Revolution #358, October 20, 2014 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #358 October 20, 2014


October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


For everyone who sees and is sickened by the epidemic of police terror and mass incarceration, or can be won to see and oppose it, and wants it to stop—October 22 IS THE DAY TO ACT.

Police kill someone almost everyday in the USA! This past August, Michael Brown was gunned down by police in Ferguson, Missouri, and people's refusal to accept these outrages reached a new level of courage and defiance and jolted millions across the country. There's a growing wave of resistance to police murder, mass incarceration, and the whole genocidal program driving them. Thousands turned out for Ferguson October (October 10-13). Campuses are beginning to come alive with actions and teach-ins. Clergy have raised their voices. Artistic expressions against police terror have mushroomed—in poetry, videos, tweets, books, magazines, artwork, and music. And many individuals and organizations have taken up the call for the October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.

Let's bring all this together for a massive outpouring on October 22!

In these last few days, reach and challenge all whose sights were raised by Ferguson—be there on October 22!

Reach and reinforce the cores of activists who have come forward in the high schools, mass distribute stickers and whistles, and forge and cohere new, committed cores—right on the spot around "All out for October 22!"

Reconnect with, call forth, inspire, and organize all who've come to strategizing meetings, signed the Call for the October Month of Resistance, or thrown in, in any kind of way, during this month of struggle and ferment, to be there on October 22 and to bring others with them.

Even in these last few days, reach out to Black student organizations and students active around Palestine, the environment, gender oppression, and other burning questions about October 22 and why they need to be there...

In these next few days, we must make known to people that October 22 is a way for them to express their feelings with focus and determination... to walk out of school, take off work, bring their defiance and righteous demand for justice into the streets for all to see, and be part of making October 22 a giant STOP sign right in the face of all society, declaring MASS INCARCERATION, POLICE TERROR, REPRESSION AND THE CRIMINALIZATION OF A GENERATION MUST BE STOPPED!

We're aiming to change the political terrain—the ways that thousands upon thousands see, think, and act in relation to the rulers' immoral, illegitimate, intolerable genocidal program of mass incarceration.

If, over the next three days, we pull out all the stops to do all this and bring people together for powerful demonstrations in the streets...

Then October 22 will be what it urgently needs to be.




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

Carl Dix:

"All Out for October 22... It's up to us to stop these horrors"

October 18, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution/ The October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation is coming up in a few days, this coming Wednesday. It feels like it's going to be—and has to be—more powerful and impactful than ever. What do people need to understand and do leading up to the day?

Carl Dix in Ferguson

Carl Dix: What we need to get is where we are and what's happening as we approach this 19th annual October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. The thing is, this is a time when there is growing resistance to the horrors of police murder, mass incarceration, the torture in prisons, and treating youth as criminals all across the country. Ferguson October—October 10-13—concentrated this. It brought together people from all across the county who are seeing these horrors and want to stand up and say No More! to police murder and all these outrages, and to stop them.

At the same time these horrors are intensifying. On October 8, as people were taking part in the Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation and preparing to go forward to October 22, police in St. Louis gunned down another Black youth, Vonderitt Myers. Again, this is no isolated incident. Police murders are happening all over the country on more than a daily basis. And then there's the torture in prisons across the country that's being exposed—from Rikers Island in New York City, to guards in Florida brutalizing and killing prisoners, to the ongoing torture of solitary confinement and denial of medical care that's going on in California. And there's the ongoing, everyday criminalization and vilification of the youth in order to justify these horrors.

These horrors are built into the fabric of U.S. society, and it's gonna take revolution to end them and all the other horrors this system enforces on people here and around the world, once and for all. And right now, there is a crying need for everybody who sees these horrors for what they are to throw in and bring about a major leap in the level of resistance to them, a leap there is very real potential to make. This is about changing the way millions of people look at, think about, and act—to the point they see these outrages as illegitimate, immoral, and intolerable—and that they're not going to tolerate them any longer! And that kind of transformation of thinking and acting is going to be part of preparing for and bringing closer the day when we can make revolution, defeat and dismantle the murderous, repressive forces of this system, and end these outrages.


Rising Resistance... But a Real Leap Needed

Revolution/ So things are changing, there's real potential, but the level of resistance that exists now still isn't what it needs to be?

Carl Dix: Yes, that's right. It's very good that people are fighting, that they're responding when police murder somebody. But it can't be left as individual, separate, city-by-city fights for justice every time someone is gunned down. Or leaving it at sympathy and support between these different battles. It has to become a nationwide movement that is bringing people together to stand up and say No More! to these horrors, a movement that's putting up a huge STOP sign right in the face of U.S. society. A movement that's letting all those who know this is happening and refuse to continue suffering, or refuse to stand by in silence, letting them know there's a movement they can be a part of.

This is a movement that would impact those who had been unaware of these outrages, a movement that would help open their eyes to them, and to the fact that tens of thousands are taking them on and forging a movement that those newly awakened to all that can join in.

What has to come through in action on October 22 is the spirit of No More! That police murder and brutality, repression, and the criminalization of a generation are illegitimate, immoral, and unacceptable, and that we're acting to stop them in the way the defiant youth in Ferguson poured into the streets demanding Justice for Michael Brown and withstood everything the authorities threw at them.

What has to come through on October 22 is the way youth in different parts of the country are beginning to take up the whistle and blowing whistles on cops who are brutalizing and harassing people. This has got to be the spirit of October 22 and the spirit that fights through the attempts to suppress resistance and divert it off into harmless channels—like the attempt of the authorities in New York City to deny the October 22 protest permits to march into Times Square.

Permit Battle in New York City

Revolution/ That sounds like a very important battle right now.

Carl Dix: It's very important. O22 in New York City is going to be a day of no business as usual—don't go to work, walk out of high school, be in Union Square at 1:00 pm to gather and march to Times Square, where, before the eyes of the world, we're going to declare:

No more to police murder!

No more to police terror!

No more to treating our youth as criminals!

And this will reverberate nationally and globally.

Right now the authorities are saying: '"Uh, uh. You can't come into Times Square. You can come close, but you can't come into Times Square."

This is saying, in essence: "We will choke Eric Garner to death. Our cops will gun down Ramarley Graham, Sean Bell, Malcolm Ferguson, Anthony Baez, Amadou Diallo. And many, many more people. We will brutalize you with impunity. And then we'll tell you whether you can protest, when you can protest, where you can protest, and how you can protest against us having done all that."

This message is unacceptable! And we have to throw it back in their faces.

Those exact terms are being taken up and spread broadly among everybody who's not only active around justice but concerned about justice. They're being called on to step into this battle and deluge the NYPD and City Hall with opposition to their stand on October 22, and to demand that the October 22 Coalition be granted a full permit to march to Times Square! And lawyers are being called on to take this into court.

Everybody needs to be part of rejecting the NYPD's outrageous and unacceptable message—"we can kill with impunity and then tell people—you can't speak out or resist." Tweet at or write to or call the NYPD and the mayor's office and demand the permit to march into Times Square be granted. And people need to be getting ready to take to the streets on this coming Wednesday, October 22, because we're going to win this permit fight, we're going to be in the streets that day and everybody needs to be there.

So if you watched that video of the police choking Eric Garner to death and it hit you like a punch in the gut....and if you heard about the murder of Michael Brown and it hit you like "oh no, not again," then we have to actually stand up and act to make it so that this no longer happens. All out for October 22—here in New York City and all over the country! That's a crucial part of doing that.

From Now till October 22—What Should People Do?

Revolution/ Between now and October 22, what should people be doing? How should they be organizing folks to turn out?

Carl Dix: There are several things. One—spread the word. Go to and, and people will find materials they can download, reproduce, and spread, including links to articles, videos and audio recordings that speak to why people need to be out on October 22 and what difference it will make. So these need to be spread. They'll also find things like "Gather," the poem Alice Walker wrote to me and Cornel West, the video of Chuck D taking the Pledge of Resistance, and messages from relatives who have lost loved ones to police brutality. All these should be spread everywhere.

Second, people also need to contribute money. Freedom ain't free, and fighting for freedom ain't free. So far it's cost us several tens of thousands of dollars to go to hot spots like Ferguson, to print materials, and to buy and spread whistles for the "Blow the Whistle" campaign—among many other things. And we have to raise a lot more money. So people should go to the indiegogo crowd funding effort that the Stop Mass Incarceration Network has launched.

Third, get your friends, the people you go to school with, your neighbors, and everyone else you know—get your whistles, make your signs, pull your contingents together, and hit the streets on O22. If you're not sure if anything is happening in your area, go to the October 22 Points of Assembly page and find out where to hook up and join in. If nothing is happening where you are, then plan something and do it. And when you do it—take pictures, take video, write up your stories, and email them to the to because we want everyone to see what's happening across the country, and that there are tens of thousands acting to stop these horrors.

What Will The Day After Look Like?

Revolution/ What do you think the world will look like on October 23, the day after October 22?

Carl Dix: What the world needs to look like on October 23 is that millions of people will have seen that there were tens of thousands of people who are committed to stopping the horrors of police terror, mass incarceration, and the criminalization and demonization of Black and Latino/a youth. They will have been impacted by the actions of the previous day, and they will be moved by having their eyes further opened to not only the horrors, but that there's a growing movement acting to stop it. That movement will have gotten more of a sense of itself—a movement that brings together those under the gun most directly, along with those who might not be directly facing this kind of direct and everyday brutality, but who find it intolerable. There will be a growing sense that we can work together to change the situation around these outrages. It's not going to be—"well, these abuses are just going to keep happening so all we can do is try and get a little justice." No, the tone is going to be that it's up to us to stop these horrors and that we really can stop them.

And the activities of October 22 will not only be a leap in resistance, but a leap to a growing, much bigger, and more unified movement that then serves as a springboard to go even further. That begins to bring into being the movement of millions that's needed to carry forward the fight to stop police murder and terror, to stop mass incarceration, to stop prison torture, and to stop the criminalization of millions of Black and Latino/a youth, and to put us in the strongest position to be able to get rid of the system that creates all these horrors, and to replace it with something much, much better.




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

An Open Letter in Defense of the Revolutionary Communist Party

October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


October 12, 2014

‘‘Not the least formidable of the obstacles blocking the path to Freedom is the anti-Communist hysteria in our country which is deliberately kept alive by the defenders of the status-quo as a barrier to rational thinking on important social questions’’

Jack O’Dell, 12 July 1963; Martin Luther King, Jr. advisor

"The FBI and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."


Dear Sisters, Brothers, Colleagues, Comrades,

From Ferguson and the Mike Brown rallies, I’m wondering why so much time and money is spent on attempting to quash criticism of capitalism? Put the kibosh on folks who challenge us to think for ourselves and do something about the mayhem that is the capitalist world in which we live? Even more importantly, as Malcolm X warned, how we get tricked into seeing the perpetrator as the victim and the victim as the perpetrator--intentionally or mistakenly--from government stamps and coins to religious tracts, think about it!!!

In 1996, Carl Dix of the RCP co-founded the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation at a time when few recognized the national epidemic of police murder. It is currently in its 19th year and is to be a high point of Ferguson October, 2014 (October 10-13). At a Center for Constitutional Rights emergency march on Washington against police brutality, it was the Stolen Lives Project banner, listing more than one thousand names of victims of police murder, the first effort to document and combat deaths at the hands of law enforcement that drew me to the selfless workers and victimized families. In 2002, when others were scrambling for a response to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the RCP launched “Not in Our Name” (NION), and brought out more than 100,000 people across the country to “Pledge Resistance” to the U.S. War on the World. A campaign that attacked what Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “Triple Evils,” racism, materialism, and war.

As Martin Luther King. Jr. noted in his historic 1967 Riverside Church speech, “Time to Break Silence,” “Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency ask the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But, conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.” (

Today, we say stop red baiting... get on with stopping mass incarceration, police terror, repression and the criminalization a generation. Don’t be distracted by the bullshit. We salute the RCP for its consistent, far-sighted, courageous leadership and urge all to join the much needed NATIONAL MONTH OF RESISTANCE TO MASS INCARCERATION, POLICE TERROR, REPRESSION AND THE CRIMINALIZATION OF A GENERATION, on OCTOBER 22ND NO SCHOOL! NO WORK! NO MORE! WEAR BLACK, BLACK LIVES MATTER!

In struggle,


Efia Nwangaza, Member

National Stop Mass Incarceration Network Steering Committee

Founder and Director

Malcolm X Center / WMXP – 95.5fm Community Radio




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014


by Alan Goodman | October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The current Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed between 10,000 and 20,000 people in the countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Beyond that, hundreds of thousands have been thrown into a nightmare of the loss of loved ones, round-ups, repression, the absence of basic necessities, and death.

Medical personnel and others from Africa and around the world are putting their lives on the line to care for victims of Ebola in West Africa. They are courageous heroes. Others are demanding or developing resources and education to prevent the spread of Ebola and to treat victims.

But the response of those who rule the United States and the other global powers has overwhelmingly been one of cruel disregard for the suffering in Africa, and instead a focus on preventing this disease from crossing the borders of the U.S. and Europe.

Above: Courageous Heroes: Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) treat 43-year-old Ebola patient in Guinea.

Below: Ignorant xenophobe outside the White House.

Photos: AP

Now a man from Liberia who traveled to the U.S. has died from Ebola, and two nurses who treated him have been stricken with the disease. Of course, their lives are also precious, and they deserve good medical care. But when Americans contracted Ebola, and when there appeared to be a danger of Ebola undermining stability within the U.S., those who sit atop the global empire of exploitation and oppression known as the "USA" hit the panic button. NOT to address the massive suffering in Africa in any serious or compassionate way, but to protect the social stability of their system of exploitation and oppression. And the Ebola outbreak is being seized on by fascist forces in the U.S. to whip up XENOPHOBIA—ignorant hatred and fear of immigrants, with an ugly and ominously dangerous edge.

Republicans demand a total ban on travel from West Africa (which among other things would mean that any medical volunteers who join those doing work on the ground there would be going into exile for all practical purposes). Fascist forces are crawling out of the swamps of ignorance and prejudice with their "STOP Immigration" signs. These zombies resurrect irrational fear, hatred, and violence of the kind directed at gay men in the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. They act as though only American lives matter, even if that means intensifying the suffering of millions, and despite the reality that the fate of humanity is tightly bound up in an intensely interconnected and interdependent world.

The Democrats? They mutter and mumble only the faintest objections to all this, accepting and in their own ways contributing to the atmosphere of persecution of immigrants.

The message from the entire ruling class: American lives count, other people's lives do not.

That morality—that American lives are more important than other people's lives—reflects, serves, and enforces this hellish world of exploitation and oppression. Anyone who isn't a slavish, unthinking, uncaring cheerleader for that hell should be repelled by, and explicitly reject, that immorality.




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion
A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian

Go here for more information on the Dialogue and to buy tickets.

Biographies of Cornel West and Bob Avakian

September 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |



Bob Avakian is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. Bob Avakian (BA) came alive as a revolutionary in the 1960s. Since then he has given his heart and knowledge to serving the cause of revolution and the emancipation of humanity, and has consistently taken responsibility for leading the revolutionary movement – theoretically and practically. He is an innovative and critical thinker who has brought forward a new synthesis of communism. His extensive and wide-ranging body of work includes writings and commentary on revolutionary strategy, philosophy, ethics, science, basketball, music, and religion, including the book Away with All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World. For more, go to "Bob Avakian" at

Cornel West is widely recognized as one of the most important and provocative public intellectuals of our time. A prolific writer and lecturer, West is Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary in New York. A champion for the oppressed, West's writing, speaking and teaching draw inspiration from and weave together the Christian and Black prophetic traditions, radical democracy and jazz, R&B and hip hop. His book, Race Matters, changed the course of America's dialogue on race and justice. Cornel West's latest book, Black Prophetic Fire, has just been published in October 2014. For more, go to




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

Revolution & Religion March 28 Premiere

Trailer for


Clip From the Film:
"Why are we still fighting
for justice in 2015?"

Clip From the Film:
"What if?...."

Excerpts from an interview with Ardea Skybreak: On Attending the Dialogue Between Bob Avakian and Cornel West

"It was like there was magic in the air. It was one of the most hopeful things that I've seen in a very long time. I think it was historic in many different dimensions: in terms of the topic that was approached; the people who were involved in it, the two speakers; the moment in time. I felt like I was able to see a great demonstration of morality and conscience applied to dealing with the problems of humanity—that both speakers stood out this way."

Read more

Andy Zee & Annie Day on The Michael Slate Show


On March 27, 2015, The Michael Slate Show will air this interview with Andy Zee, of Revolution Books and the co-director of the upcoming film, Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Film of the Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian and Annie Day, of The Bob Avakian Institute who also co-produced the film.  They discuss the historic significance of this film and give a flavor of why people should come out across the country to theatrical premieres this Saturday, March 28 or watch it online at

“How Soon Could This Revolution Happen?”
Watching Clips from the New Film of the Dialogue and Reading the Interview with Ardea Skybreak

Read more

"Why, if I was at the Dialogue, or saw the Simulcast, should I go to the Premiere?"

Read more


Read more

Campus Reports

» Students, Basic People, and the Revolution Club Mix It Up About "Why Are We Still Fighting for Justice in 2015"—Watching and Wrangling Over Excerpts of Revolution and Religion; A Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian Read more

» University Screening in the Midwest Read more

» Opening Up Big Questions: Watching the Film at UC Berkeley of the Cornel West-Bob Avakian Dialogue Read more

Conclusion of the Opening Presentation
by Bob Avakian

Read more

Serious About Making an Actual Revolution
by Bob Avakian

Read more



Questions from People at the Dialogue

The Dialogue audience was invited to write questions for the speakers. More than 200 questions were submitted. Here are two questions that Bob Avakian and Cornel West addressed—see more at "Questions from People."

"For many Black and Brown people who believe in Jesus Christ and rely on him for salvation, how do they square their religious faith, or can they square their religious faith, with a revolutionary mindset that does not look to heaven to fix problems on Earth, because many will not give up their God?"

"How in this world are we, the oppressed, to accomplish true revolution peacefully, when in reality, the powers-that-be have all the artillery to kill, while all we have are our voices and our fists? How do we compete? There's no 'win' in this picture for the oppressed, as I can see. Please shed some light on this."

Read more

More Key Pieces on the Dialogue:

Getting Ready for the Online Launch and Premiere Screenings of the new film of "Revolution and Religion..."

Read more

Making the Absolute Most Out of an Incredible Dialogue

Read more

Transgression and Convergence, Infectious Chemistry and Serious Urgency:

Reflections on the Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian

Read more


What People Are Saying:

Below and to the right are comments about the Dialogue sent to See more comments at "What People Said at the Dialogue." Send comments and thoughts to While we cannot post all comments, all of them are appreciated and forwarded to the Dialogue organizers.


Cornel West and Bob Avakian came together and can work together and fight against injustice, mass genocide and racial profiling against young Black men.  They have their differences, but they can work together.  I joined the Black Panther Party in 1968.  We used to patrol the police who were harassing people.  I was with Bobby Hutton when he was murdered by the police. You still have exploitation and being discriminated against today.  It's still going on.  I saw the trailer for the film and I want to see the rest of the film. 

Terry Cotton, Black Panther Alumni

“We Need a Way Out!”

A small group of women who were formerly homeless and had lived on “Skid Row” in LA came together to watch the Trailer and the new clip,  “Why Are We Still Fighting For Justice in 2015?.” This area is where the LAPD recently murdered Africa, an unarmed Black man, captured on video and seen on YouTube by 7 million people in the day after the brutal, cowardly murder. Two of them had never seen the Dialogue, nor heard either of the speakers before. They huddled around a smart phone to watch the Trailer and the clip—and were captivated by what they heard. Afterward they said:

They are both telling the truth. People from Skid Row need to hear this. I want to see the whole thing... In Skid Row you feel so trapped. People think of people there as drug addicts, but most people there are just down on their luck. There’s professionals there, intellectuals, women escaping abuse, people come from all over the country because they think California is better, but end up on Skid Row. They are coming for a better life, but get treated like animals. How can people get out of this madness? You are in a hole and you keep trying to get out, but the system keeps dragging you down. We need a way out!” The women made plans to saturate Skid Row and the more gentrified nearby downtown area with postcards and posters for the Dialogue Film Premiere.

“People Were Feeling It.”

...People the system says are the worst of the worst can change and be part of this. If you don’t get that part you are missing a big part of what BA’s speech is about.

When BA talked about how the world could be different in the “What If...” part of the speech, almost everybody in that section was in tears, including me. People were feeling it.

(Former Prisoner Who Attended
the Dialogue)
Read entire comments

This was two people bringing their ‘A game’...

Challenge yourself, think about revolution, hear what two revolutionary thinkers are thinking in late 2014, what their thoughts are about revolution and building a post-capitalist society, and then challenge yourself to think you can get there any other way...

...Bob Avakian [is] probably familiar in talking about revolution and for taking the side of it, and you throw in religion, and obviously someone who’s a very declared atheist throughout his career, and then when religion is tossed on the table, along with revolution, it really becomes revolution and the condition of man. So there’s a deep philosophical component to this. And then the inverse of that is true. Cornel West having to respond in the same manner—deeply philosophically, but also the social critique and the vision of the future from Cornel West.

(Alan Minsky, Interim Program Director, KPFK Radio in Los Angeles)
(see full interview)

What I learned from the Dialogue is that we can change this whole damn system that’s guilty as hell. We certainly and most seriously need a revolution so our Black and Latino kids can rise up and be a part of our country instead of ending up dead or locked up because they are separating our families.

(Woman from Ferguson, Missouri who attended the Dialogue)

Right out of the gate, boom, BA went after religion! I thought, Oh no, he’s going to go there... I really respect him because he is not going to compromise, and I can see why Cornel really respects him, too. I can’t say I agree with all of what he says, but this guy is really honest.

(Latino professor)

“Prophetic elders with breadth, stature and conviction.”

It was great and very powerful. I want to highlight both of them, Cornel West and Bob Avakian. They were able to agree and disagree. They are both prophetic elders and I got a sense of their breadth and stature and conviction and how that all meshes with what’s happening, particularly to what’s happening in light of the nationwide protest that jumped off in the wake of Ferguson.

(Activist/Writer/Poet, after viewing the Trailer for the film)

One guy we met said that just talking about all the murders by police gets him angry, but that he would check out the revolution and donated $14. Then we showed him the trailer. Half-way through watching the trailer, he pulled out $40 and bought 2 tickets. He said that with all the divisions among the people, he was struck by the unity and level of discussion between CW and BA.

( BA Everywhere organizer on showing the Trailer on the street)

They [BA and Cornel West, at the Dialogue] said it’s always the Black people that get killed for no reason. What surprised me? Knowing that it’s always us—like my brother who was killed by police. You shoulda came because it gives you all the information about WHY most of our black people are getting killed for no reason.

(Twelve-year-old Black youth from Chicago who attended the Dialogue)

It was so beautiful how BA and Cornel West talked about the music in the 1960s. How BA got into the influence of the movements among the people that helped create different music, and how what is happening now in society can influence the culture too, like the people beginning to stand up in Ferguson inspired the J. Cole song. People think communism would be boring or stale—but why would it be? What people get enjoyment out of now mostly just sucks! In a new society you wouldn’t have your escapism, your ‘real housewives,’ this dumb shit and gossip that we get sucked into. But BA is funny! That Ussain Bolt stuff that BA said during the Dialogue, we were cracking up! You need to laugh, you need to have heart and soul.

(Artist who attended the Dialogue)

The Bus Ride Home—Filled with the Spirit of the Dialogue: “I wish life could be like this experience on this bus all the time...”

(Read full article)

“Science and a Game Plan for Revolution.” In the interview on with Ardea Skybreak, who is a scientist, she is talking about BA, the revolutionary communist leader, as a scientist at the top of his field. This really means retraining how we think. We’re taught that science is just ‘chemistry’ and so on. I never would have considered becoming a ‘scientist.’ I missed that boat! But pushing myself to be a scientist now, has to do with how you look at the world and analyze it. This is a great thing about working with the Party [the Revolutionary Communist Party, which BA leads]. There’s a game plan for revolution, you work together and sum up what you accomplished and what people said. You’re learning from the standpoint of that game plan.

(Artist who attended the Dialogue)

“The role of today’s Democratic Party seems to be a stumbling point for some...”

I am overwhelmed by the scope of the problem, I am just coming to understand that my vote is not going to bring the change we need and that the current cast of characters is actually part of the problem, not the solution. My impressions reflect my point in a personal journey; I know that others in Riverside Church had their own experiences. I know that as time passes I will think of other points and consider other ideas. But the importance of this moment will always stay with me. Rather than being a single, isolated voter alone in a little booth I was one of hundreds, gathered from across the country, together to share questions, concerns, and ideas. Being together and sharing the possibilities is so much better than being alone and in the dark. That is probably the most important thing I took away from this experience.

(Woman who flew in to New York for the Dialogue, from a longer piece)


First Impressions of the PREMIERE of
the New Film of REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion;

A correspondence from Andy Zee, co-director of the film

April 6, 2015

“This film brought an awareness that we do need an actual change....” A young Latino brother echoed what was felt by audiences across the country who came to the March 28 premieres of the new film of the historic Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian that took place last November at Riverside Church in New York City. Wherever you were coming from, whatever experience you have had with what this system does to people every day, whether this was your first encounter with the revolution or you’ve been fighting to get rid of this system your whole life, you came away from seeing REVOLUTION AND RELIGION feeling this brother’s sentiment.

In this correspondence, I am going to share some of my own and others’ first impressions. I urge everyone to watch, dig into, promote, and raise funds so that many more can experience and be moved by what Bob Avakian and Cornel West did on November 15, 2014.

Seeing the film on the big screen was special. Look, there was nothing like the excitement of being at Riverside with 1,900 people “live,” experiencing Bob Avakian and Cornel West together on this topic—I won’t ever forget it—being a part of something really historic.

Yet, watching this on film is just a different experience: profound and provocative. I found myself drawn deeply into their insights, their arguments, how they related to each other and engaged and struggled with the audience, the different methods by which they analyzed and approached big questions. I found myself learning more and anew. The film brings you up close inside Cornel West’s and Bob Avakian’s presentations and exchange: the passion, the audacity, the science, the morality, the revolutionary substance. Two courageous voices modeling a morality that refuses to accept injustice—pouring heart and soul into standing together challenging all of us to fight for a world worthy of humanity.

I attended the New York City premiere at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. It was fitting that this film was welcomed and debuted at this beautiful institution that resonates with the history of Black people. Watching the film on the big screen at the Schomburg—a screen that must be 40 feet across and 20 feet high with big, rich sound—was new for me after months of being a part of editing the film on small monitors!

BA and Cornel West really are two courageous moral voices of this moment. They hold and fill the big screen. The topic, Revolution and Religion, is huge: The fight for the emancipation of humanity and, in that context, looking at religion, which holds sway over much of humanity, especially the oppressed of the world, is an urgent question that demands and holds attention. But the dynamism and passion of both BA and CW, their humor and substance, their concern and struggle for the future of humanity, amplify and resonate in a special way through the film. Whether watching in a dark theater or up close on computer, TV, or smartphone, the film brings you into a personal experience with “Cornel and Bob,” so much so that afterward people who had never met either of them came up to me speaking of them by their first names as if they were life-long friends!

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1. SPREAD the TRAILER and new preview excerpt of the film everywhere online.

2. TWEET and RETWEET. Spread the hashtag: #M28CornelAndBAfilm. Retweet from @RevBooksNYC (Revolution Books NYC, co producer of the Dialogue film).

3. JOIN the Facebook event page and INVITE all your friends. There is one Facebook event page for the nationwide film launch at Dialogue Facebook event.

4. In everything you do online, send people to

Bob Avakian, "BA," has developed a new synthesis of communism that opens up the possibility of a radically new world through revolution. BA Everywhere is a national fundraising campaign to make BA's work and leadership known in every corner of society.

Go to: BA Everywhere

Watching clips from the film




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

On the Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian:

Anyone with an Interest in Human Emancipation Should Be There

September 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On September 1, we announced the Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West on “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion,” taking place in New York City on November 15, at Riverside Church.

Nobody with any interest in human emancipation should miss it.

Bob Avakian has been fighting for the people for 50 years and leading the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA for nearly the last 40 of those. He’s taken the understanding of how to make revolution, and how to keep a revolutionary society on the path to full emancipation, to a new level. BA has come up against repression and suppression, and endured slander and sacrifice in doing so. And through all that time his deep commitment to the people has never wavered and, indeed, has grown stronger.

Cornel West, coming out of the religious prophetic tradition, has been fighting for the people for decades—“speaking truth to power” and defending those on the bottom of society, and lending support and often front-line involvement to key protests and resistance. He plays a unique and invaluable role in the political and moral life of this country. And Cornel West connects very deeply with those who most hunger for liberation—“the least of us.”

Each has done very important theoretical work on the topic of the Dialogue—a topic that sits deep in the heart of millions, including many of those who will be the bedrock of any revolution inside the U.S. This is a Dialogue that will surely break new ground.

That alone marks this as historic and not to be missed. Add to that the whole dimension of the rare chance to see and hear BA live and in person, to hear his message and get a real feel for the person behind the message—well, this truly is something unique.

This is far from an abstract debate—coming in the context of today, at a time when intense struggle has erupted and more is in the offing—it is actually a pressing issue. This Dialogue can powerfully affect what people see as possible, and necessary. It can raise their sights far beyond the limits of today to the possibilities of tomorrow. Not least, it can join their deepest questions about what kind of lives are worth living.

There are those who are already jumping at the chance to hear the Dialogue, and who are supporting it, and there will be many more. There are those who are already attacking it, and this too will intensify. So a Dialogue that speaks to and in many senses grew out of struggle will also involve struggle of different kinds. Through the course of this, the side that wants these two people to be heard, engaged, and defended must grow.

We will be covering this throughout the next 10 weeks. In this issue, we are going to share some of the initial responses from people at the Labor Day picnics where this was announced; we are publishing a piece on building a big audience for this Dialogue within the communities of the most oppressed; and we will run excerpts from the announcement made at the picnic. Watch this site as the week develops for more important news and comment.




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

Three Reasons Why the Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian on November 15 Is Something You ABSOLUTELY Won't Want to Miss

October 17, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


A historic Dialogue Between Bob Avakian and Cornel West on Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion will take place at Riverside Church on November 15. 

Here are three reasons you should BUY YOUR TICKET AND GET TO THE DIALOGUE, why you should not want to miss this:

1. This is a chance to come see and hear Bob Avakian live!  This is a very rare opportunity to see him in person and hear what this revolutionary leader and architect of a whole new framework for the emancipation of all of humanity is saying about the prospects for revolution and what transformations have to be undertaken to truly get free of the confines and horrors of the present system.  How could you not want to be there?

2. This is a chance to see and hear Bob Avakian and Cornel West sharing a public stage together for the very first time, rolling up their sleeves and dialoguing together, exploring some of the important things they agree on and some of the important things they don’t agree on, no doubt surprising and challenging their audience to think more deeply, study more critically, reflect on how they might step up their own participation—with all this taking place in an atmosphere of love, mutual respect, and principled struggle, between these two people, with the shared passion for emancipation of the most oppressed and all of  humanity front and center.  How could you not want to be there?

3. This is a chance to experience what they have to say on a topic, Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, that is objectively very important.  Not so much because of what any of you, as individuals, may personally think about religion. Both believers and non-believers are very welcome at this Dialogue. But individual belief or non-belief is not the heart of the matter on this occasion.  The reason the subject of this particular Dialogue is so important right now is because the topic of religion (any religion, all the many different kinds of religion) matters deeply to hundreds of millions of people, and even billions of people, not only in this country but all around the world.  We all happen to be living at a moment in time where that is very much the reality: Religion really matters to a whole lot of people, and shapes many people’s thinking and actions.  But what is religion’s place, what is its role in relation to fighting injustices and in advancing towards truly emancipatory social revolution?  Can religion help with this? Or is it a hindrance and gets in the way?  These are some of the questions Bob Avakian and Cornel West are going to be batting around and exploring together, sharing their points of unity as well as their differences with a broad audience.  Again, how could you not want to be there?






Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

What People Are Saying About This Dialogue

Responding to the announcement of Revolution and Religion: A Dialogue
Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian

Updated November 12, 2014

An Historic Dialogue: Cornel West and Bob Avakian Enlighten and Challenge at a Critical Juncture

November 16, 2014

Read more

A discussion on the role of religion in the struggle for material and spiritual emancipation of the human has never been so necessary


The gap of wealth and power between the have and the have-not nations of the earth and the social haves and have-nots within each of the nations, is deepening and widening daily, with the irony that the haves, between and within nations, depend on the resources of the have-nots for their power and privilege. The result is material and spiritual misery of millions. This condition is human made not God made. It can only be righted by human action. A discussion on the role of religion in the struggle for material and spiritual emancipation of the human has never been so necessary.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Author
Wizard of the Crow

Anyone with deep concern about the future of this world needs to be there.


I admire and respect both Cornel West and Bob Avakian. Both are fearless fighters for the poor and oppressed throughout the world. One, Bob Avakian, is a revolutionary fighter; the other, Cornel West, is a Christian. Anyone with deep concern about the future of this world needs to be there, and needs to hear this very important dialogue between two champion crusaders. 

Nicholas Heyward—Father of Nicholas Heyward, Jr.—murdered by New York Police Dept. in 1994; October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation; Host Committee for the Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue

"Holy Shit!"
Three Thoughts on the Dialogue

When I first heard news of the Dialogue between Bob Avakian (BA) and Cornel West (CW), I had three major thoughts.

First, I thought, "Holy shit, it's a really huge deal that BA is speaking in public! This hasn't happened, in this way, in a very long time, and there is both tremendous positive potential and very serious stakes to this... This is truly an extraordinary and exciting opportunity!"....

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From a revolutionary

From Ann Wright, Former United States Army Colonel, Foreign Diplomat, Peace Advocate

This is indeed historic. I'm going to try to be there... I've marked my calendar.

I strongly support the Dialogue

When you consider that religion influences the majority of humanity in one way or another, the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian can be extremely important—particularly if it encourages religious leaders and their followers to develop a strategy that plays a major role in the struggle for emancipation. With this in mind, I strongly support the Dialogue.

Richard Brown—Former Black Panther; San Francisco 8 Defendant; Host Committee for the Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue

From Kassahun Checole, Publisher

Revolutionary politics and theology work well together when the subject of social change arises. Our world is in deep trouble. Cornel West and Bob Avakian will advance the conversation. They can and will. It is much needed.

Nothing Changes Until We Address the Systemic Change

I think this is important because it will open up some dialogue and get people to start thinking. Because you know, a lot of times, people's thoughts need to be seasoned....

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Community organizer

It Is Important for the Future of Blacks and Latinos

I feel like it is important for the future of Blacks and Latinos. It's important for us to fight and stand up against injustice. We need to get together and not fight each other but get together and fight the system. You see now Ferguson got the attention of Obama because they are fighting the system. I am hoping to get unity amongst us, to stand up against the government. We asked years ago and kept asking, we marched with the civil rights and Black Panthers. What are we supposed to do, keep asking?

Joshua, Young Latino, Washington Heights, New York City

From a Social Worker Who Donated $100 for the Dialogue

It is amazing that two people with different fundamental belief systems are willing to sit together for the sake of humanity. It is a beautiful thing of tolerance and respect, we need more of that.

Just What We Need

This is just what we need. I wish I could be there but I can't so I'll make a donation so that someone else from the store can go.

A devoted Christian volunteering at a Revolution Books store

Clear and Concise Analysis of the Amerikkkan Condition


...These two gentlemen seem to have a clear and concise analysis of the amerikkkan condition. But more importantly they are the only two whom, aside from pointing out the obvious capitalist atrocities, seem to offer viable solutions to some of the problems experienced by americans in Amerikkka....

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A Photographer from NYC

If we really want fundamental change...look at fundamental questions—“Revolution and Religion” is as fundamental as it gets.

What kind of world do we live in? A world where Michael Brown’s murderer still walks free while we’re told to have a “conversation” about race, where oil companies rush to grab up the new oil fields exposed by the melting polar ice cap while “world leaders” make meaningless, hypocritical pledges to stop global warming, where entire families incinerated in an instant by unmanned drones is not considered barbaric, where a so-called “progressive” president has out war-mongered the war-mongers. In this insane world, why isn’t revolution on everyone’s lips? Why aren’t millions of people striving for a whole new future instead of debating the pros and cons of Hilary Clinton for president? C’mon, people. If we really want fundamental change, we have to look at fundamental questions–and “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion” is as fundamental as it gets. I welcome it, and you should too.  

David Zeiger, Filmmaker, Host Committee Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue

A Great Opportunity

I think there's a confluence of minds here; even though they come from quite different directions. They are both very concerned about the human condition; not just about this country, or that country; but the human condition, on a global scale....

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A retired professor in Los Angeles

People Around the World Will Want to Watch This

This is incredible—that this is being posed to people right now. Is it going to be live webcast? People around the world will want to watch this.

A young lawyer

Recent Posts

"I Recognize the Power and Perils of Belief"


I have struggled for years with issues of faith. As an agnostic I recognize the power and perils of belief. Bob Avakian and Cornel West are to be lauded for their efforts to bring struggle and faith together to defeat oppression and foster freedom and dignity.

“Revolution and Religion” a dialogue between West and Avakian at the historic Riverside Church, New York City, on November 15, 2014, demands our support.

Jed Stone
Criminal Defense Attorney

From Alice Walker:
Let The People Decide


...We are now in such dire straits as a planet that letting the people of the world decide our course is the only sensible option, “leaders” of various stripes having failed us completely; and who actually seem to enjoy making us feel afraid...

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Religion and Revolution: The Promise of a Fresh Look

SpearIt, Associate Professor, Texas Southern University—Thurgood Marshall School of Law. This article was originally published at Huffington Post on 10/20/14. Read it here.


For students of religion and students of revolution, the upcoming dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian should be a valuable lesson. Taking place at Riverside Church in New York City, this meeting of the minds has tremendous potential to advance understanding on the relationship between religion and revolution, which conventional wisdom tends to hold as mutually exclusive....

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"This dialogue will open up a lot of eyes, a lot of what is going on and how we can make a difference."


Revolution and Religion—wow, this is long overdue. This is long overdue. I feel that I didn't know much about Mr. Avakian. I know about Cornel West. But the fight for emancipation, the role of religion and the dialogue between these two revolutionaries of our time, the great revolutionaries of our time—it is long overdue. Religion plays a great part in our revolution and what has changed amongst the churches, what has changed is humanitarianism has went out the window. Between the revolution and religion, the fight for emancipation is that we have to fight for what is right....

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Terry Hubbard, mother of 23-year-old Joshua Richardson who is incarcerated at Rikers Island prison

Cornel West Opened My Eyes ... Bob Avakian Has Gotten My Attention

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71-year-old Black man from South Central Los Angeles

A great occasion to explore how revolutionary Marxism and radical Christianity may find common ground in articulating the hope for transformation


If humanity is to survive and thrive we all know that there must be radical and fundamental change. The rule of avarice and violence is destroying the lives of myriads and indeed the very planetary basis for life. Two forces for this fundamental transformation are revolutionary Marxism and radical Christianity. The dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West is a great occasion to explore how these movements may find common ground in articulating the hope for transformation and organizing to bring it about.

Ted Jennings—Professor, Chicago Theological Seminary, Host Committee Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue

I'm Going to Fundraise to Go

I want to be there. And yes, I'm going to fundraise to go, and there's no way I wouldn't go. Because I'm always open, and I always love hearing Bob Avakian talk; and since he's talking about religion, and especially that he's getting into it with someone who is religious, that's like something that sparks my curiosity to know what they're going to talk about.

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Young woman in the Los Angeles Revolution Club

One of the Most Challenging and Inviting Ideological Journeys Anyone Has Been On!

This Dialogue will no doubt be one of the most challenging and inviting ideological journeys that anyone has been on! I think there will be a lot of laughter and tears, and it will put revolution back on the map in this country in a massive way.

Jesse—a member of the band Outernational

A Revolutionary Meeting of Two Extraordinary Minds!!!

A revolutionary meeting of two extraordinary minds!!! Plus you get to see Bob Avakian live and in person. It's worth it just for that. I'm interested to see what's going to come out of this conversation.

Black businessman

From Margarita Rosario (mother of Anthony Rosario and aunt of Hilton Vega, murdered by the New York Police Department in 1995)

Because I believe in God. A dialogue between two people who have inspired me. Bob Avakian is a revolutionist and I'm always talking about a riot. Cornel is a man of faith, so I just want to see and listen.

Two people with differences about how to resolve our quest for a moral way of being... having a principled discussion

Both Cornel West and Bob Avakian say we are moral people with responsibility to look at what is really happening in this world and to decide what is right and wrong and to act accordingly. This is very different than the view of people whose religious faith is shaken that without a belief in God, no one can prove anything, and there are no moral standards to stop one from raping and murdering and stealing. They then often go on autopilot, acting on whatever forces impinge on them or whatever feels good at the time. Ironically, since they believe there are no objective standards, they are unable to identify the larger forces that are oppressing them, and they do not join with others to fight back against injustice. They end up either blaming themselves for their difficulties, or they blame the nearest individuals or groups in their environment for their suffering and spend their days attacking them either physically or on cyberspace, fighting fruitless "Twitter wars." This "horizontal hostility" serves the purpose of those forces in society that are oppressing them. This Dialogue between West and Avakian is an important discussion because it is very different than that. Two people with differences about how to resolve our quest for a moral way of being and how to create a more just, humane world having a principled discussion. People can learn from this.

Carol Downer—Author, Lawyer, Co-founder Federation of Feminist Women's Health Centers, Host Committee for Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue

I Don't Think a Lot of People in America Know What Oppression Is Except the Oppressed

I am planning to go. Now is the time for me to take an active role in making the system work for future generations. Cornel West understands what is going on and is fearless. He's not afraid to tell the truth to the mainstream media. He understands what oppression is in America. I don't think a lot of people in America know what oppression is except the oppressed.

Angelina—mother victimized
by the system


Video Statements:


UC Berkeley student in NYC for the Dialogue(11/12/14)

Artist raising funds to be at the Dialogue (11/10/14)

I hope to see many students from the United States and around the world there (11/10/14)

Video: Can't Wait to Go!

Video: You Need to Donate Cuz We Have to Get There!

An Abortion Rights Freedom Rider on "Revolution and Religion" Dialogue


Young Filmmaker on 'Revolution and Religion' Dialogue


"So...Did You Hear What's Going On In NYC?"


Andrew Hoffman on 'Revolution and Religion' Dialogue


'The lessons that we're gonna learn will change how people think about everything.'


'Whatever your religious belief, you should be at this event.'


"These guys are on something real"


I do look forward to the results of this Dialogue on questions of such vital importance to humanity.


The Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian of the Revolutionary Communist Party will hold anyone of care in fascination and examination. My initial probing is to ask BA, a man of sensitivity, courage, and caring, what he explicitly means by "revolution." I agree that we must "rise up and fight back" but feel strongly in the road of Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King. I also share both Cornel West's and Bob Avakian's thoughts on the need to have a face off on questions such as prison or police brutality, such as women's struggle for equality, but the question remains: while Avakian has masterfully given description, I part ways with him on the prescription.  I do look forward to the results of this Dialogue on questions of such vital importance to humanity."

Rev. Cecil L. "Chip" Murray, Professor, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California; Co-Founder of the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, USC; Host Committee for the Cornel West/Bob Avakian Dialogue

To the Youth Who This System Has Cast Off: This Dialogue Is for You


From an ex-prisoner:

To the youth who this system has cast off and counts for nothing, but who can actually count for a great deal:

The Dialogue on November 15, 2014 between Bob Avakian and Cornel West is for you. This is a conversation between two people who have a deep love for people just like you. With everything that keeps you fucked up and doing fucked up shit to each other, neither one of these two people are willing to turn their back on you.

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BA Must Be Heard Globally

BA must be heard globally and we must get out the message that the system must be restructured. The only person I know that can do that is BA and the revolution. It goes to show this Dialogue is needed because we look at the world and the world is doing politics and religion and BA is looking at it scientifically.

It is important so many religions are out there and so many of them are confusing the people. It's like they are pacifying the people with politics and it's the same old talk with different people doing the same thing but doing nothing. It's going all around in a circle to confuse and oppress the people.

Grandmother whose grandson
is in a Texas jail

The Topic of Revolution and Religion Was On My Mind ... I Can't Wait

I was energized when I found out about the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. The topic of revolution and religion was something that was on my mind even before I found out about it. I had recently met some people around what was going on in Gaza. They were coming at it from a religious point of view. We organized a small demonstration and it was me (the atheist) with about 10 other people, most were religious. They mentioned that is was great that we could come together around Gaza. I agreed but in my mind I was thinking about, how can we work together and what do we need to do to unite and make revolution. I can't wait for November 15.

A teacher from New Jersey

We Need To Reach the Children

I want to see how many young people show up. I'm trying to spark an interest in the children around the Bronx that don't think that this affects them. It's kind of hard to reach them. I'm always trying through music and poetry. We need to reach them.

Kevin from the Bronx, New York City






Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

To the Youth Who This System Has Cast Off:
This Dialogue Is for You

October 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From an ex-prisoner:

To the youth who this system has cast off and counts for nothing, but who can actually count for a great deal:

The Dialogue on November 15, 2014 between Bob Avakian and Cornel West is for you. This is a conversation between two people who have a deep love for people just like you. With everything that keeps you fucked up and doing fucked up shit to each other, neither one of these two people are willing to turn their back on you.

The main reason I am going to be there is because I want to see Bob Avakian (BA). I feel a strong connection to BA because his writings transformed me. I was caught up in the senseless shit that goes down in the neighborhoods, spent too many years of my life behind prison walls and treated by this system as less than nothing. Through BA, I learned the world doesn’t have to be this way, that we could make a revolution and that we have to start working on that now. Through BA, I learned that even though this system treated me as human waste, I could count for a great deal by being a part of the movement to get rid of that system. BA helped me understand all these complex things I couldn’t understand before, things that used to go right over my head. I recognized in BA a precious leader that we really do need—that his leadership could actually get us out of this shit.

I want to see this Dialogue unfold—the whole conversation, I want to be there as it happens. And I really, really, really want to see BA. It’s a rare opportunity to see BA speak publicly, live and in person.

Bob Avakian is the leader of a group that aims to make a revolution. Yes, a revolution. A physical overthrow of the system that rules over society. That group is the Revolutionary Communist Party and its ranks are filled with people who have stepped up and are down to lead this whole process. From building the movement for revolution today to a future revolutionary situation, when this revolution can fight to go all the way in defeating the repressive forces of the state, not just the police but all the other forces this system will send to crush this, including the army. This will be difficult and it will involve a lot of sacrifice. But they’re not waiting for people to agree that this is a good idea—they have a strategy for revolution and they are calling on you to be a part of this.

Even while people down here are caught up in all kinds of fucked up shit fighting and killing each other, making money from selling drugs to people whose life is even more fucked up than theirs... even with all that, BA and the Party he leads believe that people down here will be the backbone for this revolution because we have nothing to lose and everything to win. It’s the fact that we are all “down here” that we get caught up in this fucked up shit in the first place. That’s why BA and CW (Cornel West) have so much love for people on the bottom of society—even when they are caught up in shit that involves hurting each other. Because BA and CW understand, on different levels, why this shit keeps happening and that we are capable of so much more.

BA especially understands that it will keep happening until people are living under a whole different system—a system that doesn’t treat so many Black and Brown people as less than human, a system that values the lives of people like you, a system that doesn’t allow pigs to keep killing unarmed youth and never paying for the lives they’ve destroyed.

Like I said, this Party isn’t asking anyone permission to stop all this shit. They are building a movement now to seize on the next opportunity this system itself throws up to wage the struggle for power. And they’re out to recruit people just like you.

Revolution and Religion; The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion. This Dialogue is for you and you need to be there. This Dialogue is about freeing people from the fucked up conditions that causes them to be fucked up to each other, and the role of religion in all of that.

BA and the Party he leads are atheists. They don’t believe in god. They don’t think praying to the sky will change anything. They know that no matter how much or how hard mothers, like the mother of Michael Brown or Ezell Ford, pray for their sons to come home safe, there will be pigs ready and willing to pump them full of bullets. BA and the RCP believe that the idea of an imaginary god stands in the way of people fully understanding why shit is so fucked up throughout the world and what people can do to change it. At the same time, they don’t turn their backs or look down on people who believe in a god. And they don’t tell people they can’t be part of making revolution if they hold on to those beliefs. They unite with people all the time who believe in a god as they fight the power while building a movement for revolution.

Cornel West is someone who, coming from his religious and moral beliefs, hates what’s happening to poor people under this system and at the hands of the police. He sharply exposes all kinds of shit that is done to people under this system. He’s passionate about people around the world and has a deep love for the oppressed.

With this Dialogue, people who don’t believe in god, and people who do believe are coming together to say no more to all this oppressive shit. They’re saying, to quote BA, “No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born...” Both BA and CW understand that, whether you pray or not, making that “no more” a reality is going to take concrete actions. They understand that it’s going to take millions of people both religious and not religious rising up to change this. And it’s going to take people digging into the biggest questions of how to get free, including ones that will take them out of their comfort zone, challenging them to play a radically different role than they are playing now.

If you’re sick of being dogged and degraded by this system... if you’re sick of seeing young women tricked out as someone’s property... if you’re sick of the pigs having free reign to kill and brutalize unarmed youth... and if you want to see people here and all around the world finally free from this shit... then this Dialogue is for you.

Now is the time for you to raise your head above the day to day bullshit, playing this system’s game with no prospect of ever winning. Get into BA and get ready to hear him in dialogue with Cornel West, get ready to hear him speak directly to you. Set aside the time. Get there, get others there. Be part of raising funds to get this known throughout your neighborhood and across the country. Saturday, November 15, doors open 1:30 pm—be there. This is for you.




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

You Have a Chance to See “The Jimi Hendrix of Revolution.” Live.

October 9, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a young revolutionary:

November 15, 2014.  Riverside Church.  New York City. “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.” Bob Avakian, the chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party and leader of a new stage of communist revolution, in dialogue with Cornel West, fellow champion of the oppressed and one of the most provocative public intellectuals of our time. 

There are several reasons why this Dialogue will be, to put it quite simply, a historic and extraordinary event that is not to be missed.   Here, I want to speak briefly to one of those reasons—and it’s huge:  the opportunity to see Bob Avakian, live and in person.

In thinking about what this opportunity means, and how to drive this home, I was reflecting on my passion for music, and live music in particular.  Sometimes, for fun, I think—and talk with friends and loved ones about— all the great musical artists of the past 50 years or so, and who among them I would give anything to see live.  Sometimes, the discussion turns to whom I would most like to—but sadly never will get the chance to—see in concert.  I always come up with the same name at the top of that list: Jimi Hendrix.

People who are expert musicians, or who know more about the technical aspects of guitar-playing, could no doubt write very insightful and compelling explanations of what set Jimi Hendrix apart in that regard.   I just know that he played unlike anyone else, before or since.  Of course, he was influenced by those who came before him – Robert Johnson, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Guy, to name just a few.   But Jimi was just on a whole other level. He did things on the guitar that no one else had done.  There was not just music coming from his guitar: there was truly unique poetry and beauty and emotion. Anyone who wants to—or at least deserves to—be taken seriously as a guitarist is deeply familiar with, and studies, Hendrix and his work.   And Jimi also connected with, and profoundly inspired, his audience in a way that they did not just hear his music but could feel it

I highly doubt that very many people lucky enough to see Jimi live said: “Well, okay, I’ve seen him live.  No point in listening to his albums anymore.”   On the contrary, I would imagine that people who saw him in concert left with a feeling of being on fire to get into—or deeper into—his albums.    On the flip side, it is difficult to think that anyone who knew about Hendrix and had the actual opportunity to see him live said: “No, that’s okay. I’ll just listen to his albums.” 

On November 15 at Riverside Church in New York City, you have a chance to see the Jimi Hendrix of revolution: Bob Avakian.

Bob Avakian (BA) was also heavily influenced by—and has gone forward on the foundation of—those who came before him. Most notably: Marx, Lenin, and Mao.  But BA, too, is unlike anyone else, before or since.  When it comes to the science of revolution and communism—of how humanity can get free—BA has done things that no one else has done before.  Specifically, he has done the work that no one else has done and made breakthroughs that no one else has made on the biggest questions bound up with human emancipation. Anyone who wishes to be taken seriously when it comes to radically changing the world needs to study, and learn all they can from, BA’s work.  BA has brought forward a new synthesis of communism—the theory, method, strategy and vision for how, through revolution, humanity could overcome thousands of years of brutal exploitation and oppressive divisions between people. This new synthesis provides the framework to bring into being a society and world where people’s basic needs are met, where people relate to each other in a completely different way, where society is alive and pulsing with wide-ranging intellectual, scientific and artistic exploration and revolutionary joy, and where humanity as a whole works together for the common good and works to protect the planet.   And BA is leading a party and a movement for revolution on the basis of this new synthesis that he has brought forward.  

BA will be bringing all of that to the Dialogue with Cornel West at Riverside Church on November 15. But that isn’t all. He will also be bringing the experience of BA speaking, live and in person.

Like Jimi Hendrix, BA connects with and profoundly inspires his audience in a way that people do not simply hear but viscerally feel.   It’s in the way he continuously lays reality bare, fearlessly exposing this system and society—and everything that keeps them going—unearthing and boldly putting forward the truths that are hidden and that people are not allowed to think and say. It’s in the way he rips the mask of legitimacy and permanence off the existing order, dismantling any notion that things have to stay as they are, lifting hearts and sights to a whole different way the world could be.   It’s in the way BA does all this with rage and joy, humor and defiance, passion and poetic spirit, utter contempt for the system and those who rule it and deep compassion for all those who can and must be part of the fight to sweep that system away, especially those on the very bottom of society who are most viciously oppressed.  It’s in the way he breaks concepts down so that a professor with a Ph.D. or someone without any formal education can understand and take up these concepts.  It’s in the method with which he approaches reality, always going for the truth, always looking at things scientifically. It’s in the way he illuminates the link between where we are today and where we can and must go tomorrow, and speaks to the biggest obstacles and contradictions standing in the way.    It’s in the way he ranges very broadly, through different spheres of society and different historical eras, without ever losing the core of revolution and communism.   It’s in the way he weaves so many different threads together.  It’s in the way he can break down the strategy for revolution or talk about the historical experience of communism in one moment, and then reference lyrics from The Clash or routines from Richard Pryor the next.  

As with Jimi Hendrix, there is a total synergy, not an opposition, between the opportunity to see BA live and in person and the importance of studying his works in an ongoing way. Failing to fully recognize the incredibly special and unique opportunity to see BA live and in person because one is already familiar with BA’s works would make no more sense than people failing to recognize how special it would have been to see Hendrix live and in person because they already were familiar with his albums. Similarly, people who do see BA live and in person should only leave the room even more determined and inspired to dig into his works.

I’ll end on this point: With Hendrix, one could definitely have explained what set him apart and what made him and his work so special, and that was certainly worthwhile and important to do. But at a certain point, people simply had to wake up and realize—and make the decision—that they better go see for themselves.

The same is true with the opportunity to see BA live and in person. There is a lot that can, and should, be said about what sets BA apart, and what makes him and his work so special.  But then, at a certain point, you just have to wake up and realize that you need to go see for yourself. 

You have this opportunity at Riverside Church, in New York City, on November 15.  Don’t miss the chance!





Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

Selling Tickets to Those This System Has Cast Out

It's a TransformationNot a “Transaction”

October 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Recently, I got to be part of a team that went out to some housing projects and a main drag in an oppressed neighborhood to promote and sell tickets to the upcoming Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian on Revolution and Religion, The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.  We also had whistles, stickers, and palm-cards for the October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality.  And, of course, we had Revolution newspaper.

What I am about to share is but one element of what must be a multifaceted approach of reaching back to everyone we've met over the years, selling them tickets and involving them in building a social movement towards this Dialogue. Here, I will focus on the dimension of going out very broadly to sell tickets and make this Dialogue a reference point among new people in a mass way.

First off, this was thrilling!  I got to stand on the street corner, bullhorn in hand, yelling out to thousands of people from among the most cast off and oppressed sections of society that they have the opportunity to see Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution, live and in person!  “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” I would say, “One that can not only change your whole life, but enable you to be part of changing the whole world—of emancipating all of humanity.”  Over and over again I repeated the quote from Bob Avakian, “Those this system has cast off, those it has treated as less than human, can be the backbone and driving force of a fight not only to end their own oppression, but to finally end all oppression, and emancipate all of humanity.”  Then, I would make clear, “Those are the words of Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution, a man who has never turned his back on the people this system treats like human waste—this is a leader who knows that you can rise up out of all this shit and be part of changing everything and he will show you how.  November 15th. Riverside Church.  Bob Avakian and Cornel West will be talking to YOU, and YOU need to be there!  Get your ticket today!”  I interspersed this agitation with words about the need to stand up now to STOP police brutality and calling on everyone to be out on October 22.

Folks listened as they walked by, some stopped for a while.  But even among those who stopped, it still took leadership and struggle to move them from simple appreciation of what they were hearing to becoming actively involved, including through buying or putting a “down-payment” down on their ticket to November 15th.

Early in the day, a young Black couple threw their hands out to grab for fliers, saying, “We talk about this all the time. Tell us what to do!”  Its not every day that so many people are so raw with anger and so eager to find some way to join a real fight to put an end to this shit.  But, rather than being satisfied that they took a stack of fliers, I stopped what I was doing and I spoke seriously with them.

The young man showed me scars on his lip and forehead from being beaten by police.  I put it to him straight up that he needs to fight against this shit right now and be on a mission to bring everyone he knows out on October 22 and that he needs to buy his ticket today to hear Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, live and in person in Dialogue with Cornel West, a revolutionary Christian, on November 15th.  He and his girlfriend were intrigued by both of these things and said immediately, “Yeah, we'll be there for sure.”  But again, I wasn't satisfied.

I spoke further about who BA is: his long history in the revolutionary struggle and leadership going back to the 60s and all the way up to this critical moment, how he has re-envisioned revolution and communism and rescued the entire project of human emancipation, and how he is especially committed to fighting so that people like them can rise up as emancipators of humanity.  They hadn't known about either BA or Cornel West and it was important to get concretely into who they are and what a unique opportunity it is to hear them together.  Again, I put to them the need to buy their tickets today, to hold their seat and to make a commitment to be there on November 15.

They didn't have the money to buy the whole ticket, but he was able to put a few dollars down to begin paying for his ticket and we worked out how we would get together to involve him more fully and to collect the rest of his ticket money.

As he got a deeper sense of who BA is, the young man spoke about how the government kills revolutionary leaders.  We talked about the responsibility that people like him have to protecting and defending Bob Avakian as well as this upcoming event.  All this only gave him a deeper sense of how serious we are about changing the whole world and made him more serious, too.

He stayed for half an hour, getting into the strategy for revolution, making plans to mobilize everyone he knows for October 22, and getting more deeply into BA and the nature of this revolution.  After a while, he began intervening in the work of other revolutionaries; if another young Black man ignored our comrades he would challenge them, “Slow down, man—you got to take the flier, this is serious.”  Many of them did then slow down and take the flier.

I told them we are collecting video statements from people across the country as to why they are coming to this Dialogue.  Off everything we had gotten into, he was eager to record a statement about why he is standing up on O22 and why he put money down for his ticket to November 15.

A bit later, a young Puerto Rican-Dominican woman came out of the projects to find out what we were all about.  She said she was sick of how complacent many of her neighbors are, going along with being treated poorly, distracted by TV and other things.  She has an eight-month-old child and is concerned about what kind of world she will grow up in.  She was heartened when I told her about the Dialogue and in particular how Bob Avakian has fought for decades to provide the kind of leadership that can enable people like her and her neighbors to rise up and change themselves in the course of changing the whole world.  We spoke about BA's life and the topics that he and Cornel West will be getting into and she was happy to hear about a leader who really cares about those on the bottom.  She explained that she gets paid on Thursday and made plans to buy a ticket for herself and her baby's father.  She also recorded a video statement about why she wants to attend the Dialogue and why others in the neighborhood should too.

Later, a young Black man stood listening as I agitated for a long while.  When he finally began to move I got off the bullhorn and approached him.  He believes in revolution and he believes deeply in god.  He had listened to me talk on the bullhorn at length about what an opportunity it will be to hear BA live and in person and said he wanted to be there.  Still, it took some struggle for him to make the leap of committing to attend by purchasing a ticket.  For him—and this was the case with everyone I spoke to—it wasn't mainly a question of finding the money.  To be clear, many folks did not have much money, but even more there was a question of whether they could see themselves going to an event like this.

The more I got into who BA is, what this event is about, and the tremendous importance of those this system has cast off being in the house, the more people were moved to make that commitment by purchasing—or beginning to purchase—their tickets.  This wasn't a mere “transaction.”  This was a transformation—in the way they saw themselves, how they saw BA, and how they saw their role in the revolution.  I am not saying that everyone signed up to be part of the revolution in some organized way, and agreeing to be an organized part of this movement is not a pre-requisite for attending the Dialogue.  But, there was a need to struggle with people to see that they not only have an opportunity, but they have a responsibility to come and hear this leader and consider deeply what their lives are going to be about.  I would paraphrase BA in BAsics 5:23, "Your life is going to be about something—or it's going to be about nothing.  And there is nothing greater more meaningful or liberating your life can be about than doing whatever you can to contribute to real revolution and the emancipation of humanity.  You can't miss the chance to hear BA live, he knows the way out of this hellhole and nothing can compare to the chance to be part of that!”  This was part of reaching inside them and putting the ideological challenge to them about what it would mean to hear BA live, or to pass on this opportunity.

With this young brother, there was transformation.  He purchased his ticket on the spot.  He also opened up more, sharing his views and listening deeply.  At first he was shocked to hear that BA was an atheist, telling me he's never met a good atheist.  I told him I was an atheist and his jaw dropped.  This confused him because he had loved everything I had been saying up until then.  He wanted to know why I didn't believe in god and I told him and I opened up the approach that BA takes to this question in Away With All Gods, but also after a while of getting into this I also brought out and read from the letter from the ex-prisoner where he says:

“With this Dialogue, people who don’t believe in god, and people who do believe are coming together to say no more to all this oppressive shit. They’re saying, to quote BA, 'No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born...' Both BA and CW understand that, whether you pray or not, making that 'no more' a reality is going to take concrete actions. They understand that it’s going to take millions of people both religious and not religious rising up to change this. And it’s going to take people digging into the biggest questions of how to get free, including ones that will take them out of their comfort zone, challenging them to play a radically different role than they are playing now.

“If you’re sick of being dogged and degraded by this system... if you’re sick of seeing young women tricked out as someone’s property... if you’re sick of the pigs having free reign to kill and brutalize unarmed youth... and if you want to see people here and all around the world finally free from this shit... then this Dialogue is for you.”

This brought a big smile to his face and we continued to struggle over the existence of god, while also repeatedly coming back to how important it is that we stand up together to fight back and to get into the big questions of how we really get free, most of all by hearing BA and Cornel West on November 15.  It was off the ex-prisoner's letter that he opened up about having been in prison in Texas and we talked about that.  Towards the end, he asked me, “You said there would be a bus from up here going to the event together?”  This made a big impression on me.  Clearly, knowing that there would be a busload of people from this very community, and hearing from an ex-prisoner saying explicitly that this event was for him and people like him, made a big difference in him being able to see himself coming to it and feeling welcome.  We worked out to a way to get him on the bus and to get his younger brother a ticket too.

There were many other exchanges throughout the day but rather than recounting them all I want to extract a few overall lessons.

First, the mood among people right now is incredibly favorable.  There is tremendous anger seething among people, and people are in a mood right now where they want to be part of doing something about it.  We had better not be satisfied with or just tail after their spontaneous favorable responses—but instead work to wrench major advances for the revolutionary movement out of this by fighting to transform people's thinking and concretely move them to purchase their tickets and be part of mobilizing others to be at this Dialogue and to turn out during this Month of Resistance!

Second, we ourselves had better appreciate and project what a truly historic and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it is to hear Bob Avakian, live and in person, together with Cornel West.  This is not just “another event” the revolution is putting on, not even the “best event we've ever done.”  This truly is an historic opportunity, a chance for thousands to hear from a leader who has fought for 50 years with everything he has and made tremendous break-throughs in both the understanding necessary to emancipate humanity and the practical leadership to make this real, including especially taking responsibility for leading those on the bottom to rise up as conscious emancipators of humanity.

Third, selling tickets is not simply a transaction—it is a concrete expression of a transformation.  It is an expression of people going from being glad that someone is talking about revolution and hoping from the sidelines that it succeeds while not really taking it all that seriously or feeling responsible for it, to seeing themselves in this revolution.  It is a key expression of those on the bottom casting off the ways this system puts on them, refusing any longer to just go along caught up in the daily grind or the daily hustle, and instead seizing the opportunity to hear from a leader who will challenge them and fight for them to be part of channeling their anger and their pain, their creativity and their intellects, their communities and their highest aspirations into fighting and getting free.  Putting the money down, making plans to get on the bus, strategizing to pull in others, and getting into BA and the big questions of the revolution, this is a transformationIt must be fought for and led.  In many ways, the people who are the most enthusiastic are the ones we must fight for the hardest.  With the folks who put money down or bought their tickets, I spent a good half an hour digging into things further—deepening their commitment, learning as much as I could about what attracted them and what might be holding them back, and working to unleash them to have a bigger impact on spreading this.  With all these folks, really wielding the materials—the quotes from BA, the message from the ex-prisoner, the orientation put forward in the piece about the “Jimi Hendrix of the Revolution” and the many other pieces that have been up on our website, and more—was absolutely critical.

Fourth, this approach is one that anyone can take up—whether you have been working for revolution for decades or just got involved today.  All of us need to be out there fighting to transform people so that they are putting money down and making a commitment to be there to hear from BA.  And all of us need to be sharing our experiences in this through this newspaper so that we can take this further in every part of the country.

All this is just a beginning, but it points to the tremendous potential that we must go out and fight to realize on a much grander scale.  We cannot fail to strain against and seek to bust through every obstacle to packing the church to hear Cornel West and Bob Avakian, including by fighting especially hard to turn out a huge section from among those who catch the hardest hell every day.





Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

The Dialogue as a Point of Reference: There Will Be Answers

October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

I recently attended a lecture at large private university that addressed the question of race in the digital age. The speaker, a respected African-American journalist, whose work deals often with the question of race, spoke to how he became a writer. It was attended by journalism students, as well as other students and the general public. I gave out cards for the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian on Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion. I found that some people had already heard about the Dialogue through other events, like on Ferguson or through getting cards on the campus.

During the Q & A, I got up, introduced myself as a revolutionary and said I had a comment and an invitation. I said 60 days have passed since the murder of Eric Garner by NYPD chokehold in Staten Island, New York. Thirty days have passed since the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. And 60 people had been killed in one month by the police nationwide, and nothing has happened to the cops who killed them, while the victims are often treated like criminals—that it will be brought up that they did something when they were a teenager. I said hundreds of years have passed since slavery, yet Black people are still oppressed. I asked how did he, as a Black journalist, deal with this question. And I invited him and everyone else in the room to come to the Revolution and Religion Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, which is going to get into the Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion—it's about getting free of all of this.

The journalist said he tries to portray those who have been killed by the police as individual people, not a statistic. He writes about what it is like for their families who will not see them anymore. But he really didn't have any answers and said he didn't know what to do. I responded by saying, "Come to the Dialogue. There will be answers."

In later comments during the Q&A, the journalist brought out how African-Americans have faced what he called "domestic terrorism," citing the Tulsa race riots: lynchings and shootings of Black people for not taking off their hats to white people. He criticized those who want African-Americans to be respectable, e.g. coming down on hip-hop or telling young people to "pull up your pants." This he said was censoring African-American humanity. In that context, he criticized Obama's remarks about Black fathers and he asked why does Obama criticize Black fathers, but not white fathers.

Raising the question of what it will take to end this, and that this Dialogue would get into how to get free, changed the discussion. Everyone in the room, including on the panel, was challenged to look at real solutions and get out of the frameworks that justify all this and blame those most targeted. The Dialogue became a point of reference—with sections of people in the room definitely interested in coming to it and others considering.





Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

To those who are part of the movement to make this Dialogue a major success:

October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


While this Dialogue needs to be made known throughout all of society, the audience for this Dialogue needs to be concretely and systematically BUILT, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Meaning, there need to be a LOT of people (and a lot of different kinds of people) there, and they need to be there on the RIGHT BASIS—which means having a basic sense of who and what they are coming to see.  This will not just happen “automatically”—it will take ambitious, systematic and concrete PLANS to get the word out much more broadly among many, many more people, of all strata, and most importantly to make it come alive to people WHY this is something they absolutely wouldn’t want to miss.

To the extent in this process that we encounter bullshit that actually poses concrete obstacles as we build for this Dialogue, we should engage in healthy non-defensive “boxing” (sharp and substantive ideological struggle).  We should answer things in a way that can be “heard” and resonate with the more honest or principled people who may be confused or who may have been influenced by the “haters” (people who, out of a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, want to shut down any discussion of real revolution).  But let’s not fail to put a lot of emphasis on the “invitation” side of things.  This is going to be a wonderful opportunity that people should not want to miss.

A question: Are we making all three of these components—seeing BA live and in person, seeing BA together with Cornel West, and seeing them engage this topic at this time—“come alive” to people so that they really start to “get” why it would be so special to go to this event? We shouldn't assume that it’s sufficient to get the word out broadly (though we obviously do need to do that!!) and that somehow that would be enough for people to “get” why they should not miss this.  This kind of thing is not really part of anyone’s typical day to day experiences... we do need to LEAD people to understand what this is all about and what makes it so special, so that they will be determined to get around the countless problems, hassles and distractions of everyday life to BUY A TICKET AND GET TO THAT DIALOGUE!




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014


Fundraising for the Dialogue: Reaching Out Broadly – With a Sharp Focus

October 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


A couple of us wanted to share the experience of going out to lots of people to raise funds for the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian: Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, on November 15 at Riverside Church in NYC.

In building for the Dialogue we have met many people at all kinds of events from climate change forums and demonstrations, to speak-outs about Ferguson, to cultural events and more. We haven't limited ourselves to “political” events and have gone to things like meet-ups for online crowd-fundraising and we've been out broadly on campuses, at museums and at concerts.

This small team is telling people everywhere about the Dialogue, who both speakers are, why it matters that BA, this outstanding revolutionary communist leader is dialoguing with Cornel West, one of the foremost radical intellectuals and a self-described “revolutionary Christian”, on this topic that weighs so heavily on the lives of the great majority of people in the world today. That this Dialogue is about getting free and emancipation, and what religion has to do with that.

We ask people when we first meet them, to get together and talk about how they can support the Dialogue financially. So far, we have met or have meetings scheduled with professors, young tech entrepreneurs, an executive of a nonprofit working with Black youth and students, a marketing person at an important performing arts center, and other professionals in the arts. Most have known little or nothing about Bob Avakian and his new synthesis of communism and the real strategy and vision for revolution he has developed. Over the course of the conversation about donating, people have been intrigued and challenged by what they begin to learn about how the two speakers approach what religion has to do with the entire way human society is organized AND how it really could be different.

Initial Lessons

First of all, when you ask people (immediately and up front, when you first meet them) to sit down and talk about supporting this Dialogue financially and in other ways, you are right away proceeding from the great need to change everything and how their participation will contribute to this. Tens of thousands of dollars are needed for advertising and projecting this Dialogue society-wide, and to bring young people and others from across the country, including many locked out of the realm of ideas and the kinds of discussions about societal questions that may take place at campuses just a few blocks away but might as well be another planet. Bringing people together across great divides to get into the biggest questions confronting humanity and having that emanate back out into society – this is attractive and something many people want to know more about and be part of.

When we meet, we bring along a packet that includes the postcard for the Dialogue, a nicely produced and labeled CD of Cornel West's 2012 radio interview with Bob Avakian, the current Host Committee list, a copy of the article “Watching Fruitvale Station with Bob Avakian,” the Timeline of Bob Avakian's Political Activism and Revolutionary Leadership and an initial budget (soon to be posted).

We share the materials with people and we tell people the basics about what this Dialogue is and who both speakers are. After hearing and beginning to explore people's thoughts and questions, we ask for a donation in a specific amount or within a specific range. We do this very early in the meeting. We try to learn enough ahead of time about the person and the type of work they do to have a basic idea of what would represent a significant donation from them, in line with contributing to making the great potential of this event real. Asking for a significant donation has helped people understand the seriousness of the need and the fact that we are reaching for major impact in every corner of society. This is providing people with direction and a framework for how they can make a real difference.

After you ask, give the person some time to think about it and answer. Do not keep talking! If you have asked for an amount that represents a significant donation from the person, it is probably taking them out of their comfort zone. Let them consider that. If you just keep talking, you can distract them from the seriousness of the request and communicate that maybe it doesn't matter that much after all.

If the person is making any kind of significant donation, the first thing to say is “Thank you!” Whether they are donating a lot, a little or not at all, ask them what led them to their decision. We will learn a lot from this! If they want more time to think about a donation, we work to draw out further what they are weighing in making the decision. We want to work through with them why their donation will really matter. Arrange to get together again in a few days to hear their decision.

Sometimes people don't respond directly when we ask for a donation. One really critical lesson is to learn more about what people are thinking and let them learn more about what the Dialogue will accomplish and about BA – and then direct people back to their own contribution. The response may not be what you expect! I think one of the biggest obstacles to fundraising for the Dialogue – both asking for meetings and then winning donations in a meeting – is our own preconceptions about what a person may or may not be able to contribute.

We had the experience of meeting with a young professional who told us about their ongoing struggle to launch their own business and pay off huge college loans ... and at the same time was increasingly moved and excited by the prospect of this Dialogue contributing to challenging the down-pressing role of religion which they feel acutely all around them. They started charting out ideas about how to spread it among important sections of people. Honestly, what was going through my head was, “well, this person doesn't have much money, we should proceed with their ideas about spreading this ...” (and these were very good ideas). But my partner jumped in, saying, “We really do want to come back to what you can donate at this time as well as hearing and working more on your ideas for taking this to others...” This led to a commitment that was larger than I expected and to a further and more real conversation about this person's ideas for raising funds among friends, the controversies to anticipate and how we will stay in touch and work together going forward.

The sharp focus in these exchanges on working with people to donate themselves has opened up their thinking about who they can reach out to for funds. It's important to follow through with involving people in putting this great need to others. How can they take this out among their friends? Are there people they will suggest we go to and use their names to introduce ourselves? Are there other ways they can spread the word and contribute to funding the event? Everyone we've met with has had ideas about this. 

So this is simple but we think represents important beginning lessons and breakthroughs in fundraising for the Dialogue – as involving people in changing the world! Many, many people right now have deep concerns and aspirations for something truly different and liberating. Most who feel this way have absolutely no idea of what that could be. But they can recognize, appreciate and learn more about this Dialogue, the revolution and its leader, BA – and Cornel West as part of this – as they begin to support it. These fundraising meetings are key to making the Dialogue a success – and they are opening people up to different possibilities that they may never have seriously considered before.

So let's see the mass movement around this event grow, blossom and contend! We should be reaching out to many kinds of people – in the religious community, in the arts, among young professionals of all kinds and all nationalities. Going to many people to raise funds in this way – right now! – is central to making the Dialogue reach the impact it can and must have.




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

Michael Brown Grand Jury—

Alert: They're Paving the Way for an Outrageous Injustice!

October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Right now, "leaks" are coming out in the media about the grand jury proceedings in the police killing of Michael Brown.

See: "Special—from Ferguson, Missouri"

Here are the actual facts in the case: The pig Darren Wilson executed unarmed Michael Brown in broad daylight, in front of witnesses, with cell phone videos recording key aspects of what happened. Mike, already wounded had run away from the cop, then turned around with his hands up when the cop shot him multiple times, killing him in cold blood.

Seventy plus days and counting since then, and not only is the murdering pig walking around still free and UN-indicted—the grand jury "leaks" are clearly designed to lay the groundwork for NOT indicting the killer cop at all, and letting this murdering pig—and the system that he and other brutal enforcers serve—off the hook.

Indict the killer cop and put him in prison NOW!

For Michael Brown and the thousands of others whose lives were stolen we say: NOT THIS TIME. ENOUGH. NO MORE. This is what October 22 and the whole October Month of Resistance is about—putting a big STOP SIGN to society that this must end, starting now.




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

FergusonOctober—Weekend of Resistance
October 10-13, 2014

October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Ferguson/St. Louis, October 10-13, called by Hands Up United, Organization for Black Struggle, and a coalition of local and national organizations. All photographs by Li Onesto/Revolution/

October 10, Clayton, MO

October 10, Friday afternoon. More than 200 people at the Buzz Westfall Justice Center in Clayton, Missouri—where prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch's office is—to demand Justice for Mike Brown and that McCulloch be removed from any investigation and legal proceedings in this case. In the afternoon Code Pink held a panel addressing the intersection of wars being waged by the U.S. in the world and police murder and brutality in the U.S.


October 10, Ferguson, MO

October 10, Friday night. A candlelight vigil at the site where Michael Brown was killed. 400 people gathered at the Ferguson police station, took to the streets and then occupied the whole front of the police building, up against a line of cops. Diverse and multinational crowd, people of all ages—many hundreds had already come into St. Louis by car, bus, and plane from all over the country.


October 11, St. Louis

October 11, Saturday. At least 2,000 people marched through the streets of downtown St. Louis and then rallied to demand JUSTICE for Michael Brown and an END to police murder, brutality and racial profiling.

October 11, Ferguson

The crowd was very multi-national and multi-generational, with the youth taking the initiative and providing the whole thing with a sharp and defiant edge. There were banners representing many groups who had organized to come and march in contingents. To list just a few: the Union Theological Seminary from New York City; the Ethical Society of St. Louis, students from a number of historically Black colleges, including Fisk University, Philander Smith College, and Harris-Stowe State University; the Metro Trans Umbrella Group (who talked about how transgender people also face police brutality); the National Nurses Organizing Committee; and Amnesty International. At least 75 people marched under the banner: "From Palestine to Ferguson—End Racism Now." Unions were also represented, including the Chicago Teachers' Union and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU). The Stop Mass Incarceration Network had a contingent and its STOP SIGN poster saying, "Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation Must be STOPPED" was taken up by many in the crowd.


October 11, Saturday night. In the Shaw district of South St. Louis, where the police murdered Vonderritt Myers on October 8, 300 marched on Friday night; 150 on Saturday day up against cops in riot gear.


October 12, 2014 hip hop music for Mike Brown

October 12, Sunday afternoon. A packed house for an afternoon of hip hop music—not about getting rich or objectifying women's bodies but the theme is: "We want justice for Mike Brown" and FUCK THE POLICE!! Artists who took the stage included Talib Kweli and the group Rebel Diaz.

Cornel West showed up and gave big props to the youth for being such a crucial part of this struggle and announced that he had come to Ferguson to get arrested.


Saint Louis University arena with Cornel West

October 12, Sunday night. A couple of thousand people packed the St. Louis University arena for a program with Cornel West as the keynote speaker. Speakers were largely representatives of different religious forces; there were also social justice activists, including a speaker from the struggle around Palestine. The program reflected how many, many different class and social forces have sincerely joined on the right side of this struggle—A VERY GOOD THING.


Shaw, St. Louis, October 12

October 12-13, late Sunday night/early Monday morning. About 800 people gathered in Shaw and took to the streets for over two hours—a mix of people from the St. Louis area and many people who had come from out of town for the Weekend of Resistance. Around 2 am, the march—about 1,000 at this point, went to St. Louis University, pushed through the security guards at the gate and went onto campus—calling on students to "come out of your dorms, join us!" The crowd took over the clock tower square and held a rally until 3 am.


October 13, Ferguson

October 13, Monday morning. Last day of FergusonOctober—determined group of clergy and others laid siege to the Ferguson Police Station, putting their bodies on the line to say NO MORE to police murders of Black youth. About 600 people marched to the station, then, in the pouring rain people went up against repeated attempts by police to drive them back. At least 42 people were arrested, including Cornel West and Carl Dix—co-founders of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and initiators of the October 2014 national Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.


October 13, Monday evening. 6 pm, after people are released from jail, the tweet went out: "It is our duty 2fight it is our duty 2win we must love & respect each other we have nothing to lose but our chains"



Carl Dix wrote on October 13 after getting out of jail:

"Ferguson October has already represented a leap in resistance to police terror, mass incarceration and all its consequences, and today's events will take things farther. Our responsibility coming off that is to make it a springboard for going farther in putting up a huge STOP SIGN to the horrors the criminal "injustice" system in this country enforces on people."




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

Artists Blazing Pulse Shines Light on Ferguson Atrocity. National Outspeak Swelling.

October 13, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors' note: Creative projects in the arts—literature, poetry, music, art, dance, and more—are a vital component of an emerging mood and spirit of resistance. To name a few examples: An article in The New Yorker by Jennifer Gonnerman, "Before the Law," documents the story of a sixteen-year-old Black youth who had three years of his life stolen, locked up for being accused of taking a backpack. Alice Goffman's book, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, brings readers into the pervasive climate of terror enforced on a Black community by law enforcement. (See interview.) The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, by Edward E. Baptist, tells how on the basis of slavery, the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. A video produced by Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, Radio Raheem and The Gentle Giant.

A team of volunteers, including new to the movement for revolution, explored a range of cultural responses to the murder of Michael Brown, the uprising in Ferguson, and related expressions of resistance. Their report follows. And we encourage readers to send in links to your own work, or other works that readers should be aware of. (Send to

August 9th, American racial tensions were sparked alive, when police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed Mike Brown. Artists saw this as an urgent time to use their voices. Facts are facts. Police brutality and nationwide militarization have been in high gear. Aggressive dinosaurs on steroids discriminating against Black and brown people in Ferguson, proved nothing has changed. There is a growing wave of artistic expression in response. Artists allow for the political message to be stretched. Through poetry, song, dance and art people can stop, people can think and listen.

Mainstream media does not participate in communicating an unbiased truth about all this. What the news tells is skewed, towards corporate interests; thereby, backing the interests of those with power. Truth is one of the most important words in our language. Youth, drawn to all kinds of art, are ultimately looking to connect with a message and asking big questions. Racism, discrimination, class, poverty, mass incarceration and excess militarism all are core issues involved in the outrageous numbers of shootings by police. Since youth are influenced by art, teachings and answers to questions can be given by artists, and artists seen as healers.

Alice Walker's Gather

"Illegitimate" – Dread Scott on the killing of Michael Brown

Demonstrators “disrupt” St. Louis Symphony, singing a “Requiem for Mike Brown.” Rebecca Rivera reporter/video editor St Louis American paper

Unleashing 'United We Dance' to tackle social challenges

Spike Lee's Protest Banners on Instagram

I Can't Breathe


Daniel J Watts - If They Gunned Me Down

Mural in Brooklyn

Mural in Brooklyn, NYC. (Photo: Special to




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

Stop the Lies and Slanders: Bob Avakian and the RCP Are the Exact Opposite of a "Cult"!

October 15, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


People who hate the Revolutionary Communist Party, its leader Bob Avakian, and the movement for revolution—who in fact hate actual revolution and communism, and even the idea of truly radical change, far more than they hate how the world is now—sometimes hurl the bullshit accusation that this party and movement for revolution is a “cult.” In addition, there are people who may not be firmly entrenched in an antagonistic stance, and who should—and could—know better, who are all too willing to uncritically accept and repeat this accusation. They do so because, whether they know it or not, they are heavily influenced by widespread distortions of and prejudices against communism, communist leaders, and leadership more generally. And they are also influenced by a general culture and society in which slander, snark, pettiness and personal attacks are broadly treated as an acceptable substitute for critical thinking and substantive engagement with points of content. 

As this article will briefly speak to, this charge of “cult” is complete and utter nonsense, and it is a charge that both reflects and feeds off this pervasive anticommunism and culture of snark.

The rampant anti-communist prejudices and distortions in our society originate from those who run the capitalist-imperialist system we live under now, which is a worldwide system based on vicious exploitation and oppression and monumental inequalities. Those who run this system have every reason to slander past efforts or future attempts to sweep this system away and organize society in a radically different way, and to slander people who are working towards this.  So, those who enforce and advocate for this capitalist-imperialist system constantly spread absurd lies and prejudices about communism that are then repeated over and over again in the media, educational system, popular culture, and—unfortunately—even by many who call themselves “progressives.” In fact, this very charge of “cult” is a reflection and expression of the sort of crude, unimaginative stereotypes of communism that could be pulled straight from a U.S. Cold War propaganda film, with depictions of communists as “mindless, brainwashed robots who all think the same way”...blah, blah, blah.

One key particular form that this type of anti-communist attack takes is slanders against communist leaders and the role that they play. If you think about it for a minute, people in this society—and those who run this society—follow and promote all kinds of leaders in all different spheres of society, whether in politics, the arts, sports, or elsewhere. But somehow, when people follow and promote a communist leader, they are a “cult.” NO. The way any leader should be evaluated is: What does that leader stand for? What is the content of that leader’s ideas? What will be the result if these ideas gain broad influence and are taken up? What overall role is that leader playing in society and in the world?    

It is also worth noting that it’s not even only against communists that the slander of “cult” has been leveled. In the radical and revolutionary upsurges of the 1960s and 1970s, the powers-that-be and their mouthpieces warned parents about their radical children joining “cults,” and while there were in fact some cults on the scene in the '60s and '70s just as there are today, very often what were being labeled as cults were far from that in reality—they were simply radical social and political movements whose influence the powers-that-be feared.

Haters: We’re calling you out. And to those who may not be haters, but are allowing themselves to swallow the lies spewed forth by the haters, we’re challenging you to be better than that. This accusation of “cult” is just bullshit. It is lazy. It is intellectually cowardly. And it is harmful, because it spreads lies and confusion about what Bob Avakian, and the party and movement for revolution he leads, are actually all about; stands in the way of the critically needed theoretical engagement and practical involvement with the movement for revolution to emancipate humanity; and perpetuates rotten standards in which people deal in lies, snark, slander, pettiness and personal attacks rather than principled discussion and debate over the substance of key questions. 

As the Revolutionary Communist Party, the movement for revolution, and its leadership continue to gain increasing influence in society and make significant advances, those who feel fundamentally threatened by what they represent will continue to spew their garbage out of desperation. For this reason, it’s worth speaking to this briefly.

Here are three very basic and key points on this: 

Point 1: The Revolutionary Communist Party, its leader Bob Avakian, and the movement for revolution represent the exact OPPOSITE of a cult. 

Think about it. What is a cult? Generally, it is a group of people who separate themselves from the rest of society, who literally or figuratively initiate members into some “secret society” or “secret temple of knowledge,” and who adopt an unthinking, uncritical and religious approach to reality. Cults encourage blind following, or religious worship, of their leaders. And yes, they also often adopt practices and rituals that are wacky, or truly horrific—such as mass suicide pacts. And cults have absolutely nothing to do with transforming society or emancipating humanity.

In complete contrast to all of that: The Revolutionary Communist Party, its chairman Bob Avakian, and the movement for revolution engage, and seek to learn from and transform, every sphere of society and society as a whole. They do this as part of the process of making revolution and then continuing that revolution all the way to communism. As a critical element of this process, they seek to reach and influence literally millions of people from all sections of society, unleashing them to take up a thoroughly scientific approach to all of reality, including thinking critically about everything. All of this is for the purpose of changing the entire world through revolution, bringing an end to all the horrific ways in which human beings unnecessarily suffer. It is for that purpose and on that basis that the party, and the movement for revolution, follows and promotes Avakian, based on a scientific and not a blind, religious approach and because of what Avakian, his work, and his leadership objectively represent in relation to the goal of revolution and human emancipation. 

All of these points are a matter of public record. For instance, you can read the Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and see for yourself the party’s purpose, principles, and basis of functioning. You can dig into Bob Avakian’s works and see for yourself his consistent, unwavering emphasis on the critical importance of taking a scientific approach to all of reality, thinking critically about everything, and learning very broadly. You can find these works, and more generally follow the theory and practice of the revolution, at

Point 2: Saying things like “you guys are a cult” is an awfully convenient way to avoid engaging and discussing—and doing the work of engaging and discussing—the content of what this leader, party, and movement represent.   

People need to have the principle, honesty and intellectual courage to go to the source, do the work, and see for themselves. And then let’s get into the content—as well as questions, and points of agreement and disagreement, regarding that content.   

This matters too much for humanity to allow any other standards to be accepted. Billions of people on this planet suffer terribly every day, the very future of the planet itself is in danger, and the tremendous potential of humanity as a whole is squashed and suppressed. When a leader, party, and movement step forward and—based on decades of work—present a way that humanity can break free of these horrors once and for all, people have a responsibility to at the very least engage this seriously. Petty, snarky, cynical and absurd dismissals without engagement just will not fly.

Point 3: We need to fight for much better standards within political and social movements, and within society as a whole.

We should be clear that it is especially vicious and harmful when those who have devoted their lives to, and done decades of work on, human emancipation are met with lies, slander and personal attacks. While the particular egregiousness of this should definitely not be overlooked or minimized, there is also a need to fight against the broader, overlapping culture and society of snark, nastiness and slander. A lot of this gets especially disgusting on the Internet, where people hide behind anonymity to spit forth lies and gossip; to degrade, taunt and bully others; and to engage in personal attacks. 

On any question, and especially when it comes to questions of what it will take for humanity to get free of oppression, people need to get out of the gutter...and loft things up to principled discussion and debate over matters of substance.

People very broadly need to raise their sights to the vantage point of what it will take to emancipate humanity. And then let’s talk about things on those terms




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

#ResistRikers Raises Banners of Defiance in the Shadow of NYC's Notorious Jail

October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following report was written by Cecily McMillan and Paul Funkhouser for Revolution newspaper/


Saturday, October 18. #ResistRikers rally targeted the core of NYC's mass incarceration complex as over 50 activists and community leaders came together at the gates of Rikers Island demanding an end to solitary confinement, abuse and killing of incarcerated people.

Cecily McMillan at October 18 protest at Rikers Island, New York City prison. Earlier this year Cecily served 58 days in Rikers after being arrested and convicted in an Occupy Wall Street case in which she was attacked and sexually abused by the NYPD. Photo: Special to

A wide range of groups and experiences were represented at the rally. Speakers included formerly incarcerated people who described firsthand the conditions at Rikers, as well as members of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee, the Revolutionary Communist Party, Copwatch Patrol Unit, the New Black Panther Party, and the Democratic Socialists of America. Also in attendance were members of the Asociación pro-derecho de los confinados Ñeta, the Industrial Workers of the World, the International Socialist Organization, and the Jails Action Coalition.

Speakers connected the struggle against mass incarceration to ongoing protests in Ferguson, as well as the upcoming #O22 National Day of Action Against Police Brutality and the Rally to Restore the Morales-Shakur Center on Monday (October 20).

The crowd was amplified by banners, "Solitary Is Torture" and "Justice for Mike Brown," and passing cars honked in support of the demonstration. Correctional officers looked on anxiously from across the street as the crowd shouted, "Broken windows—Tear it down! Mass incarceration—Tear it down!" and "Youth detention—abolish it! Rikers Island—demolish it!"

The electrifying energy of the crowd brought the widespread outrage of community members to the heart of mass incarceration in New York City, and the organizers asked everyone to return with five friends for the upcoming #ResistRikers action on November 8. This Saturday, October 25 at 3 pm activists will hold a strategy session at The Base (1302 Myrtle Av, Brooklyn) to plan next steps.

With October 22 only days away, there was a call for people to go ALL OUT to build for the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation. [].

Protest at Rikers Island, New York City prison, October 18, 2014. Photo: Special to







Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

From Stop Patriarchy

ALERT! On October 14 Supreme Court Ruling

October 16, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


We received this from Stop Patriarchy.


October 14, the United States Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 to overrule the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision. The Fifth Circuit had ruled on Oct. 2 to allow Texas law HB2 to go into effect which forced the closure of 13 clinics. The SCOTUS ruling means that these clinics may now re-open.

This is a positive immediate development, but it is a far cry from justice and it is also far from over.  Many of the clinics that were forced to close have already had to lay off their staff and let go—or began the process of letting go—of their properties. Re-opening, while the right thing to do for their patients and women everywhere, is an enormous financial gamble for the owners of the clinics, who have no guarantee whether they will be able to remain open for any length of time.

The Supreme Court's decision was simply that while the challenge to HB2 is still being litigated, the closure of the clinics should not be enforced. There is not yet a final decision on whether HB2 will stand.  Also, the 20-week ban on abortion, along with harmful and medically unsound restrictions on medication abortions, is left untouched by the Supreme Court.

The restriction requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges, which already closed many clinics in Texas is still in effect, with the exception of two clinics in El Paso & McAllen. 

The fate of women throughout the state of Texas, the futures of the courageous abortion providers who have struggled to keep their clinic doors open, and the direction of this fight for women's right to abortion and reproductive freedom across the country are still at stake.

Now is not the time for complacency. It is time to step up!




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

Breaking News on October 22 National Day of Protest / Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

Updated October 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Starting October 13, began this new blog on the rapidly mushrooming wave of resistance to police terror and mass incarceration. The Month of Resistance is about making a big leap in this resistance, and October 22 is key. So tune to Send comments, snapshots, photos, reports (short & simple fine!) to

Click here for more about the Month of Resistance.

Carl Dix and De BlasioOctober 20, 2014, New York City Hall

Carl Dix Presents Demand Directly to Mayor Bill DeBlasio: "The NYPD must not prevent the O22 march from going into Times Square!"

Read more

October 21, 2014



Who:    Parents of Stolen Lives, Parents Against Police Brutality
What:   Vigil/Press conference demanding right to march into Times Square on October 22, National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality
When:   Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 3 p.m.
Where:  Gracie Mansion, 88th and East End Avenue, New York
Why:    Blocking October 22 march into Times Square effectively marginalizes the message that police brutality must stop.

# # #


Contact: Steve Yip: (347) 979-7646; (917) 868-6007
Andree Penix Smith: (212) 920-1957
Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN):

Following a refusal by police to grant a permit to march into Times Square, yesterday at city hall Mayor Bill de Blasio was handed a demand for the right to protest anywhere in the city against police brutality. 

During a news conference of the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation and the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, activist Carl Dix gave de Blasio a letter from the group calling on the mayor not to allow the NYPD to prevent marchers from entering Times Square during the National Day of Protest.

In addition to the New York march tomorrow, 78 actions will take place in 65 locations throughout the U.S. as well as two in Canada and one in New Zealand. 

October 22nd leaders Monday met with NYPD officials, who said such a march would be detrimental to traffic and safety if it proceeds into Times Square.  March organizers contend this move effectively marginalizes the message that needs to be brought to the world’s attention – that police murder and abuse, racially-targeted mass incarceration and the criminalization of Black and Latino youth must stop.

At 1 p.m. tomorrow, a rally kicking off the 18th Annual October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality will begin at Union Square followed by a march to 42nd Street. 

“Given the abuse the NYPD has inflicted on people, we must be allowed to raise our voices in protest and to deliver our message that police brutality must stop in Times Square before the eyes of the world," said Dix, an October 22nd co-founder.

"What about the safety of Eric Garner, of Ramarley Graham, of Anthony Rosario, of Malcolm Ferguson, of Nicholas Heyward Jr., of Anthony Baez and of all the other people whose lives have been stolen by the NYPD? What about the safety of the hundreds of people the NYPD has subjected to choke­holds? What about the safety of all those who might be brutalized or murdered by the NYPD?" he added.

A variety of actions – from protests and rallies to film screenings and sermons in religious institutions – took place during what the group calls the Month of Resistance. In the national effort to challenge injustices within the criminal justice system, Dix teamed with Union Theological Seminary Professor Dr. Cornel West to devise the call for the month-long protests, which were endorsed by families of those killed by police, former prisoners, clergy, academics and community organizations. 

Public figures such as rapper, author and producer Chuck D and author and activist Alice Walker are also supporters. Chuck D recorded a pledge of support and Walker wrote a poem entitled  “Gather” for Dix and West in support of the Month of Resistance. 

Further information is available online at

* * * * *

The following letter was presented by Carl Dix to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference October 20, 2014.

October 20, 2014

To MAYOR Bill de Blasio:

The NYPD must not be allowed to prevent the march on October 22, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, from proceeding into Times Square to deliver its message that police brutality, in New York and around the country, must STOP!

Given that:

For all these reasons and more, it is NECESSARY that we march on October 22 and raise our voices in protest of police brutality, repression and the criminalization of a generation. We must take this message into Times Square where it will reach the eyes of the world.
The NYPD has no right and should not have the authority to prevent this.
October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation 866 235 7814
Stop Mass Incarceration Network 917 868 6007


CAT (Convention Against Torture) Day of Action

October 17, 2014
from the U.S. Human Rights Network

On October 22, groups around the U.S. are collectively calling for an absolute end to torture in all its forms. This action coincides with Stop Police Brutality Day (October 22) and the 20th anniversary of the U.S. ratifying the UN Convention Against Torture (October 21).

Follow or join the conversation using #endtorture. Feel free to use and edit these sample tweets:

By formally accepting this treaty 20 years ago, the U.S. Government made a commitment to end the use of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Sadly, the U.S. Government has failed to meet this obligation and people continue to be subjected to torture, and cruel and dehumanizing treatment in the United States. The death penalty, police brutality, shackling of pregnant women, and the state of prison and detention conditions are all forms of torture. We need to end torture in all its forms now.

Next month, human rights activists will travel to Geneva, Switzerland for the United Nations’ review of the U.S. Government’s compliance with the Convention Against Torture. During the review, advocates will discuss key concerns around the government’s failure to sufficiently address cruel and inhumane treatment of civilians within U.S. borders, particularly in light of ongoing incidents of state-sanctioned violence and abuse happening in places like Ferguson, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

For more information about the various violations of the CAT treaty, check out the 43 other reports submitted through the USHRN to the UN Committee Against Torture.

See more at:



October 15, 2014

Permit Battle for October 22 in New York City!

A press conference was held Wednesday, October 15 on the steps of New York’s City Hall to demand that the NYPD Grant a Permit to March to Times Square On the October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.

CALL City Hall and the NYPD – Demand the permit be granted!

Revolution/ received the following from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network:

The NYPD denied a permit to the Stop Mass Incarceration Network to march into Times Square on the October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. They claim they denied the permit on the grounds of "traffic/public safety” concerns. They will only allow us to march from Union Square to W. 42 St stretching south on 7 Ave., penning us in and away from the thousands of people in Times Square. They are seeking to keep the message of October 22 away from the country and the world that being in Times Square allows us to reach.

What about the safety concerns of millions that the murder of Black and Brown people like Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Chantel Davis, Ramarley Graham and thousands of others must STOP NOW!? What about the safety concerns of millions that the criminalization of Black and Brown people MUST STOP!? The safety concerns of millions that police brutality, repression and the criminalization of a generation MUST STOP! are much more important than "traffic concerns". We demand the a permit to march into Times Square.

All over the country and here in New York, millions are outraged that the police are getting away with the murder of our people. How many more Eric Garners will be choked to death? How many more Michael Browns will be gunned down with their hands up? We have the right to march into Times Square to reach the thousands that are there from all over the city, the country and the world with the message that this country is committing grave crimes against it own people and this must stop. Join us to demand that the NYPD grant a permit to march into Times Square on October 22.

Call City Hall and the NYPD demanding that the permit be granted.

City Hall (212) 639-9675
NYPD Switchboard (646) 610-5000

Building for October 22:  Important New York City Organizing Events & Protests 

Organizing Meeting for the October 22 National Day of Protest
Thursday, October 16, 6:30 PM
Project Reach, 39 Eldridge Street 4/F, between Canal & Hester Street in Chinatown. D train to Grand Street

Month of Resistance: Rally at Rikers Island
Saturday, October 18, 3 PM
We demand: "End Solitary Confinement for All! STOP Abusing & Killing Our Brothers and Sisters Incarcerated in NYC Jails"
In front of the Rikers Island Sign at the corner of 19th Ave & Hazen Street
Take the Q100 bus from Long Island City

Month of Resistance Film Showing: The House I Live In
Monday, October 20, 7 PM
The Riverside Church, 120th and Claremont Avenue, Upper Manhattan, #1 train to 116th Street.

On October 15, Revolution/ received the following from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network:

Rally at 100 Centre Street Stands with the Black and Latino Youth Swept Up in the June 4th NYPD Military Style Raids in West Harlem and their Families.

Manhattan Criminal Court, 100 Centre Street Building
Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 8:30 AM

HARLEM, NY – West Harlem Residents and family members from the General Grant, Manhattanville Houses, and Manhattan Avenue neighborhood, and the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, congregations for Justice and Justice at Saint Mary's Episcopal Church, and others will hold a press conference and rally to support the Black and Latino youth who were the targets of the June 4th raids in West Harlem and their families, and to denounce the military style assault by over 400 NYPD cops. Some of the youth swept up on that day will appear in court on the 16th.

On June 4th at 6:00 A.M as helicopters hovered overhead, 400 police in body armor, with weapons drawn, charged down hallways breaking down doors with battering rams in public housing projects and in private apartment buildings in West Harlem. Mothers scrambled to protect their children, most especially their teen-aged boys. It was a scene reminiscent of slavery days, or U.S. troops rousting villagers in Vietnam or present day Afghanistan.  Dozens and dozens of young men, as young as 15, were dragged away by cops. They were given bails of hundreds of 1000’s of dollars in some cases and are facing 15 years to life in prison. 

The June 4th raid were a brutal escalation of this system’s war on Black and Latino people, especially the youth. It is bound up with the criminalization of generations of young people by a system that has no future for them other than the horror of mass incarceration, poverty, misery, or death at an early age. It is part of a slow genocide that could become a fast one.

The NYPD's pretext for these raids were from conflict between two housing projects in the 2011 death of basketball star, and resident of the General Grant Houses, Tayshana Murphy.

Taylonn Murphy, father of Tayshana Murphy, said, "I don't want the death of my daughter to be the excuse for the police doing what they did on June 4th and are doing in the court. People need to be there on the 16th and let the system know that we are not going to accept injustice. "

Phone: 347-979-SMIN (7646)

From Carl Dix in Ferguson - Mon, Oct. 13, 11:20 PM:

All Out for Oct 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality

Cornel West and Carl Dix

Tweet from Carl Dix: @Carl_Dix, @CornelWest prepare to put our bodies on the line. #BlackLivesMatter #FergusonOctober #OCT22

The last day of Ferguson October featured a determined group of clergy and others laying siege to the Ferguson Police Station. Intent on putting their bodies on the line to say NO MORE to police murders of Black youth, people braved driving rain and repeated attempts by police to drive them back as they penetrated police lines and refused to allow business as usual to go down in that pig sty. 42 people were arrested in this action. Cornel West and Carl Dix – co-founders of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and initiators of the October 2014 national Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression & the Criminalization of a Generation – along with MOR steering committee member Efia Nwangaza, were among those arrested.

West was the keynote speaker at a mass meeting held at St. Louis University (SLU) the previous night. Youth who have been in the forefront of the resistance in Ferguson demanded that their voices be heard and a number of that got onto the stage to speak, injecting a sense of urgency into the meeting. This sense ran thru a march of more than 1000 people to the site of the police murder of Vonderrit Myers, another young Black man whose life was stolen by police, and back to SLU. And it added to the determination of the action the following morning when religious leaders bitterly condemned the way police treat Black youth like criminals and called for it to end.

Marching through Shaw district, South St. Louis, Sunday night, Oct. 12

Marching through Shaw district, South St. Louis, Sunday night, Oct. 12 (Special to Revolution)


Occupying center of St. Louis University, Sunday Night, Oct. 12

Occupying center of St. Louis University, Sunday Night, Oct. 12 (Special to Revolution)

More than 60 people were arrested on Monday, giving Ferguson weekend a fitting finale. The task now is to go on from here, continuing the fight for Justice for Michael Brown and connecting that fight to taking the resistance to police terror, mass incarceration and all its consequences to a much higher level. Many people left Ferguson October intent on mobilizing powerful outpourings on October 22 as the next step. Everyone who hates the way police murder Black youth and get away with no punishment needs to do the same. Go to the web site: for information, to get involved and to make a generous financial contribution to the effort.

(See, Ferguson Month! Everywhere! A Call From Carl Dix, below)

FergusonOctober Protests / Civil Disobedience Covered Globally:

The massive, defiant protests in the Ferguson-St. Louis area this past weekend – Oct. 10-13 – and especially Monday’s civil disobedience became a top story in the U.S. mainstream media and was covered globally, including CNN, The New York Times, Time, Yahoo News, NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, USA Today, Russia Today, the Guardian UK, and many other outlets.

“Ferguson Protests Take New Edge, Months After Killing – With Coordination and Scale, Civil Disobedience Acts Recall Earlier Era,” was the headline in the Oct. 14 print edition of The New York Times.  Its online edition featured a picture of Cornel West being arrested. Another was a beautiful photo of the Oct. 13 marched headed by Cornel West with Carl Dix close behind.

Yahoo News quoted one person saying people from outside the St. Louis area “don't know the real struggle,” but also reported, “But members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Revolutionary Communist Party and even Palestinian activists have joined the protests.” The report continued:

Outside activists say everyone needs to take a stand and the issues in Ferguson resound nationally.

 Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party said he came to Ferguson in August to protest and was arrested. He was arrested again on Monday in an act of civil disobedience, along with other national figures.

 "People in Ferguson stood up and that put the question of police murder of black people right out in front of all of society," said Dix, who is black. "Everybody has to take a stand and that's what the weekend is a reflection of. More and more people taking a stand."

This breakthrough into the media “superstructure” – forced by people's defiance and refusal to stop demanding Justice for Michael Brown! – is significant and reflective of the big changes in the political terrain and people's thinking taking place, including inspiring more outbreaks of protest against police murder and mass incarceration, and in many cases hearing about the Month of Resistance, as well as the Revolutionary Communist Party, Bob Avakian, and the movement for revolution for the first time.

Ferguson Month! Everywhere! A Call From Carl Dix

Oct. 13

Ferguson October

Ferguson October has already represented a leap in resistance to police terror, mass incarceration and all its consequences, and today's events will take things farther. Our responsibility coming off that is to make it a springboard for going farther in putting up a huge STOP SIGN to the horrors the criminal "injustice" system in this country enforces on people.

We'll update you on the developments today and be getting to you soon about what's next, but let me say now that October 22, the National Day of Protest to stop Police Brutality is 9 days from now, and we have to be gearing up and going all out to make that a powerful day of resistance all across the country.

October 13: 100 Rally in Oakland – “Not One More Deportation!”

100 people marched and rallied at the Fruitvale BART plaza in Oakland, California, near where Oscar Grant was killed. The rally was part of the Month of Resistance and joined mostly by .Latino immigrant women, as well as some college and high school youth. “Deportation of immigrants... not one more!” and “Criminalization of immigrant sons and daughters... not one more!” rang out in Spanish and English.  Attacks on immigrants, including the criminalizing of young children crossing the border from Central America, the militarization of the border with people dying while trying to cross the deserts of Arizona and California, the killing of Latino youth along with African-American youth were linked. All are part of a whole genocidal program that has to be stopped. Calls went out to join together and bring others to the October 22 national day of protest to rock the streets of downtown Oakland.

Among those speaking out at the rally were a group of Latino high school youth who did a drama about a Mexican immigrant father beaten to death by the border patrol. Others called for more opposition to the Obama administration’s speed-up of deportations . There is a feeling among many who’ve demanded changes in punitive immigration policies, that Obama has betrayed them – he’s deported almost 2 million undocumented immigrants! And he’s railroading these kids through the courts to keep them from entering the country.

Joey Johnson, who went to Ferguson, said people standing up heroically there have changed things and is inspiring others to stand up and resist. He also spoke about going to Murietta, California to confront Tea Party racists who are attacking the Central American children trying to cross the border as unwanted criminals.  

Even for children who manage to get asylum status and are able to stay in the US, their fate is still like Black children: the system of criminalization a police terror means they have to survive life in America walking around with a target on their backs, hoping they won’t end up like Oscar Grant, shot dead by police at Fruitvale Station.

Mass Incarceration on Trial

October 15, Wednesday, 7 pm, "Mass Incarceration On Trial" - Jonathan Simon Presents His New Book

Our prisons are not only vast and overcrowded, they are degrading—relying on racist gangs, lockdowns, and Supermax-style segregation units to maintain a tenuous order.

MONTH OF RESISTANCE EVENT, Revolution Books, Berkeley

From Greensboro: New Song and Video in Honor of Mike Brown and All the Stolen Lives

Oct. 13

Artists and activists from several local movements in Greensboro, North Carolina, including SMIN_NC, Greensboro4Justice, Artists4Justice, and Justice4Humanity, wrote and recorded this song and video in honor of Mike Brown and all the Stolen Lives.

Tuesday, October 14 - 9:00 am, Manhattan Criminal Court 100 Center Street. Rally in support of Noche of the Revolution Club & Stop Mass Incarceration Network. Noche has a 9:30 court appearance on 6 misdemeanor charges received when the NYPD targeted him for leading an August 14 march of 1,000 from Union Square to Times Square in protest of Michael Brown's murder in Ferguson, MO. We demand: drop these charges!

Stop Mass Incarceration Network
@StopMassIncNet / 347-979-SMIN (7646)

Monday, October 13 – 4:50pm
FLASH!  From Ferguson

At this writing, Carl Dix and Cornel West have been released from the county lockup.  They are waiting for more people to be released, including steering committee members of the Month of Resistance to be released.

From Gregory Koger. Earlier today Cornel West and Carl Dix—cofounders of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and initiators of the October 2014 national Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression & the Criminalization of a Generation—were arrested at the Ferguson police department, along with faith leaders and others. Their arrests—part of the Ferguson October Weekend of Resistance—came after over two months of defiant protests sparked by the police execution of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. Despite the arrests of hundreds of people for protesting during the course of the Ferguson uprising, Wilson has not spent one day in jail.

Dr. West was the keynote speaker at St. Louis University Sunday night, where a number of youth who have been on the front lines of the Ferguson uprising demanded their voices be heard and were invited onto the stage to speak. After the event, several thousand people took to the streets of St. Louis, gathering at the site of the police murder of Vonderrit Myers, another young Black man who's life was stolen by police just blocks from St. Louis University last week. The march ended with an occupation of St. Louis university, where the crowd called on students to come out of their dorms and into the streets to stand with the youth under the gun of police terror & the New Jim Crow.


Oct. 13 - @Carl_Dix tweeting from Ferguson March and Civil Disobediance 

10am:  .@Carl_Dix @CornelWest prepare to put our bodies on the line. #BlackLivesMatter #FergusonOctober #OCT22

11am:  @Carl_Dix @CornelWest marching for our youth in #FergusonOctober #BlackLivesMatter #OCT22

Noon:  At the police dpt showing #resistance #FergusonOctober #BlackLivesMatter #OCT22

Noon:  Pushed passed the pollice #FergusonOctober #BlackLivesMatter #

1pm:  Carl & Cornel West arrested Ferguson  demanding Indict Killer Cop. RT, spread. Donate at ! #FergusonOctober #Oct22

6pm after being released from jail:  "It is our duty 2fight it is our duty 2win we must love & respect each other we have nothing to lose but our chains"


Monday Morning, Oct. 13.

600 people march, then civil disobedience with about 50 people  arrested, including Cornel West, one of the first to get handcuffed. Carl Dix, from the RCP and co-founder with Cornel West of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. also arrested.

“Cornel West, at a mass meeting in Ferguson on Sunday as part of the Weekend of Resistance, said, "I didn't come here to give a speech, I came to get arrested!"  Carl Dix has said, "On Monday morning, civil disobedience is planned. We plan to connect more people to the October Month of Resistance and organize more people to act on October 22, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation."  (See "In Ferguson: Carl Dix, Cornel West to Participate in Civil Disobedience Today.")

Organized by and included many clergy and other religious forces. But also many others from the St. Louis area and those who had come from out of town. The leaders of the action stated that this had been organized in order for the clergy to take a step forward in taking up this whole struggle around justice for Mike Brown—after some of the youth and others in Ferguson had asked the question, “where are the clergy?”

There was a march to the Ferguson police station where there was a standoff, face to face with the police at the station doors. Many went right up to the faces of the police to testify about the situation of police brutality. Many were calling on the police to “repent.” At one point dozens of names of victims of police murder were called out to the crowd. Some in the crowd were visibly shaken by this, some breaking into sobs. When the police didn’t arrest anyone at the front doors, people lined up and then confronted the police at another barricaded area. They made it known that they intended to go through the barricade and were arrested one by one.

—Li Onesto, Revolution 

Sunday, Oct 12 – Afternoon. The placed was packed for an afternoon of Hip Hop music that was part of the Weekend of Resistance. Many artists took the stage and it was really refreshing to go to a hip hip show and hear rappers who were not doing songs about getting rich or objectifying women’s bodies. The theme this afternoon was definitely “We want justice for Mike Brown” and FUCK THE POLICE!! The middle finger was a major gesture aimed at the police by just about every artist who I saw perform. Rebel Diaz was great. They did a bunch of songs directly addressing the question of police brutality and also talked about how this system oppressed immigrants—sharing their own experience as an introduction to a performance of their version of Sting's song, "I'm an Alien." Cornel West also showed up and gave big props to the youth for being such a crucial part of this struggle and announced that he had come to Ferguson to get arrested.

Updated 10/15/2014: Sunday Night. A couple of thousand people packed the St. Louis University arena for a program that was part of the Weekend of Resistance. Thousands had come into town from all over the country and hundreds of them were in the audience. The speakers were largely representatives of different religious forces. There were also other social justice activists including a speaker from the struggle around Palestine—as at the rally on Saturday. This program reflected the fact that many, many different class and social forces have sincerely joined on the right side of this struggle AND THAT IS A VERY GOOD THING. Many speakers addressed how they had been shaken out of complacency by what has unfolded in Ferguson and around the country, especially the actions of the youth. Some of the speakers spoke to the moral dimension from their religious convictions of the need to act. Reverand Sekou went so far as to say, “we are willing to risk our lives because the young have said even though they bring tanks and rubber bullets, we will not back down.” Others were self-critical, “we have been too complacent,”  “it is time to risk arrest.”

At one point there was a disruption from some youth in the audience who wanted their voices to be heard, their humanity recognized.  These youth are passionate about continuing the struggle that they have been part of for over 2 months now and they are not backing down and not going to stop. This is a very important stand, pushing things forward. The impatience and breaking through all the months of advice to “be calm” and make the movement be about voting and respectable ways of bringing about change – this was righteous. In the main, this also characterized the speakers on the stage as well and that too was a welcome development.  The passionate call to join the struggle by the youth undoubtedly contributed to hundreds taking to the street that very night.  Secondarily, some of this was contradictory not surprisingly. There was some definite narrowness from some of the youth who  did not seem to appreciate what the struggle had called forward among important sections of the people. Their stance was that we are leading on the street and you all just talk about getting rid of racism but you are not out there in the street – a narrow measuring of everything in relationship to being out in the streets with them.

Cornel West was the only other scheduled speaker who still addressed the crowd after the youth were called up to the stage and he spoke to the urgent and pressing issues of police brutality and racial oppression in this country in a powerful way. He spoke to great applause.  Cornel West being in St Louis helped bring national attention to the days of resistance in Ferguson and has made an invaluable contribution to the fight against the new Jim Crow and the criminalization of a generation. He has stood out from the traditional civil rights and religious leaders in his willingness to speak truth to power and to fight ferociously for those trapped in impoverished conditions and against the brutality rained on them.

St. Louis University October 12, 2014. Photo: Li Onesto/Revolution/

Late Sunday Night/Early Monday Morning.  After the program about 800 people gathered in Shaw and took to the streets. The crowd was very diverse—a mix of people from the St. Louis area and many people who had come from out of town for the Weekend of Resistance. A determined and loud march took off around 11pm and marched through the area for about 2 hours—dividing into 2 groups at one point. One group blocked an intersection for about an hour. The two groups then joined up together again and marched to St. Louis University. At the front gate, there were about 4 security guards. The leaders at the front of the march said, “you want to see our IDs”? and pulled out their IDs and then the whole march just pushed through. There were about 1,000 protesters at this point. People called out to the students who were watching from the building windows, “come out of your dorms, join us!” The crowd took a the clock tower square on campus and held a rally, which included one of the relatives of Vonderitt Myers and a student from SLU who voiced his support for this struggle. The crowd was feeling very victorious, a real mood that this action had in fact, we had taken things into the street—and were calling on many more, including students, to join the struggle for justice for Mike Brown. At 3am it was announced that people were going to occupy the square. Most of the crowd left in the next couple of hours but at 5:30pm the news was reporting that a small group was still occupying the clock tower space.

—Li Onesto, Revolution

A report from Carl Dix, Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dear friends,

We've reached the last day of Ferguson weekend. Today as the Amerikkkan empire celebrates the beginnings of the occupation of this land which led to the genocide against the native inhabitants, we here are preparing to put our bodies on the line to say NO MORE to police murder of Black youth.

Ferguson October has already represented a leap in resistance to police terror, mass incarceration and all its consequences, and today's events will take things farther. Our responsibility coming off that is to make it a springboard for going farther in putting up a huge STOP SIGN to the horrors the criminal "injustice" system in this country enforces on people.

We'll update you on the developments today and be getting to you soon about what's next, but let me say now that October 22, the National Day of Protest to stop Police Brutality is 9 days from now, and we have to be gearing up and going all out to make that a powerful day of resistance all across the country.

And as always we need your involvement to make this happen. Go to the web site: to find out what's happened and how you can get involved. And also to contribute money (and frequent flyer miles) to help make it possible for the people on the front lines of this fight to keep getting to where the struggle is sharpest and to function while we're there.

In struggle,  Carl

October 11, Ferguson, MO: 

Your Support Needed to Help Make October 22 Successful

from Carl Dix in Ferguson

Ferguson October is off to a powerful start. Between one and two thousand people marched thru downtown St. Louis, with chants like “Hands Up-Don’t Shoot” and “Mike Brown did not have to die. We all know the reason why. The whole system’s guilty!” echoing as they marched. At a rally, the crowd heard from people organizing on the ground in Ferguson who vowed to continue the struggle until the killer cop was indicted and arrested. The rally ended with a call for everyone to go back to their areas and mobilize people to take to the streets on October 22.




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

All Out for October 22!

To everyone organizing on high school, college, and university campuses:

October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution/ received the following from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, San Francisco Bay Area:

A lot of positive momentum is building towards October 22nd and the protest starting at 1 pm at 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland. In just the last two class days, there is a lot we can do to make October 22nd as powerful as possible.

Let everyone know what is happening on October 22nd! Get the word out via social media, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., etc. Encourage them to go to the website so they get a full sense that October 22nd is going to be a NATIONAL day of protest against mass incarceration and police terror!

Let school newspapers and radio stations know what is happening. Encourage them to cover the protest and any actions or activities you are doing on campus to build for October 22nd.

Make class announcements. Pull together groups to take the Pledge of Resistance!

Paint a banner at your school out in the quad or wherever students gather—with the name of your school and what you think about police brutality and mass incarceration, and bring it to the protest so that students from your school can represent! Get people to sign it and take a group photo and send it to

On the morning of October 22nd, as part of organizing your walkouts and gathering a crowd to go to the protest in Oakland, do "die-ins" on campus where everyone gathers together and counts down—10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1—then falls on the ground symbolizing victims of police murders. Draw chalk outlines around the bodies.

If you have bullhorns and drums, bring them to the protest.

Social Media Kit for #o22

Additional tips:

Tweet links to things you find important/relevant to the month of resistance to the NYCRevclub, SMIN, and Carl Dix.

i.e., articles on this topic, live videos of police brutality, videos/photos of protests against police murder, raps of defiance that were made in relationship to Ferguson, police brutality, police murder.

It is important to know what writers are talking about this, rappers, artists etc., as they can and should write about/cover/promote #Oct22 and #o22.




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

October 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


October 22, 2014

National Day of
Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the
Criminalization of a Generation 

New York City  

Be in Union Square at 1 pm,
Take to the Streets with Defiance
Deliver our message in Times Square

On October 22, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, thousands of people must gather in Union Square, take to the streets, and march to Times Square, in a defiant statement that we will not live this way. Students walking out of the high schools and universities, people leaving work, all determined that October 22 will not be business as usual.

In unity with demonstrations all over the country, we will gather in Union Square at 1 p.m.—people from all the different organizations, faith communities, the projects, those that are the target of police brutality, activists and others. And especially, youth from the high schools walk out, busting out of the schools, those that are sweated and brutalized by the police everyday, bringing their energy, their enthusiasm, their defiance, their refusal to live like this. Everyone should bring their banners and signs. Pictures of loved ones whose lives have been stolen by the police should be everywhere.

We will have short messages that inspire us to take the message that “THIS MUST STOP!” into the streets, with drums beating, defiant rhythms, whistles blowing against the police—loud, raucous and defiant—bringing it all to Times Square where we will deliver a powerful message to the powers that be, that the world can hear. With our presence and action, a message will go out to the world that this country is guilty of horrific crimes against its own people and this must stop, NOW! We will gather and read the Pledge of Resistance in one loud voice, declaring that this is the beginning of a movement that aims to stop this genocide—mass incarceration, police brutality, repression and the criminalization of a generation—NOW! People will get a sense that across the country thousands have been acting on this day together, this movement is real, and they must be a part of it.






Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

Statement by Carl Dix on October 22, 2014 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

October 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Oct 22, 2014, the 19th annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, is occurring in a crucial time.  This is a time of intensifying attacks on the people by the criminal “injustice” system in this country.  We all burned with rage when we heard that a cop in Ferguson had gunned down Michael Brown and left his body laying in the street for 4½ hours. And we were sickened by the sight of Eric Garner being choked to death by cops in Staten Island, hearing him say, I can't breathe, again and again.  And these were only 2 of the many, many people whose lives were stolen by murdering cops in the past few months.  From July 17, the day Eric Garner was murdered, to Aug 17, at least 60 people were killed by law enforcement.  That's almost 2 people every day. And none of those killer cops have been punished for their crimes. This must STOP.

This intensified police murder is a concentration of an overall program of suppression that targets Black and Latino people.  This program includes warehousing more than 2 million people in prison, subjecting 80,000 people in prison to the torture of long term solitary confinement, stepped up detention and deportation of our immigrant sisters and brothers, and criminalizing young people.  All this amounts to a slow genocide that is breaking the bodies and crushing the spirits of tens of millions of Black and Latino people.

These horrors are built into the very fabric of this system, and I'll tell you, it's going to take revolution nothing less to end them once and for all.  And everyone who sees these horrors for what they are needs to act now – to join in building powerful resistance to these horrors, resistance that can beat them back and ultimately can stop them.

And this is a time when people are standing up in resistance to these horrors. The defiant youth of Ferguson poured into the streets the day Michael Brown was murdered, and they have been in the streets ever since, withstanding everything the authorities have thrown at them: tear gas, rubber bullets, militarized police, a national guard mobilization and more.  Their righteous stand drew people around the country into supporting them and standing up against police murder overall.

All this makes it crucially important that we mount powerful resistance on this October 22, and it creates great potential to do just that.  We must come together in cities all across the country and in a loud, powerful voice say: NO MORE to the horrors the criminal “injustice” system of this country enforces on people.  On this day, we must give a platform to those whose loved ones have been stolen from them by brutal murdering cops or have been warehoused in the torture chambers this system calls prisons.  They must be able to tell of the devastation this has inflicted on their lives and their families.  And people from many different backgrounds in society must stand with them and have their backs in the fight to stop police murder and mass incarceration.

And we are doing that today.  This 19th annual NDP is being marked in at least 68 cities across the US, more than have ever acted on October 22 before.  Saying in loud voices: Police Brutality – We Say No More. Mass Incarceration – We Say No More. Torture in the prisons – we say no more. Targeting of immigrants – we say no more. Criminalizing the youth – we say no more.

And this isn't about acting on this one day and going home, or about acting during the month of October and going back to business as usual.  Instead the resistance we mobilize on October 22 and the resistance we manifest during all of the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration has to become a springboard from which we continue to resist.  What we are doing today on October 22 and thruout the Month of October has been and must continue to be putting up a huge STOP sign in the face of US society;  making it so that everyone who suffers under the slow genocide of mass incarceration and police terror can see there's a movement they can join to fight to STOP these horrors.  And that no one can stand aside and say they don't know that these horrors are being perpetrated and everyone has to be challenged to take a stand on them and join the resistance to them.

Let me get practical about this. It means we need to get reports on everything that happens at October 22 actions around the country, so they can be posted on the web site.  It means that we have to promote people wearing orange on October 30 in solidarity with the struggle to stop mass incarceration.  It means that we have to be prepared to act when the grand juries come back when decisions in the cases of the cops who murdered Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

And it means continuing to build resistance to the horrors the criminal “injustice” system until mass incarceration and police terror are really no more.

Mass Incarceration + Silence = Genocide; and we must act now to STOP this genocide!


Stop Mass Incarceration Network
c/o P.O. Box 941 Knickerbocker Station
New York, NY 10002-0900
Twitter: @StopMassIncNet
347-979-SMIN (7646)

The "Stop Mass Incarceration: We're Better Than That!" Network is a project of the Alliance for Global Justice, a 501c3 tax-exempt organization.  Tax-deductible contributions accepted, and checks should be made payable to the "Alliance for Global Justice", with "Stop Mass Incarceration Network" in the memo line and sent to the address above.  Contributions also accepted online at




Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

October 22 Breaking News

Updated, with new photos, October 23, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


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





Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

Religion and Revolution: The Promise of a Fresh Look

October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


by SpearIt, Associate Professor, Texas Southern University—Thurgood Marshall School of Law. This article was originally published at Huffington Post on 10/20/14. Read it here. Reposted with permission.

For students of religion and students of revolution, the upcoming dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian should be a valuable lesson. Taking place at Riverside Church in New York City, this meeting of the minds has tremendous potential to advance understanding on the relationship between religion and revolution, which conventional wisdom tends to hold as mutually exclusive.

Cornel West is arguably the most important African-American intellectual alive today. His works are standard fare in African-American Studies, Religious Studies, and Theology programs, and he has been involved in movies, recording projects, and other activist work. His involvement includes projects like the Million Man March, Russell Simmons' Hip Hop Summit, and working with religious leaders from different backgrounds, including Minister Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, and Rabbi Michael Lerner.

Bob Avakian is the same age as West, but comes from a different era. Avakian has been the Revolutionary Communist Party's national leader since 1979. Like West, Avakian has lived a controversial life and has spent decades organizing his political party in America. Prior to his leadership role in this organization, he was involved in the Free Speech Movement and the Black Panther Party.

Although this dialogue promises to tread new theoretical terrain, it will be successful only as much as it can keep its eye on the prize. That is, the talk must avoid getting bogged down in debates on the existence of God, theism v. atheism, or such other fruitless discussion. As these questions have been pondered by the best minds in world history since time immemorial, there is little likelihood that much more will be resolved in just a few hours.

Instead, the discussion should by-pass these tired theological quagmires, and focus on the ways religion and revolution are complementary, and specifically, how one can advance the other. This rare opportunity for genuine dialogue must not be consumed by retrenchment, neither by West's will to preacher-man nor Avakian's to toe the party line.

Finding common ground may seem impossible due to the gulf between Marxism and religion. After all it was Karl Marx who famously wrote: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature..." This assertion, from history's perspective, is unimpeachable since religion has always been manipulated as a means of social control. In the same breath, however, he claims religion is "the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions." These conciliatory statements point to another undisputable truth: religion can be the heart and soul of revolutionary movement.

The takeaway from history is that theist and non-theist alike stand on common ground within a revolutionary framework. Hence, if the meeting begins on this premise, religion and Marxism may be presented more properly as different species within the broader genus of revolution.

To sight the most obvious example is the American Revolution. It is impossible to understand this era without a cursory understanding of religion's role, which involved, according to the Library of Congress, "offering a moral sanction for opposition to the British." Indeed for some, resistance to tyranny was a Christian duty, yet it is crucial to recognize that not everyone shared this religious fervor, and indeed some were religion-less. The point is that both contributed to the American Revolution's success.

Beyond this revolution, it might be argued that every social revolution in the United States has a corresponding public theology. Whether considering the abolition of slavery, women's rights, environmental justice, LGBT rights and more, it is clear that all have their genesis in the American church.

A dialogue between West and Avakian that is guided by a complementary ethos promises a better understanding of religion's role in revolution. It has potential to build bridges where typically none exist, despite that revolution and religion at times are inseparable. Hence, this is an opportunity to expose why creating false binaries is flawed. The history of revolution belongs to both religious and secular thinkers alike, and building on this fact will itself advance the revolution.





Revolution #358 October 20, 2014

October 20, New York City Hall

Carl Dix Presents Demand Directly to Mayor Bill DeBlasio: 
“The NYPD must not prevent the O22 march from going into Times Square!”

October 20, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |




Carl Dix: “The NYPD murders people....This is proven fact...It is entirely unacceptable for them to wantonly visit brutality and even murder on so many people, and then to turn around and tell us whether, when, where, and how we can protest that brutality...We must take this message into Times Square where it will reach the eyes of the world.”


Juanita Young:  “We Are Representing These 261 Stolen Lives!”

Carl Dix, Occupy activist Cecily McMillan, Juanita Young, whose son Malcolm Ferguson murdered by Police, Brian Jones of the Green Party, Nathan from Code Pink, and Danette Chavis whose son was killed by police all condemned the NYPD’s permit denial and passionately declared their intention to march into Times Square “come hell or high water,” and called on people to join them on October 22. 


Juanita Young:  “It’s bad enough our children are murdered out here in these streets and for somebody to say no, you can’t come on this block. How dare you. And we the Parents Against Police Brutality and A Mothers Cry for Justice say NO MORE! We’re gonna to do what we need to do to get the attention that our loved ones deserve being that they’re not here to be with us. We’re going to speak for them.”


Cecily McMillan: “Anybody who has the last fighting shred to be able to stand up and say my voice matters and you want to shut that down?...We have got to give people spaces to have voices in our democracy. And people are saying the only way you can do that is in the streets so that is where we’ll do it.”


Hands up don’t shoot for all stolen lives...We demand NYPD allow march through Times Square

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network announced that relatives of those murdered by police would be protesting outside the Mayor’s official residence – Gracie Mansion – Tuesday, Oct 21 at 3pm. 


From the Stop Mass Incarceration Network:  “It is very important that the fight to force the authorities to allow the march to proceed into Times Square on October 22 be taken to a higher level. Everyone who hates the way the police brutalize and even murder people and get away without any punishment must add their voices to the call for the march to go into Times Square. We need you to:

And most of all we need you to come out to Union Square on Wednesday, October 22, at 1 PM; to bring your friends, the people you go to school with, everybody, out with you to say in a loud, united voice that Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation must STOP!”