war on women.

The following day, April 12, dramatic and visually striking protests were held in front of Catholic churches and in crowded public areas which raised bloody coat-hangers and shackles, representing the enslavement and death of women when abortion is not available. Protesters who raised the coat-hangers wore all white. Behind them, protesters in all black raised pictures of the women who have died from illegal abortions and of the doctors who have been killed for providing abortions. After one hour of silent protest, people broke the silence, threw down the shackles and coat-hangers, and recited a Pledge to Resist which also called on others to join in taking this fight forward.

These events brought together the kinds of forces and the kinds of struggle needed on a far greater scale throughout society and provide both an example and a platform to spring forward from in creating this society-wide struggle.

New York City Flagship Speak-Out
“I had no idea.”

Over and over again, people who experienced the Abortion Rights speak-outs repeated the phrase, “I had no idea.” Stories about what women went through before abortion became legal, stories which have been buried for decades, stories which even back when they were excruciatingly common were almost never spoken of, were brought out in the light of day.

The evening opened with a powerful video from novelist and poet Marge Piercy speaking about how she nearly died from her own illegal abortion at age 18. “It was a time when falling in love could kill you,” she explained. Next, a video message from David Gunn, Jr. spoke of how his father, Dr. David Gunn, Sr., had been assassinated for providing abortions in the 1990s and his own deep commitment to defending abortion rights.

One woman told of how her best friend in high school bled to death in a parking lot alone, after going to Mexico to get an illegal abortion. Another recounted the white-cold terror she felt when, at age 20 back in the 1950s, she missed her period. She attempted to self-abort using a coat-hanger. At first, she didn’t think it worked and as the anxiety and shame mounted she contemplated suicide. A few days later, she woke in the middle of the night with blood gushing from her, her parents screaming, and an ambulance which took her to the emergency room. She is lucky she lived through it.

A third woman brought alive how little difference there is for poor and rural women today, where abortion requires hundreds of miles of travel and money they cannot scrape together, and the situation before the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. The final testimony came from a woman who found out she was pregnant at 17 and ended up going away to a home for unwed teenage mothers. She brought alive how wrong and harmful it was to be forced to have a child she did not want, how it was wrong and harmful that she and other women had not been allowed birth control or abortions. She also brought alive how much shame and secrecy hung over her and all the other women and girls in the home, one of whom was just 12 years old and still playing with dolls.

Actors read these testimonies with deep emotion, as well as excerpts from interviews or writings from three courageous abortion providers. Susan Cahill’s words brought alive the total devastation and hatred that was directed against not only her but all women in the destruction of her abortion clinic in Kalispell, Montana, on March 3 of this year. Susan Wicklund’s words shared her first day providing abortions as the main doctor in a new clinic, the tremendous relief her work brought to her patients, and her first realization of the incredible emotional and psychic harm done to her patients by the anti-abortion fanatics who protest outside most abortion clinics today. Susan Robinson’s words explained the conditions of women who come in for third-trimester abortions, how absolutely necessary these procedures are, and how the need for these procedures is often very intimately linked to the many links in the chain of women’s oppression (from abusive boyfriends, to extreme poverty, to shame and lack of sexual education especially for women, to pervasive rape and sexual assault, and more).

It took courage and strength for the women and the doctors to share these stories. Together, they conveyed a vivid and chilling sense of what life was like before Roe v. Wade: how sex carried the fear of having to give up your whole life, how death from botched abortion and forced motherhood touched women’s lives (whether directly or indirectly), and when the weight of all this was carried silently and under a mountain of shame. They also brought alive how abortion rights are far from “safe” today and gave a sense of the courage and commitment of the doctors who put their lives on the line to provide this service for women. The reality of StopPatriarchy’s slogans, “Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement,” and, “Abortion Providers Are Heroes,” came alive and the stakes of the fight over abortion rights became much more clear.

Diverse Voices, a Shared Commitment

Next, leaders in the struggle for abortion rights and courageous doctors and providers addressed the audience in person.

Dr. Willie Parker is an award-winning doctor who provides abortions at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. He grew up in the Black Baptist church in the South with all the beliefs that go along with being a Protestant fundamentalist. Explaining how his beliefs changed through college and then even more when he began serving his female patients, he said, “When you wrestle with your conscience and you lose... you still win.” Most pivotal to him was a speech from Martin Luther King about the Good Samaritan Bible story; rather than asking what would happen to him if he stopped and helped the man on the side of the road, the Samaritan asked what would happen to the man if he did not stop and help. The question Dr. Parker began asking himself became, “What will happen to these women who come to me for help if I refuse to provide abortions for them?” Planting a pole of courage as well as a morality that places the interests of women above individual self-interest, he declared, “I could be concerned about me, but that would be concern with how I will die. I am more concerned with how I am going to live.”

Bill Baird, a pioneer in the fight for birth control and abortion, began with a story of working in Harlem Hospital back in 1963 and hearing a scream “unlike anything I’d ever heard.” A young Black woman was covered in blood from the waist down, with eight inches of a wire coat-hanger protruding from her vagina. She died in front of him and this launched him on a life-long mission to fight for women’s right to birth control and abortion. He was arrested eight times in five different states for lecturing on birth control and he took his case all the way to the Supreme Court where, in 1972, he won the right for unmarried women to access birth control. Audience members, especially younger ones, were shocked to learn this hidden history. It was not long ago when speaking publicly about birth control could land you in prison. Baird had risked 10 years in prison, and students and others joined in this fight, to change these laws.

Merle Hoffman is not only the CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center, a clinic that has provided abortions to women for 43 years, she has also taken responsibility for waging the political battle that has raged around women’s right to abortion. Invoking the plans of Stop Patriarchy to protest the next day at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral in New York City, she recounted how she had worked with Mary Lou Greenberg (one of the night’s emcees) and others to hold the first ever civil disobedience in favor of abortion rights almost exactly 25 years ago that night. She unapologetically told of her own abortion, why she has fought so hard for 43 years, and called for people to “occupy the abortion debate with the truth.” She ended with these words: “We must practice courage, and get ready for a deeper commitment: civil disobedience, getting arrested, whatever is necessary. We must provide support to [abortion] providers, because without providers there is no choice... We have to draw a line in the sand and hold it... hold it... and as my friend Flo Kennedy used to say, we’ve got to love the struggle.”

Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution newspaper and initiator of Stop Patriarchy, lifted people’s sights to a world without rape, a world without shame over women’s sexuality or restrictions on abortion, a world where women were liberated and humanity emancipated. She spoke of the need for a revolution rooted in Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism to realize this world. She spoke to the urgency of millions coming together from diverse perspectives to stand up right now to stop these attacks and envisioned an emergency response network that traveled to the site of every new attack, huge amounts of abortion rights fact sheets getting out on campuses and beyond, public protests and cultural expressions that change the way millions are thinking and draw them forward into action. She ended, “It is us who stand for the lives and future of women, and ultimately for the interests of humanity as a whole. We should hold our heads high and speak with conviction, get organized and stay connected, and find the ways for everyone—whether big or small, public or private, with your resources, your talents, your time, and/or your ideas—to contribute. Everyone can do something... together we can rise up and win a much better world.”

Taken together with a prayer delivered by Reverend Donna Schaper of Judson Memorial Church, as her contribution to the event, and a powerful reading by author and historian Louise Bernikow of a poem by Marge Piercy, these diverse voices brought alive a sense of urgency, a positive morality grounding this fight, and a beginning sense of how we can come together to start shifting the momentum of this war on women. It was clear that this will take sacrifice, but also clear that this sacrifice is worth it. And it was clear that this is a movement that not only welcomes but is strengthened by the different perspectives and approaches that people bring to this fight.

The evening culminated when actors and activists carried posters of the women who have died from illegal abortions and the doctors who have been murdered for providing abortions to the front of the room and everyone stood and read the Pledge to Resist together, sealing their commitment to spread and act on what they had heard.

Confronting the War on Women: Bloody Coat-Hangers and Female Enslavement

On Saturday, April 12, dramatic protests were held in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Cleveland. In New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, these protests were held in front of Catholic institutions that bear responsibility for decades of spearheading the attacks on abortion and birth control.

Protesters wearing all white carried bloody coat-hangers, representing the way that many women used coat-hangers to self-induce abortions before Roe v. Wade and how this is what many women are being forced to do once again, even if this time they use other methods besides coat-hangers. Behind them, protesters dressed in all black carried the photos of women who died from illegal abortions and doctors who had been killed for providing abortions. Before Roe v. Wade, an estimated 5,000 women died each year from botched abortions. Currently, around the world an estimated 47,000 women die each year from this. Protesters also wore shackles representing the enslavement of women that is at stake if we do not stop this current war.

For a full hour, passerbys and parishioners stopped and stared at this striking visual tableau. Some were hostile, others very supportive, and a great many were intrigued, confused or shocked. Almost no one had thought about abortion in this context before. As one young woman who carried a picture of Rosie Jimenez (who died from an unsafe abortion in 1977) put it, “There is no way that you could walk by our protests and think this is about babies or about fetuses. We had these women’s faces—you could see their faces—and then a date that they died. This was clearly about women.” Expressing the sentiment of many of the protesters that day, she went on to say, “For me, holding that picture of Rosie that whole time, I just kept thinking about her life. She was a student, she had bills to pay, she had a kid already. Really, except that I was born at a different time, she could have been me. That just became really real to me. When I started agitating when I went across the street, I felt like I was screaming for Rosie and for her family.”

A young Latina who had been at one of the speak-outs the night before explained, “I am 24 years old and I have a two-year-old. I know how much work that is. It’s a lot of work. That’s what makes me strong in feeling that no one should ever be forced to do this unless they are 100 percent sure.” Another young woman responded, “For me, I am really chatty and so it is hard for me to be silent. Especially when people are being hostile, or when they are being really supportive. It was work to keep quiet. But it made me really have to think about the women. I mean, my back started hurting and I was getting hot and hungry, but I kept thinking about the women in the Rio Grande and what they are going through to get an abortion... or not get an abortion. It made me feel like it was a privilege to stand here in front of this huge church and speak for them.”

In New York City, in particular, where thousands of people stream down a busy street like Fifth Avenue in front of St. Patrick’s, hundreds of people stopped to snap pictures and nearly a thousand took fliers. These fliers described the overall emergency facing abortion rights, but also told the stories of the women whose faces were being held up. Groups of friends and sometimes families would stop and talk with each other about what they thought of the sight.

An older man confronted the protesters, “What is wrong with patriarchy? It is in the Bible. How can you be against patriarchy? It is in the Bible.” A woman yelled out over and over again, “You people are disgusting. What about the babies? You are going to hell. You are disgusting. You should be ashamed.” When her friend tried to take a picture of the tableau, she went a little crazy, yelling, “Don’t take their picture. Don’t give them any more attention! Don’t let anyone see this.” Another man walked slowly down the line of protesters, saying, “Murderer!” to each person’s face, one by one.

Others gave a thumbs up. Some women stopped to explain to their daughters what they were seeing. A man stood and watched for a full 10 minutes just taking the whole thing in, really feeling it, before signing up on the list to stay in touch with Stop Patriarchy. But, again, mostly people just took it all in; clearly this was a new thing for them to consider in this light.

Bill Baird, at age 81, stood with the same sign for birth control that he had held decades before and stayed shoulder to shoulder with these younger protesters.

After an hour, Sunsara Taylor led them all in breaking the silence and throwing down the shackles and coat-hangers. Their voices got louder and stronger as they joined together to recite the Pledge to Resist. As they did, a crowd of at least a hundred—possibly more—gathered on the steps of St. Patrick’s and the sidewalk to watch. When they finished, the protesters brought the pictures of the women and doctors up onto the steps of the cathedral themselves, bringing alive in one last way that the blood of women really is on the hands of that institution and that there is a determined and growing movement that will not stop until the war on women has been defeated.






Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

San Francisco Protests vs. Abortion Emergency

"The Blood of Women Is on THEIR Hands!"

April 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

On April 11, a "Spotlight on the Abortion Rights Emergency" program was held at the Women's Building in San Francisco's Mission District. The event brought together professors, providers, artists, activists, the voices of women from both pre- and post-Roe v. Wade generations, and an audience of 60 people. Stop Patriarchy presented this evening of important voices from different perspectives, coming together to lay bare the true state of emergency facing abortion rights and the need for determined mass resistance and reclaiming the moral high ground: Abortion on Demand and Without Apology! and Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement!

San Francisco, April 12, 2014. Photo: Special to Revolution

Banners bearing these two slogans were on the walls along with photo portraits of women whose deaths were due to illegal and unsafe abortions: names, dates of death, sometimes only a photo of a woman's gravestone. The program kicked off with a video clip showing last summer's Abortion Rights Freedom Ride rally in Fargo, North Dakota. Then came the speakers: wrenching personal stories of the unjust shame and stigma heaped on those who have had abortions. Academic and scientific explanations about the unrelenting legal and physical assaults on providers as well as the medical necessity of this procedure. And analysis linking these attacks on abortion rights to the larger capitalist system that objectifies women as either breeders or sex objects. It was both moving and challenging to find so many people from diverse backgrounds speaking passionately to the Stop Patriarchy themes—repeatedly, speakers pointed toward and spoke with conviction about the messages on the banners—and the program reached the heads and hearts of everyone in the room.

Speakers included Dr. Malcolm Potts, an eminent reproductive scientist and scholar who has done extensive work in the Third World; he testified about the true horrors women face around the world when safe and legal abortions are not accessible. Artist Kelly Hammargren, curator of a recent prestigious art show about abortion rights and abortion stories, shared her personal abortion experiences and reflected on the ways social stigma affects women's choices. The president of SF NOW (National Organization for Women), Somer Loen, spoke about the current state of abortion law, myths about the law, and how abortion rights are being destroyed.

History professor Rachel Martin addressed the importance of fighting for abortion rights, and explored the contradictions between her strong identification with her Irish Catholic heritage and being a resolute feminist in the struggle for the lives of women. Alexandria Petersburg, a Stop Patriarchy leader, powerfully connected the assault on abortion rights in states like Mississippi with the larger national abortion rights emergency, and with the larger terrain where capitalism denies women their basic humanity, whether through relegating them to being commodities and objects to be bought, sold, and abused, or simply to be breeders of children. She ended the night with a challenge for everyone in the room to step into this movement, to refuse to accept the unacceptable, and to be a part of reclaiming the moral high ground for abortion rights in the streets the next day.

The next afternoon, several dozen people gathered at the entrance to St. Peter & Paul Church in San Francisco. This church is the "home parish" of the anti-abortion "Walk for Life 2014"—the event that annually draws thousands of anti-abortion marchers to San Francisco on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. For one hour, eight women and men, young and old, wearing all white and holding up bloody coat hangers, stood in a silent row facing the church and everyone who walked in and out for the evening mass. Behind those in white stood another 20 people wearing black, holding up images and names of women whose lives were cut short from unsafe abortions in the years before Roe v. Wade. A huge cardboard arrow saying "The Blood of Women Is on THEIR Hands!" was held aloft and pointed at the church the entire time. Some parishioners were shocked to see this tableau; some were hostile, but not all. And many people passing by gave thumbs up, took fliers, stopped to talk—and several stayed to join the action.

The hour of silence was ended with the mic check reading of the Pledge to Defend Abortion Rights and Defeat the War on Women. The group marched into a nearby park chanting, "When abortion is illegal, women die!" and "Forced motherhood—is female enslavement!" and gathered in the park where people had a chance to share their thoughts after the action.

Two college students who heard about the weekend from a Stop Patriarchy organizer who had made an announcement to their class, spoke of how important these actions have been in addressing the emergency going on. Others talked about overcoming the shame they had been made to feel about abortion. An older woman talked about families and friends whose hopes and dreams were snuffed out by forced motherhood, by a church that prohibits birth control and abortion. In addition, people who have been involved in the movement for revolution spoke about where all of this reality is coming from, and the possibility of a world where all this horror is no more. The day ended with a lot of reflection, excitement, and determination going forward.





Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Nicholas Kristof on Ukraine: Rationalizing "Our Side" in a Clash of Global Oppressors

April 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


In a recent op-ed column in the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof, a mainstream liberal, favorably quotes a Ukrainian paramilitary member, boasting, "We will defeat the Russian Army, hang the Ukrainian flag over the Kremlin, and turn it into a lake." And Kristof declares of these paramilitary forces, and those they serve, "We should do more to back them up" with military "aid." ("Ukraine, Seeking U.S. Aid," April 16, 2014)

Kristof knows that his audience is war-weary and skeptical of rationalizations for U.S. military aggression. In that light, he writes, "Usually in international affairs there's a good deal of gray, but what is happening in Ukraine is pretty black and white."

Kristof obscures and reverses reality. The role of U.S. interventions in other countries—which is the operative dimension of "international affairs" here—is not a matter of shades of "gray." It is clear as day. It is a history of wars of empire that have resulted in millions of deaths from Central America to Southeast Asia, from South Africa to Syria. (See "Trampling On Other Nations? The U.S. Empire Was Built On That.")

And Kristof's "black and white" case that the U.S. should amp up military intervention in Ukraine is built on distortions and lies.

Aligning a War-Weary Audience with the Interests of Empire

Kristof's readers remember that George W. Bush invaded Iraq based on lies about "weapons of mass destruction." That invasion and occupation have been a horrific crime that killed or displaced a million people and left a country in ruins.

The fact is, every war, or "covert operation," launched by U.S. imperialism has been justified by lies. Remember the testimony before Congress leading up to the 1990 U.S. invasion of Iraq about how the Iraqis in Kuwait were pulling the plugs of incubators with infants in them? This was a major moment in justifying the first U.S. invasion of Iraq. It was a total lie, but after that lie served its purpose, those who perpetrated it simply "moved on" with the self-righteous complicity of the "free press."

Here's what happened: On October 10, 1990, testimony was presented to the U.S. Congress' Human Rights Caucus by a woman claiming she witnessed Iraqi troops disconnecting and stealing incubators from Kuwaiti hospitals, killing infants in the process. The testimony was cited numerous times by figures in the U.S. ruling class, including President Bush, and was widely disseminated in the media (including irresponsibly by some human rights groups).

Now Saddam Hussein was a (relatively small-scale) brutal tyrant. But the U.S. invasion made life far worse for the people of Iraq and the region. The U.S. invaders who drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and then moved into Iraq killed or injured 100,000 Iraqis. They left the country's critical health and social service infrastructure in ruins. That crime, followed by years of sanctions, resulted in the actual deaths of some 500,000 real children.1

After the war, ABC News reported that Iraqi troops "almost certainly had not stolen hospital incubators and left hundreds of Kuwaiti babies to die." But that story was a blip on the news, if that.

This was not a "gray" area in "international relations." It was a great crime that resulted in massive death and misery—including of children—sold with lies.

The Interests Behind the Lies

Behind the lies about the reasons for the conflict in Ukraine, and the utterly the self-serving U.S. government declarations of representing the interests of the people of Ukraine, are the interests of rival predatory powers.

For years, the U.S. and the European Union (EU) have been moving steadily, if not in lockstep, to move Ukraine into their orbit—not just or even mainly to claim a lion's share of the rich agricultural and factory output of the country, but as part of geostrategic contention with the rival imperialists who rule Russia. This has included steps to integrate Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe into NATO, the U.S./Europe military alliance.

In an article written in 1997, Zbigniew Brzezinski—a major and long-time ruling class geopolitical strategist aligned with the Democratic Party—outlined a strategy for maintaining "America's role as the first and only global superpower." He identified potential challenges to that status, and identified potential conflict with a resurgent Russia over former Soviet republics as a key front in that strategy—specifically arguing that "A sovereign Ukraine is a critically important component of such a policy." And in context, Brzezinski clearly meant a Ukraine that is "sovereign" in relation to Russia but is aligned with the U.S. He called for making Ukraine "ready for initial negotiations with the EU and NATO." ("A Geostrategy for Eurasia," Foreign Affairs, September/October 1997)

(For background on this and other global conflicts, see "Shifts and Faultlines in the World Economy and Great Power Rivalry—What Is Happening and What It Might Mean" by Raymond Lotta.)

Black and White, Right and Wrong

In the current conflict in Ukraine, as throughout their history, the rulers of the U.S. and their representatives in the mass media and culture don't mobilize people for war by declaring "the predatory interests of our empire—our share of a world of slums, sweatshops, and a million forms of oppression—are being challenged by other predators, and we have to stop them even at the risk of war, with the likelihood of greatly intensified death and suffering."

No. They don't say that. They don't even see the world that way, for the most part. To the extent they (or some of their representatives) see things in those terms, they have sense enough not to make that case in public. But in the main, their outlook, and the worldview they project, profoundly mis-identifies the interests of this tiny handful of people and the capitalist-imperialist system they preside over as identical with the interests of humanity.

So, from the invocation of "massacres by savage Indians" to claims that drone attacks on forces who are perceived as threats to the interests of the U.S. empire are about "keeping Americans safe," the rulers of the U.S. have never told the truth about why their armed forces are stationed in over 100 countries, and the wars they wage against rebels, rivals, or potential rivals.

The Last People in the World to Talk About "Interfering"

Without noting—much less refuting—what exactly it is he is referring to, Nicholas Kristof dismisses everything Russia has charged the U.S. with as "propaganda [that] has reached almost North Korea proportions."


Let's examine one of the supposedly absurd Russian accusations: that the U.S. has been meddling in the internal politics of Ukraine.

A leaked audio file on YouTube (which has not been refuted by the U.S.) reveals U.S. diplomats orchestrating regime change in Ukraine, and discussing how to portray it as a UN initiative. In December 2013, U.S. Senators John McCain and Chris Murphy (Republican and Democrat, respectively) joined and met with protesters in Ukraine who were demanding that the country accept economic conditions the EU was offering. McCain declared that "We are here to support your just cause, the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its own destiny freely and independently. And the destiny you seek lies in Europe." McCain and Murphy were part of a whole string of operatives from the West "advising" Ukrainian forces.

And last we checked, neither John McCain nor Chris Murphy was "indigenous" to the Ukraine, nor was the U.S. Senate.

The overt interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine by operatives of the U.S. ruling class happened—and is ongoing.

Now in fact, the Russian imperialist ruling class also has its own agenda in Ukraine. Its "aid" in the form of reduced gas prices—when that is offered—serves the interests of the resurgence of Russia's oppressive empire. And yes, Russia is involved in orchestrating secessionist forces in eastern Ukraine that no more (or less) represent the interests of the people than the forces being orchestrated by the U.S. and pro-U.S. forces in the Ukrainian ruling class.

But that doesn't mean that its accusations against the U.S. aren't true, or don't have at least a significant element of truth.

A Global Clash of Predators—With Terrible Implications for People

The escalating confrontation between Russia and the U.S. in Ukraine holds ominous implications for the people of that country, and beyond. It holds the potential to escalate into a wider and more destructive war, which would be a disaster. But even short of that, a simmering and escalating proxy war/civil war would have terrible impact on people in the region, and beyond.

Look at another front in the global clash between the U.S. and Russia: Syria. Invoking and claiming to be motivated by support for oppositional forces, the U.S. and its allies empowered a collection of reactionary armed groups to go up against the oppressive Russian-backed regime of Bashar al-Assad. Assad, backed by Russia and other powers, responded brutally.

As a result, Syria has become a humanitarian nightmare. The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) issued a report on April 15 saying that "Syria's social fabric is being systematically torn apart" by the civil war. Some three million buildings have been destroyed along with much of the country's critical infrastructure. The report says child casualty rates "are the highest recorded in any recent conflict in the region." And that the number of children forced from their homes who remain inside the nation has more than tripled, to almost three million from 920,000 a year ago, and the number of children who have fled the country has more than quadrupled, to 1.2 million from 260,000.

Stakes for Humanity

Kristof's argument for escalated U.S. military involvement in Ukraine is based on obfuscation (portraying a legacy of U.S. aggression justified by lies as a "gray" area in "international affairs") and lies, while pointing to things the Russians are doing that are, in fact, expressions of their own predatory interests.

Anyone can "justify" aligning with one's "own" ruling class by looking only (or mainly) at what rival imperialist powers are doing. But the interests of the vast majority of humanity lie entirely outside the terms of the clash of global predators.

And it is not enough to dismiss Kristof's case. Many people, now, need to be speaking up. Remaining silent and passive because the situation in Ukraine is complex or because the danger of a war that would have a direct impact on people in this country in the short term seems remote right now, amounts to silent and passive complicity.

Breaking out of the framework of the current global world order means breaking out of the outlook and rule of capitalism—whether that takes the form of "U.S. democracy" (ruling over the world's largest oppressive empire and locking millions up in the world's largest prison system) or Putin's package of traditional (oppressive) values mixed with claims to being an alternative to U.S. global supremacy.

It is critical that a real alternative to capitalism get on the map as a force in this world. And an essential element right now is for a vocal, visible section of people in the U.S. to refuse to be played into aligning with the rulers of this country, and to expose the lies and oppose the moves of "our own" ruling class in Ukraine.


1. Madeleine Albright was the ambassador to the United Nations in 1996 when she made the infamous statement on 60 Minutes in response to Leslie Stahl's question about the price of sanctions against the people of Iraq from 1990-1996 and the deaths of Iraqi children during that time : "We think the price [the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children] is worth it." She later became the Secretary of State under Bill Clinton in 1997. [back]




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Raymond Lotta Tours Southern California:

New eBook on The Truth about the Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation

Apri 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

In early April, Raymond Lotta was invited to speak at several southern California campuses just as his new eBook was being released. He pointed out that the title, You Don't Know What You Think You "Know" About....The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future, is itself an intended provocation.

With two brown bag lunches—one at UCLA and one at UC Riverside—and combined classes at Cal State Pomona, some half dozen professors and 140 students heard his presentation. Sixty people attended an evening program at Revolution Books LA.

Speaking to a Great Need

The REAL History of Communist Revolution

NEW—eBook from Insight Press, available at and other retailers. Order information at

A Unique Resource:

Lotta's new eBook fills a great void in the world—a pressing need for people to learn about and engage the true history of the first wave of communist revolutions in the 20th century. Especially as there are important stirrings and protests against oppression, whether in Egypt, Brazil, or Occupy in the U.S., including among college students. There is renewed questioning and searching for answers about a world of grotesque inequality, accelerating environmental devastation, unspeakable degradation and abuse of women, pervasive racial profiling and mass incarceration of Black and Latino people in the U.S.

But the one solution that can change all this hell for humanity is the one that people routinely reject out of hand—the basis and need for communist revolution. It's been ruled off the agenda and instead filled by seeming alternatives to the way things are, like "leaderlessness," "radical democracy," "utopia," that actually do not lead to anything truly transformative and emancipatory.

This new eBook (and the tour) is a timely challenge to open people's thinking on why and how the world does not have to be like this, and why and how only genuine communist revolutions—past and future—can emancipate all of humanity from the intolerable capitalist-imperialist world.

Lotta spoke to why the theme of his talk and getting out the eBook far and wide matters and is urgent. The fact that hundreds of millions in the Soviet Union and China set out to build radically liberating societies—and indeed achieved great things even with real problems, shortcomings, and errors—is very relevant to the fight for a better future.

He emphasized how this first wave of communist revolution with its learning curve taking us to where we are today with the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian—provides the basis to both evaluate these revolutions and to go further and do better in a new stage of communist revolution. The stakes are high. This is about the need and basis to put an end to the horrors of global capitalism—through revolution.

Lotta challenged people: Anyone who cares about the world has a serious responsibility to dig into this and to get it out and debated in society. During the tour, Lotta called on the audiences to weigh this possibility in considering what their lives should be about. As one of the leaflets building for the tour put it: "If what Lotta is saying about the history and future of communist revolution is true—and he does back up his arguments that it is—then everything changes as to what is possible for humanity."

After hearing and speaking with Lotta, one student told us that she had been feeling angry all the time about the world around her, but it made a big difference to know things don't have to be like this as these previous revolutions revealed, and as she encounters BA's works and the movement for revolution the RCP is building.

Revolutions That Shook and Changed the World

Students like her have never encountered a factual, scientific, and truthful historical presentation of the first wave of communist revolution. The eBook and tour give a vivid picture of the real people who took part in these revolutions—from the Paris Commune (1871), to the revolution in Russia led by Lenin (1917-1956), to the revolution in China led by Mao Zedong (1949-1976). Lotta spoke about China's Cultural Revolution and how it was a breakthrough in human emancipation.

On the tour, Lotta spoke about what socialism and communism really are, about how these first socialist revolutions carried out by hundreds of millions changed history. They took initial but momentous steps out of the long nightmare of thousands of years of oppressive and exploitive societies in human history. There are inspiring examples of how the lives of women dramatically improved as gender roles were revolutionized, and the steps taken towards ending the oppression of minority nationalities in the Russian and Chinese revolutions.

He talked about these kinds of amazing real-life achievements they made but also the weaknesses—some serious errors, in theory and practice in this first stage of communist revolutions—and how Avakian's new synthesis of communism provides the pathways to do better in the next wave of these revolutions.

He pointed out that these revolutions are systematically misrepresented and lied about in the media and in so-called scholarly studies, and how the conventional wisdom is that they were disasters and failures. People are kept totally ignorant of what happened, why people rose up in revolution, what the leadership of these revolutions set out to do, the problems they ran into, and the mistakes they made. It was revealing that at one program attended by over 100 undergrads, when Lotta asked how many had heard of the Red Guards in China's Cultural Revolution, not a single hand went up! (The Red Guards were the revolutionary youth who helped spark the Cultural Revolution in 1966, popularizing Mao Zedong's thought and calling on people to challenge those officials in the Communist Party and others in authority acting like overlords and taking society in a conservative, bourgeois direction.)

Getting the Truth Out and Stirring Debate

During the tour, Lotta engaged in all kinds of ways with people. His eBook also poses a challenge to professors, including those from the 1960s. Many intellectuals and artists who did know better about the real experiences of these revolutions have been influenced or intimidated by a flood of anti-communism, e.g. personal memoirs lifted out of any sense of the larger world and societal context. Many scholars have become silenced or even bought into lies about that revolutionary chapter of history. This is extremely harmful and is something the eBook can powerfully contest and change.

At different stops on the tour, there was initial discussion about how people, including students, are trained to think in this society—the lack of critical thinking—about real world problems that give rise to revolutions, about the biggest questions confronting humanity, of how to understand and change the world. For example, in contrast to mind-numbing capitalist consumerist and self-absorbed culture in this society and people taught to passively vote—the Cultural Revolution in China unleashed the youth and the whole society to think about, debate, and act on "serve the people" and break down barriers between mental and manual labor, the position of women in society, and inequalities between cities and rural areas.

The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the RCP is written with the future in mind. It is intended to set forth a basic model, and fundamental principles and guidelines, for the nature and functioning of a vastly different society and government than now exists: the New Socialist Republic in North America, a socialist state which would embody, institutionalize and promote radically different relations and values among people; a socialist state whose final and fundamental aim would be to achieve, together with the revolutionary struggle throughout the world, the emancipation of humanity as a whole and the opening of a whole new epoch in human history–communism–with the final abolition of all exploitative and oppressive relations among human beings and the destructive antagonistic conflicts to which these relations give rise.

Read the entire Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the RCP at

Woven into the speeches and Q&As was a sense that we ARE building a movement for revolution with the vanguard Party as its leading core. It was opening up big discussions and big debates, with an inviting atmosphere for everyone to feel at ease posing questions or comments, and being shown how there is a place and a role for them right now, at whatever level of involvement, in the revolution. A thread was the importance of the BA Everywhere campaign as the leading edge of the whole ensemble of revolutionary work.

Importantly, throughout the tour, Lotta brought people into the vision and plan for a better future as concretized in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North American (Draft Proposal) that is based on the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian. How would the new socialist state be a base area for the world revolution? How could we build a planned and sustainable economy that protects the environment?

The diverse audiences expressed appreciation for the Q&As and Raymond Lotta's eagerness to really dig into things deeply with people—from mainstream economic theory to sociology... from why Cuba is not a socialist country to consumerism and how people's minds get fucked with, and lives get fucked up, by the system... to why vanguard leadership is so essential to changing the world. There was a lot of discussion stirred about whether "you can do good in a bad world," as the system tells people, or have to confront the real need for revolution.

Off the tour, a blog was set up on one campus, a dialogue that Lotta plans to join. It has already gotten a number of thoughtful posts from students with follow-up comments and questions such as this:

"This revolutionary movement is something to be taken seriously, yet so many people choose to disinterest themselves from it. They feel that they can help society, and more specifically their local community, in a more practical and efficient way by being good citizens and raising their children to be good people. Some say that a huge revolutionary movement is such an abstract idea that it's unlikely to even happen, so they would rather do as much 'good' in their smaller communities. What can be said to defend the communist movement and revolution in this way?"

Real Potential on Campuses

In an initial way the tour revealed that, right now, there is a real need and much potential to get out onto the campuses more widely and deeply, building the movement for revolution. The theoretical and ideological struggle focused on in the title and content of the You Don't Know What You Think You "Know" About....The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future provides a tremendous resource.

I urge everyone to get their hands on it, study it, write reviews on about it, spread it and organize discussions of it. Begin now to plan for campus tours in the fall, including applying for funding early. Learning from the just-completed tour, you begin to see the potential to transform the thinking of many, many people, FOR revolution—especially on the campuses but also in society more broadly.





Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

From A World to Win News Service

Spain: Call it a Dictatorship and They Throw You in Prison

April 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


April 14, 2014. A World to Win News Service. A Spanish high court sentenced the 25-year-old rapper “Pablo Hasél” (Pablo Rivadulla Duro) to two years in prison for “glorifying terrorism” on April 1. Several years ago, this “anti-system rapper,” as he calls himself, declared, “If they put me in prison, that will prove I’m right”—right that almost 40 years after the end of the fascist regime of Francisco Franco, despite economic, social and political changes, the Spanish state is still the enemy of the majority of Spanish people and the people of the world and “the critical spirit.”

Hasél was arrested in November 2011, during a time of upsurge in the country’s streets, when the police raided his home in the night and confiscated his digital devices, papers and books as evidence. At his trial before the high court for political cases, the judge ruled that the only question was whether or not Hasél was the author of the dozens of videos uploaded on YouTube and elsewhere on the Net. Since Hasél unhesitatingly stated that he was, the conviction was all but automatic. Hasél argued that he had the right to freedom of speech, but the judge ruled that while that freedom exists in Spain for some speech, Hasél’s rap constitutes “hate speech,” prohibited by law, and further, that “terrorism is the worst violation of human rights,” so no one has the right to defend it. (El País, April 1, 2014)

This is the standard legal double-talk that is the hallmark of the Spanish state: “terrorism” is an affront to “democracy” so those accused of it have no rights, those who defend those accused of it have no rights, those who argue for those people’s rights are “apologists for terrorists” and so on in a widening spiral. But in sentencing an artist to prison for nothing but his words, this is a further step in demonstrating the truth of his words, that in capitalist countries “freedom of expression is nothing but freedom to lie or shut up, and like democracy, freedom of expression is one of history’s greatest swindles.”

What does it mean, Hasél says, to talk about freedom in a country where six million people have been robbed of their jobs, half a million people have been kicked out of their homes, “and if you protest you get beaten or killed?” One of his videos shows him in a June 2011 march of “Los Indignados” (The Outraged) in Valencia. The police attacked it viciously, as they did protests in other cities in Spain in those months. They sought not just to stop it but also to break the heads, faces and arms of as many young women and men as possible, as the footage clearly and indisputably shows. Another rap video, El Reino de Los Torturadores” (The Kingdom of Torturers), features the battered and crushed faces and bodies of young women and men arrested at mass demonstrations defending Basque nationalist “terrorists” and then beaten and tortured while in custody—in the name of defending “democracy.”

How can Hasél be convicted of “hate speech” and being a threat to “democracy” when Franco-era torturers are considered respectable citizens, protected from arrest by law, even when clearly identified by their victims; Franco regime political figures are still prominent in public life; the main monument to fascism is untouched and untouchable; and it is perfectly legal and respectable to publicly praise Franco and seek to continue his work?

Franco came to power through a military uprising against an elected government in 1936 and an exterminating civil war, with the backing of Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy, and the complicity of all the Western powers. His regime, which today could be called a Catholic jihad in its religious zeal and enforced cultural purity, targeted secular forces and workers and laborers, imprisoned all known opponents and executed many thousands. As was recently revealed, it stole thousands of babies from their mothers to ensure that they would have a proper conservative Catholic upbringing. Despite Franco’s alliance with the defeated Axis powers in World War 2, his regime survived by becoming a key American ally afterwards. Why today is it allowed to praise Franco but not groups that fought his regime? How can the upholders of the Spanish state accuse anyone else of “hate speech”? In fact, how can they label the political violence of their opponents as terrorism when they murdered people and broke lives on a vast scale for their political ends?

Perhaps Hasél’s greatest “crime”—and his greatest merit—is that since his 2005 breakthrough album, “Eso No Es Paraiso” (This Isn’t Heaven), he raps about Spain as still a capitalist dictatorship. He says that brutal repression on the one hand, and elections and illusions about “freedom of expression”, the post-Franco regime’s supposedly greatest achievements on the other, are two sides of the same coin, and combine with a media-cultivated “dictatorship of stupidity” that encourages a “Stockholm syndrome” where the masses of people identify with the capitalist system that exploits and oppresses them. He is very clear that not only is the currently-governing Popular Party the political successor party to the fascist regime, but that the Socialist Party “is worse or at least as bad”, and that the parliamentary “left” is just a tail on the Socialists.

The Socialists [Partido Socialista Obrero Español] (Hasél spells the party’s initials P$OE) made it possible for the Spanish ruling class to switch over from a fascist to a bourgeois democratic (electoral) form of rule almost painlessly, by protecting the continuity of persons and institutions and the bulk of the state apparatus, and agreeing to what some people call “the law of silence” protecting fascist personalities from legal consequences for their terrorist rule. The mass graves were kept secret and the killers given new jobs or allowed to keep up their work.

The Spanish Socialists led its own terrorist campaign against Basque nationalists when they came to govern. In the “dirty war,” Spanish death squads in France assassinated exiled Basque nationalists, ordinary Basques and French and other revolutionaries and bombed taverns and other public places. Neither ruling party has a right to call anyone else terrorists.

As a Socialist Party MP shamelessly explained in commenting on a new case where the courts refused to hear the complaints of a former student activist against the official who tortured him in 1975, “I just don’t think it would be good for the country. We don’t know where it starts and where it finishes. If we take someone who was a torturer in 1970, why aren’t we going to go after some ministers in Franco’s government who are still alive? Why not the courts? Where do we set the limits?” (The New York Times, April 6, 2014). Yes—what if we went after the same courts once led by Franco that have now sentenced a young rapper to prison? Might that not imperil the repressive efficiency and legitimacy of the state itself?


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 #337 May 1, 2014

Damián García ¡Presente!

April 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Damian GarciaApril 22 marks 34 years since Damián García was murdered while building for May 1st, 1980 in a L.A. housing project, as a police agent stood nearby. Damián’s killer declared, “You hate the government, I am the government, your flag is red, mine is red, white and blue.” Just a month before this towering injustice, Damián had climbed on top of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, tore down the U.S. and Texas flags, raised the red flag of revolution and internationalism. The Alamo is a hated symbol of the war on Mexico and the theft of its land, which was a key part of the expansion of the U.S. and its development into an imperialist power. The assassination of Damián García was not only an attack on the Revolutionary Communist Party and the building for revolutionary May Day 1980 in particular, but also for that inspiring internationalist act at the Alamo.





Revolution #337 May 1, 2014


Connecting People with BA at Protest vs Obama's Deportations and Support for Keystone Pipeline

April 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

When word got out that Obama was to attend a Democratic Party fundraiser in Houston, activists jumped at the opportunity to protest, focusing on his support for the Keystone pipeline, which will transport toxic tar sands oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast, and his role as "The Deportation President" (under his administration, the number of immigrants expelled from the U.S. has reached an unprecedented two million).

We in the movement for revolution attended a sign-making session, and as we painted, we aimed to connect people with BA and BA Everywhere. We got into some wide-ranging discussion about what is the problem and what is the solution to these horrors, including one young woman talking about how patriarchy is so embedded in the whole structure of capitalism. Most of those making signs were, in one way or another, anarchists. When we quoted BA in saying that the capitalist system is no fit caretaker of the planet, one middle-aged woman took issue, saying, "I'm a capitalist." Immediately a few others retorted, "But it's the capitalist system that is wrecking the planet." When we said that's right, and we need revolution, another woman asserted, "Yes, but we can't wait"—but then what she went on to describe was something we have heard a lot lately—that we need to, ourselves, model the "new society"—grow our own food, produce necessities, recycle, relate to people on a human level, etc., with the implication that somehow this would just evolve into a different society. We got into why that wouldn't work, why we need to seize power.

We brought out the special issue of Revolution on the environmental emergency and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal). People were reading sections of both, and discussion focused on how a socialist society would function. Particularly controversial was the relationship between centralization and decentralization and the need for leadership. Again, the narrow view of "my collective" was posed against looking at the big picture. We brought up the point about the new socialist constitution: that if every locality just concerned itself with its own needs, that those with more resources, technology, etc would prosper, while those with less would suffer, and we would see a growing divide between the haves and have-nots...that with the new synthesis of communism developed by BA, you would have to have a central authority, but at the same time, bring all kinds of people into running society, and welcome dissent and opposition, including funding those who disagreed. And that this would include even opposition to socialism itself, as long as they weren't working to sabotage the new society. A young man who was taking this all very seriously, asked, "OK, but who decides?" At this point time had run out, but this engagement was an opening...

The day of the fundraiser, people gathered in a store parking lot with signs, banners, and body bags. Immigrants, who most likely ever step into this wealthy enclave only to cut grass or change diapers, were now marching boldly, holding up signs calling for the return of their deported family members. With messages: "Obama: Stop Deportations, Stop Keystone XL," and chants like "Deport the Pipeline—Not Our Families!" we marched along manicured lawns toward where the fundraiser was happening. In the face of hundreds of law enforcement just a few feet away, the spirit was fearless, especially among the immigrants, as expressed in one of the chants, "No Papeles—No Miedo!" ("Undocumented—Unafraid!") In the midst of all this, the banner saying "BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less" conveyed the message to both protesters and passersby that THIS is what it will take to end the deportations and to stop the destruction of the environment.




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Supreme Court Confirms:

White Supremacy Has Been—and Will Be—the Law of the Land

Updated 2 pm EDT April 27, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


In a 6-2 ruling announced April 21, the Court upheld a Michigan constitutional amendment banning affirmative action in admissions to the state’s public universities. In other words, white supremacy is, and will remain, the law of the land.

Seven other states, including California, Texas, and Florida, have passed similar constitutional amendments; so the Supreme Court was well aware that their ruling is an endorsement of the outrageous under-representation of Black and Latino students in the most elite public universities across the country.

In California, the percentage of college-aged residents who are Latino is 49 percent, while 9 percent are Black. Yet the 2011 freshman class at UC Berkeley was only 11 percent Latino and 2 percent Black. UCLA’s freshmen class was 17 percent Latino and 3 percent Black. In Texas, Latinos make up 45 percent of the college-aged residents, while Blacks make up 15 percent. But at the University of Texas, the 2011 freshman class was 21 percent Latino and 5 percent Black. At Texas A&M, Latinos made up 19 percent of the 2011 freshman class, while Blacks made up only 3 percent.1

Affirmative action policies in education were a product of the tremendous struggles of the 1960s and early 1970s for the liberation of Black and other oppressed peoples. These policies attempted to overcome discrimination by increasing the numbers and percentages of people of oppressed nationalities who had been systematically kept out of the country's colleges and universities. At the time, a section of the ruling class itself gave support to such policies, in an effort to show that fundamental change in the conditions of Black people and other oppressed nationalities could take place within this capitalist-imperialist system.

While some changes were made, and the growth of a middle strata from among the oppressed took place in that period, in part as a result of affirmative action policies, these policies soon came under attack on the grounds that they were “discriminating” against whites. In other words, the “privilege” of being from the dominant nationality was being threatened. And the ruling class as a whole upholds white privilege. It is so embedded in this system, its dominant institutions, and its culture, so crucial to what the USA is and what holds it together in the society as a whole, that it cannot be challenged.

For many, many people, not only among Black and other oppressed people but among people of all nationalities who understand the horrific history and present-day reality behind these statistics, this ruling takes you back to how it felt the moment it was announced that Trayvon Martin’s murderer would walk free—like taking a hard punch in the gut, but not a surprise.

Because the deeper reality that is being brought home once again—and must be recognized, with all of its implications—is that the Supreme Court and the U.S. constitution itself represent the interests of this ruling class and the capitalist-imperialist system, including its white supremacy as an historic, and essential, cornerstone.

The decision reached by the Supreme Court went against many of its own previous rulings, so there are many different arguments made to justify what it has done. And four separate opinions were written supporting—or in the case of Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg, opposing—the Court’s decision. But never do those approving Michigan’s constitutional ban on affirmative action touch the question of why these inequalities in admissions to the universities exist, and what they have to do with the historical crime of slavery and its continuation today in what’s been characterized as the New Jim Crow. Nor do they speak to the impact their ruling is going to have in making all of these conditions worse. In fact, the Court’s opinion, issued by Justice Kennedy, is introduced with an “assurance” that amounts to "hiding in plain sight":

Before the Court addresses the question presented, it is important to note what this case is not about. It is not about the constitutionality, or the merits, of race-conscious admissions policies in higher education.

But in the end what the opinion rests on is the "sanctity" of the so-called "will of the people." As described in the Syllabus that introduces the ruling:

Michigan voters exercised their privilege to enact laws as a basic exercise of their democratic power, bypassing public officials they deemed not responsive to their concerns about a policy of granting race-based preferences. ... this Nation’s constitutional system also embraces the right of citizens to speak and debate and learn and then, as a matter of political will, to act through a lawful electoral process, as Michigan voters have done here.

Here you have a country that is founded on slavery, and for hundreds of years slavery was supported by the vast majority of the country—but that didn’t make it right. The debate over the writing of the U.S. constitution gave great consideration to the "will" of the supporters of slavery, and wrote slavery into it; but the "will" of the slaves did not matter at all. In fact, the Supreme Court itself, in 1857, ruled that Dred Scott—an enslaved person who managed to escape his enslavement—“had no rights which the white man was bound to respect” and sent him back to his owner.

And for nearly 100 years after slavery, “states' rights”—the doctrine that the "will of the people" of a southern state could not be challenged by a higher court—made legal a world of “Jim Crow” segregation throughout the South. This kept Black people from voting; made them second-class citizens in every way; and used Ku Klux Klan terror to enforce it. And today the system, as legally embodied and codified in its constitution, is in the service of the New Jim Crow, maintaining Black people, and other oppressed people, in an exploited and oppressed condition—and declaring it the "will of the people" that it should continue, and nothing can be done to interfere with that.

What we’re witnessing is the consolidating in an even greater, formal/legal way, the reality, and permanence, of the New Jim Crow that Black people have been forced into, following the struggles of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s that struck at the previous period of Jim Crow. Students, and especially Black students, on some campuses across the country are righteously standing up against the outlawing of affirmative action and demanding change. This struggle must not only be supported, but it must be built. And, more, this struggle should be linked with the struggle to make revolution, as the whole nature of this Supreme Court ruling makes it even clearer why it is going to take a revolution, and nothing less, to finally defeat, dismantle and eliminate this system, finally put an end to all of its crimes against Black and other oppressed people, and bring a whole different kind of society, and world, into being.


1. From charts included in “Court Backs Michigan on Affirmative Action,” Adam Liptak, New York Times, April 22, 2014. [back]




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Donald Sterling Rears His Ugly Racist Head

April 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Donald Sterling, the owner of the NBA (National Basketball Association) Los Angeles Clippers, has apparently told a woman he has been dating to not bring Black people to his basketball games. Most people who have heard the 9+ minute audio believe that the voice on it is Donald Sterling’s voice. He first tells her, “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with Black people. Do you have to?" Then he goes on to say, "You can sleep with [Black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that (Instagram)... and not to bring them to my games." And further, "I’m just saying, in your lousy fucking Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with Black people." Then he goes after Magic Johnson, who is Black and is in the basketball hall of fame, when he tells her, "...Don't put him (Magic Johnson) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games."

Los Angeles Clippers players wear their warmup shirts inside out at a playoff game, in protest against racist team owner Donald Sterling, April 27, 2014. Photo: AP

Sterling’s racist rants were immediately met with condemnation and utter disgust.

Doc Rivers, the coach of the LA Clippers who is Black, in a way to show how Sterling’s statements have affected both white and Black players on his team, said, “J.J. Redick (a white player on the Clippers) is pissed (just) as (is) Chris Paul (a Black player on the Clippers).”

LeBron James, an NBA all-star who plays for the Miami Heat, said that he would actually consider giving up his shot at an NBA championship if Donald Sterling owned the Miami Heat. He said he really feels for his good friend Chris Paul: “I can only imagine what’s going through his head." James and his Miami Heat teammates had posted a photo of themselves in hoodies to protest the murder of Trayvon Martin. James also called for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver “to make a stand” because Sterling’s comments are unacceptable.

DeAndre Jordan, the starting center for the Los Angeles Clippers, posted an Instagram with a picture that was blacked out and no caption as a way to express his feelings. Last year people posted blacked-out pictures on Instagram to show support for Trayvon Martin after George Zimmerman was acquitted of Trayvon’s murder, so what DeAndre Jordan was doing was showing his unity with the Trayvon postings with his posting about Donald Sterling.

Rapper Lil Wayne left a video message for Donald Sterling, saying, “Fuck you. That simple. That easy.” According to TMZ Sports, he said that “if he were a member of the L.A. Clippers he would absolutely, positively quit the team in protest.”

ESPN writer Chris Broussard posted that "Donald Sterling has the mentality of an antebellum slave master: he makes $ off Blacks but doesn't see them as equals deserving of respect." Broussard called for the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers to both boycott their playoff game on Sunday, April 27.

Before the Clippers playoff game against the Golden State Warriors on April 27, the team protested Sterling’s racist rant by dumping their Clippers warm-up jackets in a pile on the floor, and warming up with their shirts turned inside out to obscure the Clippers logo. And they played the game with black armbands and black socks in another statement of protest.

An article in Revolution newspaper, “Elgin Baylor and Racism in the NBA” (issue #162, April 19, 2009), chronicled Donald Sterling’s racist behavior and a lawsuit against Sterling by Elgin Baylor, who is Black and was fired by Sterling as general manager of the Los Angeles Clippers. Baylor at that time said the same thing about Sterling that Chris Broussard said: "(Sterling) has (a) vision of a Southern plantation-type structure." People should go back and read that article to understand that this recent racist shit by Sterling is not just a one-time thing. Sterling has a long history of racist actions, not only with the NBA team he owns but also in his real estate holdings.

Baylor’s lawsuit for unlawful termination due to racist reasons was dismissed by a jury in 2011. At the time the Revolution article was written in 2009, it was clear that Baylor’s lawsuit had much validity. And now with this new racist shit from Sterling, it is even clearer that Baylor had correctly identified Sterling’s racism.

And Sterling has a history of whitewashing his image with donations to Democratic Party politicians, charities, and civil rights groups. Until this latest scandal broke, the LA Chapter of the NAACP was going to give Donald Sterling a Lifetime Achievement Award during a ceremony on May 15!

Listen to this Talk by Bob Avakian:

The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters

Track 1, Track 2

The NBA, like other major professional sports leagues in the U.S., plays a huge role in reflecting, serving, and promoting the exploitive and oppressive values of this system. The fact that Sterling—with his uncontested record of blatantly promoting white supremacy—has been a long-time owner of an NBA franchise tells you much about what that is all about.

The only lifetime achievement award Donald Sterling deserves is a lifetime of promoting white supremacy and his role in turning the NBA into something akin to a minstrel show. People may think that is a strong statement, and it is, but you need to listen to Bob Avakian’s talk “The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters" (part of the 7 Talks by Bob Avakian) in order to understand the truth of this concept. In this talk, Avakian speaks to and chronicles how the nature of the NBA reinforces and endorses the oppressive relations for Black people in today's society. He goes on to show how the marketing strategy of the NBA has a racist component, where arenas are in the suburbs of the cities and only the wealthy can afford to attend the games. He says that because of this, "The NBA is the equivalent of a minstrel show in today's society...with the continuation of white supremacy." And right now, Donald Sterling is the league’s front person for white supremacy.

Besides listening to Avakian’s talk on the NBA, people need to download and read the special issue of Revolution on "The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and the Revolution We Need.” Yes, we do need a revolution in order to end the oppression of Black people and others, and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) provides that actual framework for ending that oppression.

If you want to know more about this revolution, you need to attend a very important talk taking place in the month of May, “Where We Are In the Revolution.” The cities where this talk will be given and the dates, place, and time are posted here as information becomes available.





Revolution #337 May 1, 2014


Three Outrages in Four Days in AmeriKKKa

April 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Four days in April reveal how tightly white supremacy is woven into the essential fabric of AmeriKKKa.

There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery.
That is a simple and basic truth.

BAsics 1:1

On April 22, a Supreme Court ruling upheld a voter initiative in Michigan that banned affirmative action. Affirmative action takes into account the reality that Black people, Latinos, Native Americans, and other oppressed peoples have been and are LOCKED OUT of a wide range of fields of study and professions, and even access to basic education. Affirmative action programs have barely scratched the surface of discrimination in the U.S., but outlawing affirmative action means further LOCKING DOWN whole peoples in conditions of segregation, mass incarceration, and pariah (outcast) status in AmeriKKKa. The fact that this vicious attack on oppressed people was orchestrated through the medium of “the voters” in a state—a majority of whom were misinformed, prejudiced, or manipulated to rally around petty narrow interests, against the interests of humanity—only reveals the true nature of the vaunted American democracy of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class. That democracy serves the interests of exploiters and oppressors, and adds insult to injury by putting the stamp of “the will of the people” on oppression.

On April 24, “conservative”—no, make that FASCIST—“folk hero” rancher Cliven Bundy amplified an earlier racist rant reported in the New York Times, going on to claim that Black people were “better off as slaves.” For weeks fascist militias armed with semi-automatic weapons have mobilized behind Bundy’s demand to graze his cattle on public land without paying. And for weeks, the authorities have essentially stood by while these forces have flexed their muscles and declared to all that they are readying for a potential racist, fascist bloodbath in the name of standing up for and defending American values. Given the national stage, and invited to spew this fascist, white supremacist agenda, Bundy proclaimed that one reason Blacks were better off under slavery is that today—as opposed to when Black women were systematically raped by white slave owners and then condemned to be breeders against their will—“their daughters are having abortions.” This follows on the heels of Duck Dynasty “patriarch” Phil Robertson’s proclamations that under Jim Crow segregation Black people were “singing and happy." And, "They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues." (See “An observation by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party.” ) Bundy and Robertson are given repeated and massive exposure in mainstream media to project their racist (and anti-woman) poison and to enlist whites behind their fascist agenda—an agenda given almost unlimited promotion and amplified by a “mass media” owned and controlled by and serving the capitalist-imperialist ruling class.

Listen to this Talk by Bob Avakian:

The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters

Track 1, Track 2

On April 25, news media released a recording of an obscene racist rant by Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers in the NBA, telling a woman that he didn’t want her bringing Black people to Clippers games or being photographed with Black people like Magic Johnson. Sterling has an unbroken and “uncontested” record of running his team like a plantation, as well as vicious discrimination against Blacks, Latinos, and women with children in his vast real estate holdings. And he also has a long record of sexual abuse of women. Yet Donald Sterling has been allowed—enabled—by the powers-that-be to preside over an NBA team, running it like a Southern plantation for decades. What does that tell you about this society, where pro sports reflect and have a huge role in promoting (oppressive) values overall? In the face of growing protest among the players and throughout society, the powers-that-be in the NBA decided to ban Sterling for life from the NBA. We will continue to follow developments.

* * * * *

These are not “isolated incidents.” They are not exceptions to “enormous strides” in overcoming “the vestiges of discrimination”—as Barack Obama claims. They are emblematic of the core nature of the United States of America TODAY. White supremacy has been deeply woven into the fabric of the United States since its establishment on the basis of genocide and the theft of land of the Native Americans and the enslavement of Black people. And IT STILL IS. These three outrages in one week in April are a reflection of how deeply this is still the case.

No just solution to the oppression of Black people and other oppressed people can come from this system. The only solution to the oppression of Black and other oppressed people, and to other foundational outrages in this society, is REAL REVOLUTION.

The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America breaks down how a revolutionary society would uproot the oppression of Black and other people. The vision and strategy for that revolution is here at Get with it, share it, spread it!




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Looking Forward to the “Where We Are in the Revolution” Talk

April 29, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The upcoming talk “Where We Are in the Revolution,” which will be given in major cities across the country in May, comes at an important moment in the movement for revolution we ARE building with the Party as its leading core.

"This is Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, with a New Year's message—

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The flyers announcing the talk should be distributed broadly, and other creative means should be found to publicize this talk. As we mobilize people to come hear this talk, a critical and important tool to winning those who want to know what this talk will be about—and why they must be there—is playing the New Year's message "A Call To REVOLUTION" from Bob Avakian, and getting it into people’s hands. And when opportunities exist, let’s discuss this message.

As BA says in that message:

Revolution is not an impossible dream. It is not "unrealistic." Changing all of society, changing the whole world, is not a crazy or dangerous idea. What is crazy, and dangerous, is going along with the way things are, and where things are heading, under this system. Revolution—a radical change in how society works, how we relate as human beings, what our values are, how we understand the world and act to affect it—this is what we, what people all over the world, desperately need. And it is a lot more realistic than trying to "fix" this system.

All those who have connected with this movement and all those who have contributed to this movement—in both large and small ways—need to hear this talk, “Where We Are in the Revolution.” And all those who hate the world as it is and long for a way out of the suffering people the world over live every day need to be there. All those who think or have thought we need a better world, a different future for humanity, need to hear this talk. People who must hear this talk can be found in the neighborhoods, at college campuses and high schools, and at large gatherings like May Day and Cinco de Mayo events. And again, key to winning people to come to this talk is the New Year's message from BA; this message should go out as broadly as possible.

So let’s be bold and creative in reaching out to people from all walks of life to come to this talk, to find out about this revolution and where we are in the process of making this revolution and emancipating all of humanity—and to learn how they can be a part of changing the world.  

A note: To learn about Spanish translation of this talk in your area, please contact the Revolution Books store in your area—for more information go to the Revolution Books page on this site.




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Kerry Drops the “A” Word—Then Backtracks
But Israel IS an Apartheid State

by Alan Goodman | April 30, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Addressing a group of ruling class think tankers and insiders on April 25, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry used the term “apartheid” in relation to the state of Israel. Kerry was speaking of U.S. efforts to orchestrate the division of Palestine into the existing state of Israel alongside tiny, disconnected areas—essentially prisons—which would be recognized as a Palestinian “state” (the “two-state solution” in the parlance of U.S. diplomats). Kerry said that if this fails, then Israel “winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.”

When the comments hit the news, furious outrage erupted from Israeli officials and U.S. officials ranging from fascist senator Ted Cruz to liberal senator Barbara Boxer—and Kerry quickly backtracked, saying “If I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word.”

Four Palestinian children killed by Israeli airstrikes on Gaza

Above: Four children killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, November 2012. Photo: AP

The defining reality is that Israel IS an apartheid state NOW.

Under the apartheid system in South Africa, black (and other non-white) South Africans were locked down in prison-like "Bantustans," without the most basic necessities of life (like clean water or decent shelter). They were treated as non-humans, subject to fascist "pass laws" that governed their every movement if they left. On the backs of their labor, white settlers lived the lifestyles of northern Europeans, and global capitalism-imperialism accumulated massive profits. And apartheid South Africa served as a military enforcer for the interests of the U.S. empire in southern Africa, particularly in the "Cold War" era, backing massive terrorist operations against and invasions of neighboring countries.

Click to view full-size

The state of Israel was established on land inhabited by the Palestinian people, on the basis of what by any objective definition was terrorist ethnic cleansing. The Nakba (an Arabic word for "catastrophe") was wave after wave of violent Zionist terror concentrated in the year 1948. One million Palestinians were brutally forced from their land, villages, and homes, fleeing with only the possessions they could carry. Many were raped, tortured, and killed. To ensure that there would be nothing for the Palestinians to return to, their villages and even many olive and orange trees were thoroughly destroyed. By the time the Nakba ended, there had been 31 documented massacres—and there probably were others. (For more, see Revolution special issue "Bastion of Enlightenment...or Enforcer for Imperialism: The Case of Israel")

Basically ever since, Israel has served as violent enforcer of the interests of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East and around the world. Israel holds the region hostage with a substantial nuclear weapons arsenal. It repeatedly invades neighboring countries. And Israel has carried out terrible crimes around the world in service of the U.S. empire—including a significant role in the genocide of 200,000 Guatemalan indigenous people in the early 1980s and major military backing for apartheid South Africa. (See "The U.S. ... Israel ... and Crimes Around the World.")

An aerial view of part of Israel's 8-meter-tall cement Apartheid Wall (see accompanying map). This part divides the Palestinian village of Abu Dis. Photo: AP

Israel's Apartheid Wall zigzags through hundreds of miles of Palestinian territory—expanding the area seized by Israel and making life untenable for 2.5 million Palestinians on the West Bank.

Today, the areas in which the Palestinian people are confined are every bit as oppressive as apartheid South Africa's Bantustans. Israel's 20-foot high cement wall, widely referred to as the "Apartheid Wall," zigzags through sections of Palestine not formally integrated into Israel. It divides Palestinian villages from each other, villagers from their farms, and families from relatives. It winds through hundreds of miles of Palestinian territory—expanding the area seized by Israel through ethnic cleansing and wars, making life untenable for 2.5 million Palestinians on the West Bank.

The two million people in the Gaza Strip region of Palestine are literally confined in prison conditions, unable to leave, even to visit family in other parts of Palestine. Israel (along with Egypt) enforces a blockade on Gaza that has reduced food supplies to the same level as those available to the poorest families in sub-Saharan Africa.

In his retracting statement, Kerry claimed, “Israel is a vibrant democracy and I do not believe, nor have I ever stated, publicly or privately, that Israel is an apartheid state or that it intends to become one.”

That the rulers of the U.S. see Israel—built on and maintained through the expulsion, and essentially ongoing imprisonment of the Palestinian people as a model of the democracy they export around the world—points to the nature of what the U.S. actually IS built on and exports around the world. To quote Bob Avakian:

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

BAsics 1:3

Comments like Kerry’s do not signal recognition—in any way—by the rulers of the U.S. of the terrible crimes they have sponsored against the Palestinian people. No justice for the Palestinian people will come from relying on or appealing to them. But Kerry’s comments do reflect the fact that imperialism is a system fraught with intense contradictions Those contradictions periodically intensify. People with their eyes wide open, and a scientific and sober appreciation of what obstacles have to be overcome to achieve liberation, can and should seize on such moments—like this one—to expose the real nature of Israel and the global system of oppression it serves, and to struggle for an end to the oppression of the Palestinian people.




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

What Was Behind Kerry Dropping the “A” Word?

by Alan Goodman | April 30, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


What was behind U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dropping the “A” word—apartheid—albeit only saying Israel could BECOME an apartheid state?

We can rule out two things. We can rule out that Kerry, or any significant elements within the U.S. ruling class, suddenly grew a conscience over the fact that Israel has been propped up economically, militarily, and diplomatically by the U.S. for decades. And we can rule out that Kerry’s use of the “A” word—brief as it was—means the strategic alliance between the U.S. and Israel is ending.

But the rulers of the U.S. face a whole complex set of challenges to their domination of the Middle East, which they have not been able to resolve. Those challenges interpenetrate with growing challenges their empire faces around the world—and that whole web of contradictions frames the moves that the U.S. is exploring or making in relation to its relationship with Israel and other reactionary regimes in the region.

The U.S. has other reactionary allies in the region as well, who serve to enforce their interests and facilitate their exploitation of the people and resources of the Middle East. We are talking about regimes like the draconian Dark-Ages Saudi royalty and the bloody, mass murdering generals running Egypt. But regimes like those are hated by the masses of people within their borders and depend on constant repression to maintain any level of stability. And those regimes have their own interests as well, which at times present serious conflicts for the U.S.

The population of Israel, on the other hand, is dominated by sections of people united in one form or another with a Zionist outlook—at least for now—and who on that basis identify with the interests of imperialism. Zionism has invoked the horrible crime of the Holocaust, NOT to draw the correct conclusion that this should never happen to ANYONE, but that anything done to advance the interests and protect “my people” is justified no matter what crimes that involves. This has to be taken on—especially in the realm of morality—as part of opposing the oppression of the Palestinian people and creating the best conditions for the liberation of Palestine.

Israel, with its (for now) relative internal stability, powerful economy, and ferocious military, is a unique asset for U.S. imperialism. But, as a state built on the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine and constantly at war with its neighbors, Israel is also a unique problem for the U.S. Overall, the rulers of the U.S. are stuck with, and sticking by, Israel. But this is a tension-filled dynamic, and it is particularly tense right now as the U.S. faces a host of complex and shifting challenges in the region and to its global empire.




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

BA Everywhere in May and June

From the Hellholes of a Nation of Cages: A Call to Contribute to Human Emancipation

1000 Years—$1000 for BA Everywhere

May 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


This is a call to people from all walks of life to contribute to "1000 Years—$1000 for BA Everywhere."

"1000 Years—$1000 for BA Everywhere" is a project of the BA Everywhere campaign to make the hundreds and thousands of years suffered in the hellholes of this nation of prisons count for something that will really matter: working for a radically new world. This is a call to prisoners, ex-prisoners, families and friends of individuals locked up in the massive prison system in America, along with everyone from all walks of life who feels that living in a society that throws millions of its people into cages for decades is completely intolerable. This is a call to raise one dollar and many more for each year our people have been incarcerated, for the BA Everywhere campaign—a campaign to make a very big difference.

The BA Everywhere campaign is at the cutting edge of a movement for a radically new society and world through revolution—where no more would Black and Latino youth be demonized and robbed of their freedom and lives. Where no more would immigrants seeking a way to live be hunted, locked up, and deported by the millions. The BA Everywhere campaign is a mass fundraising campaign to spread the revolutionary vision, strategy, and leadership of Bob Avakian so that people in all corners of society can know about and get into why and how the brutally inhuman society we live in today need not be forever—that there is a whole other way humanity could live and flourish.

Bob Avakian (BA) is a revolutionary leader coming out of the 1960s who has committed his life to working for revolution—to bring about a future where humanity could collectively go to work on overcoming all forms of exploitation and oppression all over the world. Learning from the revolutions of the 20th century—their liberating achievements as well as their shortcomings, and from experience more broadly—BA has developed a new synthesis of communism that is, as he has put it, "a deeper, even more scientific understanding of the methods, the goals, the strategy and plan for making revolution and a new society."

Making this known, discussed, and debated among all kinds of people in every corner of society will start to change how many people look at the world today and what is possible. To make this well known will take money, lots of it. The BA Everywhere campaign is a struggle for the hearts and minds of people—a fight for the future—to make BA's vision, leadership, and strategy known up against what those who run this society want the people to know, think about—and not think about. BA Everywhere is a way for thousands of people who hate what is being done to people, who yearn for a better world, to contribute funds and their creativity and efforts so that everywhere people can know about and be debating that there is a whole other way we could be living—so that BA becomes a household word.

BA has called on prisoners and all who have been cast off and treated as less than human by this system, to raise their sights above "the degradation and madness, the muck and demoralization, above the individual battle to survive and to 'be somebody' on the terms of the imperialists ... to become a part of ... the gravediggers of this system and the bearers of the future communist society."

BAsics 3:16
An Appeal to Those the System Has Cast Off

Here I am speaking not only to prisoners but to those whose life is lived on the desperate edge, whether or not they find some work; to those without work or even homes; to all those the system and its enforcers treat as so much human waste material.

Raise your sights above the degradation and madness, the muck and demoralization, above the individual battle to survive and to “be somebody” on the terms of the imperialists—of fouler, more monstrous criminals than mythology has ever invented or jails ever held. Become a part of the human saviors of humanity: the gravediggers of this system and the bearers of the future communist society.

This is not just talk or an attempt to make poetry here: there are great tasks to be fulfilled, great struggles to be carried out, and yes great sacrifices to be made to accomplish all this. But there is a world to save—and to win—and in that process those the system has counted as nothing can count for a great deal. They represent a great reserve force that must become an active force for the proletarian revolution.

When people get connected with the revolutionary scientific method and vision and strategy for a revolutionary society developed by Bob Avakian, this has the potential to change everything—including how they think and act—and that reverberates among thousands more who also feel the weight of the oppressive way things are today. When people come to understand why the world is the horror it is and how together with millions of others they can be a part of working to change it as part of the movement for revolution, as well as supporting getting BA and what he has brought forward out everywhere, this lifts people up out of the dog-eat-dog of day-to-day existence under this system—in short, making it possible for people to consciously change themselves in the course of changing the world.

Already hundreds of prisoners and ex-prisoners have received BA's book BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian. Read some of the words of prisoners and ex-prisoners who have been getting into BAsics and other revolutionary literature, in the accompanying excerpts from their letters.

This connection and engagement needs to happen on a far greater scale, with BA's work known and resonating among many more who are behind the prison walls and many, many more outside the walls, among all kinds of people, everywhere. One-third of the funds raised through "1000 Years—$1000 for BA Everywhere" will be donated to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund, which sends BAsics and other revolutionary literature into the prisons in response to prisoners' requests. The remaining two-thirds will go to fund the BA Everywhere campaign overall.

For "1000 Years—$1000 for BA Everywhere" to grow over the next year, for it to have impact, requires people taking it up. We believe that there are many people who see the enormous scope of mass incarceration and how deeply it is woven into the fabric of America with its foundations in the subjugation and oppression of Black people as well as vicious exploitation and demonization of immigrants. And there are many who can come to recognize that it will take a radical change—a break—with the current system to deal with a nation of prisons and that ending this outrage is and can be linked to ending all the oppression that torments people today. The BA Everywhere campaign should work to bring together crews of people who can be won to work together to take up "1000 Years—$1000 for BA Everywhere" by reaching out to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families and friends to ask and to struggle with them to commit their years to be counted in this way, to be pushing this project forward as one part of how the BA Everywhere campaign is raising funds from all different kinds of people to make BA known as a first step in changing the world.

The U.S. imprisons more of its population than any country on earth, now or in history. If the lives squandered and human potential lost this way were all that was wrong with this system, it would be reason enough for people to seriously check out and dig into the revolutionary solution to this madness. And yet this is not even close to the full picture of the crimes of the worldwide system of capitalism-imperialism dominated by the U.S. On top of this, a war on women is being waged, with constant degradation and sexual abuse, and with the right of and access to abortion already eliminated or in peril in much of the country; the environment is being pushed closer to irreversible disaster; the U.S. is spying on everyone; and it is sending remote control drones to murder people in other lands as just one part of waging murderous wars against people around the world, in order to enforce the grip of their empire.

"1000 Years—$1000 for BA Everywhere" taps into a deep fault line of America. It is one reason why people of every nationality, of all ages, of all genders, from every walk of life, from those struggling to survive on next to nothing to the very wealthy, can be inspired to donate money and to contribute in other ways to making BA, and the vision and framework of a new society and the plan to get there that he has developed, known everywhere.

How the "1000 Years—$1000 for BA Everywhere" project will work:

The BA Everywhere campaign will be raising funds for "1000 Years—$1000 for BA Everywhere" at the same time as it is working to get statements from prisoners and ex-prisoners, their families and friends to "add" their years of incarceration to make up 1000 years. And then, when 1000 years are accumulated, the process should continue towards another 1000 years. These statements, the pledges of years, will be posted online on the BA Everywhere page of, web and a print version will be made available on a regular basis to mail to those behind bars and without Internet access.

To make the number of years you, a loved one, or a friend have been incarcerated count toward the "1000 Years" and to make your pledge to donate or raise that amount or more to BA Everywhere, contact a local BA Everywhere Committee or the national BA Everywhere campaign ( with your donation or pledge. Your thoughts, written to be shared with others, on why you are adding your "years," why you want people to match your donation many times over, are very welcome, and selected statements will be posted and printed as part of the project. Work together with others—sharing the experiences and the challenges in taking this up—and send reports into BA Everywhere so that people all over the country can think about and learn from your experience.

People everywhere should be inspired by "1000 Years—$1000 for BA Everywhere" to not just match one dollar for every year that a prisoner, ex-prisoner, or family pledges to raise to match their loved one's sentence, but to multiply that—donating $2, $5, $10 or more dollars for every year that we accumulate. In this way, 1000 years of pledged years should raise not just the $1000 pledged by those contributing their years, but many more thousands of dollars for the BA Everywhere campaign. We want to hear from all who donate, from all walks of life... building a voice in society that is responding to the outrageous genocidal mass incarceration of millions by contributing to the first step towards a radically new world.





Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners on What BAsics and Other Revolutionary Literature Means to Them

May 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following are excerpts from letters from prisoners and ex-prisoners received by the Prisoner Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF).


“...We have to bring together people from the bottom of society and people from middle class backgrounds who don't have the direct experience of that kind of oppression and injustice. We will never get to another world without people from the bottom and people from other parts of society being firmly committed toward humanity.” (From "Revolutionary Gregory Koger Released from Cook County Jail," November 2013)


“...Since George [Jackson] was on the scene the repressive apparatus of police, prisons and courts has developed in such a way, that out of necessity the ‘Stop Mass Incarceration Network’ has been formed, and is now being developed as a means to raise the conscious level of the masses and beat back its forces. The Leadership of Bob Avakian and the New Synthesis of Communism, with his scientific approach and method of combating those repressive forces, is constantly being developed in correspondence to all of this as well, while people like myself learn to deeply probe, investigate and experiment with reality, and begin to appreciate and understand the significance of Bob Avakian's Leadership in relation to combating and actually defeating the repressive forces of this superstructure... As I have said before, this New Synthesis of Communism is the program that we need to be getting down with, other wise we are screwed. We Need Revolution and Nothing less than that, other wise 35 yrs. from now another young Brother will be sitting in this exact same cage that I am sitting in right now dealing with this madness. In fact, the level of madness will have developed to a higher stage by then if no radical change takes place, because things are only getting worse. I say we get on board and help develop this New Stage of Communism.” (From, October 2013)


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

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

“And thanks to your donations, I've been able to liberate other people, (by sharing the literature that your donations enable me to receive) and I'm fairly confident that it'll have a snowball effect. I would like to end this letter by encouraging people to keep making donations to ‘PRLF,’ or to start, if you haven't yet. Your donations are helping us (prisoners) break the mental shackles, that have been placed there by this capitalist/imperialist ran system.  – In Solidarity, Prisoner from California” (From, December 2012)


“I am currently in XX SHU [Special Housing Unit, meaning solitary confinement in conditions that have been condemned internationally as torture-editors]. I have received your copy of BAsics and in this latest issue of [Revolution] you printed the call for peace from the prisoner's. I and everybody around me participated in last years hunger strike it was a life changing experience for me. Combined with your newspaper has really opened my eyes to the injustice of this country and the need for revolution... I would like to learn more about Bob Avakian and any books or book list you could send me will be highly Appreciated. – Prisoner from California” (From, December 2012)


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

“Now onto my thought i want to run by you comrades. My cellie and i both crochet. It's a way to pass time. I want to help by crocheting things for the homeless Sandy victims etc. Things that comrades can pass out on the BAsic bus tour, from the book stores, etc. to those in need. I'm thinking like beanies, scarves and lap quilts. We can knock these things out from anywhere between 5 hours for a scarve to 4 days for a lap quilt...” (From, December 2012)


“Well I’ve been doing a lot of reading and studying and I read ‘The Revolutionary Potential of the Masses and the Responsibility of the Vanguard’ [This is the supplement to Chapter 6 of BAsics - PRLF] and now I understand what you are doing and talking about and here I was thinking you lost faith in me. But all the time you are putting all your faith in me. To become a better man and into a revolutionary. The part I really enjoy reading was on page 199 where it talks about ‘there are plenty of people pandering to them and using them in various ways and feeling sorry for them. I hate the way the masses of people suffer, but I don’t feel sorry for them. They have the potential to remake the world, and we have to struggle like hell with them to see that.’ And that’s the same way you think of us. Then on page 200 I really do feel like he is talking about me because I do have limitation and shortcoming as the result of living and struggling to survive under this system. and I was denied education that I really need it but access to knowledge about many spheres. hell I don’t even know what a sphere is, but I will be looking it up, and at one time I didn’t know how to read, but by me coming to jail and picking up books and just reading on my own that how I learn like way spell. And yes I was illiterate and in many ways I am still illiterate. but I am trying to overcome that and my eye was closed on most the things until I met you and you showed me the way to Bob Avakian. So people out there try to fake it and to make it but not me. Don’t get me wrong sometime its hard to study thing about the revolution because I don’t understand the words I be reading and thats what makes me want to give up. But I do want to become the emancipators of humanity. and then to act in accordance with that potential and Bob said best on page 202 where he including me by saying someone who got caught up in terrible things. They are also capable of great things. I in my pass I did go down the wrong road. but now I got a family that love me for how I am not for what I did in the pass and in that way made me change. its just I still have to finish my pass mistake and get off parole and then I can move on. but while I am doing that. I can start by learning new things and start being a men and help other. well my pen ran out and I don’t have a pencil so I will write back soon and tell you more.” (From, December 2013)




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Los Angeles: Getting Out Revolution at the Clippers-Warriors Game

May 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

On April 29, leading into Game 5 of the Clippers vs. Warriors NBA playoff game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, protesters gathered to protest the racism of Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Hours before the start of the game, new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from the basketball league for life and said he'd push hard to get other NBA owners to force Sterling to sell his franchise. Apparently, there had been talk among players to possibly not play that night if Silver had not come down hard on the racist Sterling. With the lifetime ban, there was a media blitz of support for Adam Silver and the ban-for-life decision, and the game went ahead with the Clippers eventually winning and taking a 3-2 lead in the best of seven series. There were standing ovations for the players, during pre-game warm-ups and when each player entered the game.

Staples Center April 29, protest of Sterling

April 29, 2014 protest in front of Staples Center in Los Angeles against the overt racism of Clippers' owner Donald Sterling. Photo: Special to Revolution

But widespread anger at the overt racism of Sterling, which has been well known among the NBA team owners (and many others) for decades, continues in the face of intense efforts (by the ruling powers and the media they control) to put a lid on and contain this righteous anger from more fully boiling over (and to quarantine, in a sense, any further exposure of the plantation-style slave-owner mentality and culture of the NBA and its business). And questions about the source of Sterling's racism (what system and "culture" taught Sterling to think like he does?), and why it's been tolerated for so long in NBA and what this says about 21st-century AmeriKKKa, have been and still are in the air.

In this situation, a group of revolutionaries took Revolution newspaper and the main slogans for May 1st this year—"WE REFUSE TO ACCEPT SLAVERY IN ANY FORM HERE AND AROUND THE WORLD!" and "FIGHT THE POWER, AND TRANSFORM THE PEOPLE, FOR REVOLUTION!"—into the protest and into the lines of fans waiting to get into the game. We also passed out hundreds of "Three Strikes" posters with a quote by Bob Avakian and Avakian's New Year's message. One comrade had a sign encouraging people to log on to Bob Avakian's talk "The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters" (one of the 7 Talks which truly deserves a listen to right now!).

Listen to this Talk by Bob Avakian:

The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters

Track 1, Track 2

This was not a large protest, a couple of hundred max, but a section of the people who did come to Staples to protest were showing their determination to not let this racism just get swept under the rug as the latest racist outrage which explodes into public view, but then the protest doesn't get powerfully enough registered and shit just goes back to everyday racist normalcy. A number of people voiced that they encouraged their friends to come to protest, and their friends didn't, but god damn it they were going to come down even if by themselves, and did. And to be clear, there were groups that came out, angry, fresh and ready to fight to stop this racism. And when discussion jumped off around refusing to accept slavery in any form here or all over the world, a number of people righteously condemned the exploitation and slavery going on all around the world and how that must stop too ("we know it's not just us..."). The banner we held was attractive, and many came up to take pictures and voice support. People were invited to May 1st this year. Racism as "the law of the land," including how racism had recently been sanctified by the Supreme Court in its anti-affirmative action ruling, was a topic. There were homemade signs that read "Racism Is Illegal." Struggle ensued over whether this racism is as American as apple pie—which it is—and couldn't be ended short of revolution—which it can't—or whether instituting legal remedies, reforms within an existing America, was an actual cure.

The challenge was put to people about this white supremacy being built into the very structure of capitalism-imperialism and the need for a real revolution to finally put an end to it, and nothing short of that. When the need and challenge of making revolution was put forth, there were a range of responses from people, including "when... how long would it take..." and a number said "god-willing...." Responding, we intensely discussed how revolution has to be built for, that the ground needs to be prepared, that the forces need to get organized for revolution... that there's no supernatural force and no supernatural forces who are going to step in and solve this problem of national oppression and racism and all the other problems in this world... that it's up to us! We invited these people to the talk coming up "Where We Are in the Revolution" which will be in LA on May 17, to get more fully into this.




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Revolutionary Contingent at San Francisco Earth Day

May 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

Hundreds of people marched in downtown S.F. for Earth Day on April 19th in an Action Parade and Rally called by The march ended at a big Earth Day Festival sponsored by corporations, smaller companies and environmentalist groups, attended by thousands.

In the march, students, teachers, environmental activists, and others came together to oppose fracking, global warming, the killing of elephants, environmental destruction, and the environmental dangers facing the planet. It was positive that so many people came out to protest because it reflects the understanding of broad numbers of people that the planet is in danger and people must act to stop it. Some wore T-shirts that said, "I pledge to get arrested to stop the Pipeline XL."

But broadly there was a phenomena of many people organized to oppose specific environmental dangers, with not anyway near enough focus on the severity of the overall situation and possibility of looming catastrophe that threatens the whole planet.

Earth Day San Francisco 2014

A revolutionary contingent wearing "Revolution—Nothing Less" T-shirts made a significant impact with our banner, "This Capitalist System is Destroying Our Planet. Revolution is the Only Solution." High above the banner floated a beautiful blue earth helium balloon that was breaking out of chains, symbolizing the world that humanity needs and that is possible to get to through revolution to free the world from capitalist exploitation.  Our plan in going into this Earth Day was to have an impact through getting out the message of "This capitalist system is destroying our planet and revolution is the solution" and to get out materials and raise funds for BA Everywhere campaign.

The banner and balloon attracted attention, with lots of people taking photos of it. Our chants, "Global Warming—What's the solution? Revolution, Revolution; Extinction of Species—What's the Solution? Revolution—Nothing Less! Capitalism Made This Mess, What we need is Revolution—Nothing Less!" stood out. Revolution newspapers and BAsics cards got into many hands.

There were many different views about the problem and solution. Some people thought a revolution was needed because the system was causing the problem and got the paper and BA Everywhere materials.

There was back and forth with some people from the group We asked them what they thought about the fact that CO2 concentrations were at 400+ ppm and going full speed ahead—how did they see the problem and solution. Their main argument was that the problem was the oil companies—so if you can stop them, you take the first real step in stopping global warming. There were several others who focused on the development of solar power and green tech as the key, and seemed focused on gains in alternative energy sources—especially in Germany and China, while not really engaging the fact that mass carbon fuel emissions continue largely unabated and unrestrained.

Bill McKibben from was the featured speaker at the big Earth Day Festival and we got out the Four Points for Bill McKibben by Raymond Lotta as he was speaking. Among those listening to him, there was some sentiment for deepening the debate about what it will take to save the planet.

There were also several people in who argued that revolution was not realistic. Instead, they thought the climate crisis could be resolved in a step by step way by first stopping or restraining the oil companies from building the XL pipeline. They did not see the environmental crisis stemming from the system of capitalism, and thought it could be changed through protests and things like increasing solar energy.

In talking to people about revolution, we needed to repeatedly clarify what kind of revolution we are talking about because many people think we're talking about the same things that they're already into, working for reforms or living an alternative lifestyle.

This event attracted a lot of people who sense the seriousness of the environmental crisis and are looking for some alternatives to the way things are, but whose thinking is constrained by a capitalist framework. For example, one woman thought things like permaculture could reverse global warming (though she thought it might have to come down to a revolution, and if that were the case, asked whether it had to involve violence).

Another woman said she agreed with revolution, but what she meant was consensus decision making democracy. She asked if the revolutionary movement was based on consensus and when it was explained that in order to make a revolution, there needs to be a party whose organizational principal was democratic centralism with revolutionary leadership, she said revolutions in the past had failed and that unless a movement is based on consensus, it will only replicate the same capitalist system.

There was some searching for deep answers to the environmental crisis. One young woman said she came to the festival wanting to hear this problem taken up in a serious way, but she was let down by so many of the booths just promoting one kind of product or another which made profits (although they were green products), and she thought that didn't deal with the problem, so she wanted to look into revolution.

A young Black woman with Greenpeace said she agreed that only revolution could save the planet and would welcome that revolution and fight with it when it came, but in the meantime she worked with Greenpeace "for today." We struggled with her that we needed to be preparing now for that time and gave the example of Egypt, where there was a revolutionary people but without a clear revolutionary understanding, plan and leadership, and she said agreed that was true because without those things, there will be only "chaos" with no good outcome.

There were some discussions about the BA Everywhere campaign, linking the environmental crisis to the need for revolution and the role BA has played in making path-breaking developments in summing up the experience of socialist revolutions so far, and how he is leading this movement for revolution that could actually win. A couple of people made small donations and one wanted to read the info and get back together to talk further.

Among some of the older movement crowd, BA was known by several people and was quite controversial. A few said that communist leaders were just power hungry and corrupt like the capitalists—look at China—and others said that socialism had been an environmental disaster and that BA's communist revolution was just not the answer.

However, several people said that they did know of BA and were impressed by the fact that the Party was making a very big issue of the environment and felt that it was true that capitalism was the problem and that socialist revolution should be seriously engaged with, because it seemed like there was no other solution within the framework of capitalism. Among some of the younger people in particular, there was real interest in revolution, though many people felt that communism "had failed" and some of them got the environmental issue and the special issue on communist rev. Questions also came up about human nature from some of the younger people.

Our presence through the contingent and getting out our materials planted a strong pole for revolution. It introduced people to BA and this movement for revolution and changed the political atmosphere in a beginning way by engaging people over the questions of revolution as the only way to save the planet.

At the event, $139 was raised from selling baked goods that were made and donated by people in the neighborhood— see the following report:

Earth Day Bake Sale for BA Everywhere

The night before a major Earth Day event (expected to draw upwards of 10,000 people), a group of us from the Revolution Club, along with others got together to bake cookies, brownies, and banana bread to raise money for the BA Everywhere campaign. We were a diverse group of men and women alternately speaking English and Spanish, including a mother and her 6th grade boy who both donned aprons. We set up an assembly line of mixing, cooking, wrapping, and washing dishes, everyone taking part.

But we began with a reading of parts of the statement from the Harlem/Bronx bake sale featured in Revolution paper, which spoke of making this vision of a better world a reality. A question arose as to what the money would be used for, and one of us pulled out a picture of a huge billboard which had advertised the film debut of BA Speaks: Revolution-Nothing Less! as an example of what had already been done for Bob Avakian Everywhere. The 6th grader shouted he remembered seeing the billboard next to a sports arena.

As we baked, we had lots of lively discussion. Some of us recently took part in a bookstore discussion on the chapter of Revolution—Nothing Less! which dealt with the material origins of patriarchy and class oppression, resulting in one of the women to say "yeah, women were the first slaves." In fact, as we discussed everything from the TV series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey to Latin musicas, we began to feel a collective accomplishment by the end of the night.

Download: PDF for print | JPG for web

On the next day's march and rally, we had a second selling crew organized and ready. With 9 loaves of banana bread, several dozen cookies and brownies, sales started slow but picked up briskly when the march pulled into the plaza. While some of us leafleted with May Day leaflets and BA Everywhere brochures ("The World Needs to Be Radically Changed. Here’s Step One."), others were shouting "buy cookies and donate to BAE," while agitating using the BAsics 1:29 quote ("these people are not fit to be caretakers of the earth.")

It was clear that many in the crowd were searching for solutions deeper than electric cars and solar panels; so although we were selling baked goods, we also had a buzz buzz going on around us among those who felt betrayed by capitalist solutions. Several people were pretty sure, for example, that Obama was NOT going to veto the Keystone XL pipeline.

A group of friendly anarchists came up to our table and one fellow remarked "you're the only table taking that on over there (pointing to a Chevrolet booth)." Ironically, despite being against "hierarchy" (which we took on, of course, bringing out why vanguard leadership is essential for a real revolution), the young man donated extra money to BA Everywhere.

We sold out of our baked goods. One man who came from the hood to be in the selling team stayed with us the whole day, despite his recent leg operation. He had a big smile at the end of the day and suggested we "do it again." On the way home, he kept saying that the whole experience was "meaningful" to him.




Revolution #337 May 1, 2014

Check It Out:

Borderland on Al Jazeera America Network

May 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Borderland is an amazing reality show running on the Al Jazeera America network on Sunday nights. The premise of the show is that six volunteers from the U.S. with widely divergent views and prejudices on immigration have been assembled to go on a mission to learn about the border and about why people come here to the U.S. from Mexico and Central America. The six people on this mission range from a young artist from New York City who believes that all borders should be smashed because they create divisions among people, to a retired Marine who believes that there should be a moratorium on all immigration because the government is allowing an invasion of foreigners into the U.S.

In the opening scenes of the first episode, the six—who know nothing about what their mission will entail—find themselves inside a morgue in Pima County, Arizona, where scores and scores of unidentified bodies lie. These are all people who have been found dead in the desert, people who attempted to cross into the United States from Mexico and didn't survive the brutal desert conditions. The remains of an average of 180 people per year are found in Pima County alone—5,500 have died in the past 15 years. Being directly confronted with scores of human beings who have died attempting to cross is a sobering and shocking experience to all of the six, raising huge questions in their minds about what drove so many people to risk their lives to leave their countries and come to the U.S. In the words of the medical examiner, this almost represents a mass fatality.

After traveling further south to survey the border itself, including the border fence, which is designed and positioned in such a way as to deliberately force people who are attempting to cross to have to go through the most utterly inhospitable and deadly conditions, the volunteers are then presented with their mission. The Pima County medical examiner puts into their hands the photos and names of three of the people who died—and their mission is to go and follow their stories, go to their places of origin and learn who they were and how they came to die in that desert. They set off in pairs to pursue the stories, to meet the families, and to learn the realities of these people's lives—a 13-year-old boy from Guatemala, a young woman from El Salvador, and a young woman from Chiapas, Mexico.

No spoilers here, but suffice it to say that what they encounter is a moving, sometimes frightening, and life-changing experience. Beyond the vivid documenting of the lives and brutal oppression faced by not just these three immigrants who died, but also their families and communities and whole sections of people who are on the move heading for the border, the other fascinating thing about this series is watching the impact on these six Americans of actually getting outside the borders of the U.S. and getting just a tiny taste of what life is like for millions and millions of people beyond the borders of the U.S. The volunteers are profoundly shaken, some of their deeply held views are challenged, and they are forced to begin thinking about what kind of system is operating that forces human beings to suffer these horrendous conditions and to face the wrenching choice between a life with no future and no way to support a family and risking everything to try to find some way for their families to survive.

While all the dots aren't connected in terms of why these are the choices that millions and millions of people from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and other countries around the world face—and what the domination and plunder of these countries by U.S. capitalism-imperialism has to do with that—it presents a powerful and enraging glimpse into what these realities actually mean in the lives of people and what impact it can have on people from the U.S. to shed their blinders and begin to confront some of how the world actually is.

Unfortunately, three of the four episodes have already aired, but if you have access to cable on-demand this series is well worth watching.