Revolution #345, July 20, 2014 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Stop the Bombing of Gaza! No Invasion!

Israel Unleashes Mass Terror on the Palestinian People

by Alan Goodman | July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Since July 7, Israel has subjected the two million people of the Palestinian territory of Gaza to a deadly reign of terror from the sky. And as we go to press, Israel has massed troops on the edge of Gaza, sending a message that the murderous attacks on Gaza might intensify with a land invasion. In 2008-2009, Israel invaded and bombed Gaza, killing 1400 people, most of them civilians. Eighty-nine of them children, by Israel's official count.

AP Photo: Rafah refugee camp in Gaza where five members of the Ghannam family were killed by an Israeli missile on July 11.

Rafah refugee camp in Gaza where five members of the Ghannam family were killed by an Israeli missile on July 11. Photo: AP

The ruling class media in the U.S. are wildly distorting what is going on—portraying this as an “exchange of missiles,” part of a “cycle of violence” in which Israel is defending itself from terrorists. And this is training Americans to identify with horrific oppression in the name of “fighting terrorism.”

The reality: Israel—with one of the most powerful high-tech militaries in the world—is pummeling, carrying out mass murder, and terrorizing the two million Palestinians—in what has been accurately called the world’s largest outdoor prison camp—with fighter jets, Apache helicopters, missiles, tanks, warships, and drones. As of July 12, Israel had launched at least a thousand bombing attacks, killing more than one hundred people, injuring hundreds and hundreds, causing massive destruction of Gaza’s fragile water and power supplies, and terrorizing the entire population.

From Gaza? A few hundred ineffective missiles, resulting in zero reported Israeli deaths.

AP Photo:

Two women were killed when an Israeli missile hit this clinic for disabled people in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza on July 12. Photo: AP

Israel claims it is “carefully targeting” Hamas commanders and military infrastructure. And that any “collateral damage” (the term armies of oppression use to refer to human beings they kill who are not accused of being combatants) is because Hamas operates in neighborhoods these people live in.

The reality: Israel is targeting the Palestinian people as a whole.

So far about a fifth of the reported deaths in Gaza from the Israeli assault are children, some as young as three years old. Eight members of one family, including five children, were killed on July 10 in a bombing raid that blew up two homes in Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

In the first two days of the assault, a missile struck a house in Al-Maghazi, a beachside refugee camp near Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, killing a mother and her four children. And two women and four children died in a series of raids to the north and east of Gaza City.

Map: Wikimedia Commons

Nine people were killed and 10 more injured by an Israeli airstrike at a beachside café in Gaza, including people living near the café. They were watching the World Cup. In response to questions about the attack from the New York Times, a spokesman for the Israeli military refused to identify any particular target in the attack but said it was a “precision strike” that was “targeting a terrorist.”

As we go to press, Israeli bombers destroyed a clinic for disabled patients, killing at least two residents and a staff member and severely burning others. The center is well known and has been at the same location for almost ten years.

A medical aide described the situation on the ground. “It is very difficult for hospitals to cope. For health staff it is very difficult for them to reach their work. It’s really problematic even if the Rafah crossing is opened. If the aggression continues we expect more casualties. This will be very overwhelming for hospitals, which are already suffering from severe shortages of drugs, fuel and the lack of electricity.

“Every minute you see ambulances coming in and private cars bringing in new casualties. Staff are trying their best in emergency rooms, but sometimes the emergency rooms are unable to cope. It’s a chaotic situation.” (UK Guardian, July 10, 2014)

This is “collective punishment” of the Palestinian people. It is a war crime. And it is punishment, most fundamentally, for the ongoing existence of the Palestinian people who have been subjected to ethnic cleansing since the founding of Israel.

And as these crimes continue, U.S. diplomats cover for Israel, the U.S. military works extremely closely with Israel, and the U.S. provides massive financial backing for Israel.

Why? For decades, Israel has served as an attack dog for the interests of the U.S. empire in the oil-rich and strategic Middle East, and beyond. The developing upheaval and chaos in the Middle East and moves by the U.S. to maneuver within that, along with the increasing isolation of Israel in world public opinion, have strained that relationship. But at the same time, the turmoil in the region—along with other challenges to the U.S. as the world’s sole superpower—serve to reinforce the need for rulers of the U.S. to have a ferocious attack dog.

And so the U.S. continues to back up Israel’s crimes (while making a few “on the record” statements about not overdoing the slaughter). This is not an expression of “shared values of enlightenment and human rights.” It is a vivid, horrific, bloody illustration of how the predatory interests of the U.S. empire define the “special relationship” between the rulers of the U.S. and Israel.

The bombing must stop! And the people of the world must speak up: NO Israeli invasion of Gaza.


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Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Israel Sets Loose a Lynch Mob

by Alan Goodman | July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


People in this country and around the world are being told that the chain of events that led to the current situation in Gaza started on June 12 with the kidnapping, and later the deaths, of three Israeli teenagers. Here’s the story behind that:

On June 12, one of a group of three Israeli teenagers called a police emergency hotline from his cell phone. He left a message: “I’ve been kidnapped.” The message did not identify or describe the kidnappers. News accounts describe the tone of the message as calm. In fact, authorities initially took the call for a prank. According to police and media accounts, voices in Hebrew and Arabic and an Israeli radio station can be heard in the background of the phone call, and a sound authorities say is a gunshot is heard. On June 30, the bodies of the three were found buried near the West Bank town of Hebron.

The disappearance of these three Israeli teenagers, and the discovery of their bodies, was seized on by Israel to unleash a ferocious wave of terror and death, along with a campaign to turn reality upside down and portray Israelis as collective victims of Arab terror. And a lynch mob atmosphere in Israel led to the kidnapping, torture, and murder of a Palestinian youth. That act set off fierce clashes between protesting Palestinian youths and Israeli forces of repression, with reports that Israeli troops used live ammunition against unarmed protesters.

There is, to date, no substantial public evidence as to who kidnapped and killed the three Israeli teenagers. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay.” (Hamas is an Islamic fundamentalist group that controls the Gaza region of Palestine, which is separated from the West Bank by Israel.) Hamas generally takes public credit for operations it launches and has not done so in this case. The New York Times reported that “Israeli authorities acknowledge that [the suspects] might have been a rogue cell operating without orders from the Hamas leadership.” (July 1, 2014)

In the spirit of ‘who cares about evidence, they’re terrorists,’ U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declared, “As we gather this information, we reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past.” (U.S. Department of State press statement, June 15, 2014)

After the disappearance of the teenagers, the Israeli military imposed a total crackdown in the West Bank—kicking down doors, searching homes, provoking outrage and protest. Even before the bodies of the teenagers were found, Israeli troops had murdered five Palestinians in suppressing those protests. The murder of these Palestinian youths by Israeli troops hardly made it into news accounts in the West.

After the bodies of the three teenagers were found, Netanyahu declared the Israelis “were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by wild beasts.” On cue, Zionists rallied in Jerusalem chanting “death to the Arabs.” And on July 2, the body of 17-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was found burned and with signs that he had been burned alive—a particularly horrible form of torture. Mainstream media in Israel are quoting witnesses who say surveillance footage shows what appear to be Israelis forcing Abu Khdeir into their car in front of a supermarket before speeding off.

The Jerusalem police chief called on Palestinians to “exercise restraint, refrain from reaching conclusions and wait for new developments in the investigation.” Israel’s minister of internal security, Yitzhak Aharonovich, said, “There are many possibilities [for the death of Mohammed Abu Khdeir], criminal and nationalistic, and everything is being examined in a responsible manner.”

Israeli media is reporting that police in East Jerusalem are refusing to release security camera footage that could shed light on the kidnapping, and that the victim’s father was held by police for a day.

After the discovery of the burned, tortured body of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, there was no massive military assault on Zionist communities by the Israeli military. No suspects in this killing had their homes blown up by the authorities before they were charged or convicted of any crime (as happened to the home of a suspect in the kidnapping of the Israeli teens). No Zionist organizations that might have influenced or been associated with the killers of this youth have been branded as terrorist organizations and subjected to threats to their leaders. No Israeli leaders have called those who murdered and apparently tortured this youth, and those who instigated and created the conditions that set them loose, “wild beasts.”

What is going on at this moment—with lynch mobs on the loose in Israel and the mass bombardment of Gaza—is the reality of an apartheid state, where the indigenous population, as a whole, is dehumanized and subject to constant terror to enforce the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine.




Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Major August Kickoff Meetings for October Month of Resistance

Letter from Carl Dix

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


We received the following from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.


To all those who have already been part of organizing for the Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration and all those who want to find out about it and get involved:

Just in the past few weeks we have witnessed:

**1,000s of children being driven across the border by U.S. devastation of their homelands and then finding themselves caught between Homeland Security round-ups and flag-waving racists

**The District Attorney in Santa Rosa, California, refusing to charge the cop who murdered 13-year-old Andy Lopez

**Two videos that went viral showing cops brutally and unjustly beating Black women

All these and more outrages only serve to underscore more than ever that we need to unleash powerful outpourings of resistance in October—as envisioned in the Call for a Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation ( that was adopted at the meeting convened in New York in April 2014.

Already those of us who have been working very hard to realize this vision have accomplished important steps: the call has been taken out all over the country and new forces continue to sign on and lend their voices to it; plans are being made in many cities for protests and different ways of expressing the outrage and determination to put an end to mass incarceration; clergy and lay people have been active taking the call to many other religious institutions to play a role in October . But now we need to take things to a much higher level to succeed in making October a month that marks “the beginning of the end for mass incarceration in the U.S.”

I am convinced that the key link, now, for doing that is to have early August major kickoff meetings in as many cities as possible where we are looking to involve not only those who have already taken up the call in different ways but drawing in all those who need to be involved to be able to inspire and unleash the efforts of many thousands more. While there are different understandings of why this is happening and what should be done about it, we need to unite all those who agree that this must end to act together in October.

Each area should figure out who needs to attend these kickoff meetings—this means everyone who has already signed up to be part of these efforts, but also reaching out very broadly to those whose lives are most directly affected, to students, to concerned religious forces, to prominent voices of conscience, to all kinds of organizations who are outraged about the fact that so many people have been criminalized and locked up, and to many others who are just learning about this and don’t want to live in a country where millions are being treated this way. We should invite one and all via email, Twitter, phone calls, Internet postings, ads and PSAs.

We should learn from what was recently done in Dayton, where 200 people turned out and in Dallas where over 1,100 people came to hear Cornel West speak. These events brought together a broad array of the kinds of people we need to mobilize and act in October, and at these events people learned about and were called on to join in making October as powerful as possible. In Dallas there were hundreds of students, people from communities affected by this, and many others who came to hear from Cornel West, who along with me launched this whole effort to Stop Mass Incarceration.

At these kickoff meetings, we should draw forward the many voices who can bring to life what it means that this country has millions locked up in its jails, prisons, and detention centers, and how people’s lives are being destroyed by police terror and whole sections of people, especially young people, are being treated as suspects and targets to be killed or locked up. And we should hear from others who find this outrageous and want it to end! A powerful contribution would be participation and statements from some of those who have signed the call. These meetings need to get everyone’s ideas on how to make October a powerful Month of Resistance in a way that the whole country has to know about, and get people organized to do that. We need to make plans and have ways that people will know what to do and get to work on it. We will need materials that can equip people with what they need to be able to start organizing for this Month of Resistance as they leave the meetings.

Coming off of these kickoff meetings we will be in a whole better position to reach out to, inspire, and involve people all over the country to come together and demand No More! Mass Incarceration Must End! We will concretize plans for big demonstrations in major cities on October 22 and actions in cities all across the country. We will be able to get much broader endorsements and raise money to publish the call. Our website will be able to reflect all the ways people can get involved and learn about the efforts in different cities across the country. We will be able to develop a media strategy, fundraising, and publicity. We will be able to reach out ever more broadly to prisoners and their families, those who have lost loved ones to police or vigilante murder, those youth who have to live every day with a target on their backs, students, religious forces, prominent voices of conscience, all kinds of national organizations who are concerned about the fact that so many people have been criminalized and locked up, and others who are just learning about this.

As we go out and bring many new people forward to build up to October, our plans also need to include continuing to be involved in struggle against the outrages being perpetrated by the whole system of mass incarceration—the rounding up of immigrants, the murder the police inflict on the people, the criminalization of Black and Latino youth, police raids breaking into people’s homes terrorizing whole neighborhoods and more. All of this must be met with determined resistance, organizing the outrage of people at these crimes. We will bring to people the need and very real possibility to make a huge leap in the level of resistance to the whole program of mass incarceration. How? By making real a powerful Month of Resistance in October that can change the way millions of people look at this problem.

Right now, let’s go all out to mobilize for the kind of kickoff meetings in key cities that can loft the whole national effort for a powerful Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration to a whole other level! Don’t keep these meetings a secret—invite everyone who is outraged by the horrors of mass incarceration!!





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Come One, Come All to the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas!

by Sunsara Taylor | July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


It would be hard to overstate the dangers hurtling towards women in every part of the world today. I'm talking about everything from the rising epidemic of gang-rape from India to Steubenville to the sexual enslavement of millions, from the saturation of the culture with ever-more violent and humiliating pornography to the all-out assault on women's right to access abortion and even birth control. Everywhere, the oppression of women is being violently and aggressively reasserted.

Here in this country, one major spearhead of this global war on women is shaping up in Texas. Just a couple years ago, Texas—the country's second most populous state with approximately 26 million—had 46 abortion clinics. By September 1, there are likely to be only six left! This will leave women in the impoverished regions of the Rio Grande Valley (down by the Mexican border) and other rural parts of this vast state hundreds of miles from the nearest clinic. Most poor women won’t make the trip. Instead, they will be forced to have a child against their will—or to risk their lives to self-induce an abortion. Already, growing numbers of women are self-inducing and growing numbers are being arrested for things perceived as a threat to their fetuses.

None of this is completely unique to Texas. Six states in this country have only one abortion clinic left. Hundreds of laws have been passed that restrict abortion access and have closed down dozens and dozens of clinics nationwide in recent years. Across the country women face shame, stigma, and humiliating and vicious protesters at clinic doors. Still, Texas represents a certain concentration point and bellwether for the rest of the country.

A trial is set for August 4 in Austin to determine whether the next round of clinic closures will go forward in Texas (whether on September 1 they will be down to just six clinics). What happens in that trial, but even more importantly what happens among the people, this summer will determine a great deal for the direction of the whole country on this major faultline. If this law goes forward without sharp opposition, it will mean a great leap backward; but if, on the contrary, people come forward to forcefully oppose this and expose the real terms of things, we could begin to turn what has been and is an ugly and relentless tide.

The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas

It is for this reason that the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas has been undertaken.

Sunsara Taylor on Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas

Coming from different perspectives, people from around the country are mobilizing to join with people in Texas to stand up against this assault from July 30 through early September as a critical part of fighting to turn the tide nationwide. The goals of this effort are simple: to get beyond fighting each new assault one by one on ever-shrinking ground and forge a national strategic counter-offensive; to change the way that millions think so that they understand the fight over abortion is a fight over women's enslavement or women's liberation; and to call forth mass, independent political resistance instead of relying on courts and politicians.

Through mass, nationally webcast People's Hearings each Wednesday from July 30 to August 20 in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley, we will mobilize the outrage of people against these attacks and include testimony of abortions before legalization as well as today. They will include community and religious leaders as well as prominent individuals. Together, they will bring alive the true stakes and urgency of this fight for the future of women everywhere. Across the country, people can send in their testimony to be part of these Hearings and should tune in live to watch.

Each Thursday, the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride will mobilize powerful and dramatic protests outside the offices of key individuals or institutions behind this assault. Brandishing the findings of the People's Hearings, along with striking images of the women who have died from illegal abortions, wearing shackles which represent female enslavement and holding bloody coat-hangers,* we will expose the utter illegitimacy of these laws and institutions. We will revoke their ability to hide behind claims of “concern for women” or for the “unborn.” We will bring alive the reality that when it comes to abortion there is really only one moral question: Will women be forced to have children against their will or will they be treated as full human beings which means being able to decide for themselves when and whether to be a mother.

Beyond that, Abortion Rights Freedom Riders will get out to the communities, talking with and involving people in standing up to take on and defeat this entire war on women. And during the final week of August, in the lead-up to the September 1 scheduled clinic closure date, the Freedom Ride is mobilizing a nationwide WEEK OF DEFIANCE; a time for people across the country and all around Texas who have been tuning in throughout the month to step out together into the streets.

Who Should Be Part of This? And How?

Every single person who is outraged by this assault on women—and every single person who, as they learn about this, can be won to be outraged—should be part of this effort!

This includes older folks—men as well as women—who remember when girls were “sent away” to have babies and give them up in shame and when women bled to death in motel rooms and parking lots after botched abortions, afraid to call for help. This includes young folks—from the suburbs and campuses to the inner cities and projects—who are shocked at first to hear someone speak positively and unapologetically about abortion. This includes people in the arts and academia, public figures and beloved poets, scientists and health care workers—folks whose voices have disproportionate impact and reach have a responsibility to be heard at this time. And while this definitely includes people who have been active in the struggle to provide and defend abortion rights, this potential reservoir stretches way beyond this and the so-called “usual suspects.”

People who can need to get on the bus, in their car, or on an airplane down to Texas. Be on the ground as a part of this historic political battle. Folks in Texas have begun to and many more need to open up their homes to the volunteers and join in the efforts on the ground. People everywhere need to send money to support and enable those on the front lines. People should send in their testimony to be featured at the hearings. People should spread the word among their friends, families, religious or atheist networks, community groups, local media, and in other ways about the ride. Throughout the country people need to start scheduling viewing parties every Wednesday and get ready to take it to the streets during the Week of Defiance.

Vicious Attacks in Defense of a Failed and Deadly Program

Many have stepped forward from a great many different perspectives to support and take part in this Ride. This is very important. At the same time, it is still just a fraction of who can and must be won to take part.

Others have come out in vicious and unprincipled attack. Individuals grouped around some pro-choice organizations in Texas, as well as some individuals from other parts of the country, have taken it upon themselves to spend inordinate amounts of time and energy spreading tabloid-style rumors, making emotionally charged accusations, and even threatening the organizers of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride for daring to mobilize people to stand up on the front lines.

The Advisory Board of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas has issued a response to these attacks, which everyone should read. As this response points out, there is a huge difference between principled and substantive debate over the way forward, and attacks and slanders which foster distrust, demoralization, division, and even danger to people's lives.

Here I will add: the fact that these attackers resort to impugning to us things that we would never advocate, as well as the fact that they have consistently steered clear of responding to the substance of our analysis and actual plans that we have repeatedly and forthrightly set forward are just a reflection of how desperate they are to obscure the real differences of approach being advocated.

Beneath their ludicrous claims to somehow speak for all 26 million people of Texas when they tell us to “stay out,” beneath their delusion that somehow what is happening in Texas is just a “local” issue the outcome of which will not affect women everywhere, beneath their McCarthyite anti-communism, and beneath their distortions of the Ride's plans and views towards other pro-choice forces, is the well-worn and definitively failed political program of laying low, denying the true scope of the emergency, relying on the courts and chasing after the left end of the electoral political spectrum as the whole spectrum continues to hurtle further and further to the right.

Theirs is not a “new program.” For decades, “leading pro-choice voices” have urged people to pour their energies into elections, to “reframe” abortion as “just another form of healthcare,” and to “stay away from confrontation” with anti-abortion forces. This has done nothing to stave off anti-abortion assaults and only served to disorient and demobilize the millions who could be won to stand up and fight back.

This same essential approach led the women’s movement to capitulate to, rather than fight, the Hyde Amendment that revoked federal funds from abortion and caused women— in particular, poor women—to start dying once again. This approach led the “pro-choice movement” to support Bill Clinton, even as he insisted abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare” as if there were something morally wrong with it and signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which is the foundation for the Supreme Court’s recent Dark Ages Hobby Lobby ruling against birth control. This approach worked to redirect the righteous anger that poured out in the Texas capitol a year ago against these anti-abortion restrictions away from the concrete goal of preventing clinic closures into the goal of getting Wendy Davis elected, proclaiming that “reproductive justice in Texas is stronger than ever” as clinics are shuttered and women’s lives are foreclosed.

Can we get real? This approach has been and is abetting the death and enslavement of women.

We must embark on a different road and we must do it now. Again, we ask EVERYONE who is outraged by these assaults to come together and direct our political fire against the REAL enemy.

It is urgent that people step out boldly and unapologetically—in the streets and in many other ways. That we surge to the front lines of the most sharply joined battle and wake others up to the emergency that we face. We must stop aiming all our efforts at what seems “realistic” within the currently existing political landscape and embark on the road of fighting to change the terms on this question throughout society. We must tell people the truth and we must act accordingly.

This is what the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas is aiming to do, and everyone who does not want to see women forced to have children against their will has a responsibility and a role to play in making this real.


* The coat hanger is a symbol of terror and enslavement of women. Before abortion was made legal, many women sought illegal abortions or tried aborting the fetus themselves, often using coat hangers to induce bleeding, and often these women died. The coat hanger became a symbol in the battle to win the right to abortion, and is still iconic of what the lack of this right means for women. [back]




Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

The BA Everywhere Campaign announces:

August 9, 2014
Celebrations of the Determination to Break ALL the Chains

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From: BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian:

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

BAsics 3:22

Donate to radically change the world.

DONATE to the
BA Everywhere Campaign!

Click Here

If this moves you, if this provokes you to think about why women are under such vicious assault here and around the world and what it will take for half of humanity to be treated as full people; if this causes you to want to know more about why and how women have a decisive role to play in changing all that is oppressive in the world today; if this leads you to consider women’s decisive role in making revolution and then pushing the revolution forward to completely uproot all forms of oppression—for any and all of these reasons, you are invited to a cultural celebration on August 9, 2014, a day inspired by the quote above: “You cannot break all the chains, except one,” from the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian (BA).

The BA Everywhere campaign is calling for Break ALL the Chains celebrations to mark the publication of Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution.1 These afternoon or evening celebrations of artistic performance, testimony, and deep revolutionary substance and feeling will build community through being part of a dinner, or picnic, or BBQ in different cities. The celebrations will raise funds as they mark a midpoint in the summer 2014 BA Everywhere campaign to raise big money to make it possible for people across the country to come to know of BA and the new synthesis of communism that he has brought forward—which is a deeper, more scientific understanding of the methods, the goals, the strategy and plan for making revolution and creating a new society.

Break ALL the Chains celebrations will give expression to the lived experience of the vicious war that is being waged on women here and around the world. These events will sing with poems, songs, and drama of people struggling to end this degradation and oppression... words and art should fill the air with the joy that comes from imagining a radically different world that is possible through revolution. These events will celebrate the fighters in the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride taking place in Texas—who will be on the front line of the struggle for a woman’s basic right to control her own life and reproduction. The experience of being at the August 9 celebrations should not only introduce lots of people to BA, but give them a living sense of the difference it makes when BA and the vision of this radically new society and the strategy for revolution to get there becomes known, when it is “in the house.” How when that happens, sights are raised with people thinking, talking, and relating to each other in a whole other way—inspired and provoked by a growing sense that another world really is possible.

There is a moment now when eyes are opening to the brutal reality of the war on women. There is a profound basis over the next four weeks to go out to all kinds of people with the message of BAsics 3:22, with the new publication of BA’s Break ALL the Chains, and with the BA Everywhere campaign to involve them in the celebrations and the campaign, and then, bring out 100 to 200 people for each of the August 9 celebrations in the big cities.Throughout the country there is great unease about how fundamental women's rights won in the '60s and '70s for birth control and abortion are now being stripped away, with access to abortion being effectively denied to women in most parts of the country, with the potential of it being made illegal outright.2 Many thousands of women—and some men—spoke out on Twitter this spring in a campaign, #YesAllWomen, in an impassioned, visceral response to the brutal mass murders in Isla Vista, California, by a woman-hating (misogynist) young man, in a stunning expression of the deep well of fury that women have to the mountain of daily unending degradation and abuse. 3 Around the world, from India to Brazil to Congo, there is growing outrage and resistance to the abuse, degradation, and exploitation of women.

BAsics 3:22—“You cannot break all the chains, except one...”—opens up a whole other way of looking at the liberation of humanity and the relations between men and women. It is a sharp ideological challenge which will generate the kind of controversy that’s needed if people are to change the world and themselves—on a mass scale. Every line of BAsics 3:224 is worth thinking and talking about.

Just think about what is provoked and what could be opened up by struggle over the second sentence: “You cannot say you want to be free of exploitation and oppression, except you want to keep the oppression of women by men.” When people, especially men, come to understand and act on that, it will be a very big change... it will be a big signal that the movement for revolution is really about a whole other way people could be.

BAsics 3:22 is a concentration of BA’s breakthrough understanding of the role of women’s liberation in making revolution. Gone into in great depth in the new pamphlet, Break ALL the Chains, BA reveals how even in a new revolutionary society there will need to continue to be real struggle to fully liberate women and that this can be a powerful driving force so that revolution continues to go forward and uproot all forms of oppression and exploitation throughout the world. The whole approach of BA to women’s liberation is one very key part of the qualitative advance that is the new synthesis of communism. Many people should find out about this and financially support with generous donations getting BA way out in the world—with the reach and impact to change how people think about what could be possible through revolution to break free of this capitalist system which sets individuals, groups, nations against each other and against the natural environment in its relentless drive to accumulate more and more profit.

Break ALL the Chains celebrations should introduce people to the full scope of the BA Everywhere campaign as well as its different dimensions. Even as the programs and performances will focus on the liberation of women, Bob Avakian, the work he has done, and the BA Everywhere campaign are about breaking ALL the chains.


1. A sampler edition of this work—a 32-page booklet with a four color cover—has just been published, and is being made available free for distribution in prisons, schools and communities of the oppressed courtesy of The Bob Avakian Institute. [back]

2. See “Supreme Court Brings Back the 1950s, Allows Corporations to Deny Birth Control Coverage.” [back]

3. See “Reflections on ‘#YesAllWomen’” and “On the Santa Barbara Mass Killings: How Long Will Women Face Violence, Terror, Rape and Oppression? Until We Make REVOLUTION, NOTHING LESS!” [back]

4. Check the BA Everywhere Materials Page during the week of July 14 for a new version of palm card with BAsics 3:22. [back]




Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Building the August 9, 2014 Break ALL the Chains Celebrations, and Raising Funds & Involving People in the BA Everywhere Campaign

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Accompanying this article is a compelling vision of Break ALL the Chains celebrations to bring a broad range of people together on August 9, 2014 at the mid-point of the BA Everywhere summer campaign and to celebrate the publication of Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution. In this article we want to share a basic conception of how these events and the BA Everywhere campaign should be built over the next four weeks.

NEW from Bob Avakian:

Break ALL the Chains!

Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

Sampler Edition

Break ALL the Chains!

Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

First, BA Everywhere committees should make necessary arrangements to reserve a venue for the celebrations. In areas where it is difficult to secure a place, put a hold on a park and an indoor location—pending forging a group of people and working out a vision and plan for the event in your area.

This week BA Everywhere committees should go out to [1] all the people we have met and come to know over the last few years; and [2] also start going out and speaking with as many groups of people and individuals who are concerned about and/or are working in different ways on the situation and struggle that women face. Bring to all these people BAsics 3:22, the new publication of Break ALL the Chains!...(download PDF of full pamphlet or sampler), the BA Everywhere national brochure. Talk with people about the basic vision for August 9, get their ideas and involve them in planning and building the event.

The heart of these discussions with people should be BAsics 3:22—“You cannot break all the chains, except one...”. Introduce people to the new pamphlet, Break ALL the Chains, and to BA and the new synthesis of communism. Find out how they are looking at the situation women face as well as the larger world. Discuss the BA Everywhere campaign—what it is, what difference it could make, how they can be a part of raising funds, spreading the world through palm cards and on social media, and finding ways to involve them in the campaign. Some will want to work on August 9—organizing the food, doing publicity, doing outreach where they live or work or out more broadly. Some may want to reach out to performers. Find out people's ideas for the August 9 event—what they think it should be and how to build it. Ask how they would like to contribute and begin a process of working together. One thing that would make a difference is if people would help set up speaking engagements for the BA Everywhere committee reaching out to all kinds of groups—from summer camps and schools, to professional groups (legal, art, community, religious, etc.) about what BA Everywhere is and what a difference it could make, what is concentrated in BAsics 3:22, and to invite people to come to the August 9 Break ALL the Chains celebrations.

Forging a core of people—a real collective “we”—that is putting together the August 9 celebration and is working in that and other ways with the BA Everywhere campaign is a different way of working than many of the BA Everywhere committees have been organizing for some time now. This is not just calling a meeting, but going out and starting a process that creates a “we.” This will involve thinking and doing in new ways. For example, not everyone we work with will necessarily be coming to committee meetings, or all to the same meeting, but instead we are developing and leading a process where people are collectively working together in an organized way that is guided by the content of 3:22 and what BA Everywhere is all about.

This matters, because without many people working together, there will be no massive fundraising to popularize BA on a level that will make societal impact. Without people becoming conscious and organized, there will be no revolution, and the world will go on as it is—which from the Gaza to the Texas border is a goddamn horror.

BA Everywhere this summer has two facets that interpenetrate and work together—one, which is key overall for the movement as a whole, is making breakthroughs in BA Everywhere really becoming the leading edge of the whole movement for revolution—with particular focus on work with the youth and others in the hoods where people catch the hardest hell from this system. Taking out and digging into the Break ALL the Chains sampler is a decisive part of this. This summer we are calling this “Revolution in the City.” (See “Summer 2014: Making-Advances... Toward Revolution.”)

At the same time, BA Everywhere committees should be reaching out far and wide into the middle classes, including students and youth. BA Everywhere should be speaking to groups as said above, canvassing neighborhoods, going to music, theater, street, and food festivals. Everywhere bringing the campaign and raising funds.

Even as August 9 will focus on the liberation of women and will be a major nodal point of the summer, between now and then the BA Everywhere Campaign should be taking out the full message of the campaign, including making new leaps with the 1000 Years–$1000 project; spreading and raising funds for the T-shirts with BA image and Revolution—Nothing Less!; getting out BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian; and showing the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION-NOTHING LESS! as well as the film Stepping into the Future.

There should be lots of creative forms for BA Everywhere committees and for lots of new people to take up spreading BAsics 3:22, the new sampler edition of Break ALL the Chains, as well as organizing people to come out to August 9. Showing and discussing BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! should be a mainstay of BA Everywhere. We are recommending that one week before August 9, there be showings of two sections of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! that focus on the oppression and the liberation of women. These showings could be at Revolution Books stores or other venues. More information on these showings, more new materials, and more guidance, more correspondence from people donating and taking up the campaign, including controversies will be on the BA Everywhere section of this website.

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

What BA has brought forward is very powerful. In a world that is being torn asunder, with people's suffering intense on every continent, with the planet itself in jeopardy, it makes all the difference in the world that there is an incredibly viable vision and plan for a whole different kind of state power that is concentrated in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America that is based on the new synthesis of communism developed by BA. That there is a strategy to actually prepare today for a time when revolution could really be possible in a country like this. And that there is a more scientific way to understand and approach all of this. This is a whole different framework, a radically different way of looking at and understanding the world. Taking this out is a challenge to how people have been thinking—which thankfully involves good and at times sharply drawn ideological struggle to change minds and win over people's hearts. Thankfully because any fundamental change to the world will only come about from people acting consciously for that change, and if they are thinking in an old-system way, then they will be not be able to really make that fundamental radical transformation that is necessary and possible.

As this happens on an ever wider scale, people can see, or be won to see, the huge difference that this will make on the whole political climate. Even if people don't yet know that much about, or don't agree with some, or even a lot of, the new synthesis of communism, they can see or be won to see, that having BA and his vision and work known in all corners of society poses big questions such as: What is going on in the world today, what is the problem humanity faces, does it have to keep going on this way, what is the solution to this, how can we bring that about? If all of this were what people were talking and debating about, that would change the whole political climate, with people thinking and wrestling with the truly urgent and monumental questions of the future for humanity and the earth we live on.





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Chicago July 6 BA Everywhere Picnic:

Coming Together for a Radically Different Future

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Two futures were on display in Chicago over the 4th of July weekend. One future, on display at the city’s lakefront downtown, was the ugly “USA, USA” patriotic “my-country-first” celebration of THEIR revolution, built on slavery and genocide and modern-day empire of power and domination all over the world. The other future came to life at a lakefront park on the South Side on July 6, where over 50 people came out to get rid of ALL modern-day forms of slavery here in the U.S. and around the world—all the horrors and madness caused by this system. At this picnic, a video clip of BA speaking to Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave Is Your 4th of July?” captured this contrast perfectly, as it exposed the world-record level of hypocrisy involved in America’s claim to be “the land of the free.”

People were greeted by the BA Everywhere committee, which hosted the event, and a significant crew from the Revolution Club. People quickly got to socializing as they loaded up their plates with good food, while a soundtrack of international beats picked up their spirits.

A number of people came to the picnic because they are angry and agonizing over the fact that for many Black youths in the inner city there is no future except jail, prison, or death at an early age at the hands of the police or from other youths just like them. To give a sense of how sharp this is in Chicago, during this four-day holiday weekend many people were shot, mainly on the South and West Sides of the city. The police gunned down five people, murdering two of them—a 14- and a 16-year-old. The escalating spiral of violence among the masses resulted in 75 people shot, at least eight of them fatally.

Revolution Club presenting posters of a proclamation which launches an intense undertaking to build the movement for revolution. Photo: Special to Revolution

One of the high points of the whole picnic was the presentation by the Revolution Club. Wearing Revolution—Nothing Less T-shirts, the entire Revolution Club stepped to the front holding posters of a proclamation which launches an intense undertaking to build the movement for revolution. The proclamation was read out for the first time at the picnic. The seriousness of what it calls for—not putting up with the police riding roughshod over the oppressed, and going right into the midst of people caught up in taking out their anger on each other, and bringing forward the movement for revolution—this proclamation was inspiring and challenging. Together with the New Year’s message from BA, this proclamation is being distributed in the thousands in some of the hardest hit inner-city areas with a determination to not only popularize it, but to make what it says a reality. While many people are agonizing about how to stop the violence among the young people, their programs blame the youth and leave the capitalist-imperialist system which is responsible for this intact, to continually grind people under, here and all over the world. The proclamation makes clear that revolution is the actual solution. The proclamation says that it will not be easy, but those people who step forward now can make a huge difference not just for the neighborhood, or the city, but for the world—this is a future worth living for and fighting to bring into being.

Throughout the day, people were learning about the whole range of initiatives that the Party is taking to make a leap in building the movement for revolution this summer. There were displays and tables for BA Everywhere, Stop Patriarchy and the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund, Revolution Books, and the Revolution Club. Many learned about ways they can be involved immediately and responded positively.

For many people, this picnic was their introduction or their first in-depth engagement with Bob Avakian and the revolution. People were challenged to take up and raise major funds to spread BA Everywhere to the millions whose profound discontent seethes beneath the surface, millions who need to know why the world is the way it is and how it could be radically different. For those who have deep questions, but hit a brick wall, BA Everywhere is about breaking through that wall and showing that there is a way out. An actor brought this alive by reading a moving letter from an ex-prisoner calling on everyone to donate to the “1000 years—$1000 project.”

A display with images from Revolution newspaper depicted some of the many forms of present-day slavery that this system enforces on people around the globe. Photo: Special to Revolution

One African-American woman said, “I know the youth can change, if they have BA, BAsics, the revolution. But without that, they’ve got nothing, and of course they end up doing what they’re doing.” She has plans to take BA and BAsics out to the youth. “Today I feel like I’m not alone, I’m not crazy... I’ve always hated the 4th of July... and all these African Americans who are spending hundreds of dollars on fireworks—why are they celebrating this?”

One of the two themes of the picnic, “We Refuse to Accept Slavery in Any Form,” was dug into and broken down in the program and also presented in a display ringed by beautiful graphics, drawn from Revolution newspaper, depicting some of the many forms of present-day slavery that this imperialist system enforces on people around the globe. There were a lot of serious discussions about the meaning of this slogan. What are all the forms of slavery? What is the cause of all this? How do you put a stop to it? What kind of revolution are you talking about? What is your strategy? BAsics, by BA, a handbook for revolution, was essential for getting into the need to do away with ALL forms of slavery and domination for all of humanity, including the oppression of women who are half of humanity.

There was controversy over abortion after Sunsara Taylor’s urgent video call to join and support the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride. A teenage African-American woman was very excited about the Freedom Ride, while several older Black men brought out their opposition—”abortion is genocide” and “what about men’s rights?” Others answered that if women cannot control their own bodies and reproduction and decide for themselves whether or when to have children then they are enslaved.

At one table people talked about how they had been changed by learning that all the horrors people face are rooted in this system of capitalism. A woman in the Revolution Club was talking about how the system is behind all the horrors in the world, but this is hidden from people. She had recently learned from a friend in the military that the U.S. has nuclear weapons in Hawai'i: “How in the hell could the U.S. call other people terrorists when they have the weapons of mass destruction stored all over the place?” A man who had just learned about BA and the revolution at the picnic responded that he had traveled to Africa and it just tore his heart out how poor and messed up it was. He added, “It is this way because the U.S. goes over there and mines the coltan that is essential for everyone’s cell phones.” This led into a whole discussion of what imperialism has done to Africa.

Many people expressed the urgent need to stand up against police brutality and mass incarceration and to end the violence among the youth. A speaker from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network spoke to importance of the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation and called on people to take up this fight to impact all of society. One man pointed to a picture of a cop brutalizing a Black youth said, “I think about this every day. Even on the days I don’t want to think about it I end up thinking about it... that could be me any day. This has happened to so many of my friends and family.” There was a lot of wrestling with what was the root of the problem and what is the way out. Some said they see what’s happening to Black youth as a genocidal program. A young man said he had read Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow and a number of other books trying to figure out what was going on. He came to the picnic to find out what the revolutionaries had to say about what can be done to really change this. One woman said she has three sons who are locked up right now. She said, “I’m glad I got to know more who Bob is and his message. Very inspirational. I’m down with any cause that’s concerned with the world, not with just Chicago, or the U.S. I love the message ‘Revolution—Nothing Less.’ It means ‘come out, be part of something that is going to benefit us as a whole in the long run.’ I think the October Month of Resistance will be a good project, to send the message ‘Stop locking up our youth!’”

Through this picnic, community began to be forged. Individuals of different ages and from different neighborhoods mixed together, sharing food, stories, and deep discussions. One white man who has been part of the BA Everywhere campaign had worried beforehand whether the park would be safe because of all the shootings on the South Side (this seems to have kept others away too). He expressed at the end that he thought the picnic was great and was so glad he had come.

There is work to be done to reach out to all sections of society of all nationalities to be part of and contribute to this movement for revolution, and on that basis break down the isolation and bridge the gap that exists between those at the bottom who have been cast aside and marginalized and demonized by society and other sections of the people.





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

July 4th Weekend Picnics Hosted by BA Everywhere!

What to a Slave Is Your Fourth of July?
We Refuse to Accept Slavery in Any Form!

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


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Over the July 4th weekend, hundreds of people came to picnics and barbeques around the country hosted by BA Everywhere committees. The gatherings brought together people of different ages and from various neighborhoods and communities. Funds were raised to get the word out on the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian (BA). People learned about big plans for BA Everywhere this summer—to win many more people to join the campaign to raise the kinds of funds that can get BA and his work out all over around what’s the problem with the world and the revolutionary solution. BA Everywhere committees are making “Revolution in the City” plans to go out among, and involve, youth in particular—and to reach out as widely as possible to all kinds of people throughout society who care about what’s happening with those on the bottom, are concerned about the world, and are seeking answers.

From May 1st through the end of the July 4th weekend, the “1000 Years – $1000 for BA Everywhere” project raised over $11,000 nationally. This is a great start—and shows the huge potential to multiply this amount and reach the aim of raising tens of thousands of dollars by October, the Month of Resistance Against Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.

The gatherings were fun, with live music, games, and great food. There were deep and wide-ranging conversations—and sometimes debate—among people who in this society rarely encounter each other, let alone get into big questions like: What’s the reason for the way people are forced to live, here and around the world? What is meant by calling it a system of capitalism-imperialism? What is BA’s new synthesis of communism and revolution? What about religion? Is the right to abortion essential for women being full participants in society? And much more. People got a real feeling for the huge difference it would make if BA Everywhere begins to succeed, with many more people knowing about BA and his work and getting into these kinds of questions.

On this page are pictures from gatherings around the country. See "Chicago July 6 BA Everywhere Picnic: Coming Together for a Radically Different Future" for a report from the picnic in Chicago. For fuller reports, more photos, video, and more information about the BA Everywhere campaign, go to BA Everywhere page at


All photos: Special to Revolution

Below: Los Angeles—People from South Central neighborhoods and different parts of the city came together with youths from the Revolution Club and others active in different struggles for a multinational anti-July 4th picnic. A Revolution Club member read a poetic statement on the "Red, White and Blue," saying in part: "The flag is draped over the people and the country and spread around the world as a curtain, burqa, a veil, to keep them from seeing the reality of oppression and the truth and understandings of the working of this system draining the life out of humanity. Just think about why some people from other countries hate this flag."


Above: New York City—The New Amsterdam Music Association in Harlem was the site for a barbeque and festival. A large donation of food from the Bronx got combined with other donations and was prepared by volunteers from Harlem and around the city. A group of people, some familiar with BA's work and others who have just learned about BA recently, read statements from ex-prisoners about why they have raised money for BA Everywhere. Then people threw chains—with one link for every year lost in the hellhole prisons of Amerikkka—into a garbage can marked "home of the free," representing the lies and hypocrisy of this system.

Below: Houston


Below: San Francisco Bay Area—The picnic in Oakland brought together immigrants from Latin America, Black people from the neighborhood, students, revolutionary communists, and others in a spirit of defiance. As part of the program, a woman from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network read a letter from a prisoner supporting the "1000 Years–$1000 for BA Everywhere" project and pledged to raise $200, which was followed by a fundraising pitch that raised $400.





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Leave Those Children Alone!

Welcome, Support Families Fleeing "Made in USA" Poverty and Violence in Central America!

July 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On July 1, a mob of American flag-waving thugs chanting "USA" blocked three busloads of immigrants who were being transported, in custody, by the Border Patrol to a detention facility in Murrieta, California—about 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The detainees were primarily children accompanied by mothers or fathers. They were to be processed at the Murrieta facility described by a Murrieta city councilman as "a jailhouse." According to some news reports, the detainees were eventually supposed to be united with family throughout the country.

Those blocking the buses on July 1 were confronted by courageous people from the community, including Mexican-Americans who shouted, "Our people cook your food" and a man who told the media, "It doesn’t matter where a child is from. He deserves respect and help because he’s a child." As this is written on July 4, reports indicate that the majority of those now gathering at the point where buses were blocked are supporters of immigrants’ rights who, as one put it, are out "to counter the overwhelming racism and xenophobia that we've seen here the last few days."

As two sides shape up in this confrontation, three things must be said:

1. The mob in Murrieta blocking buses and their kind are no different than White Citizens’ Councils and KKKers and lynch mobs in Mississippi who terrorized Black people and their supporters fighting for basic rights. And they have the backing (and are being instigated by) powerful forces in the ruling class. In the tradition of white supremacist local officials in the South during the Civil Rights era who had close connections with local KKK terrorists and White Citizens’ Councils (a network of white supremacist organizations centered mainly in the South), Murrieta city officials whipped up an atmosphere of immigrant-hating terror, and announced the details of the schedule for the transport of immigrants.

2. At a news conference, in public statements, and at the city's website, officials posted notices creating an atmosphere that these children and their parents were vicious criminals endangering the city. The city's website includes postings along the lines of "How do you know an immigrant does not have a criminal background?" If anyone wants to talk about vicious and dangerous criminals or a "criminal background" here, they should start with the massive, horrific crimes the U.S. has committed and is committing in Central America—driving people from their homelands in a desperate search for peace and survival. Throughout Central America, people labor for sub-survival wages on plantations owned by U.S. agribusiness and in sweatshops making clothes for export to the U.S. For a century, and in an especially vicious way during the 1980s, the U.S. waged or orchestrated genocidal wars in Central American countries to suppress rebellions. In just one country, in three years, a U.S.-backed regime in Guatemala destroyed 626 villages, killed or “disappeared” more than 200,000 people—mostly indigenous Mayan people—and displaced an additional 1.5 million people, about a fifth of the entire population. This crime and many others have created a situation in Central America today of poverty and desperation.

3. The children and their families on these buses must be greeted with care and compassion. No deportations! These refugees should be able to live safe and decent lives in the United States.





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Why Do Children from Central America Come Here?

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The media tell us that mothers from Central America are coming to the U.S. with their children because they think they can get legal status if they bring children into this country. We are also told that children are coming by themselves to escape the gang violence in their countries. There is truth to this. Children in countries like Honduras as forced to flee in order to escape gang violence. But there are other, underlying reasons these children are leaving their homes to make a dangerous trip to come to the U.S.

Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has spoken in BAsics 1:14 to how we must understand why people are coming to the U.S.:

Now I can just hear these reactionary fools saying, “Well, Bob, answer me this. If this country is so terrible, why do people come here from all over the world? Why are so many people trying to get in, not get out?”...Why? I’ll tell you why. Because you have fucked up the rest of the world even worse than what you have done in this country. You have made it impossible for many people to live in their own countries as part of gaining your riches and power.

This is a fundamental truth.

The hands of a Honduran farm worker during the sugar cane harvest in El Salvador. Workers travel to El Salvador from Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua to make up for the shortfall of Salvadoran sugar and coffee workers. Nov. 2007. Photo: AP

Revolution has written extensively about the efforts of the U.S. to control the countries in Central America and it is important to understand all this in terms of the current situation in those countries. (See “Selected Crimes of a Global Terrorist,” Revolution, May 15, 2011, and “No, It’s NOT Fucking Complicated!,” Revolution, January 24, 2013.) The recent Revolution article “The Children Who Cross the Border and the Crimes of the U.S.“ spoke to the violence and repression that the masses in Central America are facing, and it made an important point that you can’t understand why children are coming here without understanding the violence, repression, economic situation, and their relationship in these Central American countries. Throughout Central America, people labor for sub-survival wages on plantations owned by U.S. agribusiness and in sweatshops making clothes for export to the U.S. For a century, and in an especially vicious way during the 1980s, the U.S. waged or orchestrated genocidal wars in Central American countries to suppress rebellions. In just one country, in three years, a U.S.-backed regime in Guatemala destroyed 626 villages, killed or “disappeared” more than 200,000 people—mostly indigenous Mayan people—and displaced an additional 1.5 million people, about a fifth of the entire population. This crime and many others have created a situation in Central America today of poverty and desperation.

How the U.S. Has Devastated Central American Economies

One reason that the overwhelming migration of people, mainly from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, is occurring is the economic control the U.S. has exercised over those countries. In 2005, CAFTA (the Central America Free Trade Agreement) became a legal agreement between the U.S. and the Central American countries. The Economist described this as “CAFTA is a modest agreement between a whale (the United States) and six minnows (five nations of Central America—Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica—plus the Dominican Republic). The whale already admits about 80% of the minnows’ exports tariff-free, and the Central American countries have already cut their average tariffs from around 45% in 1985 to about 7%.”1 This may have been modest for the “whale” but it was huge for the “minnows.”

CAFTA immediately reduced, and in some areas of trade, ended the tariffs between the U.S. and these Central American countries. It was reported that CAFTA would immediately reduce the taxes paid to Honduras by U.S. corporations in the amount of $148 million. This meant an immediate loss of $148 million to the government of Honduras.2 For the “whale” that might not seem like a lot, but for the “minnow” it is. CAFTA also forced Honduras to buy textile goods (yarn and cloth) and machinery and oil to manufacture the clothing that would be made by cheap Honduran labor and then sold back to U.S. corporations, tax free.

Two years after CAFTA was enacted it was reported that “not only did [CAFTA’s] projected benefits [for Central American countries] fail to materialize, but many sectors of society in the countries which signed and implemented it are already feeling its negative impacts.” The report went on to point out that:

Take rice as an example of how agriculture was affected. In 2005, the United States was the fifth largest rice producer in the world and produced rice at a cost of $9.04 per hundredweight of rice. In Nicaragua, a rice farmer produced rice at a rate of $8.45, cheaper than a U.S. producer. However, the U.S. producer was able to sell rice at a rate of $7.65 because the U.S. agricultural companies are subsidized by the U.S. government at a rate of $10.45 per hundredweight. Do the math. The U.S. corporations have already made a profit before sending the rice to Central America, so they can charge below what the Central American farmers can charge and reap an even greater profit. This devastated the rice industry in Central America, where farmers could not sell their rice, so they were run out of business. That scenario followed in the other staple agricultural industries in Central America—dairy and corn.

Looking at dairy products and particularly milk gives us a further understanding of how the Central American population has been affected by CAFTA. Currently the U.S. is one of the world’s major exporters of dairy products, while Central America is one of the major importers of dairy products. Certainly, CAFTA played a huge role in forcing Central America to import dairy products. As dairy cattle feed cost has risen, the price of milk has risen. In the beginning of 2014, milk (and all dairy products) prices reached an all-time high.4 We are hearing stories from mothers migrating from Central America that they are unable to afford milk for their children in their countries so they are going to places like Mexico and the U.S. where they think they can afford to provide their children with milk.

Further, such environmental factors as global warming and hurricanes wreaked havoc on whatever agriculture remained in those Central American countries. For instance, Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and Hurricane Wilma in 2005 destroyed the banana industry in northern Honduras and this “once-thriving banana industry never fully recovered from hurricane devastation.”5 On the other hand, the U.S. was able to weather (excuse the pun) global warming and the ensuing increase in production costs by raising prices, as it did with milk and dairy products.

A huge percentage of those arriving at the U.S. borders in the past several months are from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras—Central America’s poorest nations. CAFTA has played the major role in devastating the economies of Central American countries. Gangs have filled the economic void caused by CAFTA, creating a country with vast areas run by gangs and police under their influence. Many of these Central American gang members were spawned and trained in U.S. gangs and then were deported by the U.S. back to Central American countries.6

Honduras, the poorest of all Central American countries, has become the largest hub for shipping cocaine from South America into the U.S. San Pedro Sula, which lies on the Atlantic/Caribbean coast of Honduras, has a population of over a million people, and it is where most of the cocaine is shipped from. The city is almost completely controlled by the gangs and it has become known as the murder capital of the world with a murder rate of 173 per 100,000 people. This is the violence that the children in Honduras are fleeing from and why they are coming to the U.S. all by themselves.

It is important to understand that the current violence these children face did not come from nowhere. With a populace that has been under the thumb of ruthless dictators and death squads all supported by the U.S. and with CAFTA creating an economic crisis in these countries, the gang violence and hellish living conditions have become the order of the day for the masses in Central America.

Bob Avakian put it this way:

... the capitalist system, and especially in this era of the last century and more, when capitalism has developed into a full-blown international capitalist, worldwide imperialist system, that literally—and, once again, without any exaggeration—grinds into the earth hundreds of millions, actually billions of individuals: the masses of people whom it oppresses, uproots, hurls from one place to another—exploits when it can, and then casts off, literally again, into the garbage dumps when it has no use for them. Those individuals, and their aspirations, are in reality given absolutely no consideration, count for nothing, under the rule of capitalism-imperialism. And that’s also true for tens of millions of people—and ultimately for the great majority of people—even in the imperialist citadels, the heartlands of imperialism, like the U.S. itself. There are literally millions and millions of people, tens of millions, who are ground under, right within the borders of this country, including the immigrants who are forced, or drawn, to come to this country, and then ruthlessly exploited and oppressed and repressed. (From What Humanity Needs: Revolution and the New Synthesis of Communism, an interview with Bob Avakian by A. Brooks).


1. “A small victory for free trade as CAFTA passes,” The Economist, July 28, 2005. [back]

2. See “Two years of CAFTA: deep impacts in Central America and the Dominican Republic,”, November 2007. [back]

3. Ibid. [back]

4. “January all-milk price surges to all-time record highs,” by Ray Mueller, Wisconsin State Farmer, February 5, 2014. [back]

5. “In Honduras, rival gangs keep a death grip on San Pedro Sula,” Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2013. [back]

6. See “Gang Uses Deportation to Its Advantage to Flourish in the U.S.” by Robert Flores, Rich Connell, and Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times, October 30, 2005. [back]




Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Leave Those Children Alone!

Statement from Carl Dix and Travis Morales

July 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On July 2, more than 100 people waving American flags, screaming “Go back home,” and “Not our children. Not our problem,” blocked Homeland Security buses bringing 140 Central American refugee children and mothers to a Border Patrol processing center in Murrieta, California. This was a scene quite in keeping with America's traditions. First, like modern day slave catchers, the government rounds up tens of thousands of hungry, desperate children at the border in Texas, then, these flag waving Made in America, 4th of July celebrating racists are unleashed. 

"Not our children. Not our problem."???  FUCK YOU!!!  The poverty, oppression and violence that these children are fleeing, the great majority unaccompanied by their parents or any adult, are a direct result of U.S. domination and barbarity unleashed on the people to maintain that domination in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.  In Guatemala, over 200,000 people, the vast majority of them civilians, were murdered by the U.S. backed, trained and armed death squad government from the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s. Just in the early 1980’s, more than 600 villages in the highlands of Guatemala, populated by Mayan Indian peoples, were systematically destroyed by the Guatemalan army. In El Salvador from 1979 until 1992, another U.S. backed, trained and armed death squad government slaughtered over 75,000. Throughout Central America, people labor for sub-survival wages on plantations owned by U.S. agribusiness and in sweatshops making clothes for export to the U.S.  All this has created the conditions of poverty, desperation, and gang violence from which these children are fleeing.  Don’t tell us, “Not our problem”!

It could've been a crowd of whites whipping themselves up into a frenzy getting ready to hang a Black person back in the days of Jim Crow segregation and lynch mob terror. Or a mob of southern whites straining to get to and brutally beat freedom riders or civil rights workers 50 years ago. It's very fitting that the American flag, that red, white and blue rag, was being waved over this ugly scene, since that flag has flown over the horrendous crimes America has been inflicting on humanity since its 2 original sins—the genocide against the native inhabitants of this land and the dragging of millions of African people to these shores in slave chains.

Displaying a classic American mixture of arrogance and ignorance, these racists saw no problem in yelling about “Defend Our Borders” as they stood on land that had been stolen from Mexico.

There were 2 sides on the scene in Murrieta.  A smaller crowd of people were there, welcoming the mothers and children from Central America who were fleeing the poverty and violence that US domination has inflicted on their homelands. This side of things must be greatly strengthened. These refugees are caught between the modern day slave chasers of the US Border Patrol and Homeland Security and racist, flag waving mobs that would make the Ku Klux Klan proud.

Rounding up these children, putting them in concentration camps, and deporting them is wrong.  It is illegitimate.  It is immoral.  Five decades ago people confronted a wrong, illegitimate, and immoral system of Jim Crow segregation in the South.  In the face of outrageous, inhumane injustice, people stood up and said NO MORE! They got on buses, heading South; they walked into whites-only lunch counters knowing that violent racists would be waiting, eager to brutally punish them for defying white supremacist traditions.

During Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964, 800 mostly young people went down South to register Black people to vote in the face of arrests, beatings and murders. Though small in number they focused national and international attention and outrage on the apartheid treatment of Black people in the South where even trying to register to vote could get a Black person lynched.  In the face of violence, organized in many cases by local and state authorities, these civil rights workers had major societal impact, opening the eyes of millions, and bringing many more to demand the end of Jim Crow.  (Watch "Freedom Summer" on PBS at

Today in the face of equally horrific outrages—more than 2 million people, more than 60% of them Black or Latino, warehoused in prisons; 80,000 of these people subjected to the torture of solitary confinement; police unleashed to murder and brutally beat people without fear of being punished; AND thousands of children being rounded up at the border by the modern day slave catchers of La Migra and met by howling mobs. We must stand up and say: NO MORE!

Right now, we must in a loud voice demand:  Leave Those Children Alone! Welcome, Support Families Fleeing "Made in USA" Poverty and Violence in Central America! And we must demand the following: 1) All the youths and children who make it to the U.S. must be treated humanely and compassionately. 2) They must be put in caring, loving environments, and whenever possible, they must be reunited with family members as soon as possible. 3) They must be given all necessary medical treatment. 4) They must be provided with education.  And, 5) They must never be deported.

And we must do this as part of building up to the Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation in October. If you burn with anger at the sight of what's going down at the border, if you wonder what can be done about it, join us in acting now and building up to a powerful October that can be the beginning of the end for mass incarceration and all its consequences.


Carl Dix is a long time revolutionary leader and representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party. He was one of the Fort Lewis 6, U.S. GI's who refused to go to Vietnam in 1970. He served 2 years in the Leavenworth Military Penitentiary for this stand. Carl is a co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. Carl and Cornel West issued the Call for the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration.

Travis Morales has been a revolutionary communist for almost four decades, many years in his home state of Texas.  In 1978, he faced 140 years in prison, charged with felony riot, accused of leading the Moody Park Rebellion against the Houston police murder of José Campos Torres.  Currently, Travis is the coordinator of the immigration task force for the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration.





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Who Is Dayani Cristal?

Addressing “an epic human rights issue” at the U.S.-Mexico Border

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors’ note: The movie Who Is Dayani Cristal? investigates the story of one of the hundreds of bodies discovered each year in the desert between the U.S.-Mexico border and Tuscon, Arizona. Director Marc Silver and Gael Garcia Bernal embed themselves among migrant travelers on their own mission to cross the border, providing rare insight into the human stories. The film—made in 2004—won the award for best cinematography at Sundance in 2013. Current screenings are listed at Michael Slate interviewed Marc Silver and Robin Reineke from the Colibri Center for Human Rights—a project that developed out of the film. The full interview is at The Michael Slate Show at


Michael Slate: What compelled you to make this film?

Marc Silver: What happened originally was, about five years ago in London we launched a website that asked people to send in stories of resistance against wars and division between rich and poor and economic barriers. And one of the most compelling things that we read on the site was the story of unidentified skulls and skeletons being found in this epic desert landscape. We saw an image of one of the search-and-rescue police holding a skull. And from that point we asked ourselves: I wonder what a skull can reveal to you about the bigger systemic issues of migration and economics.

Michael Slate: Now this film is very heavy. It’s unique in a lot of different ways. But something that it really captures is what’s at the heart of life for millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. today, that in most ways they’re forced to live an almost invisible existence inside the U.S., while at the same time, they’re everywhere. Anything you see that needs to be done, anything that involves the basic functioning of society, invariably, you’re going to find a work team of immigrants doing it, and a lot of them oftentimes undocumented. How did that contradiction play out in your head?

Marc Silver: To be honest, we wanted to focus more on the journey that people make, and the dangers of the border, and how the border was designed to actually be dangerous. So our version of looking at the invisibility issue was more about the invisibility of the dead. It’s obviously an epic human rights issue and particularly at the moment where the immigration reform bill or conversation seems to be discussing this kind of tradeoff between the giving of documentation to 12 million people, but only if we increase security, surveillance, etc., at the border. And we felt that the part that was missing from that conversation, and hence invisible, was the fact that there’s a direct relationship between increased border security and the number of deaths on the border. That was the thing that we wanted to bring visibility to.

Michael Slate: It must be a fairly heavy thing to, one, try to find out the way into that story, though, because it can be so overwhelming, and it can be so hidden as well, even if it becomes just a statistic, but people aren’t aware. I wasn’t aware, even though I knew there were people who were going out and leaving water under bushes and things like this, and there were all kinds of people doing things along known pathways for migrants coming into the U.S. But still the question of so many dead, and how do you carve into something that big?

Marc Silver: Yeah, absolutely, and also something that’s so visceral when you present it visually. So, we basically embedded ourselves with the search-and-rescue teams and the people who work at the medical examiner’s office, in the hope that we would be able to track a body from the moment of discovery all the way through the forensic identification process, and then hopefully all the way back to a family. And as Robin can attest to, the statistics to make that happen were against us. I think quite a few people had tried that before.

We followed several cases. I was there when the police discovered different bodies and skeletal remains over the course of four to six weeks. The Dayani Cristal body—we were very, very fortunate in that his family was identified in a relatively short amount of time, within about three months of his being discovered, whereas I think up to 700 of the 2,000 bodies that have been brought into that particular medical examiner’s office are still yet to be identified.

Michael Slate [to Robin Reineke]: What is the Colibri Center for Human Rights?

Robin Reineke: The Colibri Center for Human Rights was developed very recently out of the work portrayed in the film as the Missing Migrant Project. So, our work starts with the desire to help families in their search for missing people. We’re building the biggest database of, unfortunately, missing migrants last seen crossing into the U.S.-Mexico [border]. And we’re comparing that data against unidentified remains catalogued by offices like the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner. And then on top of that, we are trying to reach a broader audience and really tell the story of what’s happening and produce research and data. Unfortunately, a lot of the conversation about immigration reform and the border is not fact-based, not based on evidence and history. So we’re really taking the issue of the very severe human rights crisis of the loss of life and the disappearance of thousands of people on the border to shine a bright light on the failings of our current immigration policy.

Michael Slate: Is that related to what compelled you to want to be part of this film? When Marc showed up and said, “Hey, do you want to do this film with me?” what compelled you to say, “Yeah, I need to be part of this”?

Robin Reineke: Marc started visiting the medical examiner’s office in 2009. I remember when he first came into my office, that I think we started talking just immediately for like four or five hours. We had a lot to talk about. I think the framework that Marc was using at that time even to approach the story, was really looking at broad structural factors, looking at it with a human lens, but asking some of the more challenging philosophical questions about why are people coming? Why are they willing to risk their lives? What’s happening with the families? What’s happening to the bodies? How is this going on for so long? At that time, in 2009, there’d already been a decade of deaths in the hundreds per year and still silence in terms of changing policy.

So, I was immediately very taken with Marc’s approach, and I felt excited to work with him from the beginning.

Michael Slate: Let’s talk about this, because you also have a sense of just how serious the situation is, that it’s not just a few people here and there, but it’s actually a very large question, it’s a very mass question, and it’s something that not too many people are really all that acutely aware of.

Robin Reineke: Yeah, it’s fascinating that people aren’t aware of it. It’s one of the things anthropologically that I’m interested in—basically how effective this discourse of illegality has been, that one of the most serious human rights crises is passing invisibly. And in terms of talking about visibility and invisibility, I think that’s one of the most interesting questions.

Six thousand people have died in the last decade attempting to cross the border. And that number is believed to be quite low. It’s a Border Patrol count, and the Border Patrol is not always involved in the recovery of remains, and it’s really outside of their purview. So in the film it’s the sheriff’s office. It’s many other agencies that are involved in that process. So the 6,000 number is believed to be quite low. There’s a lot of decentralization in terms of counting, many reasons why that number is low.

Two thousand people are missing, and 6,000 known to be dead. So that number is already more than 40 times more deadly than the Berlin Wall was in its entire existence.

Michael Slate: Marc had mentioned that you could actually talk about statistically, how high the odds are against what you’re trying to do. Can you talk about that?

Robin Reineke: Yeah, I’d be happy to. This is really why the Colibri Center for Human Rights needs to exist. Remains are found in southern Arizona, where the film takes place—at least the part of the film relating to the decedent. In southern Arizona, 165 remains on average per year are discovered in the desert. They’re discovered in various states of decomposition. So it’s very difficult scientifically to identify them. It’s rare for certain clues to be present on the body. And after even several days in the desert, someone is unrecognizable.

So you already have environmental, structural reasons on the biological side that challenge identification. But then there’s kind of complex issues that make it even more complicated. Right now only about 65 percent of the remains are identified every year. So that remainder of 35 percent, it accumulates, and right now if you count from 1990 to the present, there’s about 900 unidentified remains, making Arizona the third highest state for unidentified remains, following California and New York.

So there’s the biological issues and there’s really structural issues. The families are sort of perpetually on the wrong side of the wall. They face challenges in following the kind of traditional procedure for reporting a missing person. So they can’t call the police, or the police won’t take their report. There’s massive decentralization. They could report a missing person case to southern Texas and the body could be found in Arizona. So there are massive structural reasons preventing a higher success rate. We have the science. We have the technology. It’s really political will and the use of this technology for this issue that we’re up against. And that’s why Colibri developed.

Michael Slate: I read somewhere where you were talking about contrasting the north-to-south journey of the body that gets returned, and alongside of that, the south-to-north of the people going up. But what you show of that, in addition to what you’re saying, you really do sort of find a way that, I think, very powerfully—I’m thinking about the people sitting on top of “The Beast,” the train that does take people so long, and the kind of camaraderie and the deep feelings that people have for one another. But also you get a sense of the humanity of people who are oftentimes and in every way possible, denied any sense of humanity. They’re denied any portrayal of humanity.

Marc Silver: Yeah, and it is obviously hugely complex when you’re putting the film together, but on a human-to-human level when you’re on the ground actually doing that filming, what I realized was—and maybe this is something we should all know inherently—there is no difference between those people and us. There is no, if you like, in anthropological terms, “the other.” When I would return home from some of those filming trips and just be catching up with friends and family back in London, I would explain the experience as, I would have made exactly the same decisions as all the people, all the migrants we met on that journey if I came from a place where I wasn’t capable of fulfilling my spiritual hopes and dreams, as well as my financial responsibility to my family. I, too, would have instantly made the decision to take that journey north.

And, of course, there are deep economic reasons why certain countries are in poverty and certain countries aren’t. Obviously that relates to, in the case of the U.S. and Central and Latin America, things like NAFTA or the evolution of the kind of neo-liberal economic policies that have kept some countries poor.

Michael Slate: I have one last question for each of you. Marc, you have said you made, not a “whodunnit” but a “what happened?” As I was watching the film again this morning, I thought, “Wow, there’s something very heavy here.” And Robin, you are angry about so much attention being focused on the physical border and border security, instead of what’s happening to the migrants. You’ve taken on very sharply the idea that, somehow, people dismiss this as, “Well, they chose to do this. After all, they didn’t have to come here. They chose to go through the desert.” I wanted you to talk to this question of choices.

Robin Reineke: It’s a very poor excuse to accept hundreds of deaths every year, directly following policy. I think we have to start asking, why are hundreds of thousands of people making that same “choice” and risking their lives crossing inhospitable desert? That’s really the question that we need to be asking, and not why is it that people are breaking this law. Hundreds of thousands of people are breaking the same law. They’re leaving their families and they’re leaving their homes and they’re risking their lives.

Michael Slate: Marc, for you, in a lot of different things you’ve made the point that, while you’ve focused on what’s happening in the Sonoran desert, in Arizona, on the southern border of the U.S. and Mexico, you said that, yes, it’s happening there, and you’re focused on there, but you also gave people a sense, and you yourself also seem to have a very deep sense of, this is more than just a particular incident or phenomenon in this country. It’s something that happens worldwide. And I thought you spoke to that very powerfully. Can you talk to that, in terms of it being something bigger than any one incident? And in many ways, as you’ve said, it’s a systemic question.

Marc Silver: Yeah. It’s a massive global problem. And the problem, if you like, the result of that problem is people end up dying at borders, in this case, the U.S. desert area. But to me, coming from Europe, we have actually statistically an even bigger problem, that many more thousands of people are dying in the Mediterranean Sea traveling from northern Africa into southern Europe. And again, this systemic way what they call “fortress Europe” has been designed, forcing people to make that journey. And it’s been going on for several years. And everybody knows that every week, hundreds more people are dying. And the people that have the power to change that system willingly don’t do it, which is exactly the same as what’s going on with the so-called corridor of death in the area of the desert that Robin’s office has to deal with. And similarly, between Indonesia and Australia, for example. So, when we started off the film, we were never looking, if you like, to make a local story about the Mexico-U.S. border. And if I go all the way back to those first images that we saw of the skull in the desert, and we really did look at that as, yes, this is obviously a local story, but the implications are absolutely global. We could be standing on the shores of islands off the coast of Italy looking at the dead bodies there, and we would pretty much have the same story, the same reasons people leave home, the same dangers they have on the journey north, and the same reasons why the system is blocking their entrance, and even worse than blocking, even forcing them through life-threatening, dangerous areas.





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Reporter’s Notebook from July 4th in Murrieta, California:

Outrage and Anger Confronts Patriotic Thugs and Bigots at Immigrant Detention Center

July 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


People came to the immigration detention center in Murrieta from all over Southern California and beyond on the 4th of July to insist that the children with and without parents flooding across the border in Texas be treated humanely, with care and concern, and not as animals or criminals. And they came to challenge and confront the reactionaries whose ugly anti-immigrant xenophobia and pro-USA chauvinism has been given center stage in the national—and international—news all week.

On July 4th, supporters of immigrants rights faced off with reactionary thugs in Murrieta, CA, where days earlier, a bus with parents and children from Central America had been blocked by a mob chanting "USA" and waving American flags.  Photo: AP

In the midmorning these patriotic yahoos with their huge American flags found themselves outnumbered, and were forced to move to the sidelines by a loud, raucous, defiant protest that gave voice to the people who came together from a wide variety of perspectives who opposed them. There were dozens of young people from pro-immigrant organizations from Long Beach, the Inland Empire (Riverside, San Bernardino, and the High Desert), and Los Angeles, one group carrying a banner saying “Not 1 More Deportation.” The Inland Empire group said they were talking to ICE and Homeland Security and were arranging transitional housing for the families and children after they are processed, while still facing deportation.

There was a group of 10 people from Los Angeles who carried American flags that were torn into shreds. They told Revolution:

We’re trying to bring out that humanity is more important than any sort of borders that are put on this earth, and that people are free to move, especially when the country that is perpetuating most of the economic inequality through NAFTA, through... the funding of drug cartels in those countries is actually criminalizing people for trying to flee those areas.

When asked about their flags they said:

There’s an article that came out in the Onion that said the U.S. flag is responsible for 143 million deaths, so it’s been recalled. I agree. When you hold up a flag that represents chauvinism for the sake of protecting capitalism, imperialism, and oppression, it should be burned. It’s just like the swastika, it should be burned. When you put children into military bases, detention centers, your flag deserves to be burned. And there shouldn’t be flags; we should just be able to identify ourselves as human beings. One of the most important things is that these children get care... they are refugees. (At one point an American flag was burned.)

A dozen or more Aztec dancers came from Los Angeles; they did native Indian dances in their beautiful costumes in a circle to the beat of loud drums for hours. Activists and organizers came from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network with signs and large banners, one calling for the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. And there was a sizeable group representing the movement for revolution, some making the trip from the San Francisco Bay Area, wearing their Revolution—Nothing Less! and BA (Bob Avakian) image T-shirts, with bullhorns and banners, and lots of Revolution newspapers.

At the same time there were many, many others who came just on their own, often in ones and twos—not responding to an official call to be there—but feeling compelled by their humanity to take action and not let these racists take center stage. A high school student, dressed in white, told Revolution she had set up an event page on Facebook calling on friends to come dressed in white, and to march silently from the Wal-Mart a half mile away to the detention center. Though she was only familiar with a couple of her new “virtual” friends, 30 people showed up for the July 4th march!

A number of people from Murrieta came to oppose the racists. Two sisters from Murrieta—one in high school, the other in college with a young daughter—came together, carrying two handmade signs that each said: “Our Land Is Your Land. Bienvenidos!” over a rippling American flag. They had first come to the detention center on Tuesday after hearing that anti-immigrant forces were out there.

We wanted to come down here and support the immigrants and like show them that we DO care that they’re here and we want to support them now that they are here. We’re just trying to be a different voice. Today there’s lots of supporters, but when we came here on Tuesday we were one of the very few that were supporting them. We were disgusted with all of the hate, and we wanted them to know that Murrieta is not all so hateful and that we do support them. They’re humans also, and they deserve respect and we value them just as equals.

On Tuesday it was brutal. Even we were called racist things; people were telling us to go back to Mexico. [Their ancestors were Pima Indians.] I had my child with me and people were telling me that they are paying for my child; that I’m using up all these resources, which is not true. But they were being just as hateful as they could to anyone who was here; it was disturbing.

There were people who felt motivated for patriotic reasons to oppose these anti-immigrant reactionaries. And a staunch Obama supporter carrying a large flag with the map of the earth came from San Diego to support the immigrants. The many handmade signs expressed this diversity of sentiments:

The reactionaries repeatedly tried to push up against the pro-immigrant protesters, causing repeated clashes. The revolutionaries led the demonstration in a chant that shut them up for a minute: “English Only, Whites Only: What’s the Fucking Difference?” They led people to chant: “We say no more; Let our children go!”; and “Stop Thinking like Americans; Start Thinking about Humanity!” And “Somos todos ilegales.” They did call-and-response “mic checks” that the Occupy movement made popular. One mic check covered the demands that have appeared in Revolution newspaper for the last two weeks:

All the youths and children who make it to the U.S. must be treated humanely and compassionately; whenever possible, they must be reunited with family members as soon as possible. They must be given all necessary medical treatment, and put in a caring, loving environment. They must be provided with education, and they must never be deported.

And they did mic checks of BAsics quotes; “No more generations of our youth...” (1:13); “I’m a self-made man...” (1:16); and “Why do people come here...” (BAsics 1:14).

While this intense standoff went on most of the day, it seemed that few people left for that reason.

The gang of anti-immigrant bigots grew in numbers. At one point, there were something like 150 people on each side in the confrontation. And as this happened, the bigots got more belligerent. They chanted “USA, USA, USA” with a vengeance. And when they got in people’s faces they were disgusting. Afterwards, some of the Latina and Latino youth, and youth generally, said they had never encountered such blatant, ugly racism in their lives.

It was crazy, all these racists. You had people almost punching other people in the face. They came up telling us to go back to our country, and physically attacking us. They told us we are the ones who bring drugs to America; we bring violence to America. They called us “anchor babies.” “Your parents came over here, popped you out, and now we’re paying for you.” “You’re taking our jobs.”

More than one person compared this lynch mob to the racist white mobs in Mississippi during the battles for desegregation. But they weren’t all white. There were a few Latinos and Black people among them. Some of them tried to claim they supported legal immigration. And that “this is a nation of laws.” “We need to take care of the people in our country who need help first. Let’s take care of our own country first. Then help other countries.” But even among this mob, a few grew uncomfortable with the blatant racism, and were challenged to think about the crimes committed by the U.S. in Central America that have created the conditions that are forcing people to leave these countries.

The article, “Leave Those Children Alone! Welcome, Support Families Fleeing ‘Made in USA’ Poverty and Violence in Central America!” is right in saying:

The mob in Murrieta blocking buses and their kind are no different than White Citizens’ Councils and KKKers and lynch mobs in Mississippi who terrorized Black people and their supporters fighting for basic rights. And they have the backing (and are being instigated by) powerful forces in the ruling class.”

The whole experience left the people who stood up to the anti-immigrant hatred very unsettled. Where is it coming from? Why is it so virulent? Why weren’t more people out here standing against these racists? And people were drawn to more deeply think about why all of this is taking place—why these children and families are coming here; and why are they being treated like animals?

At least half of the demonstrators supporting the immigrants left with copies of Revolution. There, and at, they will find answers to those questions, and ways to act that will deal with the heart of the problem.




Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

On the Murder of Trayvon Martin and the Outrageous Acquittal of His Killer:


Updated July 20, 2013 8 am | Revolution Newspaper |


The whole country was rocked—and is rocking—over the outrageous acquittal of George Zimmerman.  This must be a watershed moment.  This must become the day that people look back on and say, “that’s when people began to see that you couldn’t reform this shit, and a whole different way—a revolution—was needed.”  But that will take STRUGGLE—struggle in the streets that must not be allowed to die down...and struggle against ways of thinking that will take us right back into the arms of the forces that have been carrying out crime after crime after crime... for hundreds of years. 

Right now download and print the materials from and take them out. Go to the demonstrations that may be called in your city, whoever calls them, and bring this message. Go to where people gather and bring this message. If you can get a few people together to do this with you, all the better. And if a few people turn into 20 gathered round listening and speaking their own bitterness, take that 20 and march to where there are other people, bring this message, and keep this thing going.

Get copies of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live, copies of Revolution #144, "The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and the Revolution We Need," the new 3 Strikes poster, palm cards with BAsics quote 1:13. Grab bundles of the current issue of Revolution. This newspaper can be—and needs to be—all over the place. Popularize Agitate, speak out. Go to showings of Fruitvale Station, to laundromats, everywhere people gather. It is not time to go back to normal.

In thousands of ways, and from many different angles, people on the bottom and people of all strata and nationalities are being told to accept this verdict—or to rely on the very system of justice that rendered George Zimmerman not guilty to make fundamental changes.  People are being told that the only solution to a basic and foundational problem in this society is to once again turn for redress and justice to the very system that has produced and validated such atrocities. NO!  What needs to happen now is for the struggle to continue and advance. Society needs to roil with debate and anger. The new cracks in the cement that glues this society together need to be widened and deepened. The determined fury of people needs to bust through again and again. Thousands are rightly questioning what America is really all about. By standing up and challenging all the ways people have been taught to think about this, people can and must become ever more consciously part of the movement for revolution that is being built right now in this society.

Thousands protest in Los Angeles, July 14, 2013. Photo: AP

But first, let’s tell the truth about what this system has meant for Black people in this country...from its beginnings down to today. Let’s actually look squarely at what was revealed in the trial of George Zimmerman.

Put it this way—58 years ago a Black teenager named Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi by some white men who decided he had “acted wrong,” and those white men were acquitted.  Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till, said “NO MORE” and the uproar that she stoked was one big beginning factor that led millions of people to stand up and over the next two decades rock this country to its foundation.  People needed revolution, and many fought for revolution, and many of those heroically laid down their lives—but we got reforms.  Now, after all those reforms... after all the promises... after all the excuses... after all the Black faces in high places including even a Black president... a Black teenager named Trayvon Martin is murdered by a white man who decided he was “acting wrong,” and he too is acquitted

No, Let’s NOT “Move On”—Let’s Draw the Lessons Of This Outrage

It’s important that we keep fully getting into what actually happened here.  It’s important that we learn everything we can about what kind of society this really is and how it operates.  It’s important that we not “move on,” and talk about “reforms” and “conversations” and blah blah before we actually deeply get into this and learn what we need to learn.

George Zimmerman decided that Trayvon Martin, a Black teenager walking home at 7:15 at night, looked “suspicious.”  He called 911 and without ever meeting or talking to Trayvon Martin, cursed him out as “a punk” and a “fucking asshole.”  He said “they always get away”—and everybody knows, unless they consciously don’t want to know, that George Zimmerman was using “they” to mean “Black people.”  He got out of his car to stalk Trayvon Martin, despite orders from 911 not to.  And then, a few minutes later, George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin with a bullet to the heart. 

Stop right there.  What does this tell you?  It tells you that George Zimmerman had been taught by America to think that every Black person is guilty until proven innocent, a threat, a “problem”... and that every white person has the right to question, judge and hunt down any Black person who rubs him the wrong way.  Ask yourself: how did George Zimmerman learn this?  Ask yourself: how many times a day do these same vicious assumptions poison social interactions in schools, stores, the streets, workplaces, and—most deadly of all—with the police or wannabe pigs like Zimmerman?  Ask yourself: does this have anything to do with how America was built and how it achieved and maintained its vaunted wealth, and the traditions it passed on to justify all that and to reinforce the new forms in which it goes on?

Then there’s the police.  When the police arrived they tested the victim for drugs and let the killer—George Zimmerman—go home, that very night.  Ask yourself: is this somehow unusual for the police to do?  No, this is so accepted—and so integral to this system—that this didn’t even get brought up at the trial!  This is how the police are trained, in every city of the country—in any conflict between a Black person and someone who is white, the white person is assumed to be in the right, even if the white person had murdered someone in their own neighborhood with only the flimsiest of stories to justify it.   All a white person has to do is to say that the Black person “looked suspicious” and the pigs are right there with him.

What if the roles had been reversed?  What if somehow Trayvon Martin fearing for his life had wrestled Zimmerman's gun away and in defending himself had shot Zimmerman?  What do you think would have happened?  If Trayvon Martin had not been immediately gunned down by the police, which is by far the most likely thing, he would have been sent to prison for a long long time.  And in prison he would have joined hundreds of thousands of other Black and Latino youth who have been shipped off to America’s prison system—the biggest, and most discriminatory, in the whole world by far.  Ask yourself: if this is the greatest country in the world... if America used to “discriminate” (a word which itself cleans up and covers over a history of kidnapping, rape, enslavement, lynching, humiliation and violence at every turn) but now is supposedly “post-racial” or at least “improving”—how do you account for the explosive growth of America’s prison system (ten times as many prisoners today as 50 years ago), with over half of those prisoners either Black or Latino in a country that is majority white?

It took a massive national movement to even force a trial of Zimmerman.  Then what happened?  First the media began to work to plant doubts and uncertainty—maybe Trayvon Martin had been doing something wrong, maybe he was a “bad kid,” and on and on and on.  How many times did anyone in the mass media bring out the basic points made above about the history and present-day reality of this country?  Ask yourself: WHY does the media work so hard to shape people’s thinking and WHY is it always in the direction of justifying what this system does or is planning to do?

Then it came to trial.  First the judge made a number of outrageous rulings.  First, Zimmerman’s lawyers invoked the Batson rule—which was originally designed to prevent prosecutors from engaging in a strategy dismissing almost all Black jurors without cause and was a rule that people had to fight tooth and nail for. The judge ruled in the defense’s favor—and ruled against the prosecution’s dismissing WHITE people who they felt were prejudiced in favor of Zimmerman.   So a rule designed to prevent all-white juries was used to justify... an almost all-white jury!  Then the judge said that the prosecution could use the word “profiling” but not RACIAL profiling.  In other words you could say Zimmerman was profiling—but you could NOT say that it was because of race.  These rulings meant two things: that the jury would be mainly white; and that they would not be challenged in their assumptions and thinking about race.  This meant that even if some of the jurors said, “hey, this is clearly a case of murder”—which apparently some did—the other jurors would be sitting there with all the power of hundreds of years of white supremacist, racist thinking that every white person is taught, and they would use that and hammer down those who somehow saw the truth of the matter.  This rigged things right from the beginning.  What does that tell you about “equal justice before the law”?  What does that tell you about how not just George Zimmerman, but the vast majority of whites are trained to view Black people?  Here is an example of how “color-blindness” in a society riven by the pervasive, all-round oppression of people due to their skin color works to perpetuate that oppression.

Those decisions alone were probably enough to determine the verdict.  But they still weren’t done.  Rachel Jeantel—a young Black woman whom Trayvon had reached out to befriend—came on the stand to talk about the trauma of being on the phone as her friend Trayvon told her how he was being followed... and how his voice was suddenly cut off after hearing him shout “Get off, get off.”  Rachel Jeantel was then hounded by Zimmerman’s attorney and, almost worse, was made into a target of media scorn and venom.  The chorus—which again used all the “polite” but utterly racist code words—was as deafening as it was dehumanizing and disgusting.  The level of personal attack focused on how she dressed, how she spoke, and all the rest... the snide sneering of the racist was broadcast from every television in the country.  Zimmerman’s lawyers and the media snake-mouths tried to destroy her and when she maintained her certitude and her dignity and then showed defiance of this baiting—and to her great credit, she did—they went after her even more viciously.  Make no mistake—this was done both to hammer the jury into the “right verdict” and to prepare public opinion for it AND TO REINFORCE ALL THE RACIST SHIT IN WHITE PEOPLE’S THINKING AND ALL THE DEFENSIVE OBSESSION WITH RESPECTABILITY IN SOME BLACK PEOPLE’S THINKING... while setting up this teenager to take the blame. 

But then came the pigs!  See how smoothly they backed up George Zimmerman.  See how they skimmed over the blatant inconsistencies from one version of his story to another.  See how the prosecutors refused to ask them about their egregious bias and intentional “incompetence” and then pandered to the white entitlement ways of thinking and being in this society in the whole way they presented their case and argued it to the jury. See how the jury—conditioned by ten million hours of TV and a lifetime of breathing the air, such as it is, of America—lapped it up.  WHY do you think that is?  WHAT does that tell you about how America works?

Yet still it wasn’t enough.  A parade of witnesses came on to testify about how wonderful George Zimmerman was.  And then, as a final blow, the defense was allowed to put on a witness who said that two young Black men had burglarized her house.  What the FUCK did that have to do with the death of Trayvon Martin?  How in the HELL was that in any way relevant?  It wasn’t!  All it was meant to do—in this trial in which we are being told “race was not an issue”—was to evoke the irrational, racial conditioning in the jury, instilled by decades of living in America. 

In this light, here we have to quote an article we ran right after the verdict, talking about how the defense claimed that Trayvon Martin was armed with a deadly weapon—a chunk of sidewalk, which they waved around in front of the jury.  In fact, Trayvon Martin didn’t have a chunk of anything.  This demagogue was referring to the fact that Zimmerman claimed Trayvon hit Zimmerman’s head on the sidewalk.  As our article pointed out, this means that any Black youth walking on a sidewalk can now be considered armed and dangerous. 

So, no, Zimmerman was not acquitted because the case was hard to prove, as some educated idiots who very well know better proclaim from their perches on television.  And no he was not mainly acquitted due to the prosecution’s “mistakes” (though their mistakes were plentiful and serious).  And no he was not acquitted because the “system didn’t work this time.”  He was acquitted because THE SYSTEM DID WORK—to draw on, to use, to reinforce and to in fact deepen the racism of this society.


The Revolutionary Communist Party has in many other places  gone into  WHY the system works like this (search  How the mother’s milk of America was the blood of Native American Indians, driven from their land and made the victims of genocide, and the blood of Africans kidnapped from their lands and enslaved for generations.  Why and how this was driven by the needs of capitalism and then capitalism-imperialism, with its profit-over-all mentality and its expand-or-die “logic of the game.”  How the so-called founding fathers were slave owners and defenders of slave owners, and how they brought forward a perverted social order in which white people were endowed with a privileged status in relation to Black people and Native American Indians, and then Mexicans, and how this perverted sense of privilege was backed up by law and violence and permeated every social interaction in the whole society. 

We have shown how these ideas and institutions flowed first from the economic relations that hinged on the enslavement and bitter exploitation of generations of Africans and their descendants...

then from share-cropping, with its lynch-mob rule and dehumanizing and violently humiliating codes of “Jim Crow”...

then “the great migration” to the cities and industrial jobs, always last hired and first fired, in the worst and dirtiest jobs when there were jobs...

and today the desolation of “post-industrial” America where millions of Black and Latino youth have no future other than, as Bob Avakian has said, “a boot up the ass or a bullet in the brain.”  We have gone deeply into how these were woven into the fabric of the entire system—and then adjusted and re-woven with each succeeding generation, no matter how hard people fought against it.

The only answer is Revolution...Nothing Less! And bringing a whole different world into being.  And we have also gone deeply, in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, how all this could be DISMANTLED, UPROOTED AND FINALLY ELIMINATED through revolution, and how a whole new society could be built. (See also Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy and other works by Bob Avakian; special Revolution issue "The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and the Revolution We Need"; and other material on These are all things to get into, deeply into, now—AS we are fighting the power.  In particular, if you at all hunger to understand more deeply what the problem is and what the solution is, you need to get Bob Avakian’s speech BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and watch it all the way through, and you need to start reading BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian.

It’s like this: people have been brutalized and enslaved by this system since its founding, and if you ever begin to think that “maybe this time it’s different” the people who sit atop this system and enforce it will be forced both by the workings of their system (its rules, its laws, its logic) and their very nature to show you that the melody may be different, but the bloody fucking song is the same.  Poison is poison, no matter how pretty the label.   It is time now to face facts, and to set about seriously getting rid of this horror, this hell, that destroys people all over the planet (and the planet itself), day in day out, by the hour and by the minute.

After the Verdict: Anger, Defiance and Outraged Questioning From Some... And Misleading Bullshit From Others

Millions of people described their reaction to the verdict like this: “I’m not surprised... but I’m shocked.”  “Shocked” in the sense that Carl Dix described it—like you’d been punched in the gut.  “Shocked” in the sense of outraged.  “Shocked” in the sense of “can’t take this no more, goddamnit!”

But this time was different.  Different than any time since the Los Angeles rebellion of 1992 forced the retrial of the police who had been acquitted of brutally beating Rodney King—despite having the beating recorded on video tape and broadcast the world over!  This time the shock began to go somewhere other than right back inside you, festering and tearing at you.  After the Zimmerman acquittal, the outrage poured out in the social media, from celebrities and athletes and writers and artists, and—in the streets—from those most victimized by this system and those moved to stand with them.,. and against the system.  Righteous acts of defiance rippled from LA to New York and in between.  Among millions questions were raised—what kind of a society IS this, anyway?  Why does this happen?  What can we do about it?  And how do I, how do WE, act... NOW?

Other places on this website and in this paper detail the intensity and scope of this resistance, and some of the character of this questioning, this much much needed interrogation and re-thinking of how hundreds of millions and yes, billions, live every day.  In terms of what to do now, the answer is to find the ways to intensify and spread this resistance, and to broaden and deepen the questioning and criticism—while bringing the message of revolution, and drawing people into this revolution on many different levels and in many different ways.  Where resistance and defiance have manifested strongly, join with those people and fight against the attempts to suppress it, while spreading the message of revolution.  Where people have just started to stir, find the ways to build on that.  Don’t let it die down.  And where people are in turmoil over this, but have not yet acted, reach out to them.  Reach out, right now, with this paper, promote, and reach out with flyers, posters, stickers and with spoken agitation—right on the street, on buses, at basketball tournaments and movie lines and farmers’ markets... in public spaces of all kinds.

But here it's important to carefully note and understand that a number of forces also got out—and were given platforms—to redirect and misdirect this needed struggle and needed questioning.  As for Obama’s disgusting statement right after the verdict, which would be pitiful if it weren’t so poisonous... well, just see our reply. ("Obama Sanctifies Cold-Blooded Murder")

But there are others as well, out and about.  Some work for the powers-that-be and make no bones about it—they brag about their connections to Obama and the other gangsters on top.  Others come at it from the viewpoint of people who want things to change but can’t see beyond the current system and its dog-eat-dog relations and the values that gives rise to, and can only imagine either slightly changing the system around the edges or changing the faces of those on top without getting at the roots of the problem.

There are those who say we need a “conversation.”  What they really mean is “get out of the streets and pretend as if it’s all a matter of ‘listening better ’”—instead of getting to the truth of the matter.  As one person said on Twitter, “we don’t need a conversation—America already spoke.”  YES—and in the same basic bloody language it’s used for 400 years. No, we don’t need polite and muted conversation... we need REVOLUTION.

There are those who say we must demand an investigation from the Department of Justice.  The same Department of Justice that presides over 2.24 million people in prison, that tortures 80,000 of them in solitary confinement, and that runs a school-to-prison pipeline from the ghettos, barrios and reservations straight to the penitentiaries.  The same Department of Injustice that invents legal justifications for drone attacks on innocent people in the Middle East and for utterly unconstitutional spying on people, all over the world and in this country as well?!?  Investigation?!?  Are you fucking kidding?  For what—so we can have more months and years of delay and distraction until things die down?  HELL NO!!  We don’t need investigation... we need REVOLUTION.

There are those who say we need prayer vigils.  To pray for WHAT?  And more than that, to pray to WHOM?  The sooner we put aside fairy tales about how some non-existent god is going to take care of this... any day now... or how the victims of this system have gone to a heaven that doesn’t exist... the sooner we confront the reality that when this system kills people there is no afterworld that somehow redeems them... the sooner, in other words, that we actually confront the real problem—then the sooner we will get to the real solution.  Anyway, who decided that African slaves and the descendants of African slaves have to kneel down to Jesus?  We don’t need consolation... we need REVOLUTION!

Right now people from all walks of life—from those who face brutality and systematic abuse in their lives on a day-to-day basis, to those who are now recognizing the basic and fundamental injustice perpetrated in this society and questioning if this is the kind of world they want to uphold and live in—all need to be led to keep going up against all the ways that their righteous anger and outrage is being quieted down and derailed.  For the revolutionaries this not only means being there in the midst of these struggles, but transforming how people are thinking.  It means making real and concrete: Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution. 

Download and print the materials from and take them out.   Go to the demonstrations that may be called in your city, whoever calls them, and bring this message.  Go to where people gather and bring this message.  If you can get a few people together to do this with you, all the better.  And if a few people turn into 20 gathered round listening and speaking their own bitterness, take that 20 and march to where there are other people, bring this message, and keep this thing going.

This must NOT die down.  They must NOT get away with this.  We must make this into the first day of the beginning of the end of... this system.




Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

CNA Military Advisory Report:

Climate Change and U.S Global Supremacy

by Orpheus Reed | July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


In May a new report, “National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change,” appeared. The report was written by a group of former high-ranking U.S. military officials called the CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board. The forward to the report is written by two former high-level U.S. government officials: Michael Chertoff, secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense during Obama’s first term. According to Chertoff and Panetta, the 2007 CNA report, “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change,” on the same topic represented “the first time that such an elite body of military leaders expressed their concern over the security implications of climate change.”

The New York Times reported that Secretary of State John Kerry commented that the new CNA report would affect military and foreign policy. Kerry will reportedly deliver a major speech this summer on the subject of climate change and U.S. national security. (New York Times, May 13, 2014)

Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctic. Studies show that part of the huge West Antarctic ice sheet is starting a slow collapse in an unstoppable way. Photo: AP

So what is the deal with this report? Why is it that forces tied to the U.S. military—the vicious worldwide enforcers of this predatory system of imperialism—are now concerned about climate change?

The reality confronting humanity is that an environmental emergency stalks the planet. On many converging fronts, habitat and species are being endangered and destroyed in a building wave. Ecosystems are being compromised, poisoned, and in some cases transformed. Climate change is interacting with other environmental impacts and further driving a threat to the very eco-balances of the earth, even endangering the future of humanity.

Over the past decades scientists have sounded the alarm about climate change. They have studied the problem and documented the evidence for it over and over. This year, this overwhelming scientific consensus was documented even more convincingly and clearly by several reports, including the latest from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These reports have shown climate change is already transforming the planet, hitting hard at natural systems and humanity—and that if the current path continues, the future holds upheaval, conflict, and catastrophic changes from the changing climate. Faced with this, key forces in the U.S. ruling class are becoming alarmed. There is a growing sense among some of these powerful forces that the U.S. must more fully confront this and respond if it is to maintain its position of global supremacy.

But are they doing so from the viewpoint of moving heaven and earth to stop fossil fuel energy production and other ways of economic functioning of the capitalist system that are driving climate change? Are they concerned with the protection of world ecosystems and the world’s people, especially the poor and oppressed whose lives lie in the path of intensifying hurricanes, drought, flooding, and sea level rise? Absolutely and completely not!

The Threat to U.S. Power and the Real Interests of Humanity

Instead, these ruling class forces are arguing that the U.S.—and in particular, its military—must fully confront and move quickly to position itself to best preserve its global dominance in the face of major transformations of the earth’s climate and all the dangers and upheaval this will cause. The CNA report’s executive summary states, “The projected impacts of climate change—heat waves, intense rainfall, floods and droughts, rising sea levels, more acidic oceans and melting glaciers and sea ice—not only affect local communities but also, in the aggregate, challenge key elements of our National Power [including] political, military, economic, social, infrastructure, and information systems.”

The executive summary of this report says climate change “poses severe risks” to U.S. “national security” and that these risks are “as serious as any challenges we have faced.” It criticizes others in the ruling class who refuse to accept the reality of climate change, saying, “political posturing and budgetary woes” should not inhibit discussion over what is in reality a threat to U.S. power.

The report calls impacts of climate change “threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions—conditions that enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.” Further, this report considers the effects of climate change itself to be “catalysts for instability and conflict.” It argues the U.S. must take into account how this affects the entire world, not just certain regions.

These ex-generals and admirals are quite concerned that climate change could erode the ability of the U.S. military to field forces in the way it will need to to preserve U.S. global domination. They fear the threat of sea level rise to key U.S. military and particularly naval installations, such as the Norfolk, Virginia, naval base—the world’s largest naval station.

The capitalist system is melting the ice in the Arctic through its burning of fossil fuels and other destructive practices. The Arctic is a vast, rich ecosystem whose oceans sustain major sections of sea life that are important to life on the planet. The preservation of ice at both the North and South Poles is key to maintaining world climate. The accelerating melting of this ice guarantees sea level rise over the next century that threatens coastlines where hundreds of millions live. Are the ex-military leaders behind the CNA report raising an urgent call that the world must act to stop this destruction immediately? Again, absolutely not. Instead, they argue that with the opening up of the Arctic from the melting of ice caused by global warming, nations and corporations will be increasingly anxious to exploit this. So they urge military and legal changes so that the U.S. will be better able to position itself to “resolve” disputes—in other words, strengthen the ability to project U.S. military power into this region.

Think about it. The world’s people face massive drought, killing poverty from decline of crop production, threats to the cities and lands where they live from flooding and sea level rise, even worse and more wrenching resource wars, conflicts and massive displacement of whole peoples, and possibly a threat to human civilization itself from environmental destruction. But faced with all the horror the environmental emergency will bring, these top level military figures call for preparing the U.S. power structure to do everything possible to preserve the very system that is responsible for strangling the life out of earth’s living systems and exploiting world humanity in the first place!

Of course, nowhere in their report is it mentioned that the U.S. is the largest contributor in world history to the build-up of greenhouse gases warming the planet. Or that the U.S. military itself is the largest institutional consumer of oil on the planet. All of this is a very sharp indictment of this capitalist-imperialist system and a further demonstration that the rulers of this system are completely unable to take care of the earth or its people. The U.S. “national security” that these generals and admirals consider so precious has nothing to do with—and, in fact, is completely opposed to—the interests and security of world humanity and nature.

The situation cries out for urgently transforming the energy foundation of the planet, and massively bringing forward green sustainable energy—and doing so on the basis of moving toward ending all exploitation and oppression in the interest of humanity. The capitalist-imperialist system cannot do this—and it cannot be allowed to continue on its path to the destruction of much of living earth and its people.




Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Interview with Joey Johnson:

25 Years After Supreme Court Decision on Flag Burning

The American Flag Is Still “Toxic”

July 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors’ note: June 2014 was the 25th anniversary of Texas v. Johnson, the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined that burning the American flag in protest is a form of symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Gregory “Joey” Johnson was the defendant in the case. Revolution newspaper had a chance to talk to Joey.


Revolution: Joey, could you describe for our readers how the flag-burning case Texas v. Johnson came about, including for many younger readers who perhaps were not yet born when it happened?

Joey Johnson: It began in Dallas, Texas, in 1984 at the Republican National Convention when Ronald Reagan was being renominated for his second term. Reagan was the first president, after the end of the Vietnam War,  to vociferously, unapologetically, and crudely reassert “America #1!” And a whole expressed theme of that convention was America’s post-Vietnam “patriotic renewal” and “bringing back America prouder, stronger and greater.”

Attorney William Kunstler (right) and Joey Johnson (second from right) in front of U.S. Supreme Court during arguments presented in a historic legal and political battle to defend the right to burn the American flag. Photo: AP

Tens of millions in U.S. society had gotten disgusted with those values during the 1960s. A lot of great things happened in the 1960s, but we did not actually make revolution, we didn’t seize power from the capitalist-imperialist system. So over time that system worked to “rehabilitate” the public to its patriotic empire-saluting bullshit. And it was after Reagan’s military invasion into Grenada, overthrowing the government there, the U.S. backing for death-squad governments in El Salvador and Guatemala, and the backing of the Contra “freedom fighter” mercenaries massacring villagers in Nicaragua. And we are talking about hundreds of thousands of people murdered in these U.S.-backed wars.

So the Republican Convention had Dallas laid out like a modern Nazi rally, with American flags lining the streets and this theme of toxic American chauvinism. Some of us from around the country made the trek to Dallas—supporters of the RCP and a lot of different youth, some anarchists and a lot of other youth who just really hated Reagan. We went there to counter all this USA #1 shit and stand with the people of the world. By the way, we had also protested at the convention of the other imperialist party, the Democrats, earlier in the summer.

I just want to tell young Revolution readers that back then, as now, one of the biggest strengths of the RCP was internationalism—the whole world comes first—and that message was brought into the Dallas protests.

Our protest in Dallas was raucous and defiant, a “War Chest Tour” that marched by all these corporate headquarters where we agitated, exposing the links between these corporations and U.S. imperialism’s plunder in the Third World, its backing for Apartheid in South Africa, military contractors, what have you. And then we burned the American flag in front of the convention center. That was a real juxtaposition of red, white, and blue chauvinism and in defiance against that, our standing with the people of the world. And the police arrested about a hundred people. A few of us got heavier charges, including the flag-burning charge. A few months later I went on trial and was convicted and sentenced to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. I remember the prosecutor telling the jury they needed to load up on me, and make an example of me: If you come to Dallas and burn the flag, you’re going to pay.

They took me right to jail after the trial, but there were people outraged about my conviction as well, and they helped post an appeal bond. And we launched what turned into an almost five-year campaign to overturn my conviction. It started out as “Free Joey!” in Texas and there were some rallies and protests and a Statement of Outrage that was signed by a lot of folks from different walks of life. I remember the great musician Fela Kuti came through Texas and played a show in Austin and he signed the statement demanding the conviction be overturned!

Revolution: Could you talk about what happened when the case got to the U.S. Supreme Court?

Joey Johnson: Well, to begin with, just to be clear, I was not then, nor am I now, in awe of the U.S. Supreme Court. I believed then and now that the U.S. Supreme Court is a highly political body of the U.S. ruling class, where these supremacists of the U.S. ruling class sort out big political and business questions for the capitalist-imperialist system. That is why they can take the exact same issues of law and decide them one way at one point in time and another way at another point in time based fundamentally on the needs of the system, and this is true on everything from slavery to abortion to “free speech” cases. So anyway, my point is I did not ask to go to the Supreme Court, I was dragged there.

There is a whole other way society can be that is in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal), which is based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. And that constitution renounces wars for plunder and empire, and values and promotes dissent as part of the process of continually revolutionizing society and moving towards communism.

But this was a battle where some powerful forces in the U.S. ruling elite selected my case, in a situation where they could have just let it be. I had won my case in the Texas Court of Appeals, but instead they took the case, and we analyzed at the time that it was very likely that they wanted to reverse the Texas court decision. I had to expose how the State of Texas and the government more generally was violating its own proclamations about “freedom of speech” by suppressing and criminalizing speech, or what is called “symbolic speech,” that challenges all the patriotic indoctrination that everybody gets in this country.

So there was a whole legal battle and briefs that had to be prepared and I was very fortunate because the great 1960s radical attorney William Kunstler represented me along with the Center for Constitutional Rights. There is a documentary that has come out in recent years, William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe, that I really encourage people to see.

Revolution: So this was both a legal and a political battle?

Joey Johnson: Right. When you come under attack politically, you can’t just fight in the courtroom, you have to fight there, but even more importantly we have to go out into society and take to the masses of people what the stakes are and what the government is out to suppress.

And that is what the RCP struggled to do in Texas v. Johnson and it meant being all the way out there exposing the flag as a symbol of American imperialism, and the need for revolution to sweep this system away, and standing with the people of the world against this empire, and real communism as the way forward, and at the same time focusing things up on what the real dividing line of the case was: forced patriotism. That if the government was allowed to criminalize expressions of contempt for the flag it is a form of compulsory patriotism.

And actually the case and our work around it and other developments in society and the world set off a huge and polarizing debate in society. I recall at the beginning of the case, the author Salman Rushdie was given a fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini for committing “blasphemy” against Islam for his novel Satanic Verses. And the Texas statute I was prosecuted under was “desecration of a venerated object,” which treats the flag as a religious icon, so a lot of people made the observation that the government was trying to imprison me for blasphemy of the flag. Then very soon after that, Dread Scott, a revolutionary artist then in Chicago, did an incredible installation piece, “What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag?” that included an American flag on the floor that you could stand on as you wrote your comments about the flag. And this caused a huge controversy in Chicago, with reactionary veterans’ organizations marching on the museum where the exhibit was and threatening Dread. But also veterans who hated the government for the crimes it sent them to do in Vietnam and elsewhere were supporting us. And prisoners were writing moving statements of support. So it was important that we were out in society, speaking at rallies, and colleges and law schools, inner-city and suburban high schools, being interviewed on TV and talk radio shows. Things were going to another level.

Revolution: Then there was a whole range of civil liberty and civil rights organizations that got involved, right?

Joey Johnson: That’s right. The ACLU and others submitted what are called amicus briefs (legal briefs where they argued why the outcome of the case should come out in our favor) to the Supreme Court. And a number of very prominent artists—including Jasper Johns—also submitted an amicus brief that included full color plates of their art along with legal arguments that if the case was decided against me, then their art could also be prosecuted. So the whole debate was more societal and more two-sided.

Again, we were fighting in the legal arena and out in society. And then there were developments in the world too that I believe impacted on the debate going on, including the whole thing of the collapse of these phony communist regimes in Eastern Europe that was going on in 1989, as well as the Tiananmen Square massacre that happened in revisionist phony communist China in early June 1989, just a couple weeks before the decision in my case. And I think a situation developed where the ruling elite in this country was politically, and this is reflected in the legal opinions, in dilemma; how were they going to continue to promote “political dissidents” in those countries while they were attempting to jail one here?

You know, Bob Avakian emphasizes “hastening while awaiting” strategically in terms of revolution. I think this has applications to particular battles. Because you don’t know ahead of time how things are going to turn out. And you don’t know how much “favorable conditions can be created through struggle.”

On the day of the Supreme Court hearing we had a protest in front of the Supreme Court before and after the oral arguments. A whole wide range of folks spoke and we had all these posters that showed different places in the world, like Panama and Nicaragua and South Korea, Peru, Iran, the Philippines, Egypt, and on and on, where masses had burned the flag of the American empire to show their outrage with the latest coup or invasion committed by U.S. imperialism in their countries. And then that evening there was an intense debate with several hundred students at American University. I knew it was not just a legal case, we were representing for all those around the world oppressed by the empire that flag symbolizes.

Revolution: What was it like a few months later when you won the case?

Joey Johnson: It was pretty wild. It was definitely cause to celebrate that the government was not able to criminalize public expressions of contempt for their symbol. They had to back the fuck up from forced patriotism. However, powerful forces in the ruling elite didn’t accept the ruling, right up to then President George Bush, Sr., who called for a constitutional amendment to the First Amendment to ban flag burning, and then Congress tried for a new federal law, which we also defied, resulting in a whole second round in the Supreme Court with more defendants, including Dread Scott and a Vietnam veteran who defied the law.

Revolution: So what do you think now, 25 years later?

Joey Johnson: I think Texas v. Johnson was an important victory for the people. And because of that, it is one of those things the powers-that-be want the masses of people to have political amnesia about. It is inconvenient history. All they want people here and around the world to see is some wholesome (in reality toxic) red, white, and blue patriotism commercial. This imperialist system, this empire that the American flag represents, is horrible.

Look at all the countries the U.S. military has invaded, occupied, destabilized, organized coups in, you name it in just the last 25 years. It is a long list. And most recently in Iraq there is Obama’s and the media machine’s propaganda displacing responsibility for the horrific suffering in Iraq onto the Iraqi people themselves, saying “We’ve done so much for them” after this system upended the whole of Iraq, did multiple blitzkrieg invasions against it, shock and awe, tortured Iraqis in Abu Ghraib, did sanctions, you name it, more than a million Iraqis dead, and millions more injured and refugees. And again, more of the amnesia and training people to look at the world through “America first” chauvinistic lenses. Let alone what U.S. imperialism has done to other countries in the region and all the blood on the U.S.’s hands.

And meanwhile they are trying to train people in this country to be blind to all that. Or to be defensive, don’t open your mouth against all this or you are “hurting the troops.” So the empire is hiding behind the troops. So we need to be exposing that as well as challenging the troops about what they are being used for.

So we really do need to stand up against all this as an important part of fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution. Because really, aren’t people sick of looking at the world through the lens of “our national interests”? That is disgusting. It is archaic! Look at how interconnected and interdependent the world is today. And yet there is this capitalist narrow-mindedness. Well, the RCP says, “Stop thinking like an American, start thinking about humanity!” And really there are billions of people around the planet who hate U.S. imperialism, and there are tens of millions of people in this country who are ashamed of and in no way want to be associated with the outrages and crimes that the U.S. commits in the world, and there is the basis to win over tens of millions more people in this country to this stand! Because we really don’t have to live in the world as it is today. There really is a basis to live in a world where humanity and preserving the planet comes first.





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Background to a Humanitarian Crisis: U.S. Terror in Central America

June 16, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The U.S. has long been the dominant imperialist power in Central America. For centuries it has, through coups, invasions, military training of assassins, and other murderous means, maintained control over countries contemptuously referred to by some Americans as "banana republics." It has installed a series of puppets loyal to the U.S. as rulers. U.S. corporations have reaped obscene fortunes from brutal exploitation of the peasantry of Central America, while the people, especially the peasants, have lived in poverty.

During the 1980s, the U.S. directly and through its flunky governments waged and led genocidal campaigns in several Central American countries to quell rebellions influenced by its imperialist rival, the Soviet Union. It turned these countries into hellish cauldrons of blood. The butchers who led these murderous campaigns were hailed as "freedom fighters" and "champions of democracy" by U.S. leaders.

Revolution wrote last year that in three years of the rule of the U.S.-backed mass murderer Efraín Ríos Montt as President of Guatemala, "the Guatemalan army destroyed 626 villages, killed or 'disappeared' more than 200,000 people—mostly indigenous Mayan people—and displaced an additional 1.5 million people, about a fifth of the entire population. The Guatemalan government had a 'scorched earth' policy—destroying and burning buildings and crops, slaughtering livestock, fouling water supplies, and violating sacred places and cultural symbols." U.S. President Ronald Reagan described Ríos Montt as "a man of great personal integrity and commitment."

In the same time period, Honduras became a major focus and base of U.S. efforts to topple the Sandinista government in neighboring Nicaragua. The U.S. poured in money, military equipment, and "advisors," and helped the Honduran military set up base camps throughout the country. General Gustavo Alvarez Martínez, a graduate of the U.S. Army's School of the Americas, advocated what he and his American backers called the "Argentine approach" against their opponents—"disappearances" torture, death squads, genocidal rampages through villages and farmlands of the peasants.

Over two dozen Honduran Army officers were trained in these techniques on a U.S. military base. These officers, who continued to receive CIA direction when they returned to Honduras, became the core in the formation of the infamous "Battalion 316." Certain units of the battalion were put in charge of torture, others were responsible for abduction and kidnapping, still others disposed of the dead bodies. The U.S. consistently denied any responsibility. John Negroponte, U.S. ambassador to Honduras during the Reagan presidency, wrote in a 1982 magazine article, "It is simply untrue to state that death squads have made their appearance in Honduras." It was a complete and utter lie, and a cover up of mass murder.

The U.S. waged and backed a bloody, genocidal war in El Salvador during these same years. Based on training and instruction from their American "advisors," the Salvadoran military carried out a scorched earth policy against the peasantry. They carried out massacres and "disappearances" in the cities, especially of people suspected of being politically opposed to them. The U.S. sent tens of millions of dollars, heavily armed helicopters, Green Beret and CIA "advisors" to the Salvadoran military. In 1980 alone, almost 12,000 people were killed by U.S.-supported and trained death squads. In one particularly bloody massacre along the Sumpul River in May 1980, about 600 Mayan peasants, most of them women and children, were slaughtered by the U.S.-supported Salvadoran National Guard and a paramilitary group called Orden. During the 12 years of this onslaught, about one-fifth of the population of El Salvador was displaced, and at least 75,000 people were killed by the death squads.

More recently, in 2009 the Honduran government of Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a coup. Zelaya had aligned himself with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and other opponents of U.S. domination of Latin America. In the years following this coup, there have been hundreds of murders and disappearances of political opponents by Honduran security forces. The response of the Obama administration has been to ask Congress for an increase in financial support for the Honduran military. Both these developments received little or no coverage in the U.S. media.

The above examples only touch on and outline the deadly onslaught U.S. imperialism has inflicted upon people in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. The violence people of Central America are fleeing today, whatever its immediate source may be in any particular situation, has its ultimate source in the capitalist-imperialist system that has feasted on them for a century, and murdered them in the hundreds of thousands. It is the utmost hypocrisy for U.S. politicians and journalists to talk of the violence ripping at these countries, and to feign sympathy with its young victims, without addressing at all the economic, social, and political roots of the conditions ensnaring people, and without addressing the genocidal horrors committed and directed by the U.S. government.




Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Reports from the Revolution Club Summer Project, Los Angeles

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution Club Summer is a project in Los Angeles bringing revolutionary-minded youth from across the area to spend the summer living and running with each other, together with more experienced revolutionaries, to make big advances in building the movement for revolution—especially in oppressed areas and among the youth.

From Revolution Club, Los Angeles


Statement from a Youth in Revolution Summer:
Developing a Fighting Spirit

July 14, 2014

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Snapshots from the Revolution Club Summer Project, LA

July 14, 2014

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Correspondence: Revolution at the Warped Tour 2014

July 14, 2014

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Out to a Neighborhood Hit by Massive Police Raid

June 26, 2014

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Protesting Supreme Court Decision on Abortion/Birth Control
July 3 protest in LA against the Supreme Court decisions restricting access to birth control and safe access to abortions. This protest was called for nationwide by Stop Patriarchy and organized in L.A. by Stop Patriarchy and the Revolution Club on a busy street corner that borders an oppressed neighborhood and is also the location of organizations that provide access to birth control. It involved feminist students and others, and several people passing by from the neighborhood stopped to talk, many wanting to find out what this was all about, and some expressing their own anger about the decisions and the treatment of women overall.

Going Out to Summer Night Lights
Summer Night Lights is an anti-gang city program in LA where dozens of city parks stay open until 11 pm four nights a week during the summer. Along with food and music, in at least some neighborhoods there is a heavy police presence—to reinforce the authority and violence of the police in the neighborhoods while at the same time working to build up snitch networks. Revolution Club Summer went to one of these and did a "pig mask skit" with the youth—ridiculing the violent and vicious pigs, and popularizing blowing the whistle as a form of mass resistance to police brutality and harassment.

The BET Experience
The BET Experience "Free Fan Fest" at the end of June was a weekend of basketball games, shoe sales, concerts and more brought out thousands of Black people in LA including thousands of youth. The Revolution Club, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, and BA Everywhere Committee all went out to it to reach people in a big way—to raise money, build for the "What to the slave is your fourth of July?" picnic, and meet and involve new people in building the movement for revolution. Some of the young women and young men took up and put on the sticker "Women are not bitches or ho's or punching bags. Women are full human beings."

At the Crenshaw Mall
Street-corner protest at the Crenshaw Mall on June 26, the day after LAPD shot and killed a man who was hiding in a garage after police chased him with dogs from the Crenshaw Mall. Police say he tried to shoplift from a store and then started shooting when security tried to grab him—and the mall was on lockdown for several hours. Several youth, who are used to being harassed by security for just hanging out at the mall, stopped to join in the protest for a few minutes and find out about the movement for revolution.




Revolution #345 July 20, 2014


Revolution at the Warped Tour 2014

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Vans Warped Tour is a summer-long national music festival reaching out to youth, mainly from the suburbs, with punk, metal, and pop punk music. BA Everywhere was given the opportunity to travel with the tour doing a 10-day stretch covering 9 cities in the Southwest from Texas through California. This opportunity gave this movement for revolution a broad and diverse audience to reach out to daily. This isn’t a scene we get to mix it up with often, predominantly a white suburban crowd, so we jumped at the chance to get a feel of what this section of youth is confronting and to introduce them to BA and this movement for revolution.

I was able to have a number of conversations with people surrounding different injustices plaguing the world. From police murder, immigration, the oppression and enslavement of half of humanity, and the danger and devastation to the environment caused by the global system of capitalism. And most importantly driving home the need to make revolution and all that means: “Prepare the ground, prepare the people, and prepare the vanguard—get ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.”

There was plenty of curiosity with the booth, the only one of its kind really at every stop. There was no other booth/organization putting the blame on the system, not surprisingly instead putting forward personal responsibility and religious morality. Youth along the tour saw the booth as their own, their “home” confronting and challenging all the demeaning and demoralizing shit on the tour from the America # 1 to the awful depictions and descriptions of women everywhere. The booth planted a pole attracting youth who wanted to get things done, yes it was a “positive” and radical message but I was also out to organize youth.

Flag waving was found all along the tour, particularly in Texas where at one point a few young men took up the chant “U.S.A” in front of the booth trying to involve others as they elicited “high fives.” Many had a hard time getting beyond the word abortion, people when confronted with the slogan “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology” thought it was anti-abortion, some immediately telling stories about the awful things they have heard or one father giving a $20 donation for his daughter coming back once having read a portion of a flier realizing we were for abortion.

Highlighting the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride while in Texas was a powerful statement—many young women came and thanked me for what I was doing, asking how they could get involved. For those who have seen the images across their screen at from SPP in Houston I can tell you there were many more smiles and anger with what was going on. There was a lot of back and forth with youth about the oppression of women. One sign that I had at the booth that helped combat a lot of the bullshit around women was the slogan Women Are Not Bitches or Ho’s or Punching Bags. Women Are Full Human Beings! This attracted people who wanted to see something different. Several times I had women tell me or scream out “feminism.” This gave me the opportunity to dig in to the great contribution from the party, A Declaration: On the liberation of Women and the Emancipation of All Humanity. While not enough of this issue got out, there were several discussions and struggles that got carried out around the false notions of freedom among women that the issue takes on. I want to quickly highlight Dallas here. I was told not to expect too much from Dallas—“too pretentious” someone told me, it turned out to be the best spot while in Texas. I got into several deep conversations with women and men about the state of things and particularly on the question of strategy. Outspoken backward people only attracted more people to check out the booth. One incident I recall was of a man who took a close look at what was on display. Walking away he came back in disbelief and asked how could we have a button like stop thinking like Americans start thinking about humanity next to abortion on demand and without apology, “how could you be for humanity when you are for killing babies?” He walked off and told (screamed at) others who he thought would support him. One was a young woman who later came by having heard the rant, asking how she could contribute to this. She gave $10 and gave us a way to reach her. One of the activities that I encouraged youth to take up who wanted to volunteer was to get online and print out the centerfolds and slogans that are available at They offered to take these print outs and post them at record stores and street corners. Dallas was also where I got most of the donations from Texas.

I was out with the whole ensemble of revolution, particularly highlighting BAsics, the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live DVD and Revolution newspaper as what youth need to immediately check out. People were attracted to the centerfolds on display and the enlarged quotes from BAsics. One thing I wanted to highlight was the use of the text e-sub which can be found on the sub form in Revolution newspaper and in a downloadable palmcard that includes the QR code. I popularized the number 22828 with revcom as a quick and easy way they could subscribe. This is something that should be popularized which could be further highlighted at booths and at protests. I used the small pocket-size palm card available at to promote the New Year's message and the website. More than a thousand were distributed on this leg of the tour.

While there isn’t a 24/7 presence of revolution on the tour now there are stops coming up in the midwest, east coast, and south which there will be tables at. Volunteers could be used to spread the world in and outside the venues where these concerts are taking place. Youth love to arrive early, so hitting up the lines with stickers and a donation can is a great way to spread the word and raise funds. So contact your nearest Revolution Books and find out how you could help.

I also wanted to encourage those who will be reaching out to the youth at the remaining Warped tour dates to promote From Ike to Mao and Beyond, BA’s memoir. Thinking more about the youth I meet along the way I thought about this book and its three interwoven stories. Youth would be challenged and can get a lot out of this book. Two things that stand out after thinking about the conversations I had is its detail and summation of the '60s and the importance individuals can make when the people of the world are put first. This of course is not a summation of the book but two points of a rich text that can inspire a new generation of revolutionaries. I highlight these two because youth have no idea of what kind of society it was that people rebelled against and they don’t know about the transformation that took place with one of those youth in particular who has dedicated the better part of his life to the emancipation of humanity. Quote 5:23 in BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian would be my recommendation to do just that.





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Statement from a Youth in Revolution Summer:

Developing a Fighting Spirit

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


This statement was made at the anti-July 4 picnic in South Central LA:

I'm a part of revolution summer, which is a six-week program where youth from all over Southern California join with more experienced revolutionaries to fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution. I came into this program knowing it would be a better experience than sitting around and watching TV all summer and knowing that I would meet lots of like-minded individuals. I was excited, but I never imagined that after just two-and-a-half weeks I would develop such a fighting spirit. I didn't know how liberating it would be to lead protests against raids, the detention of the Central American children, and the Supreme Court decisions that embody the ongoing war against women—to scream to the world in the form of a chant that this shit is NOT OK! I didn't know I would meet so many people while out canvassing who feel so sad and have such raw anger about the situations they're in, but who don't fully understand what's going on. Now, after two-and-a-half weeks in this program, I don't want to go back to my normal, monotonous life because I know humanity needs me; because now I understand the importance of carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders; because if I don't, who will? If WE don't, who will? These people with their raw anger need to be introduced to BA and to the movement for revolution. They need to realize their voice and their actions can make a difference in bringing about a better world. So, after two-and-a-half weeks (and I still have a couple weeks to go) I am SO glad that I got to introduce the people to this movement.





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Snapshots from the Revolution Club Summer Project, LA

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From Revolution Club, LA

Leading with BA Everywhere (what difference it makes)—the major fundraising campaign to project the vision and framework of Bob Avakian everywhere—to have the new synthesis be a contending pole throughout society.

Our work has mostly focused in the neighborhoods of the oppressed (Black and Latino). When we’ve canvassed (door to door knocking) we’ve try to introduce BA (through BAsics, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, Revolution newspaper, etc.) to frame our overall discussion. We went in with the thinking that BAsics 3:16 would be an important quote to read to people because it’s currently framing the 1000 years—$1,000 campaign. We spoke to a young Black woman (late 20s/early 30s) whose friends were recently killed because of a beef from a rival gang. She said she’d been sitting on the steps (of her apartment) thinking, why do people do these things to each other?

We walked through BAsics 3:16 and her immediate reaction was: “Wow, this is deep.” The quote framed her pain (and frustration); we spent some time on this part of the quote “...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...” She was not familiar with the term “imperialists.” I briefly talked about the war in Iraq and this was something she was familiar with; but also it strengthens her ability to understand the rest of the quote. At a certain point she broke into tears and I asked her why—she said everything we’re talking about is so real that it just has her thinking about a lot of things.

We talked about the 1000 years—$1,000 campaign and tried to illustrate the difference raising BIG funds could make. Not surprisingly, without much thought, she was able to accumulate 350 years (50 people for an average of 7 years incarcerated). We returned to BAsics 3:16 to speak to the challenge at the end “...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...” And, asked if raising the 350 years was something she could take responsibility for. She thought about it for a second, and started making a list of all the people she could reach out to. She took a stack of fliers and we set a deadline of bringing the funds raised to the anti-4th of July picnic in the neighborhood. There is more work to make this real, but something she was serious about pursuing.

And there’s the potential to multiply these experiences. While I think we’ve done a lot of work in introducing people to BA (through BAsics, REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and Revolution newspaper), I think there’s a shortcoming in fundraising for BA Everywhere. I think there’s a lot of appreciation for BA’s leadership. But what we’re working on is raising BIG funds to introduce millions to the leadership we have. Otherwise, we are not preparing the ground, preparing the people, preparing the vanguard—for a time when millions can go all-out, with a real chance of winning.

BAsics 5:20

The Vans Warped Tour invites a number of non-profits to table at their concerts, including Revolution Books. This year some of the booths include organizations that aim to prevent teen suicide, or help young women to stop cutting themselves, to several church groups (including KONY 2012). I think a lot about our work in the suburbs and I constantly find myself returning to BAsics 5:20 or the section its drawn from in Birds Cannot Give Birth to Crocodiles, But Humanity Can Soar Beyond the Horizon.

Stepping into the Vans Warped Tour, I was alive with wanting to engage the youth. The Vans Warped Tour is a major summer festival that attracts mostly high school students. They’ve always been known for punk music but lately, given the lack of mainstream punk, there’s more metal and pop-punk; even though throughout the campground you still see people representing for Bad Religion, the Dead Kennedys, Misfits, etc.

We held a large display that read “Women Are Not Bitches, Ho’s, or Punching Bags. Women Are Full Human Beings.” We were an immediate pole and a lot of young women energetically and enthusiastically stopped to talk, take pictures, grab stickers, or check out our booth. Some self-identified as feminist, others were glad something was being said about the oppression of women, and many wanted to represent a different alternative to the existing conditions. At one point, a group of young women came to our booth to ask if we were the ones with the awesome sticker. Some were enraged in regards to the Santa Barbara mass killing and grabbed information to take back to their friends (Revolution newspapers, stickers, and fliers).

For many this was the first time they’ve encountered anything revolutionary. We had a couple of people say “I’ve found my booth” or “I’m all about this.” For those who were a bit more politicized there were questions in regards to “corporations” or “improving capitalism” or the “EZLN model (of revolution)”. It was very difficult to have very meaningful engagements because our booth was right next to a very loud stage. I found myself pointing to displays with quotes from BAsics and Revolution newspaper; or handing people BAsics to check out particular quotes that spoke to their question.

This was a very important opportunity to reach out to a particular section of youth and more needs to be done. There is the ongoing need of people following and getting into the works of Bob Avakian. And we have to find the ways for people to politically sustain themselves that counters the relativism and parasitism; as part of building the overall movement for revolution and the Revolutionary Communist Party.





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Report from Revolution Club Summer in Los Angeles

Out to a Neighborhood Hit by Massive Police Raid

June 26, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From Revolution Club, Los Angeles

Revolution Club Summer is a project in Los Angeles bringing revolutionary-minded youth from across the area to spend the summer living and running with each other, together with more experienced revolutionaries, to make big advances in building the movement for revolution—especially in oppressed areas and among the youth. On our first day, an invading army of 1,300 LAPD and FBI pigs carried out a massive raid in South Central, busting into homes, sticking high-powered rifles in people’s faces, forcing elderly women out into the street in their bedclothes, and arresting Black men young and old. They arrested at least 50 people, devastating a whole community whose fathers and sons, dear friends and lovers were snatched away in an instant.

We headed out to one of the neighborhoods of the raid, with the understanding that was in the recent editorial, “We cannot build a revolutionary movement off to the side of what is going on in society—that just won’t cut it. Revolutions are built by going into the heart of the most intense contradictions in society, leading people to stand up and politically battle back against that... putting that resistance in the context of a way and a strategy to change the whole world through revolution... and leading people to change themselves as they change the world.” (“Summer 2014: Making Advances...Toward Revolution”)

Under this system of capitalism, so many in this society and so much of humanity are forced to endure great hardship and suffering, exploitation, injustice and brutality, while wars and the ongoing destruction of the natural environment threaten the very future of humanity. This short statement outlines the strategy for revolution—the first step to end this horror.
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One man whose friend was arrested in the raid told us his own story of having his life ripped apart by an arbitrary arrest just a few years ago. He spoke bitterly about how he was stopped by the police in front of a friend’s house, told to get on the ground, and when he didn’t comply, was beaten to the ground and arrested. While he was in handcuffs, the police kept saying “stop resisting.” He was charged with six felonies and couldn’t believe the judge didn’t throw it all out instantly. He hired a lawyer and still had to plea to one charge—the lawyer told him, if you go in front of a jury they will assume you’re guilty, a Black man in South Central who the police are saying did all these things. Because of all this, he lost his job and his family, and after a couple months in jail is still now on probation. He repeated this story over and over again during the discussion, while his friends nodded and added in details. But that isn’t all. The same cop driving down the block another day stopped and called him over to ask a standard question they use to fuck with people, “are you on probation?” To which he answered bitterly, “You know I’m on probation, you put me there.” The cop threatened to arrest him again.

As he was telling this story, he was also making the point that there’s nothing we can do about what is being done. He said his refusal to get down on the ground was an attempt to not just accept what the police do, but look what happened. He said when he went to jail and told people there what had happened, they asked him, was it worth it? And the fact that the same police hold out the possibility of sending him back to jail at any time is only further illustration that you have no choice but to accept it. His friend standing next to him said, with a lot of emotion, “We want to say, ‘We are human. We have rights,’ but we can’t even do that.”

The two were part of a larger group of Black men of varying ages we talked deeply with, about their life experiences and about revolution. It was wide-ranging and with a lot of struggle, including over identity politics and the oppression of women, and especially in relation to the need and possibility of revolution and getting into BA. A big part of the struggle was about whether there is anything we can do to politically fight back against what is happening to people and whether the revolution that’s needed could really be possible. It was an exchange where we all had an important impact on each other.

One member of the Revolution Club Summer summed up, “These people live in the midst of the oppression we are standing up against. They realize the system is ineffective, but they feel voiceless. One of the men we spoke to resorted to the same response no matter how many points we tried to make: ‘We’ve been fighting... it’s impossible... there’s nothing we can do.’ It’s no wonder they feel this way. They all look for justice in a system which, as one young man we spoke to said, ‘uses justice to mask brutality.’ This is why BA’s works need to be spread around urgently—to show people that the real problem is the system as a whole and the real solution is revolution.”

Since then, we’ve kept returning to the neighborhood most affected by the raids even while we’ve been out canvassing in another neighborhood with a focus on BA Everywhere as well as joining a Revolution Books discussion of BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less!, and jumping into a Stop Mass Incarceration Network demonstration at the federal detention center to resist the inhumane detentions, criminalization, and threats of deportation of the thousands of Central American children being rounded up in Texas.

We decided to do a street-corner protest on Saturday afternoon, even though it wasn’t clear whether anyone we’d talked with was convinced it would be worth it to come out to it. A woman we talked with, whose home was one of those raided, said she was too angry to come. We tried to draw out what she meant by that and told her the point is not for people to calm down, that her anger is righteous. She said they don’t give a fuck what we do, and we told her that we are not trying to convince those in power to listen, we are exposing their whole thing as illegitimate as part of how we transform people’s thinking, build up our resistance, and have all this be part of building a movement for revolution to get rid of this system and bring into being a whole new world. She said she couldn’t do it, the hurt was too raw.

Nobody we’d met previously came out to be part of it, but being at that intersection with signs demanding a stop to the raids, the slogan “We Refuse to Accept Slavery in Any Form,” and centerfolds from Revolution newspaper, drew people forward in very important ways. A woman who had just minutes earlier been stopped by the police and almost arrested for drinking a beer outside broke down crying as she talked about how people there are treated by the police. Most people passing in cars just looked or checked it out, but several honked their horns, and some had clearly emotional responses—one car with several Black youth pulled across lanes of traffic to stop and connect, in another a man leaned halfway out of the window to shout out, “I’m with you!” An older woman walked up asking for materials and wanting to know how she could take part. She suggested a petition that she and others could pass through the neighborhood to present when the men go to court.

We think the woman’s suggestion is important, and overall we are working to organize people we’re meeting into the revolution, getting into the strategy for revolution and enabling people to see how they can act to have societal impact now as part of fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution. The concrete ways in which we are working on this and working to involve the masses include: building the October Month of Resistance to mass incarceration, popularizing the People’s Neighborhood Patrols, distributing whistles as a form of organized mass resistance to police brutality, introducing people to the work of BA and getting into the BA Everywhere fundraising campaign including building the anti-4th of July picnic, and selling and popularizing Revolution newspaper and





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Santa Rosa, California:

Andy Lopez Killer Set Free—People Stand Firm Fighting Injustice!

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

On October 22 last year, in an open field where children play in Santa Rosa, CA, trigger-happy cop Erick Gelhaus shot seven times in 11 seconds and killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez, while the boy was walking with a toy gun. In the following days and months, hundreds of youth from middle and high schools poured out into the streets in protest along with others who supported them and hate police brutality, drawing nationwide attention to this horrific murder of the young Latino boy by an Iraq war veteran cop; and demanding the indictment for murder and immediate firing of Gelhaus.

The District Attorney, Jill Ravitch, dragged her feet for almost nine months in a very obvious attempt to let things die down, before finally announcing the decision on July 7 to drop all charges on Gelhaus. In her 100-page report of bullshit “justification” for the killer cop, there is additional “blame” attributed to Andy for having marijuana in his system, as if this is justification for murdering him. After the DA issued her decision in a hastily called press conference, a rally was quickly assembled by Friends of Andy Lopez, neighbors and local activists, including Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez. Almost 100 people gathered in the Latino Roseland section of the city, and a number of them marched a few miles to the spot where Andy was killed. Along the route, there was much vocal support from the neighbors, while the cops strategically placed themselves out of sight. At Andy’s Park, a makeshift press conference took place.

Image of Andy Lopez carried by protesters in Santa Rosa, Calif. Lopez was shot and killed by a Sonoma County deputy who mistook an airsoft type gun Lopez was carrying for an assault rifle. Oct. 2013. Photo: AP

The mother of one of Andy’s childhood friends said, “[Jill Ravitch] is giving permission to the deputies to kill our children and kill us—people in the community—and get a paid vacation and no repercussions.” A lawyer for the family spoke for the parents saying, “It’s as if Andy were killed all over again.” And one of the kids added “we’re living in terror.” A leaflet from the RCP, which was read and distributed widely, read in part, “They want everyone to get the message: the police are never to blame, the people are always to blame. If you are Black, Mexican, young, or anybody the police feel is out of their place, it could happen to you, it could happen to anyone, anytime, at the slightest excuse or no excuse at all.” The leaflet continues, “We don’t need to calm down. We don’t need conciliators. We do NOT need more cops. We DO need to rise up against injustice! Andy’s murderer must be put on trial! We demand justice for Andy Lopez!”

On the following day, July 8, friends of Andy Lopez held a rally at the district attorney’s office, an event not only attended by youth and activists from Santa Rosa, but also youths from Stockton in the Central Valley of California who were involved in the fight against police murder there. In contrast to previous rallies where the police confronted the people with a line of heavily armed SWAT cops, this time the cops kept a low profile, in an attempt to avoid open confrontations. As some youth shouted on their bullhorns through the office doors, other youth decorated the complex with chalking (“Fuck the Police” “We are all Andy Lopez, the whole damn system is guilty,” etc.). In a cowardly act a few hours after the rally ended, at another location a cop confronted 3 of the teenage girls, which resulted in them being handcuffed and bruised before being let go to be checked out at a hospital. People hearing about this enraged many in the community, who are looking into following up on this.

A third rally is being called for the weekend and being built widely to attract outside communities. The day of the decision to let the cop go was covered very widely by mainstream media in the entire San Francisco Bay Area; and especially in the Spanish media. And this is coming in the wake of attacks on immigrant people in Murrieta, Latino people in Salinas, and elsewhere! The situation is urgent that people do stand up, remain firm, intensify the struggle and turn this around! Justice for Andy Lopez!





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Join Sunsara Taylor, Sikivu Hutchinson, Rev. Donna Schaper, Merle Hoffman, Diane Derzis, & Carol Downer in signing the statement


July 7, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


This call was initiated by Sunsara Taylor, Sikivu Hutchinson, Rev. Donna Schaper, Merle Hoffman, Diane Derzis, and Carol Downer. Click here to sign the statement and donate to see it published in newspapers in Texas.


If nothing changes, on September 1st all but six abortion clinics in Texas will be closed (there were 46 in 2011).

Women will begin dying from dangerous illegal abortions. Others will be imprisoned for self-inducing abortions. Thousands more will have their lives foreclosed by being forced to bear children they do not want – shattering their dreams, trapping them in abusive relationships, and/or driving them into humiliating and dangerous poverty. Rural, poor, immigrant, and women of color will be hardest hit.

Worse, this emergency in Texas is not an isolated problem.

Hundreds of abortion restrictions have been enacted in recent years. Six states have only one abortion clinic left. Eight abortion doctors and staff have been murdered. Countless women have been shamed and humiliated.

Those driving this attack on women's most fundamental rights are deadly serious. They will not stop until all abortions have been criminalized for all women in all circumstances.

THIS MUST NOT BE ALLOWED! Forcing women to have children against their will is a form of enslavement.

Courageous people are doing important work to keep abortion available. At the same time, it must be confronted soberly: much more is needed.

What happens this summer in Texas will affect women everywhere. It is the responsibility of everyone who does not want to see women forced to have children against their will to stand up and fight. Not some time in the future, but now.

This is a time for courage. For people to defy fear, to shatter silence, and to break their isolation. To refuse to wait for politicians or courts to make our will known. To raise our voices and fill the streets, to make art and wage protest, to defend doctors and assist women, to change hearts and enlighten minds. To engage in acts of militant non-violent direct action. To call forth thousands and soon millions until we have STOPPED these attacks and DEFEATED this war on women.

We reject the view that a woman's highest purpose is to bear children. Women are full human beings with the moral, ethical and legal right to decide when and whether to be mothers.

NO MORE women denied the right to dream, the right to live full lives, the right to love, the right to decide for themselves. WE WILL RESIST!

This statement was initiated by: 

Diane Derzis, owner, Jackson Women's Health Organization (last abortion clinic in Mississippi)

Carol Downer, founder of Feminist Women's Health Centers which began doing abortions in Los Angeles in 1971

Merle Hoffman, CEO Choices Medical Center which began doing abortions in New York City in 1972

Sikivu Hutchinson, author, Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars

Rev. Donna Schaper, Senior Minister Judson Memorial Church

Sunsara Taylor, writer, Revolution; initiator, End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women

Click here to sign the statement and donate to see it published in newspapers in Texas.





Revolution #345 July 20, 2014

Background to the Plane Crash in Ukraine

July 18, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


For months there's been an escalating battle in Ukraine between one faction of the Ukrainian capitalist ruling class and their imperialist backers, the U.S. and the European Union, on one side, and the Russian imperialists and their Ukrainian allies on the other. Now, in the aftermath of the crash of the Malaysian jet, each side is blaming the other for this horrible loss of life, which includes the deaths of world-renowned AIDS researchers. Each side has been systemically lying about the nature of their battle over Ukraine. So in the aftermath of the crash it's very important for people not to jump to quick conclusions based on the claims of proven liars and mass murderers on either side, but to understand things in terms of the class forces behind these events and where the interests of the people lie.

Follow, and spread the coverage and analysis at and send people to to be able to understand and act in the current situation:

* Ukraine: Not a "Democratic Uprising" but a Clash Between Predators

* Ukraine: Intensifying Dangers, Dangerous Lies

* Ukraine: A Clash of Predatory Powers